Rabbi Menken to Newsmax: Schools Choosing ‘Barbarians’ Over Jews
April 22, 2024

by Jim Thomas on Newsmax

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, cautioned against what he termed a troubling choice between Jews and “antisemitic barbarians,” spotlighting recent developments at Columbia University.

In an interview with Newsmax on Monday, Menken emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “University administrators are clearly faced with a choice right now between Jews and antisemitic barbarians, as just became explicit at Columbia. And they are so far choosing the barbarians, and we have to see which way that goes. What that does to America is unbelievable.”

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Tensions escalated at Columbia University on Monday, leading to the suspension of in-person classes amidst growing security concerns.

The Ivy League institution has emerged as a focal point of unrest among American colleges, with similar turmoil affecting New York University and Yale University. Dozens of anti-Israel demonstrators were apprehended at Yale on Monday, CNN reported.

Menken’s remarks on the “Chris Salcedo Show” come amid growing concerns over rising anti-Semitic sentiment on college campuses, particularly highlighted by recent events at Columbia University. He pointed out the university’s decision to transition to virtual learning following safety concerns expressed by Jewish students.

“Well, now, actually … about Colombia going virtual. That was actually in response to the rabbi of the OU-JLIC [Orthodox Union Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus] at Columbia, the Orthodox rabbi saying to students in a WhatsApp chat in a long letter. ‘I’m very sorry to write this, but for your own safety, you need to go home. You cannot be at Columbia,'” Menken explained.

He underscored the historical context of antisemitism, highlighting its genocidal implications and drawing parallels with past atrocities, particularly in Nazi-era Germany. Menken stressed the importance of recognizing and addressing antisemitism promptly.

“People don’t know this. But during years of European history, Jews were expelled from cities, regions, and entire countries over 100 times,” Menken said. “The different jurisdictions said, ‘No, we don’t want the Jews around,’ and this is now happening at Columbia University the same way it happened in Germany and the Nazi era.”

Menken challenged institutions to take decisive action against antisemitic behavior, urging them to choose between protecting Jewish students and condoning bigotry.

“So now they have to make the choice: are they going to suspend or expel, arrest? Imprison the antisemitic barbarians, or are they gonna have no Jews? Each campus, like Yale and Harvard, they’ve got to make that decision now, very sadly,” he remarked.

The Coalition for Jewish Values advocates for Jewish interests and values, seeking to combat antisemitism and promote tolerance and understanding in society.

Originally published on Newsmax

Photo Credit: Matt Hrkac on Flickr

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