All my adult life, I have warned people about the low moral and intellectual level of colleges and universities. This is the way I have put it: “If you send your child to college, you are playing Russian Roulette with his or her values.”

I have always made it clear that for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and a few other specialized subjects, there may be no choice. You can’t learn those subjects on your own.

But parents take serious risks when they send their child to college.

One reason is that the ages between 18 and 22, when the vast majority of young people attend college, are the years when people are easiest to influence. We tend to believe that the best time to influence children is when they are very young. That is sometimes true. It was certainly true in the past when people matured at a much younger age, few people attended college, and colleges had not been taken over by nihilists.

But today, many young people remain children until their 30s, and many attend college, the center of immoral ideas in America.

What we are seeing now at American, British and other Western universities, especially the most prestigious ones, is support for evil and disdain for good. Pro-Hamas, Israel-hating students take over campuses, stage walkouts during commencement exercises, and are supported by large numbers of faculty members on their campuses. In other words, many students and professors support Iranian and Palestinian calls to exterminate Israel and the Jews who live there.

None of this is surprising. Universities have been morally and intellectually damaging for more than 50 years. How many young people return home after four years at college (let alone additional years in graduate school) a finer, kinder, more moral or intellectually more developed person? Let’s just say it’s rare. I have never met one.

I have however met and heard about many young people who return home from college angrier, unhappier, less decent and far more morally confused. The number of college-educated young people who have been brainwashed into having contempt for their parents, their religion and their country is incalculable.

Last week, the New York Post reported on a young woman named Lily Greenberg-Call, a special assistant to the chief of staff in the Interior Department, who quit her position because the American government is too pro-Israel.

As the Post reported, Greenberg-Call “went out with a bang Wednesday with a red-hot resignation letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. ‘I can no longer in good conscience continue to represent this administration amidst President Biden’s disastrous continued support for Israel’s genocide,’ wrote Greenberg-Call, 26, who additionally condemned Israel’s ‘violations of international law’ perpetrated with ‘American weapons.'”

I relate this story because Greenberg-Call is a perfect example of what college can do to a young person’s heart, mind and conscience.

The article noted that “ironically, while in high school at the ritzy, near-$40,000 a year San Diego Jewish Academy, Greenberg-Call was a staunch Israel advocate, and once reportedly served as president of her high school’s Israel advocacy club. Her views began to shift after going to college at Berkeley, meeting ‘Palestinian-Americans at school’ and entering Democratic politics, according to an essay she wrote in May 2022 for Teen Vogue.”

In other words, her Jewish upbringing, expensive education at a Jewish school and leadership in pro-Israel activities proved useless when confronted with Berkeley, where she learned that Israel is evil.

Nineteen years ago, when the Los Angeles Times was still publishing conservatives, I wrote a column about antisemitism at American universities. I told the following story:

“Not long ago, on my radio show, I invited a UCLA student who, on the occasion of Israel’s birthday, had written a hate-filled article about the Jewish state in the Bruin, the school newspaper. I asked her if she had always been anti-Israel. She said that as a Jewish girl growing up in Britain, she was actually a Zionist who had visited Israel a number of times on Jewish student trips there.

“‘What changed you?’ I asked.

“‘The university,’ she responded.”

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Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His commentary on Deuteronomy, the third volume of The Rational Bible, his five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible, will be published in October. His latest books, published by Regnery. He is the co-founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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