People keep telling me that my concerns about anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within the progressive-left and the Democratic Party are way, way overblown and that a few crazy people on Daily Kos are not really anything to worry about.
They're probably right. After all, it is not as if the universities, throughout Europe and the United States, are turning on Israel and, thus, turning on the Jewish people. That is, unless you think that Israel has virtually nothing whatsoever to do with Jews.
In any case, yes, they're probably right and I am probably wrong. For example, last year Yale closed the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA).
As Ron Rosenbaum writes in Slate:
In one blow Yale had, in effect, given censorship powers over the limits of the study of anti-Semitism to anti-Semites and the like, the people who cried "advocacy." Not just at Yale but all across America. What timid college administrator anywhere is going to touch the subject in the wake of this incident? Why risk arousing a lynch mob of Israel delegitimizers? The decision could have a nationwide impact, discouraging scholarship in the field.
But this is no big deal. Just because Yale is uninterested in the study of anti-Semitism, at a time of rising anti-Semitism, is no reason to think that Israel is not beloved as a country throughout the American and European university systems.
And just why did Yale shut down YIISA?
Yale cited several reasons for killing YIISA, a program devoted to the cross-cultural examination of anti-Semitism that had been in operation since 2006. But many observers suspect the turning point was a YIISA conference last August called "Global Anti-Semitism: A Crisis of Modernity" which, while featuring 108 speakers from five continents, dared acknowledge the existence of anti-Semitism in some Islamic cultures. There has been talk—though no proof—of fear of offending potentially lucrative donors from the Middle East. Charles Small, the director of YIISA, "blamed radical Islamic and extreme left wing bloggers for the bad publicity," according to the Yale Daily News, which also reported that Small "pointed out that it was the largest conference on antisemitism ever, and it would have been absurd for the conference to ignore Muslim antisemitism."
The conference actually dared to discuss anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim worlds?
Well, that's obviously Islamophobic, so Yale was, I am sure, right to close down this insidious forum for the spreading of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism.
Anyway, this year Harvard is joining Yale in expressing their deep and abiding love of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Harvard is sponsoring a conference, starting in just a few days, in which well-wishers throughout the world will gather in order to discuss how best to help the Jewish people through destroying the Jewish state. Since, as everyone knows, Israel is the primary source of grief throughout the Middle East, if not throughout the world, it's primary victims, aside from the Palestinians, are the Jews, themselves, who naturally must bare the brunt of well-wishing savagery against Israel.
The upcoming symposium, “The One- State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution,” due to convene at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on March 3 and 4 2012, transforms Harvard’s longstanding tradition of free and fair academic debate into anti- Semitic theater. Under the guise of free academic expression, the One-State Conference advances the notion that Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people should be dismantled and replaced by a state that would be flooded with and governed by Palestinian Arabs and in which Jews would once again live as an insecure minority in their own land.
So, given the above, I must admit that I have been entirely wrong in suggesting that progressives are at the forefront of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. Israel has never known such friendship throughout the progressive movement, on the blogs, at the universities, among the international NGOs.
The progressive movement is our movement. It cares about Israel because it cares about universal human rights throughout the world, which is why the progressive movement, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, do such a good job of standing up for the rights of women in the Middle East and the rights of Gay people there, not to mention, of course, the rights Jews.
Furthermore, Arabs have every right to persecute Jews, just as they have done for the last 1,400 years, and it is insensitive of me to suggest otherwise.
I am wrong and I apologize.