The other day on LinkedIn a woman complained that there were too many postings about Hamas’ Oct. 7 barbarism and protests about antisemitism, arguing the social media site was intended for professional and business development. Never mind that LinkedIn routinely features news stories about Israel’s war with Hamas, there are also some serious implications regarding the conflict that impact U.S. businesses. Tel Aviv is ranked the fifth most important tech ecosystem in the world, and major corporations have critical operations in Israel, where Intel recently announced plans for a $25 billion plant expansion.

Posting political commentaries isn’t a violation of LinkedIn’s terms of service, and the site offers a feature for those who want to be shielded from content they deem offensive. Nevertheless, allow me to explain how pervasive antisemitism and career development are intertwined.

A survey of U.S. corporate hiring managers conducted in November 2022 revealed that one in four managers said they were less inclined to move forward with Jewish applicants. Additionally, 29% said they know of colleagues who are negatively biased against Jewish applicants. One third of survey respondents said antisemitism was “very common” in their workplace and one in six respondents said they were instructed not to hire Jews.

The ResumeBuilder survey received scant media attention. The Forward, a publication that’s declared itself “the most significant Jewish voice in American journalism,” sought to debunk the findings, quoting polling experts saying the survey was based on “shaky data” and that those who were polled weren’t representative of the demographics of hiring managers.

According to the Forward, the racial demographics of ResumeBuilder’s polling sample was 57% white, 21% Black and 4% Hispanic, while 65% of hiring managers are white, 11% are Black and 15% are Hispanic. Growing Black hatred of Jews is undeniable, so the disproportionate Black representation in the polling possibly explains the supposedly skewed findings.

Regardless, even Jewish publications and leaders that seek to minimize antisemitism will have little credibility arguing that Jewish university graduates won’t increasingly have trouble finding employment in the coming years.  “Old school ties” once paved the way to employment, but Jewish students at Ivy League and other once prestigious schools like the University of Michigan and Northwestern with pervasive Jew hatred will increasingly be shunned by their universities’ alumni networks.

At Harvard, an open letter was published on Oct. 7 by 33 student organizations, claiming that Israel was “entirely responsible” for Hamas’ attack. I’ve seen videos of menacing students referring to Israel as an “apartheid” state and chanting, “From the River to the Sea,” which is a call for the genocide of Jews. These students, many who no doubt gained admission to Harvard under criteria not related to their academic prowess, will find their way into the workplace, and retain their mindset that espousing Jew hatred is acceptable and desirable.

As an example, in her July 14, 2020 resignation letter from the New York Times, Bari Weiss said she was bullied with allegations that she was a Nazi and a racist because of her views and for “writing about the Jews again.” The Times is a haven for graduates from supposedly elite schools and Weiss is an authority on Jew hatred, having written a book on the subject. Notably, the number of Jews at Ivy League schools has plummeted to 10-15%, compared to 20-30% in the 70s and 80s. 

At this writing, Harvard University president Claudine Gay had not yet resigned, but I’m as certain of her looming ouster as I am about death and taxes. Even the legacy media’s coverage of Gay isn’t sympathetic; there have even been calls for Gay’s resignation in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe,  Atlantic, and the Harvard Crimson. Black scholars are also critical of Gay. Harvard’s already battered reputation diminishes every day that Gay remains in her job, and I expect more damning stories about her questionable scholarship and leadership will continue to emerge until she’s gone.

Gay and Liz Magill, the University of Pennsylvania’s former president, might have escaped the fallout from their disastrous testimonies before Congress refusing to say that calling for the genocide of Jews was categorically a violation of their schools’ policies if it were not for Bill Ackman, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Pershing Square Management, and Marc Rowan, the billionaire CEO of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Ackman and Rowan are respectively major donors to Harvard and Penn and were extremely vocal calling on other donors to withhold support for these schools until Gay and Magill resigned. They also demanded the ouster of Penny Pritzker and Scott Bot, the respective chairs of Harvard and Penn. Despite Gay’s oversized designer eyeglasses, Magill and Bot can better read the writing on the wall and have already stepped down.

As readers of this blog know, I’m not a fan of hedgies and private equity types, but I’ve developed considerable admiration and respect for Ackman and Rowan. They are among the few Jewish business leaders who have shown the courage to aggressively speak out against antisemitism and doing so could have put their businesses at risk. Ackman’s bravery is particularly notable in that attacking Harvard’s first Black president exposed him to allegations of racism, a claim made by Alphonso David, the controversial CEO of the Black Economic Forum.

Essence, December 12, 2023

As recently as three years ago, I could imagine Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s knee taking CEO, piling on the racist allegation bandwagon, and declaring that his bank would cease doing business with Ackman’s firm.

Although Gay’s appointment was spearheaded by Pritzker, who not only is Jewish but was an early and meaningful financial backer of Barack Obama’s initially long shot run for president, and Jewish business leaders, including Chase’s Dimon, were major supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, history shows that facts often don’t matter.

Jews were major supporters of the civil rights movement, and close allies of Martin Luther King, who worked diligently to improve the strained ties between Black Americans and U.S. Jews. King also worked to debunk the mischaracterization of Zionism as racism.

“I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy,” King said in an address to rabbinical leaders. “Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

Less than two weeks later, King was murdered. Among those invited to speak at his funeral was Rabbi Joshua Heschel, who accompanied King on his march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.

As noted by Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley, subsequent leaders of the Black Power movement in the 60s dismissed King as an Uncle Tom and rejected his goal of assimilation. Riley reported that after becoming head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the mid-1960s, Stokely Carmichael forced the organization’s white workers and volunteers, almost all of whom were Jewish, to resign. When Israel was attacked by several Arab nations in 1967, Carmichael declared that “the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist,” and SNCC published a newsletter that described Israel as an “illegal state.”

Riley noted that organizations such as BLM “have done nothing to hide or sugarcoat their animosity toward Israel.” He noted that in 2016, four years before George Floyd was killed by police, BLM released an official platform that referred to Israel as an “apartheid state” and declared that America is “complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”

The Times of Israel, Dec. 23, 2023

Black protesters proudly march alongside those alongside their pro-Palestinian allies. Temple Beth Am, a synagogue I frequented when I first moved to Los Angeles, was recently forced to hold its Sabbath afternoon services at a secret location because of security concerns relating to a rally billed as “Black and Palestinian Solidarity for a Ceasefire this Christmas” that took place at a park within a few minutes’ walk from the synagogue located in a neighborhood with a significant Jewish population.

In an email sent to the community, Rabbi Adam Kligfeld said the relocation was made “out of an abundance of caution,” and referenced a slew of antisemitic incidents in the LA area, including the death of a pro-Israel protestor who was fatally injured in an altercation in suburban Thousand Oaks.

Black protesters in Los Angeles seem to have an affinity for Jewish neighborhoods. A major BLM protest in 2020 was held in the Fairfax district, one of the oldest Jewish enclaves in Los Angeles, where synagogues and Jewish businesses were defaced and damaged. The despicable Los Angeles Times, which alleges racism at every turn, ignored the Beth Am relocation and damaged Jewish businesses stories, deeming the well-known tradition of Jews eating at Chinese restaurants on Christmas more newsworthy.

In another example where facts no longer matter, Ilan Omar, among the world’s most rabid Jew haters, infamously said that Jews held undue influence on America because of their money.

It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar said.

Yet Omar wasn’t troubled that her fellow “squad member” Rashida Tlaib gladly accepted Zionist money when she first ran for Congress. One of Tlaib’s early backers was a Jewish lobbying group called J Street, which advocates for a peaceful two-state Israel/Palestinian solution. J Street supported Tlaib and contributed at least $3,258 to her campaign because Tlaib initially claimed she supported a two-state solution, but later said that wasn’t the case.

Of course, Black and pro-Palestinian groups are by no means remotely alone alleging that Jews have undue power because of their money. I’m troubled by a comment made by Scott Bok, who resigned as chair of the University of Pennsylvania in wake of protests from donors angered by the school’s embracement of Jew hatred on its campus. Bok last week said in an interview that donors shouldn’t get to run the universities they fund.

I suspect Bok had billionaire Ackman and Rowan in mind, another example where facts don’t seem to matter.

Bok, chief executive officer of investment bank Greenhill & Co. with a reported net worth of more than $800 million, no doubt was named chair of Penn because of his and his spouse’s generous donations to the school, which were outlined in the news release announcing his appointment three years ago. The release notes that Bok endowed Penn’s Visiting Writers Series Fund, enabling “honoraria compensation for a varied roster of novelists, poets, and journalists, as well as filmmakers, graphic novelists, critics and more.”

Presumably, the Bok endowment made possible the Palestinian literature festival Penn hosted featuring speakers known for antisemitic comments, including Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman. Frankfurt earlier this year moved to block Waters from performing in the German city, declaring him “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world”.

Waters successfully fought the ban, and it appears that Bok was very comfortable funding Waters’ appearance at the once prestigious university he was charged with overseeing.

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