Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Hebrew University's Professor of Terrorism:
A Bailout Fairy Tale
In this story, the princess doesn't awake with a kiss, the giant kills
Jack, and the glass slipper doesn't fit.
December 19, 2008 - by Steven Plaut
Once upon a time there was a tropical island in the South Pacific in which
the natives polished nice shiny marbles made out of the exotic pebbles
that sometimes washed up on their shores. In the evenings the tribesfolk
would gather around a bonfire and exchange tales and songs. Sometimes they
would also exchange the pretty marbles among themselves.
One day a whaling ship was blown off course and anchored in the lagoon of
the island. The captain decided to investigate the island civilization. It
was discovered that the islanders were all enormously happy and satisfied
with their lives, largely because they were so wealthy. 'Every single one
of us is richer than even the richest whaling captain in your lands,' they
explained. 'You see, each of these shining marbles is worth 100,000 gold
nuggets in our economy. We trade them actively among ourselves. Any of us
can convert a single marble into cash or real assets at that rate any time
Sure enough, the going rate for domestic trading in the shining marbles
was 100,000 gold nuggets each! The marbles could be used to purchase huts,
fields, canoes, harpoons, or anything else. 'A paradise on earth,'
observed the captain in his log.
Two years later, the same whaling ship with the same captain made a stop
at the same island to take on provisions. But this time the atmosphere
there was different. 'We are all so depressed,' explained the tribesfolk.
'Our entire economy has been collapsing for many months. The pretty shiny
marbles that were worth 100,000 gold nuggets two years ago have been
dropping in value. They are now trading in our local marble exchange for a
mere 5000 nuggets each.'
Sure enough, the marbles could still be used to purchase mangos, huts, and
wives, but at a far less favorable rate of conversion.
'I am a little confused,' said the whaling captain. 'Help me to
understand. The marbles are trading at a lower conversion value, but what
has happened to the total number of marbles in the possession of the
residents of the island?'
'Oh, that has not decreased,' answered the tribal witch doctor. 'In fact
we have a bit more of them than we had when you were last here, thanks to
some new coral pebbles being washed up onto the beaches.'
'Ok, so what about the fields and the huts and the canoes?' asked the
'They are all still intact. We have at least the same number of each sort
of real asset as we had the last time you anchored here. We have even more
marbles and gold nuggets than before.'
'But then you are not really any worse off than you were back then,'
observed the captain.
'You are forgetting about the value of our marbles,' sighed the tribal
chief. 'Our tribesfolk are unwilling to accept marbles in exchange for
real goods at a rate of conversion no more than 5% of the old rate.'
'Yes, but that is because the islanders living here have subjectively
re-evaluated the pretty marbles and assigned to them a new lower trading
value.' The captain added: 'The current value is no less authentic than
the previous high value we observed when we were last requisitioning
things here two years ago.'
'But you misjudge the mood of our islanders,' objected the chief. 'Because
of the massive losses in their wealth from the drop in marble prices, we
are observing family breakups, increasing drunkenness and consumption of
rum, outbreaks of shingles, and a few people even jumping to their demise
out of coconut trees.'
'That is sad,' observed the whaler.s first mate, 'but something here is
still wrong. Nothing in the real sector of island life has changed. You
have as much food, housing, and clothing as you had last time we were
here, more in fact. So why are the islanders convinced they have been
The crew of the whaling ship scratched their heads in wonder. They decided
to extend their stay on the island to investigate what was happening.
Meanwhile, the tribal witch doctor came up with a new plan. 'We have got
to rescue the islanders and save our standard of living,' he insisted in
between partaking of traditional dances around the bonfire. 'Here is what
I suggest. Let us restore the value of pretty shiny marbles at close to
their previous exchange value. We will collect all the gold nuggets and
half the fields from our tribesfolk and we will then use these to buy up
pretty marbles from our islanders at the conversion rate of 90,000 gold
nuggets per marble. This will restore the wealth of our people to close to
the levels that they enjoyed before the collapse in marble prices. We
will restore their confidence in our leadership and in the economy.'
When the rescue plan was announced, cries of joy came from the huts of the
fishermen and the farmers. 'At last our chiefs are taking real action to
rescue us! Our wealth is now safe!'
But the whaling captain was still skeptical. 'All you are doing is
inflating the conversion value of the marbles,' he objected. 'But there is
no new real wealth being added to your island. You do not have any more
fields, huts, or pineapples than you did before.'
'Not only that,' chimed in the first mate, 'but what you are really doing
is taking gold nuggets and fields away from the islanders, to be used to
buy marbles back from those same islanders. When you are done, the
islanders as a group will have the same number of gold nuggets and fields
as they did before your rescue plan. In fact, the island will also have
the same number of shiny marbles. At most, you are redistributing
marbles, nuggets, fields, and spears among your tribespeople.'
At that point the whaling shift lifted anchor. But a year later it did
return to the island for one last visit before whaling was outlawed by the
world council. This time, things really had changed on the island. Over
the past year, the islanders had finally figured out that it was they who
were being required to supply the resources to be used to rescue the value
of the marbles and to finance those repurchases from themselves at the
higher marble conversion rates.
Because of the massive requisition of nuggets and fields needed to finance
the rescue plan, many of the farmers and fishermen had decided to stay
home sipping tropical juices rather than produce. After all, the taxes
they were forced to pay to finance the rescue plan convinced many that
effort and labor were not worthwhile. Others decided to take early
retirement. 'After all,' explained one ex-fisherman, 'the government has
promised to keep the value of our marbles high.' In other cases,
tribesmen concluded that diving for reef fish and other dangerous
activities no longer paid enough after taxes to make them worthwhile.
Still others stopped sweating in the plantain fields because they figured
the tribal chiefs would take care of them and make sure they had enough
purchasing power as retirees. After all, just think of all those valuable
marbles the chiefs had bought up and were holding, which could be used to
support those who stopped working.
Overall, food production was down, the fleet of fishing canoes had
decreased sharply, and huts were being allowed to deteriorate. Social
cohesion was being undercut, as fewer islanders had enough real assets to
purchase brides, and the fertility rate had decreased.
'Now what will you do?' asked the whaling captain. 'Simple,' replied the
island chief. 'We will increase the tax rates on our islanders so that we
will have more resources to expand the rescue plan and so we will help the
economy to an even greater extent.'
As the whaling ship lifted anchor and sailed off into the sunset, the
captain made an entry into his log that read, 'The islanders have lost
Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business
Administration at the University of Haifa
2. More leftwing apartheid in Israel:
3. Jews against Neo-Nazi Finkelstein:
Nurit Peled-Elhanan is one of the most openly pro-terrorism faculty
members at the Hebrew University, where she teaches education of all
things. She may be best known for blaming Israel when her own daughter
was murdered on a bus by a Palestinian suicide bomber.
As reward for her lobbying on behalf of terrorists, including those who
murdered her daughter, she was awarded a "Sakharov Prize." Now she has
decided to capitalize on that by escalating her work on behalf of
terrorism. In a public statement this week, she stated the following:
' These words are dedicated to the heroes of Gaza, the mothers and fathers
and children, the teachers and doctors and nurses who are proving every
day and every hour that no fortified wall can imprison the free spirit of
humanity and no form of violence can subdue life. The pogrom being carried
out by the thugs of the Occupation army against the residents of the Gaza
Strip is known to everyone and yet the world is impotent as always.. He
(Bialik) did not imagine that those foundations would be the foundations
of the state of Israel. That the Jewish and Democratic State of Israel
would demagogically use the expression "blood on his hands" to justify its
refusal to release freedom fighters, children and peace leaders from the
worst of prisons, while immersing all of us in the blood of innocent babes
up to our necks, up to our nostrils, so that every breath we take sends
red bubbles of blood into the air of the Holy Land. But the siege of Gaza
is only one of many sieges imposed today in the world by democratic powers
as well as by non-democratic ones. All those sieges are meant for one
purpose: to silence the voice of freedom and justice.'
The source for the previous quote is here:
For more on Elhanan-Peled's anti-Israel agitprop, see these:
Want to tell the heads of the Hebrew U what you think of her being on the
faculty? Here are the details for how to complain:
President of the Hebrew University
Prof. Menachem Magidor
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905
Tel. 02-6584143, 02-5881905
Rector of the Hebrew University
Prof. Haim Rabinowitch
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905
Tel. 02-5882920, 02-5882919
Hebrew University "Friends of" Offices: