Steve Wenick


Let’s talk about the recent wordsmithing effort that lawyers conjured up, for the three Ivy League university presidents to use when responding to questions about their university’s policy in regard to students and faculty calling for the genocide of the Jews. The now infamous expression of “it is context-dependent” was a case of excusing the inexcusable to justify the universities’ lack of imposing consequences for harassment, intimidation, and incitement against the Jewish student body. It was that morally repugnant response that the three highly credentialed presidents echoed that rightfully created a maelstrom of condemnation.

A word or two about context:

The context of genocide includes Hamas launching tens of thousands rockets and mortars against civilian targets in Israel ever since Hamas took over administrative control over Gaza in 2007.

The context of genocide includes Hamas stated aim to eliminate all Jews in Israel and beyond and at the same time encouraging and funding mobs of indoctrinated students marching in support of that goal.

The context of genocide includes using tons of cement meant to build housing in Gaza but instead Hamas diverted it to reinforce terror tunnels from which the terrorists periodically emerged to kidnap and murder Israeli civilians.

The context of genocide includes floating incendiary balloons over Israel’s border to set ablaze farmland and kibbutzim.

The context of genocide includes indoctrinating children in summer camps and in kindergarten to college to murder Jews.

The context of genocide includes blowing up buses, markets, and restaurants in Israel.

The context of genocide includes the planned rape, sexual mutilation, beheadings and burning alive women, children and babies, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The context of genocide includes chanting “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free” which is the mantra of antisemites who want to rid Israel of Jews.

The context of genocide includes calling for intifada against Israel even though it left Gaza in 2005.

The context of genocide includes posters saying, “we’ll finish what Hitler started” .

The context of genocide includes mobs intimidating, harassing, and inciting to murder Jews.

The context of genocide includes drawing swastikas on Hillel House doors and other Jewish establishments.

The context of genocide includes antisemitic administrators and faculty supporting all of the above, for who else but an antisemite or ignoramus could encourage, condone, make excuses for, remain silent, or say it all depends, in the face of the call for genocide of the Jews.

To date, one Ivy League president is gone and the other two are hanging on by the thread. One of the presidents benefits from the privilege afforded to a protected minority and the other, a Jew, gave cover for antisemites to openly support genocide. In her doing so, she has relinquished her Jewish identity.

So to put things in perspective, these are indeed dark times for the Jewish people and America as well, because we have allowed our universities’ leadership to disregard their responsibilities of doing no harm to their charges. Instead we have obsessed on which pronoun to use or which safe space to occupy and relegated the call for the genocide of the Jews, as a contextual afterthought.

About the Author
Since retiring from IBM Steve Wenick has served as a freelance book reviewer for HarperCollins Publishing and Simon & Schuster. His reviews and articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Algemeiner, Jerusalem Online, Philadelphia Inquirer, Attitudes Magazine, and The Jewish Voice of Southern New Jersey. Steve and his wife are residents of Voorhees, New Jersey.
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