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Tel Aviv University
Shlomo Sand and Ilan Pappe as the "Useful Idiots" of George Galloway

TAU Professor Shlomo Sand (right) with George Galloway

E-mail: shlomosa@post.tau.ac.il

Editorial Note:

IAM reported on George Galloway's interview with Shlomo Sand (TAU) on Press TV, an English language Iranian media outlet that Galloway was more than happy to speak to the Israeli professor whose book The Invention the Jewish People has been all the rage in anti-Israeli circles.

However, as the following article indicates, the controversial MP from the Respect Party, a radical Islamist-leftist group, walked out on a Oxford Union debate telling the audience that he does not wish to have any contact with Israelis.

The organizers accused Galloway of racism, but the MP simply mimics the behavior of his Iranian patrons. Israelis like Sand who trash their country or deny the Holocaust are welcome by Tehran, but those who want to have a rational debate are rebuffed.
For his part, Sand is doing all he can to ingratiate himself with Galloway and other detractors of Israel. During a recent event at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies at London University (see below) he called Israel “a shitty nation” and “the most racist society in the world”. As the Oxford Union incident demonstrates, the only Israelis that the regime and his propagandist Galloway will tolerate are "useful idiots," like Shlomo Sand or Ilan Pappe. When asked on Twitter who he would sit with, Galloway responded that it depended "on whether you support the racist state of Israel or not...I sit with Prof Ilan Pappe happily."


'I don't debate with Israelis': George Galloway accused of racism after walking out of Middle East debate at Oxford

Galloway criticised after telling audience: 'I don't debate with Israelis'

ROB WILLIAMS THURSDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2013, The Independent

The controversial MP George Galloway has been accused of racism after walking out of a meeting at Oxford University when he discovered he was debating with an Israeli.

Mr Galloway, who is the Respect party MP for Bradford West, had been speaking in the debate organised by Christ Church college in favour of the motion: "Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank".

Around three minutes into the speech given by his opponent, Eylon Aslan-Levy, Galloway interrupted asking: "You said we. Are you an Israeli?"

The third year student Aslan-Levy answered "I am, yes."

Galloway then stood up and replied: "I don't debate with Israelis, I've been misled, sorry."

Mr Galloway then left the lecture theatre.

The outspoken MP is a well-known and vocal critic of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinian people.

Video footage of the incident, obtained by the Oxford student newspaper Cherwell, quotes Aslan-Levy as saying: "I am appalled that an MP would storm out of a debate with me for no reason other than my heritage. To refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism, and totally unacceptable for a member of parliament."

The incident caused a flurry of angry Twitter exchanges, some of which Galloway responded to. In one posting on the micro-blogging site Galloway wrote: "No recognition of Israel. No normalisation. Christ Church never informed us the debate would be with an Israeli. Simple."

A posting on Mr Galloway's Facebook page said: "I refused this evening at Oxford University to debate with an Israeli, a supporter of the apartheid state of Israel.

The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalisation. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the apartheid state is defeated. I never debate with Israelis nor speak to their media. If they want to speak about Palestine – the address is the PLO."

The moderator of the debate, Michael Baldwin, a 3rd year reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics, said: "I was disappointed that a possibly fruitful discussion was prematurely ended by Mr Galloway’s refusal to debate someone just because of their nationality."



Shlomo Sand at SOAS: Israel is “a shitty nation” and “the most racist society in the world”.

http://richardmillett.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dscf4343.jpg

Shlomo Sand in full flow at SOAS last night.

Last night Tel Aviv University history professor Shlomo Sand referred to Israel as a “shitty nation” (clip 1). He called Israel “the most racist society in the world” and said that he has been fighting “Jewish racism all my life” (both clip 2). And he declared that anti-Semitism doesn’t exist in the western world today (clip 3).

He was speaking in London at the SOAS launch of his new book The Invention of The Land of Israel. The much discredited thesis of his previous book The Invention of The Jewish People is that there was no expulsion of the Jews from the Holy Land; diaspora Jews, therefore, must have all descended from converts and so have no right to return to Israel.

The already much discredited thesis of The Invention of The Land of Israel is, simply, that the land of Israel holds no religious significance for Jews either.

First, he claimed, there is no mention of “Israel” in the bible; it is only mentioned in the Talmud. This is not true (see note 1). Second, he claimed that political Zionism grew out of Christianity, not Judaism, and he solely credits Lord Shaftesbury and the evangelical Christian movement in London for the idea that Jews should return to the Holy Land.

But Sand, conveniently, regards great religious figures like Rabbi Alkalia and Rabbi Kalischer, who in the early nineteenth century wrote voraciously about the pressing need for Jews to return to Zion, as only minority influences.

Sand claimed that the Balfour Declaration came about due to three main reasons:

1. The ideological background of many leaders who wanted Redemption via a Jewish return to the Holy Land.
2. The colonialist interests of Britain in the Middle East.
3. Anti-Semitism – Balfour didn’t want suffering Jews from the East coming to Britain.

Sand said Jews preferred to move to America but after 1924, when America stopped eastern European immigration altogether, no country would accept Jews who then had no choice but to go to the Holy Land against their will.

Sand, again, conveniently ignores the examples of the Jewish pioneers in the Hibbat Zion and BILU movements who volunteered to move to the harsh conditions of the Holy Land during the 1880s to try to make a life there.

Sand views Israelis as a nation even if a “shitty one”. But, for Sand, they aren’t a Jewish nation because he doesn’t recognise such a concept exists. Sand views being Jewish as a purely religious concept and said that Hamas in Gaza are much more likely to be descended from the ancient people who once inhabited the Holy Land than he is.

Sand says he desires a two-state solution with equal rights for Arabs living in Israel and for Jews living in a future Palestine. Presumably, it would be an Israel where diaspora Jews would have limited, if any, rights to move to.

And on anti-Semitism Sand said:

“The century of anti-Semitism between 1850 and 1950 is finished. Pro-Zionists don’t understand history. I don’t think that political public anti-Semitism exists today in the western world. You cannot find members of Parliament in Britain or the United States who are openly anti-Semitic. You cannot find journalists who are anti-Semitic. You cannot find films that are anti-Semitic.”

This is what many in the audience wanted to hear. It was their official certificate that they are not Jew haters even though they focus solely on opposing the Jewish state while ignoring atrocities by both sides in Syria, by Hamas in Gaza and by the Saudi Arabian monarchy and the Iranian government which both brutally oppress their own people. To name but a few.

Once again, Sand conveniently ignores or is unaware of the example of Liberal Democrat David Ward who recently accused“the Jews” of inflicting something akin to a Holocaust on the Palestinians.

Sand is the master of cherry-picking anything that backs up his argument while ignoring anything inconvenient that might detract from it.

His recent books are not based on proper fact, record or history. They are simply driven by a hatred for the Jewish state.

Notes:

1. For a superb taking down of Sand’s new book see here via Elder of Ziyon.

2. For a superb analysis of Sand speaking at The Frontline Club the previous night see here via Jonathan Hoffman.

Clips from last night (not good sound quality):

Clip 1 – Sand declares Israel a “shitty nation” after 1 minute into the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AvYz5y3OIzo

Clip 2 – Sand declares Israel “the most racist society in the world” and says he has been fighting “Jewish racism all my life”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=as-ZVIcNdB0

Clip 3 – Sand claims there is no anti-Semitism in the west today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CqQ_7v02G40




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