In this issue

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. 1, 2007 / 20 Tishrei 5768

Columbia's prez meant well; liberals often do

By Dennis Prager

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, really gave it to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He really did. He called Ahmadinejad a "petty and cruel dictator" and many other harsh names. All richly deserved. And it is likely that President Bollinger felt that he had done a good thing.

In fact, however, as many of us predicted, it was Ahmadinejad who won. The very moment the Iranian Holocaust-denier was given a university platform, he won. Even the deserved insults gave Ahmadinejad a victory. Most people do not like their leaders publicly insulted abroad, even if they agree with most of the insults. I thought little of President Bill Clinton, but if a foreign university president had invited him for a speech and insulted him — even if I agreed with the content of the insults — I would have been offended as an American. And Iranians are more nationalistic and place more emphasis on saving face.

It is not difficult to imagine how the average Iranian viewed Ahmadinejad's visit to America. Not only the average Iranian: According to Mohsen Mirdamadi, one of Iran's leading reformist politicians, "The blistering speech against Ahmadinejad only strengthened him back home and made his radical supporters more determined."

But this does not matter to Lee Bollinger and his liberal defenders. What matters to them is feeling good — feeling good about demonstrating Columbia's commitment to freedom of speech (if an invitation to speak at Columbia is a function of freedom of speech, such freedom rarely applies to conservative speakers), and feeling good about criticizing Ahmadinejad. Contemporary liberalism is about feelings, from compassion as the basis of social policy to the promotion of the self-esteem movement.

He and his supporters are mistaken, however.

In case it is not obvious how damaging Columbia's invitation to Ahmadinejad was, ask yourself whether inviting any other Holocaust-denier to Columbia would have been a good or bad idea. The answer is so clear that it may take an Ivy League Ph.D. to miss it. The net result of Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University was to render Holocaust-denial a little more respectable — "more research on the Holocaust" will make sense to some people; and that's all Ahmadinejad and other Holocaust-deniers say they are asking for. So, too, the elimination of Israel seemed slightly more respectable — just let all Palestinians vote on its future.

Why, then, did Columbia extend the invitation and why did so many liberals — such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times — laud the invitation?

For two reasons.

First, because liberals judge social policies largely on the basis of how they feel rather than how policies actually play out in real life. It felt good to show how committed liberal universities are to freedom of speech and it felt good (for some on the left) to give Ahmadinejad hell.

Second, because today's liberals are, by definition, naive about evil. Since the Vietnam War, the American left, including liberals, have been naive about evil, just as the European left became naive about evil after World War I.

That is why there was universal liberal editorial condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire." That is why there was universal liberal editorial condemnation of Israel for destroying Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear facility. That is why prominent liberals — with no exception of which I am aware — all condemned President George W. Bush's use of the term "Axis of Evil" to characterize the regimes of Iran, North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

In a nutshell, Columbia invited a Holocaust-denying, homosexual-executing, women-suppressing, genocide-advocating, terrorist-supporting national leader because its president is the quintessential liberal. He is a man with many good intentions who, like other liberals, judges policies primarily by intentions, and liberals know that their intentions are noble (that's why they rarely acknowledge that conservatives can be good people).

But intentions matter little in policy making. Wisdom matters infinitely more. And there is little wisdom on the left.

There is little wisdom not only regarding evil, but regarding taxation, the size of government, illegal immigration, the effects of affirmative action on blacks, bilingual education, male-female differences, boys' needs, high school textbooks (revised in the name of multiculturalism), reasons for violent crime and terror (unemployment and poverty rather than awful values), the promotion of self-esteem in schools, early sex education, early withdrawal from Iraq, and just about every other major social issue.

In each case, just as in the disastrous invitation to Ahmadinejad, liberals feel good about their intentions and therefore about their decisions. But few, if any, of those decisions are wise. This is not surprising. A generation whose primary goals have included overthrowing Judeo-Christian values, which once said, "Don't trust anyone over 30," and which has rejected external moral authority (God, parents, teachers, religion) is not going to be wise. And absence of wisdom is why Columbia University and the New York Times thought inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a good idea.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.

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

Dennis' Archives

© 2007, Creators Syndicate