The Truth Behind Supporters of BDS and Anti Semitism!
Barry Nussbaum: Welcome to ATP Report. We have a very special guest back today. We're going to talk about the BDS and anti-Semitic movement sweeping the United States college campuses. Daniel Greenfield, you know, is the Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He's an expert on anti-Semitism, especially it's cover, the BDS Movement or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement sweeping the country, infecting our college campuses and the minds of young people, the future American leaders of this country. Daniel, welcome back.
Daniel Greenfield: Thank you so much for having me on.
Barry Nussbaum: Oh, it's such a pleasure. As we were just chatting on the break, a horrifically anti-Semitic, evil man was invited to a prominent American university. I'm speaking of the president of Malaysia, a man named Mohammed who brags about his anti-Semitism. He was invited to speak at Columbia, of all places in New York City, formerly a bastion of tolerance and free speech with a large Jewish population. What the hell is Columbia thinking to invite a man who says, my anti-Semitism is something I'm proud of, and it's part of free speech?
Daniel Greenfield: That's not exactly the first time for Colombia. Back in the day, Colombia had Ahmadinejad. Back in the day, they have a history of inviting anti-Semitic and Islamist leaders because Colombia is probably the most anti-Israel, an anti-Semitic institution in the northeast. Certainly, if it's not the top, it's definitely in the running. It's been nicknamed Burzid. It has a long history of promoting Islamist causes and attacking Israel. So, this is absolutely nothing new. It's nothing surprising. It just casts light on what everybody knows, what's being hidden behind a veil of academic freedom, which is that Colombia really hates Israel and invites absolutely everybody who hates Israel to come there and hate Israel on its campus.
Barry Nussbaum: So, let's break this down. American universities rely very heavily on endowment as a primary source of balancing their budget, even though Columbia is ridiculously expensive as our most eastern colleges. There are a tremendous number of very well-heeled donors that know better. Why aren't they on the phone to the board of trustees and say pull the president of Malaysia's speech, or you can cancel my next ten checks?
Daniel Greenfield: Well there are fairly wealthy donors who clearly support this. There's been some movement in this regard. Ron Lauder I believe sent a letter to Lee Bollinger of Columbia warning them that he would not be donating any further. But again, they've heard this before. They're probably not very worried. They've got potential donors, certainly from the prior Rand lobby, who are very well-heeled, for example, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. And beyond that, it's the entire really premise of academia, which increasingly is anti-Semitic. So, pressure on one institution when that institution is prominent enough does not make that much of a difference anymore. Pro-Israel Jewish community groups have been going after Columbia for decades at this point with very little in the way of results.
Barry Nussbaum: So, here's a guy, I'm just flabbergasted, who is proclaiming Jews are ruling the world by proxy and the guy that gets invited and the uproar is minimal.
Daniel Greenfield: Jews apparently are not ruling Columbia, after all, since he's there speaking. But again, anti-Semitism is treated fundamentally differently from all other forms of bigotry, certainly from the popular forms of bigotry. You have a hierarchy of victimhood. You have, say, transgender and Muslims at the very top. Jews are somewhere pretty much either at the bottom or near the very, very bottom. And when the bigotry is coming from Muslim figures, when it's coming from minority groups, that becomes acceptable. It becomes something you can't really even object to because it's important to understand the left's definition of racism is not what we would understand, which is hatred of another race. Rather, its power. Thus, if you have power and you hate somebody who is below you, you're a racist.
On the other hand, if you're considered economically, below or socially or culturally or technologically below, and you hate somebody is further up, then that's okay. What the left says is you can't punch down, but it's perfectly okay to punch out. Thus, if you have a Muslim leader who hates Jews, well, then he's just really punching up. He's angry because his country has been taken advantage of by colonialism. Maybe his anger is being expressed inappropriately, but we still have to understand where he's coming from. This is the sort of thing that American Jews have heard since the 60s. So really, this is nothing new in that regard.
Barry Nussbaum: So, in a bigger sense, if we can zoom out from the city of New York and taking college campuses coast to coast, is that why. BDS is not only allowed, but being encouraged from coast to coast on hundreds of college campuses?
Daniel Greenfield: BDS has been pretty thoroughly integrated via intersectionality to just about every campus leftist movement, which will have to contain its quota of people and a quota of Muslim activists will contain neutral people who will be anti-Israel. And the ideal argument is that if you want to be a feminist, or want to be for gay rights you have to support the Islamists even though, of course, the Islamists are against both. There's not a whole lot of feminism, more rights in Gaza, but nonetheless, this is the position that they would take. For example, recently Palestinian Authority police broke up a gay rights gathering and the response, of course, everybody involved, including the particular gay rights organization, blamed the Israeli occupation. This is the official position always. The official position is America is evil. Israel is evil. Whatever happens, however contradictory, this is what we resort to because this is our entire world view. The people in the leftist camp, the intersectional camp are the vanguard of progress. They are making things better. There can't possibly be anything wrong with them even when they support Farrakhan even when they say anti-Semitic things.
Barry Nussbaum: Well, let's talk about the most prominent anti-Semitic thing, which is even the U.N., I know this is shocking to everybody watching today, has come out in the last few days to say BDS by definition is anti-Semitic. And yet coast to coast on college campuses, people say, I don't hate Jews, I just hate Israel. It's different. It's not the same thing to be against Israel because they are Nazi-like or apartheid-like or Gestapo-like is not the same thing as I don't like Jews. Give me your take on that.
Daniel Greenfield: Yes. Well, these people claim to be human rights activists who are very interested in human rights. And so naturally, within a conflict with Israel and Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, they pick the country that actually provides civil rights for all and human rights for all. While siding with a country that actually locks up gay people, that provides them with very little in the way of rights, and persecutes Christians, not to mention not allowing Jews to live there at all. So clearly this is not about human rights. This is not about if we have an equivalent standard of human rights across the board. So there are two arguments here. The Islamists can say, well, we are actually supportive of our side, which is perfectly understandable. It's a tribal partisan position. But the leftists can't say that they have actually come to a recent conclusion that Israel is a bad guy here. And that the people that they support who persecute gays and persecute women, persecute everybody else, are the good guys because they support human rights. So they don't support human rights. What they do is hate Jews.
Barry Nussbaum: Well, I really agree with that. And I'm sad to say there is a large number of people that literally think the way you've just explained. I've been to Israel a number of times and, you know, and I think it's the second-largest gay parade in the world in Tel Aviv their gay pride parade. If there was a parade like that in Gaza or in any major Arab town in the West Bank, they'd be tear-gassed, shot and tortured. Many would be killed. Similarly, if women decided to protest the fact that they can't enter into contracts, they can't get out of a marriage, they can't protest being beaten, they can't buy and sell property, they can't complain about a rape they would end up in the same building that the Hamas leaders threw the Palestinian Authority members off of to kill them in public. So that was an example to other people. Why is that story about the persecution that we've just discussed of gays, of minorities, of women, et cetera, why doesn't that figure into the equation? Because you've got women marching for women's rights, saying Israel is anti-women, you've got gays marching for rights, saying Israel is not supportive of gays. It's literally a narrative based on a lie. Repeatedly.
Daniel Greenfield: Well, the important thing to correct here just a little bit is they're not women marching for women's rights. They're leftist marching for leftist causes who insist that they represent all women. The same thing for the gay groups. Same thing for some of the Jewish groups who show up and protest for illegal aliens or against the Muslim travel ban. What the left specializes in is creating front groups, is organizing these various identity politics groups, as long as they pursue their causes. They're not pro-black, they're not pro any group. They are pro their own cause. But what they do very well is organize these little con front groups, which they've been doing since the days of the reds. And these groups actually claim that they care about these various rights and causes. But in fact, again, they don't actually care about them. You can see this even before the whole Islamist picture began. How much in the way of gay rights was there in the Soviet Union? How much was it there in the way of actual women's rights in the Soviet Union or for that matter, in China under the Democratic People's Republic of Korea? Those things don't exist. The left doesn't care about identity politics rights. It doesn't care about feminism, doesn't care about gay rights. It doesn't care about anti-Semitism, which now occasionally claims to care about as long as it's on the right. What it cares about is gaining power for itself. It uses identity politics as a front to build, to manufacture this huge coalition that represents everybody. We're the Rainbow Coalition. In practice, again, their rainbow has only one color, and the color is red.
Barry Nussbaum: Last question. What can be done about BDS in your opinion?
Daniel Greenfield: Well, we have to fight it directly, but at the same time we have that some perspective about it. Part of the agenda of BDS is merely to panic Jews and to make the whole question of Israel into a burning one. To insist that we have to have some sort of compromise on the subject. Ultimately, BDS is not very effective. It is not very successful. Half the time BDS movements claim major successes that are made up or some musician will cancel a concert in Israel, and they will claim that this is a huge victory for them. The biggest success of BDS has been making BDS an issue for American Jews, which can be somewhat paradoxical, but it is important to remember that we should fight BDS, but we shouldn't overestimate, and we shouldn't panic too much over it either.
Barry Nussbaum: Well, I feel a little better. I appreciate that. It will make it a little easier for me to sleep tonight. Daniel, thank you and thank you for joining us on ATP Report. Remember, you can catch TRUTH, the word TRUTH to 88202. That will get you on our mailing list. That will get you our videos and daily articles. So, you never miss anything. And if you're a little more traditional type in, findBarry.com on your browser. It'll take you to American Truth Project. You can sign up there, and you'll get our stuff by email. Either way, it's always free. Thanks for joining us. I'm Barry Nussbaum.