Stop Being ‘Nice Jewish Boys’

Holocaust Remembrance Day is the time for this message to today's Jewish college students.

Jack Engelhard

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

Learn to take a punch. Better yet, learn to give a punch.
This is not your father’s campus. But you know that already. You signed up for an education and expected and perhaps even joined the usual frat nonsense – but never expected to be pushed around by some guy named Ibrahim. He’s there with a grudge brought over from some place like Saudi Arabia and he calls himself a student but his real job is to make life miserable for you because you are Jewish. No other reason.

You may not even be a practicing Jew and just as likely you come from a liberal environment that pities the “poor Palestinians.”

You probably are not even pro-Israel. You learned – even while still in high school – that “the settlements” are the reason for all the world’s problems.

Makes no difference. You are a target, and by now you know what I’m talking about when I say BDS.

That’s the Boycott, Divest and Sanction thugs and their groupies that have invaded virtually every single campus across the United States. These guys are not here by accident. They are the foot soldiers from the lands of jihad, and since they cannot seem to intimidate and defeat Israel through war or peace, so instead they have placed you in the line of fire.

They figure you to be patsies, “nice Jewish boys.” That is not a satisfactory reputation. For your grandmother, yes, but for anti-Semites – and that’s what these people are – “a nice Jewish boy” is a softie, a pushover. Israel changed all that, but around here, in the United States, the reputation persists.

What happened at Brandeis doesn’t help…or rather what didn’t happen. You were mostly, and embarrassingly, silent. You got pushed around.

Here’s something that came in just the other day from The New York Post that should make you cringe: “Pro-Palestinian Activists Leave ‘Eviction’ Notices For Jewish NYU Students.” Read the article here and listen to the Jewish students groan and moan about being “panicked.”

There is nothing from these Jewish students about being fed up and angry.  Nothing from them that says, “We are not going to take this any more.”

I am not here to scold you. I know how tough it is. These are supposed to be the best years of your life but you find yourself caught in a feud that has nothing to do with you personally. Unfortunately most of the Arab nations decided against peace from day one and, through their Palestinian Arab surrogates and campus bullies, prefer to export nothing but grievances.

But I am here to suggest that you toughen up – physically, mentally, spiritually. Learn to take a punch. Better yet, learn to give a punch. Even better, take up any self-defense course. I suggest Krav Maga. That’s the Israeli system and it seems to be working out okay.

Along with the United States, Israel’s military is the toughest in the world – and these are “nice Jewish boys,” but with an asterisk.

Get them started and they are not so nice any more.

I met the man who invented Krav Maga, Imi Lichtenfeld. We met in Netanya, Israel at the Café Ugati and we talked about the anti-Semitism he faced back in Slovakia, and how to fight back he developed a system of simultaneous defense and attack.

“I decided we were not going to take it any more,” he said. “If they wanted a fight, we would give them a fight.”

You are not in Slovakia. Nothing is keeping you from fighting back.

Imi reminded me of what Mark Twain said about the Jewish people and it goes something like this:

“The Jews are like horses. If they knew their own strength we should be afraid to ride them.”

Am I suggesting that you get into fist fights? Just the opposite.

The idea of making yourself physically strong is that you should NOT have to fight. The bullies will know. They pick on the weak.

They are cowards, after all.

Toughen yourself up by educating yourself about Israel. Get the real story. There is no reason to be on the defensive.

You have a history as no other people and it is a glorious history.

Next Spring Break, forget Cancun. Try Israel. You will be amazed.

You will be astonished to learn that almost all the news you received from your professors and from BDS were lopsided and false.

Look into the Volunteers for Israel Program.

There is another reason to bring up Mark Twain. After the Civil War, he joined the anti-Semites who claimed that Jews did not show up for either side. That prompted a response from the Jews who surely did show up. They formed what we now know as the Jewish War Veterans of the United States  – and they proved that Jews fought well beyond their ratio to the general population; 8,400 for the Union and 3,000 for the Confederacy.

Seven Jewish soldiers personally received the Medal of Honor from President Lincoln.

So it has been in all our wars. Jews rushed to the front.

Where was Islam and where were the Palestinian Arabs during all this time – and why should they, who came here after you and contributed nothing –

Why should they have the upper hand?

They have the numbers, but how many Nobel Prizes have they won? Who was their Jonas Salk who saved billions from polio?

Do not let your generation be a lost generation. Speak up! We can’t hear you!

Jack Engelhard writes a weekly column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist, the 25th anniversary edition of his international bestseller Indecent Proposal. Website: