Archive for the ‘Blood libel’ category

‘The Right to Maim’: Intersectionality and blood libels

November 24, 2017

‘The Right to Maim’: Intersectionality and blood libels, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 22, 2017

Professor Puar is a feminist and gender studies specialist, and one may wonder why she has invested so much of her academic energy in vilifying Israel. But her obsession with Israel and its various perceived modes of oppression and brutality toward a weak, innocent victim group is consistent with many academics in the humanities and social sciences who increasingly find a linkage as they seek to affirm the rights of the victimized and name the villains responsible for this oppression. The more that seemingly unrelated instances of oppression can be conflated, it is thought, the greater the ability to confront these oppressors and neutralize the negative effect they have on society at large. 

This trend is called “intersectionality,” and it has meant that someone who is a gender studies professor, or queer theorist, or American studies expert can, with no actual knowledge or expertise about the Middle East, readily pontificate on the many social pathologies of Israel, based on its perceived role as a racist, colonial oppressor of an innocent indigenous population of Arab victims. For Professor Puar and her fellow academic travelers, to know one victim group is to know any victim group—with Israel being a tempting and habitual target of their opprobrium.

Supporters of the Palestinian cause have come to accept the fact that Israel will not be defeated through the use of traditional tools of warfare. Instead, the Jewish state’s enemies, abetted by the academic and media elites in the West, have begun to use different, but equally dangerous, tactics to delegitimize and eventually destroy Israel in a cognitive war. By dressing up old hatreds against Jews, as Puar has done in this new book, combined with a purported goal of seeking social justice for the oppressed, and repackaging ugly biases as seemingly pure scholarship, she and Israel’s other ideological foes have found an effective, but odious, way to ensure that the Jew of nations, Israel, is still accused of fostering social chaos and bringing harm and death to non-Jews.

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Jews have been accused of harming and murdering non-Jews since the twelfth century in England, when Jewish convert to Catholicism, Theobald of Cambridge, mendaciously announced that European Jews ritually slaughtered Christian children each year and drank their blood during Passover season.

That medieval blood libel, largely abandoned in the contemporary West, does, however, still appear as part of Arab world’s vilification of Jews—now transmogrified into a slander against Israel, the Jew of nations. But in the regular chorus of defamation against Israel by a world infected with Palestinianism, a new, more odious trend has shown itself: the blood libel has been revivified; however, to position Israel (and by extension Jews) as demonic agents in the community of nations, the primitive fantasies of the blood libel are now masked with a veneer of academic scholarship.

No more salient example of that type of mendacious academic output can be found than in a new book by Rutgers professor Jasbir K. Puar published by Duke University Press, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability. The thesis of Puar’s book is formed by her examination of “Israeli tactical calculations of settler colonial rule,” which, she asserts, is “that of creating injury and maintaining Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them.”

In other words, Puar’s core notion is that Israeli military tactics—as an extension of its political policies—involve the deliberate “stunting, “maiming,” physical disabling, and scientific experimenting with Palestinian lives, an outrageous and grotesque resurrection of the classic anti-Semitic trope that Jews purposely, and sadistically, harm and kill non-Jews.

Puar, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, boasts that she regularly writes on a hodgepodge of currently fashionable academic fields of study, including “gay and lesbian tourism, queer theory, theories of intersectionality, affect, homonationalism, and pinkwashing,” the latter being the perverse theory that Israel trumpets its broad support of LGBT rights in its society to furtively obscure its long-standing mistreatment of the Palestinians.

Morally coherent people would normally look at Israel’s progressive policies towards gays and commend the Jewish state for treating members of the LGBT community humanely and in a manner they are not treated in most of the Muslim world, but not Puar and her fellow pinkwashing theorists. Nothing Israel does, in their minds, is done with good intentions, only motivated by dark impulses meant to deceive, including, according to Puar, the inclination to maim, not kill, Palestinians.

“The Israeli Defense Forces (idf) have [sic] shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill. This is ostensibly a humanitarian practice,” she admits, although it results in “leaving many civilians ‘permanently disabled’ in an occupied territory of destroyed hospitals, rationed medical supplies, and scarce resources.” So, while Puar reluctantly admits that Israel purposely limits the lethality of its self-defense through restraint and tactical control, she still accuses it of using violence and injury as a tactical tool of a settler state to maintain control of a vulnerable indigenous population. It is both sadistic and exploitative, she contends, because it maintains a purportedly unjust and illegal occupation and the oppression of a victim people.

“I am arguing that debilitation and the production of disability are in fact biopolitical ends unto themselves,” she explains, “ . . . what I call ‘the right to maim’: a right expressive of sovereign power that is linked to, but not the same as, ‘the right to kill.’”

“Maiming,” she contends,  “. . . is a sanctioned tactic of settler colonial rule, without ever bothering to offer an explanation of why it is strategically more productive for Israel to permanently injure, as opposed to eliminate, a population which is perpetually an existential threat.

In a 2016 speech Puar delivered at Vassar College, which presaged the content of her book, she presented this same noxious theme, that Israel is intent on “Targeting youth, not for death but for stunting” as a “tactic that seeks to render impotent any future resistance.” “Maiming masquerades as let live when in fact it acts as will not let die,” she said, and that this technique, as part of a sadistic, imperialistic militancy on the part of Israel, “is used to achieve . . . tactical aims of settler colonialism.”

Of course, no acknowledgement from Puar is ever forthcoming as to the reasons “why the most intensive practice of the biopolitics of debilitation,” the use of force against the civilian Palestinian population, exists in the first place; that is, that Israel’s so-called brutal occupation and its military incursions are necessitated by Arab aggression and terrorism, and the use of force, the maiming of the Palestinians, are not random occurrences based on the whims of a sadistic Israeli military, but a reaction to and the result of unrelenting terroristic attacks in which psychopathic jihadists have attempted to murder Jews with knives, trucks, bombs, rockets, and rifles since the Israel’s founding.

Of course, for Puar and leftist academics who look at Israel as an illegitimate settler colonial regime, Palestinians attempting to murder Israelis are never thought of as terrorists; instead, they are part of a justified “resistance” to oppression and occupation. Unsurprisingly, Puar is also on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, a leading coordinator of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement on campuses. And more alarming than her open support of the BDS movement is Puar’s explicit support for terrorism against Israeli citizens as a corollary aspect of the BDS movement. BDS “is such a minor piece of how Palestine is going to be liberated, [and] we need BDS as part of organized resistance and armed resistance in Palestine as well [emphasis added]” she has said. “There is no other way the situation is going to change.”

When pro-Palestinian activists and critics of Israel, such as Professor Puar, repeat the claim that Palestinians somehow have an internationally-recognized legal “right” to resist so-called occupation through violent means, they are both legitimizing that terror and helping to ensure that its lethal use by Israel’s enemies will continue unabated. Those who lend their moral support to terrorism, and who continually see the existence of “grievance-based violence” as a justifiable tool of the oppressed, have made themselves apologists for radical Islam and terrorism, not to mention questioning Israel’s legal right to protect its citizens from being slaughtered.

Puar also accuses Israel of randomly, and recklessly, targeting medical facilities and other infrastructure as a deadly way “to provide the bare minimum for survival, but minimal enough to attempt to defeat or strip resistance” where “. . . the target here is not just life itself but resistance itself.”  But Puar’s view that Israel’s military operations are characterized by disproportionality and a disregard for human life—even of its mortal foes—was, in fact, totally contradicted by a report prepared by The High-Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict in 2014, which found that “during Operation Protective Edge . . . Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.”

Professor Puar is a feminist and gender studies specialist, and one may wonder why she has invested so much of her academic energy in vilifying Israel. But her obsession with Israel and its various perceived modes of oppression and brutality toward a weak, innocent victim group is consistent with many academics in the humanities and social sciences who increasingly find a linkage as they seek to affirm the rights of the victimized and name the villains responsible for this oppression. The more that seemingly unrelated instances of oppression can be conflated, it is thought, the greater the ability to confront these oppressors and neutralize the negative effect they have on society at large.

This trend is called “intersectionality,” and it has meant that someone who is a gender studies professor, or queer theorist, or American studies expert can, with no actual knowledge or expertise about the Middle East, readily pontificate on the many social pathologies of Israel, based on its perceived role as a racist, colonial oppressor of an innocent indigenous population of Arab victims. For Professor Puar and her fellow academic travelers, to know one victim group is to know any victim group—with Israel being a tempting and habitual target of their opprobrium.

Thus, for instance, supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have often linked racism and police violence “from Ferguson to Palestine,” as their placards have announced, making Israel somehow complicit in American racism and police brutality and creating a moral equivalency between Palestinian and black American victims of oppression. In The Right to Maim, Puar discusses the supposed linkage between Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, seeing in both struggles a common theme of weak victim groups being oppressed by the forces of racism and colonialism, respectively.

“‘Hands up, don’t shoot!’ is not a catchy slogan that emerges from or announces able-bodied populations,” Puar suggests, assuming that black victims of police shootings are always innocent and their deaths are the result of police brutality as opposed to the consequences of criminal behavior. “Rather,” she continues, “this common Black Lives Matter chant is a revolutionary call for redressing the debilitating logics of racial capitalism. It is a compact sketch of the frozen black body, rendered immobile by systemic racism and the punishment doled out for not transcending it.”

And just as the black male is a perennial victim of “racial capitalism” and “systematic racism,” the Palestinian terrorist is also a victim, never a perpetrator. The Black Lives Matter story, for Puar, is analogous to and also “ . . . is the story of a Palestinian resister shot dead for wielding a knife (if that) against an idf [sic] solider who has the full backing of the world’s military might. ‘I can’t breathe!’ captures the suffocation of chokeholds on movement in Gaza and the West Bank as it does the violent forces of restraint meted out through police brutality. ‘Hands up, don’t shoot!’ and ‘I can’t breathe!’ are, in fact, disability justice rally cries.”

Supporters of the Palestinian cause have come to accept the fact that Israel will not be defeated through the use of traditional tools of warfare. Instead, the Jewish state’s enemies, abetted by the academic and media elites in the West, have begun to use different, but equally dangerous, tactics to delegitimize and eventually destroy Israel in a cognitive war. By dressing up old hatreds against Jews, as Puar has done in this new book, combined with a purported goal of seeking social justice for the oppressed, and repackaging ugly biases as seemingly pure scholarship, she and Israel’s other ideological foes have found an effective, but odious, way to ensure that the Jew of nations, Israel, is still accused of fostering social chaos and bringing harm and death to non-Jews.

It is a vicious and ugly trope in the centuries-old history of the world’s oldest hatred: that Jews still harbor murderous, sadistic, and inhuman impulses against non-Jews and wish to injure or murder them—in the current day with the Palestinian Arabs as long-suffering victims of the Jew of nations, Israel.

Richard L. Cravatts, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.

Abbas’s Satisfied Customers

June 29, 2016

Abbas’s Satisfied Customers, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, June 28, 2016

abbas

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

One of the more remarkable aspects of the blood libel sounded by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in his address before the European Parliament in Brussels last week is the claim that he ad-libbed the part about rabbis poisoning Palestinian wells.

After refusing to meet President Reuven Rivlin who was also in Brussels last week, Abbas ascended the podium in Brussels and began his custom of demonizing Jewish and Israel. Clearing his throat, the man whose incitement is most responsible for the fact that the Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic people in the world, began his speech by saying, “We are against incitement.”

Then, as is his wont, Abbas proceeded to incite mass murder of Jews by accusing rabbis of ordering the poisoning of Palestinian wells.

In his words, “Just a week ago, a week, a group of rabbis in Israel announced, in a clear announcement, demanding their government, to poison, to poison, the water of the Palestinians.”

“Is this not incitement? Is this not clear incitement, to the mass murder of the Palestinian people?” It’s not quite clear what it was that he was ad-libbing but a reasonable bet is that he was embellishing what was already in his planned speech. In the days preceding his speech, the Abbas-controlled PLO media put out stories claiming that a non-existent rabbi, who heads a non-existent rabbinical council issued an opinion that Jews in Judea and Samaria should poison Palestinian wells.

As the IsraellyCool website pointed out, by Abbas’s telling, it wasn’t just one non-existent rabbi, who heads a non-existent rabbinical council that told Jews in general to poison wells. In Abbas’s ad-libbed version, the entire non-existent council, led by the non-existent rabbi ordered the government to poison Palestinian water.

At any rate, whether Abbas winged the blood libel or just embellished a less powerful one, far from being a mitigating factor for judging the significance of his statement, the claim that he was speaking on the fly makes it all the worse.

Abbas simply couldn’t help himself.

There he was, facing the EU Parliament which has shoveled out billions of euros to fund his incitement for the past two decades, and either one of two things happened. Either his EU-funded Jew hatred took control of him and just couldn’t restrain himself, or he decided to show the Europeans that their investment in him has been well placed.

For their part, his European funders couldn’t be more pleased with the product of their investment.

And so we had the remarkable spectacle of Abbas receiving a prolonged standing ovation at the end of his remarks. Israelis expected the European parliamentarians to walk out, or boo, or interject a few cat calls.

But Abbas knew his audience better than the Israelis do. He gave them the red meat they paid for, and they rewarded him for it with a huge, enthusiastic ovation.

The least remarkable aspect of Abbas’s revolting claim is that two days later he walked it back after The New York Times called him on it.

Abbas libels Israel either directly or through his media every day. Every once in a while, a Western media outlet is moved to report on a specific lie he tells. When that happens, he walks it back. And then he says it again, or something equally racist the next day and everyone shrugs or ignores it completely.

Abbas felt comfortable accusing rabbis of ordering the Israeli government to poison wells in front of a room of European lawmakers because for the past 20 years, the EU has been underwriting what may be the largest anti-Semitic hate campaign since the Nazis rose to power. Abbas knows they do this because he has been depositing their checks.

Every year, the EU shovels more than a billion euros over to the Palestinians. As was the case in 2012, even in times of economic austerity in Europe, funds to the PA keep increasing. And with those funds, Abbas has indoctrinated the Palestinians to hate Jews and seek their mass murder and the destruction of the State of Israel as their highest aspiration.

And that of course is just the direct aid to the PA.

There is also the EU financing of anti-Israel NGOs, staffed by Israelis as well as Palestinians. Their job is to propagate blood libels like the one Abbas shared last Thursday. Every year, the EU and its member states give these groups millions of euros to spread tales of Israelis and Jewish avarice.

Two such groups – Breaking the Silence and B’tselem – have been enthusiastic parties in the water libels that come out in early summer every year. Both groups receive the lion’s share of their funding from foreign governments, mainly in Europe.

Last week, NRG website published candid camera footage of Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, spreading a well-poisoning libel nearly identical to Abbas’s to a group of tourists by the village of Susiya, in southern Judea.

Shaul told the tourists, “One of the [Arab] villages, this village actually, it’s new that they [the Palestinians] came back because a few years ago the settlers basically poisoned all the water systems of the village.”

The footage was taken by the Ad Kan organization two years ago. For the past several years, Ad Kan’s operatives infiltrated far-left, EU-funded NGOs and surreptitiously filmed their activities.

They took their findings public in January. Another film by Ad Kan, which was broadcast in January, showed Breaking the Silence members gathering tactical intelligence about IDF weapons systems and tactics deployed during the war with Hamas two years ago.

In the latest iteration of the water libel, of which Abbas’s well-poisoning story was just one product, B’tselem’s public relations director Roy Yellin tweeted, “While Palestinians suffer from severe water shortage, settlement swimming pools are full.”

As the Elder of Zion website noted, Yellin linked to a Haaretz report which made no such claim.

Moreover, as it noted, Palestinian water parks in Judea and Samaria are currently open for business and wet.

Lost in all the current coverage of the annual water shortage is that fact that Israeli communities in Samaria also had no water last week. Kedumim, Shilo and several other Jewish communities were without running water until earlier this week. Israelis were provided with drinking water from water tanks, just like the Palestinians were.

Also lost in the coverage is the clear fact that the Palestinians are solely responsible for the water shortage.

As Roi Sharon reported on Channel 10 news Sunday, there are two causes for current water shortages plaguing Palestinians and Israelis alike. First, there is the problem of massive water theft by Palestinians.

According to Sharon, over the past year, Palestinians stole five million cubic meters of water.

Second, for the past 20 years, Abbas and his associates have refused to agree to allow Israel to upgrade water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria to provide adequate water for the overall population.

Unlike Abbas and his PLO, Israel still upholds the agreements it signed with the PLO. In 1995, the sides agreed that they would only act together to improve the water infrastructure. And the Palestinians – as Abbas again proved – would rather have their people suffer from water shortages, victims in the EU-funded PA’s endless propaganda war against the Jews – than improve their lives and remove their talking point.

The same goes for Abbas’s Israeli partners in blood libel dissemination and of course, for the Europeans, who pay for the whole operation.

Abbas’s most recent anti-Jewish diatribe, and the warm reception it received from the Europeans who paid for it bear an important lesson for the many Israelis who search endlessly for ways to build friendlier relations with Europe.

The hard truth is that we cannot do anything to influence them. They operate in a closed intellectual circle.

They pay for blood libels. They receive them with standing ovations. They disseminate them at the UN and their media. And then they organize “peace” conferences, where Israel is expected to accept as fact or spend its entire time dispelling the lies they create through their Israeli and Palestinian employees and disseminate through their media.

The only option Israel has in the face of this circle of hatred is to attack the Europeans mercilessly for their Jew hatred and anti-Jewish discrimination.

Our only prospect for impacting this diseased, racist environment is to appeal to the conscience of those Europeans who still have one. Beyond that, the time has come to write them off.

Humor | Op-Ed: My chat with Abbas’s “blood libel” rabbi

June 27, 2016

Op-Ed: My chat with Abbas’s “blood libel” rabbi, Israel National News, Jack Engelhard, June 27, 2016

Last week PA “president” Mahmoud Abbas went to Europe with a bagful of accusations against Israel, namely that “rabbis are calling on Israel to poison Palestinian water.” In return, people accused Abbas of bringing up the oldest, vilest and most discredited blood libel of all time.

Some said no such rabbi existed and that no real rabbi would ever say such a thing.

But wait just a moment, please. I met this rabbi, the particular one Abbas had in mind.

I happened to be in San Francisco where this rabbi preaches and where he davens Zen with Michael Lerner, the renowned Seer of Berkeley. I caught up to him during a bowling tournament on Saturday, normally the Sabbath and a day of rest, but these were the finals. We talked when it wasn’t his turn to throw.

Rabbi Matt belongs to BDS Clergy for Abbas, which goes back to Jews for Arafat.

This rabbi knows Jewish suffering. His parents died during the Holocaust – in Cleveland.

He was happy to say that he knew Abbas personally and that Abbas had quoted him correctly.

“Too late,” said the rabbi when I told him that Abbas was trying to walk back that kind of talk. “You can’t UN-spill the beans.”

But the entire world already heard Abbas tell a big fat lie. “You can call it what you want,” challenged the rabbi. “You’re forgetting truth.”

Truth?

“We call it truth Palestinian-style.”

Good point.

“Don’t forget,” the rabbi said. “Like Abbas himself says, Palestinians were here before anybody.”

So was the cockroach.

The rabbi was full of information.

“Jesus was a Palestinian. Did you know?”

Incredible news.

“Just ask Mahmoud. He says so right here on Google.”

I will check this out.

“Columbus was a Palestinian. My pal Mahmoud. I choke up when he speaks. Don’t you?”

Absolutely.

“Abbas gets standing ovations at the EU and the UN. They love it when he talks dirty. One zinger after another. Abbas really knows how to kill.”

That is a fact.

“So is this. The Palestinians invented the wheel, the automobile, the airplane and the computer. Just ask him.”

Does he have proof?

“It’s enough that he’s a man of peace. He’s all in for a two-state solution. One half for Hamas, the other half for Fatah.”

That’s been clear for some time.

Zipping right along, was this rabbi aware that no legit rabbi would ever say what he’s been quoted as saying?

“I AM a legit rabbi. How dare you!”

“Where,” I asked him, “did you make smicha?”

“What’s that?”

I explained that it’s about being ordained from a qualified and certified yeshiva.

“Hell yeah I’ve been ordained. Cheap. For $180 I can get you ordained, too. For that price, anybody can become a rabbi.”

“Where?”

“Right around the corner. Mack’s Tattoo Shop.”

“Are you Jewish?”

“That costs an extra 800 bucks. For an additional 650 you can be an accredited expert in Cabbala. A 10-minute course. In and out.”

“I’ve heard enough.”

“No you haven’t. Mack is running a Tuesday Special. For a measly 2,000 bucks you get the works and Mack will throw in a full-body tattoo job. Like mine.”

Wow!

“Tell him Rabbi Matt sent you and he’ll discount 10 percent. Interested?”

“Sure. Maybe later. Right now I just wanted to know where Mahmoud Abbas gets his facts and information.”

“So now you know. His word is as good as mine.”

Right, truth Palestinian-style.

Annals of Mewling Idiocy

June 25, 2016

Annals of Mewling Idiocy, Power LineScott Johnson, July 25, 2015

(Why are so many in Israel distressed at Britain’s Brexit vote?)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now serving the twelfth year of his four-year term. He is an absurd and contemptible figure. In a perfectly timed companion to the Brexit referendum, Abbas had the honor of addressing the European Parliament this past Thursday. Abbas drew a standing ovation for his EU speech. (Emphasis added. — DM)

In the course of his remarks Abbas accused (mythical) Israeli rabbis of “demanding” that the Israeli government poison Palestinian water. Yair Rosenberg took up Abbas’s remarks at Tablet.

Abbas’s assertion was the kind of anti-Semitic lie in which he and his colleagues specialize, yet State Department spokesman John Kirby could not bring himself to denounce Abbas’s accusation Thursday. “I’ve seen the comments,” Kirby said: “I can’t confirm the veracity of that” (italics added). Kirby had an open mind on the possibility that rabbis had called for the poisoning of the Palestinians.

As if that weren’t enough, Kirby made the usual idiotic call for evenhandedness, calling on “both sides” to mind their manners. “We have long said what we want is for both sides to ratchet down not just the violence but the rhetoric, which can inflame some of the violence,” he said. “We just don’t find that sort of rhetoric helpful.”

Diaa Hadid follows up on the story in today’s New York Times. She reports that the PLO retracted the accusation early this morning. The retraction, if that is is what is, reads: ““After it has become evident that the alleged statements by a rabbi on poisoning Palestinian wells, which were reported by various media outlets, are baseless, President Mahmoud Abbas has affirmed that he didn’t intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world.”

Was the PLO statement published in Arabic in addition to English? I don’t know.

Hadid adds this uncharacteristically quizzical note to her report (italics added): “It was not immediately clear why Mr. Abbas repeated the allegation on Thursday, days after it was widely debunked. Neither the rabbi who supposedly made the claim, nor the organization quoted in the original P.L.O. article, appear to exist.”

The State Department transcript of Kirby’s comments is here. Jenna Lifhits links to it in her Weekly Standard post.