My Image

Life of Reason

As Pro-Palestinian protests swarm college campuses, Zionism puts the screws to America’s core values.

My Image
University of Texas police officers arrest a man at a pro-Palestinian protest on campus on Wednesday.
Sunday Morning / April 28, 2024

The White House released a statement commemorating Passover, appropriately noting “the alarming surge of antisemitism in our schools, communities, and online.” But the very next day U.S. President Joe Biden walked it back. “While I condemn the antisemitic protests, I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”

The April 2024 Israel–Hamas war protests on university campuses has resulted in police departments detaining students and university administrators suspending students. As of April 25, over five hundred students have been arrested across the nation.

While protests, rallies, demonstrations, campaigns, and vigils relating to the Israel–Hamas war have occurred nationwide across the United States since the start of the conflict on October 7, 2023, the campus protests are based around students demanding that their schools sever financial ties to Israel and companies involved in the conflict, and are a call for an end to US military support in Israel.

Since her founding in 1948, Israel has received $158 billion in military aid from the United States, making her the greatest recipient of military aid in the United States' history. However, US–Israel relations are now strained. They now want written assurances that the use of US-supplied weapons comply with international law; are calling for an immediate and sustained ceasefire linked to the release of hostages; and oppose Israel's post-war plan for Gaza. Nevertheless, on March 29, 2024, the administration of US President Joe Biden authorized the transfer of billions of dollars in bombs and fighter jets to Israel.

And while prestigious universities across the nation seem flummoxed by antisemitism they shouldn’t be. The vast majority of their faculties are liberal. For example, nearly 80 percent of Harvard's faculty describe themselves as “liberal” or “very liberal,” according to the Harvard Crimson’s annual survey in 2023. Less than 3 percent identify as Conservative, a snapshot of liberal colleges and universities reshaping the attitudes and core values of the United States founders.

Yale, for instance, now offers 191 courses on “gender politics,” but only 16 which touch on WWII or the Holocaust. Despite the bifurcation of history, our primordial past is a sequence of interconnected events climaxing in the present. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana wrote in his opus, “The Life of Reason.” A perspective from an expatiate on the nation’s behalf.


It marks the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt; a transition from slavery into freedom; 40 years of wandering; and the Jewish diaspora into the Mediterranean, Europe, and Middle East. It wasn’t a homecoming.

Scene: Unnamed Pharaoh enslaves Hebrew subjects; incurs the wrath of their God; enter Moses with curse and natural disasters. Israelites flee, Egyptian army follows and are summarily swallowed into the Reed Sea.

Three millennia on, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) audit tabulated 8,873 antisemitic incidents across the United States in 2023. Sidebar: There were 912 in 2013. These include, but are not limited to, physical assaults, incidents of vandalism, verbal and digital harassment, protests on colleges campuses and acts of terrorism. But far and away more concerning than that is this: American Millennials and Gen Z aren’t in command of the most basic facts about the Holocaust. The Claims Conference conducted seven surveys across six countries examining Holocaust knowledge and awareness worldwide and U.S. Millennials and Gen Z came in a distant last.

To wit, 63 percent of the American demographic didn’t know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust; a scant 36 percent ticked “two million or fewer Jews” were killed during the Holocaust; and although there were 40,000 camps and ghettos extant across Europe during the Holocaust an impressive 48 percent of the national survey respondents couldn’t name a single one.

College Solidarity

As protests and encampments in support of Palestinians in Gaza are erupting on colleges and universities across the country, students protesting the war are demanding schools cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies enabling the conflict. Hundreds of students have been arrested on the nation’s university campuses; university presidents have been deposed and terminated due to their response to the student protests; and the U.S. Department of Education has launched civil rights investigations into dozens of universities and schools in response to complaints of antisemitism or Islamophobia. At the forefront is Columbia University.

An occupation protest by pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University began when pro-Palestinian students pitched some 50 tents on the university campus and called it the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.” University president Minouche Shafik engaged the New York City Police Department to storm campus and conduct mass arrests, a first for Columbia since the 1968 demonstrations against the Vietnam War.

Protestors are demanding the university divest their investments from Israel, but that it coincides with 2024’s Passover (April 22-30) — a Jewish festival that celebrates the Israelites exodus from slavery in Biblical Egypt — demonstrates the power to initiate, create and change reality on two fronts.

A student-led coalition of over 120 groups, including, the Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD); Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP); and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) have all rallied in New York City's pro-Palestinian demonstrations since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

Days after the war began, the university closed its campus after opposing demonstrations collided. Student and faculty walk outs; anti-Semitic epithets; and student suspensions and cancelled classes characterize a campus now defaulting into blending learning.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Mike Johnson condemned the protestors this week on the Columbia campus and called for President Shafik to resign if she can’t control the chaos; auguring congressional intervention and actually threatening to pull federal funding from the institution.

My Image
Mike Johnson, Columbia University

The National Guard is on stand-by to respond to a college solidarity movement thats spread from Columbia to MIT > Emory > Emerson > Ann Arbor > and NYU to name just a few. Tue la surprise Yale University, too. The University of Southern California has even cancelled their commencement.

But it was President Joe Biden’s reference to the protests that pricks the national ire. “Harassment and calls for violence against Jews,” he began, “has absolutely no place on college campuses.” After which he signed a foreign aid bill Wednesday that contains $26 billion in funds allotted for Israel.

The Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7 killed 1,200 Israelis and resulted in another roughly 240 being taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities. Gaza's health ministry reports Israel's military response has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and children.

While the world’s onlookers sit comfortably at the intersections of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, its worth remembering that free will — also called the paradox of free will or theological fatalism — contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible. Any conception of God that incorporates both is invalid.

Perhaps why after penning “The Life of Reason,” George Santayana resigned his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently. His last will and testament was buried in the Spanish Pantheon in Rome. It began, “A country without a memory is a country of madmen.”

My Image
My Image

Make sense of the week's news. Charlatan reviews the world's show & message.



Politicians & Statesmen


Features, Articles & Essays


Thought Leaders & Influencers


Creed, Mission & Crew


Halls of Power Worldwide


The Year's Most Compelling Stories


Media Kit


All the World's a Stage