Saturday, October 01, 2022

Ronald Goldstock, former Director of the New York State Organized Crimes Task Force and famed author and expert on organized crime, had this to say a few years ago about the Mafia: “The people who join the mob these days…don’t have the values their predecessors had.”

With all due respect to the Gotti and Gambino families, I present to you the latest cadre of Israel-haters, weak legged and weak-minded know-it-alls who should scare no one with their threats. They all revealed their anti-Semitism with one tsunami these last few weeks: The Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS), the American Studies Association (ASA), and the notoriously threatening Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)—all asking their members to boycott Israeli universities.

And you thought only the Jews had the dreaded Alphabet Soup Organizational Disease (ASOD)? But I digress.

In the good old days of anti-Zionistic bigotry, the greats of the world at the United Nations in 1975 proclaimed that “Zionism is Racism.” In 2013, we have the vapid Curtis Marez, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of San Diego and a member of the National Council of the ASA proclaiming “one has to start somewhere” when asked by Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic about the justice of singling out Israel for punishment. Marez’ mother-ship released a formal statement on behalf of its 5,000 members that “there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation.” Forgetting the fact that they are dead wrong (I had the privilege of working for Israel’s Bar-Ilan University for eight years), Wiesletier, in his column, points out an even more egregious mistake on their part. He writes: “In a supporting document called Answering Questions about the ASA Boycott from Department Chairs, Deans and administrators,” the ASA instructs its members that its mission is to make a positive contribution to human understanding, support diversity and equity, and contribute to solving world problems.” Adds the deliciously acid-tongued Wiesletier, “There is no mention of scholarship, of course: These people long ago obliterated the distinction between academia and activism.”

Bravo, Leon.

Lawrence Grossman, the Director of Publications for the American Jewish Committee, expresses deep disappointment with academia in a recent article on this subject. “The professorate is the most highly educated sector of our society, its members taking justifiable pride in their ability to think clearly and not be swayed by faulty logic.” Grossman wrongly assumes that the “Mob” of 2013 has the same values of the Mafia of the old days. Not even close.

Between my eight years of working for Bar-Ilan University and my four years of having had the privilege of working for International Hillel, I can say with absolute conviction that for the most part, modern academia is a wasteland of uneven, self-annointed hypocrites who use their ivory tower as a bully pulpit from which to spew their often outrageously liberal views of how the world should look.

For all our brilliance as a People, we, the People of the Book, lost the battle for Zionistic Jewish minds on campus long ago. For all the buildings our philanthropists named, for all the recital halls and science labs they donated, we long ago ignored a facet of academia that the staunch liberal/left jumped on decades ago. By teaming up with their Arab anti-Israel brethren and by accepting huge Saudi and other wealthy Arab endowments, they have zip-locked the cause of Palestine on campus as their own, portraying Israel as the oppressor. We, on the other hand, despite our wealth, failed to name chairs and professorships and offer these prestigious positions to even-keeled champions of moral and ethic priorities. Instead, countless campuses throughout America are infested with thousands upon thousands of members of the ASA, AAAS and the NAISA—people who wouldn’t know or care about the difference between fact or fiction, so long as Israel is the oppressor and the Palestinians the oppressed. There is no dialogue; there is no alternative view. How ironic! Isn’t the liberal supposed to be the one who is all-welcoming and all-inclusive of thought?

With all the brilliance associated with the Professor Curtis Marezes of the world, one has to wonder if you choose to boycott Israeli universities then are you not boycotting the same schools that educated those who invented your iPhone, your Intel Microchip, your ability to communicate in real time with your colleagues to call the very boycott you’re supporting? Are you not looking to harm the same brilliance that created your life saving cancer detection systems, your cardiac emergencies, your fertility treatments?

So go ahead and boycott all you want. This is the least of all matters that will scare us as a people. We didn’t back down from Yasir Arafat, or Brezhnev, or Hitler or Stalin or “Zionism is Racism.” We’re certainly not backing down from vapid educators who think they should be “contributing to solving the world’s problem” rather than simply educating our children.

Maybe it’s a blessing that some of our enemies are so un-formidable. The professors of ToHeckWith U. can cluck and chirp all they want. Am Yisrael Chai.

By Robert Katz

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