Tuesday, March 5, 2024 -
Print Edition

DU chancellor dehumanizes Jews, Israelis

Moral decision-making is not always difficult. 
 Often, characterizing a problem as morally complex serves as cover for desiring an immoral outcome. Masking it as complex just makes immorality seem more reasonable.

The Jewish people are no strangers to making moral choices under the most dire circumstances. We are experts at this.

Our origin story is a heart-wrenching tale of a mother casting her son adrift in a river to save him from a murderous horde in the hope that the tyrant’s own daughter might save his life.

The Biblical narrative echoes in more recent choices of Jewish parents giving up their children on the Kindertransport or placing them with non-Jews who would never return them in a desperate bid for survival.

In between, faced with the choice of conversion or death at the hands of Crusaders, European Jews embraced midrash teaching that during the akedah, Abraham actually slew Isaac just as they chose suicide as kiddush Hashem rather than die by the hands of their persecutors.

The morality of this moment in our history is not at all hard to define or to understand. If not for Hamas, all who are dead would be alive, all who are wounded would be uninjured, and all who are captive would be free. Absolute responsibility for all of these things falls squarely, and solely, at the feet of Hamas terrorists. There is no ambiguity of any sort.

The only people who are incapable of articulating this crystal-clear moral truth are people whose inmost desire is to justify Jew-killing.

If there was ever a moment when Palestinians and the Arab world could prove that there is actual truth that Hamas does not represent them, it is now. There could be protests condemning Hamas for bringing destruction to their own families and for their intolerable transgression against Islamic principles abhorring murder, but they have done the opposite.

In Egypt, Fatah al-Sissi organized propaganda protests to gain favor with the public in support of murderers who are aligned with the same Muslim Brotherhood that al-Sissi stabbed in the back to take over the country in the first place.

In Qatar, rather than demand Hamas leaders either order the immediate release of Israeli hostages or be expelled from their country, Qatar wants to aid Hamas’ evil by conducting “negotiations” for hostages, conferring legitimacy on hostage-taking.

The moral choice by any of these countries and their people would be to demand an end to Hamas so that the “will of the Palestinian people,” which is presumably against war, brutality, and self-destruction, might actually be heard, but none of them have done so.

On the domestic front, I will spare you a rehearsal of the despicable statements and conduct of morally destitute organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, Black Lives Matter, and the Starbucks Employees Union. Likewise, it is pointless to review the odiousness of the support for Jew-killing by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and even Greta Thunberg.

Before the pogrom we knew that all of these people would support murdering Jews even if we harbored some secret hope that mass killings of Jews might be enough to shake them out of their immoral delirium.

The faux moral complexity argument as disguise for the immoral love of Jewish suffering is better illustrated by Jeremy Haefner, the chancellor of DU. Haefner wrote in an Oct. 17, 2023, message:

“The University as an institution must remain neutral on geopolitical issues. This institution — composed of individuals from many backgrounds and perspectives — does not make formal statements in support or dissent on geopolitical issues because they can unintentionally stifle the free expression of our community members.”

On March 4, 2022, Haefner wrote this message:

“The stories, pictures, and videos coming from Ukraine only continue to grow more distressing and heartbreaking. At the same time, the extraordinary courage and iron will of the Ukrainian people are inspiring testimonies to the human spirit. As always, the University of Denver stands in support of those defending democracy.”

To Haefner, the “stories, pictures, and videos” emerging from Israel are neither distressing nor heartbreaking. To Haefner, there is no “courage and iron will” of the Israeli people that could serve as “inspiring testimonies.”

Let’s be straight, Haefner’s line about the university not taking positions on geopolitical issues is contradicted by his own statements, and, as such, is a poorly disguised mask, for his own anti-Semtitism.

In these difficult days, it is self-evident that there is a moral deficiency residing in the souls of people for whom “peace” really means “Judenrein.”

Frankly, people like DU’s Chancellor, who attempt to use language to sanitize the mass murder of Jews are worse than the overt bigots who march in the streets in support of atrocity.

At least we can see the demonstrators coming. It is those who lurk in the shadows with lip-service statements condemning anti-Semitism only to take the opportunity to stab us in the back by refusing to condemn murder of Jews en masse that are the most terrifying. They confer legitimacy on murder and torture of Jews as just another “geopolitical issue,” as though the discussion was about copyright infringement by the Chinese.

Readers of this column will know that I have argued stridently that all human beings must be regarded as human. We are all made in the divine image and infringing upon the rights and dignities of others is unacceptable. We Jews are made in the divine image as well. Our rights and dignities cannot be infringed either. We do not exist to be targets or victims of terrorists and their allies who seek our annihilation.

It is a moral absolute that we must protect our lives and our rights both in Israel and in the US from these destroyers.

We know that in war there will be a cost in human suffering for Israelis and the Palestinians, too, but the need to defeat an enemy whose stated aim and actual tactic is murdering Jews in a war of their own creation is not a difficult moral decision.

It is appalling that this explanation is even necessary.

Copyright © 2023 by the Intermountain Jewish News

3 thoughts on “DU chancellor dehumanizes Jews, Israelis

  1. Anonymous

    There is so much more, but this is a great start. I wish you guys would take a look at the student newspaper’s obsession with overt antisemitism. It disgusts me.


Leave a Reply