A NEW ANTI-SEMITISM TAKES ROOT ON CAMPUS
By Asaf Romirowsky
Natana DeLong-Bas, a lecturer in Theology at Boston College, as well as in the Department of Near East and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, says:
Joseph Massad, a Columbia University professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History, writes that "all those in the Arab world who deny the Holocaust are, in my opinion, Zionists."
Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in Islamic Studies at University of California, Berkeley, states that "it's about time that we have an intifada in this country that changes fundamentally the political dynamics in here."
Moreover, with the release of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, students face another challenge, as it relates to the American-Israeli alliance. The authors contend that that there are no genuine or compelling motives for America's support for Israel, which they refer to as a "strategic burden."
In addition, they argue that U.S. foreign policy has been hijacked by the pro-Israel camps and works against the interests of America itself. They even went as far as claiming that one of the results of the American Israel Public Affairs Commiiiee's work was to start the war in Iraq.
Their narrative recounts every colorful report of Israeli "cruelty" toward Palestinians as an indisputable fact. But conveniently, they leave out the rise of Palestinian terrorism before 1967, as well as the 1972 Munich Olympics, Black September, and countless cases of suicide bombings against Jews and Israelis.
In an attempt to defuse this, the Jewish Policy Center has organized a panel of experts -- including Daniel Pipes, Cliff May and David Horowitz, and moderated by radio commentator Michael Medved -- to address "The Fight Against Radical Islam and the New Anti-Semitism on Campus." The event will take place at 7 p.m.Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Temple Beth Hillel/Beth El in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
The brouhaha over the "Israel lobby" as a Jewish conspiracy controlling America has been challenged; unfortunately, that has produced even more virulent rhetoric against Israel.
Academia has unconsciously exposed Jews and Israelis as the canaries in the coal mine. If universities are indicators of social trends, then anti-Semitism is becoming more acceptable in the guise of anti-Zionism. The thesis of Israel-bashers is basically that only Jews are unworthy of having a sovereign state.
These attitudes are pervasive on university campuses and are protected by what's called "academic freedom." But, if we are to become better advocates for Israel, then we deserve to hear a balanced representation of Israel and the Middle East in our educational institutions.
We can start by seeking out those voices that, until Sept. 11, 2001, had been predominantely marginalized by the academy.
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Europe, Europeans, & Anti-Semitism
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Asaf Romirowsky is an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum and the Manager of Israel & Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The foregoing article by Asaf Romirowsky was originally published in the Jewish Exponent, September 13, 2007, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat.
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