RFI President Eric Patterson: An Ancient Evil Resurges

December 15, 2023

RFI President Eric Patterson wrote an article for WORLD today on the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the United States, especially on elite university campuses, while reflecting on UN Resolution 623 that was adopted 25 years ago this month. Patterson writes:

Dec. 9 marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations finally calling for “resolute action and cooperation for [the] eradication” of anti-Semitism. But as our Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah while praying for the release of friends and family members held by Hamas terrorists, how is it that we still see growing anti-Semitism, such as on America’s university campuses? What is to be done?

The Dec. 9, 1998, resolution pointed to racial and ethno-religious prejudice in the context of the growing use of the internet for the dissemination of information, as well as vitriol and conspiracy theories, at the time. Anti-Semitism and other such hatreds are rightly labeled in UN Resolution 623as rooted in “superiority,” “exclusivity,” and “intolerance.” 

On the one hand, when one thinks back to the Holocaust and the quasi-religion of Nazi Aryan Supremacy, it is amazing that it took 50 years to publish an anti-racism statement at the United Nations that included the words “anti-Semitism.”

On the other hand, the fact that it took so long—despite persistent anti-Semitism in parts of Europe and the Middle East—testifies to the enduring problem of this evil.

The Oct. 8, 2023, response of many American college students and their neo-Marxist professors to Hamas’ grotesque attacks on people in Israel has revealed a dirty secret in higher education: Many of our universities are incubators for anti-Semitic racial and religious hatred. 

We saw this first-hand in a congressional hearing where the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania found it almost impossible to take a firm stance against those on their campuses calling for genocide and the destruction of Israel. When asked about faculty and students chanting ethnic cleansing slogans, such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” the presidents lamely countered that free speech allowed for such incendiary rhetoric.

Read the full article: “An ancient evil resurges.