“The most ominously crucial question now hanging over this country’s future is: what will our universities teach at our expense and without our consent? What ideas will be propagated or excluded?” –Ayn Rand, 1972
American and Canadian Jewish students (and faculty) now must avoid wearing a kippa or any jewelry signifying their Jewish identity for fear of being physically and verbally assaulted in the halls of our universities. Muslim students, conversely, wear their keffiyeh proudly, without the slightest fear of similar assaults.
Even more shameful is the fact that within the “Free Palestine!” narrative passed around today as the front-running avant-garde intellectual currency can be detected the jihadist, anti-Jewish exterminationist ideology advocated by both Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Khaled Mashaal of Hamas. Jewish Zionism is propagated as an evil; Islamic jihad, especially if committed in the cause of a future sovereign Palestinian state, is propagated as justified and a good. Hence one need not look too far to find explanations for why Jewish students are threatened on campus and their affinity to the State of Israel smirched, as though Jews—all Jews—are never victims but rather criminals being punished for their crimes and terrorism their just reward.
Omer Bartov, historian at Brown University in Rhode Island, has written, “If the attacks on the Twin Towers were founded on antisemitic motifs, one should say so. If a Malaysian prime minister expresses antisemitic opinions, one must not attempt to apologize for that which is inexcusable. If a self-proclaimed liberation organization demands the annihilation of the Jewish state, one must not pretend it is demanding anything else. Where clarity ends, complicity begins.”
I will say here that I believe the BDS movement is stimulated more by traditional Muslim antisemitism than inspired by genuine concern for the “liberation” of the Palestinian people. I believe also that those at the centre of the BDS movement desire more the “annihilation of the Jewish state” than the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state.
Why do BDS protesters shamelessly fly the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist entities whose primary goal is the annihilation of the State of Israel, if they’re truly concerned with the future of the Palestinian people? How can they expect those critical of their movement to believe they’re really concerned with the welfare of one people when the terrorist organizations they align themselves with demand the extermination of another?
Even Norman Finkelstein, one of Israel’s most hateful accusers, during a meeting of left-wing activists in New York in 2013 condemned the BDS movement, as revealed in an Anti-Defamation League report: “He challenged the latent hypocrisy within the anti-Israel movement (and his co-panelists), which constantly points to international law to justify its agenda while ignoring the fact that international law established Israel as a Jewish state.” He asked, “How does one propose to win support for the Palestinian cause based on international law, yet not support two states?”
A shocking fact of the day is that our Western universities seem to have become a place of concourse for Islamist-minded Muslims and their jihadist-centred political movements. Duncan Gardham of the UK’s Telegraph revealed back in 2011 that, “A number of terrorists have studied at British universities including members of the fertiliser bomb and trans-Atlantic airlines gangs as well as Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab, the Detroit underpants bomber, and Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, the Stockholm suicide bomber.”
An op-ed in the New York Times in 2005, only four years after 911, by Peter Bergen, author of Holy War Inc. and a fellow at the New America Foundation, disclosed that, “The 1993 World Trade Center attack involved 12 men, all of whom had a college education. The 9/11 pilots, as well as the secondary planners identified by the 9/11 commission, all attended Western universities…the lead 9/11 pilot, Mohamed Atta, had a degree from a German university…the operational planner of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, studied engineering in North Carolina…two-thirds of the 25 hijackers and planners involved in 9/11 had attended college.”
Of the three Canadian VIA Rail plotters, two of them attended university in Quebec; Ahmed Abassi at Laval University and Chiheb Esseghaier at Sherbrooke University. But one shouldn’t be surprised at this. After all, it’s a short walk from the antisemitic and wipe-Israel-off-the-map BDS movement to the al-Qaeda/ISIS/Boko Harem/Taliban terrorist trend.
I can accept the maxim that our universities are places of learning, where open discussion on a wide variety of subjects is permitted and condoned, even encouraged. I get that. What I do not accept is that certain Muslim immigrants, who hated our democratic system and way of life before leaving their country of origin, are allowed to vent their Jew-hatred and anti-Western (read: anti-social) venom upon arriving here, even while acquiring a reputable education under a roof that my dime and the dime of every taxpaying Canadian and American has paid for.