Posted tagged ‘Academia and Israel’

‘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.

Normalizing anti-Semitism on campus

November 14, 2017

Normalizing anti-Semitism on campus, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 13, 2017

Progressive students have decided, from within their own moral self-righteousness, that the Palestinian campaign for self-determination is such a sacred cause that anyone who questions it or expresses the Israeli point of view is a moral retrograde. To support Israel is to risk being deemed a racist, an imperialist, a tacit supporter of apartheid. And more than that: if you are Jewish, or even a non-Jewish student with no connection to Palestinian Arabs or Israelis who has not publicly proclaimed his or her allegiance to the Palestinian cause and denounced the Israeli one, he or she can be deemed morally unworthy of serving as a student leader or even, in the South African instance, of attending a particular university.

The student leaders who, in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, now try to suppress all thought of which they disapprove have sacrificed one of the core values for which the university exists. In their zeal to be inclusive, and to recognize the needs and aspirations of victim groups, they pretend to foster inquiry but have actually stifled it. The first victim in the dilution of academic free speech and debate has been the truth.

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At McGill University recently, three board members of the University’s Students’ Society were removed from their appointments after a vote at the Fall General Assembly due to their alleged “Jewish conflict of interest.” The ouster was led by a pro-BDS student group, Democratize McGill, which was campaigning against pro-Israel students in the wake of a September ruling by the Judicial Board that had rejected the BDS movement on the McGill campus once and for all. This was done on the grounds that the movement failed to uphold the university’s constitution by “violat[ing] the rights of [Israeli] students to represent themselves” and discriminating on the basis of national origin.

In retaliation, and to eliminate pro-Israel views on the board, Democratize McGill launched an effort to purge the board of BDS opponents. This effort was based on the cynical notion that such opponents harbored a clear conflict of interest that arose from their purported biases. Because the students in question were Jewish or pro-Israel (or both), they were labeled by Democratize McGill as incapable of making informed or fair decisions as student leaders.

In stating this premise, the pro-BDS students ignored their own obvious biases as well as the lack of any balance in their own views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They nonetheless felt entirely comfortable suppressing pro-Israel voices and Jewish students on the board, asserting that they sought to remove these students because they “are all either fellows at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), an organization whose explicit mandate is to promote pro-Israel discourse in Canadian politics, or primary organizers for the anti-BDS initiative at McGill.”

Those students were to be disqualified, in other words, for having views that differed from those of the student leaders who sought to purge them. The Jewish board member and two other non-Jewish, pro-Israel board members were subsequently voted off the board.

McGill has a history of seeking to suppress pro-Israel expression, not only in the student government but also in its press. An example is a 2016 controversy involving The McGill Daily, which made the astonishing editorial admission that it was the paper’s policy not to publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.”

“While we recognize that, for some, Zionism represents an important freedom project,” the editors wrote, “we also recognize that it functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Leading up to this revealing editorial, a McGill student, Molly Harris, had filed a complaint with the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) equity committee. In that complaint, Harris contended that, based on the paper’s obvious anti-Israel bias, and “a set of virulently anti-Semitic tweets from a McGill Daily writer,” a “culture of anti-Semitism” defined the Daily – a contention apparently confirmed by the fact that several of the paper’s editors were BDS supporters and none of the staffers was Jewish.

An attempted purging of a pro-Israel student from student government, similar to the inquisition that occurred at McGill, took place in February 2015 at UCLA, when several council members on the USAC Judicial Board, UCLA student government’s highest judicial body, grilled Rachel Beyda, then a second-year economics student, when she sought a seat on the board.

The focus on her candidacy was not her qualifications for the position (which no one seemed to doubt), but the fact that she was Jewish. At issue was the way her “affiliation with Jewish organizations at UCLA . . . might affect her ability to rule fairly on cases in which the Jewish community has a vested interest in the outcome, such as cases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” as the student newspaper described it.

“Ruling fairly,” of course, meant ruling in support of the increasingly virulent anti-Israel campaign on the UCLA campus. Solely on the grounds of her religion, she failed the political litmus test that so-called progressive students, enthralled with their pursuit of social justice, see as their default position – being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.

The same thinking inspired a similarly discriminatory proposal the previous May by two members of UCLA’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which attempted to bar Jewish candidates from filling council positions if they had taken trips to Israel subsidized by the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, or other organizations. According to the activists, those organizations “have openly campaigned against divestment from corporations that profit from Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.”

Of course, there was no mention in this debate of sponsored trips to send pro-Palestinian students to Israel or the territories on propaganda excursions designed to malign Israel and teach visitors an alternate, anti-Israel narrative. Once again, in addition to trying to stack the deck against the pro-Israel argument, this proposal took it as a given that anyone not committed to the Palestinian cause was by default not to be trusted, incapable of making unbiased decisions, and morally compromised.

A particularly odious attempt to rid a campus of Jewish and pro-Israel voices took place in 2015 when student council leaders at Durban University of Technology (DUT) in South Africa floated a proposal suggesting that Jewish students be purged entirely from the institution. As the student body’s secretary, Mqondisi Duma, put it, “We took the decision that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister.” This is, one would think, a rather shocking sentiment from students who themselves benefited from a worldwide campaign in the 1970s and 1980s to end South Africa’s racist apartheid system.

The moral arrogance of the South African students’ proposal was breathtaking, and not only because of its grotesque version of the anti-Semitic practice of making all Jews responsible for the political actions of Israel. It revealed that the pro-Palestinian movement is so enthralled with the righteousness of its cause that anyone who harbors or expresses other views is considered a pariah, unworthy to have his or her ideas heard in the marketplace of ideas on campus.

Progressive students have decided, from within their own moral self-righteousness, that the Palestinian campaign for self-determination is such a sacred cause that anyone who questions it or expresses the Israeli point of view is a moral retrograde. To support Israel is to risk being deemed a racist, an imperialist, a tacit supporter of apartheid. And more than that: if you are Jewish, or even a non-Jewish student with no connection to Palestinian Arabs or Israelis who has not publicly proclaimed his or her allegiance to the Palestinian cause and denounced the Israeli one, he or she can be deemed morally unworthy of serving as a student leader or even, in the South African instance, of attending a particular university.

The student leaders who, in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, now try to suppress all thought of which they disapprove have sacrificed one of the core values for which the university exists. In their zeal to be inclusive, and to recognize the needs and aspirations of victim groups, they pretend to foster inquiry but have actually stifled it. The first victim in the dilution of academic free speech and debate has been the truth.

Dr. 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.

 

Brandeis University: Backing Hamas on Campus

September 27, 2017

Brandeis University: Backing Hamas on Campus, Front Page MagazineSara Dogan, September 27, 2017

Editor’s note: David Horowitz Freedom Center is naming the “Top Ten Worst Schools that Support Terrorists.” The latest school to be named to this list is Brandeis University. Known for its Jewish origins, Brandeis joins the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Irvine, the University of Chicago, DePaul University, and San Francisco State University on the list. Coinciding with the naming of Brandeis to this list, the Freedom Center placed posters on the Brandeis University campus exposing the links between Students for Justice in Palestine and the terrorist organization Hamas, whose stated goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.

As revealed in recent congressional testimony, Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus front for Hamas terrorists. SJP’s propaganda activities are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine, whose chairman is Hatem Bazian and whose principals are former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas. The report and posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop University Support for Terrorists. Images of the posters that appeared at Brandeis and other campuses may be viewed at www.stopuniversitysupportforterrorists.org.

Brandeis University

Brandeis University was named for the first Jewish justice on the Supreme Court, Louis D. Brandeis, and is one of only a few prominent American universities to be founded primarily by Jews. In spite of these strong ties to the American Jewish community, Brandeis has stood apart in recent years for its hostility to Israel and its strong support of Israel’s terrorist enemies. In the past year, swastikas have appeared in multiple locations on campus and the campus SJP chapter has held an event supporting Hamas’s policy of refusing to normalize relations with Israel or its allies. Brandeis rescinded an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a critic of radical Islam and advocate of Muslim women’s rights, while granting one to notoriously anti-Semitic playwright Tony Kushner. Brandeis also hosted a secret listserve where prominent professors exchanged emails attacking Israel—even comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany— and supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that is supported and funded by Hamas. When a Brandeis student used her personal twitter account to call for an Intifada, she was vigorously defended by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Two additional Brandeis students sought to restore relations between the university and Al Quds University in Palestine, which is a recruiting ground for the terror group Hamas.

Supporting Evidence:

In November 2016, a swastika was found on the door of the men’s restroom in the campus library at Brandeis.

On November 3, 2016, Brandeis SJP held an event titled “Apartheid is Not ‘Green’: Greenwashing and Palestine.” The purpose of the event was to demonize Israel and to claim that the Jewish state uses its record of positive environmental activism to hide its alleged “apartheid” and mistreatment of the Palestinians. The event description stated: “Israel inaccurately portrays itself as environmentally conscious in order to justify and distract from its violence against Palestine.” Of course all the violence in the Middle East conflict is the result of a 70-year unprovoked aggression by the Arab states and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas against the Jewish state.

On March 8, 2016, Brandeis SJP held an event called “Presentation & Discussion on Pinkwashing.” The term “pinkwashing” is used by Israel’s enemies to claim that the Jewish state uses its overwhelmingly positive record on gay rights to hide its mistreatment of the Palestinians.

In May 2015, Former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, known for his extreme anti-Israel views, gave the Commencement address at Brandeis. In an op-ed recently co-written for Politico.com, Pickering repeated Hamas tropes such as “Israel’s half-century-long occupation” and stated that “the marginal improvement in Israel’s security provided by these expansive Israeli demands can hardly justify the permanent subjugation and disenfranchisement of a people to which Israel refuses to grant citizenship in the Jewish state.”

On April 23, 2015, Professor Noam Chomsky, known for his extreme anti-Israel views, spoke at Brandeis. During his speech, he described Israel’s actions towards Palestine as “vicious, brutal and criminal” and claimed that Israel “is alone in denying” its “illegal occupation of territories.”

During March 21-27, 2015, Brandeis SJP held Israel Apartheid Week on campus. Israel Apartheid Week is a weeklong series of anti-Israel events designed to demonize and destroy Israel. Events included a talk on “Facing the Ongoing Nakba.” (Nakba, an Arabic term meaning “catastrophe,” is used by Hamas and its supporters to describe the creation of Israel). The “Nakba” event included a display of the false Hamas maps which purport to show the infiltration and colonization by Jews of Arab “Palestine.” The Week also included a talk by Professor Sa’ed Atshan, an anti-Israel activist who currently serves as a professor in “Peace and Conflict Studies” at Swarthmore College, who has called Gaza an “open-aired prison” and has referred to Israeli military strategy as “scorched-Earth policy.”

In December 2014, Brandeis junior Khadijah Lynch, an undergraduate department representative in the African and Afro-American Studies Department, was exposed for her violent anti-American and anti-Israel tweets, including “amerikka needs an intifada. enough is enough” and “a social justice themed institution grounded in zionism. word. thats a fucking fanny dooley.” When Jewish student Daniel Mael published her public tweets, Lynch attacked him and Mael subsequently received death threats. Brandeis SJP defended Lynch in a public statement on Facebook.

On November 9, 2014, Brandeis SJP posted a petition in support of convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmeah Odeh on its Facebook page. Odeh was convicted by an Israeli military court in 1970 for her involvement in two fatal terrorist bombings. She was subsequently convicted of immigration fraud by a U.S. federal jury in 2014, after she failed to disclose her previous conviction on her application for U.S. citizenship. Odeh has claimed that she was tortured into confessing to the Israeli bombings, but U.S. prosecutors have uncovered Israeli military reports indicating that they found “explosive bricks in her room” along with “extensive bomb-making materials and explosives.”

In July 2014, a Jewish student at Brandeis, Daniel Mael, exposed a secret faculty email Listserve of 92 left-wing professors at Brandeis. Some participants in the listserve expressed extreme anti-Israel views while also supporting Hamas’ rhetoric and positions. Professor Donald Hindley, for instance, referred to the Jewish state as “The Vile, Terrorist Israeli Government,” in a post about the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists. Hindley also sarcastically wrote: “Zionist olive trees grow wondrously on Palestinian corpses…In that way, we combine great trees with our own holocaustic ethnic cleansing.” Hindley also compared an eventchallenging the anti-Semitic BDS movement to a Nazi rally, describing it as “Germany in the later 1930s with everyone at least a Nazi sympathizer” and asking “Will the lunch be kosher?” Also on the listserve, Brandeis sociology professor Gordon Fellman sought signatures for an open letter to “end the illegal occupation in Palestine.” According to the letter, “the government of Israel, having provoked the firing of rockets by its rampage through the West Bank, is now using that response as the pretext for an aerial assault on Gaza which has already cost scores of lives.”

In April 2014, two Brandeis students, Eli Philip and Catriona Stewart, who served as co-presidents of the anti-Israel, Jewish student organization, J. Street U., received a $10,000 grant from an organization called the Davis Projects for Peace to travel to Al Quds University in Palestine to attempt to repair relations between Al Quds and Brandeis. The previous relationship between the universities formed in 2003 was severed in 2013 after Al Quds hosted rallies for Hamas during which participants performed a traditional Nazi salute. Philip and Stewart previously disrupted the speech of an IDF member on campus.

Under pressure from students and faculty, in April 2014 Brandeis withdrew an honorary degree offered to women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Some students protested giving the honorary degree to Somali-born Ali, who has condemned the mistreatment of women in Muslim countries, including female genital mutilation, because she is a vehement critic of radical Islam. The tipping point in the controversy came when eighty-seven Brandeis faculty members signed a petition calling for rescinding Ali’s degree because of her “extreme Islamophobic beliefs.” (The term “Islamophobia” has been used polemically by the Muslim Brotherhood to censor any criticism of Islam, including Sharia law.)

Brandeis had previously awarded an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner, who has a long history of anti-Semitic statements, among them the claim that “The biggest supporters of Israel are the most repulsive members of the Jewish community.”

During February 2014, Brandeis SJP staged “Israel Apartheid Week,” a weeklong series of anti-Israel events designed to demonize Israel and create a rationale for its extinction. Events included a speech by notorious anti-Israel activist Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, a book about which one reviewer commented, “It is no exaggeration to say that it could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed).”

On March 26, 2012, members of Brandeis SJP disrupted an event featuring members of the Israeli Knesset which was held at a local Temple. The SJP members wore shirts with “apartheid” written on them in Hebrew and shouted slogans, including “Israel is an apartheid state and the Knesset is an apartheid parliament!” and “We will not welcome Israeli officials to any Brandeis University event until apartheid ends!” These actions are consistent with Hamas’s policy of refusing to “normalize” relations with any pro-Israel groups.

On April 4, 2011, a university panel featuring six members of the Israeli Knesset was disrupted by Brandeis SJP activists who repeatedly called the members “war criminals” and attempted to distribute fake warrants calling for their arrest. The students particularly targeted Avi Dichter, former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, accusing him of torture. One student called to him in Hebrew, “Don’t worry Avi Dichter, we’ll meet you in The Hague.”

Anti-Israel Academics Launch Campus Antifa Group for Faculty

August 19, 2017

Anti-Israel Academics Launch Campus Antifa Group for Faculty, Washington Free Beacon, August 19, 2017

Police clash with demonstrators as they try to clear ‘Antifa’ members and anti-Trump protesters from the area during a protest in Portland / Getty Images

Trinity College’s Williams wrote on social media after GOP House Whip Steve Scalise was shot that white people are “inhuman a-holes” who need to “die.” Drexel University’s Ciccariello-Maher tweeted in 2016, “All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” and this year tweeted that he wanted to “vomit” when he saw someone give their first-class seat on a flight to a uniformed soldier. Both were investigated by their respective academic institutions for these comments.

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Prominent anti-Israel academics launched a campus antifa group earlier this month for faculty across the United States.

Purdue University’s Bill Mullen and Stanford University’s David Palumbo-Liu created the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN) to combat “fascists” who use “‘free speech’ as a façade for attacking faculty who have stood in solidarity with [targeted] students,” as Palumbo-Liu described it on his blog.

Mullen, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, said the mission of CAN was “to drive racists off campuses and to protect the most vulnerable from fascist attack,” and “to build large, unified demonstrations against fascists on campuses when they come.”

When Inside Higher Ed asked Palumbo-Liu about CAN’s views on the use of violence—such as the alleged assault by masked, black-clad antifa members of a conservative student earlier this week—he said the group “would advocate self-defense and defense in various forms of those who are being threatened by fascists, but not violence.”

Palumbo-Liu was more forthcoming about his opposition to the alt-right and white supremacists on campuses, saying he was primarily concerned by their “propensity to physical violence, aggressive confrontation and provocation, and violations of others’ civil rights.”

In his blog post, Palumbo-Liu wrote that CAN would support faculty who fascists “aggressively sought to smear, bully and intimidate … especially faculty of color.”

“Progressive scholars such as Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor, Johnny Williams, Dana Cloud and George Ciccariello-Maher, among others, have each been threatened with violence, or firing, for strong anti-racist social justice commitments,” he claimed.

Trinity College’s Williams wrote on social media after GOP House Whip Steve Scalise was shot that white people are “inhuman a-holes” who need to “die.” Drexel University’s Ciccariello-Maher tweeted in 2016, “All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” and this year tweeted that he wanted to “vomit” when he saw someone give their first-class seat on a flight to a uniformed soldier. Both were investigated by their respective academic institutions for these comments.

Meanwhile, both Palumbo-Liu and Mullen have been leading figures in the academic campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. In 2014, Mullen issued a call on anti-Israel site Electronic Intifada to “de-Zionize our campuses.” Palumbo-Liu, in a 2016 piece titled, “9 things you need to know about the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” recommended readers look to alternative news sources for their information on the region, including several sites accused of publishing anti-Semitic content. He later updated the article to remove If Americans Knew from the list, after receiving backlash for recommending an outlet that has repeatedly published conspiracy theories about Jews. IAK has been marginalized even by virulently anti-Israel groups, such as the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace.

CAN has created an open-access “anti-fascist syllabus” that “analyzes past and present contours of fascist thought and organizing in their various forms, and provides tools for understanding and for fighting fascism today … Primarily, the syllabus articulates fascism as an historical expression of capitalism’s tendency to exploit and dominate poor, working class, and oppressed people.”

“The syllabus is … intended for students, activists, teachers, unionists, workers, and communities: Muslims, Jews, women, LGBTQI+ individuals, socialists, communists, anarchists, people of color, working-class people, and the alternatively abled, and is an act of solidarity with these communities’ struggles for self-defense,” according to the description.

The syllabus has collected dozens of articles from left-leaning sources such as the American Socialist QuarterlySocialist RegisterThe NationMother Jones, Jacobin magazine, and publications from the defunct communist Sojourner Truth Organization.

In the wake of the white supremacist march at Charlottesville, CAN issued an invitation for more academics to join its cause. The group has already reportedly seen a spike in membership.

Neither Palumbio-Liu nor CAN responded to inquiries about the program.

Anti-Israel Curricula Used in World History Courses Across the Country

August 12, 2017

Anti-Israel Curricula Used in World History Courses Across the Country, Washington Free Beacon, August 12, 2017

Getty Images

A monograph published late last month of anti-Israel curriculum used in Newton, Mass., public high schools has led to revelations of similar materials in circulation at other school districts in the country, the report’s researcher told the Washington Free Beacon on Thursday.

Steven Stotsky of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) said that since the release of his findings in “Indoctrinating Our Youth: How a U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam,” he has received phone calls alerting him to disquieting curricula being used in Michigan and California.

“We turned over a rock and discovered a significant problem,” said Stotsky, about his deep dive into textbooks, articles, timelines, and maps used from at least 2011 to 2015—some possibly still in use—for World History course sections on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Islam in Newton’s two public high schools, which are among the most prestigious in the country.

The materials included the Arab World Studies Notebook, a textbook the American Jewish Committee has previously condemned as filled with “factually inaccuracies,” “overt bias,” and “unabashed propagandizing”; a timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that almost entirely omitted instances of Palestinian terrorism; and a misrepresentative translation of the Hamas charter.

Stotsky said procedures must be established for vetting all materials brought into the classroom.

“Teachers are pulling things off the Internet, and a lot of it is fine, but a lot of it not. They can’t just be giving this stuff to students,” said Stotsky.

He questioned the decision to teach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a history class at all.

“History is complicated enough when you are studying issues that are 100, 200 years old,” he said. “You further complicate things when you add current events, and the Israeli-Palestinian issue is still politically and ideologically active.”

Stotsky’s report was the first comprehensive study of these materials, which were only obtained after a years-long battle with Newton administrators by an ad-hoc group of parents and concerned citizens.

Questions about the Newton curriculum were first raised in 2011, but the school district delayed turning over the documents until the summer of 2016. They only complied with those demands after Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in October 2014, and even then dragged their feet for another two-and-a-half years.

“The obstruction, the failure to respond to citizens’ concerned, the lack of transparency was shocking,” said Stotsky. “The fact that it had to go all the way to a FOIA request is outrageous.”

An easy fix to the transparency issue, said Stotsky, would be simply throwing all curricula up on the Internet as a matter of policy.

Inaccurate, misleading, and radical Israel education is an ongoing problem at area schools, Stotsky said, pointing to a May 2017 “Middle East History Day” program at Newton North High School, at which he described a speaker as giving an “anti-Israel rant” to 150 students.

According to Stotsky, all the members of the Newton School Committee were sent copies of the CAMERA monograph weeks ago, and were asked to respond. Stotsky has been met with silence.

Ruth Goldman, the chair of the Newton School Committee—one of whose roles she said is “transparent communication with parents”—said all of the committee members received the CAMERA monograph and that a few had skimmed through it.

“You have to understand, we receive a lot of materials, and we can’t look through everything. We proactively seek out things that are agenda items for the committee. We don’t take up every thing that comes across our email,” said Goldman.

Goldman also said she couldn’t speak to the details of the case because “all that happened before my time on the committee.” She has served as the committee chair since 2013, a year before the FOIA was first submitted.

“It really had all been taken care of by the time I got here. It’s an old subject at this point,” Goldman said. “We communicate regularly with parents. We have a transparent process at the school committee.”

She wouldn’t speak to specific school curriculum, but said the district adheres to state guidelines and that “history is a tricky subject” taught in a “narrative and critical framework.”

Other school committee members told the Washington Free Beacon that they had not received the monograph and were not familiar with the case.

The mayor of Newton, who also sits on the school committee, was “too busy” to comment.

The superintendent did not respond to the Free Beacon‘s inquiry.

Indoctrinating America’s youth against Israel

August 4, 2017

Indoctrinating America’s youth against Israel, Israel Hayom, Richard Baehr, August 4, 2017

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East ‎Reporting in America has published a new monograph: “Indoctrinating Our ‎Youth,” a case study of the bias in the high school curriculum in one U.S. city ‎when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and teaching about Islam.‎

The booklet is of interest because it helps explains a dramatic shift in the attitudes ‎toward Israel among younger Americans.‎

According to a study by the Brand Israel Group, in just six years, support for Israel ‎has dropped from 73% to 54% among U.S. college students. The drop-off in support among Jewish college ‎students has been particularly steep — from 84% to 57%. It is no great secret that the environment for pro-‎Israel students on many if not most college campuses has become quite hostile. ‎The movement to create an intersectionality of interests among various purveyors ‎of identity politics — the LGBT community, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims, among others — ‎now seems to have adopted anti-Zionism among its key tenets. The exclusion of ‎Jewish women in Chicago from various rallies because they carried rainbow flags ‎with the Star of David is typical of the increasingly fierce attempts to banish ‎anything remotely connected to Israel from the movements on the Left.‎

Elements of the organized Jewish community have been working to fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement ‎on college campuses and to support, train and educate pro-Israel activists. It is ‎clearly difficult for pro-Israel students to isolate themselves from accepted ‎‎”wisdom” or belief among their peers and push back with an alternative ‎viewpoint.

But the CAMERA study reveals that the problem begins earlier than ‎college. The pattern of indoctrination and ‎pressure to adopt narratives hostile to Israel are now common in high school, if not ‎even earlier.

In a typically comprehensive, carefully footnoted ‎study, CAMERA staffers took the time to evaluate all the materials used in teaching ‎about Israel, as well as the Islamic faith, in the two high schools in Newton, ‎Massachusetts, an affluent, heavily Jewish suburb of Boston. In some cases, ‎materials had to be obtained through Freedom of Information requests. School ‎administrators did what they could to impede efforts by local ‎parents and a few local groups who pushed back after learning about the heavily ‎slanted curriculum. Promises were made about changes in the class ‎materials that proved to be false. The school system seemed committed to ‎advancing a point of view, if not just circling the wagons when challenged. ‎

One has to ask how this happened, and why. Newton, of course, is part of the ‎Boston metropolitan area, which is densely populated with colleges and ‎universities, including some of the most elite institutions in the country, if not the ‎world. Not surprisingly, given the current orientation toward Israel on campus, ‎the Newton school system relied on materials from the Outreach Center at ‎Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and invited a BDS ‎supporter from the center, Paul Beran, to conduct teacher training activities to ‎help develop the curriculum in the Newton high schools. The center also ‎mainstreamed a textbook, “The Arab World Studies Notebook,” by ‎Audrey Park Shabbas, as a resource for teachers and students. This notebook ‎was described as “replete with factual errors, inaccuracies and misrepresentations” ‎in a study by the American Jewish Committee after parents in Anchorage, Alaska, ‎complained about the book’s bias against Israel back in 2004. ‎

The AJC found the book to be riddled with “overt bias and unabashed ‎propagandizing,” such as depicting Israel as the aggressor in every Arab-‎Israeli war, and praising Muslim conquerors throughout the ages for their ‎‎”gentle treatment of civilian populations.”‎

The CAMERA analysis makes clear that the high schools presented a picture ‎of the Arab-Israeli conflict in which Arabs had no agency, but were always victims ‎of displacement and occupation. The Palestinian Arabs were shown as the ‎indigenous people, dating back to the Canaanites, and the Jews the modern ‎interlopers as a result of the Zionist movement and then European guilt over the ‎Holocaust, leading to the 1947 partition resolution at the United Nations. Palestine Liberation Organization heads Yassar Arafat ‎and Mahmoud Abbas were depicted as leaders who have always sought peace but were stymied by Israeli intransigence ‎and reluctance to share the land. The dispute was always about land, not ‎religion. ‎

Discussion of terrorism as a political tool is almost entirely absent from the ‎materials, and when mentioned, it is explained away as a ‎product of frustration that the plight of the Palestinians was being ignored by the ‎world.

The teachings about Islam naturally soft-pedal the violent history during the Prophet Muhammad’s time, the meaning of jihad, and the growing strength of radical and ‎violent movements within the religion in recent decades. The real threat today is ‎always virulent Islamophobia. ‎

In Newton, there was significant pushback against the school system, though some ‎major Jewish institutions seemed fearful of rocking the boat. But in the time ‎between the complaints by the Anchorage parents and the brouhaha in Newton, a ‎large number of school systems have adopted the textbook, and similarly biased ‎supplemental readings, maps and films, as their blueprint for teaching about the ‎conflict and the region. Thousands of high school history teachers have been ‎introduced and trained in presenting the materials. Other than Anchorage and ‎Newton, there are few instances where parents objected in other locales. Tulsa, ‎Oklahoma, is one of these. ‎

The author of the “Arab World Studies Notebook” has bragged about its wide ‎distribution and influence. ‎According to a Jewish News Service report, “Shabbas has claimed that the Notebook has been distributed to more than ‎‎10,000 teachers, and ‘if each notebook teaches 250 students a year over 10 ‎years, then you’ve reached 25 million students.’‎”

JNS quotes Curriculum Watch’s Dr. ‎Sandra Alfonsi as saying that “the most important statistic is the number of workshops that Shabbas has ‎given to instruct teachers in how to use the book. She has conducted hundreds of such three-day ‎teacher-training sessions.”

Further, JNS reports, “Shabbas’ website names 211 schools where she ‎ran teacher workshops from 2000-2006. Other years are not listed.”

In essence, an entire generation of high school students has been exposed ‎to this propaganda, with virtually no alternative views offered, nor any ‎critical analysis of the bias in the textbook. ‎

CAMERA’s monograph is an important first step in providing such a critical ‎commentary on the textbook and other materials that are now in wide use. ‎Hopefully, both parents and the organized Jewish community will show ‎more sustained interest in battling this insidious corruption of the ‎curriculum, which has but one goal: to create a new generation of ‎Americans far less favorably disposed toward Israel.

 

Richard Baehr is the co-founder and chief political correspondent for the American Thinker and a fellow at the Jewish Policy Center.

The Federal Program Funding Hamas Supporters on College Campuses

August 1, 2017

The Federal Program Funding Hamas Supporters on College Campuses, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, August 1, 2017

When President Trump presented his budget, he defunded Title VI from $72 million to zero. But it’s up to Congress to make it happen.

What’s Title VI?

Title VI of the Higher Education Act set out to fund international studies that would promote our national security. But on many campuses, Title VI centers undermine our national security by supporting Islamic terrorists.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act mandated that Title VI centers reflect a “wide range of views”. Instead when it comes to the Middle East, Title VI centers have only one point of view.

Title VI centers are the organizing points for Islamist and anti-Israel activities on college campuses.  The attacks on Jewish speakers and students, the BDS resolutions and terror support begin with Title VI. So do the pro-Hamas speakers who spew hatred on campuses across America.

Instead of a wide range of views, 6 Title VI Middle Eastern studies directors have backed an academic boycott of Israel. Not only do they not promote a range of views, but they suppress pro-Israel views.

Title VI faculty play a crucial role in supporting campus hate groups from SJP to JVP to MSA. And Title VI material then finds its way from colleges into school classrooms.

All of this hatred is funded by taxpayers. But it doesn’t have to be.

Rep. Grothman, joined by Rep. Allen, Rep. Garrett and Rep. Lamborn are trying to defund Title VI and move funding over to the National Security Education Program (NSEP).  But they face an uphill battle.

Defunding Title VI would do a great deal to neutralize the ugliness and hatred on campuses.

Take the Center for Near East Studies at UCLA. The Center is busy touting a faculty member’s attack on Trump. The faculty includes Khaled M. Abou El Fadl, a leading authority on Sharia Islamic law, whom Daniel Pipes named a “stealth Islamist.” El Fadl provided an “Affidavit of Support” for top Hamas terrorist Abu Marzook. He donated to and defended the Holy Land Foundation: a Hamas front group.

In more recent articles, Abou El Fadl has defended Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. He distinguished between “countries and movements adhering to ideologies of resistance” including “Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas” in contrast to the “moderate” appeasers of America and Israel.

“Why is Saudi Arabia so hostile to political Islam movements such as Hamas, Hizbullah, or the Muslim Brotherhood?” El Fadl asks. And the answer is that the Saudis have become “westernized and secular”.

El Fadl has been touted as a moderate because he criticizes the Wahhabis. But his criticism is not moderate, but Jihadist. He complains that Wahhabis care more about whether a Muslim woman wears a veil than “about the invasions of Iraq, Gaza, or the fate of Jerusalem.”

Should Title VI be in the business of funding centers that echo Osama bin Laden?

“Israel wants to destroy Hamas because Israel wants to continue controlling the fate of Palestinians, neutralizing their nationalism and ideological foundations, and breaking their will to resist,” El Fadl rants.

Should Title VI be in the business of funding Hamas propaganda?

But you don’t have to be an Islamist at the Center for Near East Studies to hate Israel and defend the terrorists.

Take Gabriel Piterberg, the Center’s former director. Piterberg has been at the center of a firestorm, not over his support for terrorists, but over allegations that UCLA officials had attempted to cover up accusations that he had tried to shove his tongue into the mouths of two female grad students.

Piterberg was forced to resign as director of the Center for Near East Studies, but is still on staff.

Gabriel Piterberg backs an academic boycott of Israel and associates with Students for Justice in Palestine. He appeared at a American Muslims for Palestine event. AMP has links to Hamas. He has described Islamic terrorist attacks on Israel as “a frightening piece of consciousness raising.”

Sexual harassment and contempt for the victims of terrorism are all part of the Title VI package.

Piterberg appeared at a Center for Near Eastern Studies event on a panel with Richard Falk. The Gaza and Human Rights symposium came complete with chants of “Zionism is Nazism” and F___ Israel”. Falk is a 9/11 Truther and a fan of the Ayatollah Khomeini who has supported domestic terrorism. His ugly behavior was so extreme that he was condemned by the UN Secretary General.

Falk had described the Boston Marathon bombings as “blowback” to “American global domination.” He was on good terms with an anti-Israel activist had written a book in which he wondered whether “Hitler might have been right.”

A UCLA conference organized by Piterberg included Falk and the latter had been present at a number of CNES events. That is a truly notable accomplishment for a man who had been condemned by the United States government even while it kept on funding Title VI. But that is what Title VI gets you.

UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies is notorious, but it’s not unique.

“For most of human history, human beings have not thought of consent as the essential feature of morally correct sexual activity,” explained Jonathan Brown, the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

The Islamic Studies professor was justifying Islamic sex slavery.

“Slave women do not have agency over their sexual access, so their owner can have sex with them,” he had claimed in the past. And, he asserted, “It’s not immoral for one human to own another human.”

The School of Foreign Service has been a recipient of Title VI funding.

John Esposito, a professor at the School of Foreign Service, testified on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation’s money men for Hamas. Esposito has defended some terrorist attacks by Hamas. He complained that, “despite HAMAS’ victory in free and democratic elections, the United States and Europe failed to give the party full recognition and support.”

Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is Title VI supported. Elliot Colla, who is affiliated with the Center, signed on to a letter claiming that Hamas’ “missile assault was in direct response to Israel’s terrifying the entire population of the West Bank”. Fida Adely, of the Center, pushes BDS and has denounced Israel for raids on Hamas. At a Center event, George Mason University professor Noura Erakat complained that Israel was indiscriminately targeting Hamas people.

These are a few examples out of many. The Freedom Center, the Amcha Initiative, the Canary Mission, Stand With Us, and a great number of other groups have been battling campus anti-Semitism.

This is an opportunity to make a difference.

Defenders of Title VI claim that it will help us fight terrorism. But how can Title VI help us fight terrorism when it promotes terrorism?

While we fight terrorists abroad, Title VI spreads terror at home.

Title VI has become an outlet for anti-Semitism and for anti-American propaganda on campus. If we can change that, then we will send a message that the college campus is no place for terrorists and bigots.