Jonathan Rauch responds to James Kirchick’s Tablet Magazine article on the shuttering of Yale’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism:

I’m a Yale alum (as well as a Jew) and I know these decisions about academic programs are complicated. But there’s an irony here. If there’s a single special-interest “studies” area that should venture beyond pure scholarship, it’s antisemitism. Antisemitism, even more than homophobia, is the prototype of the intellectual virus, the bad idea that crops up again and again in one ideological context after another, detached from any reality or philosophy—but always, wherever it occurs, a marker of danger to liberalism.

In fact, if you wanted a simple criterion to demarcate America’s enemies, you could do worse than ask a single question: Is this country, movement, or ideology antisemitic? Since at least the 1930s, the Axis of Evil and the Axis of Antisemitimism [sic] have been basically congruent (imperial Japan and Asian Communism being the major exceptions).

Read the rest of Rauch’s response here.