Who Will Defend Jonathan Yudelman?

by | May 10, 2024 | Education

There is a clear double standard going on here, which the Left is expert at exploiting.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

–William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”


I can think of no better words than Yeats’ to describe the time and world in which we live. Things are falling apart, and anarchy has been loosed upon the world.

Dating with precision our descent into cultural nihilism is tricky, but surely we cannot doubt that something terrible was unleashed upon the United States during the summer of 2020, when Antifa and BLM mobs ransacked and set America’s cities on fire.

And then on October 7, 2023, true evil—Satanic evil—fell out of the skies over Israel, rode motorcycles across Israel’s border with Palestine, and came ashore on Israeli beaches. Over 1,100 Israeli and non-Israeli Jews (and others) were murdered that day by Palestinian and Hamas terrorists.

Let’s be very clear about what happened on that day: woman and children were raped, sodomized, and burned alive. Babies were incinerated in ovens. Over a hundred hostages (including babies) are still being held captive. The evil that day was, in many ways, worse than the Holocaust. It was an event of medieval barbarity that should be judged and condemned for what it is: pure evil. And let us also recall that nearly 75% of Palestinians supported Hamas’ actions.

Of even greater concern to me than the unleashing of anarchy upon the world is that the “best lack all conviction” and the worst are “full of passionate intensity.”  The worst have been acting out on American college campuses for the last few months. The pro-Hamas, pro-terrorist, pro-genocide, pro-communist (but I repeat myself) demonstrators have been effectively shutting down America’s campuses with their demonstrations, threatened violence, violence, encampments, and takeover of university buildings. The ideal of American higher education is dead.

What’s happening on our college campuses is unparalleled. Not even the “love and peace” whackos from the 1960s and early 1970s called for genocide!

And let’s be very clear about who is organizing these demonstrations and what they’re about. The funding organizations and off-campus groups organizing these demonstrations are explicitly pro-communist and anti-American. Their goal is to destroy America as we know it.

We also know that many of the organizers and protestors have been university professors and administrators. Many of these academics have joined in chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which, as everyone knows, is a call for Jewish genocide. Some of these professors and administrators have engaged in low-rent violence. And yet, none of them—or, at least, no more than infinitesimally small number—has been arrested, suspended, or fired.

And now we turn to the case of Jonathan Yudelman, who was, until yesterday, a visiting lecturer at Arizona State University. He’s now been put on administrative leave.

A couple of days ago, Yudelman was walking to campus when he came upon a smallish, pro-Israel demonstration on the edge of campus with people carrying Israeli and American flags. Opposite them was a much smaller contingent of pro-Hamas protestors, who were screaming that the massacre of over a thousand Jews by Palestinian terrorists on October 7, 2023, was an “inside job” and that Israel is a terrorist state. Their intent was to provoke.

As he approached the two groups of protestors, Yudelman was verbally accosted by a Muslim woman, with whom he had a heated verbal altercation. Yes, Yudelman got in her face, and, yes, he called her a “bitch.” This may not have been Yudelman’s most attractive, prudent or gentlemanly moment, but neither action was a crime.

So, who exactly is Jonathan Yudelman? He is a Canadian Jew, who studied in Israel as a young man. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Boston College. Yudelman is a top-shelf scholar, who works on liberalism in the thought of Thomas Hobbes and Giambattista Vico. He’s not exactly a serial or professional protestor. He’s a guy who got caught up in a protest on his way to work.

Precisely because of his sociological profile and intellectual pedigree, he’s had a difficult time finding full-time academic employment in recent years. As a result, he’s moved from one, one-year post-doc, to another. In recent years, he’s held limited-term teaching positions at Harvard, Princeton, Baylor, University of Texas, and he’s currently finishing up a one-year teaching gig at Arizona State University. He’s a very smart and thoughtful man.

And finally, after spending years living in tiny one-bedroom apartments and moving around the country looking for full-time employment, he recently landed a long-term job at the brand new University of Austin in Texas. UATX is known for its commitment to free speech, free association, and free inquiry. For Yudelman, getting the Austin job is a dream come true. Finally, after spending years as an academic vagabond, he found a home—or, at least, he thought he did. His future is now very much in question.

Could we please have some perspective here! What Yudelman did was next to nothing as compared to what’s been happening on our campuses for the last seven months. It’s nothing as compared to the illegal and immoral actions taken by some professors and administrators all over the country.

There is a clear double standard going on here, which the Left is expert at exploiting. They’re also expert at using the principles and ideals of a liberal, democratic society against itself. Straight out of the Antifa playbook, like clockwork, the woman involved in the exchange immediately started screaming “hate crime, hate crime, hate crime.”

The whole thing was entirely performative and self-evidently a set up. That’s abundantly clear.

Yudelman’s career has been potentially destroyed by a 25-second, low intensity, non-violent, momentary act of sidewalk rage. He has been put on administrative leave by Arizona State University, and he’s being investigated.

The Intifada Left has made Yudelman its poster-boy for destruction. He’s been doxed all over Twitter and social media.

The things that are being said about him on Twitter are false, vile, and wicked. He’s being publicly accused of “verbally abusing” and invading the personal space of a Muslim woman who was looking for a confrontation. He’s been called a “racist” and a “misogynist,” and he’s been accused of “sexually assaulting” this woman and of being a “GENOCIDAL ZIONIST.”

These are self-evident lies. It’s defamation, and it’s libel.

The doxers have called on members of the Intifada Left to go on Yudelman’s “Rate My Professor” page to destroy his reputation so that he’ll never work again. Most importantly, the Intifada Left is going for Yudelman’s new job at the University of Austin. They’re demanding that he be fired even before his job at Austin starts.

The only victim here is Jonathan Yudelman. Let’s hope he hires a good lawyer.

As of this writing, Jonathan Yudelman is the loneliest man in the world. He’s without friends or supporters. His reputation and career are in tatters. What is happening to Yudelman is unjust and unjust means immoral.

Two questions remain: Do the best men lack all conviction? Will anyone defend Jonathan Yudelman, or are the best men without chests?

C. Bradley Thompson is the BB&T Research Professor in the Department of Political Science at Clemson University and the Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He writes at the The Redneck Intellectual.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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