Posted on | April 25, 2014 | 39 Comments
Jewish students at New York University were the targets of a sick stunt by members of an anti-Israel group called Students for Justice in Palestine, and this hateful deed should be a teachable moment, an occasion to reflect on recent history.
The anti-Israel sentiments of the academic Left are no secret to those who have paid attention to the climate on university campuses for the past decade. In a sense, this situation is a leftover from the Cold War, when the Left supported Soviet-backed Third World “liberation” movements from Cambodia to Angola to Nicaragua. When Israel fought two wars for its survival in 1967 and 1973, it fought against enemies armed with Soviet weapons, and Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization was also a Soviet client. (For a useful synopsis of this history, see David Meir-Levi’s 2007 article, “The Communist Roots of Palestinian Terror.”) Left-wing activists at American universities shared the Soviet view of the Mideast as a Cold War battlefield that pitted the oppressed Arabs against the Jews, who were demonized as proxies of Western capitalist imperialism.
The Kremlin’s cynical opportunism — its willingness to aid any potential enemy of the United States — extended so far as to include support for radical Islamic extremism, despite the dogmatic atheism of the Soviet Union’s Marxist ideology, and this attitude explains the American Left’s willful blindness toward the anti-democratic tendencies of Islam: The Left has never abandoned its Soviet-influenced Cold War belief that “world peace” obligates progressives to embrace any anti-American movement anywhere in the world.
This pre-existing leftist attitude only intensified after the 9/11 attacks. With a Republican president in the White House, students at American universities — where Democrats on the faculty outnumber Republicans by a ratio of 5-to-1 or more — were encouraged to join protests against the ensuing war in Iraq. Left-wing faculty promoted (and administrators did nothing to discourage) the view that the United States deserved the hatred of the Islamic world because of U.S. support of Israel.
Anyone who paid attention to the anti-war movement during the Bush era knows the conspiracy-theory worldview that prevailed on the Left. “No war for a oil!” — this mindless slogan became popular, as did the paranoid and unsubstantiated claim that the Iraq war was just a scheme to enrich Halliburton, a company where Vice President Dick Cheney had formerly been an executive. Claims that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job,” a latter-day “Reichstag fire,” gained widespread currency within the anti-war Left. And cheap talk about Republican “neocons” fostered the similarly paranoid belief that the Bush administration was controlled by a secretive cabal of Zionist warmongers. Self-described “progressives” embraced these anti-Jewish views, which acquired additional political authority from rhetoric that portrayed Bush’s foreign policy as “racist,” so that Islamic terrorists were analogous to 1960s black civil-rights activists. This rhetoric of the anti-war Left was entirely consistent with Palestinian claims that Israel is a racist “apartheid state.”
Evidence of the effects of this rhetoric is not hard to find. Rachel Corrie’s fatal involvement with the International Solidarity Movement is the most obvious example. The 2003 death of that deluded young American student was just the tip of a vast iceberg of anti-Israel attitudes promoted by the anti-war Left during the Bush era, and the situation on campuses now — where pro-Palestinian activists do not hesitate to target Jewish students in their agitprop campaigns — is a logical consequence of this long-term trend.
Nobody on the Left wants to discuss this history. None of the NYU idiots with “Students for Justice in Palestine” knows anything about how the Soviet Union cynically supported the bloodthirsty killer Arafat, and no one in the academic Left has stepped back to take an objective look at how blatant anti-Jewish paranoia was promoted by campus anti-war protesters during the Bush years.
Because the truth of history is being actively suppressed by the Left, we see that the “Best and Brightest” at our universities are willing to re-enact the very worst chapters in human history.
There is a horrible noise coming from NYU, and from many other campuses across the country, and if you listen closely you can almost hear the sound of hobnailed boots marching over broken glass.
UPDATE: Donald Douglas has more, and Pamela Geller describes Students for Justice in Palestine as a “vicious pro-Hamas Muslim group,” pointing out that the organization was recently banned from campus at Northeastern University because of its notorious brownshirt tactics. Meanwhile, Laura Adkins, the New York University student who reported on SJP’s “activism,” finds herself harassed on Twitter by anti-Israel activists:
.@Laura_E_Adkins You're the one holding Israel to a double standard by demanding we shut up about its policy of ethnic cleansing.
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) April 25, 2014
— Laura E Adkins (@Laura_E_Adkins) April 24, 2014
@RaniaKhalek I've never received a dime from AIPAC nor do I answer to them in any capacity. Let's not resort to Facebook stalking.
— Laura E Adkins (@Laura_E_Adkins) April 25, 2014
The anti-Israel hatemongering of young radicals like Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal flourishes because no grown-up on the Left has the will or the courage to stand up to their extremism.