Time marches forward. In 2011, Croton-Harmon High School in New York decided to honor John Mearsheimer with its Distinguished Graduate Award. Josh Blumberg, then a senior at the school, was vexed by this. He had learned about Mearsheimer’s work when he was a member of “Write On For Israel,” The Jewish Week newspaper’s advocacy program for high school students. He complained in emails to the school superintendent, principal, vice principal and school board.
The school postponed the award indefinitely.
Then last November, Blumberg, now a student at University of Michigan, was home for Thanksgiving when he got upsetting news: Mearsheimer was granted the award after all!
Blumberg looked into the matter; and he has penned an article for the Jewish Week, “My effort to prevent John Mearsheimer from being honored,” that relates his post-award investigation:
Why was the award granted despite the concerns expressed by the Croton community that the superintendent, and presumably other school officials, had previously thought to be prohibitive? Had the new committee that was to be formed actually materialized, and did it decide that Dr. Mearsheimer was worthy of the award? Why were objections from school board members, which I learned were raised again in 2012, also deemed to be insignificant?
On January 4,  I sent an email to the superintendent, principal, vice-principal, and school board asking these questions, as well as expressing my disappointment in this decision. I told them that Croton-Harmon High School officials owe the community an explanation as to why they felt that Dr. Mearsheimer is to be regarded as a role model for the students of the Croton-Harmon School District….
In a response from the superintendent on January 7, he stated to me that additional research had been done in a newly formed committee that included “a board of education representative and a former board member, and a full representation was achieved including members of the faculty, administration, and student body (which was lacking on the original process). After extensive research and discussion, the group did not find Mr. Mearsheimer to be anti-Semitic. While there were some in the community who might not agree, the committee believed it needed to make an informed decision based on their research and is comfortable with that decision.”