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Posts Tagged ‘multiculturalism’

How The Academic Left Came To Hate Israel

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

On campuses today Israel is regularly, though falsely, condemned for being created “illegally” – through the “theft” of Palestinian lands and property – and thus has no “right to exist.”

The government is accused of a “brutal,” illegal “occupation” of Palestinian lands, of being a “colonial settler state,” a Zionist “regime,” a land-hungry nation building an “apartheid wall” as a further land grab, a usurper of property that was lived on and owned by a Palestinian “people” “from time immemorial.”

Zionism is regularly equated with Nazism, and the perceived offenses of Israel’s government and military are likened to Nazi crimes against humanity; the notion is that Israel is creating a “Holocaust in the Holy Land” through “ethnic cleansing,” an ongoing “genocide” of Arabs, and the elimination of the rights of an innocent, “indigenous people” who merely seek self-determination and the peaceful creation of a Palestinian homeland.

It was not always thus. Prior to the 1967 war, Israel still garnered sympathy and admiration from the non-Muslim world that saw its pluck and ability to bring a vibrant democracy to the desert as being enviable and praiseworthy. Still weak and living in a perilous realm surrounded by hostile, totalitarian regimes, Israel could count on the liberal Left for support and an ideological nod of approval.

But thanks to its ascension to a status as a militarily and economically powerful nation, coupled with the successful propaganda war waged against it by its Arab neighbors and jihadist foes, many of Israel’s sympathizers began to lose their affection for their former Middle East favorite and instead began conflating their negative views of the United States, capitalism, and imperialism (defined as “occupation” in the case of Israel) with the Jewish state.

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Why the animus against democratic Israel in academe as the nation defends itself from an unending campaign of aggression from Arab countries? One trend that has permeated the university and which has had a subsequent influence on the way Israel is perceived was the coming of two watchwords of higher education: diversity and multiculturalism.

The language of multiculturalism on campuses is sprinkled with the linguistics of oppression, coaxing students in newly-identified victim groups to see themselves as deserving of protection and special political, racial, and cultural recognition.

The obsessive reverence for multiculturalism on the part of universities has also meant that liberal faculty members have come to embrace attitudes that give equal value to very different cultures and nations, a factor that has led – as it did before when the Left embraced the ideology and overlooked the barbaric excesses of Communism – to a dangerous acceptance of radical Islam as equal to and compatible with the culture, values, and ethics of Western democracies.

In United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror, his examination of the traditional impulse of the Left to align itself with political movements with values foreign and antithetical to those of most Americans, Jamie Glazov saw a direct causal link between an acceptance of defective ideologies by the Left as part of the process by which it rejects democratic Western ideals and a slavish fondness for what he characterizes as the “Left’s sacred cow of multiculturalism.”

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The visceral hatred by the Left of its favorite hobgoblins, imperialist America and its codependent oppressor, Israel, finds similar expression from morally defective professors such as Juan Cole, who in his writings regularly takes swipes at Israeli and American defenses while simultaneously excusing Arab complicity for violence or terror.

In fact, according to Cole it is the militancy of the West that causes the endemic problems in the Middle East, and makes America guilty for its moral and financial support of Israel.

“When Ariel Sharon sends American-made helicopter gunships and F-16s to fire missiles into civilian residences or crowds in streets,” Cole wrote in 2004, “as he has done more than once, then he makes the United States complicit in his war crimes and makes the United States hated among friends of the Palestinians. And this aggression and disregard of Arab life on the part of the proto-fascist Israeli Right has gotten more than one American killed, including American soldiers.”

This cultural condescension – the disingenuous lie from the Left that all cultures are equal but some are more or less equal, to paraphrase Orwell – leads liberals into a moral trap where they denounce Israel’s military self-defense as being barbaric, criminal, and Nazi-like (because Israel is a powerful, democratic nation) and regularly excuse or apologize for genocidal Arab terrorism as an acceptable and inevitable result of a weak people suffering under Western oppression.

In fact, when a professor such as Columbia University’s Joseph Massad writes about Palestinian terror, he essentially justifies it by characterizing the very existence of Israel as being morally defective, based, in his view, on its inherent racist and imperialist nature.

All The News That’s Fit For Pinch

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Yes, another piece on The New York Times – and those who don’t understand why the Times warrants constant scrutiny probably have no business reading a media column in the first place.

Two years after the cartoonishly left-wing Howell Raines was removed from the executive editor’s office, the Times shows no signs of reverting to even a semblance of balance in its news coverage. In fact, the Times’s liberal bias has never been more pronounced, its editorial enthusiasms – particularly its obsessions with race and gender – blatant in virtually everything it covers.

A large number of the Times’s most infatuated readers happen to be Jews – from secular Manhattan liberals for whom the paper long ago assumed the status of Holy Scripture to identifiably Orthodox businessmen who each weekday morning can be seen lovingly folding back the broadsheet’s pages in subway cars throughout the city. Not a few seem to believe the Times bestows on its readers an image of worldly sophistication, and they give the distinct impression that they would rather be found dead than publicly perusing the pages of the Daily News or New York Post.

At one time such devotion would have been at least somewhat understandable. For despite the Times’s shameful history on almost all things Jewish – an unfortunate consequence of the paper’s being owned for the last hundred years by a family of the hyper-assimilationist “Our Crowd” variety – there was no denying its primacy as a news-gathering machine of unparalleled size and scope. And the paper’s reporting – even given a number of notable lapses, such as Walter Duranty’s scandalous whitewashing of Stalin’s murderous purges in the 1930’s and Herbert Mathews’s hero-worship of Fidel Castro in the 1950’s – was generally viewed as objective and fair-minded.

The Times still boasts size and scope, but objectivity and fair-mindedness have gone the way of the Linotype machine, due mainly to a change in the early 90’s at the very top of the company. Because of that change, much of what appears in the Times must be approached with a skeptical eye and an awareness of the agenda that drives the selection, placement and angle of everything from headlines to stories to photography.

Author Harry Stein summed up the problem with the Times in his 2000 book How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace). “[O]n the most contentious social issues of the day – multiculturalism, feminism, gay rights – today’s Times is highly unreliable, scarcely even bothering to pretend to neutrality,” he wrote. “Indeed, having chosen sides, the paper itself often seems as interested in reshaping society as the most committed activists.”

Like many other Times-watchers, Stein blamed publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr., who took the paper’s reins from his father, Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger, in 1992. A typical product of the sixties counterculture, Junior (he hates the nickname Pinch) stated soon after his anointing that if white males were alienated by his ultra-politically correct version of the Times, “we’re doing something right.”

Inevitably, wrote Stein, “under Pinch the paper was very quickly transformed into…a vehicle for the advancement of the kinds of social change being championed by those, like the young publisher himself, who imagine themselves the best and brightest of their generation.”

The result of that transformation, Stein lamented, is that “Quite simply, when it comes to any subject touching even remotely on politics, The New York Times just cannot be trusted.”

Six years later, others, both inside and outside the Times, have joined the anti-Sulzberger chorus. Seth Mnookin, in Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media and Ken Auletta, in a lengthy article in the Dec. 19, 2005 issue of The New Yorker, placed the blame for the Times’s loss of stature in recent years squarely on Pinch’s shoulders and quoted a number of Times staffers who share that assessment.

Making a bad situation worse, though, is the Times’s apparently ineradicable influence on the news industry. The Times, as Stein noted, “sets the agenda for the rest of the press, and especially for the geniuses at the networks, who scan it each morning to discover not just what’s important but what to think about it.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/all-the-news-thats-fit-for-pinch/2006/03/01/

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