Campus human rights patrol fails to lambaste Turkey
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With Turkish President Erdogan’s crackdown on tens of thousands of university professors, teachers, and intellectuals, American academic associations swung into high gear not only to denounce the actions but also to call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Turkey.

Amnesty International’s revelations that arrested Turkish “opponents” of the regime had been hogtied, pressed together like sardines and raped drew special outrage from American academics, ever eager to tout their sanctimonious bona fides by standing in the forefront against human rights abuses wherever they materialize.

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On campuses across America, progressive student organizations called for the first week of school to be known as Turkey Fascist Week.

Of course none of that happened. The Turks are not Jews.

The incongruity of academia’s reaction to Turkey’s brutal crackdown on freedom versus the often fabricated crimes of which Israel is falsely accused, tells many of us what we already know. There is one standard for Israel and another for the rest of the world. That standard has far and away less to do with Zionism than traditional anti-Semitism.

Those of us who are part of the academic community have known this for decades. Scratch an anti-Zionist and you will find a virulent anti-Semite waiting to crawl out.

Although it was once convenient to dismiss such observations as anecdotal and unrepresentative, now the AMCHA Initiative, a campus anti-Semitism watchdog group, documents empirically what we all know. Their recent study shows that 2016 has been a banner year for anti-Semitism on campus.

On the 113 campuses with the largest Jewish enrollment, anti-Semitic incidents have increased nearly 50 percent over the first six months of 2015. These incidents include suppression of speech and assembly through organized and planned disruption and hindrance of the movement of Jewish students. And lest one think only Zionists are shut down, so too are Jewish scholars talking about topics that have nothing to do with the Middle East conflict.

If you want a predictor of anti-Semitism on campus, simply look at whether or not the campus has passed a faculty-supported BDS resolution against Israel.

Why does anti-Semitism flourish on campuses that claim to be bastions of sensitivity in speech and decency in behavior? Because anti-Semitism is the sandbox of the Left. On campus, Israel is the only state whose very existence is denounced. Call for the extinction of any other state in the world and you will be hauled before a diversity and sensitivity committee.

The Left dominates the campus in the social sciences and humanities. Finding a conservative in a sociology department is as likely as finding a functioning church in the ISIS caliphate. Faculty recruitment’s requirement that applicants provide an essay on what they will do for diversity is a tacit and sometimes open political test.

A New Class, in the genre of Milovan Djilas’ writing, has taken root in academia. Whereas a generation ago administrators were recruited from the faculty, there is now a new class of professional administrators who have survived the intellectual challenges of a degree in educational administration. These administrators have created a “shadow university” that advances the leftist political agenda in which they were indoctrinated in graduate school.

They are imbued with classic anti-Semitism as well as anti-Zionism, both of which are intrinsic to the Left’s interpretation of the world. It is no accident that anti-Semitism is far more prevalent on campus now than it was a generation ago.

Jewish students, in contrast to Arab and Muslim students and their leftist allies, do not engage in acts of violence and disruption. Consequently, administrators have less to fear from them.

A careerist administrator is always looking upward toward the next rung on the career track. Nothing will obstruct the climb as much as having been engaged in a campus controversy that was peppered with violent disruption. Consequently, the heckler’s veto wins over the right of free speech. It is easier to cancel a speaking engagement or escort a speaker to safety than take on the hecklers who have a penchant for violence.

The cure for anti-Semitism on campus lies in defeating the administrative class and their leftist agenda, and that is an issue that transcends the interest of the Jewish community. It affects all Americans who want to end the way in which universities have become centers for leftist propaganda.


Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. @salomoncenter