Sunday, December 10, 2023

Antisemitism - Right Versus Left

Former Penn President, Liz McGilll (PBS)
The mask is off. And it’s about time. The presidents of 3 top universities made clear that when it comes to their Jewish students calling for their genocide is dependent on context. 

Representative Elise Stefanik’s angry reaction to those comments exposed the leftwing rot that permeates academia at the highest  levels. Her anger was refreshing in contrast to the complacent academic response to genocide. 

Thankfully the near universal outrage expressed at those 3 presidents gives me confidence that at the core, Americans  will not countenance antisemitism. I say that knowing that there has been a massive increase in it. That indisputable fact hat makes what those 3 presidents all the more troubling. 

They explained that their responses were based on their schools’ guidelines that were just implementing the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech. But as I have said in the past, they were really allowing dangerous hate speech under the guise of free speech. 

None of this is new. What is new is the following from the New York Times:

The president of the University of Pennsylvania, M. Elizabeth Magill, resigned on Saturday, four days after she appeared before Congress and appeared to evade the question of whether students who called for the genocide of Jews should be punished.

As Representative Stefanik tweeted

“One down. Two to go,” Stefanik said on X, formerly Twitter. “This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most ‘prestigious’ higher education institutions in America.”
The truth is that we should be thanking these 3 individuals for their responses. It explains a lot about why there has been such an increase in campus antisemitism. Academia is infested with a far left faculty that takes their young students whose mind are filled with mush and brainwashes them to see Israel as a colonialist power that has usurped the land of an indigenous people (Palestinians).  And uses their military might to subjugate and severely oppress them. Military might supplied by another colonialist power, the US.  

Most of those students never heard of Auschwitz and know next to nothing about the Holocaust. And even less about the real underlying cause of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Unlike the drivel they are fed by their far left professors Palestinian suffering in Gaza is the fault of their own leaders. Including the ‘more moderate’ PA. 

It’s about the need for Israel to protect their citizens from the kind of attacks by Hamas that happened last October.  Attacks that are sourced in the theological belief that Jews have no right to occupy Arab land.  A belief that includes doing whatever it takes to achieve that goal. No matter how heinous. Thus restoring the land to their ‘rightful’ owners.  They have promised to repeats as many times as necessary until Palestine is free form he river to the sea.

And yet. this is completely hidden from students who actually believe the drivel they are fed by the radical far left professors who are seen as paragons of virtue from which morality can be leaned. So that calling for genocide of people that are characterized as perpetrating genocide against Palestinians in Gaza seems like a just demand. 

This is the atmosphere in academia right now. It appears to be permeating every aspect of the lives of their students outside of the classroom. And in some cases in the classroom itself. 

The attitude expressed last week by those three university presidents (which has been going on for years with increasing ferocity) facilitates those angry student calls for the genocide of Jews.   

This time it is the conservatives in congress that are the most stridently fighting this sad phenomenon. Demanding that antisemitism be completely routed out from university campuses in the country. The liberal left, on the other hand,  is far more likely to defend hate speech under the rubric of the constitution. 

How ironic it is that the left has far more Jews in it than does conservative right. 

I think this can be explained by referring to the historical context of liberalism and the Jewish people. It was the liberal left that gave us all the rights and privileges' that we, the Jewish people, now experience. It was the left that demanded that the American creed of equality must  extend to the Jewish people. And all the barriers that were placed in our way should be removed. It took awhile, but that happened. If you were Jewish back then, being a liberal was a no brainer. In those days it was the blue blood conservatives that placed all those obstacles before us - that the liberals succeeded in taking down. 

But times have changed and the two political philosophies have evolved. Actually changing places with each other. Now it is the left that is far more likely to be antisemitic than the right.  That was reflected in the exchange  between the conservative Stefanik and the three liberal/left university president.

Old habits die hard. Jews whose parents were died in the wool liberals for good reason have raised their children with the same values. They have never given up their suspicions that the right was actually antisemitic at the core.

The tide of Jewish support has shifted from the left to the right. Orthodox Jews that in many cases are children of Holocaust survivors had no basis to be either liberal or conservative. By not having a legacy of liberalism inherited from their parents they were freed up to be more objective and have a more positive attitude about political conservatism.  

I think that any American Jew that takes the time to think about it, would realize that he liberal/left they once felt was their home has now become the home of radical antisemitism.  

Think about what just happened at that congressional hearing. If you care about our place as Jews in America it is more then worthwhile divorcing oneself from the left whose policies of old now reside with conservatives.

To be clear. The primary motives guiding us should be the values of the Torah. Our support ought to go to the candidate that most reflects  those values. Whether from the right or from the left. But in my view our values are increasingly more reflected by he right. I don’t think it’s even a contest.