AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman
Last Friday, the Harvard Crimson, the official student newspaper of Harvard University, published an editorial expressing full-throated support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS movement. BDS calls for a full-scale boycott not just of Israel, but of Israelis themselves, urging universities to disinvite Israeli speakers, to end cooperation with Israeli academics and universities, and end all economic ties with Israel or Israeli companies. Its focus not on advocacy for Palestinians or efforts to improve their quality of life, nor on governmental lobbying, but instead on achieving change through targeted harassment of individuals based on their nationality, a nationality defined by the Jewish faith.
BDS has long been seen as beyond the pale even by otherwise left-wing schools and politicians. The Crimson itself expressed such concerns as recently as last year. No more. The shift in stance is further evidence that for a large segment of the American academic elite, the personal is political. Targeting individuals’ livelihoods is legitimate if pursued for justified political ends. In other words, it’s cancel culture on a national scale.
Why should we care what college students think? Well, as today’s political battles over Critical Race Theory and other previously obscure left-wing academic obsessions prove, what happens on college campuses does not stay on college campuses. It enters the mainstream of American politics.
College students are no strangers to poorly thought-out political positions, of course, especially those who perceive themselves as attending elite institutions. On February 9, 1933, ten days after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, members of the Oxford Union society voted 275 to 153 to declare that they would “under no circumstances fight for [their] King and country.” Winston Churchill was alleged to have remarked that “if you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative at 40, you have no brain,” though the accuracy of that statement is dubious. Nonetheless, it is accepted that young people will be idealistic and, believing anything is possible, see a refusal to address wrongs as a choice rather than a compromise with reality.
Likewise, anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism are not new features on campuses. As far back as 1920, Harvard was a leading advocate for quotas limiting the number of Jewish students admitted. “The anti-Semitic feeling among students is increasing, and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews,” Harvard’s President Lowell wrote in a 1922 letter. “If [the] number [of Jews] should become 40 percent of the student body, the race feeling would become intense. If every college in the country would take a limited proportion of Jews, I suspect we should go a long way toward eliminating race feeling among students.”
In various forms, the prejudice has persisted to such a degree that the Trump administration launched a federal civil rights probe into anti-Semitism on college campuses.
In endorsing BDS, therefore, the Crimson is echoing Harvard traditions both recent and historic, even if they are not the sort of examples anyone should want to follow. While the Crimson addresses charges that BDS is antisemitic, the editorial provides no rebuttal, merely assertion. “In the wake of accusations suggesting otherwise, we feel the need to assert that support for Palestinian liberation is not antisemitic,” the paper says. “We unambiguously oppose and condemn antisemitism in every and all forms, including those times when it shows up on the fringes of otherwise worthwhile movements.”
The problem is that BDS is not merely about political protest against the actions of the Israeli government, but about targeted harassment of anyone and anything associated with or sympathetic to the nation of Israel, including many Americans of Jewish faith. BDS is not about a pro-Palestinian student refusing to travel to Israel or buy Israeli goods. It is about not allowing Jewish students to study abroad in Israel. It is about professors refusing to write recommendations for Jewish students. It is about prohibiting other students from attending a speech by the Israeli Ambassador. It is, for all practical purposes, a campaign of cancelation against many Jews. Moreover, it ignores that the state of Israel was created specifically as a haven for Jews from worldwide persecution throughout history. To attack Israel’s existence is, at best, to turn a blind eye to the reality of this persecution.
The ascendency of the BDS movement at Harvard represents something else, as well: the triumph of a “control freak” Marxist form of politics which is also evident in Critical Race Theory. The Crimson’s endorsement of BDS proves that ambitious Harvard students have now normalized the idea that the weaponization of social justice language against dissenters and critics is the way you get ahead. That is scary. Already, this sort of young person dominates the staffs of congressional Democratic offices and think tanks in D.C. David Shor, Barack Obama’s pollster, who was himself driven from a job for “wrong think,” has called out the hijacking of the Democratic Party by this clique of over-educated young people who have installed the ethos of petty academic warfare into their party politics.
The people it attracts are a different sort entirely from the idealists Churchill spoke of. Wallace Sayre, a professor at Columbia University, quipped in 1973 that “academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.” Movements like BDS and CRT have sought to increase the stakes of academic disputes, allowing those involved to pretend that what is at issue is not personal egos and ambition, but rather social justice and the salvation of humanity. Naturally, when they graduate, they try to escalate these disputes to the national level.
While the populist realignment may keep many of the BDS crowd mostly out of electoral politics for some time, it is harder for any American to escape the influence these students will have once they begin to climb the corporate ladder. The editorial writers for the Crimson are not just tomorrow’s White House Correspondents, they are also Disney’s next President of General Entertainment.
Americans should be concerned not because university students have silly issue positions. They should be concerned because—as BDS’s mainstreaming at Harvard shows—we are educating a generation of tyrannical control freaks who believe free speech is violence, and that Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter could lead to genocide. It is a good first step for Florida to adopt legislation like the Stop Woke Act. In the long run, however, what has to be done is not change the topics taught or even the slant, but the principals underpinning the education to begin with.
Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
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IMHO: The younger “college educated” population always have some off the wall cause to stir up shit for Klaus Schwab and his asylum escapees. If we had a decent Main Stream Media that would refuse to cover their Biden Sh!t actions, they would fade away due to lack of coverage. Where are the real and honest journalists? Paddling their pudds in cadence to Schwabs’ communist catharsis for the bribes he pays them? It is sad.
It has been obvious fo a long time that Harvard should be put under a 24/7 surveillance for un -American activities and be put on the watch list along with it’s students..
It’s alarming that the general public does not realize that this is an active, powerful, revolution against the very core of the U.S. Constitution and the most imminent threat to the very existence of our country as we know it.
We need to regain control of our education system, which has been hijacked by Marxists, right from K-12 through post grad.
Also, establish a more constitutional oriented media to rebut the spurious “reporting” of the Marxist oriented msm.
Guess they forgot what our Lord said. We should boycott them. Another ignorant establishment.
And yes, Mr. Biden should think twice also. After all, You are a devout Catholic (Ha)
I will bless those who bless you,I will curse those who curse you”.God said that.In 1948 Britain did not heed GODS warning and lost the Empire.If The US, turns it’s back on Israel,It too will be cursed.
And WHAT makes that so-called higher learning institute America’s TOP university? Answer- the university’s willingness to turn America into a Marxist state!!
Seems like it’s time to stop funding these universities. Start with Harvard and keep adding to the list. When they get less money to blow on their ridiculous liberal causes, they’ll be in a position where they can’t continue targeting conservatives. These libs are anti Israel which just shows the arrogance and ignorance of our educational system. Funny thing is that over the last year I’ve heard about all these people who received their education through Harvard and it’s been quite a few. Based on performance by those graduates, there’s nothing impressive about any of them. They know where they can put that Harvard diploma!
Breaking News……Harvard definitely is NOT the top university! When you have uneducated students wanting to boycott Israel and all Israelies. They need to learn about the history of WWII. Our universities are not an educational institution, but only political indoctrination of our youth.
What a waste.
Religion aside, Israel is essential to stability in the Middle East. We, as a country, need to support Israel as a strategic partner in and with our military posture.
There is no religion ASIDE- read your Bible– If you curse ISRAEL– GOD will curse YOU.
I know God’s timing is not the same as ours, but I yearn for the time when He takes back His universe and all people who are allowed into that universe will obey His laws and ways. The people who will be allowed will be ones who ask Christ Jesus to save them from their sin. God is not done with Israel. Jerusalem is Jesus’ city, and He will reign there soon and many countries will go to offer Him thanks and praise. The Hebrew nation was to prepare the world for Christ’s birth. The lamb without blemish sacrifice was a picture of Christ. Some of them blew it, but God always had a remnant, and they will be resurrected to reign with Him for a thousand years. These young blowhards had better turn away from their antichrist ways, or they can forget an eternal paradise.
These evil idiots support people who strap bomb vests on their kids and send them over to kill kids having pizza. The ultimate goal is now and has been since 48 to drive the israelis into the sea. Btw, ive never heard of a jewish mother sending her kid out in a suicide vest. Folks, if you’ve any influence at all over your gkids college choices make your voice heard before evil becomes part of their thinking apparatus. Once indoctrinated the deprogramming can be difficult.
cancel Harvard and those other so called educational institutions. a degree from that POS means nothing today.
Harvard and other “top” universities are dedicated to imprinting young minds with “acceptable” thoughts. This is an indoctrination, not an education.
If this is the kind of stuff Harvard teaches, it surely is NOT a top university in The United States
I wonder what % of Harvard students and faculty actually believe in this BS? I would like to see some statistics behind the headlines, just to keep things on the up and up.
When a nation goes against God’s nation of Israel, it will face the consequences of such action. More and more, the USA is rebelling against God so the punishment will continue to get worse. It is time to truly REPENT.
The BDS movement echoes the statements of Tlaib who said, “Palestine from the river to the sea.” If the fake nation of “Palestine” went from the river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean). Israel (and Israelis) would cease to exist. Don’t just listen to their “explanations,” investigate their MANIFESTO.
Probably during the tribulation all nations will be against Israel, and then the battle of armageddon will end it all. Thankfully the church will be gone before that time.
my other reply was directed at Max. I must have slipped a notch!
I would beg to differ about Harvard being the top university any more. There are several smaller colleges that deserve higher ranking than the Northeastern “big name” ones.
AMEN to that!
America’s top university is Harvard? Not in my mind. It’s just another far left group of Godless socialists. They have certainly fallen far from what they used to be and what they used to stand for.
You are so right! What happened to “Diversity and Inclusion” in this situation with peope of all religions and races?
Kinda like the Jewish members of Congress attempting to eradicate the 2nd Amdmnt whenever an opportunity presents itself.Now they know how freedom loving Americans feel.God bless Israel and the Israely people.