So it wasn't a good week for Jews. They also take it personally that San Francisco and Santa Monica will vote this fall whether to ban circumcision, the ritual based on the Biblical covenant between God and Abraham.
The bizarre California referenda are widely expected to fail, and more serious than a good joke is the decision by Yale University to kill an important scholarly institute, the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism. The institute is a unique place to examine the changing manifestations of the ancient hatred of Jews. The closing of the institute comes just as Hamas, the terrorist organization, appeals to world sympathy with arguments rooted in anti-Semitism, camouflaged (badly) as legitimate political rhetoric.
Yale claims its reasons to close the institute are purely academic, that its faculty lacks "creative energy" and the learned papers they produce don't get the attention of "top-tier journals in behavioral science, comparative politics, or history," but that may merely show how much the institute is needed.
Yale's actual reasons are more blatant. The institute displays the political incorrectness that the politically correct campus simply cannot abide -- the spirit of such free inquiry, to speak truth to liars, is absolutely taboo.
At a conference titled "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity," sponsored by the institute last year, scholars addressed the growth of virulent anti-Semitism in the Middle East today, noting its origins in European anti-Semitism of the 1930s. They demonstrated how Muslims reprise images and accusations beloved by the Nazis -- that Jews control the world, kill Christian children for their blood and spread disease.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in the United States afterward accused Yale of demonizing Arabs. Bloggers joined with certain Yale students and even some professors, and Yale administrators caved. They accused the institute of "being too critical of the Arab and Iranian anti-Semitism and of being racist and right-wing," as described by Walter Reich, former director of the US. Holocaust Museum and a member of the institute's international board of directors, in The Washington Post.