vicious strain of anti-Semitism is ravaging Europe like an epidemic.
are being burned and defaced in France. Yarmulke-wearing Jews are
targets of stone-throwers in Germany. Even in merry old England,
it's no longer safe to be Jewish.
it happen here in the U.S.? If you look closely, you can already
see the signs especially on college campuses, often where
the worst societal trends get their start.
some of what's been happening at the University of Chicago:
A car drove up to a Jewish student on campus and a passenger screamed:
"Death to Jews. Hitler should have finished you all off when
he had the chance."
a public listserve in the Humanities Department, a pro-Palestinian
graduate student joked openly about Auschwitz.
senior was told by a university-appointed preceptor that he couldn't
be "bothered" reading her B.A. paper because it focused
on topics relating to Judaism and Zionism.
posted in a dorm to publicize a pro-Israel rally were defaced with
obscenities and vile, anti-Semitic suggestions.
Such is life for Jewish students at a major U.S. university. Similar
stories can be heard from students at dozens of other colleges across
does this hatred come from? Often it begins with a faculty with
a contempt for open and honest debate and a penchant for propaganda.
at the University of Chicago tell a story of professors teaching
literary theory turning seminars on writing into condemnations of
Israel. Professors in Near Eastern Language and Civilization teach
history without ever suggesting there is a legitimate Israeli perspective
on the birth of the Jewish state. Other professors simply stifle
dissent and nuanced discussions or treat students with different
points of view like pariahs.
other words, anti-Semitism has become the latest form of political
correctness on campus.
can students turn in the face of such hostility? In the case of
the University of Chicago, they tried going to the administration.
But the authorities on campus have shown little interest in promoting
balance, tolerance, diversity and academic freedom once the
highest goals on campus.
after a spate of alleged anti-Muslim violence across the nation,
University President Don Randel issued a "zero-tolerance"
policy toward discrimination against Muslims. Yet, when anti-Semitism
appeared to be on the rise worldwide especially in Europe
no similar statements condemning anti-Jewish bigotry were
elicited from Randel.
a result of this double-standard, Jewish students no longer feel
welcome on the campus. They see a climate of increasing hostility
toward Jews and supporters of Israel.
response, Jewish students and others have made a list of recommendations
to the administration:
that states grades should not be affected by one's political opinions
and that indoctrination should not be a goal in the classroom;
promoting civility starting with professors;
creation of one class on campus on modern Israel that explains the
of promoting balance in university-sponsored seminars on the Middle
panel discussion on the topic: "When does legitimate criticism
of Israel slip into anti-Semitism?"
date, despite weeks of waiting, the students who made these reasonable
proposals are still waiting for any response from the administration.
this were an isolated instance, we could chalk it up to one university
sadly out of touch or too timid to respond to the new political
correctness on campus. But the University of Chicago is no different
in this regard to dozens of other campuses I hear from on a daily
is how it begins.
bullies are winning the day.
it happen here?
has already begun.