Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Anti-Semitism on Campus

The story isn’t just about the diminishing presence and influence of Jews on American campuses. It’s about how these temples of higher learning have become infested with politically correct thinking and multiculturalism. Along with it has come an open embrace of the Palestinian cause and therefore hatred of Jews and support for terrorism directed against Jews.

They are not just marginalizing Jews and anyone who supports Israel. They have joined with Islamist extremists in their campaign to destroy Western civilization. If Israel’s success has humiliated Palestinian losers, think about the larger issue. Over the past millennium, Western civilization has thrived while Muslim civilization has stagnated. If the Palestinians can only deal with their shame by trying to destroy what they cannot build themselves, think of the rest of the Arab world.

For this among other reasons, we are hopeful to see Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states recognize a point often made on this blog, namely, that, in the Middle East, Israel is the solution, not the problem.

As for the situation on American campuses, Liel Leibovitz has the story. An immigrant and a former academic, he gave up a teaching job at NYU because the atmosphere was hostile to any fair and balanced discussion about Israel.

But, Leibovitz begins with the simple fact that fewer and fewer Jews are being accepted into elite Ivy League schools. While minority enrollment has increased, thanks to affirmative action programs, far better qualified Jewish students have largely been excluded. Naturally, the Jewish liberals who went all in for affirmative action were not smart enough to notice that their children would be the first victims of the program. Any Jew who is still donating to these places needs some serious mental health counseling.

Consider the facts:

Surveying the student body in major American universities between 1911 and 1913, the newly founded intercollegiate Menorah Association discovered 400 Jews at Cornell, 325 at the University of Pennsylvania, and 160 at Harvard; by 1967, The New York Times reported that 40% of the student body in both Penn and Columbia were Jewish, with Yale, Harvard, and Cornell lagging behind with a mere 25%. For a minority that today is still just three or four generations removed from the deprivations of the old continent and that never rose much further above the 2% mark of the population at large, education—especially at renowned universities—was a magical wardrobe that led into a Narnia of possibilities. All you had to do was open the door.

Sadly, that door is now closing. It’s not just that the number of Jewish students in the Ivies are plummeting—Harvard’s class of 2020, for example, is only 6% Jewish. It’s that the universities themselves, responding to a host of larger cultural, social, and political trends, have divested themselves of the values and practices that have made them mighty engines of American intellectual and economic growth as well as a springboard for striving Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike.

How bad is it? Consider what happened at Williams College, one of the nation’s best liberal arts schools:

Last month, the student-run College Council at Williams, one of the nation’s top-rated liberal arts colleges, denied the request of a new student-run group to be recognized as a Registered Student Organization. The group, Williams Initiative for Israel, is dedicated to promoting Israeli culture and the Jewish state’s right to exist. The council provided no reason for its refusal, and, breaking with protocol, allowed anonymous voting, scrubbed names of participants from the protocol, and disabled the livestream of the council’s meeting, deeply compromising the transparency of the voting process.

It’s forbidden to be pro-Israel at Williams College.

New York University did it one better.

Just how inhospitable that place has become was evident this month, when the university’s branch of Students for Justice in Palestine won the Presidential Service Award, one of the highest honors NYU bestows on members of its academic community. The decision shocked and angered many in NYU’s Jewish community, who noted that the group’s actions frequently veered into the violent and the anti-Semitic: In 2014, for example, the group targeted Jewish students by handing out fake eviction notices in what it argued was a protest of Israel’s policies, and in 2018 two SJP members were arrested after forcefully crashing a campus celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, seizing Israeli flags, and setting them on fire. Most recently, several of the group’s members accosted Chelsea Clinton at an NYU memorial to the victims of the deadly shooting at a Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque, accusing her of stoking murderous Islamophobia due to her questioning earlier this year of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic statements about Jewish money purchasing political influence. How, many on campus and off wondered, could such a bigoted bunch win a major award at any university, let alone one whose most celebrated schools are named for the well-known Jewish families who paid for them to be built?

So, anti-Semitic bigotry is being rewarded by NYU. And what have the Jewish donors who contributed so generously to the school had to say?

Leibovitz explains:

Concerned by these developments, a handful of NYU’s Jewish trustees and donors began exchanging emails and phone calls, wondering what to do. Their obvious address, according to several people who participated in these exchanges or are familiar with them, was the university’s president, Andrew Hamilton. The president, according to one donor who spoke to him but prefers to remain unnamed, “said all the right things,” reiterating his commitment to keeping Jewish students feeling safe and welcomed at NYU.

“Had it been up to me,” Hamilton wrote last month in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, “SJP would not have received the award—not because of its politics or NYU’s opposition to its pro-boycott, divestment and sanctions positions, but because SJP’s behavior has been divisive.”

He said all the right things. Someone should have noted that talk is cheap and that these nice words changed nothing.

Leibovitz suggested that the radical left’s hatred of Israel is really thinly disguised contempt for America itself. In the clash between Western civilization and Islamist radicalism, American universities have become a fifth column, supporting Islamists and working to destroy America:

What the undergraduate Jacobins at Williams hate isn’t Bibi Netanyahu, or “the occupation,” or even Zionism. What they hate are the values that used to make American universities great, and that made Jews such a great fit for American universities. In an intellectual environment increasingly governed by fear—adopt our rigid worldview or be labeled racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, ableist, or worse—and living almost entirely in the shadows, away from public scrutiny, the true intellectual seeker is not an asset but a liability. There’s nothing Jewish students, at Williams or anywhere else, can do to change that. They should realize, as many already do, that they’re not disliked and targeted because of the views they hold, which they might conceivably change; they’re disliked and targeted because of who they are. Paying for teenagers to be subjected to this kind of rejection and abuse is an act of communal self-destructiveness that we would be smart to eschew.

Of course, the people who might actually do something about it are the donors:

And finally, Jewish communal machers: Please stop offering up lavish new buildings and campus centers and multimillion-dollar bequests in honor of your fathers and mothers, who would probably be rolling over in their graves if they could see and hear what goes on inside the buildings that bear their names. Any Jewish donor invested in any institution in which Jewish students regularly live in fear of retribution from classmates or teachers for asserting their own basic human dignity and attachment to the values of free inquiry and critical reasoning should demand her or his money back.

Don’t hold your breath.


UbuMaccabee said...

When you abandon ethical monotheism for leftism, everything else follows with dead certainty.

sestamibi said...

"And finally, Jewish communal machers: Please stop offering up lavish new buildings and campus centers and multimillion-dollar bequests in honor of your fathers and mothers, who would probably be rolling over in their graves if they could see and hear what goes on inside the buildings that bear their names."

How much longer do you think those buildings will continue to bear those names?

Again, if Hitler were non-white . . .

Anonymous said...

"It’s forbidden to be pro-Israel at Williams College."

Williams College, founded by Ephraim Williams cousin of Israel Williams, known as the "monarch of Hampshire".

Uh, ok...

Sam L. said...

Multi-culturism specifically excludes Jews. Not "multi" enough. And CLEARLY, Jews must start their own colleges and universities, as well as stopping donations to the colleges they used to donate to.

Anonymous said...

One can often see white Christians praising Jews. However, not much can be said of the reverse. Usually you will see Jews propping up multiculturalism groups as weapons against the very same whites that are praising Jews and Israel.

Is this alone enough of a reason to be anti-Semitic and blanket all Jews with the blame of turning nations anti-white? Probably not.

It should make the white person re-evaluate who his or her true allies are, it is doubtful there are any such allies of white people. Just because an ethnic group is not an ally does not mean they are automatically an enemy.

Anonymous said...

The point is, there's nothing as anti-Semitic as a self-hating Jew. Such anti-Semite Jews such as Tim Wise perpetuate such hatred and therefore are wolves in sheep's clothing.

A brief example.

The biggest anti-Semite of the 1990's was Seinfeld, a sick Tv show disguised as humor designed by Jewish minds to promote anti-Semitism and nihilism amongst the cattle-Goyim.

Anonymous said...

Sam L,

You have hit the solution to much of what a significant number of people are whining about. Instead of providing money to educational institution utilize that money to either build better universities or enhance the status of present colleges and universities to make them the premier schools.
The same could be said for social media. There is an ever-expanding group of people who desire both educational outlets and social media that reflect their values and culture. FOX did exactly that. I give money to Hillsdale College even though it is not where I received either my undergraduate or graduate degrees. I like their emphasis on the Constitution, Western Civilization, et al. The more people learn about this country and its founding the more they will recognize what an exceptional country it happens to be.