Featured Post

Where the anti-Israel youthquake is taking us

If you think things are bad for Jews now, wait til today’s 'river to the sea' kids are making the hiring and firing decisions
Source: Photo by Sora Shimazaki:
Source: - Photo by Sora Shimazaki:

You’d be forgiven for missing a seemingly minor story out of Silicon Valley in the middle of the Gaza war and Iranian missile attacks. A 23-year-old American engineer at Google, one of 40 employees who belong to an organization called “No Tech for Apartheid,” made a public stink about a project the company is doing for the Israeli government. He was promptly fired, and life went back to normal at Google, or so we might want to imagine. This little incident deserves attention, however, because it’s a harbinger of much worse things to come.

As the war grinds on, America’s youth stands firmly on the side of Hamas murderers and rapists. College campuses have exploded in protests against Israel, some featuring violence and chants of “Gas the Jews!” According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll in December, 51% of Americans aged 18-25 say Israel should be “ended” and turned into a Palestinian state. A Wall Street Journal survey of 250 American college students revealed that 86% of them support the pro-Palestinian chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine should be free!”

You could argue that this makes no sense, that these kids are confused and riled up by a lavishly funded Muslim propaganda campaign and decades of carefully planned infiltration of American universities by pro-Palestinian agitators. You could complain that their outrage is suspiciously selective, and that they’re being fed lies. And, you’d be right, but it makes no difference. The facts are the facts here. Half of America’s youth think Israel is an evil genocidal apartheid colonial entity that has no right to exist. They believe that anyone who supports such an entity is a reprehensible person deserving of derision and contempt, if not violent death.

Jewish parents are justifiably concerned about sending their kids to college these days. Jewish students on campus face harassment and violent threats, along with pressure to renounce Israel and agree with faculty whose views are best exemplified by a Cornell professor who announced he was “exhilarated” by the 10/7 attack. I share the concerns of these parents and students, but I am going to offer an even more depressing prediction: It doesn’t matter, because a Jew with a college degree is heading into a workplace that does not want him or her around.

This may sound rather dire, and I hope I am wrong, but a hard look at America’s anti-Israel youthquake will reveal a very uncertain future for American Jews. The marginalization of American Jews is not a new phenomenon, but the current crisis represents an acceleration of a trend captured in Franklin Foer’s brilliant article The Golden Age of American Jews is Ending in the Atlantic. As Foer explains, American society is forcing Jews out of top positions in almost every field, from law to the sciences, literature, and business. He’s right, but the outlook is far worse, I suspect.

It’s a big change that feels slow moving, but it’s actually galloping right along, taking American Jews by surprise. I can only speak for myself, but I think my experience is representative of my generation’s. At 59, I’ve only ever lived in an America where a Jew faced little to no discrimination in terms of educational and career opportunities. For the generation entering school now, no such security or opportunity is guaranteed.

As we used to say in business school, back when a Jew could get an MBA without being roughed up by classmates who think they’re guilty of genocide, let’s run the numbers. Ask: How will the executive suite’s views of Jews and Israel change over time as today’s “river to the sea” generation hits the workforce?

Keep in mind that today’s graduates are the leaders of tomorrow’s business world, legal profession, medicine, law enforcement, judiciary, government, military, the sciences, academia, the arts, and non-profits. Over the next 40 years, the current leadership cohort in these fields will turn over completely. Every five years, 12.5% of them will retire or leave their jobs. Of their replacements, half will have strong anti-Israel attitudes. Starting with an assumption that 10% of the current cohort is anti-Israel, and another 10% will be influenced to become anti-Israel, we can model the transformation of American leadership as it turns against Israel over the coming decades.

Projected changes in the balance of neutral vs. anti-Israel leaders in American society over the next 40 years. (Source: Hugh Taylor – copyright 2024 by Hugh Taylor)

As the chart shows, by 2030, roughly one in three leaders in American life will be anti-Israel and implicitly anti-Jewish. By 2040, it will be closer to six in ten. That’s just 16 years from now. If you are entering college today, that means your career path will be in organizations where a large and growing majority of the higher-ups believe that you are complicit in genocide – managers who may have screamed “Gas the Jews!” while they were in college. (And we’ll ignore, for now, the other group of Americans who passionately follow an aspiring Christian fascist leader who bellows about “globalists” and “vermin,” who allies himself with violent, outspoken Jew-haters.)

How do you think those careers will go? How likely will it be that they’ll even get hired? How long will it be until Jews get the memo that they should not even bother applying? And, how long will it be until Jews start to realize that they shouldn’t even bother with college or grad school at all, because what would be the point?

American Jews are facing a wave of discrimination that will likely see them excluded from education and careers, leading to their economic ruin. With a loss of economic success comes a drop in political clout. American politicians who support Israel because they like Jewish donor money will have no incentive to be interested in the Jewish state. American support for Israel, already in a precarious state, will shrivel up. Which is why, by the way, the Qataris are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into this propaganda program on campus. It’s working beyond their wildest dreams.

Again, I could be wrong. A lot of factors could make this model invalid. My numbers may turn out to be exaggerated. Anti-Israel passions may cool down after this war is over. As people mature, they may abandon their college ideals and gain a more balanced view of the world. But, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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.
Related Topics
Related Posts