Sadly, at a growing number of university campuses, glib, ignorant and hostile anti-Israel (occasionally sliding into anti-Semitism) sentiment has become the lingua franca of an influential chattering class.
And it's not only in Middle Eastern Studies departments, but campus-wide. I remember dealing with this crap when I was at FIU, long before my conversion, and almost getting into a few scuffles over it. It was when the Intifada began, and the Muslim Student Association held a weeks-long campout near the Student Center showing pictures of dead and/or wounded Palestinians, including the very famous picture of the Israeli soldier "beating" an insurgent, a photo that has been proven (and was already proven at the time they showed it) to be a fabrication, as the supposed insurgent was actually an American Jewish student being defended by an Israeli soldier from a Palestinian mob. It angered me that these people were using the suffering of various legitimate victims to justify the acts of a bunch of terrorist bastards.
It always bothered me that, at the one place where I thought I could find refuge from the world, the world came to intrude so obviously. Then I realized that that was the whole point of college, to put the Real World right in your face and in a concentrated form to have you deal with it, and I became quite vocal in my classes and faculty, more than all the actual Jews I knew in the English department. Thank G-d I never encountered an Anti-Israeli/Anti-Semitic professor (not that there weren't, I just didn't have classes with them) or I don't know how my GPA would have suffered.
I don't know how things are today at FIU, but one hopes that pro-Israel and pro-Jewish groups have become vocal and visible as well. Hiding in the Hillel meeting room won't work anymore.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
[Article] Campus Surprise
From Aish.com: Campus Surprise
Posted by Daniel M. Perez at 10:53 AM