Harvard, Jew haters, motherhood and Israel
This morning I received an e-mail alert from CAMERA that my alma mater, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government is hosting a two-day conference which essentially begins with the proposition that Israel has no right to exist. This isn't surprising. After all, the Kennedy School is home to my old professor Steve Walt. No one there batted a lash when he co-published his updated version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with University of Chicago's John Mearshimer.
Not only did Walt suffer no recrimination from his colleagues at Harvard when he first emerged a professional Jew basher. He suffered no recrimination when he used the controversy surrounding his book into a means of transforming himself into a celebrity Israel basher.
As I wrote in my recent column about mainstreaming Jew hatred, Walt and Mearshimer's book has enabled anti-Semites to emerge from under the rocks where they had been hiding and proudly announce that it is reasonable to discriminate against the Jewish people and side either actively or passively with those like the Iranian regime and the Sunni jihadists from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood who openly call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and the Jewish people.
Two thoughts on the Harvard conference.
Consider the long list of "professors" who will be speaking at the conference.
My sense is that the reason the Holocaust was more successful in killing Jews on a genocidal scale than say the Russian czars' pogroms is because the Holocaust was fuelled from above - from elitist anti-Semitism and elitist xenophobia. It wasn't the feudal lords who organized the murder machine. Those lords just let their Cossacks murder couple hundred Jews to get their bloodlust satisfied for the year. Most of the surviving Jews were permitted to pack their suitcases and run away.
The Holocaust was different. It wasn't the peasant class or their landed gentry lords that instigated the crime. And the Holocaust wasn't perpetrated principally to satisfy their taste for Jewish blood.
In the decades before the Holocaust, an evil wind blew through academia and other elite quarters throughout the Western world. The doctrines of race and eugenics became all the rage of the anointed intellectuals. Even an otherwise liberal thinker like Oliver Wendell Holmes was drawn to the fashionable concept of killing mentally disabled in the name of eugenics.
These doctrines gave the German intellectuals the philosophical underpinning for their so-called "anti-Semitism." That itself was a pseudo-scientific term for regular old Jew hating just like "anti-Zionism" is a progressive, politically correct term for regular old Jew hating today. That is, anti-Semitism was an elitist way of masking intolerance, even genocidal intolerance for Jews and making it socially acceptable to seek our annihilation. And this is the precise function that the term anti-Zionism serves today.
The worker bees of Europe in the mid-20th century had been marinated in Christian Jew hatred for centuries. But they were mere commoners. They would never have made an Auschwitz or held a Wanssee Conference, but they were more than willing to fill Jewish babies with lead when given a chance. And the German intellectuals and their counterparts from Boston to Paris to London gave them the intellectual foundation of racism to kill Jews on a scale they could never have dreamed possible.
Likewise, today's crop of corrupt intellectuals of the Walt and Mearshimer variety with all their allies in academia and the media and the blogosphere and politics are seeking to delegitimize Israel - the collective Jew -- intellectually. Like the work of the eugenics champions of the late 19th and early 20th century, their work will provide Muslim Jew haters with the political leeway to murder Jews on a scale they could never have dreamed possible. Hence you'll never find a so-called "anti-Zionist" like Walt lose sleep over the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, but rather over the prospect of Israel preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
And this brings me to the second point. I read the CAMERA alert on my Iphone as I was feeding my newborn son. I looked out the window at Jerusalem and all I could feel was thankful to be living in the independent, free Jewish state of Israel. I am thankful that these pseudo intellectuals no longer can determine the future of my people, as they could in the 1930s. I am thankful that my children will in all likelihood not study in US universities but in Israeli ones that are not as demented as their American counterparts.
And here's a couple of disturbing thoughts for all the parents in the US who are about to put themselves in the poor house to pay for their children's university education.
The embrace of the cause of Israel's destruction by so many celebrity professors today is part and parcel of the destruction of the US higher education system.
At the Harvard conference, not a drop of truth will be spoken by any of the eminent Jew hating participants. Students who attend will be presented with lies dripping with moralistic gobbledygook and be told that they are enlightened for embracing this sewage.
The absence of truth from academic discourses is not limited to discussion of Israel. Rather, the ability of professors like Walt and his pals to prosper with their lies is a function of the general deterioration and corruption of academic institutions.
This general decline and indeed failure was highlighted last week by Prof. Peter Berkowitz in an article he published in the Wall Street Journal about Yale's totalitarian system of "informal justice" that allows the university to effectively destroy young male students' future by blackening their reputations on the basis of unsubstantiated and even anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct. The policies in place deny young male Yalies due process and enable witch hunts.
In his conclusion Berkowitz wrote that the abandonment of even the semblance of due process for male students on campuses is in line with the general deterioration or even disappearance of educational standards. As he put it:
At its best, university education has deteriorated into little more than random forays into the sciences, social sciences and humanities. But traditionally, and for good reason in a democracy, liberal education at its heart involved instruction in the principles of freedom.
If Yale and other institutions across the country were fulfilling their promise to educate students, then their faculties would teach that riding roughshod over due process shows ignorance of or contempt for the rule of law. Professors would be teaching that the presumption of innocence is rooted in a commitment to treating individuals as ends in themselves and not as a means to advancing some social goal or another, even if that goal is given the name of equality or justice. And students would be learning that our established and legitimate justice system does not presume guilt, because to do so is to fail to appreciate the limits of human knowledge and the propensity of those who wield power to abuse it.
Let's not forget that this is the same Yale University that saw fit to close its interdisciplinary center for the study of anti-Semitism last year because YIISA had the unmitigated gall to highlight contemporary "progressive" Jew hatred and its unwashed cousin Islamic Jew hatred.
CAMERA has launched an email campaign to try to fight Harvard's descent into Jew hating insanity. I think that it is good for what it's worth. But I have no expectations from that institution. The madness that has taken control of America's elite educational institutions is a threat to the US because it is robbing a generation of young people of the ability to think freely and critically about the world.
For me, the message is clear enough, as a Jew, a Jewish mother and a person who clings to my freedom, guns and religion, my job is to do everything I can to ensure that Israel remains strong and gets stronger so that today's corrupted elites can't touch us.