It’s almost funny. Almost.

The Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine is physically incapable of not being anti-Semitic, apparently. It’s like telling the sun not to shine. An FSJP Instagram post this week included a flier with an illustration of a black man hanging from a noose held by a hand with a Jewish star on it. The text around the picture explained why black activists should hate the Jewish state.

After a backlash, the organization pretended it didn’t mean to include anti-Semitic imagery, and reposted the flier but replaced that illustration with one of Stokely Carmichael, aka Kwame Toure, black-power advocate and onetime “honorary” Black Panthers official. As was immediately pointed out, Carmichael proudly believed that “the only good Zionist was a dead Zionist.”

To be clear: This was the faculty group’s replacement for the anti-Semitic flier it originally posted.

Carmichael is a fairly appropriate hero for Harvard’s vast sea of pro-Hamas faculty and students. He was a loud advocate of killing Jews, once telling a crowd that “Zionist pigs” were angry with them but that he and his supporters “will snap our fingers and finish them off.” He suggested that black American soldiers sent to fight in the first Gulf war would desert the army and turn their guns on Israel.

The most telling sign of Carmichael’s influence on academic anti-Semitism is the replication of the way he defended his comments about dead Zionists: “A Jew would say the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi. When you condemn Nazis you don’t condemn Germans, you condemn a political philosophy. Zionists try to make their philosophy into a particular people. I’m against Zionism.”

Carmichael was thus one of American history’s most prominent “I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m just anti-Zionist” cowards.

Enough about Carmichael. The larger concern raised by this and a bevy of other incidents is that the Ivy League might genuinely be beyond salvaging. These schools have carefully crafted atmospheres of anti-intellectual Jew-hatred over decades. It does not appear to be a skin they can shed at this point.

The Harvard alum Dara Horn was asked by her alma mater to join a university committee examining the problem of anti-Semitism on campus. At the Atlantic, she writes in detail of the pervasive harassment of students at Harvard, painstakingly documented by the victims themselves. At one point, a tenured Harvard professor wrote to the committee to ask if there’d been “actual violence” against Jews on campus. Indeed there had, but the tenured professor seemed to assume the answer would have been no. He or she then wrote: “If Jewish student worries about physical danger are, in fact, exaggerated, then students that hold these fears should be advised to leave campus and go home.”

Coincidentally, this appears to be an accepted faculty attitude at Columbia as well. Mackenzie Forrest, an Orthodox Jew who faced religious discrimination at Columbia, including being removed from her academic program, is suing the school. After the October 7 attacks, Columbia became, like plenty of other schools but especially those in the Ivy League, one big hate rally. Harassment of Jews on campus was rampant. The school sent an email to all students offering “special accommodations” to deal with the chaos on campus, and Forrest decided to take them up on it, requesting to finish her semester over Zoom, as other students have done at the school. Forrest, though, was denied permission to do so and told that she “is the only person feeling unsafe.”

Her attorney told National Review that the faculty retaliated for her complaints by threatening to fail her if she didn’t leave the program. Earlier in the year, the administration had responded to her request for seeking a Sabbath exemption by encouraging her to ask her rabbi for permission to break the Sabbath instead.

Columbia’s contempt for Jewish students is a pattern. On February 12, Rep. Virginia Foxx, chair of the House education committee, sent a letter to Columbia’s president and trustees as part of its investigation into campus anti-Semitism. The letter makes for bracing reading: it recounts two decades of incidents at the school, very much including harassment and intimidation by faculty, and the administration’s unwillingness to take action. It is a fairly shocking document.

The committee letter then requests from Columbia all manner of documentation from the past three years—anti-Semitism complaints and responses, disciplinary action, internal investigative documents, foreign funding, changes in recruiting and enrollment of Jewish students, plus everything it can find related to October 7 and its aftermath.

I look forward to seeing what they find, but I know what they won’t find: the slightest bit of effort to make Jews feel anything but unwelcome on campus. You would think, in the wake of October 7 and the spectacularly embarrassing congressional testimony of some elite school presidents, these institutions would at least go through the motions to appear to act consistent with their professed rules, norms, and values.

But they cannot be bothered. And you can’t save an institution that doesn’t want to be saved.

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