THE JEWISH CANARY
By Asaf Romirowsky
Both nation-states are also engaged in a war against the same Islamic terrorism. But, unlike the United States of America, the legitimacy of the Jewish state is still questioned on a daily basis.
September 11, 2001, has also put academia on the defensive. Many professors, under guises of democracy, constitutionalism, and freedom of speech and under their interpretation and application of the ideological precepts of Leftwing Liberalism, defended the Islamist forces that perpetrated the attacks against the U.S.A. Some professors argued that Osama bin Laden's motivation somehow included concern about world poverty or that the U.S.A. itself precipitated the attacks — giving any reason other than bin Laden's medieval Islamic fanaticism and extremism.
As George Orwell wrote, "some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them." The stupidity that Orwell referred to has shadowed the views of many academics, when it comes to how they portray the relationship between Jews and the Muslim world. The victimizer has become the victim, and Liberal Leftist political correctness has become its smokescreen.
For example, Ward Churchill, Chairman of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Colorado, earlier this year depicted the 3,000 people massacred at the World Trade Center on 9/11 as "little Eichmanns." Nicholas De Genova, an assistant professor at Columbia University, declared at an anti-war rally, in March, 2003, that "U.S. patriotism is inseparable from...white supremacy" and then expressed the "wish for a million Mogadishus in Iraq," referring to the 1993 incident in Somalia, when eighteen U.S. troops were killed.
At a rally in San Francisco organized by the Far Left group, International A.N.S.W.E.R., Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in Islamic studies at Berkeley, declared:
These incidents, and the academic boycotts, divestment petitions and other discriminatory actions against Israel, are precursors to a general reexamination of issues surrounding academic freedom, campus extremism (including incitement to violence), university autonomy, and classroom politicization. The division between academia and the rest of society grows larger and larger.
University and college campuses have become podiums for those hostile to Israel, as different human rights, anti-globalization, and anti-imperialism groups that have adopted the Palestinian cause as the single most important consideration confront academics. As Phyllis Chesler, author of The New Anti-Semitism, states,
In academic circles, individual scholars' views are often turned into a political litmus test. For example, Fouad Ajami, the articulate interpreter of Arab culture and politics who teaches at Johns Hopkins University, has been subject to scathing attacks from Arab critics, such as Asad Abu Khalil in a review of Ajami's book The Vanished Imam. And Daniel Pipes has noted that the Nation asked a Jewish Leftist, Andrew N. Rubin, to critique Ajami's book for being too supportive of Israel.
What's worse, money from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is being pumped into academic departments vis-à-vis chairs, grants, and fellowships. They determine what topics related to the Middle East are taught. The Liberal Left that dominates many campuses is more than ready to accept these funds and to promote the implicitly anti-American agenda they bring. Only some of these gifts are brought to the public's attention, as in the case of the Harvard School of Divinity, which returned a $2.5 million gift from the President of the United Arab Emirates, who also funds vicious anti-Semitic and anti-American groups. If not for the efforts of students such as Rachel Fish, who exposed the gift, I doubt that the administration would have returned this gift.
Academia has made Jews the canary in the coal mine in the sense that, if universities are indicators of social trends, and anti-Semitism is becoming more acceptable there in the guise of anti-Zionism, then there is a problem society-wide. Our students must recognize that there is never justice in terrorism. It is unacceptable that some should even speak of eliminating a living and breathing state like Israel. But you'd be surprised how common such statements are on campus. These advocates are the ones that should be on the defensive.
The Israeli-Arab Conflict
The Middle East & the Arabs
Islamism & Jihadism:
The Threat of Radical Islam & Islamic Terrorism
Page Three Page Two Page One
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Asaf Romirowsky is a Campus Watch Associate Fellow for the Middle East Forum and the Israel Affairs Associate for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The foregoing article by Asaf Romirowsky was originally published in The Claremont (Writings), May 13, 2005, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum.
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