There is a deep, distressing, and rapidly metastasizing rot within American society. This rot was profoundly on display last week at the embarrassing hearing on the House Education and Workforce Committee.
As you recall, Harvard President Claudine Gay, Penn President Liz Magill, who resigned this weekend, and MIT President Sally Kornbluth could not answer a very basic question about whether calls for the genocide of Jews violate their university’s codes of conduct and are actionable offenses.
When university presidents cannot place a moral judgment, and enforce it, upon expressions of antisemitism and hide behind murky moral relativism and First Amendment rights, we know that we can well begin to mourn for the United States, as we once knew it.
Why, only when it comes to the protection of Jewish students, are First Amendment rights invoked?
There is a distinction between speech that is offered up on the town’s square and speech on the university campus or quad. Schools are supposed to be safe places to learn. And although it is protected speech to be able to say the very most vile things about minorities in Central Park, we have protections for almost every other minority group in our educational settings in the United States. These include protections for blacks, gays, Hispanics, transgenders, and the handicapped, and they ought to be there. These protections make our educational institutions places where all students are amenable to learning.
Yet—somehow there is an egregious double standard when it comes to the Jews —and only the Jews. And society’s treatment of Jews has always been an indicator of whether or not it is a place that is vibrant, healthy, and flourishing.
The 400 percent increase in antisemitic attacks within the past year did not come out of the blue. For the last 30 years, I have been examining academia, and a great deal of the professoriate has long embraced deeply radical views, including looking at the state of Israel as “colonialist”, “militaristic”, “nationalistic” etc. These views have metastasized and trickled down through K through 12th-grade instruction, textbooks, and agendas.
As we all know, the October 7th barbaric massacre of at least 1200 Jews in Israel, including the butchering and burning of babies, the use of the most horrific sort of sexual violence and gang rape against women, the sadistic and brutal savagery, and the taking hostage of the elderly and Holocaust survivors, amounts to the worst pogrom in Jewish history since the Holocaust.
Yet, by October 8th, the riots on college campuses were in full swing. By October 12th, Students for Justice in Palestine had a “National Day of Resistance” throughout US college campuses, in which they called for(quote) “dismantling Zionism on college campuses,” and fully supporting Hamas. Students for Justice in Palestine issued a toolkit that made clear that it advocates for Hamas or other Palestinian forces to conquer all of Israel, and for the “complete liberation” of Israel and the full influx of Palestinians to Israeli land. They even issued posters with the paragliders on them.
Something has gone terribly awry with this generation of students. These are nothing more than “Intellectual sheep”. They simply follow the herd mentality, and do not think for themselves—And many of their professors are spoon-feeding their students, one-sided, anti-Israel propaganda.
Take, for example, the Cornell professor of history, Russel Rickford, who called the Hamas attacks of October 7th, “exhilarating” and “energizing”, or Columbia University Professor Joseph Mossad, who called the October 7th attacks a “sign of jubilation and awe.” Danny Shaw, from the City University of New York, defines a Zionist as (quote) “the most despicable form of a human being greedy, selfish, racist, exclusionary, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-human.”
And the list goes on and on.
Meanwhile, we have students in rallies throughout the country who are “virtue-signaling” their wholehearted support of the Hamas atrocities, and are ripping down posters of the approximately 240 totally innocent kidnapped hostages-now a remaining 138, as innocent as Kfir Babis, now 10 or 11 months old.
What motivates people to do that?
And many of our Jewish and Zionist students on college campuses are feeling scared, threatened, intimidated, and bullied.
At Cornell University, a student posted that he would “slit the throats” of Jewish students, rape and throw off a cliff any Jewish females, and behead Jewish babies in front of their parents. (This person was later arrested by the FBI.) At Harvard University a business school student was physically assaulted, while his attackers hid their faces with their keffiyahs. Also at Harvard, 34 student groups held Israel totally responsible for the Hamas attacks of October 7th. (Harvard President Claudine Gay issued a statement of moral equivalency, together with 17 other professors, saying she was “heartbroken about the death and destruction unleashed”, by both Hamas and Israel.)
At Cooper Union University, Jewish students felt compelled to lock themselves in the library in fear of a mob of protestors who chanted, “Long live the Intifada”. At NYU, students and faculty over-ran the library, leaving Jewish students feeling vulnerable, scared, and abandoned. At Tulane University, at least two Jewish students were attacked when someone tried to burn an Israeli flag. At George Washington University, Students for Justice in Palestine beamed onto the walls of a building” Glory to the Martyrs” and “From the River to the Sea Palestine Shall Be Free.
And the list goes on and on. Today, campuses are not safe places for Jewish students to learn.
Many students who mindlessly ape the words “Intifada now” or “From the River to the Sea” just want to feel “cool”. They might not understand that this is a genocidal claim, leaving absolutely no room for the Jewish state.
Or even more frightening is the fact that—maybe they do.
Hamas has made its goals infinitely clear. Eradicating every Jew and infidel from the face of the earth. Emulating Hamas on our own nation’s campuses should be like emulating the Ku Klus Klan. Why the double standard?
Antizionism, which denies Jews their connection to our one and only collective state, the state of Israel, is antisemitism.
And we learned on October 7th that this form of antisemitism is every bit as lethal as the old.
I will leave it to the philosophers and theologians to decipher—but whenever there is a great threat to the West, as we know it, whether it be Naziism, Communism, or radical Islamism, they always harbor a particular antipathy for my people—the Jewish people.
And when University Presidents hide behind the First Amendment exclusively when it comes to the protection of their Jewish students, we know that there is a deep moral rot creeping from the very heads of these universities, and permeating down through their departments and student bodies. If they cannot answer a simple moral and ethical question about attempted genocide, until the quote “conduct” — or the very act of genocide is completed–we have a great deal to worry about.
Because what starts with the Jews never ends with just the Jews.
The writer is the Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, EMET.
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