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Opinion |
Pro-Palestinian pied pipers are misleading kids

Students participate in a protest in support of Palestine and for free speech outside of the Columbia University campus on Nov. 15, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Students participate in a protest in support of Palestine and for free speech outside of the Columbia University campus on Nov. 15, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel and anti-American radical extremists are exploiting the abysmal ignorance of many young people about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Using the demand for unilateral ceasefire as a cover for their true goal — the total destruction of Israel — they have recruited your children, your friends’ children and other “useful idiots” to their antisemitic campaign.

The best proof that the demand for a ceasefire is merely a recruitment tool is that the protests began on the day after the Hamas massacres and before there was any fire to cease, because Israel had not yet attacked Gaza. The protests continued during the multiday pause in fighting that resulted in the release of 100 hostages, and they will persist even if there is a longer ceasefire.

Nor have these protests called for the creation of a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel — a two-state solution. They demand one Palestinian state from the river to the sea, which means the end of Israel. The benevolent sounding call for a ceasefire serves to attract useful idiots to hold signs demanding the end of Israel “from the river to the sea.“

This is not the first time that young people have been led into bigotry by pied pipers of hate. In the 1930s, many students at universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, and Cambridge were led by their elders to believe that Hitler and his Nazi Party were the only answer to communism. On the other side, many students were seduced by their professors into believing that Stalin and communism were the only answer to fascism.

In the 1960s, many students supported Castro and displayed pictures of his murderous accomplice Che Guevara on their dorm walls and T-shirts. Some supported Mao Zedong and even the genocidal Pol Pot. There is no limit to the naïveté and willingness of some young zealots to embrace any cause that sounds exciting or bold, regardless of the harm it threatens.

Those who try to excuse, justify, or even explain the attractiveness of these unattractive causes to young people on the ground that “they are just kids,” ignore the lessons of history. Many of these kids will become our future leaders and will remain influenced by their exposure to these malevolent philosophies. Others will grow out of them and regret their youthful indiscretions but will be hurt because in their future careers, as former Communists were during McCarthyism.

There is no easy solution to the problem of young extremists who refuse to listen to reason or learn from history. Each new generation of zealots believes they have discovered “justice” and those who refuse to go along are regressive.

Now, the spiritual heirs to these ill-informed past supporters of hate are marching for Hamas which proudly claims responsibility for massacring and kidnapping more than 1,500 Israelis. Some are even saying they approve of Osama Bin Laden.

One disturbing similarity among these youthful cults of hatred is that they all eventually blame “the Jews” for the evil they claim to be combatting. As August Bebel observed, “antisemitism is the socialism of fools.” The description fits many of the current haters who say they support “socialism” (though few are familiar with its mixed history). They are indeed fools for following their evil pied pipers into waters that drown principles, decency, and progress.

Stalin understood this phenomenon and exploited it by making antisemitism a central part of his Bolshevik agenda because he regarded most of his followers as easily manipulable fools.

Hitler, too, understood this, deliberately misnaming his fascist followers as members of the “National Socialist Party.” He, too, used antisemitism to attract useful idiots among students.

The leaders of the current protests understand, too, that there is no overestimating the foolishness of many of today’s lemming students who will follow any radical opposition to establishment values.

The woke, progressive, intersectional, diversity, equity and inclusion mindset is a path to disaster for our nation, and especially for Jews, Asians and white male heterosexuals who are excluded from their zero-sum game. But it is the only game in town for many youngsters who need to rebel against their parents, their heritage, and the values with which they were brought up.

This is a generational battle, and we are losing it to the pied pipers of hate who are willing to exploit the ignorance and closed mindedness that many current “educators“ have inflicted on our youth.

Intergenerational battles are hard to win because our ideological adversaries, whose support for Hamas we may hate, are often people we love. Still, we must engage thoughtfully and persistently. We cannot afford to give up on them and on our future.

Dershowitz’s latest book is “War Against the Jews: How to End Hamas Barbarism.”