Skip to main content

Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow

Share
Opinion

Action required to combat anti-Jewish sentiment at elite schools

Apr 30

Share

Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow

Share

On Tuesday, April 30, student protesters took over a building on Columbia University’s main campus and demanded that the university divest from Israel, which the university has so far refused to do. This occupation at Columbia follows months of similar protests by pro-Palestinian demonstrators around the country. The occupied building, Hamilton Hall, holds a significant historical background with student activists. In 1968, it was seized during the Vietnam War protests. In 1985, protesters padlocked its doors, urging the school to divest from companies operating in South Africa.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ben Weingarten contends that elite liberal arts universities such as Columbia University have long welcomed students with radical left-wing views who oppose Western ideals and offers suggestions for the leaders of these institutions.

If leaders at elite schools and in Washington truly cared to slay the Frankenstein’s monster they helped create, what might they do? Expel students promoting jihad and violating school policies; permanently suspend all groups on campus behind such activities; reject all foreign funding from like-minded regimes; dismantle the DEI infrastructure underpinning it all; then, they would resign in shame.

The Feds would prohibit all funding or benefits of any kind to institutions who refuse to operate accordingly. They would deport all foreign students participating in violative activities.

If Americans do not use every lever of power to force changes in personnel and policies – frankly from K-12 onward in our schools, then Jews and non-Jews alike will pay the price. Today’s student shills for Hamas – which has American blood on its hands, like other proxies of an Iranian regime the Biden administration has bent over backwards to appease – are tomorrow’s State Department officers. 

It says everything about the state of the modern academy, and much about the future of America, that on the eve of Passover in 2024, six months after Hamas executed a Holocaust-in-a-day in Israel, Jewish students are being intimidated, harassed, and attacked by advocates for the genocidal jihadist group – cheered on by Hamas and its sponsor Iran – on campuses these terrorist supporters supported by terrorists have been allowed to occupy.

 

My alma mater, Columbia University, represents perhaps the most disgraceful such example – leaders there having let radicals take over and disrupt the campus to the point that all classes have been made remote optional for the rest of the semester.

 

At its literal core, its liberal arts core curriculum, which distinguishes it and drew me to the school, Columbia celebrates the Judeo-Christian West through mandating the study of the Western canon, promoting the ideals of liberty and justice, and emphasizing the pursuit of virtue and excellence.

 

Yet it, like schools Ivy League and non-Ivy League alike, has for decades fostered and embraced students who harbor views entirely antithetical to these ideals. 

 

The schools are petri dishes of left-wing radicalism that reject the noble ideals that are the foundation of America and the West.

 

Jew-hatred has been an increasingly visible feature of that radicalism, as I argued in my 2020 book, American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party.

 

The cliff notes explanation is that the left, under banner of DEI, divides the world between oppressor and oppressed, and has perversely come to cast the tiny and perpetually persecuted Jewish minority – defender of virtually all other minorities – as most oppressive of them all. 

 

Israel, the collective Jew, like the U.S., has been tarred and slandered as an evil occupier. 

 

To the left, global “justice” and “equity” demand knocking Israel — as jihadists call it, the “Little Satan,” and the U.S., the “Great Satan” off our respective pedestals while privileging our enemies, including Islamic supremacists.

 

It’s affirmative action for theocrats and tyrants.

 

The Soviet-backed idea of Palestinian nationalism, and the belief that the West is somehow the aggressor against the Muslim world, and that that somehow justifies genocidal jihadism – propaganda Islamic supremacists are all too happy to spread to mask their Jew-hatred and belief in the imperative to spread sharia law across all the world by hook or by crook, subjugating all dissenters – fits neatly into the left’s worldview.

 

The two sides have formed an unholy alliance – a match made in hell – both desirous of overthrowing the free world to replace it with their totalitarian visions. 

 

Jew-hatred, the canary in the coal mine for hatred of the Judeo-Christian West, is the glue that binds them.

 

All it took for this reality to explode into public view was Israel daring to respond to Hamas’ October 7th massacre.

 

There are other reasons Hamas supporters have been permitted to freely occupy our campuses – some further reflecting the pathologies of the left.

 

Elite schools have for years made themselves “safe spaces” — for the left and Islamists — punishing every micro-aggression and cancelling every speaker who would dare express a dissenting view from the prevailing left-Islamist orthodoxy, and refusing to enforce their rules, regulations, and codes of conduct on the protected students running amok in encampments today.

 

Misgender someone and you’re censured. 

 

Call for genocide against the Jews and “context matters.”

 

Schools don’t believe in disciplining those who hold the “right” views. That’s consistent with the left’s broader anti-disciplinary orientation. 

 

This is how you end up with defund the police, BLM rioters and criminals getting to act with impunity, while January 6ers or pro-lifers get pursued like terrorists.

 

The two-tier justice system is the point.

 

Greed also explains why higher ed operates as it does. 

 

Foreign students pay full freight; foreign powers fund schools to the tune of billions of dollars.

 

These include Middle Eastern students and regimes whose dollars come with influence – extending well beyond the Middle East studies departments that have for decades been bastions of “anti-Zionist” and anti-American fervor.

 

If leaders at elite schools and in Washington truly cared to slay the Frankenstein’s monster they helped create, what might they do? 

 

Expel students promoting jihad and violating school policies; 

permanently suspend all groups on campus behind such activities; 

reject all foreign funding from like-minded regimes; 

dismantle the DEI infrastructure underpinning it all; 

then, they would resign in shame.

 

The feds would prohibit all funding or benefits of any kind to institutions who refuse to operate accordingly. They would deport all foreign students participating in violative activities.

 

If Americans do not use every lever of power to force changes in personnel and policies – frankly from K-12 onward – Jews and non-Jews alike will pay the price.

 

Today’s student shills for Hamas – which has American blood on its hands, like other proxies of an Iranian regime the Biden administration has bent over backwards to appease – are tomorrow’s State Department officers. 

 

In fact, by the looks of the struggle sessions being held in Foggy Bottom today – and more broadly by the nearly 12 years of Obama-Biden policy – Washington is already dominated by graduated versions of such ideologues. 

 

The point is that the plight of the Jews on college campuses will serve as a proxy for how America goes.

 

Jew-hatred foretells attempts to destroy the Judeo-Christian West.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion