Beyond the Cusp

May 15, 2011

Jews Should Take Note of Campus Anti-Semites

There is a quote from President Abraham Lincoln that every American, and especially American Jews, should heed. President Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of the government tomorrow.” With this in mind, would it not be prudent to carefully mind our educations systems, especially the colleges and universities where most of our future leaders will be molded. From what I have seen, read, and heard, our country will be completely unrecognizable once the next generation takes the reins of power. Much of what happens on the nation’s campuses today will bring horrors to the world in the not so distant future.

Not all that long ago many universities in Europe, North America, Australia, and the rest of the so-called Western civilization celebrated a little thing called “Israel Apartheid Week” where Israel is condemned as a country based on hatred, violence, and genocide. Another item that derives from this enmity against Israel is a general atmosphere of anti-Semitism. There have been numerous cases where students who held events on campus in support of Israel were verbally derided and abused with some cases of physical attacks on the students and the destruction of their property. Most of these cases were never pursued by university officials, administrators, or law enforcement. It has now reached the point that Jessica Felber has brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley resulting from her being attacked because she was Jewish. In her suit she alleges that Husam Zakharia, student head of Students for Justice in Palestine, rammed her with a metal cart due to the pro-Israel sign she carried during a pro-Israel demonstration on the Berkeley campus. This is just the most notable such case and far from the only instance of violence against Jewish students on Western university campuses.

Anyone paying the slightest attention has heard of at least one of the abundant cases of disruption of events featuring speakers in support of Israel. More than once such disruptive and purposeful attempts at intimidation have occurred against Israeli speakers such as Ambassadors, Prime Minister, Ministers of the Knesset, Rabbis, and other leading people who support Israel. Often, these speakers need special security and often have to supply their own security as the universities at which they are invited to speak use placing the responsibility to provide security upon the sponsoring group in an attempt to make the speech financially impossible thus forcing its cancellation. Along a similar but far more serious line, many Israeli politicians and military commanders and even soldiers are under threat of arrest should they dare to enter numerous European countries to answer charges of War Crimes. Prime Minister Netanyahu had to leave his military attachés, who regularly accompanied the Prime Minister, in Israel as they had been warned that should he land in England, he would be arrested and put on trial. Tzipi Livni also had to refuse an invitation to appear in England for fear of arrest. After the Second Lebanon War, an Israeli General had enrolled to take a course in a European university. Upon his plane landing, the Israeli Ambassador called him and warned him not to deplane and immediately return to Israel in order to avoid arrest. Spain has also been used by the enemies of Israel almost as often as England in the “Lawfare” offensive against Israel.

The signs of spreading anti-Semitism are once again rearing their ugly head. The worst of it is among students at colleges and universities. I fear that next we will witness such hatred of Jews spreading to our high schools and eventually all the way down to elementary school level. The signs that have spread from the Muslim World into Europe and then to America and Canada is the same ghastly dark images that preceded the Shoah. The world has, in less than two generations, forgotten the horrors revealed with the liberation of the concentration work camps and the death camps, with the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Treblinka, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Janowska, Chelmno, Mauthausen, Flossenburg, Majdanek, Natzweiler-Struthof, and dozens upon dozens of others.

When you bring up the subject of the increasing anti-Semitism, many say that you are overreacting, being an alarmist, or you are said to be an idiot, acting stupid or some other dismissive phrase. Then come the same worn-out phrases that were said by Jews throughout the ages when wishing not to face the reality staring at them, “It can’t happen here”, “But look at all the Jews in government positions and teaching at university and the doctors and lawyers, we are an accepted part of this society”, and my favorite after it becomes too obvious to ignore, “Well that was over in that other town, we’re safe here, we have friends here.” There were Rabbis and Zionists who warned and pleaded with the Jews of Europe to get out and go to Israel, or what they hoped would become Israel, before tragedy struck. Despite all the warning signs from speeches and restrictive laws, most Jews just would not believe they were headed for such a horrible fate. They reacted just as many Russian Jews had as the pogroms started in Russia where the main excuse was, “That was in Moscow or Petrograd, or the next town down the road, but it could never happen here where the rest of the town get along with us just fine.” Then the pogrom came to their town and they were actually surprised. Germany and Europe were no different, and I fear this time will also be no different.

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