Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Spitting on the Holocaust to dampen Islamophobia

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

The Jerusalem Post tells us:
starA University of San Diego professor and some of her students wore yellow star badges modeled after the ones Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust to protest Islamophobia.

Bahar Davary, an Iranian-American associate professor of theology and religious studies at the college, and her students began wearing the yellow stars with the word “Muslim” on them around campus last Thursday. She estimates that over 100 student and faculty members are now wearing the yellow stars on campus.
Davary said, “The yellow Star of David with the word Muslim written on it is a symbol that my students and I wear with utmost respect for the memory of the Jewish lives lost.”

My first inclination is to remind Professor Davary that whatever hell her students must be going through - surrounded by all these murderous, racist white people in Southern California, after all - I imagine it is not quite the same thing as being forced out of one's home, separated from one's family, and dragged off to Treblinka.

Of course, being a full-grown university professor, Davary needs no such reminder.
Davary defended her idea through a university spokesman, telling the Washington Free Beacon that the protest is “not intended to make an analogy between the current situation of Muslims in the US to that of Jews in Germany and wider Europe before the Shoah.”

So, the analogy is not an analogy, but apparently something else entirely... just what, however, remains a mystery.

According to
An analogy is a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar.
The University of San Diego is telling international Jewry that the yellow Star of David, as worn by Davary and her students, is merely a way to "raise awareness against Islamophobia," but not an analogy to the Holocaust.

If it were an analogy to the Holocaust it would suggest that Muslims in the United States are going through something similar to the rockin' good time that Jews had in Europe in the early-middle part of the twentieth-century.

Since it is not an analogy to the Holocaust, however, it must mean that the yellow Star of David patch is not meant to evoke the Holocaust.

It must, therefore, be meant either to evoke nothing or to evoke something else, entirely.  Of course, if it is not meant to evoke anything, and is therefore not meant to analogize anything, what would be the point of wearing it?

This being the case, it must be an analogy.  It is meant to convey a comparison of the terrible treatment of Muslims in the United States to something else that can be easily conjured into the mind of the observer... but what?  We already know that the yellow Star of David patch, with the word "Muslim" written across it, is not meant as a Holocaust analogy because the professor has told us so via the university.

That, I suppose, is the question that the University of San Diego, and professor Bahar Davary, will need to answer going forward.  If it was not meant to analogize the Holocaust, just what is its meaning?

Jews are sometimes told by people such as Norman Finkelstein that the Holocaust is an "industry" the product of which is "consumed" by Jewish people for nefarious reasons having to do with gaining power through highlighting the guilt of others.

I find this notion to be something akin to evil because it suggests that the remembrance and honoring of the loss of the 6 million - one-third of our number at the time - is really little more than a ploy to fool the stupid goyim into giving Jews free stuff, such as, for example, a country of our own wherein we can defend ourselves from the friends of Norman Finkelstein.

The fact of the matter is that Davary is an idiot and the University of San Diego is guilty of foisting idiocy upon its students.  The obvious fact is that the yellow Star of David patch - as opposed to the Star (or Shield) of David, in itself - is a highly charged symbol of the Holocaust and for professor Davary to claim that she is not using it in such a manner is disingenuous.

It is a lie.

I have no reason to believe that Davary's intentions are anything but the finest, but this is a hurtful stunt that will do little more than conjure anger and confusion.

How impossibly stupid does the University of San Diego think that Jewish people are?  How impossibly stupid does Davary think that we are?  Of course, the yellow Star of David patch is a symbol of the Holocaust and when she and her students wear that symbol they are analogizing the experiences of Muslim-Americans in 2015 to the extermination of the Jewish people under Nazi Germany before and during World War II.

Not only is the very notion an insidious lie, and an insult to the Jewish people, but it waters down the meaning of the Holocaust to the expense of all of us.

The University of San Diego should be ashamed of itself and the Jewish student body should be, if not outraged, at least highly curious about what Professor Davary is up to, exactly.


  1. Again, who are you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes?

  2. It's an interesting meme going around. "Muslims are the new Jews." It's been around for several years. And is quite interesting to analyze.
    Good article on the subject:

    The people involved in that particular story from San Diego are being thoroughly disingenuous.

    Unfortunately, the utterances of Donald Trump are helping to fuel all of these conflations.
    And will continue to do so.

    1. Also, because we are now into the holiday, the university is essentially incommunicado.

      But, you are right, this is in fact the historical inversion wherein Arabs or Muslims get to play at being the new Jews without having to pay the actual price for that identity.

      I wrote a little about this in 2011.

      The New Jews and the New Nazis.

    2. I think it's less that Arabs and Muslims "get to play a part"; more that Western liberals keep trying to make that their preferred narrative. It's driven by the Western Left and the liberal commentariat. Although, not confined to the Left. Certainly not in Europe, anyway.

      Mike, you sound like as soon as the university is back after the holiday break, you are going to be letting them know what you think. Good for you!

    3. Yes, er...of course, if only The Donald would just shut up we'd could avoid all this unpleasantness. He's obviously the ONE fueling the whole thing.

    4. Jeff,
      Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I don't mean Trump is making any of this happen . I mean that people - and there are many - who seek to put over their particular view of the world, are latching on to the furore surrounding him and using it to justify whatever they want. Certainly, over here, the fallout from the continuing story around his campaign is creating constant headlines and endless hyperbole. Many people - commentators etc - are, effectively, saying that he is "the worst and most frightening thing" and that his existence and following means we must swing even further into certain positions. I am trying to follow what is happening in the States, but over in the UK it seems we are less capable, not more, of having any conversation that we might need. In our media etc he is now seen as our biggest threat. There are people who are feeling that any hope of the world getting a bit more open and realistic about certain realities is getting more impossible than it was even a short time ago.
      To put it simply - and somewhat simplistically - we talk of Trump not of Paris.

    5. I honestly do not quite know what to think of Trump.

      I find it difficult to imagine that he'd end up president, but it's certainly possible.

      Whatever else he might do, he wouldn't run around the world empowering Islamists as we see with the current denizen of the White House. I also find it interesting that he scares the Holy Bejeezus out of an awful lot of people. He also comes off as just plain mean, but my guess is that many Americans are open, at this moment in history, for just plain mean.

      What I like about him as a candidate is what I don't like about him as a candidate.

      That is, I like his willingness to say what he thinks and let the chips fall where they may.

      However, I hated that crack about Fiorina's looks. She handled it great, but he was an idiot for saying what he said.

      As for temporarily banning Muslims, what we need is not a temporary ban on all Muslims, but a temporary ban on Arab and North African Muslim immigrants for reasons having to do with national security.

      Given Paris and San Bernardino - not to mention 9/11 - this is not at all unreasonable.

      Liberalism, much like Democracy, is not a suicide pact.

      Besides, polling data shows rates of anti-Semitism in that part of the world above the 80th percentile.

      Any Jew, anywhere, would have to be entirely irrational to think that introducing more Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism into their societies would be a good idea.

      It's not a good idea.

      It is, in fact, pure stupidity, but we're made to feel guilty for looking after our own well-being.

      I wonder if there are other peoples who have so internalized the hatred of their enemies that they literally feel guilty for defending themselves and their children?

      I tend to doubt it.

      But we have a name for it. Oslo Syndrome.

    6. He's our Silvio Berlusconi who btw was the most successful Italian PM, economically, in a generation.

  3. There is one key conclusion to keep in mind. And that's that in all things collegiate EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is first and foremost a sharp stick in the eye of the Jews. ANYTHING else that flows from that is secondary. The intent is to ethnically cleanse universities of all Jews. I suspect at least one college in the US will do it albeit symbolically in 2016. Picture an Amherst or Sarah Lawrence or some equally high priced elitist WASP school with maybe 9 Jewish students enrolled. It's easy for them to call for an expulsion of Jews using whatever terminology they like. From there it will spread to larger campuses. Thankfully I only have one child left in post grad studies, finishing mid 2017.

    1. I still think that you push too hard, Trudy.

      I think that you overstate.

      "There is one key conclusion to keep in mind. And that's that in all things collegiate EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is first and foremost a sharp stick in the eye of the Jews."

      I simply do not believe this to be true.

      It is true that the western universities are turning against Israel - which as far as I am concerned means that they are turning against the Jewish people - but the vast majority of things, academic or otherwise, that take place on university campuses have nothing whatsoever to do with either Israel or Jews.

      Am I wrong?

  4. They can't even protest actual ill treatment without appropriating the (immeasurably more painful and serious) suffering and tragedies of others. Extra credit if it also involves snickeringly giving the middle finger to Jews. This story sickens me. It should sicken any decent person.

    1. I have to say, Jay, I am going back and forth on this one.

      I always prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt when I can.

      I feel reasonably certain, at this point, that this is more a matter of poor judgment, on both the part of the professor and of the university administration, than it is a matter of ill-will.

      I have been in-touch with the AMCHA Initiative and that seems to be their sense, as well.

    2. Mike,
      It is certainly hard to know what to make of this one. Whether for the best intentions or otherwise, I think we can agree that in lieu of the world political situation of today, e.g., ubiquitous anti-Semitism amongst Muslims, that something about this feels wrong.
      I'm still not sure what I think of this.
      Perhaps the professor would be willing to enter into a discussion with you.

    3. I suppose, but that would require politeness on my part.

      I find that when I need to explain the obvious to university faculty my politeness flees before me.

      Perhaps I will send her a friendly note in the spring.

  5. "For now, it’s a campus protest only. Davary advises her students not to wear the stars off campus in case the meaning is misunderstood."

    The course now done, so the farce has ended. But the fact these students were cautioned not to wear the starts outside the "safe space" of the campus evidences that the professor knew it was inappropriate or just plain wrong.

    1. Yeah. I tend to agree, School.

      My piece last Sunday concerning Harris and Chomsky talked about the importance of intention, a little bit.

      I do not know professor Davary's past inclinations on such touchy issues, but I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, despite however pissed-off I was when I wrote the piece above.

      If she pursues it next year then we will better know what we are dealing with.

      My hope is that she will realize that she made a mistake.

  6. Of course my point of view, is, if you tease it apart, predicated on not particularly worrying what happens to the American university industry. I thought that was clear. When not if UCSD or whomever ethnically cleanses itself of all Jews and my Cassandra call is right, I still don' think it matters. That's why I believe it will happen. It's cheap to achieve.

    And by that I mean, I think the American system is on a terminal glide path. American universities are not only too expensive and getting more expensive, but importantly the value isn't there. It's easy to toss off an MFA in Medieval Italian Lesbian lit crit as being vapid and worthless. Much but not all liberal arts and social sciences might fit that bill. I don't know - maybe college is more of an Avocation than VOcation. But the problem isn't there alone. We no longer produce enough science and engineering people vs the rest of the world. The innovation isn't here. It's overseas now. China produces more hard science PhD than the US now. VC dollars are flooding to Israel not Indiana.

    So perhaps the US university will change enough so that it ceases to exist in the way it does now. Perhaps it will make itself irrelevant. And just like Germany and Hungary in the 1930's that kicked out all their Jews, the brain drain will go the other way out of the US, now finally set free to have safe spaces.