6/8/09

Is Harvard University Antisemitic?

There is evidence that indeed Harvard University is antisemitic.

In April 2006, when they took the Harvard logo off the scurrilous essay coauthored by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Dean Stephen M. Walt, we wrote a letter to the Crimson to protest that it was not enough.

The Walt essay subsequently became a book and everyone forgot that Walt was paid by Harvard to write the essay and the book. We are certain that his subsequent salary raises reflected credit for that "scholarly" work.

In 2006 we read an article about Harvard's Nazi Ties - cited below. And as we indicated in a previous post, John Coatsworth - a former Harvard professor of fourteen years - proved that the Harvard-antiSemitism link is still alive and kicking - with Coatsworth legitimizing at another ivy league campus the Iranian maniac, standing in, in our generation, for Hitler.

Here is a repost from my blog of 4/8/06:

The Harvard Crimson 4/7/06 :: Opinion :: Harvard Should Withdraw `Israel Lobby' Study

To the editors:

Re: "KSG Seeks Distance From Paper," news, Mar. 24.

The charge of a malevolent organized Jewish conspiracy is the most blatant form of anti-Semitism. In the 21st century, I find it insufficient that the Kennedy School of Government removed its logo from the scurrilous paper published last week by Kennedy School of Government Dean Stephen M. Walt and Professor John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago. I find it insufficient that the most prominent educational institution in the world added a more prominent disclaimer stating that the classic racist views expressed in that work belong only to the authors.

I call on Harvard -- take that paper off your server and issue an apology to all persons of learning and conscience.

TZVEE ZAHAVY
Teaneck, N.J.
April 4, 2006
That was one approach -- and the right one in this instance.

The other was to publish contrary opinions and give the appearance of a genuine debate -- as Harvard did. But that was hate literature v. academic opinion -- not a valid point - counterpoint. Hence our view was preferable -- remove the hate literature.

Was this action by Harvard surprising? Not in the context of the data presented in the article, Harvard's Nazi Ties by Stephen H. Norwood, Professor of History and Judaic Studies, University of Oklahoma published by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. He tells us that among other Nazi-friendly actions:

Prominent Harvard alumni, student leaders, and some faculty assumed a major role in the friendly welcome accorded the Nazi warship Karlsruhe when it visited Boston in 1934, flying the swastika flag. Boston's Jewish community protested vociferously. President Conant remained silent. Officers and crewmen from the warship were entertained at Harvard, and professors attended a gala reception in Boston where the warship's captain enthusiastically praised Hitler... more...
[revised and reposted from 9/23/07]

3 comments:

Theophrastus said...

This is a little over the top. First, we aren't living in the 1930s anymore -- there is substantial evidence that pre-War (especially in the 20s) much of academia had an anti-Jewish bias (e.g., admission quotas); see, for example, Karabel's book, The Chosen, or Alan Dershowitz's (where does he teach, by the way?) writings. Those days have passed -- today 1/6th of the students at Harvard are Jewish (whatever that means -- even the most liberal definition of "Jewish" certainly shows this is a disproportionate representation.

As reprehensible as a piece of poor scholarship such as the Mearsheimer-Walt work is (and why is it that you aren't accusing University of Chicago of being anti-Semitic?) going down the road of attacking academic freedom on the basis because "Walt was paid by Harvard to write the essay and the book" is really absurd coming from someone with such an intimate knowledge of the working of academia as you, Tzvee. This is no better than those at Yeshiva Univesity who attacked a speech by James Kugel (where did he teach by the way, before he went to Bar Ilan?) for not being sufficiently Orthodox.

The price we pay for academic freedom is the mediocre academic work such as that by Walt (or, for a non-political Jewish example, Norman Golb). The best way to combat Walt is not by censoring him or making broad institutional charges of anti-Semitism, but by vigorously debating him on the points.

Furthermore, your article is wrong on the basic facts of Walt's career at Harvard (as any of the full professors at the KSG will quickly confirm) -- I have no desire to spread lashon hara on your blog; but suffice to say that you will note that Walt's tenure as dean ended prematurely immediately following publication of his essay.

Richard said...

Your blog rightly points out the right wing antisemetic conspiracy that existed in the 1930(s) in America in support of the Nazis. We are now at the 65th anniversary of D-Day, and one would get the impression that the United States was unilateral in its opposition of Hitler's Germany, at the expense of a cowardly France and an impotent England. What the history books are conspicuously silent about though is the role of those American icons such as Charles Lindbergh, American companies such as IBM, and the prominent Harvard alumni who actively undermined that war effort. After reading Niall Ferguson's book "The War of the World", one clearly gets the impression that the "Greatest Generation" was anything but - great that is. And in fact, it was their cowardly prevarication - especially by the American right wing - that led up to and made the tragedy of the Holocaust possible.

tzvee said...

"This is a little over the top." Yes, intentionally, and yes, factually correct.