The Israel Double StandardPosted: January 16, 2014
The prejudice against Israel in diplomatic matters is as troubling as more crude bigotry against Jews.
Victor Davis Hanson writes: An obscure academic organization called the American Studies Association not long ago voted to endorse a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli universities. The self-appointed moralists were purportedly outraged over the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.
Given academia’s past obsessions with the Jewish state, the targeting of Israel is not new. Yet why do the professors focus on Israel and not Saudi Arabia, which denies women the right to drive and only recently granted them the right to vote? Why not Russia, which has been accused of suppressing free speech, or Nigeria, which has passed retrograde anti-homosexual legislation?
The hip poet Amiri Baraka (a.k.a. Everett LeRoi Jones) recently died. He was once poet laureate of New Jersey, held prestigious university posts, and was canonized with awards — despite being a hateful anti-Semite.
After 9/11, Baraka wrote a poem that suggested Israel knew about the plan to attack the World Trade Center. One of his poems from the ’60s included this unabashedly anti-Semitic passage: “Smile, jew. Dance, jew. Tell me you love me, jew. . . . I got the extermination blues, jewboys. I got the hitler syndrome figured.” Yet that did not preclude the New York Times and NPR from praising him after his death.
Trendy multicultural French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is known for his anti-Semitic provocations and for making a gesture that has been described as an inverted Nazi salute. He recently quipped of a Jewish journalist: “When I hear him talk, you see . . . I say to myself, gas chambers . . . a pity.” Auschwitz is now a joke?
Loudmouth multimillionaire hip-hop artist Kanye West recently suggested in an interview that President Obama’s approval ratings have waned because “black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.” In the mind of Mr. West, Obama’s current unpopularity has nothing to do with the IRS, Benghazi, the Associated Press and NSA scandals, or with the Obamacare disaster.
In politics, Israel often finds itself at the wrong end of a troubling double standard.
Secretary of State John Kerry seems to be camped out in Israel these days. The Obama administration hopes to pressure Israeli leaders to offer concessions that will lead to an elusive Middle East peace. Yet even if Israel gave this administration what it wanted, how would the United States guarantee reciprocal commitments from the notoriously corrupt Palestinian Authority, which has no democratic legitimacy among those in the West Bank? Terrorist-affiliated Hamas wants no part of any such settlement.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is The Savior Generals, published this springby Bloomsbury Books. You can reach him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
- The Hammer: How to Fight Academic Bigotry (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Jew-hating “poet” Amiri Baraka, who claimed Jews knew about 9/11, dies at Beth Israel Hospital (jihadwatch.org)
- israpundit: ‘Let’s Burn the Jew’ is not Anti-Semitic? (israpundit.com)
- An Impossible standard: Anti-Semitic wolves and Israel (thecommentator.com)
- New and Old Anti-Semitism (interestingwordsbystephendarori.wordpress.com)
- The Anti-Israel Movement in American Academia (findalismonkeyinthemiddle.blogspot.com)
- Jews, lies and Christian victims (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
- Love of the Land: Not The Double Standard But The Impossible Standard (calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com)
- Anti-Semitism in Europe Is Getting Worse (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- The Boycott Israel Campaign: a Taste of 1930s Berlin (jewishpress.com)