Aug. 17, 2016
When activists shield their bigotry with moral fraud.
As yet another indication that the university campus has become “an island of repression in a sea of freedom,” last March a pro-Israel group, Hasbara Fellowships Canada, was barred from participating in a “Social Justice Week” event organized by the Student Association of Durham College and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The stated reason for the exclusion? The student association (which, not coincidentally, had just approved a pro-BDS resolution against Israel) informed the Hasbara group that since the “organization seems closely tied to the state of Israel . . . it would be against the motion to provide any type of resources to your organization.”
While the term “social justice” has a seemingly benign and positive connation—and certainly to those who so vigorous fight for it—the reality is that, as columnist Jonah Goldberg observed in his book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, social justice is actually “an empty vessel to be filled with any and all leftist ideals, and then promptly wielded as a political bludgeon against any and all dissenters . . . .”
So while social justice warriors on campus are quick to welcome a collection of perceived victim groups into their tent—Muslims, African-Americans, gays, Hispanics, women—they have been decidedly more hostile when dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the result being that pro-Israel groups (such as the Hasbara Fellowships in Ontario) are regularly excluded as being part of the oppressor class responsible for such evils as imperialism, colonialism, racism, and sexism.