by Gary Fouse
We hear a lot of talk these days about the so-called “red-green alliance”, which describes what I would call as the marriage of convenience between the radical left (red) and Islamists pushing the Islamic political agenda (green). Why red and green? Because red is the color of communism while green is the color of Islam. I expect, given the way the world is going, particularly the US, that we will hear much more on the red-green alliance in the years to come.
Perhaps, nowhere is this alliance more in evidence than on our politically-correct university campuses across the nation. Having taught for 18 years (1998-2016) on a major university campus (UC Irvine), I had a chance to see the growth of this alliance up close and personal when I began attending the ever-present anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian events (as well as their own disruptions of pro-Israel events).
Make no mistake: The pro-Palestinian movement, which includes BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions), has found solid support from the left, which does not hesitate to engage in their favored practice of “intersectionality,” a convoluted thinking process that links every world problem (real or perceived) to each other, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The most glaring example of this today is the theme that black Americans are being oppressed to some extent by Israel based on the fact that some American police have received training from their Israeli counterparts in counter-terrorism. For example, Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd, was not taught that choking tactic by the Israelis (or anyone else in law enforcement), but it was revealed that some Minneapolis officers had received some sort of counter-terrorism training by Israeli police at a 2012 seminar in Chicago (which means absolutely nothing).
So the Palestinian movement and Black Lives Matter have discovered each other. You will see Palestinian flags at BLM protests, and BLM, the organization, has publicly voiced its support for the Palestinians. It is an example of how anti-Semitism has pervaded the ranks of BLM as perfectly exemplified by the May 30 pogrom in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles where synagogues were defaced with “Free Palestine” graffiti, Jewish shops were ransacked, and people yelled, “F— Jews!” out their car windows. Was that in the name of Black Lives Matter or the Palestinians? Take your pick. It is a classic example of the cynical drive by Islamist activists to connect with other so-called victim groups.
Returning to the campus, however, it is here that intersectionality is actually being taught to our kids by leftist professors, especially those opposed to Israel. Of course, they won’t talk about the intersectionality between anti-Israel campaigns and anti-Semitism. Their response is that it is not anti-Semitic, per se, to oppose Israeli policies, which is partially true depending how one acts out or speaks out that opposition. That is a topic for a different discussion. Suffice to say, I have personally seen and heard how opposition to Israel has spilled over into Jew hatred on campus.
It is on our campuses that anti-Israel agitation is at its worst, and, indeed, the skillful activists for the Palestinian cause have succeeded into making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into one of academia’s biggest hot button issues, as if that conflict impacts the lives of your average college student in America. Every year, student governments have to spend hours and hours debating and voting on resolutions supporting BDS. As more and more Muslim students get into student governments (while Jews are often kept out), it is insured that BDS resolutions will be brought up over and over until they pass.
The two biggest purveyors of the pro-Palestinian campaign on campus are Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the various chapters of the Muslim Student Association-or Muslim Student Union as in the case of UC Irvine. SJP was co-founded by then- San Francisco State student-now UC Berkeley professor, Hatem Bazian, who for years, has been accused of making anti-Jewish statements. (Unlike the MSA, SJP consists of both Muslim and non-Muslim students). Aside from the Palestinian issue (He himself is Palestinian.) Bazian’s other issue is “Islamophobia”. He is co-founder of the Islamophobia Documentation and Research Center at UC Berkeley.
The above groups enjoy support from a number of leftist organizations including Jewish Voice for Peace, CAIR, Americans for Palestine (also co-founded by Bazian), and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The NLG was founded in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist Party USA. Name a leftist cause, and they are there to support it, including the recent Occupy movement. You will see them at various leftist demonstrations as “legal observers”, distinctive in their lime green baseball caps with National Lawyers Guild across the front. The Palestinian cause is one they are very active in. Their Los Angeles director, James Lafferty, headed up the Occupy LA movement and has spoken at various colleges on behalf of the SJP and MSA-including at UC Irvine, where I saw him speak once.
Incidentally, the NLG has an affiliation with the UC Irvine Law School (a left-wing activist training ground), as they do with many other law schools. The lime green hats have shown up at SJP-MSU disruptions of pro-Israel events on the UC Irvine campus in recent years including one in my presence in May 2017. They were also present that same week at UC Irvine as part of the SJP-MSU annual week of anti-Israel demonstrations.
It is also problematic that these groups also enjoy support from leftist faculty and entire, leftist-dominated academic departments, who love to bring in anti-Israel speakers like BDS founder Omar Barghouti, but will never sponsor a pro-Israel speaker. Those have to be invited by conservative or Jewish student groups-and they can expect to be disrupted. Likewise, universities will invite Muslim speakers to come and spread their disinformation about Islam on campus, but will not invite critics of Islam to speak. Similarly, they have to be invited by conservative student groups-and can expect to be disrupted.
As I have said many times, in the US, the focal point for the resurgence in anti-Semitism is on our college campuses. That aspect of anti-Semitism does not come from white nationalists or white hate groups as they have no currency on campus. It comes from the pro-Palestinian quarter. In my view, the issue is not so much about land as it is about religion. That is why the MSA, who have Muslim members with origins from countries far from the Middle East (like Pakistan, for example) uniformly line up behind the Palestinians.
As for the campus newspapers, they are invariably liberal and politically correct, in fact, embarrassingly so, given the youth and inexperience of the student journalists. The talking points of BLM are repeated as if gospel truth. In covering the Israeli-Palestinian flareups on campus, many campus papers will publish op-eds by both sides, but in doing a “straight news” report, they tend to quote Palestinian expressions like “occupation” and “oppression” without question or qualification.
With few exceptions, American college campuses are almost totally dominated by leftist ideology employing fascist methods of thought control to suppress conservative thought. It spills over into many issues of the day including abortion, political parties, President Trump etc. It also includes issues like Israel and Islamophobia. Unfortunately for Jewish students, anything pertaining to the Israel-Palestine issue impacts them-especially if they support Israel and identify with their Jewish identity. The fact that universities have been so blind to the problem of anti-Semitism on campus illustrates that the campuses support the Palestinian cause as they do every other liberal cause. They also fear lawsuits from groups like CAIR. All in all, it is a perfect example of how anti-Semitism today in America comes mostly from the left.
Of course, there are a few issues, like abortion, women’s equality, or homosexuality, where the green cannot align with the red for religious reasons. The green has been largely successful, nonetheless, in muting the voices of feminist groups or gay rights groups in the US as to the obvious problems that exist for women and gays in Muslim societies. Why are most American feminists and gay activists so silent? Generally speaking, American feminists and gay activists tend to be on the left of the political spectrum. For the left, criticizing Islam (other than terror groups like ISIS) is not considered cool. Islamophobia, you know.
And if you want to know where all this thinking is incubated, it is right on our university campuses where our kids are being taught. The Palestinians, BLM, gays, Islamophobia, Democrat politics, Trump, abortion, immigrant rights, Dreamers, and on and on. It’s all one big red and green grab bag.