Mar. 23, 2016
Israeli Apartheid Week may be coming to a campus near you. An antidote, not complicity, is needed.
- This month, American campuses are being invaded by the latest form of college hazing: Israeli Apartheid Week. Jewish students are made to walk past displays that distort their history, defame their national homeland and shame their religious heritage. The annual campaign now claims participation by 150 universities and cities.
- The displays are part of a much larger anti-Jewish front whose academic spearhead is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. That effort stems from the original 1945 Arab League boycott calling on all Arab institutions and individuals “to refuse to deal in, distribute, or consume Zionist products or manufactured goods.”
- The agents of anti-Semitism are anti-Semites, and unless they become the object of scrutiny, the belligerents will achieve their goal. Blaming Israel for the suffering of Palestinian Arabs is first and foremost a strategy of deflection, intended to divert attention from dysfunction in Arab and Muslim societies.
- Where are the campus rallies for women’s rights in Islam, relief efforts for Syrian refugees, vigils for Christian victims of Islamic State? Where is the outrage of historians, archaeologists and anthropologists at the destruction by radical Muslims of ancient monuments and of indigenous societies.
- University administrations and faculties have been complicit in allowing anti-Jewish politics to flourish. Entire disciplines use their academic conferences to attack the Jewish state. Campus anti-Israel coalitions exploit freedom of speech and assembly to assail the only Middle Eastern country that guarantees those freedoms.
- Anti-Semitism flourishes because onlookers who think they have no stake in the conflict choose not to face down the belligerents.
The writer is a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard.
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)