Phoenix College agrees to dump anti-Semitic Yellow Pages

By Linda Bentley | April 1, 2009

But it took an alumnus Holocaust survivor to convince college president
PHOENIX – Marwan Ahmad of Breek Publishing recently released the 2009 Multicultural Yellow Pages, its 16th Edition of anti-Semitic non recognition of Israel and all entities relating to Judaism.

It was noted Phoenix College, once again, had taken out two full-page ads, one on the inside cover and one under the education category, in the anti-Semitic directory that denies Israel’s existence and everything associated with Judaism.

Phoenix College (PC) is part of the Maricopa Community College District (MCC) and is funded largely with tax dollars.

PC’s ad touts its International Student Center, claiming, “With more than 100 countries represented on our campus, Phoenix College is a true United Nations of colleges. If English is not your first language, we welcome you to call the International Student Center … We are dedicated to supporting your educational goals and enhancing your student life opportunities through services such as … immigration referrals, cultural awareness activities, I-20 (F-1 Visa) application information and processing, International
student club …”

MCC touts “Diversity” on its website, defining it as the “individual and group/social differences that exist among people.”

It states, “Inclusiveness is the intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity to create an environment that actively encourages full recognition of student and employee abilities and contributions in all aspects of the organization … Maricopa Community Colleges support a diverse and inclusive environment where mutual respect and equity are encouraged and valued. One that actively seeks to understand and incorporate views from dissimilar frames of reference,” and cites “Diversity Advisory Council April 15, 2005” as the source.

For the past three years, Jeremy Marwil has brought the anti-Semitism of Ahmad and his Multicultural Yellow Pages (formerly named the Muslim Yellow Pages) to the attention of Phoenix College, requesting they not advertise in or support the publication.

Last week, after lodging his objections, Marwil received an e-mail from Phoenix College President Anna Solley that said, “In the upcoming month, the Phoenix College International Student Center will be reviewing all of their advertising and will meet with the PC Marketing and Public Relations Department for assistance in the completion of an international advertising plan. With the recognition that the Multicultural Yellow Pages does not serve all of the Middle Eastern-American community, we plan to search for a publication that will serve a more diverse population, or if none is found, we plan to identify a local publication that targets the Jewish community.”

Marwil found her response concerning their future advertising in the anti-Semitic Multicultural Yellow Pages “not very satisfying,” interpreting her reply to imply, if PC cannot find a publication in which to advertise that includes Israel, it would supplement its advertising with a publication that targets the Jewish community.

He said, “If this college’s state-aided advertising dollars knowingly go to help an Israel-denying bigot in his publication on their campus, I think the public has a right to know about it.”
He apparently wasn’t the only one who interpreted Solley’s response that way.

On Monday, an e-mail from Sara Fryd stated, “Anna Solley just called me. I guess you have to be a Holocaust survivor and alumnus to get the message across. This is the e-mail that seems to have gotten her attention. Glad I could help.”

The subject line in Fryd’s e-mail to Solley asked, “Why is Phoenix College using tax dollars & alumni contributions to support terrorists?”

Fryd wrote, “Your response to Mr. Marwil was not only insufficient, it was insulting to all Jews. I was going to provide you with a tirade that included: My parents, who came to Phoenix in 1951, are buried where I-10 crosses I-17. They were Holocaust survivors – so am I; I am an alumnus of Class of 1965; received two scholarships at graduation; I was the first person in my family lucky enough to go to college – Hitler denied my parents
that right …”

Fryd, bewildered that Solley’s response could show such a complete lack of comprehension of the sheer magnitude of the anti-Semitism of Ahmad’s publication, wrote, “And you think we're all pissed because you didn't include Jewish publications in your advertising? And we'll be quiet if you advertise in Jewish publications? A lot's happened since I was a student 1963-1965. Phoenix College is now a school that teaches anti-Semitism openly while the president nicely explains it away. You've come a long way. Hitler did the same thing.”
Fryd said Solley apologized and told her PC would not do any future advertising in the Multicultural Yellow Pages.

Solley also apologized in writing to both Fryd and Marwil for her previous response to Marwil, “given that my response was not clear,” claiming her intent was to convey the fact that PC takes the information he provided regarding the Multicultural Yellow Pages very seriously.

“Respect is one of Phoenix College's core values,” wrote Solley. “We value deliberation, tolerance, and our obligation to treat each other with dignity, fairness, and civility. This value of respect extends to the way in which we engage the public through the college's advertising and marketing efforts.”

She went on about how PC “values and respects diversity” and “takes great pride in serving our diverse students and community members.”

In conclusion, she wrote, “Phoenix College does not teach nor support anti-Semitism. We are no longer going to place Phoenix College ads in the Phoenix Multicultural Yellow Pages given the anti-Semitic concerns that have been raised about this publication.”

Rejoicing, Marwil said, “Finally! It took three years to get this accomplished.”