Reflections on Richard Cravatts’ “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews”


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David Horowitz, whose Freedom Center is the publisher of Cravatts’ book, was perfectly correct when he described the

“dirty little secret of American higher education: on campuses across the country pro-terror groups stage political demonstrations that have the tone and content of Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies every single day. Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred are not only tolerated in our universities, they are in vogue. The campus environment today recalls that of Germany in the 1930s when Hitler was laying the groundwork for the Holocaust…Muslim students are allowed to intimidate Jewish students. They are allowed to bring Islamist preachers of hate onto campuses with the most unapologetically vile messages.” (email correspondence).

And they will, of course, heckle, disrupt and threaten pro-Israel or conservative speakers, such as Horowitz himself, or more recently the director of Former Muslims United and founder of Arabs for Israel, Nonie Darwish, whose lecture at the University of Mexico on February 23 of this year was shouted down by a pack of Arab students. Darwish, who has praised “the good will and decency of Israel,” commented, aptly: “Welcome to the West Bank and Gaza culture on our university campuses.”

Reluctant to intervene and prevent the creation of an atmosphere of intimidation against their Jewish students, university officials have contributed to the establishment of a hostile milieu—one that may well infringe on civil rights law. This must change or the sequel does not bear considering. But it will be an uphill battle that requires vigilance, courage and staying power. One must see that a gluttonous and possibly insatiable appetite for Jew-hatred has come over the modern academy. The spectacle it exhibits of unabashed relish, if not voracity, in gorging on lies and calumnies at Israel’s expense is enough to turn one’s stomach and put one off higher education entirely, at least as it is practiced in the socioliberal departments of our compromised universities. Professing to be disinterested and impartial, they feed on demonizing Israel and its supporters, rewriting history, benumbing their wards, legitimizing the consumption of misinformation, and making Israel-and-Jew hatred respectable. “The danger of [these] seemingly respectable works of scholarship,” Cravatts warns, “is that their views and ideology are thereby more likely to help shape future views of students and other opinion leaders.”

Thus, camouflaged as nonpartisan political criticism and protected by the slogan of “academic freedom,” the same old “themes of Jew-hatred are now conveniently channeled through the Jew of nations, Israel.” The rallying cry of academic freedom has gradually become a serviceable sobriquet for an academic inquisition. At the same time, the Israel-haters, employing “academic freedom” to “proclaim whatever slander and accusation they wish against the Jewish state,” do not, as we have seen, grant the same privilege or right of “academic freedom” to their opponents, whom they accuse of stifling free speech when it is used in rebuttal or dissent. “The habit is convenient because it means that…history and facts can be overlooked” without having “to engage in dialogue.” The intent of the anti-Zionist Left—administrators, faculty and students—is to turn an open discussion into a closed monologue.

“What were once well-intentioned and vital components of the university system,” Cravatts continues, “such as an emphasis on academic freedom… and an embracing multiculturalism, have become twisted and sometimes barely recognizable versions of their former selves.” This has led to the sedimenting of a baneful ideology which, he reiterates, has embraced the false narrative of the Palestinians as a contemporary version of black South Africans under apartheid rule and Israel as a “Nazi-like, genocidal and racist” state, a fraud that has “resonated in the halls of academe” and is nothing other than “a complete inversion of fact.” It is also a “moral inversion” that has “stifled and retarded” unfettered inquiry, “sacrificing one of the core values for which the university exists.” He notes the total absence of “moral self-examination of these Islamic voices calling for the suppression of free speech and a contempt for religious and civil rights in the rest of the world” while they themselves call for “jihad, beheadings and deaths” for citizens in the West, particularly Israelis, who offend their sensitivities.

Cravatts is not calling for a repudiation of the academy, but merely for fair debate, for candor and scrupulousness, and for the belated recognition that faculties central to our humanity—faculties both mental and administrative—will be seriously jeopardized by the coarse and arrogant hospitality for anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli compulsions. The desolation that has demonstrably befallen the academic world—the “moral dead zones where faculty do little more than indulge their basest political biases” (to quote author Michael Ross), the rupture in the fabric of memory, the intellectual disarray and pedagogic fecklessness that typify its current state of being—can be countered and repaired only by candid discussion and the recovery, hope against hope, of the spirit of integrity in individual teachers sprinkled here and there across the contemporary academic moonscape. For the university Left, Cravatts writes, has violated two “fundamental principles of higher education: academic responsibility and a fervent commitment to actual scholarship… With great regularity, academic imbecility and fraudulent scholarship has been substituted for reasoned inquiry.”

A maxim suggests itself: The liberal university’s attitude to Israel constitutes nothing less than the litmus test of its viability as a potentially noble and transmissive institution. Its relation to Israel functions either as a stepping stone or a stumbling block regarding academic reputability—regrettably, the latter is largely the case. “The embrace of the cause of Israel’s destruction by so many celebrity professors today,” writes political columnist and Harvard graduate Caroline Glick, one of Cravatts’ sources, “is part and parcel of the destruction of the US higher education system.” Cravatts patently agrees, concluding that the university narrative about Israel must be “reframed.” Failing such rehabilitation, our universities will become no less epistemologically suspect than their counterparts in the Islamic world, as Harvard, Georgetown and Yale aspire to the condition of Al-Azhar in Cairo, Al-Quds in Abu Dis and Benadir University in Mogadishu.

It always comes as a relief to read a writer who is morally honorable, whose claims are backed by discernible evidence, whose prose is both accessible and limpid, and whose methodology is rational, coherent and conscientious. Richard Cravatts is one of this rare breed of scholars who must be taken seriously and who are thankfully not yet extinct. Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews makes for indispensable reading. It shows how the so-called “liberal” university has become the Ground Zero of intellectual ruination, its professoriate invidiously programming its students with a left-wing, statist agenda, a misplaced tolerance for radical Islamic thought and practice and an unseemly eagerness for its natural correlate, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel execration. Far from being the bulwark and harbinger of liberal civilization, the university seems more than willing to compromise its central purpose which, in the words of Matthew Arnold from Culture and Anarchy, is “getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world; and through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits.” But in our sluices of learning, the “stream of fresh and free thought” has turned into a river of sludge and sewage.

Cravatts’ concluding recommendations all make perfect sense, but it will be a Herculean task to get them implemented—whether exposing the cult of “Palestinianism” for the conceptual sham that it is, differentiating between legitimate criticism of Israel and thinly-disguised antisemitism, holding craven college administrators to a firm moral stand, preventing the abuse of academic freedom, cleaning up the Augean stables of Middle East Studies programs, and other such sensible requisites. He acknowledges that reclamation will be difficult, “fraught with challenges and requiring constant efforts to change long-held beliefs and deep-set emotional attitudes, but it is imperative that the task be undertaken.” For it would be “morally dangerous” to permit the present situation to fester. The university must be made “accountable for its teaching and programs which deal with the Middle East, and Israel particularly.” It should not be allowed to continue vilifying a nation “for no other reason than it happens to be lived in by Jews.”

And it cannot be allowed to pursue its trajectory back into the 1930s.

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  • muchiboy

    We are all guilty,perhaps,of having biased opinions.To some extent,we may see certain views as black or white,more or less.As this,and like minded articles,would demonstrate,opinions on Israel are no exception.
    "The current academic campaign against Jews and Israel, expressed in the condemnation of Israel as an apartheid and occupying regime engaged in the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians, is merely an updated and partially laundered variant of the German original. It is a palpable lie masquerading as an apodictic truth supported by fraudulent research and revisionist infatuations. The invention or suppression of facts and the propagation of fictitious memes and venomous tropes have become the liberal acade’s stock in trademy."
    One cannot deny the deepest Jewish roots in Palestine.In fact,there has been an unbroked Jewish presence in Palestine since God knows when.Now,in the same vein of truthfulness and reasonableness,we cannot deny the continued presence of the Palestinian Arab either,unless,of course, one is into splitting the truth into absurdities,in which case I would suggest a personal agenda,rather then truthfulness.And surely,an arguable and reasonable,and I suggest strong,case,can be made for occupation of Palestine by the Diaspora.As well,the de facto ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people must be acknowledged by Jews,and resolved by Israel and a complicit America.There are certain characteristics of Israeli history and society that characterized South African Apartheid.Israel just carried it to its (il)logical and immoral conclusion (i.e.practical exclusion of the Palestinian people from defined borders resulting in a majority of Jewish occupiers).Congratulations!
    On the other hand,we are only too familiar with the litiny of undemocratic behaviors and institutions in the Islamic world.The general dismal record of Human and women Rights in Islamic societies is in clear contrast to the democratic institutions and respect for Human Rights in Israeli society.Yet,when we recognize the laudible rights and democratic institutions of Israeli society we must consider the underlay of the gross violations of Human rights of the Palestinian people.That is no small matter that can be dismissed easily.muchiboy

    • Ted G

      Nope!

    • steven L

      Hi Muchyb,

      Ignorance is bliss.

      You need to go to school and learn a little bit of the different sides of history of the ME and then come back. It is amazing what knowledge does to people. Become a thinker and not a believer. Use productively your neurons. They have a purpose. Traveling to the ME, Nigeria, Sudan is also a good way to become less partial.
      Your problem is the failure to admit that Jews have no intention to blow people away, want a solution that preserve their rights while the Muslims want to eliminate the Jews and the non-Muslims from the face of Earth and refuse to recognize their many shortcomings.

    • Anonymous

      smallaboy is a paradigmatic exemplar of black antisemitism … he is envious of Jewish intelligence and accomplishment …

      the main point, though, is that every moment that Israel exists, is a moment in which smallaboy is defeated … Israel is going nowhere, and so anusface smallaboy is destined to be a pathetic, defeated loser every minute of his worthless existence … meanwhile, we'll add to our roster of Nobel Laureates in science and medicine … too bad for the dirty swine …. toodles

    • http://mid-eastplus.blogspot.com/ Denis MacEoin

      There's too much to deal with here, but most of your post cries out for correction. You seem to be poorly read in the history of Israel. Israelis did not, in 1948 or before, set out to 'ethnically cleanse' the Arabs. They had already agreed to a simple 2-state solution, one state for Jews, one for Arabs. It was the Arabs who refused to accept their own state (and still do) and who invaded Israel with the expressed intent of committing genocide there or expelling every last Jew from their legally acquired state. During the war, Jewish forces expelled Arabs on several occasions (that happens in war), but far more fled when the Arab armies and the Higher Committee told them to leave or forced them out to make room for their (failed) attacks. I'll leave it there in the hope that you'll buy a book or two (I recommended Benny Morris's 1948) and discover that the basis for your attack on Israel is false and that you have to do some hard thinking. Then you can explain how Israel is an apartheid state when there isn't any apartheid in the country.

    • BS77

      mucus boy, shut your pie hole….

    • aspacia

      Hey dummy, it is than not then in the context you used. Go back to grammar school dolt. Typically, you have no valid claim and omit the pertinent fact that 650,000 Jews were expelled form their homes too, but were absorbed by their brethren, whereas the corrupt muslims sorely discriminate against their brethren.

      Read some fact idiot.

      • muchiboy

        Thank you,aspacia,for the grammar lesson.I fear I may have neglected my English studies in favor of my ethics class.From the look of things,perhaps you can teach me some grammar,in turn I can teach you a little ethics.Deal? muchiboy

        • kentatwater

          You might consider getting a refund on both your English and ethics classes. I think you've been cheated.

        • aspacia

          I have taught logic, and ethics along with it. The lifeboat or island scenario. I also am well aware of the J or j for Justice model as well as the madman St. Augustine's Just War along with A Case for Torture, etc.

          Muchless, go back to your room and play with your dolls, and let the grownups talk.

    • Bruce Josloff

      This is called reasonable debate. Not shouting and screaming over speakers and humiliating contradicting points of view and acting like a spoiled, puerile brat.

  • Ted G

    I should probably elaborate on my "Nope"
    I meant nope to your entire post! It was dishonest!

  • Libertyman

    The only group that can be identified as Ethnic Cleansing… are the ones who wanted to annihilate the Jews from Israel in the first place. The same ones who committed Ethnic Cleansing in Lebanon.. the same ones who stole three times the land mass that Israel occupies in 49 and 50 from Jews who were forced to Israel by Islam itself. The same ones who committed genocide of 2 to 21/2 million black Christians in Sudan.

    The idea that Israel owes land to Egyptians, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese and Jordanians masquerading as a "new" people group called “Palestinian” is positively sociopathic.

    • danseagull

      I AGREE WITH YOU TOTALLY , LIBERTYMAN …… MEANWHILE , HERE IN CHICAGO THE COMMANDER OF POLICE McCARTHY WHO'S BOSS IS MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL ARE GIVING C.A.I.R. THE WELCOME WAGON TREATMENT ….. THIS COUNTRY REALLY NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND UNDERSTAND THAT THESE ISLAMISTS WANT ALL INFIDELS DEAD ….. RAHM AND OBAMA ARE BUDDIES , RIGHT ?? …. KIND OF MAKES YOU WONDER , DOES'NT IT ??

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com/ Youssef

    Every Friday, bearded men in shin-length robes demonstrate in Tunisia’s capital against perceived insults to Islam in a country once known for its aggressive secularism. They have occasionally turned violent, attacking secular intellectuals and harassing women for their style of dress.

    This emerging movement of believers known as Salafis has seemingly appeared out of thin air — and prompted fears of a culture war in this North African country of 10 million.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/03/10/tunis

    Youssef

  • http://garyfouse.blogspot.com gary fouse

    I am currently reading Cravatts book. There are so many references to UC Irvine, where I teach and where I have personally witnessed the poison brought to campus by the MSU: Mohammed al Asi, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Yvonne Ridley, George Galloway, Cynthia McKinnney, Neturei Karta rabbi Isroel Dovid Weiss. I could go on and on. What Cravatts says is true and I have personally seen it in action.

    The good news is that since we don'r have the large humanities departments as UCLA, Berkeley and others, we have a good campus where 99% of the kids are not involved in this crap. The only entity that interrupts our otherwise placid campus is the MSU.

    Their so-called punishment for the Oren event was a sham. The same year, they were honored by the Cross Cultural Center, which is a joke in itself.

  • Fred Dawes

    All part of the plan of the globalist and the 2 monkeys Cravatts and sloway are both butts if the killing of 8 million more jews happens we are all next the jews may not be loving and cute people but if ISRAEL Disappears the USA Is next and the end game is to murder billions of people the globalist bankers need millions dead and it is all about Eugenics and the nazi used that idea of fools to justify the murder of 12 million people and the nazi rats are still working to murder us all, Cravatts and many other monkeys will help in that evil, madness.

  • jason foley

    Any race, are equal, we should not look at other races to discrimination, we are humans<img src="http://www.insurancelowrate.com/products/images/5.LoL.jpg"&gt;

    • SpiritOf1683

      Jason Fooley (no typo), not every race or creed is equal. Some are moral dungheaps – Islam being the prime example of a hate-filled, intolerable, bigoted and barbaric, so go away troll.

      • Fred Dawes

        thank you.

    • Fred Dawes

      that is so PC, its nuts.."Any race is equal", is so BS.

  • kblink45

    Excellent review! Especially poignant was the observation that "(t)he liberal university's attitude to (toward?) Israel constitutes nothing less than the litmus test of its viability as a potentially noble and transmissive institution." The same may be said of liberals themselves.

  • kblink45

    I once engaged in a debate with a German academic and avowed progressive that revealed how Holocaust minimization is de rigueur. The discussion emanated from a dispute over a reference to Heidegger in a Francis O'Conner story. Our disagreement over how to interpret the reference should have been brief and should have ended in a simple agreement to disagree. Instead it rapidly devolved into invective and ended with my colleague telling me that I perhaps wasn't capable of understanding literature. I let it go. The next day, I approached this colleague with references to support my view, that Heidegger was an anti-semite and Nazi apologizer and that this recognition was relevent to our dispute. My colleague was borderline contemptuous that I should presume to judge Heidegger.

    Liberals who are invested in Holocaust denial must be called out for what they truly are, hypocrites and propogandizers of evil. No. That's not strong enough. They are themselves evil.

    • Fred Dawes

      Its been part of real history 6-8 million human beings killed in death camps over 2 million russia troopers 10 to 15 million others that did not die in camps over 10 million, many little kids only a fool; can not see this evil, world war two was a total evil war and a evil blood bath of madness.
      The question is do we want it to happen once more with 5 billion dead? it can happen and it will.

  • Amused

    Hey PEOPLE , WHY are you guys gettiong upset with "muchiboy " ?
    Hedoing nothing different or apart from EXACTLY WHAT YOU PEOPLE ARE DOING . Exactly what Solway in this PHONY article is doing – PROPAGANDIZING to support your own views .
    Sure , there are LIBERAL professors AND Conservative professors , and most likely everything in between , yet Solway in the true motis-operandi of your entire lot , throws you his "psuedo-facts , and lists authors that are basically no better than has been or unacredited unknown bookwriters . Anyone can publish a book .Especially if it appeals to a specific agenda in agreement with those of organizations , who generate the money to publish .As most of these guys couldn't sell a newspaper. It permeates the Right AND the left . If yuou people think you're any different , just look up Santorums academic record at Penn State . Research what he claims he was and did and said , as opposed to what he REALLY said and done and did . Do yourselves a favor , and investigate before the press eventually outs this PHONY , as it surely will should he take the nomination .

    • aspacia

      Okay Amused, what pseudo facts?

    • Jack9

      Amuses post is a perfect example of the failure of Higher Education to teach the art of stringing together a single cogent sentence.

    • Ted G

      Sorry Amused, factual history trumps re-written history every time.
      You know re-written history…thats what us honest folks call propaganda.

      People have all this info available to them if they just look for it

      This is why you get slammed everytime you spout off this BS.

      I could never understand how people over in the ME, islamists mostly spew this stuff while knowing without a doubt that it is a lie.
      You know the stuff I'm talking about…that Solomons temple was never on the mount or that there ever was a people called palestinians crap like that!

    • Fred Dawes

      He can say what he wants!

  • SpiritOf1683

    Didn't Churchill once say "The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-Fascists"?

    Sounds very much like he had Naziboy in mind.

    • Fred Dawes

      yes he did and you can see the facts.

  • Whos_John_Galt

    Very often one hears the revisionists and propagandists finding ancient historical links between the "Philistines" ("Invaders" in Hebrew) and the Arab "Palestinians."

    There is no truth to this claim!

    The Philistines were one of a number of Sea Peoples who reached the eastern Mediterranean region approximately 1250-1100 B.C.E.

    • Fred Dawes

      Great history thank you.

  • Fred Dawes

    The monkeys in the middle east are so mixup into each other its a joke, the focal point of that part of the world is killing each other, it is the land of the Gods of the east and it is a place of fools and total madness.

  • Richard

    It is, at the very least, a bit odd that the author does not find it noteworthy that the major universities cited as offenders viz. UC Berkley. University of Pennsylvania, Harvard et al. are ALL run by Jewish administrations (and have been for decades) with an extremely high percentage of Jewish faculty members. The United States population is made up of less than 3% Jews. These three universities have faculty populations above 70% Jewish. Furthermore, the politically active, abrasive members of these faculties are about 95% Jewish. The author and those authors he cites seem to slip and slide between anti-Semitic/ anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist/ anti-Israel as if the two were the same. They are not. Marxist Jews, that is those Jews who control American academe, are devoutly anti-Israel. Oddly, it was Marxist Jews (Zionists) who settled in Kibuttzes in the early twentieth century Palestine. Nevertheless, todays secular Jews in academe are as devoutly anti-Zionist as they are pro homsexuality and abortion. It is wrong and, quite frankly, dishonest to lump anti-Israel and anti-Semetic, never once mentioning that the major intolerant perps are themselves Jewish. Anti-Semitic Semites; I don't think so.

    • aspacia

      Okay, were is your valid support? I know there are many self-hating Jews, like LeVine, Chomsky, et al who hate all gods along with their heritage, do a great deal of damage and enable those who want them dead, but I believe your stats are off. There are religious Jews who are anti-Zionist too.

      Again, VALID SUPPORT.

  • dysgenic

    Who can doubt that the world would be a much more peaceful and happy place without Zionist usurpers and warmongers in it?

    • aspacia

      The world will be far more peaceful without Islamicists who murder their brethren as well as the infidels like you and me.

      • kentatwater

        Not to mention a reduction in the number of anti-Semites.

  • David

    For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

  • Brian

    David Solway is a brilliant thinker and beautiful writer. I'd like to see Front Page highlight his articles more aggressively. He deserves a wider readership.