We must not ignore Harvard’s descent into Israel-hatred - The Jewish Voice
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We must not ignore Harvard’s descent into Israel-hatred

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 “That which stood for our ancestors applies to us as well. For it was not only one individual who stood up against us to destroy us. Rather, in every generation, they stand up against us to destroy us.”

These words, spoken by Jews worldwide at the Passover seder a few weeks ago, conjure up horrific imagery for anyone who knows Jewish history. The illustrated Katz Haggadah, for example, shows a haunting image of Abraham making a covenant with G-d, but in the smoke are images of all those who sought to destroy the Jewish people. It begins with the Egyptians and goes on to include the Babylonians, Romans, Crusaders, Cossacks, Nazis and Arabs.

In the next edition, they should add a group that strives to destroy the Jewish nation in this generation: The college leftists.

The mentality of the college leftists was perfectly articulated in an op-ed by the editorial board of The Harvard Crimson, Harvard’s student newspaper, titled “​​In Support of Boycott, Divest, Sanction and a Free Palestine.” With all the subtlety of a blunt ax, the editorial board adopts the Palestinian propaganda line that Israel is the equivalent of apartheid South Africa, and endorses those who want to see it destroyed. Whether they know it or not—and they ought to know better—the editors called for a second Holocaust.

The endorsement of BDS begins with a mea culpa for the supposed “past wrongs” of the Crimson editorial board—namely, a 2002 column titled “Do Not Divest From Israel” that rejected BDS. It is ironic that the editorial confessed how this shift took place: The board gave in to the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC). They rhapsodize, “PSC has hosted informational programming, organized weekly demonstrations of support through ‘Keffiyeh Thursdays,’ and even installed a colorful, multi-panel ‘Wall of Resistance’ in favor of Palestinian freedom and sovereignty.”

The board goes out of its way to portray PSC as a benign organization, but the truth is far more sinister. The PSC is not “dedicated to supporting the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, justice and equality” as its mission statement claims. They are a hardline anti-Israel group that does not advocate for a Palestinian state but against a Jewish one.

For example, their blog and public statements are devoid of any mention of the words “Hamas,” “Fatah,” “Arafat,” “Abbas” or “Palestinian Authority.” According to the PSC, there is no governing body for the Palestinians, there are only the evil Israelis. Moreover, their aforementioned “Wall of Resistance” contained the word salad “Zionism Is Racism Settler Colonialism White Supremacy Apartheid.” In other words, Zionism and, by extension, the state it founded, are everything that college leftists consider evil and must be destroyed. PSC appears to believe this with every fiber of their being.

This is the group that convinced the Crimson editorial board to endorse the BDS movement.

The Crimson’s editorial chair Orlee Marini-Rapoport bragged about the editorial on Twitter, stating: “I am an Editorial Chair @thecrimson. I am also Jewish. Yesterday, the Board overturned a decades-old precedent; for the first time, we announced our support of BDS. I encourage you to read our editorial. I’m so proud to be part of this thoughtful group.” But to be a thoughtful group, thinking is a prerequisite. It is clear that under the influence of the PSC, the board did not think. It simply regurgitated Palestinian propaganda.

The board also fails to distinguish what constitutes “occupied Palestine.” In the editorial, they reference claims by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both of which refer to Judea and Samaria (aka, the West Bank), Gaza and eastern Jerusalem as the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.” That is bad enough, but there are strong indications that the board’s definition of “occupied Palestine” is “from the river to the sea”—that is, the entire Jewish state. It is significant that, in the editorial, they defend people like Marc Lamont Hill, who have endorsed this slogan. In the editorial itself, in fact, the board links to a column about Hill, who lost his job after he said “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” and claims that Hill was fired because he “endorse[d] Palestinian freedom,” rather than because he endorsed genocide. The board, in other words, appears to make no distinction between Palestinian freedom and the extermination of millions of Jews.

Of course, the board tries to convince their readers that their endorsement of BDS is unrelated to anti-Semitism. “In the wake of accusations suggesting otherwise,” they write, “we feel the need to assert that support for Palestinian liberation is not anti-Semitic.” When the implication is that this “liberation” is from the yolk of evil, apartheid Jewish occupiers, however, more than a throwaway assertion is necessary to prove that they are, at the very least, not particularly fond of the Jews.

This is underlined by the lengthy conspiracy theory the board spins in order to claim that BDS is somehow suppressed by powerful unseen forces. They claim that anti-BDS actions are “extraordinary abuses” rather than legitimate political activism. These abuses include anti-BDS legislation that has passed in 26 states, which proves that “Israel remains America’s favorite First Amendment blind spot.” Not only does this extraordinary political power to silence dissent violate constitutional rights, but the private sector is endangered as well. The board states, “Companies that choose to boycott the Jewish state or otherwise support the pro-Palestine BDS movement face legal repercussions.”

The reality is that the government has market power, and it is well within its rights when it chooses not to allow this market power to be used to the advantage of companies whose actions are appalling. Ironically, the Left is more than willing to endorse this principle when it is convenient for them. It is doubtful that any member of the Crimson editorial board shed a tear when, for example, numerous Democratic cities boycotted Chick-fil-A because the owner is pro-traditional marriage.

The editorial board concludes with the admission that they ignored any and all contrary opinions to their own. “In the past,” they write, “our board was skeptical of the [BDS] movement (if not, generally speaking, of its goals), arguing that BDS as a whole did not ‘get at the nuances and particularities of the Israel-Palestine conflict.’ We regret and reject that view.” They reject, in other words, the idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is even slightly nuanced, and attack their predecessors because they failed to do the same. It appears that it was much simpler to declare that Israel is evil and the Palestinians are angelic. This is convenient, as it means they don’t have to grapple with the fact that they have endorsed a movement that would be happy to see the Jews at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.

We should not discount the threat that the Crimson’s endorsement of BDS and its anti-Semitic ideology represents. For decades, it has been fashionable to dismiss the radicalization of college students as a mere passing phase. Once they graduate, it is believed, the students will mellow in the face of “the real world.” This has not happened. For example, due to the infusion of radicalized college graduates, private corporations have become more and more radical in their political stances—such as in Big Tech and Hollywood. And whether we like it or not, the editorial board of the Crimson will be the industry leaders of tomorrow. Former Crimson staff members include Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, which has been known to ban opinions it deems “misinformation,” and Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb, which decided in May of 2019 to ban listings in the “Israel Occupied Territories.”

Crimson staff have also gone into government. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of Transportation (and presidential candidate) Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have all done so. And, of course, Crimson staffers have entered the media as well. The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles TimesCNNMSNBC and many other legacy media outlets are filled with Crimson alums. Former CNN president Jeff Zucker once led the publication.

No one should expect the opinions expressed in the Crimson to stay there. Jew-hatred has gone mainstream because it wears the more acceptable face of Palestinian advocacy, and we must not ignore that hatred when it comes from a student newspaper. It must be confronted everywhere it raises its ugly head; because in every generation, it will.

Moshe Hill is a syndicated columnist who has been featured in Daily Wire, Washington Examiner, CNS News and others. Moshe can be found at aHillWithaView.com, Facebook.com/aHillwithaView and Twitter.com/HillWithView.

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