American Academia’s Hate for Israel and Love Affair With Iran

The leafy quads and collegiate student gatherings of the current fall semester hide deep ties between American universities and the new war being waged on Jews by Hamas and Iran.  Anti-Israel protests by college students and weak excuses for anti-Semitism by university administrations are nothing new.  Affection for terrorism and the Iranian theocracy runs deep through the heart of academia—American universities are notorious for funding the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and bestowing elite professorships on former Iranian officials.

As Palestinian rockets recently began wreaking havoc in Israel during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, Hamas terrorists conducted a coordinated murder and kidnapping spree of Israeli civilians across southern Israel.  To the east, Iran celebrated the terrorist group’s “proud operation.”  (Some Iranians dismissed the blatant propaganda during a football match, telling the government to “shove that Palestinian flag up your a**!)  Almost as old as Iran’s support for Palestinian terrorism and Iran’s mullahs, is the support enjoyed by both in U.S. higher education.

Disregarding the fact that the Jewish people are indigenous to what is now modern Israel, American universities through the BDS movement portray Israel through the Marxist narrative that frames it as an illegitimate “neo-colonial” project.  In the early 2000s, professors formed the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). Linked to U.S. academics through its American affiliate, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), the two organizations form the nexus of the anti-Israel BDS movement.  The BDS movement is tied to terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad through collaborative organizations like the BDS National Committee, and the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine (PNIF).

American professors who run cover for Palestinian terrorism are not part of an academic fringe, but the mainstream.  By the BDS movement’s own records, 350 different academic departments and over 24,000 professors and researchers have officially signed on to the routine demonization of Israel.  America’s Ivy League campuses are among the most vocal, as signatories from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Brown University are counted among the BDS movement’s ranks.

Last year, the anti-Semitism watchdog, StopAntisemitism, ranked Columbia University and New York University as among the most anti-Semitic campuses in the country due to the popularity of BDS.  In 2020, when Columbia passed its own student resolution in support of BDS, groups endorsing it included the “Asian Political Collective,” the “Chicanx Caucus,” the “Columbia Divest for Climate Justice,” and the “Barnard Columbia Socialists.”  When Columbia University announced plans to open a new addition to its global academic centers in Tel Aviv earlier this year nearly 100 professors condemned the move.

The BDS movement’s demonization of the world’s only Jewish state makes denials of anti-Semitism hollow.  In academia, anti-Semitism and Israel hate are in vogue.  The anti-Semitism on today’s college campuses is not coming from imaginary white supremacists on campus, but rather the political left.  For example, over 120 gender studies groups have signed on in support of BDS.  Gender studies is joined by the American Anthropological Association in condemning Israel while turning a blind eye to Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas.  The recent blanket condemnation of Israel by Harvard students is but the latest in an unfortunate track record.

The recent war started by Hamas is supported by Iran.  Like the left’s own anti-Semitism, Tehran has its well-positioned admirers in U.S. universities.  Often, this comes in the form of elite professorships given to scholars with ties or backgrounds linked to the Iranian regime.  Just recently, the Biden administration abruptly dismissed its own Iran envoy, Robert Malley, over security concerns—academia quickly scooped him up.  Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs made him a lecturer, in addition to Yale University, which gave him a position at its prestigious Jackson School.  Malley appears to have helped the Iranian government with funding and intelligence-gathering.  Only the anti-Semitism and anti-Western bigotry at America’s top universities explain the eagerness for ties with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

Malley is not alone.  Also at Princeton is Sayed Hossein Moussavian, a professor at the Center for Science and Global Security.  He was Foreign Policy Advisor to the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2005-2007, and served as the “Head of the Foreign Relations Committee for Iran’s National Security Council” from 1997 to 2005.  The Ivy League’s interest in promoting apparatchiks for Iran’s theocrats can only be explained by academia’s anti-Israel hatred and its hostility toward the West in general.

The antipathy for Israel in higher education is lamentably deep, but is also becoming passé.  What makes the Hamas attacks on Israel so jarring is its desperation.  The Middle East is moving on from hating Israel.  The Abraham Accords of 2020 normalized ties between Israel and the Arab world’s most advanced economies.  In recent weeks Israel and Saudi Arabia moved to normalize ties and usher in a new economic boom in the region.  With the new Middle East looking like science fiction becoming reality for the better, the shared anti-Semitism of Hamas, Iran, and academia is looking both desperate and near its expiration date.  Until universities change their approach to Israel, they should be forced to explain their tacit support for terrorism.

Image: Adobe Stock


13 thoughts on “American Academia’s Hate for Israel and Love Affair With Iran

  1. TL;DR:

    Former critics of cancel culture are suddenly in favor of it, when it serves the interests of their favorite state.

  2. Here is the thing, Israel was created after a British warship turned away the Exodus, and a newly created United Nations created a new nation, hundreds of thousands of settlers from Europe immigrated there without much thought for those who lived on the lands ceded.

    In alot of ways Palestinians are not unlike our own Native Americans, you want a complex issue to solve get into water rights. Whiskey is for drinking water is for fighting.

    I love the thousands of years historical claim to justify the Jewish right to occupy others lands, because my response is Texas.

    Who has a superior right to the lands that comprise Texas the Mexicans that have a few thousand years of living there or the descendants of Sam Houston? Should we open the border under a “right to return” policy that Israel has for Jews, after all they are claiming a historical right over dirt.

    P.S, Semetic refers to a group of languages, so it is impossible for an Arabic speaker to be anti-semetic, it literally means they are anti native language.

  3. Thank you for an Enlightening article. This past week has been Insane. I’m seeing LGBTQ people protesting against Israel in favor of Hamas, and I cannot understand why they would stand together with people who would rather kill them than acknowledge their existence. People I thought were enlightened advocating for the destruction of Israel. As well as a further Ideological divide of the U.S. population along political lines. It is blindingly obvious to me that the people that benefit most from all of this are Russia, Iran, and China. I cannot understand how people cannot see that it is more important than ever for the United States to stand together in solidarity with the international community.

    1. All most of us can do is remain calm and explain things to people who may be very ignorant. Explain to LGBT people what Hamas does with people like them.

      Fortunately, so far at least, people from both parties seem pretty strongly in support of Israel. Perhaps it is a good time to try to reunite the country somewhat. The divisions are weakening us. The divisions in Israel have been terribly destructive, as we have just seen.

  4. “The Ivy League’s interest in promoting apparatchiks for Iran’s theocrats can only be explained by academia’s anti-Israel hatred and its hostility toward the West in general.”

    Yale and Princeton become “The Ivy League…” Two complex, fully human individuals get caricatured into “…apparatchiks for Iran’s theocrats…” with no references to justify the simplistic labeling. And all, it would seem, of the departments, divisions, and/or faculties comprised of myriad scholars, teachers and researchers — at, apparently, every academic institution — are summarily swept up into a hating, anti-Israel “academia.”

    Hyperbole is rarely smart, and this piece seems no exception.

    1. I partly agree with you. There is a statement at Harvard from hundreds of faculty denouncing Hamas. Many but not all of them are from pretty sober departments like physics and chemistry. But you hear little of this. They should be publicized and encouraged. There is reason for hope!

  5. Being kind to the cruel inevitably winds up being cruel to the kind. What we are witnessing is the result of appeasing hamas in the past. The growth in anti-Semitism on campuses has been going on for years. Time to put a stop to it.

    1. It’s not just appeasing Hamas — over the past 30+ years, belonging to Hamas has been a means of advancement in *American* higher education. There’s a network of fellow anti-Semites who support each other and advance each other’s careers.

      Senator McCarthy was an alcoholic in an era when everyone drank heavily, but I can’t help but think of what he would be saying about American higher education today. Radical Islam is as much a threat today as Communism was back then — the Soviets never murdered Americans on American soil — and all of this Anti-Americanism is being subsidized by the American taxpayer.

  6. ” In academia, anti-Semitism and Israel hate are in vogue.”

    It isn’t even just that, as bad as that would be — it’s actually a wholesale rejection of the Western Liberal Enlightenment and all of the values which evolved from it.

    It’s not just a hatred of Jews, but a hatred of the entire Judeo/Christian tradition and all of the values related to the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *