Blood-streaked letters proclaiming "Look what Hitler taught some of his victims" perch on top of a Jewish star turning by stages into a Nazi swastika. This banner graces the meeting area of the Hunter College Palestinian Club. Jewish students protested, but the Palestinian Club has refused to take it down. Why? Because it had already been there 9 or 10 years, so by now has become a tradition.
Despite the Club's disingenuous denials, by turning the Jewish star into a swastika the poster clearly equates all Jews and not just Israelis with Nazis. The use of Nazi symbolism both offends Jews and tries to take the sting out of Nazi crimes against the Jewish people. How ironic that the Palestinians, who sided with Hitler during the war, should now pretend sensitivity about the Holocaust and its "victims."
If overt Holocaust denial has ceased to be fashionable in educated circles (or so one hopes), then calling Jews Nazis can be an effective alternative. The equation of Jews and Nazis requires one to maintain ignorance of the horrors the Nazis actually committed, and is therefore itself a subtle form of Holocaust denial.
This banner is classic anti-Semitism; yet on today's politically correct campus it is socially acceptable free speech. How would the college react if other ethnic groups were so denigrated? If Hillel displayed a banner proclaiming that the Palestinian Club supports mass murder? No, Hillels don't do such things, but at least one Palestinian club has been at it for a decade.
"A Bad Sign." CampusJ: Jewish Collegiate News, February 2, 2005.
Peace with Realism