Robbins: Academia is OK with mass slaughter of Jews

As of this past weekend, Israel’s Institute of Forensic Medicine reported that, of the 1,400 Israelis slaughtered on Oct. 7 by Hamas gunmen shouting “God is great!,” 400 bodies still could not be identified. That is because all that is left of them are fragments, if that, once part of the bodies of 400 different human beings. And that, in turn, is because the 2,500 Hamas “militants” wielding automatic rifles built to shred flesh, methodically blew as many of those 1,400 souls to pieces as they could, tying families together and then burning them alive, decapitating and dismembering people and then continuing the process after their victims stopped breathing. Recordings recovered after the massacre showed them rejoicing, one calling his parents to brag about how many Jews he had killed. His father blessed him, saying “God protect you.”

So, what the Israelis continue to find are body parts, the humans with which those parts were once associated blown up or burned beyond recognition, such that extracting and examining DNA is impossible.

And this, of course, doesn’t count the 5,800 Israelis who, maimed and mutilated on Oct. 7, are still alive. It doesn’t count the 230 people – the elderly, the disabled, the frail, the wounded, the helpless, children and babies, all terrified – abducted at gunpoint and held in Hamas’ tunnels, constructed under hospitals, homes and mosques so that Israel is constrained from going after them. And it doesn’t count the rest of Israel’s families, virtually all of whom know someone killed, maimed or held hostage by Hamas.

While Israelis were being blown or burned to unrecognizable pieces by a joyful Hamas, here in America the academic year had barely begun at colleges and universities where students pay upwards of $100,000 annually for the privilege of studying the humanities and liberal values. Comfortable faculty members were returning to the familiar pleasant routine of attending to personal jealousies and intra-departmental rivalries. Students resumed arguing on social media about just how egregiously the disturbing prospect of knowing that a speaker had been invited to campus prepared to express a view contrary to their own would constitute a violation of their safe spaces. News that 1,400 Israelis – including  many hundreds their own age – had been butchered to death and 5,800 more maimed barely piqued their interest. After all, these were Israelis – and whether Israelis were even entitled to live life free of being butchered was politically debatable.

As for the 230 souls who have been kidnapped and are forcibly held in dank Hamas tunnels, either near dead or scared to death, among faculty members and students who fancy themselves “progressive,” this has elicited a Big Yawn.

But when Israel, like any other country not only on the planet but in the history of the planet, determined that of course this could neither be tolerated nor permitted to recur, the ears of faculty and students perked up. And not only perked up. Promptly and self-confidently, they assessed that the outrage was not Hamas’ slaughter of Israelis, but Israel’s determination not to permit the slaughter from happening again.

So it is now a “thing” for pious defenders of “free speech” in all context other than those involving Israel to rip down posters with pictures of kidnapped Israelis held in captivity, posted so that we can see their faces and hold them in our hearts.

On innumerable American campuses, in settings in which students are charged to learn that humans are to be respected, not massacred, vigils are held to honor as “martyrs” those who pulverized Israeli children – and boasted about it.

Faculty members compete to ingratiate themselves with pro-Hamas students by proclaiming themselves “exhilarated” by the killings, and “in solidarity” with the murders as acts of “resistance.”  Students cheer on the murders as contributions to the “cleaning” of Israel. Professors at Columbia University inform us that the slaughter of Jews demands “contextualization.”

Here’s where we are. When it comes to the slaughter of Jews, many in American academia are down with it. But ask them if they’re antisemites?

Of course not.

Jeff Robbins is a Boston lawyer and former U.S. delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.




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