Why Are the Universities Cesspits of Anti-Semitism?

There are several answers to that question, but start with the fact that it is mostly the “elite” universities, and to some extent the larger ones, that have seen severe outbreaks of anti-Semitism. What is different about these institutions? For one thing, they have large numbers of foreign students, many of them from the Middle East and China. This has become a financial racket: the top universities post sky-high sticker prices for tuition, but hardly anyone pays them. In fact, almost the only people who pay full freight are rich Middle Easterners and Chinese who send their offspring to the U.S. to be “educated.”

These international students, the large majority from countries with little freedom of speech and little or no tradition of academic freedom, are the shock troops of anti-Semitism. True, they bring some leftist students along with them. But the most anti-Semitic universities, like Harvard, Penn and MIT, are also the ones with the most foreign students from anti-Semitic countries. This was illustrated by the fact that when violently anti-Semitic students assaulted Jewish students at MIT, isolating them in the library and trying to break down the doors to get at them, MIT declined to expel the anti-Semitic thugs. Why? For fear that they would be deported.

There are a number of reasons for the corruption of higher education; this is by no means the only one. But it is an important part of the explanation of why our allegedly top universities have gone so completely off the rails. This story in the London Times relates to the U.K., where reliance on foreign students is even more extreme than in the U.S. But it sheds a lot of light on why British universities are so tolerant of anti-Semitism and other left-wing outrages:

Britain’s leading universities now get most of their fees from foreign students as they become increasingly reliant on overseas cash to stay afloat.

Dozens of universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, now get only a minority of fee income from British students, with some prestigious institutions getting more than three quarters of their fees from abroad.

Check out this chart:

I don’t think the situation is as extreme in the U.S., but the concept is the same. A disproportionate and growing share of revenue is coming from a large and highly profitable cohort of foreign students. It has long been recognized that he who pays the piper calls the tune. There is nothing wrong with this; in general, it is a principle of fairness. But when the people who are mostly paying the piper come from cultures whose values are antithetical to your own, the consequences can be dire. That isn’t the only reason for the anti-Semitism that infects many of our universities, but it is a big part of the story.

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