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
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
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
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