Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Anti-Semitism on University Campuses

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Anti-Semitic demagogue Imam Mohammed al-Asi at UC-Irvine

San Francisco Rally January 2009

As my readers know, I have written often about the increasing intolerance that exists on our university campuses; intolerance toward conservative opinion, intolerance toward anything that goes against the principle of political correctness, and more recently, intolerance toward Jews. It is this trend that I think demands the attention of the public and our elected leaders in Washington.

The on-going issue of Israel/Palestine has been a volatile issue on our college campuses for years. Since the recent war in Gaza, it has increased dramatically. Fueled by radical Muslim Student Associations on many North American campuses (which includes Canada)aided by radical anarchists ready to jump into any anti-establishment cause, leftist professors and cowardly administrators, there has been an alarming increase recently in anti-Jewish expression, not just on our campuses, but in street demonstrations as well. It is one thing to hear demonstrators chanting "Free Palestine". It is quite another to hear them chanting, "Long Live Hitler", "Go back to the ovens", and draw swastikas over the Star of David. That is what we have witnessed in the demonstrations that have broken out from Ft Lauderdale to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Toronto to name just a few in recent weeks.

In recent years, on many campuses in the US and Canada, Jewish students are feeling increasingly uncomfortable on campus, often physically afraid. They hear their very faith attacked by radical voices. They are being ostracized in classrooms, not only by other students, but by professors as well. They are afraid to speak up when they hear their professors attack Israel and Zionism then castigate them in front of the class if they dare speak up. Just this month, a group of Jewish students at York University in Toronto, while trying to hold a demonstration on an unrelated event, were chased into the campus Hillel building by a mob of anti-Israel demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags. There they had to remain barricaded while the mob chanted their slogans including, interestingly, "let the non-whites in!"

As I stated above, much of this is fueled by radical Muslim students on campus aided by other radical leftists looking for excitement. But what is the response of the so-called adults who run our universities?

As for faculty, which (at least in the humanities) is overwhelmingly dominated by leftists, there is no sympathy for Jewish students. Their focus is making the case for the Palestinian cause. In many cases, Arab professors verbally berate Jewish students who dare to speak up against the anti-Israel diatribes they throw out in their classes. In other cases, professors who were born Jewish have showed their rebellion by turning against everything Jewish-especially Israel. The poster boy for this faction is discredited professor Norman Finklestein, recently denied tenure at DePaul University, now making his living appearing at campuses across the country damning Israel and America. To listen to his non-stop monologues is an exercise in endurance as he throws out one insult after another toward Israel, America, Bush, Cheney, and anyone who disagrees with him. This man-child absolutely radiates and oozes arrogance and condescension.

Yet, he is welcomed as a rock star at many universities including UC Irvine, where I teach part-time. When Finklestein comes to spread his poison, hundreds turn out to see him including deans and vice-chancellors who laugh at his silly quips and applaud his hateful statements. To watch an event featuring Finklestein is to witness the sickness and perversion that permeates American universities.

Part of the reason that Jews have to endure harassment and insults to their identities is that it is part and parcel of the rejection of Western values that headlines the agenda of the universities. Israel, and thus Jewry, represent Western culture, civilization and values-which is considered bad. What is celebrated is the ideology of the "oppressed"-the non-Western, non-white you will. It is "The Oppressed" which is romanticized on American university campuses. As far as these people are concerned, the Jews are just part of Western values-which must be rejected. Add Israel to the mix, and what we see is an explosion of hate.

Are there faculty-including Jewish faculty who see the wrong with this mentality? Yes, there are. Unfortunately, most remain silent-or even deny the problem exists. There are Jewish advocacy groups which also deny the problem. In many cases, they see their role as working quietly within the system to effect change, lobbying university administrators to take action and remaining quiet when they are ignored. For many of these professors, tenure and career advancement is their main consideration. For many Jewish organizations, especially those that must work with the university to carry out their activities, they remain silent in order to protect their positions or their power base. It is disgraceful.

And the administrators, the presidents, chancellors, vice chancellors and deans? In too many cases, they are just plain cowards. Presidents and chancellors are afraid of the faculty. Ask Lawrence Summers, ex-president of Harvard. Certainly, they are intimidated by the Muslim Student Associations and CAIR-ever vigilant for a case they can file a discrimination lawsuit on. Or any many cases, university administrators actually sympathize with the Muslim Student Associations. Jewish students who go to the administrators to complain are ignored. They just don't care.

They don't care if their Jewish students are chased from building to building on campus.

They don't care if their Jewish students are afraid to speak up for Israel or afraid to even show their Jewish identity.

They don't care if radical Muslim clerics come to their campus and make hateful speeches.

They don't care if a Mohammed al-Asi, an imam, states on campus;

"Jews are low-life ghetto-dwellers. "You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew."

They simply don't care.

Nor does our media care. They hardly report these incidents. Why is it that we have to go on the Internet or to blogs to hear the hate-filled words and violence taking place on our campuses and streets-especially since the Israel-Gaza fighting began? Why? Because this is not part of the agenda of the main-stream media.

This is not a matter of where people stand on the Israel issue. This is a matter of rising anti-Semitism on our shores-against people who have been a part of our society for a long time.

So what is to be done?

1 Publicize the issue and inform the public of what is happening-especially on our campuses. Heat needs to be brought to campus administrators who allow themselves to be intimidated by leftist forces on campus. They need to see that their money, their student base-and their jobs depend on acting responsibly and decently. They need to be told that if this situation continues, alumni will be asked to cease contributions and Jewish students will be discouraged from attending offending schools. The universities need to be held accountable for their failure to enforce their own codes of conduct regarding civil discourse.

2 Jewish groups need to stand up and demand support from their fellow Americans against this assault. And we need to respond.

3 Jewish groups and other supporting organizations need to organize speaking events-at synagogues, churches, universities and other venues educating people as to what is happening on our campuses and what is being said at other anti-Israel demonstrations on our streets. If the American people are aware, they will support our cause.

4 Get our political leaders involved-right up to the President of the United States-who needs to speak to the American public on this issue now. We also need to ask our political leaders to look into the Saudi money that is being contributed to universities which leads to more Jihadist propaganda.

5 Legislation needs to be passed so that religious discrimination is also fully included in our civil rights laws. What that requires-and what is lacking- is wording that Jews are also a minority who are entitled to equal protection.

6 Where appropraite, legal action should be initiated, perhaps a class-axtion lawsuit, to protect the civil rights of Jewish university students on campus.

7 Jewish organizations need to put aside their differences and turf battles in order to work together. If they remain divided, their enemies win.

People, what we are witnessing today in America is a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is spreading. It is unworthy of our nation and our people. Yet, many Americans are not even aware of what is happening. We must recognize that this is part and parcel of the Jihadist movement in the US, which has joined forces with the radical left in order to further their agenda. If the American people are made aware, I believe they will respond and support righteousness and decency.

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