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The “People’s Front of Judea” or the “Judean People’s Front”?*

The UT West Mall is known as the “Free Speech Area,” and is where student groups set up their tables to hawk their group or cause. There is a student Socialist group, and they can often be found trying to sell their “Socialist Weekly” newspaper to passersby.

Several years ago, I was one of those passersby, and the attractive young coed was holding the rag, but also pressing little slips of yellow paper into people’s hands, calling out, “Come out Saturday and help us protest the Nazis!!”

Knowing that these days, anyone you dislike risks labeling as a Nazi, regardless of what their true bent might be, I decided to bite. “Ok,” I ask, “Who are the Nazi’s?”

Her earnest response, “The Nazis. The National Socialists.”

I eyed her newspaper with a quizzical glance. “So, why are you protesting them?”

She replied brightly, almost bubbly, “Oh! We’re the International Socialists!!”

I bade her good day and went on with mine.

*The title references a scene from “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” which is a funny but highly controversial film about a man born at the same time, but next door to Christ, and is constantly mistaken for the Messiah his whole life. In the scene in question, there is a confab of a bunch of Jewish rebel groups seeking freedom from the Romans, all with similar names, similar goals, but irreconcilable differences, that was a jab at the rise of numerous left wing groups in the UK at the time the film was made.


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