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Hate in the Garden State



By SHMULEY BOTEACH

. . .

In New Jersey, a state filled with Jewish voters, a whole slew of anti-Semitic incidents has erupted, yet the Jewish community does little to hold our elected representatives accountable for failing to combat it. Topping the list of such spineless politicians is New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, from whom we have barely heard a peep as our state sinks into the infamy of being a haven for anti-Semites.

First, there was the lamentable story of New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka, appointed by McGreevey in August 2002 even though Baraka had spent 25 years devoting his art to dozens of anti-Jewish diatribes like this: "Now let us face these realities: A nigger wants to put down the Zionists and the Zionists control the radio, the television, the movies, the education, the intellectual life of the United States, the morality of the United States-Judeo-Christian ethics. The minute you condemn them publicly, you die. They will declare a war on you forever."

It was therefore not surprising that just a few months later Baraka published a famously anti-Semitic poem where he alleged that Israel was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Then in October 2002 a student group that openly supports suicide bombings and calls for the destruction of Israel announced its intention to stage a conference at Rutgers – New Jersey's state-funded university.

McGreevey allowed the conference to go ahead and issued a statement with the president of Rutgers that said: "The best way to counter deplorable arguments is more discussion, not less, and the appropriate place for this kind of discourse is the university."

McGreevey's cowardly behavior reached its apogee two weeks ago week when the Rutgers student newspaper, The Medium, which receives thousands of dollars in student fees, mocked Holocaust memorial week by running a front-page cartoon showing a carnival contestant trying to throw a terrified Jewish man into a burning oven. The caption read: "Throw a Jew into the oven! Three throws for one dollar."

My radio producer and many newspapers called McGreevey's office for a public comment or condemnation, but the good governor has, to date, done nothing to either condemn or withhold funding from The Medium.

It was left to former New York City mayor Ed Koch to write to Rutgers President Richard McCormick, saying, "You have embarrassed, by your inaction, both the university and the State of New Jersey."
One is forced to ask oneself: Who is stupider? Nathaniel Berke, the student managing editor of the Medium who approved the cartoon, or the huge number of Jewish donors who continue to throw money at McGreevey's campaigns.

Anyone spewing Jew-hatred, black-hatred, or any other hatred in the West should certainly not be the beneficiaries of public funding, and should preferably have their jobs terminated as well.
Which reminds me. James McGreevey is up for reelection in 18 months.

The writer is a syndicated radio host in the US and author of 14 books. His latest is The Private Adam: Becoming a Hero in a Selfish Age.

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