Legitimizing Jew-hatred: The complicity of the professors

By Professor David Patterson

The University of Texas at Dallas has not been immune to the shockwaves of bigotry that have swept the country. As a professor at UTD, I personally know students who have been assaulted, threatened and intimidated by members of the Students for Justice in Palestine and other campus antisemites. And, just as it has happened on other campuses, UTD professors were among the demonstrators who gathered on Wednesday, May 1, to incite what Hitler called “wrathful” Jew-hatred.

Many people have suggested that students who identify as terrorists, declaring “We are Hamas!” and who call for the murder of Jews with shouts of “Death to the Zionists!” have no idea of what they are saying. It is said that when they spew forth the genocidal chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — free of Jews — they do not know which river or which sea. But their professors know. If they do not know, they have a responsibility to know.

The professors know the teachings and the ideology of Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Khalid Mashal. They know the name of Ahmed Yassin, who founded Hamas in 1987, preaching that to kill the Jews is a holy act pleasing to God. Thus the cry of “Allahu akbar! God is great!” proclaimed like a prayer whenever a Hamas terrorist slaughters a Jew — a cry that also resounded on the UTD campus. The professors are the scholars. They know.

The professors know the refrain from the Hamas Covenant of Allah that declares, “I shall assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill” the Jews. They know that on Oct. 7 the Hamas faithful did much more than assault and kill the Jews: They raped and butchered, beheaded and dismembered, burned and tortured the Jews, with prayers of “Allahu akbar!” The professors are the experts. They know.

The professors know the Jihadists’ assertions, such as the one from Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Yaqoub, who in 2009 proclaimed that the Jews “are enemies not because they occupied Palestine.…. Our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end … until not a single Jew remains on the face of the earth!” They know that the Israeli-Palestinian issue, therefore, is not about occupation, colonialization, apartheid or any of the other epithets of evil calculated to incite a murderous hatred of the Jews. The professors are the Ph.D.s. They know.

The professors know that the Hamas Covenant calls for the genocide of the Jews and that they reject the very notion of a two-state solution. They know that the aim of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement, as stated by its founder Omar Barghouti, is the annihilation of the Jewish state. They are aware that Hamas routinely rapes and tortures the hostages and yet they do not call for the release of the hostages. The professors are highly informed intellectuals. They know.

They are scholars, researchers, who get paid to study and to be informed. That is why their students turn to them for direction. In which direction are these professors leading their students by advocating for the evil of antisemitism, as they legitimate a venomous Jew-hatred among the young?

Absent from these highly educated, self-righteous pundits who promote mass murder is any sense of accountability. What is needed is not so much more education as more accountability. As professors, we are entrusted with the truth and an obligation to educate, not to incite. We are summoned to enrich the souls of our students, not to poison them with hatred. The professors who add their voices to the antisemites on our campuses have betrayed that trust and have legitimated Jew-hatred, both on our campuses and beyond. Is there anything left of what is truly higher in higher learning?

On Friday, May 10, the UTD Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling upon the administration to take no in-house disciplinary measures against faculty or students who were arrested for violating the law. Will the leaders of our institutions of higher learning hold them accountable for their actions? That remains to be seen.

Prof. David Patterson is the Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies at UT-Dallas and Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gary Lawson

    Thank you, Professor Patterson, for putting into words such a clear vision not just of antisemitism but in the case of Universities where such antisemitism is spreading, the void of morality of so many University professors on your campus and across the world today. Considering the clear stance of our Governor and the role that the state has in funding Universities, and often I believe in the appointment of the senior leadership, I can only hope that if UTD’s leadership does not properly discipline both students and faculty, the state steps in and removes and replaces leadership with educators with honesty and moral clarity.

  2. Karen J Prager-Eaves

    Many thanks to David Patterson for calling out the complicit professors. For everyone of those who actively participated and encouraged the hateful protests there are dozens more who simply refuse to acknowledge or even speak of the message that the protestors are conveying. The refusers also include the news media and the many pundits that they invite to speak on their programs.

Leave a Reply