Old-school hate at The New School: The university is wrong ...

Posted: 11/29/2017 1:57:00 PM
Author: Susan Shapiro
Source: This article originally appeared in the New York Daily News on November 26, 2017.

Old-school hate at The New School: The university is wrong to put Linda Sarsour on a panel
by Susan Shapiro

As a liberal Jewish long-time writing professor at The New School, I’ve always been proud of our legacy: how the university’s founders provided refuge to German-Jewish scholars Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt and other brilliant Europeans fleeing Nazism. So I feel betrayed that Tuesday, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program is sponsoring a panel entitled “Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice,” featuring the hatemonger Linda Sarsour.

Sarsour is the left-wing’s new hijab heroine, a Brooklyn-born Palestinian activist who has tweeted “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and shared a podium praising her friends Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (a virulent anti-Semite) and Rasmea Odeh, a terrorist who spent 10 years in jail for abetting the killing two Hebrew University students in 1969, as well as the attempted bombing of the British consulate.

Sarsour pushed out Jewish females at a recent Women’s March by preposterously proclaiming Zionists can’t be feminists. She promotes the incendiary movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel (BDS), which sadly just won a historic victory at my alma mater the University of Michigan.

Imagine what would happen if I tweeted “Nothing is creepier than Palestinians,” proclaimed “gays can’t be feminists,” appeared alongside the KKK’s David Duke and publicly boycotted everything Arab-owned or run. My bosses and colleagues would call me a racist and I’d probably be fired.

Yet trash-talking Jewish Israelis is not only permitted in progressive circles, it’s rewarded. So Sarsour gets embraced by CUNY and now The New School, is named one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year and gets celebrated by Mayor de Blasio.

Of course, you can criticize Israel and not hate everything Hebrew. An ardent feminist and Zionist with beloved relatives in the Holy Land, I’m pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian, advocate a two-state solution and strongly disagree with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yet since Israel’s 6.5 million Jews live in the only Jewish country in the world, broad anti-Israel boycotts and bombast clearly mask vitriolic Jew-hatred.

Here’s my test: When someone of another religion scapegoats Israel but ignores the hideous crimes against humanity committed by the 1.8 billion people in 50 Muslim-majority countries, that proves racism against Jews.

Why don’t the supposedly feminist Sarsour and justice-seeking BDS proponents boycott Syria, where President Bashar Assad and ISIS have murdered hundreds of thousands of Syrians and sent 4 million into exile?

Or Saudi Arabia, home of beheadings, honor killings and perpetual violence against women?

Most lists of countries with the worst human rights abuses include Jordan, Libya, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iraq and Kuwait — none of which Sarsour or her BDS pals publicly rally against.

More worthy of slurs and sanctions is Hamas, the radical Islamic resistance movement controlling Gaza, and the actual source of Palestinian policies that keep its own people from peace. They’re best known for encouraging suicide bombings and spending millions in humanitarian aid on explosives smuggled through underground tunnels.

Their creed remains “the liberation of Palestine can only be achieved through the annihilation of Israel,” an echo of Adolf Hitler, their World War II ally. Since the modern state of Israel was created to give victims of Hitler a homeland after the massacre of 6 million, Sarsour’s rhetoric reminds us why Israel takes a hard line to protect its citizens from tyranny.

Though less than 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish, the FBI has documented anti-Semitic hate crimes surging in America too, including swastikas found in New School dorms last year.

While several of my Jewish students sent me petitions against Sarsour’s event, The New School issued a vague, disappointing statement saying it is “founded on principles of tolerance of social justice and intellectual exchange.”

Believing in free speech doesn’t mean Manhattan universities should honor a perpetrator of religious hatred with a bigger platform. Let’s at least be honest and change the title of Sarsour’s panel to “How to Cleverly Repackage Anti-Semitism,” or, more accurately, “How to Further Divide the Left so We’re Stuck With Four More Years of Trump.”

Shapiro is co-author of “Unhooked” and “The Bosnia List.”