from Ruth Wisse at the Wall Street Journal, March Madness, the Anti-Semite Bracket
The agents of anti-Semitism are anti-Semites, and unless they become the object of scrutiny, the belligerents will achieve their goal. Blaming Israel for the suffering of Palestinian Arabs is first and foremost a strategy of deflection, intended to divert attention from dysfunction in Arab and Muslim societies. So it does. Where are the campus rallies for women’s rights in Islam, relief efforts for Syrian refugees, vigils for Christian victims of Islamic State? Where is the outrage of historians, archaeologists and anthropologists at the destruction by radical Muslims of ancient monuments and of indigenous societies that are presumably theirs to defend?
University administrations and faculties have been complicit in allowing anti-Jewish politics to subsume other forms of racism and to flourish in their place. Administrators hypocritically invoke free speech in defense of faculty members who provide an ostensibly “academic” rationale for opposition to Israel. By now, entire disciplines use their academic conferences to attack the Jewish state. Campus anti-Israel coalitions exploit freedom of speech and assembly to assail the only Middle Eastern country that guarantees those freedoms. When will educators confront and expose this degenerate corruption of their institutions and their calling?
Israel is in every exemplary sense a “startup nation,” but touting its positive qualities cannot win against the tactics of Israeli Apartheid Week and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The current U.S. election campaign has made plain the greater power of negative campaigning over even the best-articulated positive ideas. Anti-Semitism is the ultimate negative campaign. It flourishes because onlookers who think they have no stake in the conflict choose not to face down the belligerents and because we have not seriously sought an antidote. If Western society had paid the same minuscule attention to infectious diseases as it does to pandemics of anti-Semitism, tens of millions would still be dying of cholera and bubonic plague.