Having a bad day? Blame Israel

Progressives use Palestine to show intellectual depth like beauty pageants use “world peace”

In the movie Miss Congeniality, Sandra Bullock plays the role of an undercover FBI agent who participates in a beauty pageant. The movie pokes fun at the shallowness of contestants by having each answer a question about what she hopes to achieve, if selected queen. Each contestant concluded her answer by adding “and world peace.” 

America’s Woke and Progressive now do the same. Whenever in doubt, and want to show fairness and intellectual prowess, they just say Palestine.

Cornel West is an academic who resigned from Harvard, citing three problems: Something about not getting tenured, or a sabbatical, while having to teach a heavy course load, something about Harvard faculty or staff not being nice enough to express to him their condolences after the passing of his mother, and — of course — Palestine.

West is generally identified as a philosopher. On his own Twitter page, he advocates for justice and describes himself as being one “of America’s most provocative public intellectuals.”

But why did Harvard employ a philosopher with such weak reasoning on its faculty? Philosophy is Greek for “lover of wisdom,” but wisdom is the opposite of provocative. Philosophers are usually as impartial and neutral as they come. They deal with morals and ethics and try to rationalize complicated human concepts and social conventions. 

But this is not West. He talks like a militant, and militancy is the antidote of wisdom. In his letter of resignation, while his language is flowery, his arguments are fallacious. West claims to have left Harvard for three reasons, but these reasons are disjointed and do not paint a principled man. If anything, West’s resignation reads like a rant rather than a convincing case against Harvard.

First, West sounds angry over office politics. He or someone else did not get tenured, and he was not given sabbatical. But why is such an issue of public concern? Most of us handle jobs at places with plenty of office politics. Sometimes, office politics go in our favor, and at other times, they do not. People usually have a choice between ignoring an unfavorable workplace and looking for another job. 

Perhaps West imagines that Harvard had been unfair to him because he is African-American, in which case, he should have offered more data points for readers to determine whether White faculty members are being favored — regardless of merit — at the expense of their non-White peers.

Second, West expresses anger over Harvard’s administration, faculty, or both, for not soothing him after the death of his mother. Again, how is a social faux pas a public issue? And how does it prove racism? Are all White professors flooded with condoling messages when they lose loved ones, as opposed to non-White professors who do not?

Last but not least, how is Palestine even remotely relevant to Harvard, racism or West? America’s top universities walk on the fence when dealing with global affairs, such as how Harvard takes orders from Beijing to censor Chinese dissidents. Celebrities everywhere — whether in Hollywood or sports — are mum these days when it comes to China’s flagrant violations of human rights. On Israel, however, academia and Hollywood find a pleasure in bashing the Jewish state. 

Only in February, Jewish students at Harvard founded an organization against Israel, and so did Palestinian students, who formed a group that seems like a chapter of BDS, a movement that wants to see the end of Israel. 

Cornel West was disappointed that things did not go exactly his way at Harvard, like most of us get disappointed over so many things in life. To express his frustration, he did what he knows best: Cry foul over racism, and — of course — throw Palestine into the mix to even win more sympathy. 

To many Americans who can barely tell the difference between Sweden and Sudan, Palestine has become an easy way to claim a high moral ground and show awareness of global affairs. Yet, the likes of West know little to nothing about the Middle East, and think that only because some Middle Easterners claim victimhood, they must be right, and they must be West’s “brothers” and “sisters.” Meanwhile true intellect is left to philosophers, the actual ones, not Twitter’s provocative ones.