Anti-Semitism begins with your university's faculty
As published in the Washington Examiner
Faculty at the University of Michigan and New York University recently sponsored programs supporting a boycott of Israel. First, a professor and a teaching assistant at Michigan, supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, each refused to write student recommendations for study in Israel. Now, 34 NYU faculty members support divestment from companies doing business with Israel.
Over 1,500 faculty at more than 250 U.S. universities have publicly supported the boycott of Israeli academics and institutions. This figure does not include the many others who publicly condone BDS or those who support it without going public. Why is this happening?
BDS advocates equate Zionism with racism. It describes Israel as a Nazi, apartheid state. It would deny Jews the right to a nation-state in their ancestral homeland.
The campaign is camouflaged as an inclusive, anti-racist “human rights movement” promoting victimized Palestinians. It’s anything but. With its delegitimization and demonization of Israel and its attempt to hold Israel to an impossible double standard, BDS is a blatantly anti-Semitic movement, as defined by both the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, signed by 30 nations, and the U.S. State Department.
The movement demands that millions of descendants of original Arab refugees, who never lived in Israel, return there, which would instantly destabilize the 70-year-old democracy. “A return for refugees would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state,” admits Omar Barghouti, Palestinian BDS co-founder. BDS proponents insist that Israel, and Israel alone, commit suicide.
To unpack the BDS embrace by progressive faculty, one must understand that the anti-Israel BDS movement was developed by international Marxist-style, anti-West radicals. In January 2005, the World Socialist Forum endorsed the “Palestinian struggle” and BDS as part of its battle against racism, exploitation, patriarchy, and imperialism. Viewing Israel as a Western imperialist enclave and Israelis as racists who “stole” someone else’s country, they joined European-funded nongovernmental organizations and encouraged tactics previously employed against the Vietnam War and South African apartheid. Palestinians welcomed them as mentors, and campuses welcomed them as faculty.
By presenting BDS as a counterpoint to Western oppression, advocates have won the sympathy of today’s progressive academics, steeped in the left-wing binary paradigm that divides the world into good (powerless, colonized victims) and evil (powerful, colonizing victimizers). The “good” are permitted to resist evil using any means. Many faculty believe that the greatest current moral issue concerns “people of color” against the “privileged white,” replacing the Marxist “poor worker against rich capitalist.” Palestinians, considered people of color, are beneficiaries of this worldview. Thus, there is a straight line linking communist/socialist political ideology to tolerance for anti-Semitism on college campuses.
Because BDS dovetails nicely with progressivism’s identity politics, victimhood mindset and anti-Western worldview, universities refuse to see it for what it is — racist Jew-hatred.
Academic departments have adopted the anti-Semitic doctrine of BDS in the name of “social justice” and, in so doing, normalize hatred against the oldest, most abused minority in the world. Faculty failing to endorse BDS are frightened into silence.
Students for Justice in Palestine has free rein on campuses. SJP’s student storm troopers of anti-Semitism use Islamic terror group Hamas money to fund BDS resolutions, sponsor “Israel Apartheid” hate weeks, and create a campus atmosphere hostile to Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP members’ social media posts call to “kill Jews,” “kill all Zionists,” and “stuff some Jews in the oven.”
College administrators defend these outrageous SJP attacks on Jews and Israel under the rubric of freedom of speech. They won’t tolerate this behavior by any other racist group critical of blacks, women, gays, or Muslims. But there is a double standard for Jews and Israelis. Not only do faculty defend the right of BDS-supporting student clubs to exist on campus — NYU has 51 of them — they also support them with university funds.
Many impressionable students marinate in BDS propaganda on campus — propaganda legitimized by faculty — and then graduate as apostles of hate rather than enlightenment.