October 21, 2002
Divestment idiocy comes to Texas

There are days when you just want to chuck it all and spend the rest of your life watching TVLand and eating junk food. Today is one of them, now that I've read this appalling article in the Chron about the brain-dead movement to "divest" from Israel that has now infested the University of Texas. While I give the author some credit for skepticism, I nearly choked when I saw who was quoted as the "dissenting voice":

"This is an anti-America movement and has solidarity with terrorists, which I consider very dangerous," said David Horowitz, a leading university radical in the 1960s who has since become a prominent critic of student and faculty leftists.

"It's a movement to destroy Israel, and there are always unwitting people who go along and believe slogans," said Horowitz, who has started an ad campaign to try to debunk the divestment movement in college newspapers.

I'm not sure which is the more horrifying prospect: That one could come away from this article thinking that David Horowitz is in some form a voice of reason, that David Horowitz is once again trolling for student newspapers to reject his ads so he can cry "Censorship!" to every talk show host in America, or that I'm forced to be on the same side of an issue with David Horowitz. Whatever the case, I need a shower.

Texas universities were noted for a dearth of student activism even during the tumultuous 1960s, and there was little activism in the state during the South Africa divestment movement.

"Progressive students are afraid to speak out in Texas," said Kathy Goodwin, a University of Houston student who heads a campus National Organization for Women group.

A petition drive has not been started at UH, but Goodwin and several Muslim students interviewed who oppose Israeli policies said there is no reason that one could not.

I don't think progressive students are any more afraid to speak out now than they were back in the 80s when I was a student and nostalgia for the "good parts" of the 60s was still fresh. Maybe progressive students are choosing their battles more intelligently today. Maybe it's not "progressive" to align oneself with people like Ali Abunimah. Maybe progressive students get just an eensy whiff of anti-semitism from this movement, despite all the "aggressive" denials from Hussein Ibish and the like. Shall I go on?

Sigh. It's Ho-Hos and a Brady Bunch marathon for me today. Wake me tomorrow when things are looking better.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 21, 2002 to The great state of Texas

Gee, you don't think Rice will ever again build another riot-proof college like Lovett?

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) on October 21, 2002 2:33 PM