July 25, 2021

Antisemitic contagion contaminates college campuses


The same halls of academe so eager to denounce racism, both real and imagined, continue to be hotbeds of virulent antisemitism. Moral exemplars they are not.

A report this week from The Focus Project, self-identified as “a broad coalition of U.S. Jewish community organizations,” tells the tale. In the past two months alone, it reports, organizations on 152 college campuses released statements condemning Israel, many of them going well beyond respectful discourse into dangerous antisemitic tropes.

It is one thing, acceptable even if wrongheaded, to take issue with Israel’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza or with Israel’s settlements on the West Bank. It is quite another thing to accuse Israel and the Jewish people of conducting “genocide” or practicing “apartheid”, or, Lord forbid, of pushing “Jewish supremacy,” a neo-Nazi theory that accuses Jews of seeking evil world domination.

More than 200 “scholars,” including dozens of professors at prestigious universities, including Harvard, Cornell, the University of Virginia, Fordham, and Brandeis, used the vile term in an almost rabid statement entirely blaming Israel for the recent flare-ups vis-à-vis the Hamas terrorist organization.

Short of “blood libel,” which libels Jews by claiming they use the blood of Christian children in their religious practices, the term “Jewish supremacy” is among the worst forms of hate speech leveled against people of Hebrew faith or lineage.

Some of the organizations on the 152 campuses are the usual suspects: pro-Palestinian student groups. This is regrettable, but not necessarily a sign of university officialdom.

Others, however, are resolutions from faculty senates or student governments. The Yale College Council, for example, blasted “the injustice, ethnic cleansing and genocide occurring in Palestine.”

This is vicious nonsense and a damnable lie. Tens of thousands of Palestinians cross into Israel to work their jobs every single day. Israel provides Gaza with life-sustaining utilities and has provided ample humanitarian aid on numerous occasions.

Even when responding to hundreds and hundreds of Hamas missiles targeting Israeli civilians unprovoked, Israel goes to great lengths, as is well documented, to hit only military/terrorist-linked targets. On top of that, it sends warnings to those in the buildings to evacuate so only the buildings, not the humans, are harmed.

Meanwhile, campus administrators repeatedly allow the antisemitic hate speech to go not only without the punishment that would attend other disfavored speech on so many campuses, but even without any verbal rebuke.

As the Focus Project noted, this includes Johns Hopkins University, which has said not a public word against a teaching assistant who tweeted she was considering to fail “a Zionist student” even if the student earned enough test points to pass.

The same teaching assistant wrote about a chemistry lab period in which “I was blessed enough to be paired w a black woman to mentor who has good race analysis. didn’t get pinned with an Israeli or some b**ch white boy to have to share my knowledge with.”

Reverse the ethnicity or faith group involved, and the university would have wasted no time firing that teacher’s assistant. But she hates only Jews, males, and whites, so her bigotry is met with institutional silence.

On and on go the examples. Despite all the thousands of years of abuse, pogroms, and genocide endured by Jews, antisemitism, sometimes disguised, but not very well, as "mere" anti-Zionism, seems to remain the only bigotry acceptable in American academia. It is often outright supported.

Much of academia is a sickening cesspool. Alumni should completely stop supporting these colleges until they stop trafficking in anti-Jewish hate.

Quin Hillyer is a senior commentary writer and editor for the Washington Examiner. He is also a contributing editor for National Review Online and is a former executive editor for the American Spectator. He has served in senior roles for the Washington Times, the Mobile Register, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Gambit New Orleans Weekly and has been published in almost every major newspaper in the nation. A New Orleans native and cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, he is the author of the Mad Jones trilogy of satirical novels. He lives in Mobile, Alabama.

Source: Washington Examiner