Monday, February 21, 2022

Munich-2022 Version

 Gary Fouse


  "Good news, mein Fuehrer. Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi are in Munich."


Well, this has to be reassuring. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee have joined Kamala Harris in Munich to meet with our allies and reassure them of.....whatever. President Biden has decided to send his A Team to Munich since, after all, he is the B Team.

  "I have here in my hand, a paper signed by Putin........"


The last farce that took place in Munich was in 1938 when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain "pulled peace out of the fire" with his infamous sell-out of Czechoslovakia. That was the one that saved the world from WW2, if you recall.

This makes Ukrainian President Zelenskiy's decision to leave Ukraine and attend the Munich confab all the more confusing. Maybe this is his way of getting out of town while the getting is good. He certainly doesn't need to be in Munich to hear Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi prattle on about "economic sanctions in our time!" What does he think they are going to do, vote Ukraine into NATO?

It's a sad situation all the way around. Having people like Harris and Pelosi going to Munich of all places is just adding to the humiliation.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Is the University of Chicago a Brown University?

 Gary Fouse


Back in 2005, I published my third book, Erlangen: An American's History of a German Town. My reason for choosing the Franconian (N Bavaria) town of Erlangen was that I had spent almost three years there as a US Army Military Policeman in the 1960s. I developed a strong attachment to Erlangen, and after my army service, I returned several times and ultimately decided to write a history of the town. 

Erlangen is also a university town and home to Friedrich-Alexander University, notable for its medical department and historically famed as a center of Lutheran theology. Many of Germany's greatest Lutheran theologians taught there, and I know of at least 3 or 4 who are buried in Erlangen.

An unfortunate part of its history was that it was the first university in Germany where Nazi students formed a student organization, (the NS Studentenbewegung-National Socialist Student Movement) in 1923 and achieved a majority in student government (1929). This was in the days before Hitler took power in 1933. Hence, they acquired the moniker, the "Brown University".

Indeed, as Hitler and his party were struggling throughout the 1920s and early 1930s to gain power in Germany, one of their first targets was the universities. Hitler made a total of 5 speeches in Erlangen between 1923-1931, largely due to the presence of the university. In 1931, the famed writer and later exiled dissident, Thomas Mann, spoke at Erlangen, and his speech was disrupted by the Nazi students. In addition, Hitler's student followers engaged in acts of intimidation against their opponents including of course Jewish students and Jewish professors, whose classes they boycotted and occasionally disrupted. This happened, of course, at other universities. 

Why do I bring this up? Certainly not to denigrate the present-day University of Erlangen nor present-day Germany. It is because I have seen similar agitation in US universities against today's generation of Jewish students-especially if they support the Jewish state of Israel. 

That is because the well-organized and well-financed Palestinian movement is alive and well on US college campuses as Israel is regularly demonized. pro-Palestinian activists fight to gain seats in student governments while trying to keep Jews out. In recent years, we have witnessed the latter effort at UCLA, USC, and UC Santa Cruz. I wrote about them on this site. Anti-Israel events on campuses all over the country are the order of the day while any pro-Israel event can expect to be disrupted by today's latter-day Brown Shirts.

And who are these Brown Shirts in the 21st century? In my opinion, we are talking about the various chapters of the Muslim Student Association on campuses around the country and their sister organization, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the latter organization open to non-Muslim students as well including some misguided Jewish students on the left of the political spectrum. 

SJP's tactics of bullying and disruption have been well documented at more universities that could be listed here. On more than one occasion, I have applied the moniker The Brown University to Brown University itself due to harassment of Jewish students at that Rhode Island institution. I know some would accuse me of resorting too often to Nazi comparisons in writing about current anti-Semitism on our campuses. But the harassment, bullying, disruption, and intimidation that I have personally witnessed brings back the specter of what was going on in German universities in the years before and immediately after Hitler took power.

Of course, things got infinitely worse in Germany for Jews later in the 3rd Reich, and we have not reached that level of horror yet. But as we witness the awful resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide, it is important to note that in the US, at least, its point of origin has been within our universities. During my 18 years teaching part-time at UC Irvine, I personally witnessed it many times. I've seen how they try to intimidate Jewish students. They've tried to intimidate me-unsuccessfully.

In my case, I had the advantages of age, life experience, and my position as an adjunct teacher on campus to deal with the intimidation. But the average 19-20 student usually doesn't possess those advantages. I've seen time and time again how Jewish students try to "dialogue" with these people. They are routinely unsuccessful. It is a losing tactic.

The following article from The College Fix on what is going on at the University of Chicago is reminiscent of what was going on in German universities in the lead-up to 1933 when Hitler took power.

If you are a student of the history of the Third Reich, which I am, you can look back to the 1920s and early 30s when Nazi students were boycotting classes taught by Jewish professors and agitating to get them removed from their positions. After Hitler took power, they were successful.

Today, we have little Brown Shirts agitating against the hiring of Israeli professors and against any classes that would present Israel in a positive light as opposed to the propaganda and indoctrination delivered by the pan-Arab, anti-Israel, anti-West professors of the various Middle East Studies departments and their useful idiot allies. These modern-day Brown Shirts are trying to stop their universities from having any relationships with Israeli universities. They routinely disrupt pro-Israel events and try to shut them down. They are against free speech when it comes to their opponents. And to the great shame of our universities, the administrators have turned a blind eye. They have refused to punish offenders. They have enabled the trouble-makers and the anti-Semites. The institution where I taught for 18 years-UC Irvine- is no exception.

The University of Chicago needs to tell SJP in no uncertain terms that they will not censor speech or classes they don't like on campus. SJP is a despicable organization. That they count a few Jewish members in their ranks is irrelevant. They are still Brown Shirts.