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Speaking in Future Tents: How Teen Protesters Fail to Think Things Through

Photo by Lukas: https://www.pexels.com/photo/tents-surrounded-by-trees-1309584/
Photo by Lukas: https://www.pexels.com/photo/tents-surrounded-by-trees-1309584/

My teenaged son recently asked if he could fly to New York to buy a suit that was on sale. I had to be the bad guy, thinking it through for him and explaining that he would spend $400 to save $100. He got over it, but it was a great reminder that adolescents are notoriously limited in their ability to grasp the full consequences of their decisions. We need to keep this in mind as the “river to the sea” cohort of college students heads off to undergo summer training—paid for by the Muslim Brotherhood—for a fresh round of anti-Israel protests this fall.

It would be a mistake to assume that students who faced virtually no consequences for outrageous acts of hatred and rule breaking on campus will be deterred from repeating the performance next year. If anything, we are in for something far bigger and uglier than what we’ve just experienced.

As the students prepare, so should we. Let’s start by asking ourselves: How could young adults who claim to care about equality and discrimination, who want their professors fired for using the wrong gender pronoun, rally in support of an organization whose publicly stated goal is the mass killing of Jews? Maybe they hate Jews. There’s always that. But there has to be more to the story. With all the injustices and horrors occurring around the world today, why are these kids so monomaniacally focused on the eradication of the Jewish state?

There are many answers to this question, but the most compelling explanation is that they’re learning to hate Israel in the classroom. Today’s college faculty teach that Israel is a heinous white settler colonial enterprise that embodies the world’s worst evils. They harangue students that Israel is the most racist country in the world, uniquely guilty of violent imperialist oppression of non-whites, and therefore uniquely deserving of the most violent “resistance.”

This is why college professors said they were “exhilarated” at the mass rape, mutilation, and murder of Jews on October 7. It was Israel getting its long deserved lethal comeuppance in the form of “decolonization.” It is also why students at Harvard and other schools signed letters blaming Israel for the attack.

The anti-Israel faculty bias manifests in course curricula that teach the decolonization narrative. It shows up in hostile and discriminatory off-the-cuff remarks directed at Jewish students and outspoken Jew haters invited to be paid speakers. It’s happening at the undergraduate and graduate levels, across virtually all academic departments.

Let’s set aside the fact that these accusations are 100% false. And, for the moment, we should set aside the question of why so many allegedly world class scholars cannot be bothered to check basic historical facts before abusing their positions to spread anti-Jewish propaganda. What is the source of professors’ bottomless hatred of Israel above all other issues?

The origins of today’s situation go back decades. It’s a broad, complicated story, but at the core is the so-called “red-green coalition” that joins “Red” Marxists/Communists with “Green” Islamists. According to Alex Joffe, a former college professor who serves as the BDS Monitor Editor at Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), the red-green coalition originated in Europe as Muslim immigrants strove for better political representation and joined forces with parties on the left.

It seems like an odd coupling, but the two groups share a common hatred of the United States and Israel. They both seek revolutions to overthrow the “imperialist” powers and remake society in Europe and the United States. The war on Israel, to them, is also war on the US. They want to defeat the “Little Satan” of Israel as a step in killing the “Great Satan” of the US, as Iranian revolutionary leaders would put it.

“It’s hard to tell who’s the useful idiot here,” Joffe explained. “At any given time, one side is using the other.” Not that it matters right now. Currently, the red-green coalition is thriving on American college campuses. Dozens of organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP), and other fronts for the rabidly antisemitic Muslim Brotherhood, like American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), provide money, legal support, and training to pro-Palestinian demonstrators and their paid, professional organizers.

The Marxist/Islamist alliance appeals to many American college professors, though only a small percentage of them actually define themselves as Marxists. However, Marxism as a doctrine has been popular among university faculties for generations. The most recent surge in Marxist dogma as college curricula started in 1989, according to the New York Times.

The current Marxist agenda on campus is not the standard “workers of the world unite” schtick from the 20th century. Rather, as the Soviet Union collapsed, according to a 2020 paper by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), “economics was downplayed, and other key aspects of the Marxist worldview came to the fore. The Marxist class war doctrine was still emphasized. But instead of capital versus labour, it was the patriarchy versus women, the racially privileged versus the marginalized, etc. Students were taught to see every social relation through the lens of oppression and conflict.”

Seeing every social relation through the lens of oppression and conflict is right where we find ourselves now, with Israel deemed the (white) oppressor and the Palestinians as the oppressed people of color. Regardless of the dishonest, reductionist, and generally absurd nature of this line of thinking, it has exploded in college lecture halls due to a flood of funding from the Arab world. From 1986 to 2018, donors from the Middle East contributed $6.5 billion to American universities—founding of Middle Eastern Studies departments that spread antisemitic Islamist messaging in the classroom.

School protests are just one visible tentacle of a much larger project of Islamic revolution around the world. The Muslim Brotherhood, together with its various allies and proxies, are intent on creating a global Muslim Caliphate. The destruction of Israel and the defeat of the US in the Middle East are just two incremental steps toward that broader long-range goal. The process has been unfolding for nearly a century, but it is now heating up on American campuses.

The strategy we can infer from these activities is that, by infecting a generation of up-and-coming American leaders with hatred of Israel using Marxist messages, they can cut Israel off from US support and hasten its demise. From there, they’ll create a Muslim Caliphate in Palestine and march onward to Washington, where they will lay waste to the infidel and achieve Muslim supremacy in the United States.

Has anyone actually thought this plan through? Remember, we’re dealing with adolescents, a category including people ages 10-24, according to the psychology profession. Like my son who wants to fly to New York to save $100 on a suit, these kids are marching for a cause that doesn’t really add up when you take a closer look.

Someone needs to point out the stark differences between red and green to them. Marxists, who are atheists by and large, want worldwide socialism. You can’t have an atheistic Caliphate. You can’t have the freedoms socialists love, like women’s rights and gay rights, and live by the Koran.

Who’s more likely to prevail? A clue might be the lack of socialist regimes in the Arab world. Many Arab states were Soviet clients during the cold war, but that ship sailed decades ago. The leftists dream of establishing a socialist state in Palestine after defeating Israel is a fantasy so laughable it’s easy to forget that people are dying over it every day. If you want to see a working model of socialism in the Middle East, visit Israel.

Naya Lekht, a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, elaborated on these themes brilliantly in a recent article, Hamas, Communism, and the End of America. As she pointed out, revolutions turn on their founders. The Russian Revolution offers a chilling case study. Today’s “Queers for Palestine” will be the first to be murdered by Islamists in thanks for their contributions to the cause.

Student protesters and their faculty mentors seem to be saying, if you filter out all the screaming, something like, “Our college should sell its shares of stock in companies that do business in Israel, which will lead to the end of US support for Israel, so it will be defeated and disappear, and then… yaddah yaddah… that will inevitably lead to the permanent destruction of the patriarchy, no more racism, decolonization of the Middle East and the humiliation of the imperialists, and the end of capitalism.”

Does these sound like realistic expectations? And, as we know, most of these kids are heading to corporate careers, so how committed are they, really, to ending capitalism? They’re so infatuated with the romantic notion of “resistance,” have they considered what life would actually be like without all the wealth created by the hated patriarchy?

The Marxists aren’t the only ones suffering from fatal naivete. Destroying Israel won’t remove the United States from the Middle East. And, if history is any guide, even if Hamas were able to achieve its dream of ridding the land of Israel of its Jews, the territory would almost certainly be swallowed whole by Syria or Jordan in a matter of months. Or, the new country would sink into civil war as rival factions seek to gain dominance. This already happened in Gaza in 2006. To think it won’t happen again is stupefyingly short sighted.

The next wave of campus protests is coming, their idiotic contradictions notwithstanding. Understanding where these kids are coming from and who is teaching them, however, can help us prepare to deal with them. Maybe it’s time to start pointing out the inconvenient truths that these kids are ignoring: Where do they think this process will actually take them?

About the Author
Hugh Taylor is an observant Jewish writer and essayist whose work has appeared in The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and The Washington Spectator. He has worked at Silicon Valley startups and in the Fortune 100. He earned his BA and MBA at Harvard University.
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