North American universities have always been the fertile grounds for anti-semitism. The vast majority of professors and administrative staff are and have always been pathological anti-semite. Many prominent Jews that surmounted the hurdles of anti-semitism documented it in their reminiscences. Norbert Wiener, for instance, described the anti-semitic atmosphere at Harvard in the 1920s and 1930s in his autobiography "I am a mathematician". The prominent chemist Alfred Bader described how he was rejected by McGill University in the 1940s due to its official policy of limiting the number of Jews admitted to study there (so called Jewish quota). Isaac Asimov wrote about an anti-semitic professor at Columbia University, which picked up on him.
Nowadays there are probably no official anti-semitic rules in place at American/Canadian universities but anti-semitic sentiments amongst professors and staff are rampant. In the 1990s I encountered a professor that did not hesitate to say that Jews should be deprived of all their money. I also encountered professors which expressed grievances that there were too many Israelis at American universities and that they have to be expelled. At a scientific conference held in Washington DC in 1994 I encountered a professor that incited against the Jewish invited speakers saying that they got paid by the organizers but didn't show up (which was not true as all invited speakers gave their talks) and that all Jews have to be grabbed by the balls.
But my article is not about anti-semitism at North American universities, which is well known and documented in details by many people. The purpose of this article is to show how a big historical event obscures the preceding ones, sends them to oblivion, and thereby distorts the history. It is just by accident that the example that I have at hand is related to anti-semitism.
In 2000 in its final days the Clinton's administration was pushing for creation of a Palestinian state. In July of 2000 Clinton brought together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat in Camp David to achieve the goal, but it failed. And in September of 2000 the second Palestinian intifada began.
This fuelled up the anti-semitic sentiments at North American universities to an unprecedented level. There were numerous reports in the media that exchange students returning from Israel could not get their academic credits earned there accepted by North American universities. But the most outrageous story that I know was this.
In 1999 an Israeli enrolled into a computer science program at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. In the first 2 terms he earned the highest marks and was on the dean's honour list. But in Fall of 2000 he suddenly got failure marks in 3 of 5 exams. His past transcript for the Spring term of 2000 was also altered and marks lowered from A+ to D-. His parents were shocked at such incredible events and complained to the dean, which surprisingly replied: "Got punched in the face? Run!" And the student left the university in Spring of 2001.
A few months later 9/11 happened and anti-semitic saturnalia at North American universities ceased overnight and was sent to oblivion. Who remembers it now? It is because 9/11 highlighted its absurdity.
Karl Marx said that humanity parts with its past by laughing at it. But it is quite often that humanity erases its past from the memory and forgets its victims because it is ashamed of it.