April 7, 2009
We are all anti-Semites now
"We are all socialists now" Newsweek famously declared in a February issue this year, letting the nation know that our Knowledge Elites -- the cultural establishment that dominates higher education, media, government and entertainment, and collectively fancies itself the agenda setter for the rest of us -- is now officially backing the statist horse in the economic race. Good bye free market, hello socialism. Why? Because we say so. Call them the Knowledge Elites (KE's), who use position and information to shape our culture. Socialism has become trendy -- witness Harvard's recent conference devoted to trashing the free market, or the Obama administration's war on the private sector. ‘Correct' thinking influences corrective behavior and, in tandem, the culture.
And now it is time for Newsweek and the Knowledge Elites to make the next cultural realignment official: "We are all anti-Semites now."
With the Obama administration's new stance on terrorism (it's Israel's fault) and its embrace of Jimmy Carter-style anti-Semitism (we are joining the notorious UN Human Rights Council, which spends most of its time denouncing Israel, Zionism and -- let's face it -- the Jews), and the universities and media piling on, it is obvious that the KE's have reached another consensus: the Jews -- as symbolized by the culture and politics of Israel and, in fact, by some obviously ‘Neocon' last names -- are simply out of step with the world as we wish it to be. Therefore, they must follow free markets, individualism, and Judeo-Christian values into oblivion.
The Obama administration has officially embraced militant Arab positions that, in one form or another, are anti-Jewish. And it tried to bring in as head of one of our national security agencies an Arab lobbyist whose theories on the international Jewish conspiracy were described by even the Obama-manic Washington Post as "crackpot tirades." Carolyn Glick, who periodically acts as the canary in the mine of Jewish relations for a conservative inside-the-beltway think tank, writes in the Jerusalem Post that United States leadership has already decided the Israelis/Jews are " morally and politically inferior" to the worst terrorist groups in the world. Claudia Rosett, who writes for Forbes magazine, puts it this way: Increasingly, in leadership circles, we see "proliferating signs that in too many places, and too many ways, the world is tacitly coming to accept not only persecution of the Jews, but the possibility of a second genocide."
You can see it coming. Call it 1930's redux. Judea Pearl, the father of the Wall Street Journal reporter slain by Islamists for being Jewish, sees the slide, saying that "somehow, barbarism...has gained acceptance in the most elite circles of our society." The "barbarism" he refers to is the extermination first of selected Jews -- his son among them -- and the slaughter that has been taking place in the Middle East.
And, as they did with the wholesale misery accompanying socialist societies, our Knowledge Elites react with a blind eye followed by rationalization and, finally, embrace. The Associated Press -- a mainstay of the media Knowledge Elite -- recently covered a Davis Cup match in Sweden where Islamists gathered outside a stadium in which the Israeli team was playing and screamed for the death of the players and all Jews. Blind eye: it never mentioned the murderous nature of the crowd and the vile calls to exterminate the Jews. A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist whose works are carried in more mainstream media outlets than any other portrays Jews as goose-stepping Nazis out to devour innocent, defenseless Palestinians, in a style reminiscent -- deliberately so? -- of the worst of the 1930s Nazi propaganda. And that bastion of the journalistic Knowledge Elite, The New York Times, linked to the cartoon, positioning it below the newspaper's banner.
At the same time, our best universities employ and encourage faculty who rage at the Jews for causing many of the world's problems, while many administrators either agree or turn a deaf ear. At Boston College, anti-Semitism has become so deeply embedded that one professor felt free to describe Palestinian terrorists as possessing "courage and wisdom" in his syllabus. Columbia University has long allowed anti-Semitism to fester on its prestigious campus, in part because of financial support from Arab states. And Harvard now has a Middle Eastern studies department, of which the faculty and staff liberally use Israel as a codeword for ‘Jew' and is one of many prestigious universities that cheerlead Hamas terrorists in their avowed goal of destroying the Jews. Right behind them are many of our great state universities.
Noted Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh writes of a recent visit to United States campuses, finding "more sympathy for Hamas there than there is in Ramallah." Many faculty back a boycott of peers from Israeli universities. Judea Pearl, who is also a California state university faculty member, says of the growing anger against Jews on campus, ""The verbal abuse is there, the intimidation is there, the feeling of helplessness is there, not only among students but among faculty." Faculty and guest speakers at Harvard, Columbia, University of California-Berkley, to name a few, routinely denounce Jews, Zionists, and American-Jewish imperialism, generally sounding like bad propaganda from the Nazi and old Soviet regimes.
The Knowledge Elites, although challenged now by a growing host of Internet sites and blogs, have traditionally set the agenda for the rest of us. They did it with communism and socialism, led the charge against the Vietnam War, and have shaped a climate in which our government and university elites can ignore results - truth -- and frankly declare the supremacy of statist-led economies. And now they have turned to the ‘Jewish' issue. You can get an idea of KE thinking by watching the recent Golden Globe award winner, Paradise Now, which unashamedly explores "the human side of two young terrorists recruited to kill innocent Jews."
Government, academia, media, and entertainment-a growing consensus is emerging with, perhaps, a Newsweek headline not too far behind: "We Are All Anti-Semites Now."
Stuart H. Schwartz, Ph.D., is a former newspaper and retail executive. He is on the faculty at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.