World Yawns Once Again At Anti-Semitic Dangers

As anti-Semitism around the world rises at levels not seen since the late 1930s, once again the world is greeting the alarming phenomenon with a giant collective yawn. How else can one explain the muted response to the outrageous action by the British Academic Union to institute a boycott against Israeli universities. A similar action last year had been reversed after more rational and fair-minded members of British academia protested, but once again the rabid hatred of the Jewish State triumphed over reason, and the odious resolution was adopted. If that were not enough, a BBC journalist led a similar move against Israeli journalists which also gained a majority vote to boycott their Israeli colleagues. Some ask, how can you call these actions anti-Semitism and not merely legitimate objections to Israeli policies regarding the treatment of the Palestinians? The answer is that a radical fringe element within academia and journalism has singled Israel out for unique and relentless condemnation, while ignoring or downplaying such outrages as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejed’s constant threat to “wipe Israel off the map,” and his hosting of an “international conference” denying that the Holocaust happened.

Why were no resolutions introduced by the British academic and journalist unions condemning the blatant anti-Semitism of Iran’s president? Even in the face-to-face meetings between American, British and other Coalition representatives with those of Iran they have studiously avoided any references to the rampant anti-Semitism coming out of Tehran, along with its obvious determination to move forward with enriching uranium so as to develop nuclear weapons.

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Why were no resolutions adopted by the British academic and journalistic unions condemning the Sudanese government for organizing, backing and reinforcing the infamous Janjaweed militias who have been carrying out the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region, which has already claimed at least 200,000 lives and displaced nearly 2 million innocent people?

For the record, Israeli universities, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which was co-founded by Albert Einstein and other major intellectual giants, the Weizmann Institute of Science and The Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology are among the finest not only in the Middle East, but in the entire world. Professors on the faculties of Hebrew University, Haifa University and Tel Aviv University are free to express their views both for and against the policies of the Israeli government. Indeed, some of the strongest criticisms against the policies of Israeli governments have emanated from Israeli universities. Israel also has one of the freest and liveliest presses of any country, certainly in the Middle East and also worldwide.

Meanwhile, the universities in Arab and Muslim nations are hotbeds of radicalism and their professors enjoy little academic freedom whatsoever. Similarly, the government-controlled media in relatively “moderate” Arab nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, publish the most vicious anti-Semitic lies since the days of the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer. A government-controlled newspaper in Saudi Arabia published editorials and columns asserting that Jews used Muslim and Christian blood to produce Hamentashen for Purim, a new version of the ancient “blood libel” in which Jews were accused of killing Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzos. Egyptian TV last year serialized a version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the fraudulent anti-Semitic book which blames a secret cabal of Jews for all of the world’s wars and financial crises.

Groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have documented the alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the former Soviet Union and especially in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Anti-Semitism in those regions has been rising for decades. But when so-called “academics” and “objective journalists” begin adopting resolutions that are clearly anti-Jewish in motivation, and the actions are received with indifference worldwide, it is not only shocking, but frightening.

More and more Jewish scholars are debating the question, “Is it 1938 again?” We hope that the question is indeed “over the top,” but actions such as those of the British academics and journalists, and the collective silence of the world in response, indeed makes the question worth asking. With each new outrage, the answer moves closer and closer to “Yes, this is 1938 again.”