Author's note: Many Jews know that anti-Israel sentiment is rampant on American university campuses. Few, however, would call these universities “terrorist-friendly.” Conservative activist David Horowitz has no such compunctions. Last month he released a report through his David Horowitz Freedom Center on the “Ten Top American Universities Most Friendly to Terrorists,” with Brandeis, Columbia, and Harvard making the list. In addition to heading the Freedom Center, Horowitz is the Editor-in-Chief of FrontPage Magazine, the director of Discover the Networks, and the author or co-author of some 60 books. The Center's new campaign isStoptheJihadonCampus.org.
The Jewish Press: When you call a university “friendly to terrorists,” what do you mean?
Horowitz: We have groups on American campuses led by Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association promoting terrorist propaganda.
For example, MSA and SJP sponsor Israel Apartheid Week and erect giant apartheid walls. In addition to paying tribute to terrorists like Sheikh Yassin, who was the founder of Hamas and responsible for over 390 murders, a main feature of these walls is a four-panel map which was created by Hamas. The map shows the entire Israel in green, calls it Palestine, dates it 1947, and then purports to show how Jews infiltrated the Palestinian state – which is of course a big lie.
They also chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Well, the river is the Jordan and the sea is the Mediterranean. Those are the east and west boundaries of the state of Israel. So what they’re really chanting is “Death to Israel.”
This wouldn’t be tolerated by universities if it were directed against a black African state or a Muslim state. But because it’s Jews, it’s okay. And that’s what our campaign is designed to confront. These groups are funded by the universities. They get student funds, and they have offices in the student union buildings.
You’ve pointed out that the heads of these groups have sometimes gone on to become actual terrorists,Anwar al-Awlaki – an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen killed by the U.S. in 2011 – perhaps being the most famous.
Anwar al-Awlaki was the president of the Muslim Students Association at Colorado State University. There are a dozen former presidents of Muslim Students Association who have gone on to high-level careers in Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
On your list of terrorist-friendly universities is Brandeis, which some people might find surprising considering its reputation as something of a Jewish university.
Well, if you’ve been to Brandeis as I have several times, you would know it’s a left-wing university and the political left is a supporter of terrorists and Jew haters. The main source of anti-Semitism in this country is the left and its Muslim allies. So Brandeis is not a pleasant place politically. Like most universities, its liberal arts faculty is imbued with this anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Western, anti-white, anti-Christian mentality.
I’ve been on 400 campuses. I can tell you, it’s the same everywhere. I did a speaking tour last spring and I was confronted by people cheering Hamas. Hamas is a Nazi organization. In its charter, it calls for the extermination of the Jews. So we have open supporters of genocidal Nazis – and I include Fatah in that too. The Palestinians are worse than Nazi Germany because Hitler hid the Final Solution and a lot of the Germans didn’t know his intentions. But the Palestinian leaders shout it from the rooftops, and yet there’s no outrage.
We’re really the only group that’s been willing to conduct a campaign like this. Hillel defends the Muslim Students Association.
You have to ask Hillel. Even conservative Jewish groups are afraid to confront SJP and MSA the way I do because they’re afraid of being denounced as Islamophobes and racists, and that will hurt their college careers.
Intimidation is a very powerful weapon. There’s a professor who admitted that he won’t be as critical of Muslims as he is of other groups because he’s physically afraid for his family. Not that he’s been directly threatened; he doesn’t have to be. You see these people; they love violence. You have Jews being stabbed in the street in Jerusalem and Students for Justice in Palestine is cheering the terrorists on.
Some of the entries on your terror-friendly university list are not surprising. For example, you have three universities from California, which is the home of many liberals.
They’re not liberal! I’m a liberal. I believe in two sides to a question. They’re not liberals. They’re leftists, they’re totalitarian. When I go to a campus, I have to face down demonstrators inside the lecture halls trying to shout me down and shut me up. I’m a liberal. I believe in liberty. These people don’t. They want to suppress any opposition to their genocidal agendas.
How did the University of New Mexico get on your list? New Mexico doesn’t seem a likely place for radical Muslim activism.
The liberal arts faculties of all these universities are communists, and I say that advisedly – my parents were communists. I know what a communist is. They believe in suppressing opposition. That’s why 90 percent of professors on liberal arts faculties are on the left. How is that possible in a country which is pretty evenly divided? It’s because they’re totalitarian. They don’t want a conservative voice on campus.
Columbia and Harvard are also on your list. How do you explain students at such high-IQ universities believing such blatant lies about the Jewish state?
Because it’s a religion. There are lots of smart members of the Muslim Brotherhood too. Smarts have nothing to do with being moral or politically astute. You can be brilliant and be a Nazi.
You mentioned that your parents were communists. How did you go from being the son of communists to where you are today?
I wrote a book called Radical Son, which described it all, but it came down to a murder. The Black Panther Party murdered a friend of mine and the left defended the murderers. And then I saw how we succeeded – “we,” meaning the left since I was a leader of the New Left – in getting America to withdraw from Vietnam, and then the communists, who are the left’s friends, slaughtered two and half million Cambodians and Vietnamese with no protests. That’s how I got off the boat.
What do you want readers to do with the information you provide in this report?
Well, I wish more people had the courage to stand up and start calling things by their right names. I think it was Confucius who said that in order to start rectifying the world you have to call things by their right names. These groups are mouthpieces for terrorists on our campuses, and they’re being supported by the universities.
I want people to have the courage to confront these universities, confront their board of trustees, confront the heads of alumni organizations. America is a free country. As I said, I’m a true liberal and I believe that people have the right to say even hateful things. But the university has no obligation to provide offices for these groups or to provide funding out of student funds for their genocidal attacks on Jews. No university would do that if it were blacks, Hispanics, or Muslims who were the targets.