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‘Quackery in American universities long-term threat to global stability’: op-ed

American college campuses have been hotbeds of anti-Zionism and antisemitic fervor long before professors and students showed their ardent support for the recent Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel.

But it’s not just a problem for Israel and Jews, argued David Bernstein, founder of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, in a recent piece for the Journalism Strategic Tribune headlined “The US College Campus as a Long-term Strategic Threat to Israel, the US and Global Stability.”

“If future generations of young elites continue to be educated into hostility toward Israel, we should expect to see a decline in US-Israel ties with increasing pressure to end the special relationship,” Bernstein wrote.

“And if they continue to be educated into antipathy toward what America stands for and its role in the world, we can expect an America that will withdraw from the global scene, eschew the use of power, and abandon the field to hostile powers such Iran, Russia and China. It’s hard to imagine that seemingly absurd ideological trends in the humanities departments at American universities could wreak such havoc. But quackery in American universities is a long-term threat to global stability.”

Bernstein offers several solutions to the problem, including to abolish diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. He also suggests a recommitment to the traditional liberal university.

“[U]niversity humanities departments have become riven with ideological academic programs that perpetuate notions of power and oppression that cast Jews and Israel as oppressors,” he wrote.

“It will not be easy to totally unseat these departments but over time we can weaken their influence. Major Jewish donors have begun to withdraw their philanthropy from elite universities often run by weak-kneed presidents, such as those at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania. One of the most important things these donors can do is to reinvest their philanthropy in new academic programs that specifically and explicitly elevate free inquiry and freedom of expression.”

Finally, he suggests cutting Middle Eastern sources of funding to universities.

“We should not forget that Saudi Arabia was once the major funder of such anti-American academic programs but, under the scrutiny in the post-911 atmosphere, largely pulled back. Qatar filled the vacuum,” Bernstein wrote. “…Turning up the heat on the Biden Administration to hold Qatar accountable will be critical.”

Read the full column at the Jerusalem Strategic Tribune.

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