Gaza Campus Protestors: Today’s “Have You No Sense of Decency?”

Yves here. The spectacle of a wave of campus uprisings across the US in opposition to Israel’s genocide in Gaza evoke many memories and associations, above all to the Vietnam War demonstrations of 1968. But as Michael Hudson points out below, the Congressional campaign to ruin anyone who supports the protestors or even the right to free speech as anti-semitic comes right out of Senator Joe McCarthy’s playbook.

One of my two Communist college roommates had a grandmother who was the first to take the Fifth Amendment through her entire grilling by McCarthy, a source of pride in her circle. But then she became a Maoist when the rest of the family was Stalinist, so you could not longer talk about Russia at holiday gatherings.

Nevertheless, both roommates were very involved in the South Africa solidarity movement and promoted South African divestiture. I was apolitical and very much a nerd at the time and so regarded their campaign with curiosity, only to see later that they had been right, and early on top of that.

There’s a lot to like in Michael Hudson’s post below, such as his shellacking of Columbia President Nemat Shafik’s bootlicking performance before Congress.

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is The Destiny of Civilization. Originally published in the Investigación Económica (Economic Research), produced by UNAM (Autonomous National University of Mexico)

The recent Congressional hearings leading to a bloodbath of university presidents brings back memories from my teen-age years in the 1950s when everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV broadcast of the McCarthy hearings. And the student revolts incited by vicious college presidents trying to stifle academic freedom when it opposes foreign unjust wars awakens memories of the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War and the campus clampdowns confronting police violence. I was the junior member of the “Columbia three” alongside Seymour Melman and my mentor Terence McCarthy (both of whom taught at Columbia’s Seeley Mudd School of Industrial Engineering; my job was mainly to handle publicity and publication). At the end of that decade, students occupied my office and all others at the New School’s graduate faculty in New York City – very peacefully, without disturbing any of my books and papers.

Only the epithets have changed. The invective “Communist” has been replaced by “anti-Semite,” and the renewal of police violence on campus has not yet led to a Kent State-style rifle barrage against protesters. But the common denominators are all here once again. A concerted effort has been organized to condemn and even to punish today’s nationwide student uprisings against the genocide occurring in Gaza and the West Bank. Just as the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) aimed to end the careers of progressive actors, directors, professors and State Department officials unsympathetic to Chiang Kai-Shek or sympathetic to the Soviet Union from 1947 to 1975, today’s version aims at ending what remains of academic freedom in the United States.

The epithet of “communism” from 75 years ago has been updated to “anti-Semitism.” Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin has been replaced by Elise Stefanik, House Republican from upstate New York, and Senator “Scoop” Jackson upgraded to President Joe Biden. Harvard University President Claudine Gay (now forced to resign), former University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill (also given the boot), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth were called upon to abase themselves by promising to accuse peace advocates critical of U.S. foreign policy of anti-Semitism.

The most recent victim was Columbia’s president Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, a cosmopolitan opportunist with trilateral citizenship who enforced neoliberal economic policy as a high-ranking official at the IMF (where she was no stranger to the violence of “IMF riots) and the World Bank, and who brought her lawyers along to help her acquiesce in the Congressional Committee’s demands. She did that and more, all on her own. Despite being told not to by the faculty and student affairs committees, she called in the police to arrest peaceful demonstrators. This radical trespass of police violence against peaceful demonstrators (the police themselves attested to their peacefulness) triggered sympathetic revolts throughout the United States, met with even more violent police responses at Emory College in Atlanta and California State Polytechnic, where cell phone videos were quickly posted on various media platforms.

Just as intellectual freedom and free speech were attacked by HUAC 75 years ago, academic freedom is now under attack at these universities. The police have trespassed onto school grounds to accuse students themselves of trespassing, with violence reminiscent of the demonstrations that peaked in May 1970 when the Ohio National Guard shot Kent State students singing and speaking out against America’s war in Vietnam.

Today’s demonstrations are in opposition to the Biden-Netanyahu genocide in Gaza and the West Bank. The more underlying crisis can be boiled down to the insistence by Benjamin Netanyahu that to criticize Israel is anti-Semitic. That is the “enabling slur” of today’s assault on academic freedom.

By “Israel,” Biden and Netanyahu mean specifically the right-wing Likud Party and its theocratic supporters aiming to create “a land without a [non-Jewish] people.” They assert that Jews owe their loyalty not to their current nationality (or humanity) but to Israel and its policy of driving the Gaza Strip’s millions of Palestinians into the sea by bombing them out of their homes, hospitals and refugee camps.

The implication is that to support the International Court of Justice’s accusations that Israel is plausibly committing genocide is an anti-Semitic act. Supporting the UN resolutions vetoed by the United States is anti-Semitic.

The claim is that Israel is defending itself and that protesting the genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank frightens Jewish students. But research by students at Columbia’s School of Journalism found that the complaints cited by the New York Times and other pro-Israeli media were made by non-students trying to spread the story that Israel’s violence was in self-defense.

The student violence has been by Israeli nationals. Columbia has a student-exchange program with Israel for students who finish their compulsory training with the Israeli Defense Forces. It was some of these exchange students who attacked pro-Gaza demonstrators, spraying them with Skunk, a foul-smelling indelible Israeli army chemical weapon that marks demonstrators for subsequent arrest, torture or assassination. The only students endangered were the victims of this attack. Columbia under Shafik did nothing to protect or help the victims.

The hearings to which she submitted speak for themselves. Columbia’s president Shafik was able to avoid the first attack on universities not sufficiently pro-Likud by having meetings outside of the country. Yet she showed herself willing to submit to the same brow-beating that had led her two fellow presidents to be fired, hoping that her lawyers had prompted her to submit in a way that would be acceptable to the committee.

I found the most demagogic attack to be that of Republican Congressman Rick Allen from Georgia, asking Dr. Shafik whether she was familiar with the passage in Genesis 12.3. As he explained” “It was a covenant that God made with Abraham. And that covenant was real clear. … ‘If you bless Israel, I will bless you. If you curse Israel, I will curse you.’ … Do you consider that to be a serious issue? I mean, do you want Columbia University to be cursed by God of the Bible?”[1]

Shafik smiled and was friendly all the way through this bible thumping, and replied meekly, “Definitely not.”

She might have warded off this browbeating question by saying, “Your question is bizarre. This is 2024, and America is not a theocracy. And the Israel of the early 1st century BC was not Netanyahu’s Israel of today.” She accepted all the accusations that Allen and his fellow Congressional inquisitors threw at her.

Her main nemesis was Elise Stefanik, Chair of the House Republican Conference, who is on the House Armed Services Committee, and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Congresswoman Stefanik:  You were asked were there any anti-Jewish protests and you said ‘No’.

President Shafik: So the protest was not labeled as an anti-Jewish protest. It was labeled as an anti-Israeli government. But antisemitic incidents happened or antisemitic things were said. So I just wanted to finish.

Congresswoman Stefanik: And you are aware that in that bill, that got 377 Members out of 435 Members of Congress, condemns ‘from the river to the sea’ as antisemitic?

Dr. Shafik: Yes, I am aware of that.

Congresswoman Stefanik: But you don’t believe ‘from the river to the sea’ is antisemitic?

Dr. Shafik: We have already issued a statement to our community saying that language is hurtful and we would prefer not to hear it on our campus.[2]

What an Appropriate Response to Stefanik’s Browbeating Might Have Been?

Shafik could have said, “The reason why students are protesting is against the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians, as the International Court of Justice has ruled, and most of the United Nations agree. I’m proud of them for taking a moral stand that most of the world supports but is under attack here in this room.”

Instead, Shafik seemed more willing than the leaders of Harvard or Penn to condemn and potentially discipline students and faculty for using the term “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” She could have said that it is absurd to say that this is a call to eliminate Israel’s Jewish population, but is a call to give Palestinians freedom instead of being treated as Untermenschen.

Asked explicitly whether calls for genocide violate Columbia’s code of conduct, Dr. Shafik answered in the affirmative — “Yes, it does.” So did the other Columbia leaders who accompanied her at the hearing. They did not say that this is not at all what the protests are about. Neither Shafik nor any other of the university officials say, “Our university is proud of our students taking an active political and social role in protesting the idea of ethnic cleansing and outright murder of families simply to grab the land that they live on. Standing up for that moral principle is what education is all about, and what civilization’s all about.”

 The one highlight that I remember from the McCarthy hearings was the reply by Joseph Welch, the U.S. Army’s Special Council, on June 9, 1954 to Republican Senator Joe McCarthy’s charge that one of Welch’s attorneys had ties to a Communist front organization. “Until this moment, senator,” Welsh replied, “I think I never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. … Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

The audience broke into wild applause. Welch’s put-down has echoed for the past 70 years in the minds of those who were watching television then (as I was, at age 15). A similar answer by any of the three other college presidents would have shown Stefanik to be the vulgarian that she is. But none ventured to stand up against the abasement.

The Congressional attack accusing opponents of genocide in Gaza as anti-Semites supporting genocide against the Jews is bipartisan. Already in December, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) helped cause Harvard and Penn’s presidents to be fired for their stumbling over her red-baiting. She repeated her question to Shafik on April 17: “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Columbia’s code of conduct?” Bonamici asked the four new Columbia witnesses. All responded: “Yes.”

That was the moment when they should have said that the students were not calling for genocide of the Jews, but seeking to mobilize opposition to genocide being committed by the Likud government against the Palestinians with President Biden’s full support.

During a break in the proceedings Rep. Stefanik told the press that “the witnesses were overheard discussing how well they thought their testimony was going for Columbia.” This arrogance is eerily reminiscent to the previous three university presidents who believed when walking out of the hearing that their testimony was acceptable. “Columbia is in for a reckoning of accountability. If it takes a member of Congress to force a university president to fire a pro-terrorist, antisemitic faculty chair, then Columbia University leadership is failing Jewish students and its academic mission,” added Stefanik. “No amount of overlawyered, overprepped, and over-consulted testimony is going to cover up for failure to act.”[3]

Shafik could have pointedly corrected the implications by the House inquisitors that it was Jewish students who needed protection. The reality was just the opposite: The danger was from the Israeli IDF students who attacked the demonstrators with military Skunk, with no punishment by Columbia.

Despite being told not to by the faculty and student groups (which Shafik was officially bound to consult), she called in the police, who arrested 107 students, tied their hands behind their backs and kept them that way for many hours as punishment while charging them for trespassing on Columbia’s property. Shafik then suspended them from classes.

The Clash Between Two Kinds of Judaism: Zionist vs. Assimilationist

A good number of these protestors being criticized were Jewish. Netanyahu and AIPAC have claimed – correctly, it seems – that the greatest danger to their current genocidal policies comes from the traditionally liberal Jewish middle-class population. Progressive Jewish groups have joined the uprisings at Columbia and other universities.

Early Zionism arose in late 19th-century Europe as a response to the violent pogroms killing Jews in Ukrainian cities such as Odessa and other Central European cities that were the center of anti-Semitism. Zionism promised to create a safe refuge. It made sense at a time when Jews were fleeing their countries to save their lives in countries that accepted them. They were the “Gazans” of their day.

After World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust anti-Semitism became passé. Most Jews in the United States and other countries were being assimilated and becoming prosperous, most successfully in the United States. The past century has seen this success enable them to assimilate, while retaining the moral standard that ethnic and religious discrimination such as that which their forbears had suffered is wrong in principle. Jewish activists were in the forefront of fighting for civil liberties, most visibly against anti-Black prejudice and violence in the 1960s and ‘70s, and against the Vietnam War. Many of my Jewish school friends in the 1950s bought Israel bonds, but thought of Israel as a socialist country and thought of volunteering to work on a kibbutz in the summer. There was no thought of antagonism, and I heard no mention of the Palestinian population when the phrase “a people without a land in a land without a people” was spoken.

But Zionism’s leaders have remained obsessed with the old antagonisms in the wake of Nazism’s murders of so many Jews. In many ways they have turned Nazism inside out, fearing a renewed attack from non-Jews. Driving the Arabs out of Israel and making it an apartheid state was just the opposite of what assimilationist Jews aimed at.

The moral stance of progressive Jews, and the ideal that Jews, blacks and members of all other religions and races should be treated equally, is the opposite of Israeli Zionism. In the hands of Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the influx of right-wing supporters, Zionism asserts a claim to set Jewish people apart from the rest of their national population, and even from the rest of the world, as we are seeing today.

Claiming to speak for all Jews, living and dead, Netanyahu asserts that to criticize his genocide and the Palestinian holocaust, the nakba, is anti-Semitic. This is the position of Stefanik and her fellow committee members. It is an assertion that Jews owe their first allegiance to Israel, and hence to its ethnic cleansing and mass murder since last October. President Biden also has labeled the student demonstrations “antisemitic protests.”

This claim in the circumstances of Israel’s ongoing genocide is causing more anti-Semitism than anyone since Hitler. If people throughout the world come to adopt Netanyahu’s and his cabinet’s definition of anti-Semitism, how many, being repulsed by Israel’s actions, will say, “If that is the case, then indeed I guess I’m anti-Semitic.”

Netanyahu’s Slander Against Judaism and What Civilization Should Stand For

Netanyahu characterized the U.S. protests in an extremist speech on April 24 attacking American academic freedom.

What’s happening in America’s college campuses is horrific. Antisemitic mobs have taken over leading universities. They call for the annihilation of Israel, they attack Jewish students, they attack Jewish faculty. This is reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s. We see this exponential rise of antisemitism throughout America and throughout Western societies as Israel tries to defend itself against genocidal terrorists, genocidal terrorists who hide behind civilians.

It’s unconscionable, it has to be stopped, it has to be condemned and condemned unequivocally. But that’s not what happened. The response of several university presidents was shameful. Now, fortunately, state, local, federal officials, many of them have responded differently but there has to be more. More has to be done.[4]

This is a call to make American universities into arms of a police state, imposing policies dictated by Israel’s settler state. That call is being funded by a circular flow: Congress gives enormous subsidies to Israel, which recycles some of this money back into the election campaigns of politicians willing to serve their donors. It is the same policy that Ukraine uses when it employs U.S. “aid” by setting up well-funded lobbying organizations to back client politicians.

What kind of student and academic protest expressions could oppose the Gaza and West Bank genocide without explicitly threatening Jewish students? How about “Palestinians are human being too!” That is not aggressive. To make it more ecumenical, one could add “And so are the Russians, despite what Ukrainian neo-Nazis say.”

I can understand why Israelis feel threatened by Palestinians. They know how many they have killed and brutalized to grab their land, killing just to “free” the land for themselves. They must think “If the Palestinians are like us, they must want to kill us, because of what we have done to them and there can never be a two-state solution and we can never live together, because this land was given to us by God.”

Netanyahu fanned the flames after his April 24 speech by raising today’s conflict to the level of a fight for civilization: “What is important now is for all of us, all of us who are interested and cherish our values and our civilization, to stand up together and to say enough is enough.”

Is what Israel is doing, and what the United Nations, the International Court of Justice and most of the Global Majority oppose, really “our civilization”? Ethnic cleansing, genocide and treating the Palestinian population as conquered and to be expelled as subhumans is an assault on the most basic principles of civilization.

Peaceful students defending that universal concept of civilization are called terrorists and anti-Semites – by the terrorist Israeli Prime Minister. He is following the tactics of Joseph Goebbels: The way to mobilize a population to fight the enemy is to depict yourself as under attack. That was the Nazi public relations strategy, and it is the PR strategy of Israel today – and of many in the American Congress, in AIPAC and many related institutions that proclaim a morally offensive idea of civilization as the ethnic supremacy of a group sanctioned by God.

The real focus of the protests is the U.S. policy that is backing Israel’s ethnic cleansing and genocide supported by last week’s foreign “aid.” It is also a protest against the corruption of Congressional politicians raising money from lobbyists representing foreign interests over those of the United States. Last week’s “aid” bill also backed Ukraine, that other country presently engaged in ethnic cleansing, with House members waved Ukrainian flags, not those of the United States. Shortly before that, one Congressman wore his Israeli army uniform into Congress to advertise his priorities.

Zionism has gone far beyond Judaism. I’ve read that there are nine Christian Zionists for every Jewish Zionists. It is as if both groups are calling for the End Time to arrive, while insisting that support for the United Nations and the International Court of Justice condemning Israel for genocide is anti-Semitic.

What CAN the Students at Columbia Ask For:

Students at Columbia and other universities have called for universities to disinvest in Israeli stocks, and also those of U.S. arms makers exporting to Israel. Given the fact that universities have become business organizations, I don’t think that this is the most practical demand at present. Most important, it doesn’t go to the heart of the principles at work.

What really is the big public relations issue is the unconditional U.S. backing for Israel come what may, with “anti-Semitism” the current propaganda epithet to characterize those who oppose genocide and brutal land grabbing.

They should insist on a public announcement by Columbia (and also Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, who were equally obsequious to Rep. Stefanik) that they recognize that it is not anti-Semitic to condemn genocide, support the United Nations and denounce the U.S. veto.

They should insist that Columbia and the other universities making a sacrosanct promise not to call police onto academic grounds over issues of free speech.

They should insist that the president be fired for her one-sided support of Israeli violence against her students. In that demand they are in agreement with Rep. Stefanik’s principle of protecting students, and that Dr. Shafik must go.

But there is one class of major offenders that should be held up for contempt: the donors who try to attack academic freedom by using their money to influence university policy and turn universities away from the role in supporting academic freedom and free speech. The students should insist that university administrators – the unpleasant opportunists standing above the faculty and students – must not only refuse such pressure but should join in publicly expressing shock over such covert political influence.

The problem is that American universities have become like Congress in basing their policy on attracting contributions from their donors. That is the academic equivalent of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Numerous Zionist funders have threatened to withdraw their contributions to Harvard, Columbia and other schools not following Netanyahu’s demands to clamp down on opponents of genocide and defenders of the United Nations. These funders are the enemies of the students at such universities, and both students and faculty should insist on their removal. Just as Dr. Shafik’s International Monetary Fund fell subject to its economists’ protest that there must be “No more Argentinas,” perhaps the Columbia students could chant “No More Shafiks.”



[3] Nicholas FandosStephanie Saul and Sharon Otterman, “Columbia’s President Tells Congress That Action Is Needed Against Antisemitism,” The New York Times, April 17, 2024., and “Columbia President Grilled During Congressional Hearing on Campus Antisemitism,” Jewish Journal, April 18, 2024.

[4] Miranda Nazzaro. “Netanyahu condemns ‘antisemitic mobs’ on US college campuses,” The Hill, April 24, 2024.

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  1. Phil

    What the students could really use is a simple slogan along the lines of “Today the Palestinians, tomorrow you”. That really gets the point across, without having to argue if its anti Semitic or not.

    1. Dissident Dreamer

      The students are against the subjugation of Palestinians but what they’re really really against is their genocide. That’s what got them out to protest and they should say so.

      I recommend “I Hate Genocide. Do You?

      1. elissa3

        Very good, but I’ve contrived what I believe is a most succinct expression/display: a button-sized circle with a black border and a diagonal red line–in other words, the universally recognized “no” or “none” symbol, with “GENO- CIDE” as the text (two lines) on the button.

        I’m wearing this makeshift button everywhere. It gets the point across with the viewer supplying the context. And can anyone possibly object to genocide?

        Also, I’m bringing back the idea of a kind of bumper sticker; actually, a homemade printed statement that I tape to the back of my car’s rear window.

    2. timbers

      Totally agree and my thinking last several weeks are just like that…as Max Bluementhal of The Grey Zone said recently “the Israeli lobby is an existential threat to basic American rights”. Just as The Patriot Act is now being used against the American people who have political views and actions and voting desires inconvenient to Establishment Elites, the actions and laws AIPAC wants are a continuation and doubling down of The Patriot Act. As in for the present, we the American non elites are being slowly Palistinian-ized. Using the words of Netanyahu, America is but a “Mountain” to be moved in Israel’s interests/agenda. What happens when the agenda changes in a bad way for America?

    3. Emma

      The students have a very clear and consistent messaging – ending the Gaza genocide. The everything else – police brutality, craven administration, McCarthyite politicians, threats to shelter and education for exercising their first amendment rights to protest against genocide… Is coming out of what has been done against them. Its the rest of us who should be taking notes and joining in.

    4. ciroc

      For Zionists, the pro-Palestinian movement itself is anti-Semitic, so they will find anti-Semitism in all pro-Palestinian slogans.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        Zionists are not the target audience for the slogan. Low-info non-Jewish people are, those whose info inputs come mainly from the legacy media.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Going for a very simplistic view here. So right now there are people trying to label those college protestors as antisemitic which you can translate as Jew haters. It is one of the worst libels in modern society even though once it was a matter of a Gentleman’s Agreement. But is it true? Well no. Yesterday I saw a meme that exactly explained how things stand right now-

    So I will back off and state what I see happening. You have a bunch of American kids exercising their Constitutional right to protest under the free speech amendment. On the other hand you have a bunch of people who are prioritizing another country altogether and seeking to deny those kid’s their proper voice. The politicians take this view as do the organs of state because reasons.

    Their formal response were those Congressional hearings which may have been rehearsed as everybody knew their lines going in. Their informal response was to send in the riot cops because Zionist elements goosed them to do so. Those Zionists should be aware of the fact that it is possible to win a tactical battle which at the same time loses you the strategic war.

  3. Emma

    Disagree with Professor Hudson on origins of Zionism. Zionism arose out of Christian thoughts on reconquest of the Holy Lands and 19th century imperialist colonialism. Its strongest Jewish advocates were wealthy men in Central and Western Europe intent on finding their own colony, rather than in the Pale of Settlement where intensive persecution of Jews occurred.

    The Zionist argument that Jews cannot successfully integrate in the diaspora and must have their own land is one rejected by most European Jewry prior to WWII, while Zionists collaborated closely with Christian anti-semites who wanted to drive Jews out of Europe because they were seen as a socialist threat.

    1. digi_owl

      “while Zionists collaborated closely with Christian anti-semites who wanted to drive Jews out of Europe because they were seen as a socialist threat.”

      Funny that, given how many rich families were Jewish.

      Two words that will spook just about anyone in power is socialism and communism it seems. Wonder why.

    2. Es s Ce Tera

      I also disagree with Professor Hudson that Zionism at one time made sense, that Jews were fleeing for their lives, the Gazans of the day. Yes, many Jews were fleeing for their lives, were the Gazans of their day, but Zionists were at odds with International and European Jewish Congresses in that they agreed WITH the pogroms and anti-semitic regimes that Jews SHOULD be deported, gotten rid of, and were AGAINST the right of Jews to exist anywhere but Israel. Most Jews believed they had a right to exist in their own home countries, where they had lived for generations, and should resist deportations, defend their rights, whereas the Zionists did not. To this end, the Zionists were controversial and upset the Jewish community by, for example, making arrangements, without authority or permission, with the bureaucracy of Nazi Germany to safely deport Jews. The Zionist project was in agreement with the Nazi project, so could hardly be said to be a response to it. And Theodor Herzl himself would be considered quite anti-semitic by modern standards, particularly for his belief that Jews were inferior to gentiles, could not co-exist with other cultures, were problematic.

      See p.23 here, for example:

      1. Michael Hudson

        Yes, there was indeed that fight from the beginning. But there was always some ambiguity at work, even among the liberal Jewish classmates that I grew up with.
        Much Zionism indeed sprung from European anti-Semitism: as you say, “Get them off our continent.”
        I made too abbreviated a summary statement.

  4. Dissident Dreamer

    Yalensis goes off the rails at Awful Avalanche – I hope.

    I don’t know if anyone here reads this guy. I got him from occasional mentions in MoA comments. I don’t know who, what or where he is except that he’s pro Russian if occasionally mildly critical of Putin but I find him fairly amusing and quirky on mostly small stories about the Ukraine conflict.

    On this story though he seems to have lost his instincts. He says, via RT America, via the New York Post, that the protesters are being financed by George Soros.

    He admits that the NYP is right wing and pro Israel and, at least ostensibly, anti Soros but doesn’t join the dots and see that this is twofer, a slur on the protesters and on Soros.

    I do hope he’s wrong.

    1. Lee

      I imagine there’s a great deal of dark money flowing about on all sides, which like dark matter, exceeds both the mass and energy of all publicly known funding. A friend of mine was a courier delivering brown paper bags of cash from a very rich, very famous rock group, who will herein remain nameless, and various anti-Vietnam war organizations.

  5. John

    Those were not hearings that Congress held. They were lynchings without the rope. HUAC would be proud. The pusillanimous performances by college administrators in defense of their hedge funds at the expense of academic freedom was odious, but not unexpected.

    I remember the Army-McCarthy hearings. I remember Joseph Welch squelching McCarthy. I remember the Anti-War protests of the 1960s. I remember the 1968 democratic convention.

    Netanyahu’s government lit this fire. You congress critters threw fuel on the flames. Enjoy the heat.

    1. Michael Hudson

      So at least one of the college presidents should have said at the outset of the proceedings, “I take the Fifth.”
      When the no-doubt amazed House Inquisitor asked, “Why, what have you done that could warrant protection?” the president could say, “Nothing yet. But if I opened my mouth and started to answer, you would find something to grandstand and browbeat me!”
      That’s the only way to behave at these meetings — or better yet, not attend at all.

      1. redleg

        College presidents’ primary responsibility is begging donors for money. Expecting any one of them to actually stand up to anyone with as much as a mote of power is unrealistic since their livelihood depends on them not doing that.

        1. juno mas

          …and many of the newer college presidents have little experience navigating contentious issues. Inclusion without competence gets dicey when it comes to leadership.

          1. JonnyJames

            “leadership” ? Is that the NewSpeak definition?

            “leadership” of amoral, anti-intellectual, authoritarian, psychopaths might be called another name in the English language. I know of a few English words of Old Norse origin that fit the bill, but some would find it inappropriate and offensive. :-)

        2. flora

          Yes. And this largely began in earnest, as in ‘must have donors to just keep the lights on’ as opposed to ‘it would be nice to have donors to fund a new building’, during the Reagan presidency when fed govt direct aid to colleges was curtailed. Then the states got on board with curtailing state aid to state colleges. Those state tax cuts had to be funded by cuts elsewhere, like cuts to education. Tax cuts were all the rage in Reagan’s 1980’s, and later.

          1. flora

            This report covers years 2007-2017. The damage from the prior twenty years, from the Reagan admin era on, was already significant.

            It wasn’t just cuts to colleges and unis; cuts to junior colleges and vocational schools and even to k-12 schools were also underway. The No Child Left Behind Act was a way to cut funding to primary and secondary schools unless certain test performance metrics were met. Thus began ‘teach to the test’ and the destruction of primary school education, imo.

            The govt – fed and state – stopped investing the the country’s future, imo. Per neoliberal economic imperatives, there was no profit to be made in spending money on private citizens’ educations.
            A short sighted view in the extreme, imo.

            1. flora

              That is, no private profit to be made spending tax dollars to subsidize private citizens’ educations. LOTS of money to be made by the private sector on ever increasing student loan debt encumbrances. A neoliberal win-win, as long as you don’t care about the future.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      Welch’s interdiction was eloquent and effective, but he also had the distinct advantage of being a partner at political-power-center-manifesting-as-a-law-firm Hale and Dorr, and representing the US Army at those hearings, which occurred just as McCarthy’s usefulness for the Cold War project was rapidly ebbing.

      Despite Welch’s eloquence, HUAC and the blacklist continued on for years – the major breach in Hollywood only occurred when Kirk Douglas insisted that Dalton Trumbo get screen credit for Spartacus, itself an implicitly Pinko story written by blacklisted author Howard Fast, in 1960 – and we’ll never hear as much about Paul Robeson’s brave HUAC testimony, two years after Welch supposedly “destroyed” McCarthyism, as we will this.

      1. The Rev Kev

        McCarthy was on a roll going after Hollywood and the State Department but then he got greedy and set his sights on the US Army. That was a bridge too far and Welch’s testimony can be seen as the Army dropping the boom on him.

  6. Donald

    I’ve been a broken record on this among the very small number of people I talk to about this, but the deep underlying problem in American discussion of this is that in the mainstream the only talk is about antisemitism and never the nearly universal anti- Palestinian racism that underlies our policies in that part of the world.

    So people argue about antisemitism. Israel apologists constantly act like they occupy the moral high ground— Mt Sinai or Mt. Olympus- and from their lofty perch they toss accusations of antisemite at any Israel critic they deem as going too far and people respond by saying they haven’t crossed that line. Over and over again.

    If you are constantly playing defense, amongst people who aren’t paying attention you are losing.

    The reality is that people who defend Israel’s conduct over the past 76 years are showing utter contempt for the most basic human rights of Palestinians and are therefore racist. Some are genocidal. Kristof recently replied to a comment to one of his columns, a comment which got over 1000 “ likes” which said there were no innocent Gazans except children who couldn’t speak yet. Kristof politely replied that children are innocent even if they say horrible things. He didn’t call it genocidal racism. I will try to find the link in a minute. Anyway, comments and attitudes like that are common, yet all we ever hear condemned as bigotry are people who defend Hamas terrorism. I have tried pointing out, politely, that there are two opposite forms of bigotry at work in the discussions about Gaza. So far, the NYT has never published my comments.

  7. Donald

    I posted a long comment about genocidal racism on the pro Israel side which is never discussed in the mainstream, but it went into moderation. Here is a link to a NYT comment which got over 1500 “ likes”— the writer says there are few innocents in Gaza, except children who can’t talk. He is responding to a Kristof column arguing that too many civilians are being killed and Biden is wrong to support this.

  8. Cristobal

    As Dr. Hudson said, Netanyahu and his ilk are doing everything they can to convince people that maybe Hitler had a point. The Zionist project in “that place” is a veritable machine for creating anti-semitism. I am astonished there is not more of it — yet.

    1. digi_owl

      Maybe more of us are smarter than assumed, and are able to distinguish Israel the state from the larger Jewish population.

      That said, it is becoming increasingly tiresome to see well off persons with a Jewish background throw their money around in defense of Israeli atrocities.

      1. Aidan

        To be fair, Israel is in a difficult situation as far as optics go. They’re attack on Gaza is considered a genocide, yet they aren’t a position where weakness will be accepted. I don’t blame anyone who has heritage there for supporting the war.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Oh, come on. “Considered a genocide”? Israeli officials are BRAGGING about their savage crimes.

          And “they aren’t a position where weakness will be accepted”. The people who “aren’t accepting” are the Israelis themselves, not any outside actors.

    2. JonnyJames

      The old, worn out ad hom insult of “anti-Semite” is a pathetic attempt to preemptively attack anyone critical, and as a grand diversion from the issues.

      Zionism = Anti-Jewish
      1. Zionism claims to speak for all Jews
      2. Most Jews do not live in Israel
      3. Zionism is a far-right, nationalist, racist POLITICAL ideology
      4. Zionism accuses other Jews who do not support as being “Self-Hating Jews” (Norm Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Max Blumenthal, Dennis Bernstein, Medea Benjamin….)
      5. Zionism generates a self-fulfillling prophecy and amounts to a suicide-death cult

  9. matt

    I am a college student at an irrelevant university and what frustrates me the most is that the demands are for “divestment” and “cutting ties with defense companies” (at least here.) I do not understand how not inviting defense companies to job fairs will change anything. People will still apply there. Our campus police and admin are not escalating very much but students extremely want them to escalate so they can say they were attacked and paint the admin as a grand evil that must be fought against. Which i somewhat get (that is a pretty classic strategy) but shouldnt people be happy the admin doesnt care enough to attack them?
    I think its great people are protesting. I love free speech. I just find at my school, the demands are really confusing and the people running our protests have a history of being really ineffective. And I personally am putting school before activism because studying makes me a more effective climate justice advocate.

    1. Eclair

      You might want to consider, Matt, the effects of genocide on the environment. According to this article, the first two months of the Israeli bombardment (bombs ‘Made in the USA!) released CO2 equivalent to 75 coal-fired power plants operating for a year. And, that is not taking into account the CO2 footprint of the US military.
      You might combine ‘activism’ and advocacy for climate justice by bringing a sign to a protest that highlights these environmentally degrading actions. As some environmentalists are wont to say: Everything is connected.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      In addition to the excellent reply from Eclair, I would point out that the same defense companies that supply bombs and other lethal weapons to Israel supply depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine, where they have already caused likely environmental damage in Europe.

      The Russians may have destroyed most of the rounds in an airstrike last year, with some reports of elevated radiation levels as far as the UK. This is controversial but the supply of the weapons is not.

      As someone in the back half of my working days, I understand your frustration and understand how difficult it can be to establish yourself in today’s economy. I would counsel that you consider your employer carefully, though. When you get to my age, you will look back at your time spent working and if you’re a thoughtful person, as you seem to be, you will ask yourself if you contributed anything positive to the world. Working for defense companies that supply the weapons that maim and kill Palestinian children may not be good for your mental health.

    3. Anonymous

      Most of the protests appear to be posturing to me. They’re protesting in places that don’t make a difference and I can’t help but feel like much of it is ingenuine.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Huh? The official over-reaction, particularly calling in snipers, says the reverse.

        Did you miss that these kids are also limiting their future employment options? Zionist bigwigs have said, effectively, that they’ll be blacklisted by many orgs.

  10. CA

    June 2, 2016

    Let Them Drown
    The Violence of Othering in a Warming World
    By Naomi Klein

    Edward Said was no tree-hugger. Descended from traders, artisans and professionals, he once described himself as ‘an extreme case of an urban Palestinian whose relationship to the land is basically metaphorical’. In After the Last Sky, his meditation on the photographs of Jean Mohr, he explored the most intimate aspects of Palestinian lives, from hospitality to sports to home décor. The tiniest detail – the placing of a picture frame, the defiant posture of a child – provoked a torrent of insight from Said. Yet when confronted with images of Palestinian farmers – tending their flocks, working the fields – the specificity suddenly evaporated. Which crops were being cultivated? What was the state of the soil? The availability of water? Nothing was forthcoming. ‘I continue to perceive a population of poor, suffering, occasionally colourful peasants, unchanging and collective,’ Said confessed. This perception was ‘mythic’, he acknowledged – yet it remained.

    If farming was another world for Said, those who devoted their lives to matters like air and water pollution appear to have inhabited another planet. Speaking to his colleague Rob Nixon, he once described environmentalism as ‘the indulgence of spoiled tree-huggers who lack a proper cause’. But the environmental challenges of the Middle East are impossible to ignore for anyone immersed, as Said was, in its geopolitics. This is a region intensely vulnerable to heat and water stress, to sea-level rise and to desertification. A recent paper in Nature Climate Change predicts that, unless we radically lower emissions and lower them fast, large parts of the Middle East will likely ‘experience temperature levels that are intolerable to humans’ by the end of this century. And that’s about as blunt as climate scientists get. Yet environmental issues in the region still tend to be treated as afterthoughts, or luxury causes. The reason is not ignorance, or indifference. It’s just bandwidth. Climate change is a grave threat but the most frightening impacts are in the medium term. And in the short term, there are always far more pressing threats to contend with: military occupation, air assault, systemic discrimination, embargo. Nothing can compete with that – nor should it attempt to try.

    There are other reasons why environmentalism might have looked like a bourgeois playground to Said. The Israeli state has long coated its nation-building project in a green veneer – it was a key part of the Zionist ‘back to the land’ pioneer ethos. And in this context trees, specifically, have been among the most potent weapons of land grabbing and occupation. It’s not only the countless olive and pistachio trees that have been uprooted to make way for settlements and Israeli-only roads. It’s also the sprawling pine and eucalyptus forests that have been planted over those orchards, as well as over Palestinian villages, most notoriously by the Jewish National Fund, which, under its slogan ‘Turning the Desert Green’, boasts of having planted 250 million trees in Israel since 1901, many of them non-native to the region. In publicity materials, the JNF bills itself as just another green NGO, concerned with forest and water management, parks and recreation. It also happens to be the largest private landowner in the state of Israel, and despite a number of complicated legal challenges, it still refuses to lease or sell land to non-Jews.

    I grew up in a Jewish community where every occasion – births and deaths, Mother’s Day, bar mitzvahs – was marked with the proud purchase of a JNF tree in the person’s honour. It wasn’t until adulthood that I began to understand that those feel-good faraway conifers, certificates for which papered the walls of my Montreal elementary school, were not benign – not just something to plant and later hug. In fact these trees are among the most glaring symbols of Israel’s system of official discrimination – the one that must be dismantled if peaceful co-existence is to become possible…

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      Very important article from @NaomiAKlein, one of the main Jewish thinkers of our age, which argues that Zionism is a perversion of Judaism, the pursuit of a “false idol” as she puts it. *

      It is so important because the single most damaging direction we can take as a result of Gaza is to buy into Israel’s current narrative that Judaism is Zionism, and that opposing it is therefore antisemitic. This is absolutely key, because from it stems absolutely everything else.

      It would be immensely damaging because it takes an extreme, radicalized and murderous ideology “that commits genocide in our name” (quote from the article) and says “this is Judaism, the first monotheistic religion, from which the other 2 derive”. There is no overstating how destructive this is to the very foundation of our culture, to the very core of our identity. Literally corrosive to who we are on a biblical scale.

      It is also immensely damaging because of course everything Zionism stands for runs so counter to fundamental human values we all share:

      – The sanctity of human life
      – The belief that theft is wrong
      – The belief that all humans, no matter their religion or ethnic origins, are equal
      – Etc.

      As Klein points out “it is a false idol that has led far too many of our own people down a deeply immoral path that now has them justifying the shredding of core commandments: thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet.”

      Coming back on this and saying that fighting for those fundamental values is “antisemitic” – a repulsive moral crime – is nihilistic to the extreme. It is a negation of our very humanity.

      All this would ultimately not only result in Judaism destroying itself by becoming coopted by this militaristic ethnostate political project, but it risks destroying all the countries that support it alongside with it. The moral contradictions necessary to support this are just too overwhelming, it’s like acid on the soul of these countries.

      And that’s why Jewish voices like Klein are so important. Because, as Mearsheimer and Walt argued in their famous book in the Israel lobby, accusations of antisemitism are “the Great Silencer”, a scarily powerful tool to silence criticism of Israel’s actions. And Jewish voices have of course the immense advantage of being able to say “I’m Jewish”, kryptonite to “the Great Silencer”. Which is why the fact so many of these students protesting today in US campuses are Jewish is totally silenced by so many media, as admitting it would reduce the potency of “the Great Silencer”.

      It’s not only important because they have this “Great Silencer” kryptonite, but also because their activism is in of itself the best weapon against actual antisemitism, the real one this time, which does exist. If the current Israeli project of equating Zionism with Judaism did succeed and were to be commonly accepted, then naturally all Jewish people would be equated with Zionism and its actions, which anyone with an ounce of common sense can understand would make actual antisemitism surge.

      The more Jewish people like Klein say “not in our name”, the more Zionism is seen as it should rightly be seen: a “false idol” that “Jews need an exodus from”, in order to ultimately resolve the biggest injustice of our age, that inflicted on the Palestinians.

      * We need an exodus from Zionism | Naomi Klein

      3:01 AM · Apr 25, 2024

      1. David in Friday Harbor

        Klein’s Brooklyn Passover Seder talk outside Schumer’s house was an inspiration.

        Let’s not forget the other Commandments that the Nut ‘n Yahoo fascists are trashing:

        Thou shalt not bear False Witness against thy neighbor;

        Thou shalt not Covet thy neighbor’s house, nor his wife, nor his slaves or his animals or anything of thy neighbor.

        Reciting the Commandments would have been a snappy comeback to that a$$-wipe Rick Allen blasphemously quoting scripture out of context…

      2. Tom Pfotzer

        Well done, CA.

        Clear, simple, thorough logic.

        “the Great Silencer”. There’s your means of manipulation, everyone. That’s the stick.

        And thanks to David in Friday Harbor, above.

    2. digi_owl

      Brings to mind that old salt the land thing that the Romans did when they really truly didn’t want the locals to move back in.

      Though these days asphalt and concrete works just as well.

      you can bet your behind that if even a single one of those pines were to be uprooted, it would be decried as an arboreal genocide. But bulldozing millenia old olive groves? Hardly worth a headline.

  11. Tom Pfotzer

    Hooray for ethical people.

    Emma, you’ve got it right:

    ” Its the rest of us who should be taking notes and joining in.”

    I feel the time is right to join in.

    Why is this a good time?

    The reason for the Zionist hysterics is panic. It’s coming unraveled. The ugliness and horror is on full display, and now all that’s left is the stick of raw repression.

    How are you feeling about that repression?

    There are two sides to this “have you no decency” question.

    One side is to ask the bully if they have no decency. The other side is to ask ourselves if we have the decency, the courage, to stand up against that repression.

    What forms might “join in” take?

    Offer support to the courageous. With words, with your presence. A yard sign, a bumper sticker, a contribution, a boycott. Communicate the outrage.

    Pick a place to join in.

    1. Algorithm Ghetto

      “Decency” and Genocide
      Some thoughts on moral and intellectual perversion
      by Tarik Cyril Amar

      “It is obvious that the only genuinely decent response to genocide is to abandon decorum and to privilege one – and only one – group: the victims, in this case, the Palestinians. A “decency” that consists of maintaining a genteel tone among accomplices and co-perpetrators will, one day, be as infamous as the “decency” Himmler praised in Posen.”

  12. TomDority

    It feels like both parties have been training their AI on a bunch of history. The result is that it appears the parties then try to re-create the stage from which these great turns of history occurred… and then try to make their stage entrance to save the day.
    Biden trying to act out FDR with the economy where it be – sorry Joe …you don’t got it
    Trump acting like Berzelius Windrip in Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here – Pretty good acting job for a the coward tantrum boy Trump.
    Huge money corrupted politics and stage acting, Kabuki, reckless banking, vested interests, creeping fascism, fear politics, UFO’s, Nuclear holicaust…. etc
    Real world destruction.
    I have few or no choice on who to vote for up-and-down ticket.
    I abhor genocide and human rights violations by whomever procures and proceeds upon those tracks….The USA has been at the forefront of un-accountable atrocities and must take responsibility or acknowledge culpability – even face ICJ. –
    If I exclude all those complicit in Genocide when I vote…got nearly no choices.
    How many years of fear politics and Kabuki I stomach ….. don’t know.

    1. jefemt

      Probably no solace or balm, but you are NOT alone.
      Get outside, be kind, help those in need. Keep voicing your questions and pointing out problems with
      The Narratives(tm)

  13. El Slobbo

    I never understood the mythology surrounding “have you no sense of decency?”
    I always thought it was a given that these were people without a sense of decency. A statement of the obvious.

    And “have you no sense of decency?” sounds like something my incompetent middle school teacher might say after she’d once again been made to look foolish by some of the delinquents in her class.
    And yet we’re supposed to believe that the senator hung his head in shame and his career was finished by this?

    1. Eclair

      You had to be there, El Slobbo. I mean that literally. Alive in the vitriolic stew of those times, and to finally have someone stand up and take a stand, however pathetic it seems today, was a watershed moment. Like Michael Hudson, I was there. It was like a window had been opened, in a room suffocating in a miasma of hate and suspicion and a tiny tiny breeze of fresh, spring air wafted in. It was not full-blown summer, but just the existence and the promise was enough to bring hope and to encourage others to stand up against the hate.

      1. El Viejito

        Also from one who was there. “Tail Gunner Joe”, a 1977 docudrama about McCarthy, did a decent job of dissecting the McCarthy persona. I particularly remember the scene where a former high school classmate of his explained how McCarthy became class president by lying. He started young.

    2. JonnyJames

      That’s great that you and many others see through the miasma, but: Even today, as a very rough estimate, half of the US population still believe in the myth of US democracy, freedom, rule of law and all that rot. Roughly half of the eligible voters usually don’t bother to show up to the sham Election Inc. This “election year” should make it glaringly obvious that there is no meaningful choice, and the MassMediaCartel is shoving the very same two cognitively-challenged, amoral freaks in our faces AGAIN! – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  14. Helados Ovni

    “From the sea to the river, Israel will deliver.”

    Doesn’t sound very nice, this permutation of the phrase, does it? As if the logic behind it, and the original slogan, is flawed. Parrot as directed to illicit cheap emotional responses. Likewise, Hudson deforming the HUAC hearings, conducted as early 1938 and one of the most anti-Semitic episodes in US history, into a cudgel against Jewish nationalists is ridiculous as it is ahistorical. Truman cited ongoing HUAC inquisition as a reason he threw his weight behind the UN partition of Israel. With all the work Hudson has put into researching the literalism of the debt jubilee described in the Torah, he should know better. Then again, Talmudic tradition suggests… maybe he doesn’t? Economics without maths to support it is crackpot-ism, trying put the world back together according to how it subjectively should be, rather than adequately describing the world as it presents itself.

    By indulging in wishful thinking, Israel has the curious distinction of being the only nation to be accused of segregating peoples outside of its national borders, in a trans-national “apartheid”. The expectation being Israelis remove themselves from their own elected government. If they remain, terror perpetrated against them must be excused as justice. Even the Koran maintains the Jewish people are to be protected, but modern academic Israel demonology is full of irrational beliefs and scapegoating, expressed with the same fervor as it was in medieval times. Peace is found at the bottom of a well according to the campers. More of an indictment of our educational system than anything else.

    1. Morpheus

      I am not sure where you get the idea that Israel’s apartheid (no scare quotes needed according to Amnesty International, inter alia) is trans-national. This phrase of course assumes that there is more than one nation involved, but the lack of a Palestinian state is obvious and according to the leader of the current Israeli government, there will never be a Palestinian state. So, what you have is one state (Israel) ruling the land from the river to the sea in which it favors Jewish Israelis over all others. And, although Palestinian citizens of Israel do not suffer as much as there brethren in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, there are many laws that make them second class citizens with the Jewish nation-state law being only the most famous.

      I do not have the background to address the points in your first paragraph so I will leave it to others, but I would note that you give the game away when you refer to the UN partition of Israel, when of course it was Palestine that was partitioned by the UN to the everlasting (so far) detriment of the Palestinian people.

  15. Pookah Harvey

    Israel may be constructing an answer to the campus protests. There are now suddenly counter protests at many of the universities that have been the most active. There has been some minimal violence at some already. My guess is that the pro-zionists demonstrations will increase with certain contingents instructed to instigate ever more violence. At some point the government will be “forced” to shut down all the protests for public security ala Occupy.

  16. JonnyJames

    As always, I enjoy reading Michael Hudson.

    I quit academia in the US because of top-heavy, over-paid, tyrannical administration that treat faculty and students like dirt. I was fed up with the bureaucratic nonsense; the blatantly unfair policies of requiring “adjuncts” to do work and not pay them fairly for it. That’s wage theft. Plus they don’t pay benefits to “part time” faculty and most faculty are hired as part time.

    There were protests in 2009, and 2011 at UC Berkeley and other UC campuses. The infamous pepper spray incident at UC Davis went viral.

    In 2009 the protests over tuition hikes, layoffs etc. was met with police violence that sent faculty and students to the hospital.,vid:6AdDLhPwpp4,st:0

    I can’t be totally objective about these issues because it still enrages me, I know I “shouldn’t take it personal, it’s strictly business” but I do. I have zero respect and maximum contempt for university “administrations”.

  17. Susan the other

    One account of Joe McCarthy has him drowning in alcohol. Swilling it down even during the hearings. His pushers knew he was a stupid loud mouth but they didn’t understand the depth of his addiction. They had intended to use him to purge the State Dept of intelligent “old China hands” who understood the civil war in China and were more sympathetic to the communist cause than the fascists behind Chiang. The reason McCarthy had no shame was because he was an ignorant, venal, slobbering fool. Just politics as usual. Nobody really gave a shit about genocide. They were strictly focused on all those profits they would lose if they “lost China.” Some things never change.

  18. Piotr Berman

    Congresswoman Stefanik: And you are aware that in that bill, that got 377 Members out of 435 Members of Congress, condemns ‘from the river to the sea’ as antisemitic?

    Dr. Shafik: Yes, I am aware of that.
    A college president can be neutral in reply, and still reject this line of questioning. Perhaps in a Socratic manner:

    reverse question: What are legal consequences of using a phrase condemned by congressional majority? Why you did not prohibit the use of that phrase?
    reverse answer: sorry, but I am the person asking questions
    answer: it seems to me that Congress did not want to abridge the freedom of speech, something that Constitution does not allow. Do you think that people who wrote Bill of Rights and those who voted for it were misguided?
    question: we cannot prohibit the use of that phrase, but University can use discipline, as teachers maintain discipline among students.
    answer: If we do not think that Bill of Rights was misguided, as teachers in USA we should proceed in its spirit. Students should have the right to express ideas that Congress does not agree with, even if this disagreement is unanimous. Of course, members of Congress may initiate the process of constitutional amendment, and explain to their constituents why 1st Amendment is a bad idea these days, but I think it was wise that they did not.

  19. flora

    Thanks for this post. The US Civil Rights movement, MLK’s movement, was about expanding a universal set of civil rights to everyone, not just a select group. It’s been interesting watching the ‘blob’ or whatever you call it spend the last 20 years trying to reverse that and say civil rights are really only for a select group, whatever group they favor, or whatever favoritism is likely to cause the most division among the people. (One way to divide people.) Rights for me but not for thee. Bibi and his Zionist govt carry this to the extreme of genocide in Gaza and increasing attacks in the West Bank. Even in the old apartheid S. Africa the goal was not to eliminate all black people from the country.

    1. flora

      An aside about the McCarthy witch hunts:

      They were largely about driving out any real, economic class based leftists from academia, entertainment, unions’ leadership, and government. It did break the real left on the campuses, for the most part.

      These college protests are driving home the lesson about management vs labor. Grad students and faculty are suddenly very aware that the touted university collegiality only goes so far, and it does not include pay or job protections from arbitrary management decisions. There’s a new interest in unionizing among the once sleepy faculties at many large unis now. These protests seem to be galvanizing something in the faculty the uni admins do not want to see happen, imo.

    2. Carla

      “Even in the old apartheid S. Africa the goal was not to eliminate all black people from the country.” Oh, god, no. Someone had to do the work. According to another thread on this blog, the Israelis are now trying to import Indians to do the work impoverished Palestinians used to do.

    1. JonnyJames

      Lobby = unlimited political bribery, and that is now perfectly legal in the US. Money is legally defined as “free speech” in the US, yet free speech is not allowed. At least Democracy Inc. and formalized bribery contribute to US GDP eh?

  20. Anthony Martin

    Back in the day, Viet Nam Potest Era/DC, in general, the massive crowds were peaceful. On occasion, a small group (agents provacateurs -CIA?) would incite the police to fire tear gas and the crowd would disperse. What is going on now days, is that young people are becoming conscious that the value system of the US is at best skewed if not outright hypocritical or missing. “There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware…paranoia strikes deep….step out of line, the man will come and take you away.” The awareness that the idealism one has been taught is false, stings. The awareness that to change the system would require a massive revolution, numbs. Protests may be a breath of hope (maybe false); if the value system of the US is to embrace genocide, apartheid, atrocities, war crimes, and ethnic cleasnsing, then maybe protests (and a massive revolution ) are what’s needed. On the other hand, the power elite ( or call it the deep state) – their moral infrastructure ,so incredibly fragile- will react as it always does and try to tamp down dissent by force. It would be foolish not to recognize that these protests are the marker of a generational battle of values taking place, so this activity will not be over in a day or two.

    1. CarlH

      Joining Jakarta (and others, I am sure) on the list of “Methods” employed by our betters. Horrid.

  21. Jeremy Grimm

    I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that the ‘Holocaust’ was part of an insane eugenics program and not just a genocide of Jews. It was also a genocide of Gypsies, and Slavs, Blacks and communists, and the disabled, the sick, the short …. Jews and Gypsies were first in line but as far as I know the Nazi eugenics program was broad and amorphous. Instead of dragging in a word with so much baggage as the word ‘genocide’ I believe a better and more fitting epithet for what is going on in Israel is ‘mass murder’. That avoids issues of defining race and ethnicity to characterize a large conglomerate population of a region who happens to be in tenuous possession of some resources and beachfront properties.

    The u.s. government’s support and funding for this mass murder in Israel is disgustingly similar and guilt laden as the u.s. mass murder of the populations living in North America standing in the way of the u.s. Manifest Destiny, and populations standing in the way of Corporate ‘interests’ around the world. The phrase mass murder raises questions and issues about wanton u.s. bombing of civilian populations in World War II and the many many u.s. wars waged or supported right up to the present. The phrase raises questions about the u.s. policies and strategies for nuclear warfare. The phrase raises questions about the u.s. pursuit of proxy wars in Ukraine and Taiwan and the many many past wars and conflicts the u.s. has initiated.

    The u.s. Elite’s ruthless campaign against expressions of dissent — indeed any expressions of will by the American people and its violence against nonviolent demonstrations frightens and angers me. The mass murder in Israel is one of many lightening rods gathering clouds of dissent. Student demands for universities to disinvest in Israeli stocks, and also those of U.S. arms makers exporting to Israel” impress me as toothless in achieving anything of substance. I agree with Dr. Hudson’s list of demands the students should be making. Be that as it may the rise of student protests heartens me to believe the times may indeed be a-changin.

  22. Skip Intro

    So wouldn’t a biblical deal with Abraham also cover his Islamic and Christian descendants? Asking for a friend.

  23. Carolinian

    I can understand why Israelis feel threatened by Palestinians. They know how many they have killed and brutalized to grab their land, killing just to “free” the land for themselves. They must think “If the Palestinians are like us, they must want to kill us, because of what we have done to them and there can never be a two-state solution and we can never live together, because this land was given to us by God.”

    One excuse the planters used against abolition was that it would allow their former slaves to rise up and kill them. And indeed there were a few early few slave revolts that didn’t get far.

    But when abolition finally happened the Southerners weren’t all killed unless they died fighting for their fanatic cause in the Civil War. So you could say the Israeli excuse is the excuse that Power always uses to defend itself. The dominators are deathly afraid of being dominated in turn.

    At any rate thanks for the above. One could point out that McCarthyism was itself perceived as an antisemitic movement since many of its victims were Jewish. The reaction to 1950s indecency gave us a more liberal intellectual class…..for awhile…..

  24. Victor Sciamarelli

    I think Michael Hudson’s argument raises a fundamental question that deserves attention: Can you despise the government and be patriotic? As president, Bill Clinton didn’t think so and I think liberal dems agree with him but I think they’re wrong.
    The left does a lousy job of defending patriotism. They seem uncomfortable waving the flag; they could do better. Conservative Judge Andrew Napolitano is equally comfortable showing a waving flag in his podcast intro as he is talking with Max Blumenthal.
    The Nazi Party and the KKK are legal organizations in the US. As long as they don’t threaten violence or commit violence they can say whatever they want. Meanwhile, ADL CEO Johnathan Greenblatt wants the National Guard to protect Jewish students from rampant anti-semitism.
    The protesting students are not anti-Semitic however, even if they were, it would still be protected speech. Greenblatt, the Israel lobby, Biden, and the media are not simply trying to squash the students, they are wrecking the country.
    Ernest Renan defines a nation as a soul, a spiritual principle. He goes on to say there is, “The will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form”.
    Freedom of speech goes back to day one of the republic. You can bomb Pearl Harbor and nothing changes except people are angry. You destroy freedom of speech and the US will become unrecognizable.
    The students should be proudly waving American flags as well, because by speaking out against genocide they are defending Palestinians as well as protecting a crucial part of Americans’ identity which, once it’s lost, will be hard to get back.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      As a leftist yout’ who knew everything there was to know in 1971, I was left speechless when some old CP-types (and probably WWll vets, at that) gently chastised us for vandalizing a US flag at an anti-war demonstration by asking, “Why would you want only the fascists to have the flag?”

      We had no response then, and their question has been my default ever since: why would you ever want the Fascists to claim sole possession of the flag?

  25. Jeff N

    There is a point in the article with a Netanyahu speech; but it is indented in such a way that it looks like Hudson is saying it

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