Campus virus – a worldwide pandemic…writes Michael Kuttner

May 24, 2013 by Michael Kuttner
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During the waning years of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930’s, my late father was a student at the university in Karlsruhe, Southern Germany.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

He was about to sit his final exams for his economics degree when, in January 1933 the Nazis were democratically elected to form the next Government. One of their first acts was to expel all Jewish faculty and students from German universities. Overnight my father’s tertiary education went down the drain and he quickly came to the realization that the future for Jews in Germany was very bleak indeed. When I discussed this with him many years ago it became apparent that the exclusion of Jews from schools and universities was greeted with great enthusiasm on the part of a large proportion of the student and faculty bodies and professional associations. Lawyers, doctors and other professions purged themselves of any Jewish taint in a typical efficient Germanic manner.

Lest anyone think that this all happened spontaneously one day in 1933 let me emphasize that the seeds had been planted on very fertile ground already many years previously. My father explained that the poisonous university atmosphere against Jews had been cultivated way back so that by the time the exclusion laws were enacted all those professors who were jealous of their Jewish colleagues and all the students who resented Jewish academic success, were poised to finally act on their hatred of anything remotely tainted with a Jewish connection. Delegitimisation, boycotts and physical violence in the years preceding 1933 bore their poisonous fruit at the appointed time. In the face of this tidal wave of hate, university administrations displayed moral cowardice and caved in without a fight. Instead of closing all institutions of learning in protest at this assault on academic freedom, so called liberal centres of enlightenment rather jumped enthusiastically on the bandwagon which as we all know started hurtling towards burning books and then ultimately burning people.

Does all this sound eerily familiar in the light of today’s outbreak of campus madness against Israel & Jews which is sweeping the corridors of so called bastions of liberal enlightenment? From Australia to Zimbabwe, Jewish students and faculty are facing a tsunami of hate and delegitimisation which has reached heights not seen since those dark days not so long ago.

Natan Sharansky has outlined the 3D test whereby we can determine whether critics of Israel can be classified as suffering from Judeophobia disguised as Israelphobia. These three criteria are: demonisation, delegitimisation and double standards. Any one of these conditions or a combination of them, qualify as candidates for the phobias concerned. Surveying university campuses on every continent today, certain trends become evident.

Guest speakers spouting hate against Israel & Jews are being invited to address students.

Protests by Jewish groups are dismissed in the name of academic freedom of expression.

If a representative of Israel or other such person is invited by Jewish groups to present counter arguments, violent demonstrations break out, often preventing the meeting from taking place or disrupting it to such an extent that it has to be abandoned.
In many places, university administrators refuse to give permission for pro Israel speakers to be invited on to campus for fear of violence and mayhem on the part of Islamic radicals and their fellow travelers. Caving in to thuggish behaviour has become the norm on many campuses.

An atmosphere of intimidation against Jewish students and even faculty is growing against those who have the temerity to speak up on behalf of Israel and try to counter the lies which are being spread.

Those who stand up for Israel are assailed by a motley collection of political extremists and anarchists and just as in the past, there are some Jews who jump on this anti Israel bandwagon. In many cases these individuals have never been remotely connected to or involved with Jewish communal activities but this does not stop from them from loudly campaigning against the Jewish State. Back in the 1930’s there were also Jews who thought that by attacking their fellow co-religionists & Zionism and displaying undying loyalty to a Fatherland which actually hated them, they would somehow be immune from the impending pogroms. Whether baptized, assimilated or self hating, they all ended up on the same railway wagons heading to Auschwitz.

Boycotts (echoes from the past) are fast becoming the fashionable way to attack Israel. Whether it is Max Brenner shops or Dead Sea products on campus the target is the same. Boycotting Israeli outlets is the thin edge of the wedge towards boycotting Jews.

Vandalism against Israeli and Jewish buildings and targets is a problem on some campuses. From graffiti to physical damage it is an easy step to Kristallnacht type book burnings and more.

Physical attacks are on the increase in many countries.

Hate literature including disgusting cartoons and articles in student newspapers and other social media increases on an annual basis.

Some universities in the UK and even the USA are so threatening to Jewish students that they are abandoning them and instead enrolling in those which so far have not succumbed to the rising tide of hate.

This pandemic of campus delegitimisation and demonisation can only be defeated if we all unite to counter it. Never again is an empty slogan if we fail to tackle this insidious and odious tidal wave with all the resources at our disposal.


3 Responses to “Campus virus – a worldwide pandemic…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Fiona says:

    This article should be read by as many people as possible. Share it. I am heartily sick of the demonisation, de-legitimisation, and double standards that I meet nearly every day on campus.
    And, what is possibly worse, is the assumption that, because many of the people consider me a reasonable, humane and intelligent person, they assume that I must agree that Israel is a rogue state, that Jews believe they are superior beings who treat all Arabs living in Israel disgracefully, and that Jews in general need to apologise for their existence.

    • ben eleijah says:

      The “demonization”, etc etc will stop if Israel does not colonise and displace the Palestinians. Of course nothing but the obvious fact will do, if Hasbara has to be made.

      • Phillip says:

        No, ben Eleijah;
        All accommodation, every appeasement, every decent effort to mollify has been rebuffed and repudiated.
        Middle East Arabs motivated by National Socialist ideology, Marxist Communist ideology and fundamentalist Islamic teaching intend to fight to the death to annihilated the nation state of Israel and push all Jews into the sea.
        The so called “Palestinians” are the interlopers and dwell in the Holy Land given to the Jews by God.
        There can be no colonisation in this circumstance
        Speaking these truths is not hasbara and precludes the need for it.

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