I have taught at UCI Law School for most years since 2014. If this article gets me canceled there as part of the Cancel Culture now dominating American universities, I . . . do . . . not . . . give . . . a . . . hoot. There comes a time when a person has to speak truth to power. That was the message of Mordechai the Jew to Queen Esther of Persia in the Megillah I just read for my shul twice last week:
“Do not imagine that you, alone of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows? Perhaps you reached this royal position to be so situated for just such a crisis.”
I am a Jew. I did not lose one single relative in the Holocaust. But I know Nazism when I see it. I know Jew-hatred when it is on my horizon. And, unlike Ocasio Cortez and Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, and half the op-ed writers at the New York Times and Washington Post, and three-quarters of the CNN and MSNBC commentariat, I know when to equate Jew-hatred with Nazi-like behavior. The BDS movement is Nazi behavior.
Adolf Hitler and his minions, the Goehrings and Mengeles and Streichers and the rest, set about to destroy the Jews. To do so, they acted methodically, in small measured steps aimed at delegitimizing. They did not immediately cart off all the Jews and transport them in cattle cars to death camps to be gassed and then incinerated in ovens.
Rather, first they methodically dehumanized them in a campaign that slowly, inch by inch, each day rendered Jews just an itsy bitsy less stationed than everyone else, just a bit less accepted, just a bit more reviled. The dehumanizing campaign included film shorts, full features, speeches, a new academic discipline: racial science, and news articles and drawings in Der Sturmer. Each day, just a bit more. A small exaggeration about Jews. Then a lie. Then a bigger lie.
Hitler became Germany’s chancellor on March 5, 1933. His Nuremburg Laws did not come until September 1935 — two and a half years later. Kristallnacht did not come until November 1938 — two more years later. The five-year delegitimization was slow, deliberate. Because it came in small, measured baby steps, the outside world did not notice or care much. The New York Times, a deeply anti-Semitic newspaper for at least the past century, ignored it. (Jewish ownership? Yes, owned by a Jewish family like Trotsky who focused on building a career by destroying Jews; and like Bernie Sanders who campaigned for and with Tlaib and Omar.)
The International Olympic Committee held its games in Munch in 1936, hosted by Hitler. American Jewish organizations mostly were silent. B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee opposed boycotting Nazi German goods. They opposed public street demonstrations against Hitler. When Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia gave orders to arrest Robert Edward Edmondson, a pro-Nazi pamphleteer, it was they — B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee — who led the chorus of protest on behalf of Edmondson. All in inches, in baby steps.
The highly regarded Holocaust-era historian, Dr. Rafael Medoff, has documented and published so much about the role of Franklin Roosevelt during this period: FDR’s anti-Semitism, his refusal to allow Jewish refugees from Hitler into America even though they applied legally and even though America’s formal immigration ceilings were not being filled any of those years. Add the silence of American Jews when the S.S. St. Louis, with 939 Jews fleeing Hitler, was barred from our shores and thus ultimately was sent back to Europe.
Hitler dehumanized the Jews so very slowly, methodically. Gina Carano of “The Mandalorian” of course was right in her description. Of course she was. Of course Representative Mary Miller of Illinois’s 15th Congressional District was right when she said that Hitler did one thing right: he went for the youth and knew that, to Nazify a society for a Reich that would last a thousand years, he had to get the youth indoctrinated. So Hitler Youth was created. They were not the ones who pushed Jews onto cattle cars, who guarded concentration camps, who dropped the Zyklon B tablets into the chambers, who operated the crematoria. Rather, they learned the songs. They marched in the streets. They wore the uniforms. They raised out their arms and chanted “Heil Hitler!” And they even informed on neighbors.
I know Nazism. Ocasio does not know a whit about Nazism just as she does not know squat about the 22nd Amendment. To compare a humane ICE detention center, operated by compassionate American border control professionals who are dealing with illegal throngs desperately begging to come in — to compare that to swastika-banded sadists hunting people hiding in their cellars and attics, rounding them up and randomly shooting some while shoving others into cattle cars for long suffocating transport without sanitary facilities for excretion, then shoving them off the trains upon arrival at the camps, again randomly shooting several to death, then separating the men from the women, the adults from the children, the sick from the healthy and marching the women, children, and frail to be gassed, and then ferreting through their clothes and pulling gold fillings from corpses’ dental work and shaving their hair, and then taking the remains and burning them in crematoria at the rate of 12,000 per day — and comparing that to an ICE detention center . . .
That moronic comparison does not evoke images of Nazism but of the utter failure of America’s education system from elementary school through graduate school.
But I know Nazism. Not every Nazi dropped Zyklon B or dug mass graves or tortured Jews. Most just paid their dues, sang their songs, cheered and lined streets to Sieg Heil. And they informed on Jews’ whereabouts. They stole Jews’ art pieces and floor and window treatments and furniture. Some moved into Jews’ homes. They sold life insurance and property insurance policies to Jews whose beneficiaries they figured never would collect on them.
I know Nazism. My graduate studies including reading scores of scholarly tomes, refereed academic research, and conducting my own research in dusty basement archives reading primary sources. And growing up as a Jew with a yarmulka.
Sometime a decade or so ago, a Jew-hating Arab Nazi in the Mideast devised the movement for “BDS” --
B: to Boycott Israel and only Israel. Not China. Not Saudi Arabia. Not Cuba or Venezuela.
D: Divest all stock holdings and other investment vehicles in companies that deal with the Israeli economy. Not to divest from companies that operate in China. Nor in repressive Arab sheikdoms. Nor in companies that do business with Russia or Somalia or Eritrea. Only Israel.
S: And then further — Sanction Israel. Only Israel. Not Cuba. Not Russia. Not Venezuela. Not Qatar. Not Equatorial Guinea or Myanmar. Only Israel.
Only Israel to be made an outcast on the world stage. A political leper. An international pariah. That, dear reader, is Hitler Nazism.
Yes, the BDS Nazis say they are “not anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist.” OK, let’s do it this way: a Metaphor — stick with me on this:
Imagine that 0.18 percent of the world’s population — only a mere one in 550 people in the world — is Black. So 99.82% of the world is every other color but Black. In the entire world, there is only one country whose population is majority Black — Nigeria. No other country. Every other country in the world — Africa, too — is pearly, milky White as alabaster, as ivory. Only Nigeria is Black — 85% Black. And it is surrounded on all borders by countries that are 100% White and are determined to destroy Nigeria. Are you still with me? Good.
And imagine that Nigeria is not a bad country. They allow their 15% White minority complete equal rights. Whites sit as justices on their Supreme Court, also as lower-court judges, hold positions in all walks of life, sit as members of parliament and even may and do have their own White parties that win seats in local and national elections. And Nigeria’s White demographic minority receives all government benefits that the Black majority does: welfare, unemployment, national health care. The universities are open equally to the White minority.
And get this: the Nigerian government, which gives monthly cash stipends to every family that has children — with larger stipends for larger families to encourage them to have even more babies — even gives its White minority extra-large stipends to encourage them, the minority, to procreate. And the 85% Black majority does all this, with its incredibly open and equal society, even though there are regular threats and acts of terror against civilians perpetrated by a whole bunch of White terror groups within Nigeria and along all of Nigeria's borders because those Whites are determined to eradicate the one and only Black country in all the world.
Still with me?
Now we come to the University of California at Irvine. Still sticking with our metaphor, imagine this campus has a history as one of the most vile anti-Black racist colleges and universities in America — so much so that Blacks, even those living in nearby Tustin and Costa Mesa and Laguna This and Laguna That, voluntarily apply to attend other campuses hundreds of miles away rather than to go there and face endless bigotry.
Oh, sure, the lily White campus administration says they honor diversity, but they do absolutely nothing meaningful and demonstrably tangible to give Blacks a true and secure sense of belonging and being safe at UCI. Imagine.
And then the Alabaster White UCI Student Government takes a hurried vote amid a world-wide COVID pandemic and votes to BDS Nigeria, the only Back country in the world. And to demand that UCI divest all investments in corporations that deal with Nigeria, the only Black country in the world. And that UCI boycott and sanction Nigeria, the only Black country in the world. And then the Nazis in that Milky White UCI Student Government add: “We are not anti-Black. We are only anti-Nigeria.”
And people ask:
Did you ever BDS China for what it does to Uighur Muslims? Did you BDS Russia for what it does to certain Christian denominations? Did you ever BDS Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Syria, Qatar, Somalia, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan?
So what’s with the obsession with Nigeria — the only Black country in the world?
You think a few words of pap and pablum at the end can camouflage your despicable race hate targeted specifically against Black people? Well, no. Not fooled.
So when do you just add the words: Sieg Heil?
End of metaphor. (I never met a phor I didn’t like.)
I know Nazism. I am not an apostate like a Bernie Sanders or a Trotsky or a George Soros, who pushes others aside to lead the attacks personally on Israel and who marches proudly with the worst Jew-haters in society.
I know Nazism. BDS is Nazism. It seeks to make of Israel a leper colony and a world pariah. That is what its founder intended when he launched it, and that is what the ignoramuses at UCI Student Government now have sought to advance.
Why do I call them ignoramuses? Because they are imbued with ignorance. They know not what they do. Even smart people can be despicable Jew-haters. Remember Stephen Hawking? Smart guy, huh? He barely could move or communicate, but that anti-Semite signed onto BDS petitions in England. Call it “A Brief History of anti-Semitism . . . or The Black Hole in Hawking’s Soul.” Boycott Israel! Yep. Funny thing is, it was Israel-invented technology that enabled him to communicate. Ooops. OK, OK — Boycott Israel . . . except for that.
And except for CT scans. And except for Intel processors. And except for the pill-cam video for gastrointestinal endoscopies. And except for the SpineAssist robot that does spine surgeries. And except for Surgical Theater virtual imaging for brain surgery. And except for photovoltaic glass — solar windows — invented in Israel. And except for Waze for GPS. And except for VoIP technology to communicate. And except for smart drip and micro-irrigation systems. And except for electric hair removers (epilators). And except for USB flash drives. And except for . . . and except for . . . and, oh yeah — except for Rummikub.
When one of those UCI Student Government ignoramuses — and, on second thought: idiots — needs one of those devices to save his or her or their lives, I hope with all my soul that they indeed defy the cravenly pusillanimous hypocrisy of a Hawking and indeed stick to their BDS right into their grave. For all I care, they can put a swastika on their tombstone that reads:
Here lies a student leader at UCI.
In truth, they did not need to die.
But this . . . Blind Nazi
Blindly Could . . . Not-See
That BDS is the reason why.
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer is adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools, Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and has held prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com .