Failed Brainwash

There are those in Israeli society who are severely out of touch with the reality they live in and academics, as all over the Western world, belong to the hard core of this segment.

Demonstrators and counter-demonstrators at the Hebrew University (photo Oren Nahshon,Flash 90).

“With spirit and blood we will redeem you, Al-Aqsa… We will fight and teach them a lesson via the sword and force,” chanted some 50 Arab students at Tel Aviv University ten days ago. “We will school them through the ways of intifada,” and “Israel is a terror state,” they continued.

The week before the calls for “intifada” (upheaval) at Tel Aviv University, Arab students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem chanted “Zionists leave,” at a demonstration, where they also screamed, “Our land is Arab and free,” and “Palestine is Arab from the river to the sea.”

Similar scenes took place at Ben Gurion University and Haifa University.

It was not the first time this year that Arab students called for an “intifada” at Israeli universities. In May, Arab students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem held a demonstration in solidarity with hunger-striking terrorists in Israeli prisons, led by uber-terrorist Marwan Barghouti (who broke his hunger strike, when he thought no one was watching).

During that demonstration, the Arab students howled for “intifada” and screamed, “Let’s talk exile! We don’t want to see any Zionists.” They did this while waving photos of convicted terrorists.

Apparently, however, the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is totally fine with the incitement of terrorist murder against Jews at the university. Back in May, a statement from the university backed the Arab students proclaiming that, “The student event in support of the hunger-striking prisoners was held in accordance with the regulations and there was nothing said that constitutes a violation of the law”.

Inciting the murder of Jews at an Israeli university at the heart of the state of Israel is considered legal by the top academic minds of Israel. Nowhere does freedom of speech, however, include the right to incite to violence or murder. It is bewildering why those students have not been expelled from the university.

Notably, at the time, the Hebrew university of Jerusalem did not allow a counter demonstration by the Zionist student organization “Im Tirtzu” to take place.

There are segments in Israeli society that are severely out of touch with the reality they live in and of course academics – as is the case all over the Western world – belong to the hard core of this segment.

They are of course free to say and think what they wish, but they are not at liberty to put Jewish students and citizens at risk, which is what they are doing here. Signaling Jewish students, on a Jewish campus in the state of Israel that Arabs are free to scream death to their fellow Jewish students. It takes a special kind of sick to defend such behavior.

The question is, whether the top apparatchiks at Israeli universities also consider the threats of Hamas legal? Hamas called for an “intifada” at the same time as the students, threatening that it would open ‘the gates of hell’.

Perhaps the university apparatchiks would like to think that their universities are Harvard and Stanford, quietly situated in a country that borders with Canada, but Israel is in a neighborhood, where the Jewish nation is being threatened on its life almost daily and Jews are stabbed and car rammed as a common occurrence. Does it not occur to these academics, sitting in their ivory towers, that what they allow on their campuses are declarations of war?

Then again, some Israeli universities do not seem too concerned with Israeli interests. In 2016, Tel Aviv University awarded its highest honor, the George S. Wise Medal, to then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his acceptance speech, Ban Ki-Moon rehashed the old tropes about Israeli “occupation,” essentially repaying the honor Tel Aviv ‎University had bestowed on him with the customary insults that Israel has grown sadly used to when it ‎comes to the UN. Ban concluded: “I strongly believe that members of the international community must ‎exercise their collective and individual influence to help reach the common destination: an end to the ‎occupation which will soon enter its 50th year, and the establishment of two states for two peoples living ‎side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.”

As is customary in all things ‎UN, Ban had bleached out all references to PA-instigated terrorism — the murderous stabbings, ‎shootings and car ramming attacks on Israeli civilians — from his speech. Clearly, according to Ban, ‎there is complete moral equivalence between Israel and the PA. ‎Unfortunately, however, some Israelis appear to suffer from a strange masochistic desire to be humiliated.

Being tolerant of the intolerant – and awarding the intolerant with awards, as was the case with Ban Ki-moon and Tel Aviv university – is a slippery slope that can only end in tragedy.

To the Hamasniks and the terrorist wannabes in the Arab student crowd at Tel Aviv and Hebrew University, it makes no difference whether a Jew is a leftist professor denouncing his own country or a national religious Zionist in Judea and Samaria. They want both of them at the bottom of the sea. One would assume that Jews should have learned that lesson by now.

The bad news is that Israeli academia is as misguided as academia in the West in general. The good news, however, is that Israel stands out as the only Western society where the youth tends to be more conservative than their parents. In other words, the brainwash has failed.


Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst

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