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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 31, 2003 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Who Lost the Campus?

By Jonathan Tobin


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Animus against Israel goes deeper than policy disagreements with Sharon



http://www.jewishworldreview.com | American Jews are very good at ignoring the obvious, but they can at least give themselves credit for being smart enough to understand that their house is on fire, just as the flames are starting to toast their toes.


Case in point is the fact that lately, we have gradually come to terms with the fact most American college campuses were hothouses for anti-Israel bigotry. That this realization occurred long after the problem became serious is besides the point. Incidents last year, such as the anti-Jewish violence at places like San Francisco State University or Concordia University in Montreal, have created enough of a stir to put this issue on the communal radar screen. That's the good news. The bad news is that students who support Israel are still placed in the position of a precarious and unpopular minority as anti-Zionist radicals on faculties and in the student body make it hard to stand up for Jewish rights.


Predictably, there is division in our ranks as to what created this situation.

'JEWS OF SILENCE'

Former Soviet refusenik and current Israeli Cabinet member Natan Sharansky wrote in the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv about his recent tour of American campuses and the sorry state of Jewish activism.


The picture he paints is a gloomy one, in which colleges are virtually "enemy territory" for affiliated Jews. Even worse, he returned to Israel with the impression that most young Jews had opted out of the struggle. Though a few were standing up for Zionism (and a smaller minority were anti-Israel), most were on the sidelines, afraid to speak up because to do so might damage their grades and their academic futures, not to mention their social standing.


To Sharansky, the overwhelming majority of young American Jews are contemporary "Jews of silence" in contrast with the more vocal Jewish activists of 20 and 30 years ago. That's a telling phrase, since it was also the title of the 1966 book by Elie Wiesel that helped launch the movement to free Soviet Jewry. Sharansky blames the current situation on Arab influence in the makeup of Middle East Studies departments and effective public relations work by the Palestinians.


But to liberal activist and columnist Leonard Fein, the blame for the decline of support for Israel has less to do with Arab propaganda than it does with reasonable criticism of Israel's positions.


In his attack on Sharansky's position, Fein acknowledges that there are many on campus who oppose Israel's existence under any circumstances. But he feels it is primarily Israel's fault that young Jews won't support it. For him, "excesses in Israel's actions" and "the real suspicions fair-minded people harbor regarding Israel's motives and intentions," explain hostility to the Jewish state.

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According to Fein, if Israel were a good liberal state, accommodating Palestinian ambitions and not run by the likes of Ariel Sharon, then more Jews would be behind it.


The problem with this argument is that it flies in the face of the facts of the last decade. During this time, Israeli governments of both the left and the right have made a string of concessions to the Palestinians. But Oslo did not set off a wave of pro-Israel sentiment on campuses in the 1990s, nor did the fact that Israel offered the Palestinians what they demanded in July 2000 — and were answered by terrorist warfare.


In fact, just the opposite has happened. As Israel moved to a point where even Sharon has come to terms with the eventual necessity of a Palestinian state, anti-Israel sentiment has grown by leaps and bounds. Indeed, the more it became apparent to those who were truly fair-minded that Israel was the victim and not the aggressor, the more intense the assault of lies about Israeli "excesses" has become.


Instead, anti-Israel forces in the media and academia have seized upon the conflict to heighten their abuse, and attacks on Israel's existence are now far more commonplace than they were before Oslo.


But while Sharansky is right about the extent of the problem, his nostalgia for campus Jewish activism of the past is a bit misplaced. As much as we need to draw on the successes of that era, it would be a mistake to buy into the notion that Jewish students were united behind the Soviet Jewry movement — or any other Jewish cause.

MYTHS ABOUT THE PAST

In fact, it was just as hard, and often just as unfashionable, for students to support Jewish causes then as it is today. Although the majority of Jews were supportive of the cause at the very end of the struggle for Soviet Jewry, those who were screaming about it in the early 1970s were a tiny minority, both on and off the campuses.


And though Israel was less unpopular then than it is today, the idea that all, or even most Jewish students, were unified in solidarity with its struggle to survive is also something of a myth.


The majority of Jewish students then, as is the case now, were far more interested in the fashionable left. Their cause célèbre was either Vietnam, or apartheid, not Israel or Soviet Jewry. Today, you are more likely to get Jewish students to attend a rally opposing the war in Iraq (which toppled an anti-Semitic dictator) than you would to hear an Israeli like Shimon Peres, whose views conform to Fein's vision of what Israel ought to be. However, Sharansky is on target when he notes that the structure of academic study has changed for the worse. The rise of Middle Eastern studies as a separate discipline has coincided with the advent of a generation of scholars who are anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian in their orientation.


They succeeded because they were able to tap into the same vein of anti-American leftism that transformed campuses in the 1960s. As faculties became more hostile to those who disagreed with the left, support for Israel has become as unfashionable and academically perilous in many instances as support for George W. Bush.


The unavoidable truth is that college students will always find it hard to stand against the tide of what is the conventional wisdom of the day. For most students, being for Israel simply isn't cool. And so long as the Palestinians are embraced by the political left — and Israel is identified with the United States — Zionism will find few friends on the quad.


Changing this will require not merely more Jewish programming, but a counter-revolution aimed at stiffening the resolve of Jewish students, striking back against Israel's detractors and pointing out their hypocrisy and mendacity. But until we reject the notion that Israel itself is to blame for the assaults on its existence, we haven't a chance.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here. In June, Mr. Tobin won first places honors in the American Jewish Press Association's Louis Rapaport Award for Excellence in Commentary as well as the Philadelphia Press Association's Media Award for top weekly columnist. Both competitions were for articles written in the year 2002.

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© 2003, Jonathan Tobin