Collegiate Anti-Semitism Did Not Start Yesterday

“This Chanukah,” Josh Hammer insists in a call to arms during the Jewish festival of lights,  “modern-day Maccabees and like-minded fellow defenders of our Western heritage must commit to razing to the ground today’s Hellenizers: American higher education.” In other words, our corrupt system of higher education is presented as the new spiritual threat to Jews and Christians alike. Just as the Maccabees led the ancient Jews in a struggle against the Hellenizing Seleucid dynasty in Syria, which worked to strip their Jewish subjects of their culture and religion, so too must we battle the modern Hellenizers, who are pushing woke morality in our universities.

Although Josh’s parallel is strained, (after all, the Hellenistic rulers of both Syria and Israel represented a form of Greek civilization), his exhortation is sound. Unfortunately, his philippic is coming decades after the battle should have been joined. So it would be fitting to ask where some of the protesters against the virulent anti-Semitism that has erupted on our campuses were while this madness was progressing.

Let me admit my own stake in this fight. I was an academic for over 40 years and watched, mostly in isolation, as the signs of the present, pervasive mental state of our universities made themselves known. As a graduate student at Yale in the 1960s I listened with wonder as my classmates and professors expressed their alarm at how the United States was pushing a Cold War that we falsely blamed on the Communists. One of my fellow-students seemed to envy the French because their citizens had the opportunity to vote for a Communist party. Another student explained that Stalin had been forced to occupy Eastern European countries during his alliance with Hitler to protect their citizens against the fascist threat. Few of my classmates, most of whom went on to teach at prestigious universities, would even admit that Communist regimes murdered their hapless subjects.

I doubt that many of those Communist sympathizers believed in Marx’s historical or socioeconomic theories. They just despised ordinary Americans, who embodied the bourgeois Christian way of life common at the time.  Like our elites today, who view the Chinese regime as a model for control from above, those would-be mandarins were in love with Communist dictatorships because of what they fantasized might be done to the ordinary people they despised.

Since the fall of the Soviet empire, the woke infestation at our universities has become increasingly noticeable. Intersectionality descended on these onetime fortresses of the Western heritage just as Communist fellow-traveling was going out of fashion. The new ideology has filled the same psychological niche as the old one, as an expression of the alienation and hostility felt by many intellectuals for cultural and political traditionalists. What the woke phenomenon has done is give expression to this attitude in a very direct way—namely by waging war against white, male, heterosexual Christians as the highest embodiment of what must be demonized and shamed out of existence.

Of course, academic advocates of intersectionality have no problem with their inconsistencies, being for both sexual deviance in Western societies and Muslim theocracy outside the West. After all this growing band is united only by what they hate and want to destroy.

It is impossible for me to believe that many of those who are now screaming loudest about the strident anti-Semitism on our campuses were totally unaware of the decades of cultural radicalism that preceded it. At least some of those donors who are now withdrawing their funds from Ivy League universities were quite willing to tolerate all the nasty stuff that was taught there until the pro-Hamas demonstrations went off the deep end. As Tucker Carlson has asked quite aptly during a recent interview with Candace Owens  on X: Didn’t these donors care when professors and college administrators were advocating the destruction of the white race and the abolition of gender distinctions? Why were they OK with this madness until they were suddenly roused to anger in the last few weeks? Does a Zionist Democrat like Alan Dershowitz, who is now railing against the anti-Semitism in our universities, see any connection between this problem and his own unfailing support for the Democratic Party and, at least by implication, the Democrats’ open borders policy that has resulted in letting anti-Semitic and anti-Christian Muslim activists into this country?

As I look at the Johnny-Come-Lately critics of our anti-Semitic universities, I am reminded of the French Communist Party during and after the fall of France. While the Germans were invading their neighboring country in 1940, the Communists opposed the French resistance because their overlords in Soviet Russia were then still allied with Hitler. After Hitler turned against his Soviet allies and invaded Russia, the French Communists rallied to and tried to take over the French resistance. As I watch those who are now joining the resistance to our poisonous higher education, I am put in mind of this unflattering parallel. Should we be celebrating those who contributed to this poisoning of our culture, even if they have turned against its most recent manifestation belatedly?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.