In a March 26, 2014 article for The Jerusalem Post, titled Column One: Campus Brownshirts Rising, writer Caroline Glick reports on the efforts of Vassar College Earth sciences professor Jill Schneiderman’s abortive attempt to arrange a field trip to Israel to study water supply issues in the Holy Land.
The trouble started when Professor Schneiderman conducted a pre-trip seminar for students who intended to participate in the field trip to Israel. When the Vassar student chapter of an anti-Semitic hate group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), picketed her seminar, pressuring Earth science students to drop Schneiderman’s class and to forego any plans to travel to Israel, Schneiderman complained to Vassar college administrators, seeking redress for her students whose civil rights and academic freedom were under attack by the SJP.
Instead of taking action against the thuggish actions of the pro-Palestinian students, college administrators once again demonstrated the sort of cowardice that has become so common among college and university administrators across the country. They referred the issue to the college’s Committee on Inclusion and Excellence. But when those vested with the responsibility for “inclusion and excellence” at Vassar convened to discuss the anti-Semitic outrage, Professor Schneiderman was, as she noted in her blog, “knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to villifying anyone who dared set foot in Israel.”
As Schneiderman and her Vassar students proceeded with plans for their trip to Israeli, the University of Michigan student government was voting on a motion to suspend debate, indefinitely, on a resolution submitted by an anti-Jewish student group, calling upon the University to boycott and divest from all companies that do business with Israel… precipitating yet another confrontation in which Jewish interests came in second to the interests of Muslims on a traditionally liberal college campus.
According to the Jerusalem Post, a Michigan students group, calling itself Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), “responded with rage and violence,” staging sit-ins at the student government offices and cursing Jewish members of the council, hurling epithets such as “kike” and “dirty Jew.”
Then, on Thursday, March 27, 2014, fascism reared its ugly head on the Dearborn campus of the University of Michigan. On that evening the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was successful in blocking the screening of a documentary film, titled Honor Diaries. The film tells the story of the unspeakable horrors endured by women throughout the Muslim world, including such brutal practices as female genital mutilation, honor violence, honor killings, the forced marriage of eight and nine year old girls to thirty and forty-year-old men, the lack of educational opportunities for women, and restrictions on their freedom of movement.
However, according to a Fox News report, CAIR wasn’t doing its own dirty work, or even its own research. The group relied on facts and arguments presented by Richard Silverstein, a liberal blogger who argued, “One has to ask why a film about the purported abuse of Muslim women was produced by Jews… ” In other words, how could a group of Jews possibly produce a film that profiles human rights abuses against Muslim women? It flies directly in the face of Muslim sensibilities… the truth of the matter be damned.
In the end, those who sponsored the screening of the film were fearful that the showing would be seen as “Islamophobic.” Wishing not to offend the Islamic community… and perhaps in fear of violent retribution… university administrators canceled the screening, proving once again that intimidation works. But, as the Fox report asks, “Who is being offended when we are talking about mutilation and women setting themselves on fire to escape marriage before puberty?”
Then, just days later, the April 9, 2014 edition of Frontpage Mag reported that Brandeis University, a longtime bastion of liberal orthodoxy, had conferred an honorary degree on leftist anti-Semite writer, Amos Oz, who has described religious Jews as “Hezbollah in a skullcap.” Brandeis is the very same “progressive” institution which yielded to pressure from Muslim Brotherhood front groups, such as CAIR and the Muslim Students Association, causing the university to withdraw a similar honor intended for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a noted Somali critic of Islam and co-producer of the Honor Diaries film.
So what’s happening on our college and university campuses? Haven’t the most liberal colleges and universities always been places where Jewish academics hold forth and children of Jewish families are prepared for lucrative careers in medicine, academia, and the law?
For answers we might refer to a February 1, 2014 Jerusalem Post article by Caroline Glick, titled, “Column one: The New York Times Destroys Obama.” In that column, Glick quotes extensively from a Times report by David Kirkpatrick on Barack Obama’s handling of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Glick writes that Kirkpatrick “tore to shreds the foundations of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism strategy and his overall policy in the Middle East.”
Glick reminds us that “Obama first enunciated those foundations in his June 4, 2009 speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University.” It was his first venture abroad as president and is best remembered for his warm embrace of Islam, for his unprecedented bow to the King of Saudi Arabia… described in the Washington Times as a “shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate”… and for the cold shoulder he delivered to Israel, America’s most steadfast ally.
The thought that a newly-inaugurated president of the United States would take a major overseas trip, passing within fifty miles of Israeli territory, and not pay a courtesy call on the Israelis… the only functioning democracy in the Middle East… was a snub of gargantuan proportions and a major diplomatic faux pas. It was also a portent of things to come in the Obama foreign policy.
Reassuring his friends in the Muslim world of his belief that the violent extremists in the Muslim world were but a “small but potent minority of Muslims,” Obama went on to say that he had traveled to Cairo “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.” Instead, he asserted, “they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
The Israelis, listening to his words from less than 220 miles away, must have been shocked and dismayed to hear Obama refer to Islam… the most violent and intolerant force on the face of the Earth, where Christians, Jews, and others are brutally murdered and persecuted simply because they are not Muslims… as sharing American principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of human beings.
Then Obama went on to say that Islam had “carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed… And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
It was then that he shocked Americans, describing how “Islam has always been a part of America’s story…” He reassured Muslims that “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the (Sharia) laws, religion, or tranquility of Muslims.” He claimed that, “since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.”
So, if we wonder how radical Muslims have come to feel as if they are welcomed with open arms at our institutions of higher learning, and if we are wondering why Muslims feel as though they can shut down major portions of Americans busiest cities by holding prayer sessions in the middle of public thoroughfares, we may have struck on the answer. It is Barack Obama who has set the stage and who has invited them to take full advantage of American tolerance and generosity.
Since the first day that Obama occupied the White House, he has extended the hand of friendship to the most brutal and intolerant people on the face of the Earth. In doing so, he has denied the Judeo-Christian origins of our great nation. He has caused the gloom of a declining culture to fall across the face of America; his chickens have come home to roost.