Back in bad old Europe? Experiences with anti-Zionist freshmen/women
My first day in YALE – and Mearsheimer and Yale students plaid for ending the US-Israeli special relations…
firstname.lastname@example.org , 09/16/2008
I am a lucky boy, being one of the first Post-Docs at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA). I arrived just a few weeks ago. I know all the other centers for the Study of Antisemitism, there are not so many, two in Israel, one in Germany, now, really new, one in Britain, and that‘s it. YIISA is the first Center or Institution of its kind in North America. Isn’t this astonishing? Has there been no need for the analysis of anti-Semitism in the US?
At the evening of my first official day at YALE, last week on Tuesday, I couldn’t believe my eyes: am I back in Europe or even in Germany? What happened? The Yale Political Union, an organization for (young) students at YALE, did invite one of the most outstanding anti-Zionist professors who did write a both stupid and dangerous book about the fantasy of the power of an “Israel-Lobby”. Well, I am of course talking about John Mearsheimer. He was blaming Israel of being responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the attacks and massmurder of Islamic Jihads worldwide, obviously including Iraq. No word about the political and ideological impact of Islamic Jihad as phenomenon sui generis. Mearsheimer argued that without the “special relationship” between the US and Israel America would be a better and more secure place to life. This is obviously an anti-Jewish argumentation. Israel is a Jewish state and since Jean Améry, Vladimir Jankélévitch or Henryk Broder we all know that Israel-hatred is the new way to express Jew-hatred. After Auschwitz it is of course not that easy (in Western countries) to blame Jews as Jews to do that or that (this does not mean that especially in the Islamic world such anti-Semitic resentments exist!). So professors or B.A.-students blame the Jewish State for every ill on earth. I thought this is not exclusively but especially an European (and especially) German problem. Of course I knew that a lot of Americans are anti-Bush (I am, as a left-winger, not), but most of them (I hope!) are not also anti-Jewish.
But why did the YALE Political Union invite Mearsheimer and finally even declared – by a vote of 44:25 – to “end the special relations” the “US has with Israel”, as the Jerusalem Post did report on Sunday? This seems to be more than a bad joke of some freshwomen/freshmen. It is a sign of the political culture of America. For me, being in the US not longer than some 2 weeks, this is an extremely sad experience.
I think some or even most of those YALEs and also the rest of politically interested America do not know the truth of Mearsheimer: the truth is, his book was, so to say, already published in 1942. Shocking! Really? Yes. The cover of the German edition (Campus publisher) of Walt/Mearsheimers “The Israel-Lobby” shows the following: an American flag, where the stars are replaced by David Crosses. Wow! The Jews rule the world, America is run by Jews. Mearsheimers “arguments” are antisemitic in result, if not intend. Relating to 1942: Same impact, but another time: Germany, National Socialism, in the year 1942, during the Holocaust: one of the most influential “scholars”, Johann von Leers, did publish a work called “Kräfte hinter Roosevelt” (Those who run Roosevelt). The cover of the book shows some “Jewish” people AND, most important for us today, an American flag, where the stars are replaced by David Crosses!
Would those young Yale students have invited Mearsheimer if they knew that originally the “argument” that Jews run America comes from Nazi Germany? Whoever did talk to Israeli citizens of the city of Sderot, where thousands of rockets from the Gaza-Strip did fall the last years, cannot ignore the anti-Jewish impact of Hamas. Who ever witnessed a single hardcore Islamist prayer in Ramallah or in Beirut cannot ignore the Israel-hatred of the Middle East. Whoever has read a speech of Iranian leader Ahmadinejad cannot ignore the existential threat to the Jewish state of Israel which derives of the current policy of Iran. Why do young, unexperienced Yale students vote against special relations of the US and Israel? Who the hell do they want to support?
The sad story of anti-Zionism (which is just the most sophisticated version of Jew-hatred and anti-Semitism) goes on. I am sure, that neither Yale nor the US did wait for a scholar like me to tell them something about anti-Semitism. But what is shocking for me is the fact that American scholars like Charles Patterson did even anticipate such “modern” Jew-hatred, decades ago. Patterson words describe our situation very well:
“There is little evidence that in the future the United States will prove to be any more resistant to anti-Semitism than Europe was. The same Constitution that provides American Jewish citizens full and equal protection under the law also provides freedom of speech and expression to the voices of anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of prejudice. Since attitudes cannot be legislated out of existence, it is certain that the voices of hatred will continue to be heard. Should the years ahead grow more tense and troubled, those voices are destined to become louder.”
This was written in 1982 (!), now we are in 2008 and Israel fights for its very right of existence as a Jewish state. Not only but also YALE students have to learn that the consequence of Auschwitz is to fight all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism of course. To plaid for an end of the special relations of the US and Israel is a sign to the fascist Islam, not only in Tehran: well, friends, keep on fighting the Jewish State, we are on your side.
Yale freshwomen/freshmen don’t rule neither the world nor the US: America will not end its special relationship with the Jewish state. Rather Yale has to end its friendly talk with anti-Zionist youngsters and their academic friends. But maybe I am wrong and YALE academics stand behind those youngsters and their guests…