[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]
Writer David Horowitz has done the country a service by illuminating the extent to which American universities have veered to the political left, but for people whose college days are but distant memories these revelations remain, if you’ll forgive the term, academic. Seldom does the non-student come face to face with the leftist claptrap peddled on college campuses today, even as it creeps as if on cat’s feet into society at large.
But in the course of recent travel I had occasion to attend a social function at which nearly all the other guests were faculty members at a prominent Big Ten university. I found myself in conversation with one of them, a man who holds a PhD in English but whose exact position at the school now escapes me. We were discussing world politics, and as such discussions almost inevitably do, ours turned to the Middle East and Israel. I let it be known that I was a supporter of Israel, as it has been an American ally and is the lone democracy in a region chock-full of despots and tyrannical monarchies. Furthermore, I pointed out that within the memory of many alive today, an erstwhile Western democracy had engaged in a campaign to exterminate as many of the world’s Jews as possible, and that we in the civilized world therefore have a moral obligation to defend Israel from such threats as posed by Iran, whose president has advocated its elimination.
To which my interlocutor countered that the rants of Mr. Ahmadinejad are no worse than those of George W. Bush, who after all branded Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil” in the world and is therefore every bit as deranged as Ahmadinejad, if not more so. He also accused Israel of the very type of atrocities against Palestinians as were perpetrated by the Nazis against European Jewry.
Where, I asked, had Israel engaged in the type of industrialized mass murder against Palestinians as was practiced by the Nazis? He answered that when the Israeli Defense Forces target “so-called terrorists” in, say, a missile strike that kills Palestinian civilians in addition to the intended targets, it is morally indistinguishable from loading men, women, and children onto boxcars and shipping them off to be worked to death or summarily murdered. And, he said, the United States, in dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was as guilty of war crimes against civilians as were the Nazis.
In deference to my host and to my own sense of decorum, I resisted the impulse to attach myself vigorously to the man’s windpipe and give him a swift conk on the snout. The conversation eventually moved on to safer topics like books and movies, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much some parents were paying to have their sons and daughters exposed to such a fetid pile of rubbish.