Charles Gasparino

Charles Gasparino

Business

Fight against antisemitism may have deep-pocketed ally as Israel-Hamas war fuels hate on campuses

The fight against antisemitism may soon get a powerful and deep-pocketed ally: Blackstone chief Steve Schwarzman

The private equity titan, worth approximately $40 billion, has been discussing with various people his concern about the anti-Israeli protests at Yale, his alma mater, and the broader attacks against Jews around the country, people close to him tell The Post. 

He is said to be weighing using his clout (and his very thick wallet) to fund a counteroffensive, these people said. 

“Steve is Jewish and has always been worried about the rise of anti­semitism but he has now seen enough and wants to fight back,” said one person with knowledge of the matter. 

Schwarzman’s discussions about funding efforts to combat antisemitism have yet to be reported and they’re in the early conceptual ­stages, I am told. 

But he is contemplating something more sweeping, these people said, something that sets the stage for a national discussion to show that antisemitism is a real problem for the country, not just something taking hold with a lunatic fringe at many top universities. 

A spokeswoman for Schwarzman would not provide specifics. 

“Like many, he’s been thinking about ways to support the fight against antisemitism,” she said. 

Schwarzman’s entry into the fray would be a significant development in the pushback against the bizarre spectacle of leftist protesters taking to the streets and college campuses to celebrate Hamas’ brutality and condemn Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself against annihilation. 

And, he is no stranger to philanthropy, as evidenced by so many landmarks, including here in NYC, that bear his name. 

Consider: He’s donated $150 million to his Ivy League school; Yale’s Schwarzman Center is the university’s opulent cultural and academic common ground.

That’s not all.

In 2008, he gifted another $100 million to renovate the New York Public Library. 

But as Yale turned into a hotbed of anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas protests, the Schwarzman Center became the focal point.

Leftist students and teachers set up an encampment there after the terrorist group’s brutal Oct. 7 attack that killed approximately 1,200 Israelis at a kibbutz and a music festival near Gaza.

Just a few weeks ago, during another melee at Yale, a Jewish student was stabbed in the eye by a protester wielding a Palestinian flag. 

Over at the library, its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman building was defaced by pro-Hamas graffiti, including handprints in blood-red covering Schwarzman’s name on the façade that commemorates his donation. 

The Post has reported that the public library is now spending $75,000 to clean up the mess. 

Aside from allowing these anti-Israel protests to fester at Yale and other college campuses, another issue that has many Wall Street supporters of Israel angst-ridden is that the demonstrations, as bizarre as they are, now appear to be influencing Biden administration policy.

Israel’s military efforts to remove the last vestiges of Hamas from the Gaza city of Rafah have recently been condemned by the president, top officials and much of the Democratic Party worried about alienating lefty base voters during a close 2024 presidential election. 

Political appeasement 

This political appeasement at the expense of Israel may push Schwarzman, a Republican, back into Trump’s camp, I am told.

As reported in this column, he has yet to say whether he will get behind the former president in the 2024 contest because of Trump’s 2020 election denialism. 

Unfortunately, Wall Street and most corporate moguls have gone silent about the antisemitic fervor, aside from Bill Ackman of the Pershing Square Capital hedge fund and Marc Rowan, CEO of Apollo Management, another major PE firm.

Rowan is a graduate of Penn and led an effort to oust its board-of-trustees chair, Scott Bok, and president Liz Magill for allegedly tepid responses to Jew hatred on campus.

Ackman is a Harvard graduate and pushed for the dismissal of the university’s recently defenestrated president.

Claudine Gay, over similar concerns. 

Yes, Schwarzman would be a formidable adversary to the leftists backed by their set of favorite billionaires, including, as The Post has reported, former hedge trader ­George Soros, who never seems to turn down a chance to fund radical endeavors. 

But don’t kid yourself. Any attempt by Schwarzman or anyone to deprogram antisemitism from our cultural institutions will be an uphill battle. 

What people like Schwarzman, Ackman and Rowan fail to real­ize is their own, albeit unintended, culpability in campus radicalism. 

Over the years, they’ve donated tens of millions of dollars to these elite universities, which in turn took the money to hire leftist professors who degrade the teaching of Western civilization and promote anti-Americanism in their core curriculum.

That has turned all cultural institutions, not just universities, over to radicals. 

The result has been a brainwashing of students and swaths of the public; antisemitism becomes a byproduct of this cultural rot since Israel is our staunch ally and is regarded as an oppressor of Arabs, despite years of being attacked by its neighbors and terrorists serving as proxies for enemies such as Iran. 

That said, it’s never too late to fight.

Let’s hope Schwarzman starts sooner rather than later. 

Charles Gasparino is the author of forthcoming book “Go Woke, Go Broke: The Inside Story on the Radicalization of Corporate America”