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Cotton Is Right

Sen. T. Cotton
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ByNathan Rothman – nationalreview.com – April 25, 2024

‘Pogrom’ is an accurate description of what we’re seeing on campuses.

There’s something about Senator Tom Cotton that drives his critics to madness. That condition becomes particularly acute when he’s obviously correct. Indeed, Cotton’s correctness maintains a directly proportional relationship with the degree to which he compels his detractors to abandon their good sense.

The latest example of this phenomenon comes to us via Mediaite’s Michael Luciano, who accused the senator of indulging in “hysteria” in his recent comments about the ongoing convulsion of nominally anti-Israel but functionally pro-terrorist demonstrations on some of America’s most elite college campuses.

True enough. When, for example, Jewish students were attacked at Tulane University last year for objecting to the burning of an Israeli flag, leaving one traumatized student to reflect on the “Jewish blood on my hands,” defenders of the current campus culture were quick to note the event occurred just outside the campus’s property line. Presumably, those who raise this objection believe it to be indisputably dispositive of . . . something.

But this was not Cotton’s sole offense. In what became an indictment of the Israeli government and the “war crimes” he believes it has committed — the lack f evidence notwithstanding — Luciano attacked the senator for indulging in hyperbole.

“I do agree that if Eric Adams won’t send the NYPD to protect these Jewish students, if Kathy Hochul won’t send the National Guard, Joe Biden has a duty to protect these Jewish students from what is a nascent pogrom on these campuses,” Cotton told Fox News this week. “These are scenes like you’ve seen out of the 1930s in Germany. They should never be witnessed or tolerated here in America in 2024.”To give you some clue as to how far gone Cotton’s prosecutor is, Luciano attributes Cotton’s rhetorical excesses to the hothouse atmosphere cultivated as much by Fox as the New York Times. Regardless, it was that “absurd” phrase — “nascent pogrom” — that seemed to set Luciano off. But it’s Cotton who has the firmer grasp on events here. The only thing “absurd” about the senator’s remark was his judicious decision to append “nascent” to his assessment of what America is witnessing on our campuses.

The Russian word “pogrom” refers to an organized effort to displace Jewish populations from the spaces in which they reside by force. That is precisely what we’ve seen on far too many college campuses since the October 7 attack.

That’s what we saw at Cooper Union, where a braying mob of what we’ve been assured are only anti-Israel protesters threw themselves at the doors of a library in which a handful of Jewish students took refuge. Chanting “globalize the intifada,” in reference to the outbreaks of violence that targeted Israeli civilians with murder, the demonstrators terrorized their Jewish colleagues and compelled them to evacuate their refuge under guard. The Jewish students are suing their school for “being locked in a campus library to shield them from an unruly mob of students that was calling for the destruction of Israel and worldwide violence against Jews.”

Similar language could be used to describe the successful effort to scare Jews away from campus facilities at Cornell University. Following an outbreak of threats to “shoot up,” rape, and slash the throats of Jewish students on campus by pseudonymous harassers calling themselves “hamas,” “jew evil,” “jew jenocide,” “hamas warrior,” and “kill jews,” the school threw up its hands. Cornell advised its Jewish matriculants to avoid the campus’s Kosher dining hall lest they risk bodily harm. Of course, those students heeded their school’s warning.

“What shocked me the most,” said one witness to Rutgers University’s conciliatory attitude toward its agitated pro-Hamas contingent, “was the fact that the Jews attending the town hall were escorted out by police, not the individuals protesting and breaking the rules.” The event that so enraged the anti-Jewish protesters was only a banal effort by university president Jonathan Holloway to hold an event in which students could ask questions about the war in Gaza and the school’s approach to it. “Before he was able to answer a single one, anti-Israel protesters unleashed chaos,” Zach Kessel reported for NR.

And at Columbia, host to the recent spasm of anti-Jewish sentiment that led Cotton to call for reinforcements, the threat of violent antisemitism has forced many Jewish students off campus. The activists who called Jews “inbred,” demanded they “go back to Poland,” and chanted “Burn Tel Aviv to the ground” and “Go Hamas, we love you, we support your rockets, too” somehow managed to convince their Jewish colleagues that they meant business. Columbia administrators appeared to agree. It facilitated their flight to the shadows by moving classes to a “hybrid” setting so Jews could continue to study out of the sight of their tormentors.

These and many more incidents like them suggest the rabble’s aim is to harass and intimidate Jews into hiding. The college administrations that have catered to this mob have assisted in the evacuation of their Jewish populations to safer redoubts. We can call this many things, but Russian linguists already provided us with one descriptive word for it. It’s a fine word, and its use in this context is woefully appropriate.

So, too, is Cotton’s outraged response to what we’re witnessing. His critics object not to the senator’s accurate assessment of what we’re all seeing but the fact that his indictment of both the mobs and their coddlers on America’s campuses also impeaches those who would tolerate these grotesque displays. If those who would defend these menacing hordes cannot separate their anti-Israel advocacy from calls for violence against Jews, why should Senator Cotton? Indeed, why should any of us?

Cotton was as correct today as he was in 2020, when he called for the deployment of the National Guard to the American cities besieged by violent rioters — a call that led left-wing activists to purge from the New York Times masthead anyone who dared countenance Cotton’s advocacy. The Left would have been better served had it taken his advice in 2020, and it would do well to heed his admonitions today. The only “hysteria” to which we are privy is the sort on display from those who don’t want to recognize the true nature of the mobs to whom they’ve ceded America’s colleges.

Posterity vindicated Cotton once already. We don’t have to wait for the verdict of history to prove him right again.

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Source: Tom Cotton Is Right about the Anti-Israel Protests | National Review