October 25, 2023
Hamas Exposes the Failure of America's Universities
WITH BEN MERKLE
This week, someone shined a light into the closet where America keeps her colleges and universities and suddenly discovered how woke-broke they have become. There, the light fell on a collection of Ivy League institutions that struggle to call the Palestinian attack on Israel the work of terrorists or to be able to condemn the actions of Hamas. It truly is a massive failure of moral reasoning and courage at the very heart of what is supposed to be the promise of America’s future leadership.
It should not be difficult to call wicked what the Hamas terrorists did. It was wicked.
However, cultural leadership is rarely found in contemporary America’s institutions of higher education. For decades, college administrations have bred and selected for a single character trait—compliance with the progressive cause. The unspoken definition of excellence in college leadership is simply the ability to demonstrate personal compliance with the latest talking points of the progressive cause and the ability to bring along an entire institution into compliance as well. And the progressive cause will not allow you to think clear thoughts about Israel. So to look for true cultural leadership from these institutions, rather than just compliance, is a pointless venture.
It should not be difficult to call wicked what the Hamas terrorists did. It was wicked. Furthermore, Israel ought to have the right to fiercely defend herself from Hamas and to wage war against these aggressors. But I would add several qualifiers to this right. First, the fact that the right is there does not make this right easy to exercise. How Israel can eliminate Hamas without making their situation worse in the long term is a question to which I do not pretend to have an answer, and I am not sure that an answer can be found.
When entire nations are consumed with bloodthirst, only the blood of Jesus Christ can actually quench the thirst.
Second, the only answer that can actually bring peace to the Middle East is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When entire nations are consumed with bloodthirst, only the blood of Jesus Christ can actually quench the thirst. No military action from Israel will end this. I am enough of a pragmatist to understand that, on this side of the resurrection, wars will always be with us. And some of those wars are just. If Israel takes on Hamas, I think they are justified in doing so, and I don’t fault them for it. But I also know that in the end, what they all really need is Jesus.
Lastly, America struggles to get Israel right. And American Christians frequently bring increased confusion rather than clarity to the problem. Dispensationalism has given the modern nation of Israel a misplaced significance that has confused our foreign policy. And in the ditch on the other side of the road, you have a small branch of soft Reformed Christians beginning to dabble in antisemitism that isn’t helping anything. I think Israel has a right to defend herself. But it should be Israel that defends herself, not America defending Israel. America should defend her own borders and let Israel take care of itself.
I know that this position will satisfy few and outrage many. But I am not trying to make anyone happy. I’m bad at compliance.
Watch my full series on the issues with higher education here.