Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Anti-Semitism Roils the Academy

Anti-Semitism has a long and rather undistinguished history. For much of the time it was endemic to certain cultures, especially that of the Teutonic master race. And yet, in the West it was certainly not limited to Germany. It has been pervasive in white Christian cultures for centuries.

And yet, now the pendulum has swung back and the war against the Jews is not being led by Christians but by Muslim and pagan college students.

As Julie Burchill points out in the Spectator:

But we’re now at the weird point where the young, over-privileged, educated are the drivers of anti-Semitism on the campuses of this country.

As it happens, this is not the first time that college students have promoted anti-Semitism. The children of Martin Heidegger, as they are called, did as much in Germany, beginning in 1933.

Jew hatred in academia is nothing new. The first book burnings in Nazi Germany were organised in 1933 by students on university campuses all across the country. 

One does not want to confuse book burnings with quota systems, but it must be noted that universities and even businesses practiced quotas for some considerable time:

Quota systems – limiting the number of Jewish students allowed into universities – were widespread in European and North American countries during the 19th and even into the 20th century. 

In Great Britain, Burchill’s bailiwick, anti-Semitism began its return decades ago. The United Nations contributed by its unremitting attacks on the state of Israel, accompanied by the notion that Zionism is racism:

After a 1975 United Nations resolution declaring Zionism to be a kind of racism, student unions began banning Jewish Societies on the grounds that universities would give ‘no platform for racists’ – a phrase originally coined to ban the likes of the National Front. As with the popular use of conflating swastikas with the Star of David on the Saturday hate-marches now, one senses a sadistic pleasure that progressives derive from putting Jews and Nazis in the same box. It’s pretty much gained pace ever since, the Hamas pogroms being the latest incident in which Jews are demonised for not colluding in their own destruction, and for fighting back against it.

Of course, the radical left, having grown up during the Cold War between the West and Communism, chose to side with the latter. It became virulently anti-American. Unthinkingly, Burchill remarks.

Though the British left defines itself as anti-American – to the point of routinely choosing the side of the US’s enemies, no matter how illiberal and homophobic, as we recently saw with the Houthis who happily kill ‘queers’ wherever they find them – it’s amusing that it will inevitably trot along like a wheezing, devoted pug at the heels of what passes for the American Left, which is generally a bunch of silly rich kids hoodwinked by a bunch of sinister criminals; think Manson Family without the sex. 

It takes a Julie Burchill to arrive at the description of college student Hamas supporters: “a bunch of silly rich kids hookwinked by a bunch of sinister criminals.”

And then she arrives at her salient point. The protesters are stupid; they lack intelligence; they do not know that they are stupid; they think they are smart. One might even say that they believe that joining the protest movement will make them appear to be smarter.

And they are not just stupid. They are also rich. They do not need to work their way through school. 

For starters, they’re thick, and thick people who think they’re smart are invariably hilarious. The same goes for posh kids who think they’re revolutionaries; the posher the university, the more likely you are to find these camps. The reason is simple: at regular universities, the students are more likely to be occupied doing evening jobs to pay their way.

Stupidity is on the march even at Oxford University, perhaps the best university in the world:

Over at Oxford, students yelled ‘One, two, three, four, occupation no more. Five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terrorist state’; I’ve heard more wit and originality on the terraces of a second division football match – and these are meant to be the best minds of the upcoming generation. It’s like an updated sitcom about the dirtiness and delusion of students – The Dumb Ones? – waiting to happen.

Why do they hate Jews? Because Jews are not stupid and because Jews achieve. And they achieve despite the obstacles. After all, who else could turn a Holocaust into a thriving modern nation:

It’s all about the brains, in my opinion; the thick children of the ruling class have always known that they can’t keep up with this most superbly over-achieving of immigrant groups. Thus no sooner had the musty right-wing prejudices against Jews been overcome, with the end of quotas, than what I’ve previously coined ‘Fresh’n’Funky anti-Semitism’ was there to take the weasel wheel under the guise of being pro-Palestinian. Though anti-Semitism has elements of ordinary racism, it also has the unique quality of incorporating envy and resentment at the way this particular minority group have had to overcome unspeakable obstacles yet have still succeeded. It’s the hatred of the stupid for the smart. Having been banging on about white privilege for the past five years, how will posh Gentile students explain their own failure to get the jobs they want even after such expensive educations? It’ll be the Jews’ fault, of course – as always.

So, the bloom is off the rose. The con that is the Anglo-American university system has been exposed. It is not an accident that some people, like Alan Dershowitz, attributed the outburst of anti-Semitism on campus to DEI initiatives-- the kind of initiatives that filled the campuses with people who lacked the basic skills to succeed or to achieve, and who could do nothing other than to blame it on the Jews.

The universities – often throttled by foreign money from countries with less than democratic modes of government – have increasingly revealed themselves over the past decade as places where ideas and debate are shut down. Those tents may look like noble protests to their inmates, but to us in the real world they look like the mental Skid Row that the contemporary left-wing academic mind has become. But as those campus book-burnings warned us, this won’t be the first time that citadels of education and enlightenment have served as cradles of ignorance and hatred.

Groupthink run amok. It first aimed at white people, especially white supremacists. Now it has honed in on Jews. We all should have seen it coming.

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