Behold All These Collegiate Anti-Semites

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

When I was a 17-year-old Freshman during the later half of an earlier century the college I attended ran, I swear to you… its own bar! All that was required to drink there was a student ID. For me, it was the tip of an intoxication iceberg whose mass included Phil’s Cozy Corner Cafe – with its flash bowling machine, free Beer Nuts, and indifference to age documentation. Floor-buckling frat parties fueled by trash cans of Purple Jesus. And most essentially, a sizable plastic bong which my friends and I worshiped as a Mayan deity.

Today an appropriate student life is predicated on a far more important thing: social awareness. And with it, eternal vigilance over how one’s words make others feel. Though in all honesty, I’ve always found obsessive preoccupation with others’ feelings to be, in lieu of a better word, bullshit.

For I believe in an essential distinction between the gratuitous cruelty of “punching down” and the joyful infliction of fact-based discomfort which respectable society disdains as “giving offense”. A distinction that the current campus climate has obliterated with sweeping statements from University presidents crafted to placate the perennially unnerved while keeping donor checks from bouncing.

But as a longtime defender of Palestinian rights who remembers his unfocused self at 17, it is incredibly heartening to see so many young people today, Jew and Gentile alike, willing to be slandered as Antisemitic for exhibiting basic decency. {You read that right. Jonathan Greenblatt at ADL, having apparently run out of Post-it Notes, now classifies Jewish Voice for Peace as a hate group}

I am old enough to remember when that freedom-loathing pinko William Frank Buckley Jr. advised making Israel our 51st state in order to massively reduce its representation in Congress. Few impediments to peace are more overtly obscene than the Judeo-Christian alliance which bestrides Capitol Hill seeking to limit, quantify, ignore, and actively crush any possibility of justice in the Middle East.

Young people today are having none of it. For them, the future of a Gazan child cannot be left to the untender mercilessness of the Chip Roys and Josh Gottheimers. For them, life begins at Palestinian. Status quo platitudes are imploding and it is a glorious thing to see.

In response, the powers that be are running amok. Benjamin Netanyahu is fast coming apart at the seams. Babbling a torrent of inanities unheard since LBJ attempted to describe the assault on the USS Maddox by a school of Tonkin Gulf fish.

What Israel is doing to Gaza courtesy of American munitions and complicity is a matter for The Hague. To paraphrase Tacitus “they make a moonscape and call it fair”. But I hope young people realize that the casually racist justifications for barbarity and bloodshed will only intensify from here.

Incendiary gibberish is already at DEFCON 2. Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett fears premature de-escalation because any ceasefire will give the enemy, whom he describes as “an octopus of terror”, a chance to “freshen up” before attacking “New Jersey and San Diego”. Larry Kudlow, seemingly drunk and unquestionably raving, wants Biden to bomb Iranian oil fields.

Both the Netanyahu cabinet and the West Bank settlers whose mania they serve view anyone other than Jews to be subhuman. For any of them to feel existentially unthreatened Greater Israel’s borders would need to extend to the banks of the Danube.

And it would require a cutting tool with a precision unobtainable on this planet to discern the sheerness of the evil that divides Hamas from the Prime Minister of Israel. For Netanyahu has become Trump. Babbling unhinged ravings from some dark inner recess which once, theoretically, housed a soul.

His plan is a simple one. To kill. That’s all. Nothing about it is coherent. You cannot demilitarize AND deradicalize Gaza. Not if one Palestinian child survives the carnage with two functioning hands to hold a stone.

So hang in there kids and don’t let the bastards get you down. According to the World Health Organization, since I started typing 3 hours ago, 18 children have been murdered in Gaza. Let them call you whatever the f**k they want. History will call you just.

Jerry Long is a writer, actor, podcaster and political satirist who, with his brother Joe, has worked with Adam McKay on numerous projects. He can also be reached at