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College Used to Be for Learning (INN-ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS OPINION) Arlene Peck 11/17/02)Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=1577 INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Lord, have times changed. I remember when the word ‘mother’ was a word of endearment, and not a half a word. College was - in no particular order - for learning, finding a husband and partying. When I began my college career, at the University of Alabama (before I worked my way to Columbia in New York), it was because it was a famous party school. We didn’t give a ‘diddlysquat’ about world politics or current events. Life revolved around the fraternity and sorority parties, and who was dating what football player. Life was exactly like the television show Happy Days. If a guy had to walk upstairs in the girls’ dorm to carry up a trunk, they would shout up and down the halls, “Man in the Hall! Man in the Hall!” This, so no girls would unwittingly walk down and possibly be seen by a male visitor while she was in a state of undress.

Then, before I turned around, it was the eighties and I was driving my baby girl, Dana, to the University of Georgia. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that, in its infinite wisdom, the administration had thrown scads of girls and boys (hormones a bubbling in both genders) into the same dorms. They even had their showers next to each other. Times were definitely changing. The dress codes were gone and, apparently, so were the curfews. Still, life on campus in the eighties was similar to what I had experienced.

Not so in the university of today.

The universities of the new millennium have turned into hotbeds of anti-Semitic propaganda. Each and every day they churn out some new tidbit of hatred against the Jewish State of Israel. I was shocked to see that even my old university - Columbia - is leading this offensive drive by divesting itself of all Israeli products and businesses. How dare the universities allow themselves to be used in such an offensive manner. The anti-Semitic leaders of the movement for divestment don’t even try to hide their academic dishonesty. Their cause is totally one-sided. There is no mention of the daily violence coming from the Arab-Palestinian homicide bombings. Where is their compassion for the horrors heaped daily upon the children of Israel? Columbia isn’t the only one. The University of Michigan recently sponsored a ‘hate fest’ against Israel, which drew a nice crowd. Lovely.

We, in the United States, are so ‘politically correct’ that these planned political forums to disseminate anti-Semitic propaganda under the guise of free speech are making inroads like never before. In places they might never have been allowed to happen in the past. Previously, these institutions stood for political freedom and diversity. There were even standards of decency in our Universities. The people and organizations (many of them Muslim) who are pushing this sickness at our kids today are the first to accuse anyone opposing them of “hate-speech”.

Their main tactic at the moment seems to be focusing on urging the academic institutions in the United States, and now Canada, and other countries to stop investing in institutions do business with or in Israel. The foundation for this disgusting campaign was laid at a pro- Palestinian conference at that hotbed of freakish behavior, the University of California-Berkeley, a few months ago. The leaders patterned it after the successful drive against South African apartheid that was popular in the 1980’s. Their ability to equate Arabs living in Israel with blacks living under white rule in South Africa is ludicrous. Israel is one of the world’s most open societies. The people there have rights and freedoms still not enjoyed by many of its European critics. The million Arabs living in Israel have the right to vote and there are Arabs who have been elected to serve in the Israeli parliament - the Knesset. Someone should also tell these ‘intellectuals’ who are so vocal about the plight of the poor Palestinians that for the past 30 years of Israeli rule in Judea, Samaria and Gaza the Arabs’ standard of living has become the highest of all their Arab brethren throughout the Middle East. Their life expectancy has risen by 50%. As they and their children’s standard of living rose dramatically, the number of Arab children attending school rose by more than 100%. While they are holding press conferences about the ‘illegal’ settlers in the West Bank, let them note that there are now seven Arab universities there, where there were none before. Oh yes, and their per capita income have increased tenfold. They also receive welfare and excellent medical care under the dreaded ‘Jewish infidels’, which was never available to them under Jordanian rule. It wouldn’t hurt to remind them, that until they started the destructive policy of terrorist bombings, their death rate was far lower than their neighboring Arab states.

Many faculty at my alma-mater, Columbia, have, loudly and with much self-congratulatory fanfare, circulated a petition that calls for Columbia to do all in it’s power to withhold from Israel that which is the most fundamental right of every sovereign nation. They seek to deny Israel the right to defend itself. They assert that, “Israel is pursuing a military solution” and singles out the use of Israeli military force on a civilian population. If they have so much time on their hands, why don’t they write papers that condemn the Palestinian leadership and their totally corrupt handling of the ‘Palestinians’ for the past fifty years. How can these universities of once sterling integrity completely overlook the decades of damage the Arab governments have done to the civilian ‘Palestinians’ in order to feed the conflict? Rich, self-serving Arab nations have kept their poorer cousins living in squalor and used every regional, historical and political device imaginable to keep the fires of terrorism stoked. Are these learned anti-Semites so blind that they single out Israel as a solitary target?

Recently, someone e-mailed me a joke. It’s not very funny, but it underscores the mood of the universities:

It seems that Osama bin-Laden called Yasser Arafat on the phone, “Listen, Yassi, there is something I don’t understand. We are both terrorists. We have both killed thousands of innocent people. Yet the entire world is hunting only me. And, at the same time, you are the honorable Nobel Peace Prize winner! What is your secret?” (INN 11/17/02)

Arafat answered, “Oh it’s very simple Osama, I kill only Jews.” Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess.

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