Raising the Standard at UGA since 2013.

Whence Does Anti-Semitism Emanate?

Any offense is unintentional … (Photo courtesy of Mohamed Ouda on Flickr)

A weekly column by Ross Dubberly

The contents of a recent “Houses of Worship” column in the Wall Street Journal should sicken every American. The piece, written by Allan Ripp, provides a description of what happened to Rabbi Shlomo Elkan when he packed up his family and headed to Ohio to establish a Chabad House (a Jewish learning center) at Oberlin College.

“[I]n the last several years,” Rabbi Elkan told Mr. Ripp in regard to a troubling trend, “[I] noticed hard lines forming around students to show their progressive stripes. That put many [Jewish students] in the uncomfortable position of having to denounce Israel and their own Jewishness or stay silent when others did so.” 

That would be bad enough, but it gets worse.

Mr. Ripp goes on to describe a former professor at Oberlin, Joy Karega, who was eventually fired for her egregious anti-Semitism. Karega had written, inter alia, that ISIS was “a CIA and Mossad [the intelligence agency of Israel] operation”; she decried the Jewish hold on world banks; and she even had the temerity to post anti-Semitic memes and conspiracy theories on her Facebook page. Oberlin did indeed fire Karega: But only after initially defending her under the guise of “academic freedom.”

Karega’s emetic behavior notwithstanding, Oberlin’s decision to fire her induced the ire of many.

“Some accused the school of caving to Jewish alumni,” Mr. Ripp writes. “Amid the noise, a Jewish professor’s home was vandalized with references to ovens; numerous students transferred; and Oberlin landed 11th on the Jewish newspaper’s Worst Colleges for Jewish Students list.”

After reading Mr. Ripp’s piece, I must confess, it was hard to keep my breakfast down. But after my stomach finally settled, I forced myself to the keyboard.

This story alone would be disgusting enough. But what is more morally troubling is that, far from isolated, the incident is emblematic of what is happening on campuses across America. Anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly palpable on college campuses--but not for the reasons the mainstream media would have you believe.

Many on the far Left (not liberals, the Left) have often curiously kept anti-Semitic company (see below). It should be no surprise, therefore, that institutions that are virtual monopolies of the Left, i.e., colleges and universities, are often hotbeds of anti-Semitism. Simply put, the more Leftist an institution becomes, the more morally benighted it becomes.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported an increase in anti-Israel activity on American college campuses for the academic year 2014-2015 (the latest statistics available from the ADL), with “520 explicitly anti-Israel events and programs [taking place] on college campuses, representing a 30% increase from the previous academic year.” In addition, 19 campuses held votes on resolutions or referenda for Boycott Divestment Sanctions initiatives.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement--a radical movement whose raison d’être is the economic strangling of Israel--is a moral cancer that finds an enabling and nurturing host at the university. The movement has the support of moral paragons like the former Communist Party USA member and University of California, Santa Cruz professor, Angela Davis; the former mouthpiece for terror-sponsor, Yasser Arafat, and the “Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies,” at Columbia University, Rashid Khalidi; as well as 150 other “scholars.”

But BDS is far from the only manifestation of the anti-Semitism on college campuses.

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at The University of Illinois--a radically anti-Israel, anti-Semitic group that infests our own school, as I have exposed elsewhere--“recently called for violent action against ‘fascists,’ a term it linked with ‘Zionism,’ or the political support of Israel,” The College Fix reported last week. 

“The group sent out a Facebook post leading up to the event,” the Fix went on to report, “which took place on Tuesday, September 5, claiming that the ‘confluence of fascism and Zionism is becoming more obvious by the day.’”

With regard to Israel, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has an ally in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In a statement of its position, BLM--a movement that mesmerizes many morally confused, collegiate radicals--calls Israel an “apartheid state” and accuses it of “systematic discrimination” and “genocide” of the Palestinians. And yet, academia and the mainstream media can give nothing but unadulterated adulation to these immoral fools. 

This all begs the question: Where is the Left’s outrage? Where are the headlines in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times? Where is the Left’s favorite “hate” watchdog, the Southern Poverty Law Center (which is a hate group in its own right), on this issue?

Keep in mind, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists Ayaan Hirsi Ali--one of, if not the, most courageous women in the entire world--as an “Anti-Muslim Extremist.” Ali was the victim of female genital mutilation in Mogadishu, Somalia, and eventually fled to the Netherlands to escape a forced marriage. She has had a fatwa (an Islamic decree, often issued to designate someone deserving of death) on her head for years for daring to speak out against the abuses of women in Islamic societies. Nevertheless, she continues to do so fearlessly. And yet, she finds herself on the SPLC’s list of “anti-Muslim extremists”? It is truly sick.

There is, to return to the perpetuation of anti-semitism, perhaps no better example of the Left’s moral sickness than on the Jew/Muslim or Israeli/Palestinian issue. As George Gilder has pointed out, the “Israel Test,” as he calls it, is a great mechanism for measuring the moral health of an individual as well as of a movement. In other words, if you meet someone who does not believe that the Jewish State has the right to exist, you are dealing with a person who has a broken moral compass and who does not think clearly to say the least.

The anti-Semitism on college campuses is, of course, given an intellectual veneer. That is to say, the Leftist intelligentsia dress it all up with revisionist history, mellifluous rhetoric, and beguiling demagoguery. But do not be fooled: It is anti-Semitism nonetheless. Permit me to prove it: 

The anti-Israel crowd’s favorite refrain, for instance, goes something like this: “Oh, you demagogic Zionists, you sophistically equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.” In the first place, the refrain is a strawman, i.e., I do not know of anyone who has ever equated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism; the operative word here, however, is criticism.  That is to say, denial of the Jewish State’s right to exist as such crosses the line of criticism and enters the territory of anti-Semitism. Permit me to prove this as well.

What would we say, if I may borrow an analogy from Dennis Prager, about someone who said “Oh, I am not anti-Italian, I just do not think Italy has the right to exist”?

There are 195 countries in the world today, 50 of which are Muslim-majority countries and 22 of those 50 countries are Muslim-Arab. At the risk of being labeled a “bigot” or an “Islamophobe,” let me, nevertheless, state the obvious: The human-rights record of the rest of the world, especially of the Muslim and Arab world, is and has been in accordance with the norms of, at best, the 7th century.

But the evil emanating from the rest of the world, particularly the Islamic world, is nearly always glossed over, and often imputed, somehow or another, to the oppression the people of these nations suffer at the hands of the nefarious Zionists. 

Israel is the only country in the entire world that is targeted for extinction. Yet, academe and campus ignoramuses insiston discussing only the dead Gazans, Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank, Israeli settlements, and other “Zionist evils.” Meanwhile, the ethical giants at the U.N.--that great personification of virtue and morality--orgasmically release resolution after resolution condemning the tiny Jewish state.

The irony is that Israel--not the West Bank, not Gaza, nor any other Muslim country for that matter--is a bastion for everything the Left asserts that it believes in. Among Middle Eastern countries, only in Israel can gays have a gay pride parade (as opposed to being thrown off a roof or hanged); only in Israel is there little to no state-led religious persecution (There are, for instance, currently 17 Arabs sitting in the Knesset, or the Israeli legislature); and only in Israel do women have equality with men under the law (In Israel, a woman can leave the home without a male escort, she can adulterate without fear of being stoned to death, and if she is raped, she does not need four witnesses to prove it).

But the Left has a white-hot hatred for Israel nonetheless.

I am not Jewish and, therefore, have no religious axe to grind here; I simply think clearly. Supporting Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State is about as morally clear-cut as it gets in life. That the Leftists on campus frequently find themselves on the wrong side of this issue tells me all I need to know: Their moral compass points due south when it should be pointing due north. Should one encounter an ideologue that is suspicious of, or hostile towards, the Jews, lookout; because--as history has borne witness time and time again--that ideologue will be coming for you next. 

 —Ross Dubberly is the Book Editor at The Arch Conservative.

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