Should a leftist professor who believes Jewish “Nazis” control our government and that the U.S. military has “fun” attacking Iraqi insurgents be in a position of teaching incoming freshmen at one of the largest junior colleges in the country?
Dr. Leighton Armitage is a professor of political science in the Business and Social Sciences Department of Foothill College in Northern California. Foothill prepares more of its students to attend nearby Stanford and other major universities than any other two-year community college in California. As such, it should offer a first-rate faculty. But Denis Hiller, Foothill’s leader of Students For Academic Freedom, tells me a highly biased view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict makes it an extremely unpleasant place to go to school. And he feels Professor Armitage’s teaching and indoctrinating students with anti-Israel and anti-U.S. views contributes strongly to this.
Professor Armitage recently demonstrated the reality of this in an interview in the campus newspaper, The Sentinel, on January 28. Armitage condemned both Israel and the United States. The article is quite shocking and has since been removed from the campus newspaper’s website, but can be read by clicking here.
Entitled “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” by student reporter and pro-Palestinian activist Collin Plehiers, Armitage held nothing back regarding his personal opinions about Jews, even though he represented Foothill College. And this interview was supposed to show his expertise in American geopolitics.
Plehiers began the interview by comparing the Ghetto Wall in Warsaw erected by the Nazis to with the security fence Israel is now building to prevent terrorists from killing Israelis. Plehiers implied Israel’s security fence to separate the Palestinian Authority’s population is comparable to what the Nazis did to the Jews. “I find it ironic that during WWII and the Holocaust they were put inside a wall, and now they're building one again, but this time its seems to be the other way around,” said Plehiers.
Armitage agreed with Plehiers’ description of the wall, calling it a “land grab.” Armitage elaborated, “Instead of building on the green line, they’re building in the West Bank and they’re conveniently taking all the settlements constructed, illegally, in that area and they are taking all the water resources.”
Armitage might be excused for his ignorance and for not being an expert in international law. The “green line” he referred to is not a border but actually the 1948 ceasefire line set up by the United Nations after five Arab nations attacked the newly founded Jewish state in a failed attempt to annihilate it. Many people, even American Jews, mistake that ceasefire line as Israel’s “borders.” But much of the land in question does belong to Israel as per international law because indigenous Jews were driven from the region by the Jordanian and Iraqi armies in 1948. Since then, the Arabs have refused to sign a peace treaty or recognize Israel’s right to exist and terrorist attacks have been conducted by the Arab states ever since. Jordan annexed the West Bank and there was no talk of a “Palestinian state” until after the Israelis took the area back from Jordan in 1967.
But because he is a college educator – and one who teaches political science to many incoming freshmen – Armitage’s remarks are alarming. Either Armitage was unaware of the facts or does not want them known by the student body at Foothill College. And accusations of “stealing water” are just the latest canard from the Palestinian propaganda ministries. In fact, the Palestinians in the West Bank actually rely on Israeli expertise to provide them with water services since Arab water agencies are notorious for letting their aquifers become polluted. In Gaza, all of the water is supplied directly to the area from Israel yet the Palestine Authority still claims Israel is “stealing their water.”
Armitage continued, saying, “Now when you wall in these settlements, rather generously, when you take land away from orchards and land that actually belongs to Palestinians, when you steal their water resources, what are you doing?” But Armitage’s knowledge of history was still faulty. Prior to 1948, there were 23 Jewish settlements in the territories that the Arabs seized. United Nation’s Resolution 242 after the 1967 war actually recognized Israel’s right to take them back after the Arabs negotiated a peace settlement. The Palestinians agreed to do that in the Oslo Accords in 1993 but then proceeded to launch their terror war. The area the fence is encompassing is territory still to be negotiated per those accords and is deemed vital to Israel’s security in the event of war. In addition, the Israeli government pays for any “Palestinian property” that is fenced in. It’s a price to pay for peace.
However, Armitage stated the real problem with the security fence is “the Jews” and America as Israel’s ally. According to Armitage, “few people realize how much influence they (the Jews) wield.”
He stated that America is hated all around the world because of Israel. He based his reasoning on the fact the U.S. military is destroying the houses of terrorists in Iraq, just as the Israeli army does in to Palestinian terrorists in the territories. “Have you heard what we're doing now to houses of suspected terrorists in Iraq? We're blowing them up. If you're suspected of being a terrorist your house will be blown up.” Note how Armitage claimed that houses of “suspected” terrorists are destroyed. It implies innocence on those who commit terrorism. People are killed just by suspicion. But the U.S. and Israeli armies do not destroy houses of suspects, but rather of actual terrorists who have attacked and killed their forces, or civilians.
Armitage further accused the U.S. military of enjoying it. To quote the professor: “Now, the Israelis do it with a bulldozer and we do it a Howitzer, and Apache gun ships, so it’s different. I guess we have more fun.”
Armitage proceeded: “if you say that what they (the Israelis) are doing is akin to the Holocaust, what will they say? You’re an anti-Semite, you’re anti-Jewish, you just want to destroy the Jewish religion. It’s so convenient. It allows them to do exactly what was done to them. And what are they doing with the Palestinians, every day? They’re killing them.” He continues, “they’re not taking their glasses and gold fillings, and everything else, as far as I know, but they are still slaughtering these people. It’s exactly what Hitler did to the Jews.”
Plehiers and Armitage both used the words “Jews” and “Israelis” interchangeably in their discussion. “The Jews” do everything they “have learned from their tormentors.” Such a comparison of Jews with Nazis is particularly odious since the Arabs were Nazi allies during World War II and still praise Nazis in their own Arab media.
Hitler built extermination camps, did genetic experiments with Jews as guinea pigs, and did forced labor and starvation against Jews in the millions. The Palestinians laud and reward suicide bombers and killed armed terrorists who they count as “civilian casualties.” Terrorists in Fateh receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority (paid for by EU and U.S. taxpayer). Just as U.S. children collect baseball cards, Palestinian children collect cards extolling suicide bombers.
Jews sent to walled ghettos in Poland did not seek to destroy Germany or other societies. Jews were not given their own country by the Nazis only to repay that act by committing terror attacks on German civilians with suicide bombers.
Armitage further claimed the ills of America are due to the Jews because AIPAC, the American Israel lobby in Congress, controls the U.S. electoral system and all U.S. politicians hide their connections to it. Armitage echoes the basic message of the “Protocols Of the Learned Elders of Zion”: Jews don’t contribute like other ethnicities to our government, they conspire to control it.
And Plehiers lapped it all up. He interjected (jokingly, he averred) that maybe the U.S. should test a nuclear bomb on Israel to resolve the Jewish problem: “You know how Bush wanted to start retesting nuclear weapons, should we maybe just test one on Israel, and resolve this problem?”
Did Armitage disagree? No. He then related a conspiracy theory he saw on television that Israel developed nuclear weapons by stealing uranium with the cooperation of the CIA and then bemoaned the “hammerlock” Israel has on America: “Every year we give them 5 billion dollars, at least for the Camp David Accords...and another 4 billion dollars in extra money.”
One would expect a scholar teaching college freshmen to get his information from hard research and not a TV show. And Armitage ignored that most of the U.S. aid money goes to Israel to pay off Arab countries not to make perpetual war. He also overlooked the fact that the U.S. gives more money to the Arabs than to Israel in direct payouts. For every dollar the U.S. pumps into the Israeli economy, it gets back three in military, medical and industrial technology. Have a cell phone? Much of its technology comes from Israel. Israeli medical innovations have saved innumerable lives. And the U.S. military receives valuable equipment and training from Israeli exports of equipment and expertise. But American aid dollars to Arab countries end up going to pay for more terrorism.
Armitage then bemoaned the 250 million dollars contributed by Jewish Americans to support Israel in Congress, implying it comes from Israel, when this money comes from American citizens.
Armitage then regurgitated anti-Semitic stereotypes about the Jewish people. He said, “they’re good business people, you’ve got to respect them for that, if for nothing else.” He continued, “Of course they’re buying our elections, which really pisses me off. And this stuff you learn over time, it’s not overt, no one tells you this and no one wants you to know it.” He then related his experiences as an intern in Congress and how a congressional assistant warned him of the evils of the “Jewish lobby.”
Just imagine if Armitage used a similar example implying Black people are “inherently lazy” to his lesson that Jews are “good business people,” or that Asians conspire, although “not overtly,” to control our government. This man teaches in a public college?
Armitage’s performance in this interview is not an isolated incident. Denis Hiller of SAF told me, “He (Armitage) is the best teacher here for indoctrinating young students with anti-Semitic and anti-American sentiments. I had him as an 11th grade high school student in a college preparatory class here at Foothill, and he had me reading only such recommended materials as Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore with no alternative points of view. Students in the campus Jewish Student Union, the College Republicans, College Democrats and donors to Foothill College have all had enough of Armitage, who, fortunately, is not tenured.” They are also speaking out against anti-Semitism on campus. Denis Hiller has told me that even the Muslims students’ group on campus tentatively discussed joining with the Black students’ group and the Jewish Student Union to protest Armitage’s comments.
These developments at Foothill College indicate how our centers of higher education continue to be places of indoctrination. The boldness of such a patently offensive article being printed in a campus newspaper illustrates the casualness with which anti-Semitism is now being accepted on campuses all over the country. It appears that the atmosphere of the 1930s in Europe is creeping back into our own universities.
(Foothill College President Bernadine Chuck Fong is conducting an investigation and determining Armitage’s status at the College. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)