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The Radical Professors By: Dr. Charles Jacobs
The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership | Friday, January 18, 2008


How bad is academia about Israel? At the latest Modern Language Association (MLA) meeting, the “radical caucus” tried to have the entire organization go on the record blaming pro-Israel groups for threatening academic freedom and preventing open discussions of Zionism. There was also a proposal to condemn the University of Colorado for firing Ward “little Eichmann” Churchill.

Just in case you didn’t know, the MLA ostensibly deals with teaching English and other languages. Politics, however, devours most campus discussions.

The original resolution claimed that anti-Zionists have been “denied tenure, disinvited to speak ... [or] fraudulently called ‘anti-Semitic.’” It was only thanks to vigorous politicking that compromise resolutions were passed. One resolution demanded academic freedom be respected but did not single out Israel or its supporters. The other voiced disapproval of the way that the University of Colorado had come to examine Churchill’s fraudulent record, but did not criticize the outcome.

While this outcome is much preferable to – yet another – vicious condemnation of Israel, Zionism, and academic standards, it is hardly a triumph for high moral and intellectual standards. The compromise resolutions passed largely because members feared that the organization’s reputation would be sullied and that conservative critics would have a field day.

The radicals, it was reported, condemned the compromise as “even-handed” – anything but total condemnation of Israel is unacceptable for them; defense of Israel is doubly unacceptable.

Radicals apparently think there are only pro-Israel groups out there. There is never a peep about the tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars Arabs and Muslims pump into American academia with the stated intention of influencing American public opinion.

Who are these self-proclaimed radicals? For one, there is Grover Furr of Montclair State University, an unrepentant Stalinist who once wrote: “The greatest historical events in the 20th century – in fact, in all of human history – have been the overthrow of capitalism and establishment of societies run by and for the working class in the two great communist revolutions in Russia and China.”

Then there’s Barbara Foley of Rutgers University at Newark, who wrote: “Even when it could be said to have taken on the greater evil of an imperial state – here, Israel, backed up by the still greater imperialism of the U.S. – bourgeois nationalist leadership continually manifests its antipathetic class relationship to the subaltern proletariat and can hardly be viewed any longer as anti-imperialist.”

What’s worse, her communist politics or the fact that someone who writes so horribly is actually an English professor? These people teach your children.

It’s long been clear that a substantial part of modern anti-Israel hatred comes from warmed-over communists. As the working class clamors for capitalist goods at the mall, and “third world” folks dream of the same, communists adopted a new downtrodden minority – a billion Muslims, cruelly oppressed by America, capitalism, and Zionism. But just don’t call them anti-Semites. That’s a low blow, and it curtails academic freedom.



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