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Oxford Scholars Betray Their Vocation To Vilify Israel


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Real Clear Politcs

Peter Berkowitz - RCP Contributor
December 10, 2023

Professors set the tone on campus. Those dedicated to liberal education scrupulously conduct and disseminate research that advances understanding of morality, politics, and the physical world. And they teach students to grasp the facts and the data, to examine competing opinions and ideas, and to reach their own conclusions based on arguments and evidence that have been refined by reasoned discussion and lively debate. Professors devoted to liberal education cultivate in young men and women virtues – curiosity, civility, tolerance, and respect for the truth – that are essential to maintaining free and democratic self-government.

Over the last fifty years or so, however, an illiberal vision of the professor’s role has taken hold in the academy. Many faculty members see their task as correcting misfortunes and evils, promoting social justice, and saving the world. They exploit their academic perch to disseminate propaganda under the cover of research and to convert classrooms into recruitment stations for social transformation. This subordination of inquiry to activism robs students of an education that cultivates the virtues of freedom while cheating society of well-educated young citizens. And it polarizes the student body and is bound to amplify division and discord in the larger social and political world undergraduates will soon enter. That’s because professors who politicize the classroom foster ignorance, arrogance, and self-righteousness among those who agree with the officially sanctioned orthodoxy – and generate resentment and anger among those with the temerity to dissent.

Judging by their Oct. 20 “Open Letter on the Humanitarian Crisis in Israel,” many Oxford University scholars failed to acquire the moral and intellectual virtues that yield reliable scholarship and impart liberal education. The 45 Oxford academics who signed the letter grandly addressed it “To the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, United Kingdom.” Invoking their authority as “scholars of political science, political philosophy, ethics, history, geography, law and the Middle East” – but omitting any relevant experience they might possess in diplomacy and national security – the Oxford scholars urged Britain’s political leaders “to call for an immediate cessation to Israel’s morally disastrous attack on Gaza, and for Israel to allow the free passage of humanitarian aid into Gaza, in addition to continuing to call on Hamas to release the Israeli hostages.

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Well They Are Following Tradition.

"...this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country."

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The outward display of anti western values by these, previously, revered institutions and the willingness of the few brave and rational leaders to, finally, take a stand, is the equivalent of Churchill’s quote of “it’s the end of the beginning “.

These institutions have to be completely overhauled if this decades long psyops campaign is to be stopped. Sources of financing, political support, hiring practices, admissions procedures, tax benefits, government aid, internal emails, travel records, business expenses, social media posts, phone records, and meeting minutes need to be scrutinized. These institutions receive government grants and financial support and are subject to government oversight. It seems like we have scratched the surface of a ‘vast, left wing, conspiracy “.

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