“As the grandson of an Auschwitz survivor and a student of the history of Jews in Germany, I have always found it difficult to believe that a people so highly cultured as the Germans, the nation of Goethe and Beethoven, They could show sympathy and even enthusiasm for the Nazi extermination of the Jews. Now I believe it. I’ve seen it happen here.” The author signs his name, J. J. Kimchi, in an open letter to some American newspapers and academic authorities. He is a doctoral candidate in Jewish history at Harvard University.
The “here” he refers to is specifically America’s most prestigious universities. Eight American presidents emerged from it, including Presidents Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Barack Obama. Harvard also holds the record for number of Nobel Prize winners: fifty. In this temple of knowledge – with fees amounting to seventy thousand dollars annually – thirty student associations signed a document that legitimizes Hamas’ terrorism, and does not spend a single word condemning its massacres (including the killing of children), but on the contrary declares that “the Israeli regime is the only one responsible.” About acts of violence. After skepticism, the academic authorities, after much hesitation, issued a gentle and reserved statement, simply stating that this text did not express an official position of the university.
The Harvard case is not isolated. In Berkeley, California, a document of “unconditional support” for Hamas – Without a word of condolence to its victims – it gathered fifty student societies. At Columbia University in New York, a group of students celebrated the massacre of civilians as a “historic counterattack.” Similar incidents occurred at other elite universities on both coasts of the United States. We should not underestimate them. It is important to think about what is happening at America’s most prestigious colleges (and at many European universities). A broadening pro-Hamas consensus, with hints of overt anti-Semitism and a complete absence of condemnation of the massacres committed against Israeli civilians, Only those who do not know the ideological climate that prevails in those universities were surprised.
The problem is that at Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley, A new superpower ruling class is forming in the West… This generation has been raised for years in radical hostility towards the West. Even at the cost of overlooking their own contradictions: for example, those same young Americans who justify Hamas’ violence They should be horrified by the sexism and homophobia of Islamists.
We have become accustomed to believing that educating new generations about dissent, and even harsh criticism of ourselves, is the source of our strength. Freedom of expression is one of the most valuable commodities we associate with Western liberal democracies: it includes the right to condemn the West. Certainly, deep-seated anti-Semitism runs against Israel, but it is also inexcusable for being “one of us,” on this side of the barricades amid the great geopolitical divisions since 1947, the year of the birth of the State of Israel. This coincided with the beginning of the Cold War, which the West had to lose, according to the colleges’ preferences and sympathies.
Of the displays of self-mutilation and self-flagellation that occur every day on our university campuses – All things are unimaginable in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran – We may conclude that the West is alive and well in its wonderful and chaotic diversity. At first it is like this. These young people will also be exposed to another version. In the 1960s, major American universities saw the advance of a very radical “counterculture”; But then he confronted the powerful conservatism of the establishment, in a lively dialectic. But today, the compliance of America’s highest educational institutions is alarming, as these generations are accustomed to growing up within a monotonous, brainwashed soundboard. The climate of intolerance makes universities a place where democracy deteriorates: it lacks oxygen. As America faces an election year of enormous global significance, any sign of weakness in its democracy, regardless of its source, should not be underestimated.
The writer of that letter states that his American Jewish community is pluralistic, To the point that it includes sympathizers with pro-Palestinian associations. Moreover, even in Israel we saw a large portion of civil society and youth mobilizing against Benjamin Netanyahu. “But in a moment of tremendous moral clarity – writes student Kimchi – when terrorists are happily exterminating entire Jewish families, you would expect your fellow students of all political persuasions to unite in horror. … Not only did our comrades not condemn this genocide, they justified and celebrated it. … How can we share accommodation, classrooms and exchange ideas with comrades who are willing to justify and celebrate our killing, if tomorrow a Hamas terrorist tears us apart?
The thesis addresses fundamental issues of democracy. Raises the issue of anti-Semitism; It also highlights fanaticism that allows no room for dissent; He does not imagine the legitimacy of the opponents; It imposes maximum protection for some racial or sexual minorities, but condemns others to ostracism. During a heated confrontation between a demonstration in solidarity with the Israeli victims and pro-Hamas groups in Times Square in the heart of Manhattan, the Nazi swastika symbol was seen among Palestinian supporters. When these hideous signs appear among far-right fans at Trump rallies, they are immediately stigmatized. The same vigilance is appropriate on the other side. Unfortunately, the generation that grows up in this climate is trusted by bad teachers. It is no coincidence that those academic bureaucracies, always ready to censor offending professors and tear down statues of embarrassing historical figures, chose this time to remain silent and disappear.
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