Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has taken a few minutes off from injecting itself into every campus on the West Coast (where it’s been providing a Jewish face to the divestment votes currently failing all over the state), to have its Muzzlewatch mouthpiece issue a condemnation of Jewish organizations daring to play a role in the Middle East debate at Columbia.
This condemnation, a stretch even by Muzzlewatch standards, involves an actual Columbia student attending an actual Columbia class (gasp), even though he was not enrolled in it. Allegedly, his job in the classroom was to monitor what was said by a controversial teacher, supposedly at the behest of one or more super-duper-powerful Jewish organizations like CAMERA and (queue the mad-scientist organ music): AIPAC!
What do I think about that type of campus monitoring activity? In truth, I’m not particularly happy that it goes on. But I’m also not particularly happy that the phenomenon that triggered such activity (the politicization of the classroom by a number of professors who have abandoned academic principle for advocacy) takes place in far too many campuses, a fact known to all despite the best efforts of Muzzlewatch et al to cover it up.
I would far prefer it if the college campus was a place where important issues like the Middle East conflict were discussed civilly and rationally, where the best minds of the coming generation could be applied to the problems of the region, or at least taught enough understanding to prepare the way for peace sometime in the future.
But there’s not much chance of that with JVP/Muzzlewatch in the mix peddling its brand of toxic, uncompromising, dishonest rhetoric on every campus it can reach. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if it bothers the delicate souls at Muzzlewatch that those with whom they politically disagree are engaging in political activity on campuses that JVP considers it owns, they have a choice. They can keep turning these colleges into war zones year after year and live with the fact that their actions will cause an opposite reaction, or they can actually spend a few minutes reflecting on how much their activity is exacerbating and extending rather than solving conflict and behave accordingly.
Try as they might to get their political opponents to question (and censor) themselves via the ugly accusations that are the Alpha and Omega of Muzzlewatch, opposition to the assaults JVP and its friends have organized on college campuses is growing. And with every posting that appears on the Muzzlewatch site, the hypocritical “we get to do anything we want, but if you respond you’re censoring us” message becomes more laughably transparent.