Some people say that there are no coincidences, that all things
are connected, that each event--no matter how small--ultimately
affects and illuminates every other event. Perhaps they are right.
This means that every good deed counts--but so, too, does each act
of cruelty. Good and evil both have profound reverberations in the
Consider three seemingly separate events that took place on three
different continents during the first two weeks of October. Just
as Islamic terrorists were busy bombing Israelis and other tourists
on vacation in Egypt, dignitaries at the Frankfurt Book Fair were
busy honoring the Arab League, which, in turn, was proudly displaying
more than a dozen anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist publications such
as "Sins of the Jews and Judaism," "The Global Tentacles
of the Mossad" and "The Jewish Role in the 9/11 Destruction
of the World Trade Center." Simultaneously, Duke University
in North Carolina was preparing to host the fourth annual Palestine
Solidarity Movement conference.
Germany's laws against Holocaust denial and the use of hate to
incite crime are very good, but when the Simon Wiesenthal Center
called upon Germany's prosecutor to open a criminal investigation
into the Arab League, the Germans said they couldn't do it. Although
the Arab titles and book jackets were anti-Jewish in wild and vulgar
ways--one cover displayed a photo of the World Trade Center exploding
in flames, overlaid with a star of David and a fingerprint; another
had the star of David covering the Statue of Liberty, which held
a sword dripping blood--the Germans refused to judge the as-yet-untranslated
books by their covers. Thus, the Germans granted these books the
same intellectual credibility and marketplace potential as those
written by Nobel Prize winners and other fact-driven writers.
Similarly, Duke has draped anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist hate speech
in the glorious colors of free speech.
I agree that the best way to oppose free hate speech is with free
true speech. I oppose censorship for this reason, as does the Duke
administration. But unless the administration takes matters in hand,
it will merely have delegated the dirty task of censorship to its
campus Jews. It is with a very heavy heart that I write this. But
what else can I conclude when I know that at least one of the speakers
at the Jewish rally for peace was told by a young representative
of Hillel International that they could not name the Palestinians
or Arab Muslims as terrorists because "that would not be sensitive
and we don't want to say anything bad about anyone."
I must now say something true and therefore "bad" about
some people who are probably not "bad" people, who are,
in fact, "good" people trying to do the right thing but
who are, in my view, tragically and dangerously misguided. They
are not the enemy, but they are aiding and abetting terrorists--in
the name of "fairness" and "balance."
That good people are also something of a problem is not unique
to Hillel or to Duke, which, to their credit, have both been fine-tuning
the programs in response to suggestion and criticism. (Duke has
corrected Web site material; the Freeman Center has invited formerly
unwanted speakers, etc.)
The problem is bigger than Duke. For example, Aviva Michelman,
a student at Vassar College, which has a large Jewish population,
recently found that the Vassar Jewish Union and Jewish literary
magazine "do not affiliate themselves with the Vassar Students
for Israel group so as not to take a stance on the issue and risk
losing or isolating members of their organizations." Further,
in Michelman's view, the Vassar students, both Jews and non-Jews,
who identify themselves as "anti-war are only "pretending."
"Once we began to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
they talked aggressively, calling 'pro-occupation' persons 'enemies
of peace.'" The "anti-war" group invited two Palestinian
speakers but refused to invite anyone--not even from the David Project--to
present the Israeli point of view.
Do such heartbreakingly frightened Jews believe they will be spared
the wrath of Jew-haters because they themselves are "good,"
i.e., are the first to adopt an anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist position?
Are they so ready to sacrifice the other, "bad," Jews
in order to hold onto their own illusions for a while longer? If
so, their psychology is pure German Jewish psychology circa 1936.
Have centuries of persecution permanently deranged some of my people?
Are they suicidally shortsighted and historically illiterate? Are
such Jews denying that Palestinians and Islamists hate Jews, Zionists
and infidels out of fear, and are they psychologically identifying
with the aggressor for this reason? Do they think that by adopting
the politically correct point of view they will be spared?
Jews are assisting the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) conference
at Duke. To the best of my knowledge, no Palestinians are assisting
Jewish groups in quite this way.
For example, an Israeli Jewish graduate student at Duke, Rann Bar-On,
belongs to Hiwar, the student group that invited the PSM to Duke.
Hiwar means dialogue in Arabic. In response
to questions about why he is supporting a group that endorses terrorism,
Bar-On has been quoted as saying, "We don't see it as very
useful for us as a solidarity movement to condemn violence"
and "We're not Palestinians, so we don't have the right to
endorse a solution." At least three Jews are speaking for PSM.
Emily Antoon, the president of Hiwar and a Duke junior, has refused
to co-sponsor the "Jewish" rally for peace and against
terrorism. Antoon has been quoted as saying: "I think it's
specifically a counter concert to the PSM conference. I think it
implicitly endorses state terrorism."
The Hillel Jews (and so many other worthy, progressive Jews) apparently
agree with her. In their view, the Palestinian terrorists really
want peace, but Sharon's military policies have frustrated their
every peace-loving and non-violent effort. The Palestinian terrorists
are, by nature and training, diversity counsellors and ardent followers
of Gandhi who have been forced into becoming suicide bombers by
Israeli "apartheid" and "colonial occupation."
Obviously, these terrorists love their people so much they are willing
to kill themselves.
But what if these terrorists don't love their people at all? What
if they are haters and nihilists who lack a political program and
diplomatic goals? What if Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah
and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade are not composed of serious political
actors who are motivated by compassion for their suffering people
and who have been elected, in some sense, to represent their people?
What if they exist simply to inflict terror and humiliation on envied
scapegoats, and to exact eternal vengeance against the infidel?
If true, this is too frightening a possibility. One cannot appease
such psychological actors; one cannot even sacrifice the "bad"
Jews to them in order to save the "good" Jews. One must
fight them with every means at one's disposal and one must win.
Why is the Duke administration and Hillel at Duke (and last year
at Michigan, which hosted the PSM conference) so invested in the
concept of "balanced" programming? Let me quote Israeli-born,
Los Angeles-based Rachel Neuwirth, who has been struggling to update
and transform the Hillel Mission statement. She writes: "[Balanced
programming] is not simply about balance in the abstract. There
is no 'balancing' of truth with falsehood
it is about telling
the honest truth in defense of Israel, Judaism, and the Jewish people.
Hillel is a campus organization but today the campus has now become
a political battleground in which there is an assault upon Israel
and the Jews."
Sometimes a non-Jew may have a perspective on Jew hatred that even
Jews might listen to.
Brigitte Gabriel is a Maronite Christian, which means she is the
descendant of Phoenicians, whose presence in the Middle East pre-dates
that of the Arabs. Today, Brigitte owns a successful American media
company with national and international clients. She grew up in
southern Lebanon under Palestinian tyranny. Israeli soldiers and
doctors literally saved her life and that of her mother. She does
not want to see Israel or America "Islamized" or "Palestinianized,"
as Lebanon was. She desperately wants to wake Americans up to the
danger of this happening.
Brigitte says, "When you refuse to condemn suicide bombers
and terrorism and violence, your hands are soiled with the blood
of the innocents just as much as any suicide bomber who blows himself
I managed to persuade the Freeman Center at Duke to allow Brigitte
to speak. They have agreed to do so but have given her only five
minutes. (Probably each speaker against terrorism has only five
minutes). Brigitte is an exceptionally passionate and powerful speaker.
I think that what she has to say deserves more than five minutes.
Therefore, as my contribution to more free true speech, I am posting
on my Web site Brigitte's 45-minute video, which she has generously
prepared for just this purpose. You may view it on
my website today (October
13, 2004). My good friend Jerry Gordon is assisting me
in this effort.
I invite the Duke administration, the Freeman Center and the Palestinian
Solidarity Movement leaders to view it as well. I would welcome
a conversation with them all.