The Soviet Roots of Left-Wing Anti-Zionism

Much of the anti-Israel rhetoric found in the West today, argues Avner Yeshurun, can be traced to Soviet-era propaganda campaigns against the Jewish state, and before that against Russian Zionists:

Anywhere that Communist cells were active, on any radio broadcast controlled by Moscow, in any printing house receiving instructions from the Kremlin, the demonization of Zionism featured prominently and was always related to specific current events in order to keep the embers of the world’s oldest hatred aglow.

This campaign also went beyond mere rhetoric. At times, it involved outright judicial murder. In 1951, for example, the leading Czechoslovakian Communist Rudolf Slansky was imprisoned and, under extreme torture, falsely confessed to involvement in a Zionist conspiracy, for which he received the death penalty. In 1952, on the “Night of the Murdered Poets,” Stalin executed thirteen Jewish intellectuals [who had actively supported Soviet propaganda efforts] for supposed loyalty to Israel and the “imperialist camp.” These are only two of many examples.

One of the Soviet propaganda machine’s greatest victories was the United Nations’ 1975 adoption of the “Zionism is Racism” resolution. Its revocation in 1991 had little effect on the UN’s stance on Israel.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Soviet Jewry, Soviet Union


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus