Jewish student attacked in Australia

01.08.03

Judith from Kesher Talk alerted me to this piece of disturbing news:

AN Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) executive member was physically attacked as last week’s annual National Union of Students (NUS) conference descended into violence.

[. . .]

Conference observer Sibella Stern said that a brawl broke out during the debate on anti-terror legislation when about three students were hit.

“That was very scary for me. It was a moment of panic. We didn’t know what was coming next, what it would turn in to,” Stern said.

The following day, during a debate on Iraq, a knife was found on the conference floor prompting calls for police intervention.

I’m detecting a pattern. Student unions are becoming bastions of antisemitism, intimidation and violence against Jewish students, and prejudice against Israel. University campuses are emitting some of the most virulent hate. Concordia is certainly not alone, as this latest Australian episode proves.

But why is that? Why, when centuries of chronicling racism and hate have shown that it is usually more prevalent among the uneducated or narrow-minded, are universities leading the way for the new antisemitism? Universities! The exact places where people are supposed to learn to think critically, to broaden their horizons, and to make their place in society!

I’d be tempted to say it’s merely the association of the Left with the “Palestinian cause” that has led to student unions turning into cesspools of anti-Israel hatred, but I don’t think that’s it. Why specifically students, as opposed to other unionized people or left-wingers?

Of course, students have long been associated with movements for change, ever since the radical movements of the 60’s and 70’s. Idealism is found more among the young, who believe they have the power to change the world. That in itself is usually a good thing. So where does it go wrong?

As they say, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Buoyed by the false nostalgia for their parents’ generation’s activist politics – which they regret missing out on – many students are choosing to take a limited number of facts and interpret false conclusions from them. This continues when they then teach those conclusions to other students, and so on, and so forth, until we have entire international movements of people who buy in. And they’ve shown repeatedly that they’ll do whatever it takes to shut down their political opponents – including resorting to violence.

The question is, where does it end?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonny 01.08.03 at 4:27 PM

I have had some experiences of my own in Australia so I know all about it.

Reply

2 Peter 01.10.03 at 12:15 PM

Why, when centuries of chronicling racism and hate have shown that it is
usually more prevalant among the uneducated or narrow-minded, are universities leading the
way for the new antisemitism?

Segacs, you are wrong. The Germans were among the most educated
people in the world in th 1930’s and German university professors
were among Hitler’s most ardent supporters.

Reply

3 segacs 01.10.03 at 4:35 PM

In the case of the Holocaust, that’s true. But that’s far from the only example of hatred or racism in history. Look at the big picture.

Reply

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