Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy

You will not be saved by General Motors or the pre-fabricated house.
You will not be saved by dialectic materialism or the Lambeth Conference.
You will not be saved by Vitamin D or the expanding universe.
In fact, you will not be saved.
— Stephen Vincent Benet, “Nightmare with Angels

I still am thinking of all the whining cowardly Jewish students at America’s elite private colleges, belly-aching “Mommy, the Arab and Muslim foreign students here and the non-Jewish “Jewish” woke progressive apostates on campus don’t like me. They are chanting Israel has no right to exist. They say Hamas rape is good rape, liberation rape. I am scared.”

As I wrote in my prior column, with words that apparently touched a nerve among thousands of readers, I am disgusted with revulsion at these wimps and wusses who do not have the pride and self-respect that my generation had when we attended Columbia University in the 1970’s. Toward that end, I share a memory from 1970’s Brooklyn, New York.

The city of New York had and has its own college system, CUNY. Not only were there world-class private colleges in New York like Columbia and NYU, and excellent state colleges like New Paltz, Hofstra, Binghamton, and Stonybrook, but New York City had CUNY, City University of New York. These municipal colleges all were tuition-free, and you had to have high college-entry scores to get in. For example, some of America’s most successful entrepreneurs and scholars began as first-generation children of Jewish immigrants who attended upper Manhattan’s CUNY outlet, CCNY, City College of New York. There also was Queens College, chock full of brilliant Jews with high SAT scores who got an excellent education without needing to pay a dime of tuition. And there was Brooklyn College, the gem of the entire system in the 1960’s and 70’s, again full of genius Jews with 1600 SAT scores getting a freebie. Those who made those merit-based decisions realized that America would be the better for it.

John Lindsay, the failed left-wing mayor of the late 1960’s who destroyed New York City, as Obama later would destroy America, ruined the CUNY system. He imposed “open admissions”: no more academic standards. Every single New Yorker was guaranteed automatic admission to the free education, no matter how illiterate. As a result, most CUNY colleges except for Queens and Hunter and a few others went down the drain. My generation was the last who got an outstanding education at Brooklyn College. These were some alumni before Lindsay killed the school.

It was 1970. Every culture has its music, and so do American Jews and so do Israelis. The most popular Jewish and Israeli song that year was “Bashanah Haba’ah” (“Next Year”). Here is a version sung by the Christian choir of Bob Jones University. Here is Northwest Girls Choir. Fort Worden Festival. And here a classic Israel version, with English titles. I am sharing many versions to convey, as many readers already know, that this was a huge song in its time and has become world famous, sung even by non-Jewish choirs throughout the world. It was not “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

It was 1970. The Jewish student group on campus brought a guest speaker, Rabbi Meir Kahane of blessed memory. Perhaps some readers have heard of him. These were his pre-Israel years when he was building a movement aimed at freeing Soviet Jews and teaching Jewish people to defend themselves in America’s urban communities. Rav Kahane spoke that day about Judaism and Jewish pride.

At the end, he took questions from the floor. One stood out. It was from a girl, shaking, teary-eyed: “Rabbi Kahane, you are here talking about being Jewish, but I am scared here. There is a jukebox in the campus cafeteria, and it has only one Jewish song, “Bashanah Haba’ah.” We were playing the song the other day, and a bunch of Black students slammed the jukebox and told us we are not allowed to play that ‘Jew song’ anymore, or they will beat up anyone who tries to. My friends and I are scared and frightened.”

Rabbi Kahane asked members of his audience to please raise their hands if they knew this incident to be true and if they also were scared. In his audience of 200 students, some 100-150 hands were raised. Frightened Jews in 1970’s Brooklyn College

The rav next asked: “How many students would you say comprised the goons who ordered you not to play the song again?”

The response from the questioner was: “It was scary. It was like a dozen of them.”

Rabbi Kahane said “There are hundreds of you and a dozen of them — and you are the ones who are scared? Maybe those students simply don’t like the recorded version of the song in the jukebox. Why don’t we show some understanding and all go down to the cafeteria right now and give them a live performance?”

He then led 100 of those students into the cafeteria, and they started singing the song. The Students Of Color told them to shut up. The Jews sang louder. The offended students started throwing chairs at the Jews. The 100 Jews were afraid and scared as the chairs came flying from the dirty dozen.

Rav Kahane said: “Some people dance to music. If their cultural preference to music is chair throwing, then let’s throw chairs back at them. And if you run out of chairs, throw tables.”

It turned into a wild melee. Made page one of the next day’s New York tabloids. And there were two results:

1. Rabbi Kahane was banned from the campus by the school administration.

2. No Black student ever again told a Jew not to play that song. It played until Jews got tired of it.

I think back to 1950’s-1970’s Brooklyn when all Jews were authentically Jewish and almost-universally supported Israel. There were few Reform “Marilyn Monroe” converts and “Patrilineal Jews” — i.e., non-Jews masquerading as “IfNotNow” and JStreet “Jews” — who would say they are “Jewish” but support anti-Zionists. The difference today is that some 40 percent of people who now say they are “Jews” factually are not Jews according to the millenia-old halakhic definition of Jews, but an erev rav (mixed multitude) many of whom typically march with Arabs for Hamas and say “Not In Our Name.”

In those days, with the right encouragement, college Jews threw chairs back at Nazis — color irrelevant. Jews were not all afraid. It was post-Holocust — but before “Holocaust education” groomed Jews in left-wing victimology. Some confronted White Nazis in the streets. Jews guarded their own shuls when necessary, without paying non-Jews to protect them. And campuses were plenty safe for Jews. At Columbia University, where I attended, the anti-Semites whined while the undergraduate student body elected me to represent the entire college in the University Senate.

A German middle-aged couple named Fred and Rose Mokry (he a Columbia employee) hung a banner outside their university-housing window, cursing “the Jews.” We did not call the ADL or “Stand with Us.” Rather, we scaled the building wall, tore down the sign, and demanded he be fired. In the meantime, he got beaten up. The sign never was seen again. Soon after, neither was he.

So I watch the moaning, kvetching, whining, scared, frightened privileged campus Jews of today who are politically and socially paralyzed because a dozen or a hundred or even a thosandArab and Muslim foreign students who don’t even belong in the United States are chanting “Death to Israel” and endorsing Hamas Rape. #GoodHamasRapeMeToo.

The Arab Muslim Hamas supporters? I expect that of them. Genesis 16:12. And I expect that of the Fake “Jews” who are not born of Jewish mothers, hence are not Jews. Chazal (Our Sages of Yore) understood why a Jew must be reared by a Jewish mother. But I am disgusted by the actual Jews who were reared by liberal parents in the privileged exurbs to believe the way to the world’s hearts is by playing victims. That is the failed message of thirty years of “Holocaust education” and museums: “Look at what the Nazis and all of Europe did to us. You should feel bad for us and therefore love us. We are the victims.”

Even stupid bystanders are not that stupid. No one buys that American Jews circa 2023 are victims. It is the foolish card to play. The authentic Zionist message of “Never Again” is not that there never again will be genocides against Jews. No one but G-d can prevent that. The message is: If anyone ever again tries it, know assuredly that never again will Jews absorb it without hitting back even harder than they have been struck. LIke the IDF in Israel.

Forget proportionality. Never again will the attackers live long to celebrate their attacks. Never again will Jews recoil in fear and terror. Like in Israel.

That is what is so particularly disgusting about the whining at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and U. of Pennsylvania.

No one cares about tears. The Caucasian power brokers who encourage Blacks to play the victim do not themselves ever play victim. They give crumbs to victims; but to the winners go the spoils. That is my contribution to Holocaust education:

No One Cares. People have their own problems.

  • How many millions did Pol Pot murder? No one cares.
  • Or how Stalin starved out millions of Ukrainians? No one cares.
  • Or what Putin is doing today? No one cares.
  • Or what Mao did? No one cares.
  • Or the genocide Assad inflicts on his own in Syria or the Ayatollahs do to theirs in Iran?
  • The homosexuals who get thrown off rooftops in “Palestine”? No . . . one . . cares.

People have their own problems. They care more about Buttigieg’s train wrecks in Palestine, Ohio than the fake “Palestine” in Judea and Samaria that Israel one day will liberate the rest of the way so that, from the River to the Sea, Yis-ra-el will be free.

American Jews should not look to Biden or Deborah Lipstadt, his useless joke of an advisor on anti-Semitism. Just bring some chairs on the way to lunch. Metal folding chairs are best for the purpose. And sing a Hebrew song live for them. Any song will do.

Then start the process of moving to Israel and use your talents where Jews fight back.

Adapted by the writer for Arutz Sheva from a version of this article that first appeared here in The American Spectator.

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Rav Fischer’s memorable two televised debates with a national leader of CAIR, the leading anti-Semitic Arab Muslim body in the United States, can be found here and here.