There is an amazingly tight fit between opposition to the war to eliminate Saddam and hatred of Israel, something not generally noted by the media. Nicholas De Genova, anthropology and Latino Studies assistant professor at Columbia, was widely condemned for his words at a Columbia "teach-in" on the war: "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus." But only in the New York Post (March 31) did we see a quote from De Genova a year earlier at a pro-PLO rally at Columbia: "The heritage of the victims of the Holocaust belongs to the Palestinian people. The state of Israel has no claim to the heritage of the Holocaust."
The lethal combination of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism (to call it by its proper name) is especially strong on our elite campuses like Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Yale, where shamefully, the large numbers of Jews have done little in the way of counter demonstrations or teach-ins or other protests. Two courageous Yale students stand out by way of contrast. Eliana Johnson and Jamie Kirchick (both freshmen, mind you, under more pressure than most to lie low and conform to prevailing opinion) have written a devastating account of an anti-war teach-in at Yale, where individuals with distinguished professorships (for example, Glenda Gilmore, the C. Van Woodward Professor of History) revealed themselves as mean-spirited fools, spouting lunatic conspiracy theories. Faculty member Dmitri Gutas of the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations put forward the tired canard that Jews had hijacked the Bush administration and were shaping foreign policy for Israeli, rather than U.S., interests. Gilmore, write Johnson and Kirchick, devoted her comments entirely to decrying the supposed international conspiracy "intended to 'shut you up and to shut me up.'"
Here is Johnson and Kirchick's rousing conclusion: "Indeed, the conspiracy theories espoused by Gutas and Gilmore are a symptom of the hateful bitterness that characterizes the campus left in the face of American success. As Wednesday's panel demonstrated, vicious prevarication has become a substitute for honest argumentation. The jubilant celebrations in the streets of Baghdad, the crushing of Saddam's Stalinist regime, and the kisses from Iraqis on American soldiers' cheeks, undermine the words of Ivy League professors who purport to defend the interests of the people of Iraq from American military might. We thought liberals would rejoice at the sights we saw Wednesday in Baghdad. But when liberals become at best nonchalant and at worst conspiratorial at the scenes of an oppressed people rising up in joyous celebration due to their new found freedom, they are no longer liberals. They are nihilists."
Hard to believe, Jim Sleeper, a former columnist for the New York Daily News, and now a lecturer in political science at Yale, writing in the Yale Daily News of April 14, attacked Johnson and Kirchuk along with Campus Watch, which performs that much needed function, as "neo-Stalinists" and "Fedayeen Uncle Sams." As radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt writes in the Weekly Standard, "The absurd are tenured and the truth-tellers are freshmen. Alumni should take note. Is this where you want to invest your dollars?"