(Forward) A just-released survey from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education of over 37,000 students at 159 colleges showed that Jewish students — just like their Bolshevik ancestors and cousins — were far more likely than other students to censor, shut down, and silence — using violence if “necessary” — anyone whose opinion they don’t like:
The data show that one-third of all students think trying to disrupt and shout down speakers when they visit campuses is sometimes or always acceptable. Among Jewish students surveyed, 40% reported feeling this way. As for blocking other students from attending a campus speech and hearing potentially controversial ideas, 13% of students surveyed, and 18% of Jewish students, think this is sometimes or always acceptable. Two-thirds of Jewish students — compared to just about half of students nationally — answered that blocking other students from attending a campus speech is justifiable.
These data suggest that Jewish students are more open to the idea of shutting down speech and the dissemination of ideas than other college students. How are we to understand these troubling findings? Political identity is a good place to start. Like American Jews overall, Jewish college students tend to be Democrats. The data show that 54% of Jewish students surveyed identify as a Democrat, compared to 35% of students surveyed overall. When you include self-identifying Independents who lean Democratic, 67% of Jewish college students fall into the Democratic column compared to a lower national figure of 55%.
In this survey, identifying as a Democrat strongly correlates with espousing anti-free speech positions.
The data show that 81% of Democratic identifying Jewish students believe that there are cases when shouting down speakers is acceptable, compared to a much lower 59% of Jewish political independents and leaners and just 44% of Republicans. Similarly, almost 60% of college Jewish Democrats maintain that blocking their peers from hearing the ideas of others can be justified, while slightly more than a third of Jewish Independents and leaners and a quarter of Jewish Republicans feel the same way.
Most troublingly, 27% of Democratic students surveyed responded that it is acceptable to use violence to stop a campus speech, though the number is 22% for Jewish Independents and leaners and 17% for Jewish Republicans.
This data is deeply upsetting to me as a professor who has watched collegiate life change drastically over the past two decades. One of the great values of an American collegiate experience is that students have the chance to engage deeply with differing opinions. To this day, I am grateful for the cornucopia of people, traditions, views and cultures that I was able to engage with two decades ago when I, then a fairly conservative Jewish teenager, left the East Coast to attend Stanford University….
..Today, cancel culture runs rampant on our college campuses, and viewpoint diversity is no longer considered a sacred, core value in higher education — and Jewish students seem to be helping lead the charge to silence others, missing out on genuine opportunities to learn, grow and connect. Perhaps many Jewish students think that they occupy a noble place on the front lines of cancel culture in the spirit of social justice. But these progressive and woke impulses are misguided and ignore another equally important Jewish precept — real discourse which involves learning, listening and debate.
Discourse is so prized and cherished in Jewish thought and history that Judaism has sometimes been called a “culture of argument.” Jewish students — and all students for that matter — must recognize that true equity and inclusion must include viewpoint diversity, respect for real and meaningful political differences and outlooks and embracing a multitude of ideas — even if they make some members of the community uncomfortable.
Social justice values are certainly important, and a big part of Jewish thought. But they do not override the virtues of argument and respecting viewpoint diversity. Both the Jewish community and our system of higher education have long embraced the idea that a competition of ideas is foundational to free and prosperous societies. The Jewish community cannot lose sight of one of our unique and virtuous features. Instead of leading the charge to silence speech, our students should be doing just the opposite, demanding more speech and more ideas, not enforcing a culture of silence and cancellation.
The time-honored Jewish tradition of debate applies only to Jews when they are arguing among themselves — and their “holy” book the Talmud is an example of that.
This tradition of debate abruptly stops when Jews have to respectfully listen to non-Jews who hold ideas that Jews perceive as hostile or threatening to them.
They have been conditioned to believe that disagreement with the goyim will ultimately lead to pogroms and Gas Chambers™.
Jewish children are raised to believe that the non-Jewish world is “out to get them” — paranoia and neurosis are acceptable and even revered Jewish personality traits — the same traits among non-Jews would put them in a mental hospital.
A truism that’s risen to the status of a proverb is that Jews love free speech until their are in power — at which point they label free speech as “hate speech” to “incite” violence against the Jews now in power.
When the Bolshevik Jews took over Russia, freedom of speech suddenly evaporated — and millions of people were literally sent to their deaths for saying things that the Jews commissars didn’t like.
We see the same pattern developing today — as Jews have achieved unrivaled power in America, they have started to openly advocate for repressive laws to curtail all forms of “extremist” speech they don’t like.
And if they get their way, they will bring back the death penalty for antisemitism — and an antisemite isn’t merely someone who doesn’t like Jews — an antisemite is someone the Jews don’t like because of the “hateful” opinions they hold — no one is beyond their obsessive surveillance.