Steve Kramer

The Che Guevara effect against Jews

“Che” Guevara (1928-1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, a physician, an author, a guerrilla fighter/leader, a diplomat, and a military theorist; and a terrorist. He was also a hero of college kids during the 1960s and even after that. His face adorned many a T-shirt worn by “cool” college kids. I think I wore a Jack Kerouac “T,” but I could have had a “Che” one as well. In both instances, I knew little about the face that I was identifying with. So it is with the crowds of young people who clamor for the victory of Hamas against Israel – which means the Jews. They know nothing except hateful propaganda.

I believe the situation of know-nothings is the same today as in the ‘60s, with pro-Hamas banners, pro-Palestine banners, anti-Israel demonstrations, riots, and the intimidation that goes along with this on college campuses and in urban settings. There’s little doubt that this hateful tumult reminds one of the riots of the late ‘60s, with Columbia University being a “star” today of the growing, Jew-hating community, just as it was an archetype back then.

Is the mass movement against Jews sui generis, which the riots of the late 1960s may or may not have been, or is it a concerted program by the far left to destroy Western democracy? I believe it’s the latter, a Marxist/Socialist-inspired revolt of  “the people” against the American republic. The agitators and rioters, most of whom are “useful idiots,” faithfully follow an organized, sophisticated strategy (Saul Alinsky, 1909 – 1972, wrote THE book on this) which has been in use since at least the early 1970s. The agitators stir up the crowds, who want to believe that a more equitable society will be the result. In fact, it’s just the first stage of a takeover by a totalitarian ruling class, one like both the German National Socialists (Nazis) and the Russian Communists. Neither group, whose leaders were more similar than they were different, stood for any free or democratic activity once they had gained power. 

Hitler and Stalin were not only autocrats running brutal totalitarian parties, they had similar tendencies towards crushing the masses. For Hitler, race was the crux of his program. For Stalin, class was the determining factor. Between the two of them, they managed to kill approximately 37 million people while they held power. In Germany and in Russia, Jewish WW1 veterans thought that they had nothing to fear from a strong government because of their valiant service to their respective countries. In both cases, they were wrong. So were other credulous Jews who held prominent positions in society.

At times Michal and I have asked our friends and relatives in the US about the growing Jew-hatred in America. We routinely get the same response: We live in a bubble and don’t experience it. This may be – or is – the same feeling that “Germans of the Mosaic persuasion” had in the mid-1920s, when Adolph Hitler started to gain prominence for his Nazi Party. By the 1930s it was obvious that Jews were being victimized and worse, in varying degrees. (For an amazing history of Jews in Germany, I highly recommend The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews In Germany, 1743–1933 by Amos Elon.)

There were “camps” set up to imprison Jews and others, Jewish professors and teachers were fired, Jewish students weren’t accepted to colleges, Jewish stores were vandalized, Jewish homes were ransacked, Nazi gangs brutalized Jews on the streets, Jews weren’t permitted to marry gentiles, and much more. Many Jews with vested interests closed their eyes to the increasingly murderous Jew hatred, sure that their money and/or status would protect them (they too lived in bubbles), while others were convinced to flee the country. Many hesitated too long and were caught with nowhere to run to, when Jew-hatred was brutally permeating the German zeitgeist (ethos/culture).

Now, the status of Jews in the US is becoming dire (Zuckerberg, et al. are “safe” so far – but wait). The ‘golden age’ of Judaism is long gone; it was an anomaly that lasted for two generations following the Holocaust. Jew-hatred is now reverting back to the norm, with resentment building against the tiny Jewish proportion of the US population, just 2.5%. Jews are thought by too many people to be in charge of too many sectors of the economy, arts, government, and education. (Jews are blamed for being too successful!) The confused people are ripe for the instigators of race/class war against that sliver of Americans, Jews, who are thought to have all the advantages and power. The same situation applies in Europe and Britain, where some left and right wing governments use the antisemitic card against their opponents, who either include many Jews among the leaders or who are said to be controlled by Jewish “masters.”

As in the 1960s, most of the proactive incitement emerges from college students, now often led by off-campus operatives. This is accepted and even desirable on many campuses and in many locales. It’s interesting to note that sympathy for Israel is greatest among the older generations and decreases with each younger sector. Sophomoric college kids are the most ripe for propaganda, especially when it is the currency of most of the mass media “information” that they constantly imbibe. Looking at the statistics, it may be a natural progression whereby the younger generations become more conservative as they age, which is the case today. Whether this maturation will continue is not certain.

I don’t envy parents or grandparents with college-age kids. No matter where they attend college, they are apt to be confronted by those who assign them to the “Jew” category, whether they are obviously Jewish,  just “look” Jewish, or have a Jewish sounding name. This pressure against young people, who want to be accepted by the crowd that supports all the popular causes (intersectionality), causes some to hide their Jewishness or reject it outright. Some might decide to stand up and fight back against it. Others, attempt to blend in. In all cases, Jew hatred will negatively affect their college years, for which their parents are typically spending a huge amount of money, or the students themselves are taking on a large burden of loan repayment (to learn what?). 

The ADL (Anti-defamation League) Report Card ( offers much information for Jewish and other parents helping their college age children pick a school, one where they won’t be harassed (much or at all) and will be able to enjoy their college years while getting an education. 

This guide reports a sad story of the decay at once-revered, or at least useful, institutions which are supposed to impart knowledge and toleration of others during students’ formative years. This paradigm is being destroyed at even the most prestigious academies, such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford and others.  

The ADL report card rates many popular schools on their administration’s control over the deportment of students and professors on the campuses. I’ve listed some of the salient findings of the report, which do not bode well for their students. [See Note.] Another useful source of information is the Hillel guide to colleges, which lists the percentage of Jewish students and the facilities offered to students to participate in programs and activities fitting their level of Jewish activity. See:     

Some pundits say that the level of violence on campus and in the cities was worse in the ‘60s. All I know is that the violence is intolerable, dangerous, and spiritually devastating today. We can only hope that it will swiftly run its course. On the other hand, making Aliyah to Israel, like we did in 1991, is always an option. We wouldn’t think of moving back.

NOTE: Among the most highly rated colleges in the country, these very prominent schools received an “F” rating for the campus atmosphere confronting Jewish students: Harvard, MIT, Chicago, Stanford, Swarthmore, and state universities Univ. of North Carolina, Univ. of Virginia, and Univ. of Massachusetts. “D” ratings are legion, including all the remaining Ivy League schools except Dartmouth, rated “C”). Other “fine” schools receiving a “D” rating include Johns Hopkins (my alma mater), Northwestern, Williams, Univ. of Michigan, Rutgers, Georgetown, and the Californian state universities. For a point of reference, campus mayhem at NYU is similar to Columbia, yet NYU is rated “C.”

There are some schools that stand out for the conduct of their administrations, which hopefully improves the campus atmosphere: Brandeis (the only “A” designated college) and others with a “B” rating: Duke, Univ. of Delaware, Washington Univ., University of Florida, Univ. of Miami, Univ. of Maryland, Towson Univ., Amherst, and Drexel.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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