Why did so many on the left react so angrily to Batya Ungar-Sargon’s op-ed, in which she complained about the fact that anti-Israel activists demonstrated against Israel at a panel on anti-Semitism at Bard College?
So far, the only argument I’ve read is that Ruth Wisse said something disrespectful about the Palestinians a couple of years ago, though what she said pales in comparison to what far-left anti-Zionists say on a daily basis about Zionists (Zionists are Jewish supremacists, Israel perpetrates genocide against the Palestinians, Zionists helped the Nazi exterminate the Jews, among others).
But this explanation is easily dismissed, since all three Jewish panelists were protested, as the literature the protestors distributed clearly indicated.
Furthermore, Wisse was taking part in a panel on anti-Semitism, not on Israel. This was just not the place to protest her opinions and those of the other panelists.
But if it is okay to organize a protest against three Jews trying to discuss anti-Semitism, where is the limit? Should there be also a protest next time Wisse or Ungar-Sargon goes to the Synagogue as well? Or maybe next time one attends a burial, fanatic students should follow them to the cemetery with placards denouncing them?
The point Ungar-Sargon was trying to make is that there are places to denounce Israel or pro-Israel activists. Otherwise, a pro-Palestinian demonstration at the Holocaust museum would be appropriate. If that is too difficult for so many leftists to understand, it probably proves that they have lost all sense of self-respect.
Would it be appropriate to demonstrate against Ilhan Omar because of her ambiguous statements about Jews at a gathering commemorating slavery in the US? Of course not! I’m sure none of those who defended those stupid Bard students would tolerate such behavior.
Ungar-Sargon and Wisse were merely an excuse to vilify Israel at the wrong place and the wrong moment.
So why do so many leftists attack Ungar-Sargon? Probably because they want so much to be accepted by the left that they are willing to accept things that they would deem racist toward any other minority.
Unfortunately for them, the far-left will never accept them. They have become the useful idiots of the BDS movement. One day they will wake up and regret their shameful behavior. But it will be too late.
Bernard Bohbot is a member of Canadian Friends of Peace Now and JSpaceCanada.