"University officials said the paintings depicted only one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lior Halperin, the student who organized the exhibit, said the university censored an alternative view.... Brandeis officials said they wanted to make sure the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is presented in a balanced manner.
''It was completely from one side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we can only go based on the complaints we received," said Dennis Nealon, a Brandeis spokesman. ''People were saying: (a) what is this; (b) what is it trying to say; and (c) should there be some sort of balancing perspective here?" Nealon said that the university would consider displaying the artwork again in the fall, alongside pieces showing the Israeli point of view."
The article suggests that some students were upset, because the exhibit came without any explanatory information, and thus appeared to be officially endorsed by university staff. A simple disclaimer, explaining the origins of the art (a project organized by a Brandeis student) would have solved that problem.
Brandeis is a private university and, thus, unlike, e.g., Penn State, is not bound by the First Amendment, so there is no constitutional violation here, but the administration's reactions don't reflect well on Brandeis.
Indeed, putting this post together with one from yesterday, we have the Brandeis Administration adopting the following posture: (1) We will officially honor Tony Kushner, a virulently anti-Israel playwright who says that "[t]he biggest supporters of Israel are the most repulsive members of the Jewish community." and (2) We will censor
(Israeli!) students who exhibit "one-sided" art that is deemed anti-Israel. In other words, we will do the wrong thing in each case, in a particularly
headedhanded [typo; insert kosher joke here] and illogical way. Not for the first time, my alma mater is embarassing me.
Thanks to reader David Orlinoff for the tip.