Thursday, 18 November 2010

Anti-Semitism on American Campuses

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Most informed Americans have heard of the town of Sderot in southern Israel that has been the target of Gazan rocket attacks for years. In fact, the reason why the Israelis mounted a full-fledged military operation against Gaza in 2009 was to stop these attacks on Sderot and other towns in southern Israel.

When Ariel Sharon decided in 2007 to pull out all 8,000 Israeli settlers from Gaza, destroying their homes and greenhouse farms that grew some of the best produce in the region, he thought that the Palestinians would take full advantage of their freedom and turn Gaza into another Singapore. Instead, Hamas decided to turn Gaza into a garrison state with the dedicated purpose of making war on Israel. Their aim: the complete destruction of the Jewish state.

Their first tactic was to attack towns in southern Israel with constant bombardment so that the towns would become unlivable and the population would abandon them. But the shell-shocked people of Sderot and other communities held firm, protected themselves as best they could from the rockets, and went about their business in as normal a fashion as possible.

However, an Israeli reporter and photographer by the name of Noam Bedein, who operates the Sderot Media Center, has made it his job to tell the world about the sufferings of the people of Sderot to as many people who would listen.

An articulate English speaker, Bedein was recently sent on a lecture tour by the American Zionist Organization and the media watchdog organization, CAMERA. Bedein relates:

I’ve been to hundreds of high schools and university campuses talking about Israel over the years. But the reception — and the aftermath — of my visit to the Austin campus of the University of Texas was the worst example of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agitation I’ve ever seen.

According to an Internet report by Israel National News, Bedein planned to run a workshop titled “Iran — in Israel’s backyard,” in which he presented the plight of Sderot residents who have been living under the threat of Iran-supplied Hamas terrorist missiles for the past dozen years.

But even before entering the campus, Bedein was greeted at the gates by a barrage of insulting signs and posters, as he often is, with anti-Israel groups protesting his presence on campus. Later, at his presentations, Bedein said that he usually gets a large group of anti-Israel protesters, whose questions he is able to use to make his points about Israel.

The same thing seemed to be happening in Austin, said Bedein, although the protests against him seemed particularly sharp.

“The shock came after they uploaded a video of my speech and the protests against me to YouTube,” says Bedein. “They edited the video to make me look like a demon. They put a mask on my face and made me look red around the eyes,” evoking blood. “As someone who grew up in Israel, served in the army, and works as a reporter and photographer, I can say that this is the first time I have ever experienced anti-Semitism,” he says — of a particularly nasty, medieval sort, in which Jews are identified with demons and Satan.


"I came away with a deep appreciation of my Jewish heritage from the exile. It elucidated for me the perception that hatred is alive and well, and that the line we mention in the Passover Hagaddah, 'In each generation they try to destroy us,' is a reality,” Bedein says.

“What's really shocking is how little even Jews and supporters of Israel know about what is going on in places like Sderot,” Bedein says. “There are so many anti-Israel and even pro-Hamas activities and symbols on campus today that supporters of Israel are worn down, really afraid to present even the most basic humanitarian facts about our side of the story.”

Things have deteriorated so badly, Bedein tells Israel National News, that the greatest challenge today is to “preach to the choir. We have to make sure our own people know our side of the story — to provide accurate information about what is really going on, so we don't lose our own people.”

The idea that anti-Semitism should be flourishing on American campuses seems to contradict everything we consider a university to be: a community of scholars devoted to the pursuit of truth. But, in fact, our universities have become hotbeds of left-wing political action and thought.

For example, one of the most prominent professors of political science at Boston University for 24 years was the late Howard Zinn, whose book, A People’s History of the United States, is being force-fed on our students throughout America. He was not only a member of the Moscow-controlled and Soviet-funded Communist Party USA, but lied about it, according to a recently released FBI report.

It is interesting that the far-left in America has joined forces with Islamic Jihad to destroy capitalism and the American constitutional republic. Apparently, these forces have organized groups on American campuses to attack any pro-Israel expressions of support. Left-wing, pro-socialist groups have always flourished in American universities. That much is not new. But that they now espouse a virulent form of anti-Semitism in the guise of anti-Zionism is cause for concern.

We need more groups on campus that support economic freedom and the principles and teachings of the Founding Fathers.


Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of nine books on education including NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, The Whole Language/OBE Fraud, and The Victims of Dick & Jane and Other Essays. Of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, former U.S. Senator Steve Symms of Idaho said: “Every so often a book is written that can change the thinking of a nation. This book is one of them.” Mr. Blumenfeld’s columns have appeared in such diverse publications as Reason, The New American, The Chalcedon Report, Insight, Education Digest, Vital Speeches, WorldNetDaily, and others.

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