Useful idiots

An op-ed by David A. Harris
Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee
The Jerusalem Post, January 19, 2010

In 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler became the German chancellor, the Oxford Union famously adopted a resolution which said “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country.” The measure was passed by a vote of 275 to 153.

Winston Churchill reacted by saying that “one could almost feel the curl of contempt upon the lips of the manhood of Germany, Italy, and France when they read the message sent out by Oxford University in the name of Young England.”

Shortly afterward, his son, Randolph, tried to have the resolution stricken from the books, but the motion was resoundingly defeated by the Oxford Union.

In other words, otherwise bright students at a distinguished British university are capable of foolish things. At least in this case, it must be said, “Young England” rose to the occasion six years later, when the Second World War began, and revealed its true colors of patriotism, courage and grit.

Recently, another British student union was presented with a controversial proposal. The London School of Economics (LSE) debated whether to seek the twinning of this world-renowned institution with the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG).

After a spirited discussion, the motion was carried by a vote of 161 to 133. The university administration distanced itself from the decision.

As an alumnus of LSE, I am ashamed of the student action. Sure, LSE has a reputation for feisty politics, but this is taking it a bit far.

IUG was established in 1978 by none other than Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Yassin, it will be recalled, was the founder of Hamas. In 2007, a New York Times reporter described IUG as “one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause.” Indeed, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, IUG “has emerged as a training ground for the political and spiritual leadership of Hamas. Many Hamas leaders who are also academics have taught at the university….”

Yassin was hardly cast in the mold of a Western liberal educator. Among his many public utterances, he declared that “reconciliation with the Jews is a crime” and that “Israel must disappear from the map.” He claimed that Israel is, in fact, Muslim land and is to be reserved for those of the faith “until Judgment Day.”

And Yassin didn’t just limit himself to rhetorical flourishes, either. He pursued “armed struggle” against Israel, targeting civilians and blessing suicide bombers.

Moreover, in 2007, during the civil war in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah forces, the latter entered the university and found rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rockets, assault rifles and ammunition, all of which was subsequently shown on Palestinian television.

Two years later, Israel struck two IUG buildings which, according to military spokesmen, were used as “a research and development center for Hamas weapons, including Kassam rockets.” Those rockets were used to attack indiscriminately Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza border, with the aim of killing and terrorizing residents.

When I first heard the news that the LSE Student Union voted to twin with IUG, I was speechless.

How could students at a world-class university that celebrates the open and respectful exchange of ideas find common cause with the academic standard-bearer of Hamas, a Sharia-based, obscurantist, violent group?

How could they claim solidarity with an institution that is actively involved in a long-term campaign to destroy a neighboring nation – and a democratic one at that?

How could they, living in a world of pluralism, gender equality and sexual freedom, join themselves at the hip to such a regressive, repressive social environment as IUG?

How could they, students of a university which was one of the stepping stones in British society for Jews to gain equality, identify with a school that preaches hatred of Jews and celebrates their murder?

The answer, I fear, is the bizarre alliance that has emerged in the UK between the keffiyeh-worshiping far left and Islamic extremists.

When neo-fascists come along spouting reactionary slogans about women and gays, the far left unhesitatingly denounces them. But when misogyny and homophobia emanate from the lips of Islamists, they’re likely to get a deferential pass from the suddenly culturally-sensitive.

Ken Livingstone, former London mayor, and George Galloway, Member of Parliament, are two prime examples of what the communists referred to as “useful idiots” – those who, in their ultimate naiveté, would help the extremists ascend to power, only to be the first in line for destruction once the goal was attained. In the case of Livingstone and Galloway, they’ve rarely met a Middle Eastern radical with whom they couldn’t agree. And, of course, they have their counterparts at LSE and on other university campuses, in trade unions and in the media.

The LSE Student Union vote was a sad day for the British academy. It betrays all the values that have made Britain a beacon of liberty and enlightenment.

One can only hope that this decision will follow the path of the 1933 Oxford Union resolution – and make its way to the dustbin of history as rapidly as possible.


One Response to Useful idiots

  1. R_not says:

    Thanks for the heads up. We are far behind the well oiled propaganda machine of the Muslims. I work to trying to educating people about Islam and because of our media and TV (who has MPAC a Muslim Brotherhood front group aligned with them), and the Universities (who have the MSA/MSU another Muslim Brotherhood front group twisting history), and our politicians aligned with so many other Muslim Brotherhood front groups – it is an uphill battle. I also feel it is uphill because of the liberal left wing who somehow has lost their way and forgets about women’s rights, or how under Sharia laws anyone who is not a Muslim is required to accept subjugated, or be killed.

    We have people who are not willing to even to discuss anything because Islam is classifed as a religion. What kind of a religion teaches that they should like, or kill/torture/persecute/enslave/subjugate people just because they are not a Muslim? They will never honor a cease fire/treaty with Israel because they are not supposed to. It is called hudna, and the Muslims are to fool their enemy (unbelievers) into thinking they want peace and they are to break it as soon as possible and not to let it go on for longer than 10 years.

    And don’t start on the ‘…well, the Christians did this or that’. It is getting old and tu quoque excuses are a lack of knowledge. There were bad Christians but go to the teachings of each – Islam is the COMPLETE opposite of Christianity and Judaism, and any other religion out there.

    It is a religion based on conquest and subjugation. What we are getting are nothing but useful idiots being churned out of our schools. And they in turn become our news reporters, our politicians, business people and teachers. Alinsky did a good job – we churn out Marxists now. Are we going to let the Muslims have their way and do a good job on our kids next?

    The Muslim Brotherhood has been in our schools for several decades now and it isn’t getting any better. If we don’t stop them and start standing up to them our kids will be worse than Alinsky’s Marxists they will have wrapped the aura of holiness around barbarity and call it good deeds. Start learning their Sharia laws and ‘holy’ texts. As we learned what Hitler was about in his Mein Kampf, the Muslims have it all written down too in their ‘holy’ texts. And history should show us they mean it.

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