While it’s true that sequels are rarely as good as the original, today’s congressional hearing on anti-Semitism at Columbia University had its share of memorable moments. The most important, however, was a series of exchanges about the deeply odious character and intent of the pro-Hamas protests at the school since Oct. 7.

The first such hearing, back in December, put the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and Penn under the hot lights. Only MIT’s president kept her job in the aftermath. Thanks especially to Education Committee chair Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and to Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, these leaders of elite educational institutions revealed themselves to be devoid of the moral fiber necessary to run them.

Columbia’s anti-Semitism problem is so advanced that today’s hearing was devoted solely to the esteemed former King’s College. The school’s representatives at the hearing were President Minouche Shafik, trustee cochairs David Greenwald and Claire Shipman, and its anti-Semitism task force head, law professor David Schizer (a one-time COMMENTARY contributor).

In December, the three school presidents failed to answer in the affirmative when they were asked if calling for the genocide of Jews violated their institutions’ policy on student harassment. Shafik and Co. were ready for that question today…but were unprepared for a host of others. Ironically, Stefanik saved Shafik from a late-hearing blunder regarding one of the most important questions of the entire proceeding.

It began when GOP Rep. Bob Good asked Shafik: “Have there been any anti-Islamic demonstrations on campus? Any anti-Muslim demonstrations on campus? Any anti-Arab demonstrations on campus?”

Shafik’s initial response, a telling indication of the warped worldview prevailing in academic spaces, was: “There have been many pro-Israeli demonstrations on our college campus.”

That was, by far, her worst answer of the day. Good stopped her and the two of them clarified together that as a matter of fact, there have been no anti-Arab or Islamophobic rallies on the Columbia campus.

That stands in contrast to the fact that the Columbia campus exists in an almost perpetual state of anti-Jewish agitation. That is true of plenty of other schools around the country as well. The key fact of the past six months in university life has been this: whether it be protests, harassment, intimidation by teachers and students, or administrative discrimination, no other group has been facing anything like what Jews have faced. University faculty, administrators, and student groups are guilty of no other organized campaign of out-group harassment. No other group is consistently told by campus security officials to hide evidence of their religion or ethnicity for their own safety. On the nation’s college campuses, nothing else exists that is comparable in any way, shape, or form to the campaign against Jews.

That was Bob Good’s point. Shafik’s atrocious answer proved a different point entirely, but we’ll come back to that.

Members of the anti-Semitic progressive faction known as the Squad were on the committee, and they behaved precisely as one would expect. Ilhan Omar returned to Good’s question and asked Shafik if the Columbia president had seen “a protest saying, ‘We are against Jewish people’?”

Shafik answered no, and Omar, who had fooled herself into thinking this was an intelligent question, seemed satisfied.

But of course the answer to whether there have been anti-Jewish protests, in contrast to the other categories raised by Good, is yes—even if demonstrators don’t hold up a sign that says, “we are against Jewish people.” Anti-Jewish protests were literally the reason the Columbia officials were all there today. Anti-Jewish protests are why college presidents keep getting asked about rallies at which everyone chants calls for genocide against Jews—because there are lots of rallies at which everyone chants calls for genocide against Jews. Some rallies call for organized campaigns of violence against Jews anywhere (“globalize the intifada,” for example). Other rallies call for violence only against Jews who live in Israel. But you’ll notice that all these rallies have one thing in common, and that is the fact that all attendees are instructed to go out into the street and call for violence against Jews—somewhere, if not everywhere.

Later, Stefanik asked the three other representatives from Columbia if there have been explicitly anti-Jewish protests at the school, and all three said yes, unequivocally. When Stefanik turned back to Shafik, the school president claimed that, had Omar not cut her off mid-answer, she would have painted a different picture from the one Omar wanted viewers to believe Shafik was painting. Rallies chanting “death to Jews,” as Stefanik pointed out, were hardly ambiguous.

Let’s go back to Shafik’s initial response, when she said there had been no anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian rallies but there have been pro-Israel ones. This implicitly suggests that supporting Israel is the same thing as hating Arabs. The fact that the very sophisticated (and sophistic) Shafik stumbled down this path is an object lesson in what can happen to people when they are cosseted inside an ideologically cloistered guild.

The hatred of the Jewish state is so intense, and so all-consuming, on these campuses that Jewish existence itself is seen as a crime. The people who have turned campus life into a charnel house are basically arguing the Jewish state should be violently swept into the sea and cleansed of non-Arabs to whatever extent is possible. Others are protesting nothing; they simply want Israel to continue existing.

Here’s the uncomfortable truth revealed by the horrors at Columbia: The side advocating the death or subjugation of seven million Jews a mere 80 years after the Holocaust is the more popular of the two at institutions like the one run by Minouche Shafik.

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