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January 15, 2016 4:06 am

The Twisted Morals of Anti-Israel Jewish Students

avatar by Leora Eisenberg

Email a copy of "The Twisted Morals of Anti-Israel Jewish Students" to a friend
 "Israeli Apartheid Week" in May 2010 on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

“Israeli Apartheid Week” in May 2010 on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

It takes a certain kind of moral distortion to stand against Israel nowadays — the kind of moral distortion that comes with rebellious youthfulness, an overinflated ego, and misplaced progressive values.

Jewish students, ones who come from pro-Israel homes with pro-Israel parents, announce with pride that they have “overcome the pro-Israel media bias” and have “come to see the conflict objectively,” meaning that they have rejected their parents’ political views and have fallen prey to hateful anti-Israel rhetoric.

Friends and colleagues succumb to the campus religion of human rights, and consequently, join the movement to protest alleged Israeli violations thereof. They pride themselves on their newfound progressive “objectivity” that allows them to make rash, uninformed judgements without ever having done any research.

Aside from trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions, the new fad is human rights and objectivity. Young people love to feel enlightened — and as typical privileged university students, the world affords us that indulgence.

As I was reading recently in the news, Jewish and formerly pro-Israel youth like Tair Kaminer, the latest “conscientious objector” to Israeli army service, preach about “questioning what you are taught in school” to the jubilation of radical anti-Israel groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and the BDS movement.

But, since when does the Arab World question what it is taught in their schools? Since when do anti-Israel activists question what they are taught in school? Why are Jewish and born-and-raised Zionists the primary target of “seeking objectivity?”

Most young people, per tradition, know remarkably little, and what they do know is thanks to the wildly biased reporting of AJ+ (the Al Jazeera outlet appealing to young people) and the Daily Kos. While many adults may regard this generational media shift as bizarre, we must remember that it is part of youthful rebellion. When one’s parents receive information from sources as capitalist and seemingly biased as the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, why follow suit? The defiant child of pro-Israel parents believes that shifting to ultra-liberal (with a lowercase L) media will ease the transition into a more objective outlook.

And that objectivity comes at a price. Any student supporting Israel is now believed to have a bias — an intellectual disability, if you will — that requires “treatment.” And thus, formerly pro-Israel students do their best to overcome their “difficulties.” This transformation appears to be a heroic triumph over prejudice, and thus merits the accolades and appreciation of the anti-Israel campus scene.

If one were to challenge their newfound convictions, one would easily find that they are based on the shoddy reporting of their “progressive” Qatari-funded media. Their intellectual “triumph” is little more than a joke masquerading as political soul-searching.

Not long ago, a friend of mine said to me that “stabbings are regrettable, but they happen because of Israel’s actions.”

She spoke with an eerie sense of calm and confidence in her silent support for terror. When I asked her if she knew about “Israel’s actions” — its numerous peace propositions, its vibrant democracy, and its status as a haven for all Jews — she responded by calling the state “racist” and “genocidal.”

When I told her that Muslims, Druze, Circassians, Christians and Jews co-exist in Israel, she told me that the media is lying to me, that Israel is committing a genocide, and that I need to reexamine the views I grew up with. I later saw her reading AJ+ on her phone.

Of course, my friend is entitled to her own opinions, but what alarms me is that her opinions are more common that one would hope. What used to be a fringe minority is now a powerful group on college campuses (and liberal spaces) that seeks to limit debate and defame Israel whenever possible, regardless of facts that, in their eyes, are subjective.

But, again, it takes willful ignorance to stand against Israel nowadays — the kind of oblivion that allows you to distort history, disregard facts, and rebel against the truth.

Moral certainty in the absence of facts is prejudice. This kind of prejudice — some of it well-intentioned, some of it antisemitic — is what confronts Israel today.

By the same token, it takes moral clarity to stand by Israel– a kind of moral clarity that is getting harder and harder to find.

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  • Paul Goldstein

    Really excellent, Leora! You tell it as it is! Kol HaKavod!

  • Diogenes7


    This person who holds and expresses such anti-Semitic views that aren’t too far removed from the Nazis’ (i.e., that Jews are evil and deserve to be knifed) is your “friend”? Sheesh! With friends like that who needs enemies?

  • Lynn Ross

    Thank you for this informative article. I have been doing a lot of reading on the upsurge of anti-semitism on college campus’s. I was not as aware that this was happening to young Jewish students. This I find quite frightening!!!! I have only read how Jewish students on campus’s are being attacked. This is something new all together. However, my Jewish friends are all liberals, and even though they are pro Israel, they will continue to vote democratic. I used to vote democrat , but with Obama, there was no way i was going to vote for this man. Unfortunately, my friends are so conditioned to vote democratic, that they did not see the wolf in sheep’s clothing. And since he has been in office, the college campus’s have gotten worse in spewing more anti Israel propaganda. I feel, it is because of Obama’s whole stance towards Israel and his allegiance towards Muslims. And of course his treatment toward Netanyahu. My dad was a holocaust survivor. My mother was able to flee to Switzerland. But they brought me up that this could happen again. I am not religious. But Israel is so important to the Jewish people. These kids are clueless and are being brainwashed by these leftist professors. The parents should sent their children to Israel. They need a wake up call. You can talk to them till the cows come home, but the damage seems to have been done already. You have to pick them up, and throw them into the lion’s den. That is the only way they will learn.

  • Rachel Cohen

    This is what happens when Jews reject God in favor of Secular Humanism and Cultural Marxism. This is what happens when parents fail to raise their children properly.

  • Linda Golden

    Thank you for this article…I feel that Jewish parents and institutions have done a very poor job of educating our children and making them capable of standing up to the intimidation found on American college campuses today…a toxic environment where ideas are no longer important. Going back many years, I remember Jewish parents who were very upset that their children had to miss soccer practice to study for their bar/bat mitzvahs.If something is not important to you its hard for it to become important to your children.

  • len

    Blame it on youth but when I was a young student I was quite Pro-Israel. Maybe I was just 30-40 years removed from Auschwitz as opposed to 60-70 years removed. It seems to me that youth today hasn’t changed much from youth of yesteryear in many ways. The young think they are rebelling and being different from their elders but they just follow a different road along with millions of others who in the past grew their hair long, took drugs and demonstrated against the War(Viet-Nam)opting out of their Parents worldview.There was nothing unique to it they just bought into what they perceived as the right way to live and see the world. Unfortunately being Pro Israel and Pro Zionism has become that uncoolness of this generation. More power to those that refuse to be apart of that new “Nation Of Sheep”.

  • Ephraim

    I have said it before, and I will say it again. There is NOTHING liberal about these vermin. To a genuine liberal, all bigotry is anathema. These scum are left-wing fascists, and the so-called liberal media is run by the tyranny of politically-coerced censorship.

  • ruth Gilmour

    Well analysed. Keep it up.
    Can you email or face book stories of Arab Israelis telling their side, that may help

  • stevenl

    It is the amorality and not the twisted morality.
    Ignorance is BLISS and can be fatal.
    The lefties and Muslims try to indoctrinate kids of younger ages. Palestinians are an obvious but SAD example.

  • Micha Danzig

    Excellent article. As you wrote, you friend is entitled to her own opinions, but she is not entitled to her own facts. And when she (and her fellow Israel haters) claim that Israel is “committing Genocide” she is making up her own “facts” and outright lying, which is sadly typical of every claim made by BDS and the other anti-Israel groups out there. Their “facts” are lies. As an aside, you may want to reconsider that friendship …

  • Pat

    It seems to be part of the human condition, that
    eloquence is required to defend a just cause,
    Whilst murder and terror get a free pass.
    Thanks Obama. “Next!!!”

  • Jack

    This is no recent development!
    With great sadness I must admit a friend from school as a child went off, converted to Islam, and joined al Qaeda.
    For most of us it is a realization filled with great sadness, but for a few, his philosophically rebellious maturation was welcome and they supported his anger, and worse some set him on the course initially, from which there was no return.
    His parents, who are Holocaust survivors as young teens, and friends that cared, were helpless. (He has since died.)
    As a result, before 911, when it was relatively safe to engage his mates in discourse, led to some stark realities concerning the viability of trying to change these young people drawn to jihad.
    Without doubt all would be considered psychotic.No surprise there.

  • Fred Maroun

    Very well argued Leora. As you said, “my friend is entitled to her own opinions”, but sadly she seems to think that she is entitled to her own facts.

  • Barbara

    I think it is so much easier when the world is condemning Israel to be on the side of the condemners. It is part of young people joining the crowd no matter how much they say they are independent thinkers. I can’t see how a person can justify knifing and killing another person because of a nation’s politics. That is like saying an abused woman provoked her abuser…We have a long way to go to educate our youth. To make them proud to be Jews. To actually give lessons in how to stand against vocal anti-semites, anti-Zionists. I guess this is how it is always going to be.

  • JR Bailey

    I view the self hating Jews who do this as nothing more than Kapos: people who literally want to make sure that they’re the last ones the shark eats.

    They indulge in a special kind of self loathing, that can only be remedied by hating other Jews even more than they hate themselves, in believing that the “final solution” to the problems in the Middle East, are the destruction and dissolution of Israel.

    Zuckerberg, who owns Facebook, is one such individual. There are hundreds upon hundreds of Muslim owned Facebook pages, calling for the utter destruction of Israel, in the literal genocide of all Jews on Earth.

    These pages are left alone, continuing to spew their hatred. Pages supporting Israel on the other hand, are routinely taken down or suspended, as well as pro-Iisrael comments being stricken.

    These people are too afraid to study what Islam really teaches, and too afraid to look at the YouTube videos of famous Muslim clerics, including the Imam of Saudi Arabia, calling for the destruction of all non-muslim places of worship, and the expulsion of non-muslims from the Arabian Peninsula.

    People who think in such terms, will not have their eyes opened until Muslim terrorism personally strikes them.

  • rulierose

    how can you be friends with someone that disgusting? I have friends who are “pro-Palestinian,” but they don’t think Israel is racist and awful.

    and if any of them think Israel is “committing genocide,” they haven’t shared it with me–possibly they know it would be the last thing I ever heard them say.

  • Alex Brackman

    Leora-You have triumphantly expressed in a clear and genuine way the malaise that has been apart of the liberal Jewish established in the US for many years and it’s expression in today’s privileged and not-so-privileged youth — exemplified by the over 65% of US Jews who consistently vote for liberal candidates with anti-Israel leanings. Kudos to you for voicing a much needed alarm to us all. I too have many friends who have fallen prey to the same ‘willful ignorance’you so eloquently describe. A glaring example is when someone who has never even stepped foot on Israeli soil, exhibits seeming full confidence and justification for their anti-Israel stance. A stance which is rooted in the liberal assumption that the onus is on Israel to make the peace-process a success. That if rocks are being thrown at Jews, and Jews are being stabbed around the world, it is due the so-called intransigence of Israeli leaders in making concessions to the Arabs. The relinquishment of Gazan control – as unpopular as it was among Israelis at the time is evidence enough of how far the democratic state of Israel is willing to go and to sacrifice in the name of an imagined peace. Kudos again Leora, for your brave voice of reason in the midst of a maddeningly ignorant and arrogant world. Thank You and keep up the good work. Alex Brackman

    • Michael Garfinkel

      I disagree with one point the author make in this well-reasoned peace: “Moral certainty in the absence of facts is prejudice. This kind of prejudice — some of it well-intentioned, some of it antisemitic — is what confronts Israel today.”

      It would be nice to think so, but the truth is far more unpleasant than that.

      What we have here is not well-intentioned in the least; it is pure, anti-Semitic Jew hatred, disguised sanctimoniously as a component of “progressive values.”

      The fact that so many young people of Jewish descent subscribe to this prejudice is neither a sign of adolescent rebellion nor of a jejune sensibility, although these undoubtedly play a part.

      No, these persons seek to betray the Jewish people – and they have been sufficiently assimilated to believe that in so doing they will enjoy the social advantages that accrue to all anti-Semites.

      It’s that simple, and yes, it’s that ugly.

    • Leora Eisenberg

      Thank you so much, Mr. Brackman!

    • montlasky

      Are you stark raving crazy?

    • Hannah

      Nobody can say it clearer than Leora and Alex. No further comments needed.

    • Ragnheiður

      Let them do real research in school about why Israel has to take this political view, or why Israel is defending it self. How about new name for a new studies for liberal views of the world. Educated liberals who read history and understand it. Progressive views of liberals are global views from muslims and globalist who own the media and make wrong history documents on the internet that are like fast food for the taste-buds. Liberal views are manly we should all live in harmony together with same rights. Muslim views are dictatorship or we shall dictate everyone and everything in our numbers and power for peace. Globalists views are we made the money we deserve to own and control everyone and everything,most people are anyhow not capable to understand how things are. So when we see those views of muslims in the media they will be feel sorry for us we are innocent victims of a tiny land. muslims do not mention that they are 1.6 billion or that Israel is only 6 million people and 5-6 million in other countries. Nor do they mention that Israel has always been there and that muslims are only 1400 years old which shows us that something is going on. Why do muslims grow so fast in numbers? But the views of a globalist are not so easy to see, you have difficulties of seeing those views because they are everywhere. We live in the globalist era of greed, we all like money and Globalist speak with money and for money where ever it is and how ever it is made, ads and competitive values are used against us, as all our feelings are exploited in the name of money. So Globalists like wars so they can make more money so they like fueling conflicts they only think of how it affects their money, they do not think of people as human or a individual they think in numbers and groups of people and their end result is justified by more money. So globalist will put in the news paper the views which will make more money for them and muslims own most of the oil which has been of good uses for globalist in the past. So when we want to see the globalists view we have to learn economics and follow the money. When I talk of Globalist I am of corse talking of the rich 1 % of people i am not referring to a misunderstood progressive liberalist that think he or she is good because he or she follows their feelings and can not be bothered of making a real research about the past, the future and the now of their and others reality. After all the globalist are proud and happy of their money made of people that think everything is instant or what we can have, here and now because we feel like it. I am not saying that feeling are all bad I am just saying we have to use our brains also. I have tried to make my comment simple but these are not simple things to ponder about so I hope that you will do a research to clarify this weird situation that we are in better so we all can understand or have a better insights of how to relate to each other in our world.

    • Lynn Ross

      I read your response and I totally agree with what you wrote. I read so many articles on what is going on with anti-semitism here in the United States, especially on college campus’s. Europe is a lost case. The democratic party has turned so far Left, that the Jews have lost sight that it has also become anti Israel and Pro Palestinian. I did not vote for Obama. I saw right through the guy. But the problem with Jews, is they are so conditioned to vote democratic. They are like a bunch of lemmings. They still think they are living in the 60’s. That God forbid, you vote for a republican, it makes you a bad person. All the while, the Jews are digging their own grave. But they refuse to see it that way. I voted democratic most of my life, until 9/11. Then I woke up. We live in a different world now. But my parents came from Nazi Germany. My dad was a holocaust survivor. So I see things differently than my Jewish friends whose parents are from the states. And even if we have another attack, they will think we deserved it. Look at how Obama reacted to this last one…more gun control….I call that Brainwashing the public. He was able to do it with Ft. Hood. Workplace violence. Yes, Obama was able to get 70% of the Jewish vote by sheer brainwashing. and seemed it did not bother them how he treated Netanyahu, or with him signing the Iran deal….

    • Doug Weiser

      Thank you Leora for your brilliant assessment, and to you Alex for your pitch-perfect reply. It’s encouraging to taste even a drop of sanity in a sea of madness.

    • Leonora you continually amaze me with your eloquence. I do wish I had your optimism. I do not think that the many millions of people in living on this tiny planet, including Christian Muslims Jews seventh day Adventists know exactly where Gaza, Israel or the West Bank is. They are worried about local violence or violence in the sunny paradise where they holiday. Sadly you speak to those who are on the same bus as you are. Now we need a way to speak to those who aren’t. Too many Jewish people shy away from any form of verbal defence of themselves as a Jew or as a Zionist. I am a Zionist myself because I value Israel as a place where the younger in my family might run to. I don’t believe in ‘Never again’ but I do believe in ‘Get out if you can’.