Nova24TV English

Slovenian News In ENGLISH

These Are Protests Against Order, Against America

American universities were recently taken over by the pro-Palestinian protest movement. The protesters mainly claim to be fighting for the “Palestinian cause”, while their critics claim that they are fighting on the side of the terrorist organisation Hamas. We asked former minister and professor Dr Žiga Turk about the protest movement, who claims that these are actually protests against the United States of America as such and that the social sciences and humanities departments at universities have been almost completely taken over by “leftist or progressive” professors. This, in turn, affects the state of mind in the universities themselves.

The pro-Palestinian protests in the USA are something of an enigma. The USA is a traditional ally of Israel, with a wide base in both dominant political parties. No change in this policy is expected even in the long-term future. It therefore begs the question of what the students taking part in these protests are trying to achieve in the first place.

Nobody raised the young

Could it be a case of trying to get some attention? Creating media campaigns that attract the attention of the American (and later the rest of the world’s) media? Authentic attempts to reshape public opinion? Dr Žiga Turk answered: “These are protests against the American establishment, against the order, against America. They are quite similar, and they involve mainly the same protesters as the Black Lives Matter protests did. They also both happened to take place in an election year, except that these would have been more beneficial to Trump, after all. The basis for the protests is that young people always like to protest and rebel. In the past, they used to know that they had to be introduced to the adult world, that they had to take over that world, adopt it. Today, they are told that they are our future, that they have not yet been corrupted by that world, that they should be who they are… Well, if they are who they are without anyone raising them and preparing them to enter the adult world, the civilisation they were born into, then what follows is what is happening in the USA.”

The transformation of the academic world

The political support that Israel enjoys in the US Congress, however, more than obviously does not translate into the university space. “American universities, especially in the social sciences and humanities, are almost entirely occupied by leftist or progressive professors. They, like progressives, are of the opinion that the past sucks, that the world needs to be rebuilt, that the West is sinful – from the colonies and slavery to Vietnam. That it has left behind a trail full of victims, and if someone is a victim, if he or she suffers, then he or she is right. They believe that people are born good, and then civilisation kills them. From this starting point, nothing but the chaos we are witnessing can emerge,” noted Turk.

In this context, the comment by Dr Borut Rončević, currently a lecturer at Troy University in Alabama, is also interesting. Responding to a comment by former US President Donald Trump, who described the protesters as “radical left-wing fools“, he wrote: “I notice that most of my left-leaning academic colleagues I know in the USA feel the same way. The problem is that they only dare to say it in whispers, in one-on-one conversations.”

Who is imitating whom?

The pro-Palestinian movement has also found its echoes in Ljubljana. The Faculty of Social Sciences (FDV) was recently occupied by students, some of whom even slept in the lecture halls. According to media reports, there were around 50 of them. The occupation was “decorated” with banners identical to those seen in the USA.

We therefore asked Dr Turk about the similarities and possible differences between the protest actions. “The starting points are the same; the Slovenian education system is also built on a flawed foundation of what people come into the world with. Slovenia does not have the original sin of colonies and slaves, but we do have a long tradition of fighting imperialism. On the 27th of April, we celebrated that the Anti-Imperialist Front was founded on the 26th of April – also against France, England and the USA. This “front” then triggered a civil war, which resulted in the deaths of many Slovenians. And today, in order to remember the Anti-Imperialist Front fondly, we must stand up against our Western allies. Israel’s intervention in Gaza offers a fine excuse for outright anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-imperialism. In addition to the usual rebellion of the young against the elderly.”

Žiga Korsika

Share on social media