The death of Dr. Walter E. Williams (1936-2020) at age 84 in early December presents an opportunity to examine why so many Black conservatives in academia and media have supported Israel for decades compared to Israel-haters like Marc Lamont Hill.
Williams was Professor of Economics at George Mason University, as well as a syndicated columnist.
From 1973 to 1980 Williams was an economics professor at Temple University. He promoted free market ideas and in its December 2 obituary, the Wall Street Journal noted that “America has lost one of its greatest economists and public intellectuals.”
By contrast Lamont Hill, age 41, says he is “Present Assistant Professor of Urban Education & American Studies (at) Temple University (Affiliated Professor of Anthropology) (Affiliated Professor of American Studies)” on the CV on his website.
That is a stark reminder of what Temple and so much of academia has become. A change from Economics taught to understand the destructive nature of socialism has become to. “Urban Education & American Studies” taught to denigrate America at every turn.
But, there is more. Much more.
You see, while Williams supported Israel and wanted to see a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, Lamont Hill demanded at the UN two years ago “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Clearly calling for the elimination of Israel.
Lamont Hill has long defended his relationship with Farrakhan and has been a very vocal advocate of the conspiracy theory that convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is wrongly imprisoned.
Conversely, some snapshots of Dr. Williams’s opinions on Israel from his columns are well worth sharing:
From 2014: “Anti-Semitic attacks have skyrocketed in Europe in the wake of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s not just a criticism of Israel’s foreign policy it’s an attack on Jews.”
“Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East. It has respect for relatively free markets, personal liberty and private property rights.”
“It has to be heart-rending to any decent person to witness the suffering of the Palestinians, who’re experiencing a major tragedy both in casualties and in property destruction. Though it is Hamas firing rockets into Israel, the ordinary Palestinian is not to be held blameless. Palestinians know that Hamas is storing rockets and building tunnels in civilian areas and that if Israel tries to take out these rockets and tunnels, civilian casualties will be part of the collateral damage. Their silence and acceptance implies support for the tactics of Hamas. Gen. William T. Sherman told the 1879 graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy, “War is hell.” There’s no nice war, and that’s why war should be a last alternative. Those Westerners who criticize Israel’s response to close to 3,000 rocket attacks might tell us what Israel should do in response — just take the rockets, surrender or leave the Middle East?” From 2019:
“The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum also includes gross anti-Israel bias and teaches about a Palestinian-led anti-Israel initiative called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The curriculum also has students study issues of police brutality and asks teachers to find incidents of bias by police in their own communities. According to an article by Shelby Talcott in The Stream, California”s proposed curriculum called for students to study lawmakers such as Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, both of whom have supported the BDS movement and have been accused of anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
Rashida Tlaib (who just days before used the murderous slogan “From the River to the Sea” on Twitter) and Lamont Hill will appear on a December 15, 2020 panel organized by several BDS and anti-Israel groups called, “Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice.”
Dr. Williams and Lamont Hill both graduated from Philadelphia public schools. Both taught at Temple. Both commented on Israel. And that”s where their similarities end. CAMERA has said that organizers “seek the demise of the Jewish state, in order to redefine antisemitism.” Also, Bari Weiss, former New York Times columnist, tweeted that the event seemed to actually be focused on “dismantling accusations of antisemitism.”
Dr. Williams and Lamont Hill both graduated from Philadelphia public schools. Both taught at Temple. Both commented on Israel. And that”s where their similarities end.
One embraced the truth about Israel and one embraces hate and endorses terrorism.
It is long past the time for Temple to correct its sin and dismiss Lamont Hill as CNN did in 2018 after his UN hate speech. He has no business being in front of a classroom indoctrinating students with his vile hatred. It’s just a shame he never sat in Dr. Williams”s classroom. He would be better for it as would the rest of us who did not have the honor and privilege. And the reason is not just as Dr. Thomas Sowell wrote in his amazing memorial tribute to his “best friend for half a century” — “Walter Williams loved teaching. Unlike too many other teachers today, he made it a point never to impose his opinions on his students. (…) We may not see his like again. And that is our loss.”
Moshe Phillips is national director of Herut North America”s U.S. division. Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and is dedicated to the ideals of pre-World War Two Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Herut’s website is https://herutna.org/
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