The face of “new antisemitism“
Every time I think I’m disgusted by my school, it gets worse. I thought we’d reached a low when the London School of Economics voted to twin (my personal conspiracy is that the vote was scheduled on American Thanksgiving so none of the ‘Israel-loving’ Americans would show up) with the Islamic University of Gaza, which was founded by Ahmed Yassin. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he also founded a little organization called Hamas. Aside from hosting Hamas’s R&D program for the Qassam rocket, IUG’s ‘distinguished’ faculty has referred to gays as “perverts” and “morally sick,” and proclaimed the university to be an absolute reflection of Hamas and its philsophy.
Ridiculous as it is, maybe it ends there? Not so fast.
This week it was announced that the school will accept a £1.5 million donation from Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi, the son of Muammar al-Gaddafi. My objection is no ‘sins of the father’ disgust or anything like that. Gaddafi the younger has plenty to answer for himself, such as proclaiming Libya “innocent” for the Lockerbie Bombing, and referring to the victims’ families as “greedy” and “materialistic” in their demands for compensation.
But no, it doesn’t stop there. The LSE rugby team was censured for dressing up as Guantamo Bay inmates and guards. In poor taste? Sure. But the vaguest intimations that the first-year players dressed as inmates were “mimicking Muslim prayer” was enough for everyone to jump into overreactive hyperdrive. Look, I find all these drunk undergrad chicks dressed as hookers pretty offensive myself, but I’m not abut to launch a crusade.
The latent antisemitism seems to have no end. A talk this week on “What’s Wrong with Israel?” A fake ‘Israeli checkpoint’ choking off the main drag of campus. An unbelievable disrespect shown to any speaker whatsoever from Israel. A colleague of mine sums up these displays of “pro-Palestinianism” nicely (hint: they’re actually anti-Israel).
And of course, we come down to the crux of the matter. The only “free” speech is the speech you agree with. I have no common cause with say, pro-lifers, and yet they have an absolute right to push their views just like everyone else. Their display has now come under fire, because someone disagrees. Heaven forbid! They’re not even as in-your-face as the socialist worker’s party club, which features a comrade bellowing out of a megaphone at all hours of the day.
It’s okay to offend some people? But not the ones who might very well want to kill us? Jee-zus. The whole sordid affair seems to echo what Hitchens calls “the cultural cringe of the west.” I’ll quote again from his interview with Michael Totten:
You’ve been around enough to know that someone who showed the symptoms of Major Hasan in the army of Algeria, or Syria, or Tunisia, or Turkey, would have been in jail long before he could have gunned down his fellow soldiers. These countries know very well from bitter experience that you can’t allow zealotry in the army.
We say no, rather than offend Muslims we will allow zealotry in our army. There are those who say people can be made to wear garments that in some Muslim countries are illegal to wear—such as the burkha—because they represent subjection. Some of us think that surely all Muslims do this, but no. What some call our racism or cultural ignorance is, in fact, present in the Western attempt to embrace them.