The intellectual halls of higher education are in the grips of anti-Israel bigotry. We have grown to expect anti-Israel activism from the likes of Berkley and Columbia. Both historically radical in more ways than one. Both make themselves out to be champions of the selective few, unless of course you are Israel. Adding Harvard to that list of biased elitist is disturbing. Parents take out second mortgages to send their kids to Harvard. As we have also seen of late, parents go to any length, including resort to crime, to give their kids a chance at an Ivy League school. So what gives? Why the radical anti-Israel/Zionist rhetoric at Harvard? Where is tolerance in the sacred chambers of the Ivy elite? The learned? The place where Rhodes Scholars are born? Why is Harvard allowing an insidious movement draped in self-righteous visceral dislike of Israel to operate unhindered, and with its blessings?
This month, Harvard and other US universities held Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). This once obscure tradition started in 2005, in Toronto, Canada. Since then, universities around the globe have gone on a crusade comparing Israel to an apartheid state like the former South Africa. This year’s IAW was funded by none other than Harvard’s undergraduate council that promotes “race relations”. Cannot make it up. Uninformed and ignorant of facts, student activists hold Israel responsible for what ails in the Middle East. Ignorance is elevated to “race relations” and “compelling interests” . IAW promotes the false narrative that Israel nefariously and intentionally segregates and disfranchises a segment of its society. Nebulous propaganda of a dominant Israeli State that holds “Palestinians” in apartheid conditions, is nurtured and spread. Of course they fail to include the fact that approximately 20% of Israel’s population is of Arab descent or Palestinian, and chooses to live in Israel. They hold seats in the Knesset, join the armed forces, local law enforcement, become doctors, lawyers, and teachers. These little details escape IAW pinheads.
This year’s IAW Harvard speakers with “compelling interests” included Omar Barghouti, the founder of the insidious BDS movement. Barghouti is alleged to have said that he supported the “euthanasia of Zionism”. How profound and sensitive to “race relations”. IAW is more than a group of bored elite Ivy League millennials texting gibberish to their tennis instructors. It is a deliberate distortion of truth to accommodate a well oiled political agenda. There is no room for free speech or debate. Instead, a one-sided biased narrative indoctrinates without rebuttal. Truth takes a back seat to intentional disingenuous misinterpretation. What should worry every decent person is the proliferation of dishonesty and manipulation of the truth. It gives a new meaning to brain washing. As one Jewish Harvard sophomore pointed out, IAW and universities seem to conveniently ignore other countries that are blatantly intolerant and unjust. China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim population comes to mind.
The problem runs deeper than millennial youth activism. The false narrative about Israel has also become the norm in some mass media circles. Christina Amanpour, CNN’s top gun reporter has a history of “tweaking” facts on Israel. Nothing in your face but innuendo hangs in the air like bad smoke. For example; her three part series entitled “God’s Jewish Warriors” compared Christians and Jews to Muslim Jihadists. In a recent interview with self-proclaimed Palestinian “human rights” lawyer Diana Buttu, Ms. Amanpour referred to Haifa as the “West Bank”. A large gaffe that had it been Fox News and not CNN or Amanpour, MSNBC would have done a victory dance all day long. However, Ms. Amanpour and CNN were left unscathed and given a pass. One would think that Ms. Amanpour’s superior intellect knows the location of Haifa on the Mediterranean and not the West Bank. If a pit bull like CNN is blasé on facts, why should we be surprised that Ivy League intellectual wannabes remain clueless?
The increase of anti-Israel rhetoric on US campuses is making Jewish students rather uncomfortable. They are baited with anti-Israel rhetoric. Most common being that anti-Israel and anti-Zionist is not anti-Jewish. In some cases the torrid reasoning takes a life of its own. The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) is a great example. IPS defines itself as a “progressive think tank”. Do not be fooled by that innocent claim. Do not imagine a room full of high brow intellectuals discussing meaningful hypothesis on globalization and trade. Far from it. Media Bias/Fact Check rated IPS as an extreme far left medium that appeals “to emotion and stereotypes”. IPS only gives one side to an argument, and it’s always the far left. No middle ground. No debate. No possibilities. IPS goes under the radar in universities keeping a close relationship with many liberal professors and tenured faculty. The website and Facebook page is dedicated to far left agendas that include pro Palestinian “human” stories and condemnation of Israel.
In March of this year, IPS Sarah Gertler wrote a provocative piece entitled “Criticizing Israel isn’t Anti-Semitic. Here’s what it is”. She identifies herself as an American Jew who does not support “violence and imperialism”. She goes on to opine that the Jews who fled Europe in the 1940’s were Zionists with “colonial roots”, and who eventually drove all the Arabs out leaving only the European “elitist Jews” to remain. She does not stop there. She insinuates that the Israeli blockade in Gaza prevents Palestinians from affording “gas to cook their food”. Sarah fails to mention that Egypt also blockades Gaza because like Israel, they do not fancy having Hamas terrorizing their citizens. Sarah overlooked another little detail; that every day, Israeli doctors and Israeli hospitals save thousands of Palestinians, especially children. Blatantly missing in Sarah’s “story” is Hamas, who would rather spend millions on digging tunnels and buying armaments to attack Israel, than feed their own people or provide for their basic needs. In 2017, the Palestinian Authority informed Israel that they would stop paying for electricity in Gaza. That must have also slipped Sarah’s and IPS insidious minds. This biased anti-Israel philosophy has found fertile minds in the sacred aula of Ivy League universities like Harvard.
This year’s IAW at Harvard is tame compared to last year’s, when mock detention notices were prominently nailed to dormitory walls in a vile attempt to lay blame on the Jewish students for the “mistreatment of Palestinians in Israel-Palestine…by association”. The “tolerant” IAW toads behind this stunt were Harvard’s Concilio Latino, Islamic Society, and Black Students Association. Can you imagine if a Jewish, Christian, or MAGA-hat kid had done anything similar to any member of these three groups? We would have riots and looting in the streets. If that was not enough to humiliate and demonize Jews and Jewish students, Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies invited none other than Ali Akbar Alikhani from the University of Tehran. Alikhani described Israel as a country that from its “inception was based on force, coercion and oppression of others”. According to Alikhani, Zionism is historically violent. I guess he has missed the stoning, whipping, beheading, and violent intolerance toward gays and women in his own country.
Harvard should be careful because its past has never really lent itself to favoring Jews. In 1922, then President A. Lawrence Lowell put a quota on Jewish students, and in 1933 Harvard refused protection to Jewish professors and refugees. But in 1934 Harvard found comfort in inviting Ernst Hanfstaegl, Hitler’s Press Chief, who described Jews as “vampires sucking German blood”. Under the pretense of academic freedom and free speech, US universities are becoming a mouth piece for anti-Israel propaganda and anti-Semitic innuendo. Harvard has unfortunately fallen into the same cesspool of anti-Semitic ambiguity disguised as political disagreement with Israel. A semantic excuse that allows the continual harassment of Jews, Jewish students, and supporters of Israel.
Rabbi Cooper, A. & Brackman, April 2, 2019. Anti-Semitism No Stranger to Harvard. Jewish Journal. https://jewishjournal.com/analysis/296227/anti-semitism-no-stranger-to-harvard/
Gertler, S. March 5, 2019. Criticizing Israel isn’t Anti-Semetic. Here’s what it is. Institute of Policy Studies. https://ips-dc.org/criticizing-israel-isnt-anti-semitic-heres-what-is/
Levin, A. (NDA). CNN and Christiane Amanpour defame Israel. Jewish Post. http://www.jewishpost.com/viewpoints/cnn-and-christiane-amanpour-defame-israel.html