Op-Ed: When Professors Turn Foolish They Turn Really Stupid

Posted: 5/19/2015 8:17:00 PM
Author: Steve Apfel
Source: This Op-Ed firtst appeared on the Arutz 7 website on M

Op-Ed: When Professors Turn Foolish They Turn Really Stupid
by Steve Apfel

Academia has spawned an egregious formula by which Muslim crimes against Palestinians are Muslim business, but Jewish behavior towards Palestinians is academia's business.
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It took a George Orwell to point out that higher learning and stupidity make a regular couple. “There are notions so foolish that only an intellectual will believe them,” wrote Orwell, laconic and lucid together. The luminary of that era who left a bonanza of political idioms, among them “Big Brother,” “Doublethink”, and “More equal than others,” found that intelligent people can be gullible people. He’s a reminder that professors may lack a modicum of common sense. He learnt that to parley with learned people may be to parley with fools. We don’t have to upturn rocks to uncover Orwell types. Look no further than a fashionable cause or a conventional wisdom and you’d find them – fool believers clinging for dear life to nonsensical notions.

In our troubled landscape one collecting point attracts more such pairings than any other point. A vast deposit of learned fools sticks to the brouhaha over Palestinian rights and Israeli wrongs. “A sore evil under the sun,” old King Solomon said. He might have been prophesying the cock-and-bull morality play called BDS. The boycotting of Israel is a fashionable cause that brings learned fools out in droves. Everyone and his aunt glow with righteous wrath when the boycott show hits town. Clever people love to hang their faculty gowns on the peg of anti-Zionism. It’s a cause that thought leaders and their disciples can’t afford to miss.

Clever people love to hang their faculty gowns on the peg of anti-Zionism.
A state for the Palestinians is conventional wisdom writ large. Overbearing professors kicking up dust swell the BDS bubble to the point of bursting. If a rousing brass band accompanied all the fuss and bother it would play a rendition of John Brown’s Body. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of Palestine. It will trample over Israel where victims of occupation pine. As foot soldiers of human rights for their favorite people, intellectuals have found their holy grail. And it’s known by three capital letters.

“BDS is a rights based movement which is opposed to racism in all its forms – including, explicitly anti-Semitism.” .

You can picture Orwell beaming. It would take a professor of philosophy, (Peter Slezak at the University of Sydney) to believe that boycotters are there for human rights, or Palestinian rights for that matter. Better look at what boycotters do rather than listen to what they say. True, BDS bullies the world to cut off Israel for the way it treats Palestinians; but not The Palestinians, mind. The focus is more pinpoint. For that portion, and no other, living under the Jewish ‘occupation’ the halo brigade acts. Desperate Palestinians rotting in Arab lands go under the radar. Come hell or high water, academics won’t batter an eye for a people living and dying worse than cur dogs under the Arabian sun.

Academia wears the formula on its sleeve: Muslim crimes on Palestinians are Muslim business. Jewish crimes on Palestinians are OUR business. Let Syria or Al Qaeda, ISIS or Hezb’allah starve and murder Palestinians in the Yarmouk camp and “pro-Palestinians” contemplate their navels. As for being “opposed to racism in all its forms, including explicitly anti-Semitism,” the professor in Sydney relies on an audience more foolish than he. The sacred Palestinian portion is not anti-Semitic? The libel that Jews celebrate festivals by shedding Palestinian blood is true? The claim that evil Jews inject HIV-positive blood into Palestinian children is not an update of the ancient blood libel? The claim in the Palestinian Parliament that not one inch of even Tel Aviv belongs to Jews is not racist? “BDS is opposed to racism…” Notions only intellectuals would believe trip off the tongues of professors.

True, here and there some begin to squirm in their gowns and shuffle in their socks. Young disciples have been exposing a shaming amount of what lies beneath. Professor Steven Friedman, a South African academic, columnist, public intellectual and activist in the BDS movement, is finding it difficult to reconcile naked racism inside his movement with the fine-sounding notions to which he’s staked his colors.

“Those who have taken over the struggle for Palestinian rights from the anti-racists who used to run it are destroying the movement by allowing it to be linked to crude racial bigotry.” Friedman’s Facebook post, however, was too little too late. A black student leader had just admired Hitler’s knack for organization, adding for good measure that within every Jew lurks a Fuhrer.

But spare a thought for the professor. He approved course modules that were bound – even designed – to nurture monsters like the Hitler fan. He sat on panels that talked of Nazi deeds and Israeli deeds in one breath. He kept silent when disciples chanted “Kill the Jews” at a campus jive, and again when they broke into a piano recital and blew those hooligan football horns. He failed to stand up for the bullying of Jews on his campus. What then shall be made of the professor’s too late conscience? Is it better late than never, or is it a matter of self-preservation?

He presents the archetypical case, so we may look for an answer in the remarks the professor made at the end of his statement. “The fight for Palestinian rights is important - too important to be left to those whose failure to distinguish between an ideology (Zionism) and a people (Jews) has brought shame to the movement.” Number one, is not his own movement (anti-Zionism) the ideology? And two, when people hate Zionism do they actually have Judaism in mind?

Ideology, the great Hannah Arendt taught, is a coherent body of beliefs. They must explain the past and present and predict the future, no matter how far removed from reality the beliefs happen to be. As for the tent of followers held in thrall, they must be incapable of learning, from history or from current events. Hence the power and allure of beliefs, of axiomatic premises and made to order facts: they emancipate ideologues from reality. In sum, ideology is poles apart from a mere political movement.

The beliefs of anti-Zionism are a matter of public record. Zionists commit the vilest deeds with the basest intent. The Zionist Occupation is uniquely wicked. The creation, Israel is a colonial project with an apartheid system. Zionists are guilty of crimes against humanity. Israel is a cancer in the Middle East. The Arab world meltdown is only because Zionists live (too well) on one hundredth of one percent of a region home to people of another faith. Sunnis and Shiites would get along fine without the foreign cancer. Zionists pull the levers of power in the West. They’ve made America beholden to Israel. They control the media. Their money corrupts lawmakers. There’s hardly a crime of which Zionists are not accused. No proofs are offered because ideology needs no proofs. Like any rallying cry worth its salt, the ‘occupation’ is kept undefined. Just as Hitler railed against a Jewish conspiracy while hardly a Jew lived outside ghetto or death camp, so anti-Zionists rail against occupation while not a Jew lives in autonomously ruled ‘Palestine.’ And who else but mind-trapped ideologues would crew a ship to free Gaza from itself!

Finally, when people hate Zionism do they actually have Judaism in mind? When they demand that a free, economic dynamo of a Jewish state be replaced with yet another failed Muslim state, do they really not know that ethnic cleansing of Jews would follow? When professors fail to protest the murder of Jews, but instead consider the murderers’ absolving cause, is that not an anti-Semite speaking? When a learned man decries the expulsion of Muslims from war-torn Palestine while he ignores the far larger expulsion of Jews from Muslim countries, at peace, would this not be the mark of anti-Semitism? When banners about gas ovens and finishing off what Hitler left undone accompany anti-Israel protests, is that anti-Zionist or anti-Jewish?

No, the Zionist is the Jew and the Jew is the Zionist, and never the twain shall part. You can’t hate Israel but tolerate Jews.