Are We Losing Free Speech in America?

Israel is the catalyst for a major loss of freedom

There is little appreciation inside the United States for the grave damage being inflicted on our country by President Joe Biden’s foreign policy being conducted through the mechanism of starting or sustaining a new war every year. The justifications provided by the White House, State Department and Pentagon are so vacuous that they have succeeded in creating a new low standard for the art of government lying. The country is burdened by unsustainable debt yet we have the so-called Secretary of the Treasury Janice Yellen declaring in October that another war beyond Ukraine, presumably to directly intervene supporting Israel in destroying Gaza, can “certainly” be afforded. And with the current US military build-ups near China and in the Middle East to confront Iran there presumably is enough gas in the tank to pick up on another conflict or two before Genocide Joe stands for reelection later this year.
But in spite of the damage to our economy, which is quite real, some of the gravest threats come from within, from the attacks delivered by special interest groups directed against our fundamental liberties. The most significant assaults have of late been directed against the First Amendment, freedom of speech, which is the bedrock of all the rights and which is currently being assailed continuously by that most protected of all protected groups, America’s Jewish and Israeli Lobby.

Hardly a minute of the day passes without a new article in the mainstream media about “surging antisemitism.” The journalists involved, most of whom are Jewish, hardly ever observe that Israel’s slaughtering of 30,000 Gazans, mostly women and children, just might have something to do with how the public is beginning to regard the behavior of the Jewish state and its leaders. What actually fuels public outrage that groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) choose to regard as antisemitism is Israel slaughtering ten thousand children under a flag displaying the Star of David and stating its intention to continue the massacre until all the Palestinians have fled to other countries or been killed. We are talking of 2 million plus people but Israel’s friends in the US regard them as little more than “sub-humans” or “terrorists.”

The Jewish/Israel lobby in America does not forgive and forget. Witness the continuing attacks on America’s universities for not rolling over and purging all suspected antisemites among faculty and students. Liz Magill, the President of the University of Pennsylvania, resigned almost immediately after being interrogated by the US Congress and the multiple attacks began. Poor Claudine Gay, president of Harvard, hung on but eventually also resigned after she was subjected to near continuous harassment by Israel’s friends, including in the US Congress, because she, like her presidential colleagues, had not accepted that nearly all criticism of Israel in the context of Gaza is based on Jew-hatred, which she was apparently expected to assert. To no one’s surprise, in her resignation letter she was not even honest about who had brought her down, blaming it instead mostly on racism. The letter did not even include the words “Congress” or “Gaza” or “antisemitism” or even “Israel.” To be sure, Gay is not a top level academic and probably was an affirmative action hire but has anyone ever heard of a Congressional committee going after an academic for the sin of plagiarism before? The involvement of the phony claims of antisemitism and the desire to protect Israel are what has made the difference in this case and led to the intensity and persistence of the attacks.

Indeed, the ADL’s revolting director Jonathan Greenblatt is demanding that there be more “consequences” for “antisemites on campus” and the media is hot on the story. Sally Kornbluth, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who has not resigned after the ridiculous encounter of the three presidents with Congress is still being hotly pursued by that body. Also engaged in the hunt are the many US Government entities whose sole task is to root out antisemites and holocaust deniers. The Department of Justice, headed of course by Jewish Attorney General Merrick Garland nee Garfinkel, is reportedly investigating a number of leading universities including Tulane and Rutgers for failure to “protect the civil rights of Jewish students.” It is a typical pattern where Jewish officials investigate alleged crimes against other Jews and come up with a predictable conclusion.

The universities are scrambling to comply with the government demands to get tough with alleged antisemites. At Columbia University, for example, certain slogans and chants used by Palestinian students have been banned and blocked, but there is no corresponding interference with Jewish student activities. Professor Rashid Khalidi has written a response to the university administration saying “Our deans state that the Columbia community should acknowledge ‘that hearing chanted phrases such as ‘by any means necessary,’ ‘from the river to the sea,’ or calls for an ‘intifada’—irrespective of intentions and provenance—is experienced by many Jewish, Israeli, and other members of our community as antisemitic and deeply hurtful. They have thus unilaterally decided that no one should rise up [the actual meaning of ‘intifada’] against 56 years of illegal military occupation; that Palestine should remain unfree from the river to the sea; and that the oppressed should take permission from the oppressor as to the means to relieve their oppression. They have come to this decision because hearing otherwise is ‘antisemitic and deeply hurtful’ to some. This statement amounts to a new norm that prohibits using or learning about these terms and their histories, in favor of the privileging of a politics of feeling. While perhaps appropriate to a kindergarten, it is hard to imagine an approach more contrary to the most basic idea of a university. This statement is characteristic of a university that picks a task force nearly devoid of expertise on antisemitism and on Palestine/Israel (much of which exists among the faculty), but packed with outspoken advocates for Israel, a university that has decided that faculty expertise on freedom of speech or on language to be proscribed should be rigorously excluded from deliberations on such issues. With complete disregard for the principle of faculty governance, crucial matters like these are being decided upon by administrators, presumably with hefty input from trustees, donors and politicians, who have negligible expertise, but robust and one-sided opinions.”

Khalidi might also have observed how pro-Israel groups at colleges are compiling and blacklisting names of student-critics of the Gaza situation so they can be denied jobs after they graduate. And beyond the damage done to freedom of speech and critical thinking at the universities there are already plenty of other possible consequences for those who are choosing to speak up about the atrocities that are underway but they only appear to apply to Palestinian and antiwar groups that are demonstrating against Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Gazans. Ambitious politician wannabe Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida was one of the first to respond, banning Palestinian groups at all state universities due to their alleged “antisemitism.” He did not ban or even criticize a single Jewish group for cheerleading the slaughter of the Palestinians. And this has been the pattern elsewhere with the banning or denying of facilities to Palestinian and antiwar groups, but leaving Hillel and other Jewish groups alone no matter what they do. Is that freedom of speech? Of course not, but it is a measure of who has power in the United States and who does not. Speak ill of whomever you choose but leave Israel alone or you will be in real trouble!

And protecting Israel also extends to the punishing of supporters of completely nonviolent action, like boycotting or divesting from Israeli products to put pressure on the Benjamin Netanyahu regime. If you belong to a group that opposes Israeli policies you could be denied goods and services for that fact alone. In more than thirty states one can be compelled, for example, to sign an agreement not to support any action against Israel if one wants a job or government services. This special arrangement is unique to Israel and there are also special trade missions often manned by American Jews or Israelis, including in my state Virginia, which create special investment opportunities for Israel that do not exist for any other country.

But perhaps the most insidious attempt to complete America’s falling under the control of Israel-think is what is taking place in lower-to-mid level public education. Many school districts and even state educational boards require courses in the horrors of antisemitism and the so-called holocaust. The courses are, of course, being pushed most ardently by Jews and by select Evangelicals who are sitting around waiting for the Second Coming, a prophecy that involves in their minds the return of Jews to the Holy Land as a prerequisite. Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada, who is, of course, Jewish, has just introduced legislation called the “Never Again Education Act,” which has an impact nationwide. The “Never Again Education Act” was first introduced in July of 2019 before passing in the House in January 2020 with 300 co-sponsors and in the Senate in May 2020. As it is set to expire in 2025, Senator Rosen is looking to have the Act reapproved to extend it to 2030 to “provide funding for training and lessons on the ethnic cleansing of Jews.”

The problem with the Act is that it rests on a contrived narrative that is essentially political in nature, including as it does many non-historical and even fabricated assertions about what took place in the 1930s and 1940s. The Act is intended to bestow on Jews a special victimhood that in turn conveys on them and on Israel exemption from normal rules regarding their behavior. It, of course, is part of the narrative that is giving Netanyahu and his rogues a more-or-less free pass from the US for their crimes against humanity against the Palestinians.

So the America we once knew is under siege. Free speech is being eroded and will soon be subject to criminal penalties if one says the wrong thing about Israel. This is intolerable and one prays that the American people will have its own “intifada” and wake up to the new infamy and put an end to it.

Related interview:

Phil Giraldi: Netanyahu and US Freedom of Speech.

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