The Harvard Eleven — The Bitter Lessons

Eleven Jewish students writing a letter in support of a notorious anti-Semitic colleague student at Harvard School of Law may be an episode, a foot note, another esoteric example of kid’s ignorance and stupidity. Or this is not the case, rather it is a seminal event, something which those researching the estrangement of so many American Jews Judaism and Israel will hail as a symbolically significant event. I, for one, go with the latter. Here is what makes it much more than a passing episode.

Let us start with the venue. Harvard Law School , the place where the half-Jew Romanian- born John Hauseman played the unforgettable role of professor Charles W.Kingsfield in the Paper Chase series. Somehow I believe that in Harvard of Kingsfield, no student would dare standing up in front of hundreds of his peers and refer to a smelly Jew. Moreover, I believe, that not only Kingsfield, but all , or most of his colleagues, would have protested this outrage, and not allowing their school to try and cover it up. But, and this is the problem here, times have changed. The spirit of the time has changed. It is not possible to say anything in public about ”smelly Muslim”, and rightly so. It is not acceptable to say anything in public about ”smelly gay”, or ”smelly African-American” , and rightly so. But,”smelly Jew” is so possible, in Harvard of all places, and with eleven young misguided Jews defending it.

The second important point is, that the pro-Palestinians do not shelter anymore behind anti-Zionism. It is anti-Semitism through and through , and they say it in Harvard as well as in so many other places, because they feel and know, that the winds are blowing in their direction. They know, I suspect, that the thugs of Jewish Voice for Peace and just ordinary Jewish students will go to every extreme, in fact, will use every pseudo-intellectual argument to justify them. This is one, though not the only contribution of deranged Liberal and Progressive Jews to the rise of open anti-Semitism in campus. Then there is the recipient of the hatred. Poor Tzipi Livni. What , on earth, did she not do to distance herself from her past record of being a loyal Likudnik?. No, my dear Tzipi, nothing will help you, unless you will defect completely from Zionism like Avraham Burg did. You, Tzipi Livni, can go as Left Wing as you want, but you are still and always remain a ”smelly Jew”.

We say in Hebrew, that we should not debate over taste and smell. Well, not everything we say in Hebrew is necessarily right. The Sthurmer of the Nazis wrote so much about the ”Jewish smell”. The red Fascists student from Harvard and ordinary brown Fascists of the Order are no different. The one subject on which they can agree willingly, is always Jews and Israel. But what about the eleven Jewish kids? Did they just lose their sense of smell , or is it something else?. For me the question is rhetoric. A very bad smell was felt by me when I read the letter of the eleven. The smell of self-hate , a lost identity, the shape of things to come, so far as many young American Jews are concerned.

About the Author
Dr Josef Olmert, a Middle East expert, is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina