Friday, November 25, 2016

The Pathology of Campus Israel-Hate--Exposed and Explained

Richard Cravatts, who has written a new book on the subject, does the deed here:
While campus radicals fulminate regularly against Israel and America, give tacit support to these countries’ enemies, and heap vitriol on the Jewish state and its supporters—much of it exceeding what would be considered reasonable or rational criticism of a democratic state—they regularly cloak themselves with the protective shield of “academic free speech,” that sacrosanct philosophy which has come to mean that liberal academics can express themselves, even loathsomely, and expect no one to question their poisonous rhetoric or answer back with a vigorous defense from the other side. When the Left derides Israel and promotes false, biased, or hateful ideas about Zionism, the Israel government, or military policies, and defenders speak back and commentators call them on their defective views, the common claim is that the outspoken critics of Israel have been “silenced” by the accusation of anti-Semitism and that their free speech is being “suppressed.”

When campus radicals and Leftist professors are not moaning about how the dreaded “Israel Lobby” attempts to suppress all criticism of Israel, or complaining about how any scrutiny of radical Islam, Palestinian terror, or Arab intransigency constitutes “hate speech” that will intimidate or harass Muslims, they have found other means to insure that countervailing opinions about Israel and the Palestinians are shut out. With greater frequency, Muslim student groups, radical, anti-Israel professors, and even college officials themselves have taken it upon themselves to either restrict the ability of conservative or pro-Israel speakers to appear on campuses, or to deny them access to campus altogether. The radical group, Students for Justice in Palestine, even has a policy of trying to shout down pro-Israel speakers, preventing them from speaking with disruptions and heckling.

When confronted with the possibility that a speaker will voice ideas contrary to their own reflexive ideology, anti-Israel activists often try to have the speaking event cancelled in advance by college officials. Rather than have to go through the intellectually inconvenient process of having to confront views other than their own, anti-Israel, anti-American groups try to demonize and marginalize the views of conservative speakers—in advance of their visits—by painting them as Islamophobes, Zionists, right wing hate-mongers, or fundamentalists. Appeals to university administrators by these victim groups commonly claim that the prospective speaker is known for “hate speech,” that his or her views are too controversial or “hurtful” for campus audiences, or that the political views of a speaker are so controversial and potentially offensive to Muslims that the speaker should not even be able to speak at all—even if some students on campus do wish to hear the views.
The university campus is thus like a petri dish for the pathology, with hyper-sensitive snowflakes e'er alert for the slightest offense, and cynical academics therefore in a position to easily control them. And, of course, pusillanimous administrators who lack the backbone to stand up for sanity and the free flow of ideas.

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