It hasn’t been the best of weeks on campus for Israel.
- On Monday, Danny Ayalon, the deputy foreign minister, was almost physically assaulted at Oxford Univesity while giving an address to the Oxford Union. Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Ayalon’s speech with onse student even running toward him during the hour-long session, shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” “(Slaughter the Jews!”). As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.
- The same day, on the other side of the Atlantic, Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, attempted to deliver an address at U.C. Irvine in Southern California and was interrupted 10 times before the protestors were forcibly removed. Eventually eleven of the students involved inthe distrubances were arrested. At one stage, Oren had to leave the podium for 20 minute while the auditorium was cleared of hecklers.
- On Tuesday it was the turn of Benny Morris, the iconclastic professor from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, who was prevented from giving his plannned speech at Cambridge University. The Israel Society at Cambridge University succumbed to pressure and canceled his scheduled addres after protesters accused him of “Islamophobia” and “racism.”
If anyone thinks that the three incidents are merely coincidental, think again. All three are part of a concerted plan to demonize I srael on campuses across the world, a campaign that has acheived more success than its organizers could have ever imagined. In Morris’ case, according to the Jerusalem Post, the Muslim victory was self -righteously congratulated by Islamic groups:
“ The Muslim Public Affairs Committee congratulated Cambridge’s Islam Society on the success of their campaign and lobbying to stop the Islamophobe Benny Morris giving a speech at their university… A simple Facebook group and a well written letter is all that it takes to defend your religion,” the group said.”
And how did the authorities react? Well at Oxford there was a reprimand and at UCI, arrests. But at Cambridge, no figure of authority sought to comment onthe irony that while the actress Miriam Margolis is permitted to depict Jews as both bigoted and blood-thirsty, a historian of Morris’ pedigree – with a reputation for remarkable even handedness is treated as a pariah. Last October, lawyer Michel Massih, a man distinguished by his defense of such luminaries as Sudan’s President Bashir, dredged up traditional anti-Semitic tropes, merely switching the word ‘Jew’ for Zionist. In March, 2009 Abdul Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper and who had declared the attack on Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav yeshiva, in which eight students were killed and 15 were wounded, was “justified” as the school was responsible for “hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists.”
And to top it all, in just a few days, Daud Abdullah, deputy-secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, will speak at Islam Week organized by the Cambridge University Islamic Society. Last year, the British government distanced itself from Abdullah after he signed the Istanbul Declaration, in which he called for attacks on the British navy, were it to enforce a ban on arms smuggling to Gaza. He has also called for continued military action against Israel.
Throughout the world, university administrations turn a blind eye to Muslim bigotry and hatred while doing nothing to quell the bilious assault on Jews and Israel. But the rising tide of venom will not stop at just Jews and Zionists. It will eventually swamp the university itself, bringing with it fear and instability. That is a day our universities are attempting to forestall through policies of appeasement. But like all policies of appeasement, they will only serve to swell the tide.