The opinion piece by New Voices Editor Ben Sales sweeps under the rug the Israel-bashing that is an everyday occurrence in Middle East studies and political science classes and programs on campuses throughout the United States and Canada — as in the rest of the world, including (surprise?) Israel (“Campuses Are Safe For Pro-Israel Students,” April 1).
One way this is done is, in Daniel Moynihan’s words, to define deviancy down. That is, unable to deal with the deviancy (Israel bashing), the bar has been lowered as to what constitutes “bashing” by accepting the narratives of Israel’s enemies that it is Israel and its policies that are the problem (writer Peter Beinart’s theme) and that free speech allows the kind of abuse of Israel that would never be permitted for any other group, such as women, blacks, gays, Hispanics — you name it.
Those Jews who tolerate this criticism use any excuse, no matter how absurd, to avoid confronting the bashers. Excuses like “we won’t stoop to their level by fighting back” or believing that rubbing elbows with Muslim students moderates them. And they not only abandon, but even criticize and attack those students, professors and organizations who fight back, making Israel’s excellent case (even with the warts) and exposing the verbal (and physical) terrorism of Israel’s enemies.
The results of this serious Jewish leadership problem are that Jewish students are being thrown to the wolves and Israel is losing the next generation.