Home Moshe Shafer Guest Editorial: Despair from the Advanced World

Guest Editorial: Despair from the Advanced World

By: Moshe Shafer

Elon Musk, the legendary billionaire, once spoke about academic  institutions and said that “there is no point in going to a university to learn material and knowledge, everything you want to know is out there on the Internet. The only reason I see any point in going to an academic institution is if you are looking for a framework that will oblige you in studies, or you seek to be forced to enter into an organized schedule, or if you are looking for the experience of studying with people your own age, or if you see added value in exchanging ideas with other human beings in order to progress, develop and hear new angles on certain topics”.

I always thought that Musk was right, until the seventh of October 2023 and what happened after that. After that terrible day, when 3,000 terrorists of the terrorist organization Hamas massacred, burned, raped and killed 1,200 Israelis without distinction of religion, sex, nationality, race or age, I watched in complete astonishment and shock the events that took place across the campuses of the elite universities of the USA, when Thousands of students proudly waved Hamas flags and shouted slogans expressing hope of the extermination of the Jewish people living in their country.

Throughout the years of history, extreme and strange views have taken hold in the halls of academic institutions. To their credit, this can be attributed to the progress of human civilization from the old world order to the modern development of today, where values of democracy, peace, and equal rights for all are common property throughout the entire globe. Even countries and nations that are not yet there, certainly aspire to reach these achievements.

“Freedom of speech” is the cornerstone and the iron foundation that enables the beginning of every good and correct process that has helped the human race. It is a necessary condition for the continued development of Western Civilization. God forbid we think of an option to try to reduce or limit this basic right of  Jewish and Israeli students who shout these chants as we heard last month, although we are shocked to see such students supporting their enemies who are trying to destroy them. Yet I still recognize the importance of the principle of freedom of speech and the necessity for its continued existence.

Even so, I’m a little discouraged. It is the right of a person, whoever he is, to think as he wishes, and his right even to express it out loud, whatever his opinion may be. But on the
other hand I hold my head in madness and wonder, how? How does this happen? What leads a group of talented young people, studying in the most liberal institutions ever, to directly support the killing of small children, the rape of women, and the kidnapping of elderly Holocaust survivors? Do they not see reality? Didn’t they learn from history? Do they not understand evil? What the hell is going on here!!!

I understand that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more complex than the sum of its parts. It is very difficult to really understand all the data and events and reach the right and just conclusions. And I don’t expect it from anyone. It is perfectly fine for them to think differently from me, maybe they will even claim that the only solution is two states for two peoples, to say that in their opinion the State of Israel is definitely doing things unfairly, that
Israel does not comply with international law, that is perfectly fine!!! We will use the freedom of speech that fortunately still exists with us, and we will discuss and talk in a civilized and in-depth manner.

But to ignore the scale of the horror and cruelty that occurred, although it meets the dry criteria of the right to freedom of speech, it signals a deep decay in the system, which in the past was proud and claimed to be the leader of global progress.

Moshe Shafer is a 22 year old journalism student in Jerusalem, Israel.