By Lee Kaplan—www.Israel-academia-monitor.com
Israel’s pluralistic society and western concepts of freedom of speech are laudable in an increasingly totalitarian world. In contrast, the Arab world practices cultural, religious and sexual exclusion as a normal practice. For those with knowledge of history, both biblical and secular, for the true story behind the creation and existence of a Jewish national homeland, the ideas of who is really practicing apartheid, misogyny and oppression of free speech is a no-brainer: it’s the Arab world.
Despite this, the Arab world, with its highly skilled propaganda ministries and educational institutions that are used as an extension of irredentist propaganda against the Jews, has been enormously successful in reversing the truth in the educational institutions in the West. Who would imagine in the 1970’s when Yasser Arafat was understood to be one of the slimiest serial killers in the world, particularly of Jews and Americans, that by the end of the century one could find on US college campuses secular Jewish kids sporting keffiyahs like Arafat and his fedayeen and thinking they were cool? Yet today among the International Solidarity Movement there are many anti-Israel activists of Jewish ancestry, some even Israelis, promoting the end of the Jewish state.
Arafat and one of his “academics,” Edward Said, both said that facts no longer mattered in history, that only emotions mattered, and that the Palestinian Arab people should write their own history (Arafat added that history should be written with “Palestinian rocks” while Said actually threw some at Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese border). Meanwhile, the anti-Israel campaign at universities continues to promote a boycott of Israeli academics and Israel itself to starve the Jews into submission. The goal, of course, is to eventually dismantle the Jewish state. In addition, academics in Arab universities teach that Jews never lived in the Holy Land at all in ancient times or, incredibly, that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make matzos. Such demonizing of Jews from the cradle to the grave in Arab society enables the relentless war against the Jews.
Still, the pluralistic West rejects anti-Semitism after the Holocaust. So how are Arab propagandists to convince the West dismantling Israel is a necessity?
One way is to use the West’s academies the same way similar institutions of learning are used in the Arab world to preach against the Jews. To negate accusations of anti-Semitism, Jews must be at anti-Israel forums to convince the West that the Arab movement against a Jewish homeland is not really driven by anti-Semitism (when it is) but rather the outcome of educational research and rationalization. Nevertheless, you do not find Jews (even ones who support the end of Israel) teaching at Arab universities or symposiums in Arab lands.
But the pluralism of the West and democracies like Israel creates the perfect atmosphere for using that pluralism to promote the opposite of what it was meant to achieve. The Arabs in particular have done this very effectively by creating academic symposiums which have speakers who allegedly provide “balance” between Israelis and Arabs on the issue of Israel’s right to exist. But the Israeli players at these events are almost always shills for the Arab cause. To Israel’s disadvantage, also, is the fact that such symposiums can be held right on Israel’s doorstep, even in Israel’s own capital. Such is the case with a symposium scheduled to take place in East Jerusalem on November 14-16th, 2007 at Al Quds University in East Jerusalem, titled (what else?) “Dialogue Under Occupation.”
“Occupation,” of course, has become a euphemism in the campaign against Israel to include all of Israel and Zionism. The advantage of the word, however, is that people can be fooled into thinking it refers only to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza when those areas are merely phases in ending the entire existence of Israel over time.
The Symposium is being held with the sponsorship and cooperation of American universities like George Mason U in Washington DC which recently hosted the US national conference of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation where International Solidarity Movement activists were trained in how to lobby the US Congress and build even more academic consensus against Israel in America. George Mason U has a satellite campus in the UAE and gets plenty of money from Arab interests that are opposed to Israel’s existence. The “American” professors attending this international conference in Jerusalem are for the most part Palestinian Arab irredentists who are activists for destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Not to be outdone, the local Arab academics include people like Khawla Shakhshir Sabri of Birzeit University in the Palestinian Authority, where student campus political parties are in fact known terrorist groups like Fatah and Hamas.
In keeping with the successful mode of propagandizing with Jewish “shills” presenting an “Israeli point of view” that is decidedly against Zionism and Israel being a Jewish state, a number of Israeli academics will appear to once again be little more than a cheering section for the Arab side against Israel. A review of the symposium’s schedule reveals several of these “scholars.”
Ehud “Udi” Adiv is one Israeli who will lecture on “The ’67 War. The End of the Jewish Defense Ethos.” Adiv will most likely present the case that Israel started the Six Day War by preemptively striking Syria and Egypt instead of waiting to be attacked. As usual, the Arab propaganda tactic of turning history on its head will be used since Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and Syria had been lobbing artillery shells from the Golan Heights for years (Jordan actually shelled Jerusalem before hostilities broke out). Adiv, a social scientist with a PhD from the University of London who lectures for the Israeli taxpayer-supported Open University of Israel, will no doubt be presented to the American university sponsors and those not in the know, even in Israel, as a really smart Israeli who is promoting the goals of the Palestinians in the interest of “peace,” and casting a jaundiced eye on tiny Israel’s alleged warmongering against the enormous Arab world.
But what many people in the West, and even in Israel, do not know is that Udi Adiv, an acolyte of Israel’s communist party and the Marxist/Maoist group Matzpen , led a subversive movement to help destroy the state in the 1970’s. In cooperation with the PLO, Adiv was part of a Syrian spy ring and had even undergone training in terrorism and espionage in Syria. Having served his time in prison, he and his fellow members of Matzpen are today helping to make up for lost time working in Israel’s university system as talking heads for the Arabs. The fact that a communist subversive, who would be happy to see Israel dismantled as a capitalist state, can speak at a conference in Jerusalem to give the impression that Israeli academics side with the Arabs is unconscionable.
Chaim Noy is a post-doctorate fellow being financially supported by the Ginsburg Fund. Ironically, Morris Ginsburg, for whom the Fund is named, was an ardent supporter of Judaism and Zionism. How ironic that his foundation after his death in 1970 is now giving money to an Israeli who is presenting at the symposium as his topic
“Situating National Discourse: Indexing Aspects of Zionist Colonial Arguments.”
The Arabs must love that one, since they like to claim Israel is a “colonial enterprise” (even though Jews have resided there for 4,000 years and many of the settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza were on land taken by the Arabs in 1948 from Jews). “Colonialism” is a bugaboo word on college campuses these days as much as the words “apartheid,” “imperialism” and “racism” are, so Noy’s presentation should serve the Palestinian sponsors well. If one disagrees with the Arab mantra of making Israel into Palestine, simply accuse him of being for “apartheid,” “racism,” “imperialism” and “colonialism” (it upsets liberals in the West who don’t understand these are normal practices in the Muslim and Arab world). Certainly, nobody will mention at this conference that every Arab country opposing Israel was a colony before statehood also and that Israel is a sovereign independent state set up and recognized by the United Nations the same as Jordan where the majority of Palestinians live.
Dafna Yitzhaki, a linguist in the English department at Bar Ilan University will chime in with a discourse on institutional discrimination against Arabs through the use of language in Israel. Never mind that Israel has Arabic designated an official national language the same as Hebrew. Ms. Yitzhaki recently put together a book of the thoughts of noted linguists, one of whom writes about “linguistic imperialism” and another who writes on the “colonialism” aspects of language (there’s that colonialism mantra again).
It’s of interest here to note that not only Ms. Yitzhaki, but many of the Israeli academics at the symposium have some major associations with Wayne State and Eastern Michigan Universities which are right in the heart of the largest Palestinian Arab population in the United States. Wayne State is the only college in America that agreed in part to support the Arab boycott to divest from Israel as part of an active divestment campaign by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Many of the academics at this conference seem to have professional and publishing contacts through Wayne State.
No doubt Dafna Yitzhaki’s melding of Marxist ideas of anti-imperialism coupled with the Palestinians being the victims of colonialism through language will make an interesting dialog at the conference and garner for her much attention amongst her “anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist” fellow linguists in America. Ah, Marxism at its best, eh?
Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a lecturer in language and education at Tel Aviv University. She will lecture this time on “The Semiotics of Exclusion: (Non) Presentation of Palestinians in Israeli Schoolbooks of History and Geography Published after the Oslo Agreements
(1996-2003).” Rest assured that Ms. Peled-Elhanan will explain how Israeli textbooks do not discuss Arab history or the Nakba, “the catastrophe” of the founding of Israel. Whereas the educational system in Israel allows different cultures to teach their own schools of thought (Christians and Muslims have their own schools reflecting their cultural identity just a the Jews have theirs, but on an equal basis), one can bet her panel will only concentrate on how Israel’s Jews allegedly are intentionally taught to deny the existence of the others (the Arabs). Of course, while Peled-Elhanan may find a deliberate attempt to deny the existence of the Palestinian Arabs, she certainly will not address with equal condemnation the textbooks used in the Palestinian Authority that preach hatred of Jews, martyrdom and the glories of fighting and killing Israeli Jews.
Ms. Peled-Elhanan’s lectures are not limited to Tel Aviv University. She lectures frequently to and for ISM groups like Women in Black that actually is opposed to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state and the International Women’s Peace Service, another communist-inspired “peace” group along with the ISM that is involved as human shields for terrorist groups. She has even written many articles for the virulently anti-Israel website CounterPunch that features all manner of neo-Nazis like David Duke and defends Holocaust deniers like David Irving. I’m sure she’ll feel right at home with this conference.
Of special note is the presentation by Tamar Katriel titled "Breaking the Silence": Narratives of Occupation by Israeli Soldiers.” Katriel is an academic in speech and communications from the University of Haifa who obtained her PhD from the University of Washington at Seattle (Rachel Corrie came from nearby Evergreen College, and Washington state boasts an enormous presence of anarchists, and anti-Israel activists, especially in its universities). “Breaking the Silence” is the name of the month for the “Refuseniks,” Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve. They represent less than one tenth of one percent of Israel’s 500,000 soldiers and are usually composed of college radicals drafted into the IDF who then don’t serve, but use the uniform to propagandize against the state. As such they need to keep changing the name for their endless tours on American university campuses to make them sound like a bigger group than they are.
There are many more of these Israeli academic shills who will be speaking at this conference, which will just be another slam at Israel to encourage dismantling the state and not working toward a peaceful settlement allowing Israel to exist. Of note, is the number of them who are affiliated with US universities where the Arabs are having a field day attacking Israel thanks to Saudi oil money.
In the motion picture “The Grey Zone,” about a Jewish revolt at Auschwitz, actor Harvey Keitel, who plays a Nazi camp guard, remarks to a Jewish doctor how amazed he is that Jews can be persuaded to turn on their own. Judging by the number of Israeli academic shills at this conference right in Jerusalem itself, it would seem such observations are correct.