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A Jewish Heart: A Vietnam-era protester on today’s campus upheaval

BY HARRY PINCUS | The reporters who are peering through the gates of Columbia University these days are standing in the same spot where I stood, after my compatriots and I had shut down Hunter College, and almost every other school in the country, during the riotous spring of 1970. We were protesting the war in Vietnam, as well as Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia, and the draft, which directly threatened our lives, and we were hipping ourselves to the big picture. You know, how it all works together to make a military-industrial complex, and a war machine, and how the elites use racism and class to divide and manipulate us.

I was 17 years old that spring, when I ran up to the art department at Hunter College and admonished the other would-be artists to join me at the barricades, kick out the jams and fight for a revolution. Our professor, a Greenwich Village legend named John Rawlings, stretched his nearly 7-foot frame out on a long table and happily gave me the floor, as I fulminated against all of the injustices in the world. Rawlings, who collaborated with E. E. Cummings, the Paul Taylor Dancers and Alexander Calder, also did a piano act in the Village called “The Playing Mantis.” John was my mentor, but when I invaded his art class with my righteous indignation, he waited for me to leave, and simply purred, “What Harry needs is to get laid.”

I fled to the street, where a couple of thousand of us were marching on Park Avenue, chanting “Power to the People! Off the Pig!” I had no idea that “Off the Pig” meant kill the police, but I happily joined the throng as we invaded the Hunter College Super Snack, and absconded with every last burger and fry. As I stood there, downing my ill-gained booty, a vivid figure dressed in an American flag shirt flashed before me, jumped up on a table and shouted “What we need here is less Jewish mothers, and more Jewish Motherf—ers!” It was Abbie Hoffman.

The president of Hunter College, Jacqueline G. Wexler, was a former nun who had jousted with the conservative church hierarchy before becoming a university president.

“Zealotry is the enemy,” she said. I happened to run into her in the hallway, just as I was fleeing the police, who were waving their batons at my head.

“Why are you doing this, John?” said our president, with an imploring expression. But I didn’t know who John was, nor why I was doing this.

We had just barricaded ourselves into the president’s office, and ordered steak dinners on her tab, when my friend, a doppelganger for Che Guevara in his army helmet, emerged from her private quarters with a can of feminine deodorant spray, which he passed around the conference table.

When our “Theory of Revolution” professor was busted for spitting in Dean Huber’s face, we circulated a petition and got him reinstated. Even John Rawlings was dismissed, ostensibly for his samizdat tract on education, subversively titled, “Let Me Put It To You Another Way.” But I ran around the school with petitions, and John, too, was reinstated. In those days, a professor could get fired for being gay.

Being a revolutionary and shutting down the school was great fun, until May 4, 1970, when National Guardsmen entered the campus of Kent State University and murdered Allison Krause, 19; Jeffrey Glenn Miller, 20; Sandra Lee Scheuer, 20; and William Knox Schroeder, 19. I am still moved to tears when I look at the photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio wailing over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller, a sweet kid who looked like one of the boys I’d gone to high school with. His blood on that pavement belonged to all of us.

The brutal retort of rifles and tear gas didn’t belong on a college campus, and the Kent State massacre ended our innocence. After all, we weren’t warriors, or haters, spitting on “the other,” telling them to go back to where they came from, or chanting for their cities to be bombed. Our movement was about transcending the bigotry of our elders, and learning acceptance and understanding.

We weren’t masked haters intent upon destroying the homeland of another people.

What we did was child’s play compared to the conflagration we face today. We were the kids who had gone to Woodstock, but the furor, or should I say der Führer, that we are witnessing, now resembles Berlin in 1938. Be it societal isolation, COVID, technology or financial stress, today’s great humanitarians have arrived at an age-old remedy. They are scapegoating the Jews.

The Columbia professor who reads “From the River to the Sea” as a gentle plea for equality, is deluding himself, and his students. Even if equality is all he desires, it is not the ambition of Hamas, or the rabid haters at the gates of the university. Nor was equality the intention of Iran, when it fired hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones into Israeli cities not long ago. The rapists and murderers of October 7 may have thought they were seeking justice and equality, but their final solution cannot be tolerated by any civilized nation.

“Jew at the Ocean.” (Illustration by Harry Pincus)

War is unconscionable, and I join the decent souls who are simply opposed to the killing — but the demonization and destruction of the Jewish homeland is not Peace. People in hoodies and masks screaming in the faces of Jewish students with bullhorns is not free speech, nor does it bear any resemblance to critical thinking. How much Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault and Combahee River Collective do you have to have rammed into you before you lose your mind and pick up a bullhorn? And if you are going to read Hannah Arendt, kiddies, please include “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” before you go out and strangle a Jew on the quadrangle.

Putin has ruthlessly occupied and invaded Ukraine, 400,000 human beings have been systematically murdered in Darfur and many others raped, more than 500,000 killed in Syria. Before that, a million Muslims were slaughtered by Saddam Hussein. There was and has been no protest over these atrocities — yet Israel is the world pariah that must be exterminated. The fact that Israel has been invaded, attacked with thousands of missiles and surrounded by enemies who continuously vow to annihilate it, might indicate that it is simply fighting for its life.

The demands to divest from Israel remind me of that old sign, “Germans, Defend Yourselves! Do Not Buy From Jews!” What, after all, is the eternal problem with Jews? You can’t just throw us into an old kosher pickle barrel and call us slave owners, colonialists, rootless cosmopolitans and disseminators of cosmic evil, because some of us are quite likable. An old man once told me that he actually liked me, because “You’re not kikey like the others.” But these days, there are reports of students getting canceled if they dare befriend a Jew.

Perhaps these furious demonstrators have been personally harmed by a Jew. Comedian Myron Cohen used to tell a story about a little girl who told the baker that her mother found a fly in the raisin bread. “So bring back the fly and I’ll give you a raisin,” said the baker. Perhaps little Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a traumatic experience like that in a Bronx bakery.

In “Anti-Semite and Jew,” Jean Paul Sartre observes that anti-Semitism is “first of all, a passion.” And we have certainly seen an orgiastic cauldron of that hell as it bubbles up from our elite universities, and metastasizes outward from the initial attack of October 7. Sartre defined a Jew as someone who others consider to be a Jew, and I would define an anti-Semite as someone whom others consider to be a Jew hater. We know one when we see one.

Our educational elites are turning the word “Zionist” into an epithet, commensurate to genocide. They have deserted their hallowed halls like lemmings falling off the cliff as they terrorize Jewish students and demonize the Jewish state. I recently had to explain to an old friend, the son of a jazz legend, that sending me rants from someone who defines Israel as “evil” is akin to sending me swastikas; and how would he feel if I had sent him little drawings of nooses? Would our universities tolerate this explosion of hatred if it were turned against other groups? Do Jew Lives Matter?

The stated goal of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran is the annihilation of Israel. That is the very definition of genocide, so it is particularly galling when the one nation born of the Holocaust, and surrounded by sworn enemies who vow to annihilate it from the river to the sea, is smeared as the world’s most evil agent of this genocide. The vast majority of Israelis sought to coexist in peace when they were attacked, and hundreds of thousands have repeatedly taken to the streets in opposition to the current regime.

Golda Meir said that peace will come “when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” Hamas has proven her point, by carrying out the most deadly pogrom since Hitler’s Kristallnacht, and creating a narrative of martyrdom for their own babies. They have succeeded in arousing the sleeping giant of world anti-Semitism, and their monstrous attack of October 7 has resulted in the death of more than 30,000 human beings.

Israel, in their righteous indignation, in their blind hatred, or in their fear, has fallen right into the trap. What would you do, if someone kicked down your door, raped and murdered your family, took hostages and vowed to do it all over again, 10,000 times?

Hamas and their Iranian sponsors may never accept or forgive the founding of the Jewish homeland, which they call the Nakba, or the Catastrophe, but Jews have had to accept the Holocaust, even if we can never forgive it. I have no right to tell anyone what to believe. But I wonder why highly educated students have so readily accepted the narrative of one side, when it reflects the Stone Age aspirations of repressive, ultra-religious regimes that call for “Death To America.”

Is this why these Ivy elite students have worked so hard for their cherished degrees? For an intifada, that would overthrow everything they hold dear? Will they Trump us, by marching on the Democratic Convention in Chicago? I would remind them that my generation’s heroics at a Democratic Convention in Chicago resulted in the election of Richard Nixon, and seven more years of war.

A “student leader” at Columbia University said, “Zionists don’t deserve to live,” and that we are “fortunate” he hasn’t killed anyone. This young man told The New York Times that he thinks he is headed to Congress, where he can join “The Squad” of legislators who tried to deny Israel the Iron Dome defense system, which knocked down the Iranian missiles.

There are said to be another hundred thousand or more advanced ballistic missiles and drones aimed at Israeli cities, and those who wish to deny even defensive weapons to the Jewish homeland, to boycott and ostracize it, to divest from and annihilate it in the name of a Free Palestine, are promoting a New Holocaust.

It is clear by now that there will be death and destruction as long as the annihilation of Israel is pursued with the fervor of a religion; and it is clear that there will be no peace until equality and justice is achieved by the Palestinians. Rather than screaming for the annihilation of one side or the other, don’t we need to recognize that our own struggle exists in every other human being?

We weren’t masked haters intent upon destroying the homeland of another people when we shut down the universities in 1970. The elites now camped out on Gaza Plaza probably intend to hide their Hamas support and get high-paying corporate jobs when the party’s over — but the stain of their anti-Semitism will remain.

There were no corporate recruiters chasing me down when I drove a Checker Cab all night in the South Bronx to support myself through college. When the inevitable occurred, and I was mugged on New Year’s Eve, I concluded that I had been exploiting the muggers, by charging them rich-guy rates for their cab ride!

As an artist, I refused to advertise South African tourism during Apartheid, and turned down thousands of dollars. I thought my agent, a tough Vietnam War vet with a shiv in his boot, was going to kill me. If what is happening in the West Bank today can be called apartheid, I don’t defend it, but as the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel can change it.

I understand that today’s students believe in what they are doing as strongly as I did. But Hamas has brought the people of Gaza nothing but death and ruin. It’s sickening to see what has happened to Gaza, whose people, like those in all countries, deserve to live alongside their neighbors in peace and prosperity. If those who seek to destroy their neighbors could turn away from the rantings of their leadership, Gaza might someday be as prosperous as Tel Aviv. But the ideology of hatred and fear on both sides can only lead to more atrocities.

The world is boiling over with hatred, and the destruction of one side is no victory for the other. The calamity that we are witnessing today is still unfolding before our eyes, and both sides are at a turning point. Israel can turn back, and return to peace talks with the Saudis. Hamas can release the hostages, and stop threatening to annihilate Israel — but why should they, when they are getting a spirited pat on the back from our esteemed universities?

I do not seek to minimize the tragedy of what has happened. I know from my family history that a wartime murder is an endless calamity that seeps through generations and on into eternity. In my grandfather’s hometown of Kamenetz Podolski, Ukraine, 23,600 Jews were marched into the woods on August 27 and 28, 1941, and murdered by mobile killing units called Einsatzgruppen.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my wife had just dropped our daughter off at P.S. 41, and was taking our son to his second day of preschool at the Children’s Aid Society. They were walking through Washington Square Park when the first plane swooped down over them and crashed directly into the World Trade Center. It was the longest day of our lives, and I realized then that I love this America more than I knew. Today’s students were not yet born, yet imagine how proud those 9/11 terrorists would be, if they had lived to see them chanting, “We are Hamas!”

My father was a subway conductor who believed that equality would arise from the factory floor in the form of socialism. He didn’t think of himself as a white oppressor when he was chased beneath the subway El in Williamsburg by kids who were throwing stones and yelling, “Go back where you came from!” But he believed that this would never happen again as long as there is an Israel. A hundred years later, students at Columbia University have demonstrated their ignorance by yelling, “Go back to Poland!” and spitting on Jews.

When I was a child, my mother spoke to me about a Jewish Heart. I took it to mean that we have a special empathy for others because of our age-old travails. But in ancient times, Israelites thought of the heart in much the same way that we think of the mind. A Jewish Heart is regarded as the seat of wisdom. As the psalmist wrote, “Teach us to number our days that we may attain a heart of wisdom.”

I only speak out today because my Jewish Heart demands it.

Pincus is an award-winning artist and longtime Soho resident. He is currently completing a memoir, “Artist Proof.”


  1. The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | May 3, 2024

    Comments on this article are closed.

  2. Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 3, 2024

    The House Bill would codify the International Rememberance Alliance’s Definition of Anti-Semitism.

    Zionism can be criticized, like anything else, but can it be crtiticized unlike anything else?

    We must look within our own heart, and try to understand why we have the feelings that we do. where they come from, and why we are acting as we are.

  3. DuchessofNYC DuchessofNYC May 2, 2024

    Responding to your response to the answer me guy: Is opposing Zionism or the concept of Zionism antisemitic? Is criticizing or opposing the policies of the state of Israel antisemitic? According to the bill just passed by the House, yes.

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | May 3, 2024

      You first have to define what Zionism means, right? At its most basic it supports the creation and existence of Israel, right?

    • AlphabetCityGirl AlphabetCityGirl May 3, 2024

      No, it’s not. We have to have intellectual nuance and understanding.

      Never before have we passed a bill that makes criticism of a state government illegal.

      Many Jews are in opposition to the State of Israel’s policies. Including Israeli Jews.

      Why would Gabor Maté, a Holocaust survivor, oppose Zionism? I suggest looking him up, he is really enlightening.

      A woman with a Jewish Heart too

  4. Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 2, 2024

    Thank you, Anthony…..I can’t just march to the drumbeat of Jewish Voices for Peace, because, though they mean well, they are serving the public relations arm of Hamas. Where were the Jewish Voices for Peace when Iran fired hundreds of missiles and drones at Israeli cities, a few weeks ago? What is their position on the hostages?

    There are no “true” democracies, including our own, so why do we hold Israel to a special standard? Democracy is something we have to work toward, and never lose sight of. I hope that the people of Israel will rid themselves of the right-wingers and outright racists who are currently in power; but I believe this can only happen if the opposition to Israel’s existence abates, so that the hostages can come home, as well as the farmers in the North, and the soldiers in Gaza. That would mean Peace, and that is what I am calling for.

  5. Mr. Pinkus, Answer my Question. Mr. Pinkus, Answer my Question. May 2, 2024

    So, Mr. Pinkus, you not so subtly avoided my earlier comment — in response to your red herring that the Grand Mufti conferred with Hitler — that Itzhak Shamir, as a Lehi, aka, Stern Gang, terrorist leader, sought the aid of the Nazis during WW2, in an effort to defeat British control in the Palestine Mandate.

    This is the same Itzhak Shamir that the Israeli people elected as prime minister, as they also elected another Zionist terrorist leader — Manachem Begin of the Irgun.

    Why do Zionists support Nazis? Why do they elect terrorists? How do you rationalize this? How do you condone this? How do you justify this? How can you live with this, you who call Hamas terrorists?

    Awaiting your response.

    • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 2, 2024

      Oh yeah, what’s your name? My name is Pincus. It’s an old name.

      I actually did answer your question yesterday, but I guess it got lost in the shuffle.

      You said that the history of Israel proves that Zionists have no sense of Morality, or a different morality than others, which is a blatantly anti-semitic statement, and hardly worth answering.

      War, by it’s very nature, is terrorism, and this one was begun by Hamas. If you do not consider the attack of October 7th to be terrorism, then you probably think that the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th was a wonderful thing.

      I don’t know if the Grand Mufti brought red herring or pickled herring along when he went to see Hitler, but he was definitely planning on killing any Jews that Hitler might have missed.

      Shamir and Begun lived lives of hardship that you or I cannot possibly imagine, and they used brutal means to push the British out of Palestine. Millions of European Jews had been murdered by Hitler, and millions were homeless. People were crossing the Alps by foot, without shoes. At the end of his career, Begin made a lasting peace with Anwar Sadat and Egypt. Sadat was murdered by extremists for his goodwill, and I believe that is why Anwar Sadat refused Israel’s Camp David offer of approximately 97% of the disputed territory.

      I don’t know any Zionists who support Nazis, and if any did, back in the Forties, they were misguided. The ghost and misdeeds of the past are over, and we need to create a reasonable future out of the mess we have made of today.

      • Mr. Pincus, Address my question. Mr. Pincus, Address my question. May 3, 2024

        Obfuscation will get you nowhere.

        Please address the Stern Gang document I referenced earlier and please show enough pride in your people not to again bring up the straw man of antisemitism:
        “The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich,” the Stern document read, “offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

        The Zionist paramilitary — led by Itzhak Shamir, future Israeli prime minister — offered to “take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

        My, my, how antisemitic of them: Zionists willing to aid and abet in the slaughter of their own people to attain their own, selfish political ends.

        Don’t you agree?

        Furthermore, anti-Zionism is not at all antisemitism despite the lame attempts by Zionist apologists to conflate the two — a disgrace — considering the centuries of actual antisemitism the Jews have endured.

        Not all Jews are Zionists. Not all Zionists are Jews.

        Right-wing, fundamentalist Christians, like Pat Robertson, for example were rabid Zionists. In fact, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee called Robertson “a great friend of Israel and a pioneer in the modern Christian Zionist movement.”

        So, to say anti-Zionism is antisemitic flies in the face of logic and reality, and for you to repeat that hoary trope is disgraceful.

  6. AlphabetCityGirl AlphabetCityGirl May 2, 2024

    I have two questions, respectfully.

    Why did your article not mention that divestment calls include Columbia University’s investments in defense contractors? And that these investments profit off the massacre of innocent Palestinians? This includes Lockheed Martin, which was up 14% at the end of April. See article below.

    Secondly, because you mentioned the horrific death tolls of other worldwide conflicts, why did you not mention the death toll of Gaza thus far?

    33,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct 7. 13,000 of this number is children. This number was studied by Johns Hopkins and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. See article below.

    Your last paragraph about your mother was moving. My grandmother used to tell me the same things. But, respectfully, I ask why these two things were not included in your article.

    A woman with a Jewish Heart too (& I’ve been to Israel)

    • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 2, 2024

      Hello, Alphabet City Girl…..That’s my old nabe. My mother used to sleep beneath Molly Picon’s kitchen table, while my grandfather played all-night card games with the lights of the Yiddish theater.

      I haven’t followed Lockheed Martin’s stock price, but aren’t you glad that Israel had the wherewithall to stave off the Iranian missiles, with a little help from our friends?

      I too am appalled by the deaths in Gaza, and I have been moved to tears by the sight of it.

      Many of the victims are innocent, but the military wing of Hamas is not. The murderers and rapists who invaded Israel on October 7th were hardly innocent. Their leaders, who have martyred their babies by placing them in front of their fighters, are hardly innocent. Their vow to destroy Israel is as innocent as Hitler’s Final Solution.

      As Jews, we are appalled by war, because our values lead us toward knowledge and life, yet we face a rigid and unyielding fanaticism that calls for our extermination.

      The students who are dressed like ISIS terrorists and marching for a “Free Palestine” are following the dictates of Iran, which calls for “Death to America,” as well as the destruction of Israel.

      On September 11th, my pacifism was overwhelmed when enemies attacked our neighborhood, and killed my friends. War became a reality when I ran up to our roof, and saw a fireball from the second plane erupt from the World Trade Center. We never expected to see war in Lower Manhattan, but in Israel, war is a constant reality.

      What would happen to millions of Israelis, Arab and Jew, if Israel did not have weapons to deter and defeat further attacks? Do you think that Hamas would declare Peace?

      If the highly moral students of Columbia University can divest their $90,000 a year tuition, and send it to Gaza for food, it would likely be diverted, by Hamas, and used to build more tunnels.

      Where we seek light, they tunnel into the darkness.

      • Anthony Anthony May 2, 2024

        A sign of disingenuous engagement on the topic is equivocating anti-genocide demonstrations with pro-genocidal intent while leaving out key facts obfuscated by ostensible points of objectivity. It makes little sense. 35,000 mostly civilians have been murdered. Calls for the end of Israel are not calls for the murder of Jews — they are calls for the dismantling of the system of apartheid that Israel is characterized by.

        I believe if you had not been drinking the kool-aid of Israeli and media propaganda, your former self would be standing alongside your Jewish brothers and sisters with the Jewish Voice For Peace.

        • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 2, 2024

          I hope I am a Jewish voice for peace.

          Hamas calculated their October 7th attack in order to derail a peace agreement between Israel and the Saudis. Hamas started a tragic war. They now have an oppoertunity to release their hostages, and seek peace with Israel, but people like you, Anthony, embolden the hostage-takers to persist in the war.

          Would you like to actually live under the repressive dictates of the Mullahs of Iran? Do you approve of their treatment of women and the LGBTQ community? Would you feel free to speak out there?

          If the Mullahs of Iran could accept the existence of Israel, there would ultimately be peace and prosperity on all sides.

          Everyone wants and deserves the same things — but “Peace” is not the proper definition for the “dismantling” of a nation, whether you like it or not.

          • Anthony Anthony May 2, 2024

            > I hope I am a Jewish voice for peace.

            A Jewish voice for peace would prioritize calling for a ceasefire rather than write this essay and debate those that have actually stood alongside JVP in the past.

            The pursuit of peace is inherently tied to the dynamics of power and the necessity of ceasefire.

            A true democracy cannot subjugate a people, especially in the way Israel has systematically done.

            Look at what happened when power dynamics shifted and became enshrined in South African law—not only was the tiered system of citizenship abolished, but Nelson Mandela became president as a result!

            While your essay is eloquently written, it seems to reinforce existing divisions rather than foster peace.

  7. R. Wolf R. Wolf May 1, 2024

    Harry, thank you for taking the time to express what so many like-minded individuals have been thinking..and not just Jews. The protesters who stand with Hamas don’t seem to be booking flights to the Middle East and volunteering …No! instead they are hanging out in fully furnished tents, marching around with their entire face covered, hiding their identity and obviously have missed learning about an entire chunk of recent history..Palestine was FREE since Israel left a developed Palestine in 2006. (Don’t believe me, google map the area in 2005/2006.)
    And since then, Hamas has taken millions/ billions of dollars given for the Palestinian people in foreign aid. Including from Israel! Israeli doctors and educators have worked with Palestinians and trained and worked side by side with them….most importantly, today in Israel one walks and works with their Palestinians and Christian neighbors. What did Hamas do with that foreign aid?…it built sophisticated tunnels and threw its people into starvation and illiteracy. Indoctrinated them into believing killing Jews will deliver them to Allah and gave them money to buy food. Rewarding families when they murdered babies and anyone born Jewish. I am proud of Jewish students and families who have had to face these protesters up close and have done so with pride and song…unmasked! Am Yisreal Chai!
    * PS. Our brothers and friends were being shipped off to fight the war in Vietnam..their rallies and protests impacted their lives, as well as the Vietnamese. It’s incredible that today’s protesters believe they have something in common with those of the Vietnam era. The moment is now! Educational institutions around the world must teach World History! The good, the bad and the ugly!

    • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 1, 2024

      Well said! Thank you!

  8. Harry Pincus Harry Pincus April 30, 2024

    Sorry for my mistake….It looks like Bernie Sanders did not oppose the Iron Dome. That was OAC and “The Squad.” Perhaps they should be called the Firing Squad. Bernie only opposed military aid to Israel. I suppose he defended himself in the schoolyard with his hands tied behind his back.

  9. Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost April 30, 2024

    I am so furious at Harry Pincus’s rambling and uninformed, if not blatantly dishonest, blather that I can hardly say enough. What he is telling is a lie and an out-and-out smear of the protesters, very many of whom are Jews, and are better Jews than he is. He might learn about the true history of Israel from the Jewish Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, or from Katie Halper, who has her own program, or from the Jewish professor and distinguished scholar Norman Finkelstein. The many Jewish protesters have been holding Seders at their encampments. Listen to Michael Moore, the great documentarian. The other night, I’m told that Palestinian protesters danced a traditional Jewish folk dance in honor of the Jewish protesters. The people who shout anti-Semitic blather are in the very small minority and they are rightly shunned by the protesters. Anyone who steals an Israeli flag or spits at or injures or denounces a Jewish person is to be prosecuted, and is not part of the protesters. The protesters are not Hamas or Iran supporters. “From the river to the sea” is not anti-Semitic — it’s for the freedom the Palestinians have never had since Israel was founded on land that belonged to both Jews and Arabs who were already living there. 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes at gunpoint; some starved, some froze to death, some were shot; the rest have never been allowed to return to their homes. The protesters are NOT denouncing Jews; very many of them ARE Jews, Harry Pincus, you ignorant soul. Naomi Klein, a Jew and great leftist, gave a beautiful speech in honor of the protesters the other night; you can find it online. I could go on and on. Harry Pincus, you cowardly soul, open your Jewish heart and go see the protesters honestly, and in honor of the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, repairing of the world.

    I, too, marched against the Vietnam War when I was attending Reed College in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t go on to become a hater of Palestinians. I had been in Syria and Lebanon with my family as a child, and we met Palestinian refugees. No, I am not Jewish, but I honor and love Jewish tradition, music art and above all the principles rooted in justice. After all, Christianity, which I belong to, was founded by Jews, as everyone knows.

    • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus April 30, 2024

      Hi Carol…I was waiting for you.

      I can well understand why you are sad today, on April 30, the anniversary of the suicide of Adolph Hitler. His passing must represent a terrible defeat for those of you who dream of annihilating Israel, but don’t give up your dreams! Perhaps one of your masked, hammer-wielding friends will turn out to have enough “talent” to someday replace Der Fuhrer.

      You fail to mention some of the inconveniences that the Jewish people, including my relatives, experienced before the existence of the State of Israel. Our land was stolen, we were driven from our homes, and more than 6 million of us were systematically murdered by your fellow Jew-haters.

      The Grand Mufti went to Berlin to commiserate with Hitler, and plan the annihilation of the Jews before there ever was a Jewish State. He declared war on Israel instantly, the day it was formed, though, as you mention, many Jews already lived there. They had already been the victims of pogroms and many concerted efforts to kill them.

      At Camp David, Israel offered to give up approximately 97% of the land that is disputed, but Yasser Arafat turned down the offer. He probably feared that he would suffer the same fate as the only Arab leader who ever had made Peace with Israel, Anwar Sadat. When Bill Clinton left office, Arafat called, and commended Clinton as a “great man” for his peace efforts, to which Clinton reportedly answered, “I am not a great man, because of you.”

      I saw Michael Moore just last night, as he implored President Biden, as a “fellow Catholic,” to oppose Israel. Too bad Father Coughlin is no longer amongst us! He too would try to foment hatred between Catholics and Jews. Should the President also oppose abortion because he is Catholic? Thank G-d he is a good man, and I only hope that these campus miscreants do not succeed in defeating him, and returning Trump to the White House.

      The Jews who have joined you may be well-meaning. None of us want to see the killing continue, but voices of hate like yours are building the fire, and encouraging the leaders of Hamas to hold on to the hostages, and refrain from Peace.

      Then there are also professional Jewish anti-Semites, like Amy Goodman, who “has her own program” and calls her withered version of anti-Semitism “Democracy Now,” and Bernie Sanders, the self-serving putz from Kings Highway who is willing to deny the Iron Dome defensive system to Israel, and allow missiles to rain on Tel Aviv, so that he can scoop up the votes of the kiddies and remain a Senator For Life.

      I know, Carol, you are not Jewish, but some of your best friends are! You can throw around terms like tikkun olam, and equate it with the terrorists who murdered, raped and took hostages on October 7. They promise to do it again, 10,000 times, with your support and assistance.

      You may call me a coward, but my friends advised me not to say anything, for they knew that in doing so, I would be exposing myself, and my family, to hatred and vituperation from people exactly like you, Carol Yost, and, if possible, those who are even worse.

      • Eddie G. Eddie G. May 1, 2024

        “The Grand Mufti went to Berlin to commiserate with Hitler, “

        Hate to prick your narrative, Mr. Pinkus, but you blatantly forgot to add that the Stern Gang, aka the Lehi, one of the most brutal and prominent of the Zionist terrorist groups, sought to form an alliance and work with the Nazis.

        In 1941, Yitzhak Shamir (whom the Israeli’s voted as the 7th prime minister of Israel) committed an unforgivable crime from the moral point of view: he preached an alliance with Hitler, with Nazi Germany, against Great Britain.

        While still considering themselves part of the Irgun, the Sternists sent a proposal of alliance to the Nazis. “The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich,” the Stern document read, “offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

        It adds that “the NMO [Irgun] is closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in its ideology and structure”.

        Source: “The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics, and Terror 1940-1949” by Joseph Heller, who is a professor in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

        Shamir figured that if Britain lost the war, the Zionists would get Palestine.
        And then later be eradicated by Hitler, no doubt.

        Further proof that Zionists have no moral code to guide them, just whatever is opportunistic, no matter what the consequences could be.

      • AlphabetCityGirl AlphabetCityGirl May 2, 2024

        That is a really, really ridiculous thing to say that Carol Frances Yost is grieving Hitler’s death. And a voice of hate? I am in disbelief at your response. Are you serious?

        This is going to sound so crazy but instead, why not……..just debate her points?

        I think she made well-thought-out arguments and ideas and, as a Jew, I agree with her.

        I have been to Israel and know people there and agree with her………… but I guess you’re just going to call me a Jewish antisemite right? That I dream of annihilating my own people? Because I disagree with you?

        A woman with a Jewish Heart too

        • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 2, 2024

          Carol Francis Yost referred to me as a cowardly and ignorant soul, and argues against the legitimacy of the the State of Israel, which has existed for seventy-five years. She claims that “From the River to the Sea” is not anti-semitic, but if wiping out Israel from the river to the sea to is not anti-semitic, what is?

          If you live in Alphabet City, you are occupying land that belongs to the Lenape Indians. Get off, and give it back!

          Yost claims that “anyone who spits on an Israeli flag, or injures or denounces a Jewish person will be prosecuted.” By who? Her? Why doesn’t she try identifying as a Jew, by wearing a big Jewish star to one of the demonstrations, just to see what happens.

          Yost isn’t Jewish, and admits that people are yelling anti-semitic epithets, which she minimizes as “blather.” But I am Jewish, and I won’t tolerate anyone telling me, or my children, or my parents, or my grandparents to “Go Back to Poland.”

          Farewell, Alphabet City Girl. I used to love the egg cream at Gem Spa, but you seem to be drinking the Kool-Aid.

          • AlphabetCityGirl AlphabetCityGirl May 2, 2024

            I know it is time for me to log off since you said farewell, but I want to note that I have been to many protests for ceasefire and brought a sign each time that identified me as a Jew. One of these protests, back in November, was led by the scholar Norman Finklestein, whose parents survived the Holocaust.

            My sign reads, “We All Begged Never Again — Jews Demand Ceasefire.” I was warmly greeted and thanked for showing up by many Palestinian brothers and sisters.

            While none of us can speak for every single person on either side of every single protest, I know for a fact that the people I did meet do not want to annihilate Jews. As I said, I identified myself as a Jew at protests, and many, many other Jews identify themselves at protests, as well, as Carol had said.

            I, too, disagree with many of the problematic chants and discourse around the protest. I was at protests that had these chants. I talk about it a lot. But I want to be clear that there is a very strong movement for peace, true peace, and that we shouldn’t be quick to write off the protests as a monolith. Like most social movements, and most geopolitical conflicts, they are complex and deserve full intellectual nuance and understanding.

            A woman with a Jewish Heart too

        • Anthony Anthony May 2, 2024

          Agreed. Hitler the strawman!

    • kbro2 kbro2 April 30, 2024

      well said!

    • MSA MSA May 1, 2024

      While I may not personally agree with various aspects of Harry Pincus’ commentary, it seems sincere to me.

      More importantly, using insulting language (for example dubbing him “dishonest” and “ignorant”) is not the way to change minds.

      It should also be noted that it may very well be that you and Mr. Pincus have the same opinion on any number of issues – let’s say voting rights, gun control etc.

  10. Lora Tenenbaum Lora Tenenbaum April 30, 2024

    Thank you, Harry. Well-written, thoughtful piece.

  11. Harry Pincus Harry Pincus April 30, 2024

    Thank you, Ted. You’ve obviously devoted a lot of time and thought to your response, and I’m sorry that I don’t write as well as you.

    I did spend the summer of my nineteenth year living in a Rambler station wagon, and I did ramble about quite a bit, so you’ve got that right.

    I would say that the protesters are “smearing” Israel by demanding that it be destroyed, “brick by brick…” and demanding its destruction “from the River to the Sea.”

    At least you’re not wearing a mask, and running around with a hammer, breaking glass. Thank you for proudly signing your comment with your name. That’s a good thing.

  12. Carl Rosenstein Carl Rosenstein April 30, 2024

    Excellent piece and comparison between the anti-war protesters during the Vietnam era, myself included, and the whining, cowardly and ignorant student supporters of genocide against all Jews propagated by Hamas and the Iranian axis. Why are these “anti-war” idiots not opposing the U.S.-instigated and -funded war in Ukraine that has killed an estimated 600,000 Ukranians to the profit of Raytheon and the military industrial complex? Nothing worse than the stink of hypocrisy.

  13. Robert Lederman Robert Lederman April 30, 2024

    Protest is a great right but it should be based on understanding the actual situation. These students are, by and large, completely misguided by internet memes, slogans they don’t understand and far-left propaganda. They are literally the most useful idiots of the far left and of Hamas. They know nothing of Israel, Hamas or history. Arresting them however is a mistake. The entire strategy of these disruptive and hateful campus protests is to generate arrests which can then be blamed on “the Jews.” Let them destroy their own universities, which have become incubators for anti-white, anti-Jewish racism. When they have no degrees, perhaps they can move to one of the Arab nations and get a firsthand look at what they were protesting in favor of.
    *LINK to Refuting pro-Palestinian Propaganda

  14. ted tedorov ted tedorov April 29, 2024

    Rambling here, rambling there. Non sequiturs everywhere. Just longwinded drivel to smear the protesters. Amounts to a grand nothing.

    • Mark Mark April 30, 2024

      I suspect that Harry hasn’t smeared the protesters as well as they have smeared themselves. When I was a freshman at Columbia in 1968, I became active with a tiny left-wing activist group and was giving out their newspaper. The newspaper was strongly anti-Israel and called for a workers’ state of Jews and Palestinians. A friend of mine came by, looked at what I was handing out and very nicely said to me that he wasn’t Jewish, but what was in the newspaper was a lot of nonsense. And what was in that newspaper was mild compared to what today’s protesters are saying. When protesters tell Jews to go back to Poland, I think their meaning is very clear. It means, “Go back to Auschwitz.” I was in the Kfar Aza kibbutz, in Israel, a month ago and I heard the story of a young couple and saw what remained of their tiny house. A terrorist threw in a grenade and the young man jumped on the grenade to save his girlfriend. He died and his girlfriend hid under his body for hours to save her life. How many of those protesters have the heroism or moral strength of that young man who saved his girlfriend?

    • kbro2 kbro2 May 1, 2024

      teed–you forgot ad hominem, attacking carol yost with this crap :”I can well understand why you are sad today, on April 30, the anniversary of the suicide of Adolph Hitler. His passing must represent a terrible defeat for those of you who dream of annihilating Israel, but don’t give up your dreams! Perhaps one of your masked, hammer-wielding friends will turn out to have enough “talent” to someday replace Der Fuhrer.”

      • Harry Pincus Harry Pincus May 1, 2024

        Is Kbro2 a name? Does “teed” mean you didn’t like what I wrote?

        Ms. Yost had no right to call me a “cowardly soul,” when I am subjecting myself to ridicule from people who won’t even reveal their name, by writing what I deeply believe. Nor am I an “ignorant soul” who “doesn’t like Palestinians.” Equality means recognition of human rights on each side. People like Yost, who are still arguing that a nation of millions which has existed for 75 years is somehoiw illegitimate, are only furthering the cause of war and hatred.

        Hitler did not recognize Jews as people, and those who refuse to recognize Israel as a nation further his legacy.

        • Anthony Anthony May 2, 2024

          Post-1967 borders are indeed illegitimate and constitute violations of international law. The general consensus is that going back to 1967 borders is an essential component for lasting peace in the region.

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