Who's Pulling the 'Pro-Hamas' Strings?

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

And who made that so easy?

Monday, I noted the artificial-looking nature of the anti-"Zionist" protests that have been going on across college campuses, but had to admit I was in no position to speak about funding.

Fortunately, Francis Menton of The Manhattan Contrarian has taken a deeper look at who might be providing financial and other support for these criminal mobs.

I like how the post starts by clearly stating why it is worth taking such a look:

The protests certainly give an appearance of being well-organized and equally well funded. For example, large numbers of identical newly-ordered tents seem to spring up on almost no notice. Did hundreds of young people on shoestring budgets just happen on their own initiative to place orders from the same website at the same time and all pay with their own money? That seems implausible. But if there is professional organization, who are the organizers? And who is paying them? You would think that this is an issue where the public would have a huge interest in knowing the answer -- particularly if the answer should turn out to be that the main sponsors of the protests are also big funders of one of the major political parties. But this is a subject where the sponsors have a strong interest in concealing their role as much as possible, and where uncovering and exposing that role takes some significant effort.
The post is about a six-minute read, clocking in at about 1,850 words, but it does a good job looking at the findings (or, in one case, coverings-up) of several journalistic outlets, ranging from left of center to right. Menton, a conservative, is even-handed, giving credit to one leftist outlet, while calling out another on this issue. Notably, he compares two accounts of the involvement of one Manolo de los Santos, whom I'd feel comfortable calling a professional agitator.

He starts with an account from the conservative Tablet:
"When we finally deal that final blow to destroy Israel, when the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism in our lifetime," De Los Santos said in January in front of a cheering crowd in a now-viral video. His remarks were so vicious that South Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) denounced the speech as "Nazi rhetoric," and called for Goldman Sachs, whose philanthropy arm used to direct funds to TPF, to cut ties with the organization.
And then he provides the following, from how the New York Times covers "the same events:"
A New York Times review of police records and interviews with dozens of people involved in the protest at Columbia found that a small handful of the nearly three dozen arrestees who lacked ties to the university had also participated in other protests around the country. One man who was taken into custody inside Hamilton Hall, the occupied campus building, had been charged with rioting and wearing a disguise to evade the police during a demonstration in California nearly a decade earlier. But the examination also revealed that far more of the unaffiliated protesters had no such histories. Rather, they said, they arrived at Columbia in response to word of mouth or social media posts to join the demonstration out of some combination of solidarity and curiosity.
Menton goes further to describe the efforts of the Times to paint the non-university-affiliated protesters as just plain folks who got wind of events and decided to join in. Some of that stuff -- "when he learned the police were moving in and, grabbing a metal dog bowl and a spoon to bang against it, rushed to the students' aid" -- would be funny if what the protesters were advocating weren't so obscene.

While it is important to be aware of such goings-on, there is a bigger context to consider, as well: These contributions to a blatant attack on Western civiliation (with Israel and the Jews as a proxy) are chump change compared to the longstanding idological assault against it -- largely paid for by tax money and government student loan programs -- from much of academia.

For that story, I refer you to the video embedded above, of Leonard Peikoff's 1983 Ford Hall Forum talk, "Assault from the Ivory Tower: The Professors' War Against America." From its opening:
Intellectuals around the world generally take a certain pride, whether deserved or not, in their own countries' achievements and traditions. When they lash out at some group, it is not their nation, but some villain allegedly threatening it, such as the rich, the Jews, or the West. This pattern is true of Canada, from which I originally came, and it is true to my knowledge of England, France, Germany, Russia, China. But it is not true of America. One of the most striking things I observed when I first came here was the disapproval, the resentment, even the hatred of America, of the country as such and of most things American, which is displayed by American intellectuals; it is especially evident among professors in the humanities and social sciences, whom I came to know the best.
Were it not for the anti-American, anti-Western ideas propagated by the universities and accepted by so many people today, pikers like De Los Santos would be penniless, isolated cranks at best. Instead, there are plenty of people who feel that he is worth funding or listening to.

-- CAV

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