Monday, February 16, 2009

To the Students of Hampshire College

In my previous post Shame on Hampshire College, I took issue with the college's adoption of a divestment program directed against companies that sell to Israel. I have been taken to task by one commentator from the college and have reviewed a divestment blog run by students at the college.

I respond to the commentator by referring him or her to an op-ed in the February 17, 2009 edition of the Jerusalem Post. It is called "When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews, said Martin Luther King" and was written by Arno Lustiger, a German historian who survived Hitler's death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

He writes:

Is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic? The Six Day War sparked a wave of anti-Zionistic reactions, triggering the Left's denial of solidarity with Israel, a stance that holds until today.

In August 1967, Martin Luther King wrote in Letters to an Anti-Zionistic Friend:
"You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist'... When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews - this is God's own truth. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind."

He quotes from Jean Améry who said in a 1969 speech

"Anti-Semitism was once the socialism of the stupid guys. Today it is about to become an integrating ingredient of socialism as such, and thereby every socialist turns himself, by his free will, into a stupid guy. Anti-Semitism has become respectable again, but there is no such thing as respectable anti-Semitism!"

Quoting "well-known literary scholar and dedicated leftist" Hans Mayer Lustiger writes
"Whoever attacks Zionism, but by no means wishes to say anything against the Jews, is fooling himself and others. The State of Israel is a Jewish state. Whoever wants to destroy it, openly or through policies that can effect nothing else but such destruction, is practicing the Jew hatred of yesterday and time immemorial."

"Unfortunately, these 30-year-old texts still hold true today."

Lustiger then outlines Hitler's plans for the Middle East, one that would be Jew-free. With Nazi collaborator Grand Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini as a model for many in today's Middle East, "the comparison of the lives of Palestinians in the occupied areas with the starvation and murder of Jews in the ghettos of Europe living under a death sentence is impudent and the product of possible deliberate ignorance."

So I recommend Lustiger's article to the good students of Hampshire College and pray that they are not deliberately ignorant of history.

Read the full article here.

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