Oren Bar

When Ivy Turns to Thorns

Illustration by Omer Biber

Greed and ultra-progressive left dogma at America’s universities are lighting the flames of antisemitism, terror, and death.

At least 200 American colleges and universities illegally withheld information on approximately $13 billion in undisclosed contributions from foreign regimes.

(“Is Campus Rage Fueled by Middle Eastern Money?” Bari Weiss, The Free Press, Nov 8, 2023, based on report by NCRI – Network Contagion Research Institute)

This is new anti-Semitism, not only because it comes from the left, but because it sees the Jew… The denial of the fundamental right of Jews for a nation state of their own, and the very denial of Israel’s right to exist serves itself as a right of atonement and purification for the Wests old colonial sins. The Jew is once again crucified for the sins of others, sacrificed in order to cleanse the West of its old sins, perhaps even of itself.

(“So what’s the deal with anti-Israel radical left?” Tomer Perisco, Research Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Nov 1, 2023)

Call to Action (CTA)

I am deviating from more common article formats by putting the CTA at the front because it is the article’s most important message:


While it’s the presidents who decide to issue a statement or not, the boards have the power to replace them. I urge you to find out who the board members are and send them public letters demanding they fire any president who has refused to condemn Hamas in the name of the university they head. Call them out on social media. Pressure them to do the right thing.

Here, for example, is Columbia’s Board of Trustees –

From elite universities to depleted institutions of higher hate
Antisemitism in US universities and pro-Hamas sentiment is running rampant, and the refusal of many institutions to condemn Hamas are reprehensible and cannot be defended. Some say that they have lost their way, but as we will see later on, the path by which we have arrived at the current state of affairs is well-defined and deliberate.

However we may have reached this junction, many of America’s premier universities and colleges are empty of the basic tenets on which these institutions were founded. They are no longer elite. They are deplete:

Deplete of veracity – They must spread and teach lies to justify progressive left ideals.

“At Cornell, a student posted a call “to follow [Jews] home and slit their throats.” (CNN)

Deplete of diversity – All students are fed this doctrine, thereby denying pluralism and pushing away new students who don’t align with these teachings.

 “… “a statement that they “hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence”. Authored by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and originally co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations Saturday…” (The Harvard Crimson)

Deplete of academic freedom – Faculty and students need to fall in line so as not to upset the institutions’ financial overlords.

 “…there are many Gazans of goodwill, many Palestinians of conscience, who abhor violence, as do you, as do I. … they were able to breathe for the first time in years. It was exhilarating. It was energizing… I was exhilarated.” (Fox News, Professor Russell Rickford, Cornell University)

Deplete of sanity – The offending (rather, offensive) universities say that they are upholding free speech. Championing lies and calling for genocide, even if indirectly, isn’t free speech, it’s speech that frees the hands of terrorists.

“Glory to our martyrs,“Divestment from Zionist genocide now,” and “Free Palestine from the river to the sea” projected onto the side of the Gelman Library in the Washington D.C. university’s Foggy Bottom campus (George Washington University).” (Newsweek)

Deplete of integrity – By not condemning Hamas, the representatives of the universities are going against their very own beliefs.

“We are a university which celebrates free expression, diversity of people and diversity of viewpoints. This is essential to our role in society. The university does not speak for our students, faculty, and staff on these matters… For me to speak for them displaces their own freedom to speak.” (Evanston Now, Northwestern University, President Michael Schill, who personally condemned the attacks but refused to do so in the name of the university)

Deplete of any moral compass – Allowing the most vile acts of evil seen since World War II to go without speaking out against them is equal to the consenting silence of Nazi Germany’s population.

“A handful of Cooper Union’s Jewish students barricaded inside the university’s library Wednesday when pro-Palestinian protesters blew past security and aggressively pounded on the building’s doors.”  (New York Post)

Deplete of humanity – In what world do humans give their ascent to infanticide, murder, rape, and kidnapping? Evidently, in ours.

“Israeli student attacked with a stick outside Columbia University library.” (New York Post)

Money and idiocy make academia spin around

An axiom (and if you believe otherwise, you have no place in the human race):

Under no set of morals are the unimaginable atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7, 2023, including burning people alive, cutting out a baby from a mother’s stomach, group raping women, and taking children hostage, acceptable.

It is common sense and basic morality, therefore, that any and every entity, whatever their size and wherever they may be, must unequivocally condemn Hamas. This holds especially true for those institutions entrusted with guiding the future of the next generation of thinkers, professionals, and leaders, whose responsibility it will be to ensure that such acts never happen again.

But common sense and basic morality seem to have gone on vacation. Instead of commendation, many of America’s (former) top institutions have either remained silent or issued awkward, unsatisfactory statements that sound more like appeasements than anything else.

And that’s because they are appeasements, statements that try to identify, to some small degree, with Israel, while not being so “harsh” that they would go against the ideals of their major benefactors or the anti-colonial, anti-Israel rhetoric they’ve been cultivating amongst their faculties and student body.

What does this mean? Here are a couple of illustrative examples:

  1. The aforementioned NCRI report shows that Cornell and Harvard received $1,289,433,376 and $894,533,832, respectively, between 2014 and 2020, while Qatar was by far the largest funding source in the same time period, handing over $2,706,240,869 in funds to US universities. This is the same Qatar that has been funding Hamas and is home to Hamas’s out of country billionaire leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh, Moussa Abu Marzuk, and Khaled Mashal.
  2. In the article referred to at the outset, Ms. Bari Wiess says: “As Rachel Fish and others have documented, for several decades, a toxic worldview—morally relativist, anti-Israel, and anti-American—has been incubating in “area studies” departments and social theory programs at elite universities. Whole narratives have been constructed to dehumanize Israelis and brand Israel as a “white, colonial project” to be resisted.” This, of course, coincides just a bit too perfectly with the funding sources mentioned just above.

Are you still surprised that universities like Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell have had such a hard time condemning Hamas or the frightening antisemitic, anti-Israel protests and incidents occurring in their backyards?

I’m not surprised, just scared, very scared, for my family, for my country, for my people.

A chilling chain of hateful events

By not condemning Hamas outright or by issuing a weak statement, universities are lending their hands to a sequence of events that ends in more death and, essentially, makes the lives of Jews and Israelis forfeit. It looks something like this:

An “innocent” letter blaming Israel for 7.10 is signed and published by 34 Harvard student organizations, even before the massacre had ended.

  • Because it’s Harvard, the letter and its premise that Israel is to blame is considered credible by many.
  • The letter spreads like wildfire across social media.
  • The letter is picked up and posted by mainstream biased press that consistently depicts Israel as the villain and call Hamas “a militant group.”
  • Harvard president fails to condemn the letter or Hamas, lending further credibility to the letter.
  • Feeling that they have solid backing, students participate in pro-Hamas protests that call for the demise of Israel (“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”).
  • Seeing what’s happening at Harvard and other “elite” universities, students at other institutions organize their own insufferable marches.
  • Emboldened by the support, radical students perpetrate antisemitic acts, like beating an Israeli student and forcing Jewish students to barricade themselves in a library.
  • The press covers this as well, depicting the protests as legitimate support for Palestine.
  • Amongst many others, this leads to mass, often violent protests seen outside university campuses.
  • Paul Kessler is killed in Los Angeles.
  • Hamas understands that slaughtering 1,200 people and kidnapping 242 others is acceptable.

Falling from the peaks of moral high grounds to the pits of hell

You might say that what’s happening at American and worldwide institutions of higher learning is a reflection of the senselessness of the world at large, but evidence shows that it’s the sum of the machinations of a few very wealthy, barbaric regimes and a deranged academic collective that is leading itself, and all of us, to oblivion.

In the brilliant words of TV host and comedian Bill Maher “As an Ivy League graduate who knows the value of a liberal education, I have one piece of advice for the youth of America. Don’t go to college! And if you absolutely have to go, don’t go to an elite college, because, as recent events have shown, it just makes you stupid.” (Real Time with Bill Maher, HBO)

About the Author
Over 25 years of executive, management, business, marketing, and technical experience, specializing in crafting and communicating vision, strategy, and value proposition in writing. Throughout, I have been active on Israel’s public diplomacy front, working with various organizations in Israel and the US. Most importantly, I love writing and thoroughly enjoy helping others convey their thoughts, ideas, plans, dreams, and lots of less exotic stuff.
Related Topics
Related Posts