The Most Ivy League Thing Ever

Numerous professors at Columbia University signed off on an open letter in defense of “robust debate about the history and meaning of the war in Israel/Gaza.” Among other things, the letter defends a student statement about the war,

In our view, the student statement aims to recontextualize the events of October 7, 2023, pointing out that military operations and state violence did not begin that day, but rather it represented a military response by a people who had endured crushing and unrelenting state violence from an occupying power over many years. One could regard the events of October 7th as just one salvo in an ongoing war between an occupying state and the people it occupies, or as an occupied people exercising a right to resist violent and illegal occupation, something anticipated by international humanitarian law in the Second Geneva Protocol. In either case armed resistance by an occupied people must conform to the laws of war, which include a prohibition against the intentional targeting of civilians. The statement reflects and endorses this legal framework, including a condemnation of the killing of civilians.

The statement concludes with a demand that Columbia University reverse a decision to create curricular and research programs in Israel, a demand also made by over 100 Columbia faculty last year, and that the university cease issuing statements that favor the suffering and death of Israelis or Jews over the suffering and death of Palestinians, and/or that fail to recognize how challenging this time has been for all students, not just some.

It is worth noting that not all of us agree with every one of the claims made in the students’ statement, but we do agree that making such claims cannot and should not be considered anti-Semitic. Their merits are being debated by governmental and non-governmental agencies at the highest level, and constitute a terrain of completely legitimate political and legal debate.

So, the intentional targeting and slaughter of civilians at a music festival and infants in their beds is to be “recontextualized” as “military action.”

To be honest, it’s hard to be mad. Ivy League professors providing cover for anti-semitism is the most Ivy League thing ever.

CNN Survey of European Attitudes Toward Jews

These are disturbing statistics,

Anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, while the memory of the Holocaust is starting to fade, a sweeping new survey by CNN reveals. More than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.

One in five said they have too much influence in the media and the same number believe they have too much influence in politics.

“That Jew”

Reason recalls an incident from several years ago where an Arkansas state legislator, Kim Hendren, referred to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) as “that Jew” during a campaign event. As the New York Daily News noted at the time, Hendren then tried to excuse his anti-Semitism thusly,

Hendren excused his remark by pointing to his reputation as a gaffe machine.

“I don’t use a Teleprompter, and occasionally I put my foot in my month,” he told Tolbert, then inserted it a little farther.

“I was attempting to explain that unlike Sen. Schumer, I believe in traditional values, like we used to see on The Andy Griffith Show,'” Hendren said.

“I made the mistake of referring to Sen. Schumer as ‘that Jew’ and I should not have put it that way, as this took away from what I was trying to say.”

Since the GOP has no shame, Hendren served in the Arkansas State Senate until 2011, when he was term limited out. He then ran and has served since in the Arkansas State House.

Public Enemy Action Figures

Saw this interesting article/ad at Boing! Boing! last summer featuring a set of Public Enemy action figures. These are based on the art of Ed Piskor who has been doing a graphic novel history of hip hop which is generally well done.

The interesting thing, however, is that yes, that figure on the far right is of Professor Griff. Yes, the same Professor Griff who told David Mills back in 1989 that,

Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world.

But, hey, can’t let a few racist comments stand in the way of promoting some cool action figures by “Boing Boing comic artist Ed Piskor.” I mean, yes, maybe if this was a cat meme, then there might be cause for concern, but this is only anti-Semitism, so no harm no foul.