How Hitler-era brown shirts took over Hunter College

The real point of the raucous protests last week was masked by demands for pay parity and free education so as to get students on their side. Then came the anti-Semitism. That is just the way Hitler's brown shirts worked on Germans.

Prof. Phyllis Chesler

OpEds Prof. Phyllis Chesler
Prof. Phyllis Chesler
Joan Roth

For the first time in the 21st century and on the American campus, legitimate economic grievances, specific to New York City, specific to the United States, have been tied to Zionism.

Led by a screaming woman in hijab and a man, assisted by the usual outside agitators, students screamed themselves hoarse at Hunter College, a branch of City University of New York not far from where I live just a few days ago.

“Zionism out of CUNY!” “Zionists out of CUNY!” “Intifada, Intifada” was chanted, screamed, roared, over and over again. You may see it here and here.

Their demands for pay parity for adjunct professors is just and long overdue. Their demands for “tuition-free education, the cancellation of all student debt, a minimum wage of $15.00 for campus workers” is, perhaps, more idealistic as well as economically challenging.

However, their demands for “an end to racial and economic segregation in education, racialized college-acceptance practices, work program requirements for students on public assistance, and an end to the rapid gentrification and privatization of public school property” verges on the surreal and smacks of Occupy Wall Street and the Ferguson riots.

The next demand is obscene. 

“We demand CUNY divests from Israel, companies that maintain Zionist occupation, private prisons, and prison labor…the Zionist administration invests in Israeli companies, companies that support the Israeli occupation, hosts birthright programs and study abroad programs in occupied Palestine, and reproduces settler-colonial ideology throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education. While CUNY aims to produce the next generation of professional Zionists, SJP (Student for Justice in Palestine) aims to change the university to fight for all people’s liberation.”

What’s Israel got to do with these domestic campus issues? Absolutely nothing—but in the mind of these Muslim Brotherhood indoctrinated students it has come to symbolize every conceivable injustice, both real and imagined; it has come to justify the stabbing, bombing, and car-ramming of Jewish civilians everywhere, especially but not exclusively in Israel or, as we saw on Friday in Paris, against Israelis—and the anti-Israel boycotts undertaken by the EU and by American academic organizations.

I have long referred to CUNY as the Communist University of New York because both the faculty and administration lean far left.
I have long referred to CUNY as the Communist University of New York because both the faculty and administration lean far left. If there is indoctrination going on, that indoctrination is anti-Israel and pro-Palestine; it is certainly not pro-Israel and anti-Palestine. But these paranoid ravings, this scapegoating of Jews, Zionists, and Israel for the very crimes being committed by Arab terrorists and their supporters, which include large chunks of the American professoriate, is what the new totalitarianism sounds like.

If there is intimidation, bullying and Blood Libels on campus it is anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism, not Islamophobia or anti-Arab-a-phobia, and it is coming from the Muslim-Brotherhood inspired Left; from Islamic-inspired and Christian liberation theology inspired Jew-hatred among angry African-Americans; from the anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic behaviors of the world’s political leaders; and from the silence of our own professoriate—a silence which amounts to complicity as well as to cowardice.

This “million student march” throughout all of CUNY was endorsed by the NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization outlawed in Egypt; by their cells at Hunter College, the College of Staten Island (where I taught for nearly 30 years), John Jay College (where I taught for a semester), by the Law School at CUNY, and by St. Joseph’s College and Pace College.

The Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association must be stopped. They are supported by a terrorist organization and should not be allowed on an American campus. They are not a “club.” They are Brown-shirts on the move.

Students who have been taught that is it permissible to shout speakers down, interrupt and heckle them, force out distinguished academics, compel payment for outside non-academic rabble rousers, feel empowered by totalitarian Group Think, conduct angry rallies like this one at Hunter College are no better than Hitler-era Brown-shirts. They are not behaving like college students.

They should be emphatically condemned by the administration, and either expelled or de-programmed, whatever works.