Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review May 19, 2002 / 8 Sivan, 5762

Diana West

Diana West
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Hate U.

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | From San Francisco State University comes a report that should shock America. It is an open letter from Laurie Zoloth, director of the university's Jewish Studies Program, describing a place that has become, in Zoloth's words, "a venue for hate speech and anti-Semitism" -- namely, her own campus. Such harsh phraseology must not be taken lightly. "Hate speech" may be a term sometimes slung around like a careless cudgel to squelch debate, but it accurately labels the acid invective she describes at SFSU. So, too, does the more loaded term "anti-Semitism."

Zoloth conveys what it's like for her to walk the grounds of an American campus she says is papered with "maps of the Middle East that do not include Israel, past posters of cans of soup with labels on them (depicting) drops of blood, labeled 'canned Palestinian children meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license.'" She recounts "poster after poster calling out 'Zionism=racism, and Jews=Nazis.'"

"This is not civic discourse, this is not free speech," she writes. "This is the Weimar Republic with brown shirts it cannot control. This is the casual introduction of the medieval blood libel and virulent hatred smeared around our campus in a manner so ordinary that it hardly excites concern -- except if you are a Jew, and you understand hateful words have always led to hateful deeds."

She writes in the wake of such a deed. Last week, she continues, "the hatred coalesced in a hate mob." It happened after a May 7 rally -- a peaceable pro-Israel gathering organized by Hillel students that drew hundreds of people -- when what Zoloth describes as "a large, angry crowd of Palestinians and their supporters" descended on a group of about 50 rally participants who had stayed behind to pray, talk and clean up. The pro-Palestinian group approached the Jews, screaming slogans that SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan has since described in his own public letter about the event as being "too hate-filled to repeat." Zoloth puts some of them on the record: "Get out of here or we will kill you!" "Go back to Russia!" and "Hitler did not finish the job!"

Zoloth goes on to depict a scene familiar from historic accounts of czarist Russia or Nazi Germany, but not from life in America: She recounts the experience of being among a group of Jewish students "trapped in a corner of the plaza, grouped under the flags of Israel, while an angry, out-of-control mob, literally chanting for our deaths, surrounded us."

Where were the police? Where was the administration? "The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone," Zoloth writes, "and that if they did, 'it would start a riot.' I told them that it already was a riot." Frankly, the rampage she describes sounds alarmingly like the beginnings of a pogrom. Indeed, as SFSU President Corrigan wrote, "This group became so threatening in gesture and hostile in language that we interposed a police line between the groups."

That same "we" -- as in university officials -- however, remained at a safe distance. "Not one administrator came to stand with us," Zoloth writes, adding: "I knew that if a crowd of Palestinians or black students had been there, surrounded by white racists screaming racist threats, shielded by police, the faculty would have no trouble deciding which side to stand on." Her analysis is as troubling as it is insightful.

An armed police escort was the only way to provide safety for the Jews. If you call that safety. I call it an outrage. It is not just the existence of such Jew-hatred that poses a threat to civil society, but the unabashed, unchecked and virtually unremarked-upon exercise of it. Corrigan says disciplinary measures will be taken against violators of the university code. Good. More important, though, is for one and all to decide, resolutely, that such offenses against democracy require acting, and not waiting to take a stand.

JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Up


05/07/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
05/03/02: Pioneering television
05/01/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
04/29/02: It's the misconduct, stupid
04/24/02: Medal of diss-honor
04/17/02: Holy sanctuary or terrorist shield?
04/12/02: Egyptian clerics solicit martyrs for murder
04/09/02: Defining terrorism down
04/05/02: The Wilder life
04/02/02: Acting, equality and the Academy
03/31/02: Speeding to conclusions
03/25/02: Hard to remove blood (libel) stains
03/21/02: The tale of Nixon's tapes --- again
03/19/02: The Big Lie lives on
03/15/02: The tunnel vision of '9/11'
03/13/02: The American Auschwitz?
03/08/02: Hating the indoctrination of hate
03/05/02: Clinton and Enron: Old friends
03/01/02: Pickering doesn't polarize, the process does
02/26/02: Destiny's prefabricated child
02/22/02: The White House heist
02/20/02: Making the grade
02/11/02: Studying student visas
02/06/02: Understanding arrogance
02/04/02: The professor's war
01/29/02: Disconnected dialogue
01/23/02: Anti-Indiscrimination
01/18/02: How much is enough?
01/15/02: Oh brothers, where art thou?
01/10/02: Air on the side of caution
01/04/02: Blacks seeing red at Harvard
01/02/02: Clinton's campaign continues
12/26/01: A tale of two exhibitions
12/24/01: Taliban Idyll
12/19/01: Right is right
12/17/01: Hillary strikes out
12/13/01: Lost files, lost presidency
12/10/01: Revolutionaries never grow up
12/05/01: Immigration reform talk is not just for 'haters' anymore
12/03/01: A new symbol of justice
11/30/01: Beyond morality
11/26/01: Can't keep a good man down
11/20/01: Tough talk at the United Nations
11/19/01: Hollywood's other battle
11/14/01: What's the matter with Sara Jane?
11/09/01: A beef with bin Laden's Beef Noodles
11/07/01: Facing up to the FBI's past mistakes
11/02/01: A school that teaches patriots to shutup
10/30/01: The gap between Islam and peace
10/26/01: The ties that bind (and gag)
10/24/01: This war is more than Afghanistan
10/22/01: The fatuous fatwa
10/19/01: Left out
10/16/01: Whose definition of terrorism?
10/11/01: Post-stress disorder
10/08/01: How the West has won
10/01/01: Good, bad or ... diplomacy
09/28/01: Drawing a line in stone
09/21/01: Prejudice or prudence?
09/14/01: When our dead will finally rest in hallowed ground
09/07/01: We want our #$%^&*() audience back!
08/24/01: The transformation from Green Mountain State to Green Activist State is all but complete
08/17/01: Enlightenment at Yale
08/10/01: From oppressors to victims, a metamorphosis
08/03/01: Opening the dormitory door: College romance in the New Century
08/01/01: How-To Hackdom: The dubious art of writing books about writing books
07/20/01: Hemming about Hemmings
07/13/01: Justice has not been served in the Loiuma police brutality case
06/22/01: When PC parades are too 'mainstream'
06/22/01: When "viewpoint discrimination" in our schools was not nearly so gnarly a notion
06/15/01: Lieberman flaunts mantle of perpetual aggrievement
06/07/01: Is graciousness the culprit?
06/01/01: The bright side of the Jeffords defection
05/29/01: Campus liberals should be more careful
05/18/01: 'Honest Bill' Clinton and other Ratheresian Logic
05/11/01: Dodging balls, Bugs, and 'brilliance'
05/04/01: Foot in mouth disease and little lost Tories
04/20/01:The last classic Clinton cover-up
04/20/01: D-Day, Schmee-Day
04/06/01: For heaven's sake, a little decency!
03/30/01: The sweet sound of slamming doors and clucking feminists
03/23/01: America's magazines and the 'ick-factor'
03/09/01: Felony neglect
03/02/01: Who's sorry now?
02/23/01: 'Ecumenical niceness' and other latter-day American gifts to the world
02/16/01: Elton and Eminem: Royal dirge-icist meets violent fantasist
02/12/01: If only ...

© 2001, Diana West