The UK’s Labor Party Can’t Escape Its Anti-Semitism

In a recently publicized interview, Andrew Murray—an adviser to the former leader of the British Labor party Jeremy Corbyn—was asked about the politician’s apparent hostility toward Jews. Murray responded that Corbyn “is very empathetic, . . . but he’s empathetic with the poor, the disadvantaged, the migrant, the marginalized, the people at the bottom of the heap. . . . But, of course, the Jewish community today is relatively prosperous.” That, writes David Herman, sums up the essence Laborite anti-Semitism:

If you take anything [Corbyn] says about Jews and apply it to any other community in Britain it would sound appalling. And this is exactly what so many people in the British media have failed to do. They have rarely asked themselves how they would react if Corbynistas spoke this way about black, Asian, or Middle Eastern people.

For centuries anti-Semites have associated Jews with money, banking, and usury. Think of Shylock, . . . the Jew of Malta (his “usury” is said to “fill the gaols with bankrupts in a year”), Dickens’s Fagin, and Trollope’s mysterious banker Augustus Melmotte. Murray is just playing that age-old nasty game. Jews would be OK if it weren’t for all that money.

But, of course, Corbyn’s anti-Semitism was never just about money. There was Israel, his long-time association with Holocaust deniers, terrorists, Hamas and Hizballah. . . . What was so striking about Corbyn’s obsession with Jews and anti-Semitism is that it prevented him from seeing the bigger issues in British politics and taking a clear line on the biggest issue of all: Brexit.

Almost a year after Corbyn’s crushing defeat in December, anti-Semitism still haunts Labor.

Read more at The Article

More about: Anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK)

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