“There Is Nothing Worth Saving in America’s Public Schools.”
That was the headline on a June 23 online article in the American Spectator.
I’ve kept that article open in my Google tabs on my laptop for four months, with the intention in a future editorial of proving the authors of that article correct.
But that headline came to mind again the past two weeks as all of us have watched videos of our university students siding with the Hamas and Iranian terrorists — menacingly threatening and sometimes striking Jewish students as the mobs chanted and protested and carried signs that proclaimed:
- Down with settler-colonial, Zionist apartheid!
- Zionism is white supremacy!
- “Netanyahu, we charge you with genocide!”
- Decolonize Palestine!
- “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” — a slogan that calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jews.
Watching all of this was convincing: Indeed, there is nothing worth saving in America’s public schools.
Stay with me. Yes, it is going too far to pin our college students’ anti-Israel protests solely on public education. But what we have witnessed is indeed the inevitable, unavoidable result of State-run, public education — the brainwashing of generations of young Americans (and the world over) to an immoral ideology (“kill the Jews!”) and frighteningly widespread ignorance.
With these protests, we have witnessed how little these screamers know and how little they have been taught about world history. What they have learned — much of it in their college milieu, in and out classrooms — is emotional propaganda that foments these ignorant masses into violent rage and hatred.
H.L. Mencken, the great American essayist in the early and mid-20th century, saw the truth of government-controlled education when he wrote in 1924: “The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.”
To put it more bluntly: to breed easily swayed sheep.
Former long-time teacher and author John Taylor Gatto has been a more explicit critic of public education than Mencken. Author of “Dumbing Us Down, the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling” and “Underground History of American Education, an Intimate Investigation into the Prison of Modern Schooling,” Gatto summed up his 30 years of teaching and concluded:
“[The] American education system has always been designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens in order to render the populace ‘manageable.’”
Think about this: How do you explain why so many of these supposedly intelligent university students have been marching on the side of barbarians, of burning and beheading babies and of people who chant “Death to Israel”?
In the introduction in 2009 to “Our Enemy the State,” Albert Nock’s famous book exposing the true nature of the State, Butler Shaffer noted that “mass-minded men and women … lacked both the depth of character and the intellectual capacity to understand the principles underlying ‘the humane life.’
The “mass-minded,” Shaffer noted, “are easily manipulated and mobilized.” To wit: our college kids.
The famous Austrian economist and Nobel Prize winner, Friedrich Hayek, devoted a whole chapter of his seminal book, “The Road to Serfdom,” to “Why the Worst Get on Top.”
He wrote there are “three main reasons why such a numerous and strong group with fairly homogenous views is not likely to be formed by the best but rather by the worst elements of any society.
“If a numerous group is needed, strong enough to impose their views on the values of life on all the rest,” wrote Hayek, “it will never be those with highly differentiated developed tastes. It will be those who form the ‘mass’ in the derogatory sense of the term, the least original and independent … the lowest common denominator.”
That would be the poorly and under-educated, malleable, impressionable college students whose brains, we know now, have been filled with all of the “gender equity” and anti-Israel bilge coursing through classrooms and campuses at the high school and college levels.
Those students are easy marks for the propagandists. Hayek: “He [the brainwashing professoriat class and Students for Justice for Palestine] will be able to obtain the support of all the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are prepared to accept a ready-made system of values if it is only drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently.
“It will be those whose vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed and whose passions and emotions are readily aroused who will thus swell the ranks of the totalitarian party.”
And the third reason why the pro-Hamas, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel crowds have swelled and turned the narrative against the Israelis is what Hayek called the “most important negative element.”
“It seems to be almost a law of human nature,” he wrote, “that is easier for people to agree on a negative program — on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off — than on any positive task.”
Down with settler colonial, Zionist apartheid!
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Do they really know the meaning of what they’re saying? The “Why?”
Start from the beginning. Whose land is Israel anyway — Jews’ or Palestinians’? Who is the “oppressor”?
The debate over the strip of land has been festering for 4,000 years! — ever since Abraham settled in Canaan (Israel) in 1865 B.C.
While today’s pro-Hamas students and the other raging masses rail against the Jews, castigating them as evil conquerors who have raped the Palestinians of their homeland, it’s clearly a good bet most of these American students (as well as the others in the mobs) know little, if anything, about this land.
A good place to start would be the Book of Genesis in the Bible. But the likelihood of college students even knowing what the Book of Genesis is is not encouraging. According to the authors of that American Spectator article: “The rates of religiously unaffiliated [U.S.] youth, including atheists and agnostics, fresh from high school rose from 6.6% in 1966 to 29.6% in 2015 to 33.6% in 2019.
But if those protesters were at all curious (as college students should be), they would find in the Book of Genesis the birth and birthplace of Israel — historical material that should trigger critical thinking.
It’s a plausible guess that most of our college students have heard of Moses, the Ten Commandments and the Israelites’ 40-year trek to the “Promised Land” (Israel).
But long before Moses — 500 years, God established the Jews’ homeland. In Genesis, God tells Abraham, son of a wandering Semite: “Leave your country (Haran/now Iraq), your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”
(“Whoever curses you I will curse.” Memo to anti-Semites: You might think about that explicit warning.)
Abraham, then 75, did what God said: He packed up his many belongings, and with his wife, Sara, and nephew, Lot, traveled from southern Iraq to settle where God told him to go: Canaan (Israel).
Not long after the family had settled, God spoke to Abraham again about what was in store for him: “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. … Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
As it has turned out, however, we know it wasn’t as easy as that. Fourteen years later, a group of marauding anti-Hebrew kings and their forces invaded southern Canaan, ransacked it and kidnapped Abraham’s nephew, Lot, among other Hebrews.
As the Israelis of today, Abraham retaliated. He and 300 men pursued the invaders, routed them and rescued Lot, kinsmen, women and children.
Six years later, when Abraham was 95, God made his promise to Abraham a third time: “This is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations … I will make you very fruitful … I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants … to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you…”
You can just imagine the response if you walked on the Harvard, Cornell or New York University campuses and told that story — that at least three times God told Abraham Canaan/Israel would be the Jews’ “everlasting possession.”
Which brings us to the chant of the pro-Palestinian mobs today of Israel being apartheid colonizers, invading conquerors and oppressors.
Follow the historical timeline.
To the contrary, from Abraham until today, wherever they went, the history of the Jews has been consistent, almost uninterrupted anti-Semitic persecution — the antithesis of oppressors. (When the Torah was written, in fact, it specifically said: “A sojourner you are not to oppress: You yourselves know the feeling of the sojourner, for sojourners were you in the land of Egypt.”)
For 3,500 years — 1800s B.C. to the 1880s A.D., there have always been a people, armies, invaders and coalitions of nations who have wanted and still want the Jews eradicated and out of the land God gave them and promised them.
The Philistines came ashore from the sea in 1000s B.C. into Gaza from Greece and attacked the Israelites. The Babylonians destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in 500 B.C. The Romans and Assyrians followed with their attacks through the Middle Ages.
Century after century, fearing for their survival, Jews left their homeland and dispersed to the Middle East, northern Africa and Europe, leaving but a small number of steadfast Jews rooted in Jerusalem and their homeland.
You know the story. It got much worse: Hitler. Auschwitz. Six million Jews in Europe barbarically exterminated. Genocide.
The oppressor Jews? The colonial settlers?
It is not 'Palestine'
When World War II ended, thousands and thousands of Jews throughout Europe were homeless, outcast, starving, impoverished.
President Harry Truman wrote in his memoirs:
“The plight of the victims who had survived the mad genocide of Hitler’s Germany was a challenge to Western civilization, and as President, I undertook to do something about it. One of the solutions being proposed was a national Jewish home.
“The question of Palestine as a Jewish homeland goes back to the solemn promise that had been made to them by the British in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 … This promise, I felt, should be kept …”
The Arab states hated this. In a memo to Truman, one of his assistant secretaries of state wrote: “The Arabs … have made no secret of their hostility to Zionism, and their governments say that it would be impossible to restrain them from rallying with arms in defense of what they consider to be an Arab country.”
What to do became the matter of an Anglo-American Committee that Truman composed in 1946. When Philip Hitti, a distinguished Arab-American historian at Princeton University testified to the committee, he said: “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.”
According to the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, “at no time ever was Palestine an exclusively Arab country. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine.”
“Palestine,” er, Israel-The Promised Land, became Palestine thanks to the Romans. They named it after the Philistines, people who sailed from Greece and invaded via Gaza in 1000s B.C.
How many of those protesters have a clue of this?
1948 War of Independence
In 1947, at the conclusion of two years of world debates over what to do with displaced Jews and “Palestine,” the members of the United Nations in 1947 approved the establishment of a quasi-two-state solution between the Jews and Arabs.
The plan: Partition the land, setting up a state of Israel and a state of Palestine.
An Arab spokesman told the U.N. before the partition that Arabs would drench “the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood.”
On May 14, 1948, Israel declared the new State of Israel. Violence and war immediately broke out.
Within days after Israel declared its state, five Arab armies invaded Israel. Assam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League announced: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols of the Crusades.”
The Israelis defended themselves from the invaders and won.
The 1967 Six-Day War
Oct. 15, 1960: Egyptian President Gama Abdel Nasser tells the world Egypt would never recognize the existence of the Jewish State of Israel.
1963: The Arab League forms the Palestine Liberation Organization. Its charter calls for the destruction of Israel. PLO terrorists increasingly stormed into Israel and killed Israeli citizens — 1965: 35 raids; 1966: 41 raids. In the first four months of 1967: 37 raids.
1966: With Syrian military bombings and terrorist attacks increasing on Israelis, President Nasser announced, “We aim the destruction of the state of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel.”
May 1967: The president of Iraq, Abdur Rahman Aref, joined a military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, with the statement: “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear — to wipe Israel off the map.”
Apartheid colonizers? Invading conquerors? Zionist white supremacists?
How little truth the masses know.
It starts with education. Public education is one of the primary roots of what ails the U.S. today.