The Disgraceful Boycott in Britain

One British professor emailed and called it "monstrous." Another wrote that  "We live at a time of insane politics." And distinguished retired professor in London writes that

"just because we (as also in your country) have dangerous fanatics, please do not consign us to limbo. We need to keep communicating and fighting these battles against fanatics together, be they fascist or whatever."

A Swedish friend calls it "a symptom of this pervasive sickness," the obsessive hatred of America and Israel that has now resulted in a boycott vote by a university professors' union  in Britain to blackball Israeli professors and institutions who do not publicly denounce Israel's "apartheid policies."

You can tell moral people by their capacity to feel guilt about a deeply shameful event. You can also tell the clueless ones or the useful fools, by their inability to get what just happened. 

In Europe, Stalin lives.

On May 29 a totalitarian faction of the Socialist Workers' Party (UK)  rammed through a boycott resolution against Israel in the British professors' union NATFHE.  It looks like George Galloway's former Socialist Workers Party has finally drawn blood, in its long campaign to demonize Israel. You may remember Mr. Galloway as the Member of Parliament who  told Syria's dictator Assad a few months ago that "Jerusalem and Baghdad are two beautiful Arab daughters being raped by the United States and Israel."  Those are of course killing words in the Muslim world. The boycotters are unrepentant Stalinists, now deeply entrenched in academic unions.  It is a national disgrace.

When Americans watch TV news scenes of terrorist carnage on children and women, they usually tend to sympathize with the victims ——— even if they are Jews in Israel. The UK is different. Over there, anti—Israel propaganda has been so pervasive over thirty years that millions of BBC—watchers have internalized the leftist story line. They know that the Jews are evil and the Arabs are good. How do they know? The BBC has told them so every day of their lives, and of course George Orwell's Ministry of Truth these days is the hand—puppet of the Hard Left. Wall—to—wall propaganda does work.

Americans tend to think of the UK as having the most decent people in the world, and millions of them really are. But British politics has been much more divisive than America's. World War I dealt a much more devastating blow to a whole generation. Britain barely survived World War II by a great stroke of luck ——— America's entry into the War. The breakdown of the Empire still hurts, however much the Brits deny it. And class warfare has been far more vicious in Britain than Americans can ever understand. The socialists simply bankrupted the whole upper class as a deliberate act of policy. What US Democrats only dream about, the Labour Party actually achieved. And yes, even National Socialism had its enthusiastic supporters in the British Isles, including King Edward VIII, who tried to make a deal with Hitler to become his official puppet king if Britain fell.

Perhaps most dangerously, the British Left has never had to renounce its Stalinist past.  Ghastly worshippers of Stalin like Sydney and Beatrice Webb ———  who knew all about the purges and massacres in Russia ——— are still celebrated, and their kind lives on. Churchill's damning phrase about "bloody—minded professors" applies to most of the famous English intellectuals of the 20th century. It was the philosopher A.J. Ayer who wondered why Kingsley Amis kept bringing up Stalin's Ukrainian genocide, "Why do you keep talking about five million dead?" As if mass murder was just the price the peasants had to pay for human progress.   A recent BBC poll a majority named Karl Marx as the greatest philosopher of all time. One hundred million dead people say otherwise.

Bloody minded professors, indeed.

And today they are back. What happened a few days ago in London is nothing new. It is just another chapter in a long and tragic story, which Britain, of all countries, should not allow to tar its good name.

As my Swedish friend writes,

" Something profoundly wrong is going on all around me, and it is slowly coming home to me — a matter of the past few months and even days — that I have been living naively in a very different Europe than the one I thought I was living in. ... the Europe I thought I was living in has been disappearing for decades, and hardly exists any more. ... I now see what I have at some level understood all along: The West did not win the cold war, because the entire leftist ethos is still with us, occupying the moral high ground in the West, though it goes under other names such as PC these days. I am not familiar enough with the US today to know, but for Europe nothing has changed, no lesson has been learned.. instead of supporting Pol Pot's glorious revolutution inDemocratic Kampuchea they now support "the Palestinian cause" against Israel... And so I have returned at long last to the Academic boycott, which I think is simply a symptom of this pervasive sickness..."

It is now time for Americans and Europeans to wake up. There is still time to stand for something good and decent, before a new wave of totalitarianism gains ground. In Britain and America, the Left already owns most  universities and media outlets, and free speech is non—existent in those places. For the neo—Stalinist radicals, blackballing Israel's scholars is just one victory in a long war.

"Academic freedom" is just another name for free speech. Everyone with a care for free speech therefore has a simple choice: Do I speak out against plain evil? Or do I keep my head down and hope somebody else will do the job?

James Lewis is a frequent contributor.

One British professor emailed and called it "monstrous." Another wrote that  "We live at a time of insane politics." And distinguished retired professor in London writes that

"just because we (as also in your country) have dangerous fanatics, please do not consign us to limbo. We need to keep communicating and fighting these battles against fanatics together, be they fascist or whatever."

A Swedish friend calls it "a symptom of this pervasive sickness," the obsessive hatred of America and Israel that has now resulted in a boycott vote by a university professors' union  in Britain to blackball Israeli professors and institutions who do not publicly denounce Israel's "apartheid policies."

You can tell moral people by their capacity to feel guilt about a deeply shameful event. You can also tell the clueless ones or the useful fools, by their inability to get what just happened. 

In Europe, Stalin lives.

On May 29 a totalitarian faction of the Socialist Workers' Party (UK)  rammed through a boycott resolution against Israel in the British professors' union NATFHE.  It looks like George Galloway's former Socialist Workers Party has finally drawn blood, in its long campaign to demonize Israel. You may remember Mr. Galloway as the Member of Parliament who  told Syria's dictator Assad a few months ago that "Jerusalem and Baghdad are two beautiful Arab daughters being raped by the United States and Israel."  Those are of course killing words in the Muslim world. The boycotters are unrepentant Stalinists, now deeply entrenched in academic unions.  It is a national disgrace.

When Americans watch TV news scenes of terrorist carnage on children and women, they usually tend to sympathize with the victims ——— even if they are Jews in Israel. The UK is different. Over there, anti—Israel propaganda has been so pervasive over thirty years that millions of BBC—watchers have internalized the leftist story line. They know that the Jews are evil and the Arabs are good. How do they know? The BBC has told them so every day of their lives, and of course George Orwell's Ministry of Truth these days is the hand—puppet of the Hard Left. Wall—to—wall propaganda does work.

Americans tend to think of the UK as having the most decent people in the world, and millions of them really are. But British politics has been much more divisive than America's. World War I dealt a much more devastating blow to a whole generation. Britain barely survived World War II by a great stroke of luck ——— America's entry into the War. The breakdown of the Empire still hurts, however much the Brits deny it. And class warfare has been far more vicious in Britain than Americans can ever understand. The socialists simply bankrupted the whole upper class as a deliberate act of policy. What US Democrats only dream about, the Labour Party actually achieved. And yes, even National Socialism had its enthusiastic supporters in the British Isles, including King Edward VIII, who tried to make a deal with Hitler to become his official puppet king if Britain fell.

Perhaps most dangerously, the British Left has never had to renounce its Stalinist past.  Ghastly worshippers of Stalin like Sydney and Beatrice Webb ———  who knew all about the purges and massacres in Russia ——— are still celebrated, and their kind lives on. Churchill's damning phrase about "bloody—minded professors" applies to most of the famous English intellectuals of the 20th century. It was the philosopher A.J. Ayer who wondered why Kingsley Amis kept bringing up Stalin's Ukrainian genocide, "Why do you keep talking about five million dead?" As if mass murder was just the price the peasants had to pay for human progress.   A recent BBC poll a majority named Karl Marx as the greatest philosopher of all time. One hundred million dead people say otherwise.

Bloody minded professors, indeed.

And today they are back. What happened a few days ago in London is nothing new. It is just another chapter in a long and tragic story, which Britain, of all countries, should not allow to tar its good name.

As my Swedish friend writes,

" Something profoundly wrong is going on all around me, and it is slowly coming home to me — a matter of the past few months and even days — that I have been living naively in a very different Europe than the one I thought I was living in. ... the Europe I thought I was living in has been disappearing for decades, and hardly exists any more. ... I now see what I have at some level understood all along: The West did not win the cold war, because the entire leftist ethos is still with us, occupying the moral high ground in the West, though it goes under other names such as PC these days. I am not familiar enough with the US today to know, but for Europe nothing has changed, no lesson has been learned.. instead of supporting Pol Pot's glorious revolutution inDemocratic Kampuchea they now support "the Palestinian cause" against Israel... And so I have returned at long last to the Academic boycott, which I think is simply a symptom of this pervasive sickness..."

It is now time for Americans and Europeans to wake up. There is still time to stand for something good and decent, before a new wave of totalitarianism gains ground. In Britain and America, the Left already owns most  universities and media outlets, and free speech is non—existent in those places. For the neo—Stalinist radicals, blackballing Israel's scholars is just one victory in a long war.

"Academic freedom" is just another name for free speech. Everyone with a care for free speech therefore has a simple choice: Do I speak out against plain evil? Or do I keep my head down and hope somebody else will do the job?

James Lewis is a frequent contributor.