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October 02, 1992 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

history whatsoever. Yet, efforts to promote
this lie have intensified.

murdering Jews, so they would flee to
Palestine."

For example, the most prominent recent
distributor of the materials is Bradley R.
Smith. He has edited the newsletter of the
Institute for Historical Review, which is
closely tied to the best-financed and most
active anti-Semitic propaganda organization
in the country, Liberty Lobby. Smith has
been promoting Holocaust "revisionism" on
college campuses by taking out full-page
advertisements on the subject in student
newspapers.

Campus Anti-Semitism/Anti-
Zionism: Political Correctness"

These ads state that Jews were merely
confined by the Nazis to special work camps
because of their influential role "behind
international communism." Disputing the
figure of 6 million deaths, these ads claim
that typhus was the principal cause of death
among camp inmates, and that gas chambers
were 'life-saving" fumigation chambers to
delouse clothing and prevent disease.
Although many campus newspapers,
including those at Harvard, Brown, Yale, the
University of Texas at Austin, the University
of California at Berkeley, the University of
Pennsylvania, and the off-campus, conserva-
tive Dartmouth Review, have refused to print
the ad, others—including those at Duke and
the University of Michigan, have felt
compelled to publish it in the interests of free
speech. The Duke history department issued
a statement urging recognition of the
difference between interpreting history and
denying it altogether.

In fact, the constitutional right of extremists
to express offensive propaganda places
college newspapers under no obligation to
accept such ads. As one editor who rejected
the Smith ad, Steven M. Markowitz of the
University of California at Berkeley, told The
New York Times, his paper's editorial policy
forbade "racist, sexist or violence-inciting
advertisements." Moreover, advertisements
which dispute historically documented facts
undermine the journalistic obligation to the
truth—one of the values free speech is
supposed to protect. Will ads be published
which deny the internment of Japanese
Americans, the enslavement of Blacks, or the
Stalinist gulag? For now, it is only the fact of
the Jews' mass murder that is being placed in
the deceptive context of "open debate."

Taking Holocaust-denial onto college
campuses is consistent with other efforts to
mainstream the hate movement. Having
failed to influence American society through
violence and intimidation, right-wing
extremists now further their agendas by
distorting legitimate concerns into vehicles
for bigotry, and mask their anti-Semitism
through the code words "revisionism" and
"historical review."

Given the horrifying legacy of bigotry, there
is an additional grim irony in that Holocaust
"revisionism" is being expressed by some
radical figures on campus. Typically, these
activists have masked Holocaust-denial
rhetoric as part of a critique of Zionism, as
one member of the Islamic Movement of
North America demonstrated: "The triangle
of power finds the Americans at the top, but
they're controlled by the Zionists below. The
Americans do not control their own society
.... There is no bigger terrorist nation in the
world than the United States of America.
They make Nazi Germany's terror look like
nothing." Perhaps even more outrageous is
the accusation offered by the anti-Semitic
Pan-African revolutionary Kwame Ture (who
has told campus audiences that "the only
good Zionist is a dead Zionist") in a 1990
speech at the University of Minnesota:
‘`. .. the Zionists joined with the Nazis in

Today, in addition to traditional bigotry,
Jewish students bear the brunt of highly-
organized anti-Zionist campaigns, reflecting a
discomforting reality: being pro-Israel, it
seems, is not politically correct.

Jewish students face a double challenge not
encountered by most other campus minorities.
First, as this audit illustrates, they experience
traditional anti-Semitism. But the combina-
tion of domestic anti-Semitism and interna-
tional anti-Zionism can result in unrelenting
tension for Jewish students, faculty and
administrators.

At some campuses, absurd and offensive
distortions of the concepts of "diversity" and
"multi-culturalism" have left Jewish students
feeling vulnerable and isolated.

A typical illustration: At the University of
Washington at Seattle, a proposed compul-
sory requirement for Humanities and Social
Science credits included Ethnic Studies
courses. But various arguments were
advanced within a student-faculty task force
opposing the appropriateness of including
Jews as a minority worthy of such study.
This, despite the obvious minority status of
American Jews and the long history of that
virulent form of racism called anti-Semitism.

In short, it seems that many advocates of the
laudable concepts of curriculum diversity and
multicultural sensitivity do not recognize
anti-Semitism as a form of racism.

An unfortunate corollary is the tendency
toward rationalizing the prejudices of "people
of color," by claiming that racism is defined
by the exercise of power over others; since,
this slippery logic goes, racial minorities are
not "empowered," they are simply not
capable of being racist. Thus, anti-Semitism
is excused, or even justified.

So, while Jews have excelled in academe and
are fully accepted as students, faculty and
administrators, at the same time the misuse of
"political correctness" by some campus
groups often delegitimizes Jewish values and
concerns.

Anti-Semitism of Extremists and
Demagogues on College Campuses

Stridently anti-Semitic speakers including
Louis Farrakhan, Kwame Ture, rap music
figure "Professor" Gruff, and Professor
Leonard Jeffries, have become popular with
Black student unions around the country.

Also accorded warm campus receptions are
openly anti-Semitic representatives of the
Nation of Islam including Conrad
Muhammad, who spoke at Emory University
last year, and Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad,
who addressed the Columbia Black Students
Union at Columbia University in the fall of
1990. (Muhammad referred to Columbia as
"Columbia Jewniversity" in "Jew York
City.") Another anti-Semitic speaker making
the rounds on campus was Abdul Alim Musa,
a member of the Islamic Movement of North
America. During his appearance at the
University of Washington on May 23, 1991
which was co-sponsored by the Black Student
Union and the Muslim Student Association,
Musa stated that U.S. policy was "controlled
by an influential Jewish community,
determined to keep minorities repressed and
powerless."

At Southern Connecticut State University
in 1991, Griff devoted twenty minutes of
his lecture to an anti-Semitic diatribe,
including the accusation that Jewish doctors
injected black babies with AIDS.

These anti-Semitic developments illustrate
the disturbing fact that many Black student
leaders and representatives—in effect, a
significant portion of the future leadership
of the Black community—repeatedly invite
and enthusiastically support speakers who
are well-known for their Jew baiting.
These student leaders thus offer a respect-
able platform for anti-Semitic prejudice and
ignorance—while generating tension
among Jewish students who feel that they
are "under siege."

1991 Skinhead Incidents

Neo-Nazi gangs known as "Skinheads"
continued to perpetrate anti-Semitic and
other racist crimes in 1991. For the second
year in a row the number of "Skinhead"
anti-Semitic incidents has dropped. This
year there were 62 such incidents reported
in 16 states compared to 87 in 21 states the
previous year. The high mark year for
Skinhead incidents was 1989 when 116
were reported in 24 states.

Still the Skinheads' message of hate, their
menacing posture and their violent nature
are troubling to all concerned Americans:
blacks, Jews, Hispanics, immigrant
minorities and gays continue to be targeted
by Skinhead-gang members for brutal
assault, threats and vandalism.

Of the 1991 Skinhead-related incidents, 36
were vandalism, including an arson of a
Jewish-owned business, and 26 were either
harassment or threats directed at Jewish
individuals and their institutions.

Arrests

During 1991 in 14 states there were 52
individuals arrested in connection with 41 of
all reported incidents. Of those arrested,
twenty-five-48%—were 21 years of age or
older. It is the highest percentage ever noted
for that age group. Only once, since 1979,
did the percentage for that age group exceed
20% (22% in 1987).

In 1990 110 individuals were reported
arrested in 17 states in connection with 59
incidents.

A Look at Some
Noteworthy Incidents

The following examples illustrate the
considerable news coverage, community
response and ADL counteraction which
stemmed from several anti-Semitic
incidents in 1991:

Brooklyn, New York

A hateful rampage engulfed the Lubavitch
Hasidic community of Crown Heights in
Brooklyn in August. It was the most
dramatic and disturbing anti-Semitic
outburst seen in the United States in many
years. Tragically, it included the murder of
a 29-year-old Orthodox Jewish scholar
from Australia, Yankel Rosenbaum, who
was attacked by a mob of young blacks
shouting "Kill the Jew."

Following an accident on August 19 in
which a car in the Lubavitch grand rabbi's
entourage jumped the curb and slammed
into two children, killing one, Gavin Cato,
and critically injuring the other, his cousin

Angela Cato, many young blacks surged
through the streets over the next three days
chanting "Arrest the Jews" and "Heil Hitler,"
attacking Hasidic Jews, smashing property
and burning cars. Yankel Rosenbaum was
walking along a street when the mob attacked
him. Several demagogic speakers added to the
hateful atmosphere, feeding the emotional
flames with anti-Semitic scapegoating and
rumors. New York City Mayor David Dinkins
described the killing as a racial murder and a
"lynching." One of Rosenbaum's attackers
was arrested and charged with murder.

The Crown Heights Emergency Committee is
an ad hoc group formed in the first days of the
disorders in that Brooklyn community. It
includes representatives of all major institu-
tions of the community—i.e., schools,
synagogues, service agencies, and representa-
tives of the Jewish Community Council, as
well as local residents.

The following is a representative sampling
of the more than 100 incidents of personal
assault, harassment and property damage
reported to the Emergency Committee
during the 3 day period of rioting, August
19-21, 1991.

During the August rioting, a total of 23
Jewish individuals suffered some serious
bodily injury.

Among the property damage claims recorded
by the Crown Heights Emergency Committee
were the following:

— On two occasions, bullets have been fired
into a local synagogue.

Virtually every Jewish home on President
Street in Crown Heights, as well as a
synagogue there, suffered many broken
windows.

Numerous car windows were smashed,
and several cars were burned and
destroyed. A van belonging to a Yeshiva
was burned, and its windows broken.
Several cars were defaced with swastikas.

— Several new, as yet unoccupied condo-
minium buildings suffered arson damage
estimated at over $60,000.

— A swastika was painted on the door of a
Jewish family's apartment. Beyond these
overt acts of violence, the Crown Heights
Jewish community suffered harassment in
the form of a sign set up on a street corner
reading "The Jew Is The Devil," and a
nearby loudspeaker broadcasting viciously
anti-Semitic speeches for several days and
nights running.

Finally, amid this chaotic and violent
atmosphere, a Jewish resident of Crown
Heights named Brocha Estrin, a Holocaust
survivor from Russia, jumped to her death
from her third floor apartment on President
Street. According to a leader of the Crown
Heights Jewish community, her suicide "was
a direct result of fear placed on her by
strangers outside of the community using
Nazi tactics."

Los Angeles, California

One firebombing, four arsons and four
attempted arsons at three different synagogues
in the Los Angeles area angered and fright-
ened Jewish residents. The arsons occurred
between January and April.
The January arson caused $250,000 in
damage to the synagogue and charred every
room except one. ADL participated in a press
conference held by the rabbi and issued a
statement condemning the act. Additionally,

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