While it is never my intention to diminish the gravity of Judeophobia and of all other kinds of xenophobias for that matter, I must admit that I, along with those of us who witness and fight this kind of hatred, have grown accustomed to its various sources.
We expect it to come from Middle eastern countries or terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, as it is indoctrinated in the minds of young children at an age when their only dilemma should be about which toy to play with. It starts as a cultural indoctrination that serves as a base for a further, deeper and more hateful ideological and or religious indoctrination. It is almost as if it has become part of the DNA of certain people groups.
We also expect it from numerous European countries such as Hungary, France, Poland, Spain and England amongst others. The roots of that old weed run very deep into a post-Christian soil that has been deprived of any nutrients from biblical Christianity for centuries. There was a stump of anti-Semitism left in the European soil after the Holocaust. Small and apparently insignificant shoots came out at first, but a civilized post World War Two community was determined to nip it in the bud, and so they did, at least originally. In reality, the stump became the base for the sequoia of a revived old-fashioned racial anti-Semitism.
Yet there is a new breeding ground for a new Judeophobia and it is found on university campuses all over the United-States. Cowardly hiding behind the First Amendment of 1791, many public figures borne of the leftist intelligentsia, currently promote anti-Semitism from classroom to classroom across campuses. Beware of your criticism of their vitriol, lest you be accused of hatred and intolerance yourself. It was only days ago that a very disturbing event took place in New York at Brooklyn College. The New York institution includes between 20 and 25% Jewish students who for the most part (along with many Jewish AND non-Jewish supporters of Israel) were stupefied when they heard of the school's decision to sponsor such an event promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS). Two speakers were featured. Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler.
Mr. Barghouti is a founding member of The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. He is also one of the starters of the 2005 BDS movement. No stranger to American campuses, Mr. Barghouti travels extensively across our nation to promote the BDS ideology, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and calling for the boycott of many Israeli products and companies.
His message of hate gets placated across American campuses where he can be heard making statements such as this one: Many of the methods of collective and individual"punishment" meted out to Palestinian civilians at the hands of young, racist, often sadistic and ever impervious Israeli soldiers at the hundreds of checkpoints littering the occupied Palestinian territories are reminiscent of common Nazi practices against the Jews.
Just days before his appearance at Brooklyn College, Mr. Barghouti was at Yale, University of Pennsylvania and University of California, Irvine (UCI). But, he was invited to Brooklyn College in the name of "Freedom of Expression". Political correctness strikes again!
As for Ms. Judith Butler, "a self-hating Jew" by any standard, her presence was also problematic from the standpoint of any honest intellectual dialogue. Ms. Butler is a professor in the rhetoric and comparative literature department at UC Berkeley. She is also on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Ms. Butler delivered a speech at Brooklyn College that at first glance appeared to be balanced and in favor of peace in the Middle East, but the foundation of her message is so flawed that it makes it impossible to take it seriously.
Ms. Butler was unfortunately not interested in any dialogue (even though it is the message that JVP promo video clearly sends, albeit constructed on a very false premise). She clearly wanted to deliver a monologue of finger pointing and unjustified demonization of Israel. I find it very interesting when she claims that: The state of Israel doesn't represent all Jews, and not all Jews understand themselves as represented by the state of Israel. In theory, I think she is right, but then we have to honestly ask ourselves why is it then that whenever the Knesset passes a new law or a new settlement is planned or erected, Jews all over the world become the recipients of anti-Semitism by proxy? What should the building of a settlement in Israel have to do with the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Eastern Europe or the fire bombing of a synagogue in South America?
To be sure, not all critic of Israel should be labeled as anti-Semitic, yet I see the BDS movement attempt at indoctrinating students all over America as nothing else than a catalyst for further acts of deligitimization of Israel. I do not have anything against the very concept of boycotting as long as it is done for the right cause and that it is consistent even if not always convenient.
American campuses have become very conducive to hate speech against Israel in the name of Freedom of Expression. It is almost always a tirade of lies built on a false foundation never checked by a quasi-intellectual leftist audience. Our campuses used to be platforms for education, dialogue and training of the next generation. Today it seems that Judeophobic propaganda has become a common thread across our nation's university campuses. This doesn't promise a very glorious future for American Jews unless we fight for the truth!