- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2002

The liberal movement has finally met the enemy and it is them. On college and university campuses all across the United States, liberal professors and students are uniting in their latest cause. A naive, misguided and highly charged campaign against the State of Israel.
I have long maintained that many on the left who participate in these protests, be they against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, possible war with Iraq, or now Israel, would rather protest life than live life.
If they are older, rather than look in the mirror and admit life and success have passed them by, they get involved in any cause so they don't have to confront their own failures. If students, many times they come from affluence, feel a certain degree of guilt about their money and jump on any bandwagon against the establishment.
Often their protests, while based in ignorance, are harmless. Not this time. The "Palestinian Solidarity Movement" these liberal professors and students are now uniting behind, harbors very dangerous and destructive overtones, and is already turning American against American.
These protesters are equating Israel with South Africa and apartheid. In their rush to judgment, and under the guise of a divestiture drive to pressure universities and colleges to sell their holdings in companies that do business with Israel, these professors and students are really creating an atmosphere of anti-Semitism. To say otherwise would be to deny the facts.
According to the American Jewish Committee, because of this protest movement, the incidents in which Jewish students are facing intimidation on college campuses for supporting Israel is on the rise. The AJC further reports that Jewish students are receiving death threats, property connected to Jewish organizations has been defaced or destroyed, and that posters and Web sites displaying libelous information or images have been widely circulated, creating a climate of fear.
Do these liberal professors and students not recognize that they are creating much the same environment that existed in Adolf Hitler's Germany during the 1930s? Or worse, they do recognize it, and that is the purpose of some?
In a line that has stayed with me since the moment I first heard it, a major Hollywood personality and self-described "liberal," once said, "Sadly, no one hates like a liberal." Well, there is now a hate campaign being waged against the State of Israel, and indirectly, Jews, by these liberals, and in my opinion, only other liberals can stop it before it spirals out of control.
Last month, while talking about the Israel divestiture movement, Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, warned of an "upturn in anti-Semitism" on colleges and around the world. "Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent."
These protesters are neither "serious" nor "thoughtful," and Mr. Summers knows better. How can one advocate and take actions that are "anti-Semitic" and still be considered "serious" and "thoughtful?" If that is your position, you are a bigot or worse.
There are a huge number of highly successful, influential and liberal Jewish Americans in this country, and now is the time for them to take a stand. As the saying goes, "If not you, who? If not now, when?"
Wrong is wrong, and especially since September 11, 2001, none of us can afford to blindly follow an ideology. As a Republican and "conservative," I am expected to walk in lock step with the National Rifle Association. Well, guess what? I don't. I have always maintained that the leadership of the NRA is brain dead and only hurts the "Republican" cause. Since the sniper shootings in and around the D.C. area, I believe their comments and conduct border on the criminal.
Just as I believe what these professors and students are doing borders on the criminal. But like Nixon going to China, we need high-profile liberal Jewish leaders in Congress, business and Hollywood, to condemn this movement in the strongest possible terms and stand behind Israel and these persecuted Jewish students.
During my time in the Pentagon, I spent three years working with members of the Israeli Defense Forces, and have never encountered anyone more committed to peace. Israel is by far, the most open and diverse government in the Middle East. Women are not only equal, but many times lead the nation and its sectors.
If these liberal professors and students are so concerned with human rights and the rights of women, why are they not targeting the various Arab dictatorships that discriminate against women and suppress free thought and democracy?
Would that be too difficult, or would it instead detract from their anti-Semitic message?
It's time for Jewish liberals to take a stand against liberals who hate.

Douglas MacKinnon is press secretary to former Sen. Bob Dole and is a former White House and Pentagon official and a novelist.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide