Thursday, March 26, 2009
Stalinism Day at Tel Aviv University
(see web page for links and illustrations)
Stalinism Day at Tel Aviv University
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Stalinism Day at Tel Aviv University
To the right, the President of Tel Aviv University's notion of academic
research and scholarship
On March 25, 2009, Tel Aviv University ran a full-day indoctrination
session in communism, misrepresented as an "academic conference" to
discuss the history of the Israeli communist party. We had been posted
numerous warnings about this before it was held.
Every single speaker at the conference was either a member of Israel's
Stalinist party MAKI or a pro-communist fellow traveler. The most
"moderate" speaker was Yair Tsaban, a leader in Israel's Marxist MAPAM
party, and he was booed by the communists in the audience.
When challenged by a worldwide wave of public denunciation and criticism
for allowing the campus to be used for such purposes, the president of Tel
Aviv University, Prof. Zvi Galil, issued a defense of this communist
indoctrination congress, defending it as a legitimate academic activity.
(His letter was reprinted here). In part he justified it because the
Zionist scholar Anita Shapira would be participating in it. But Shapira
merely greeted the participants at the beginning of the "conference" and
dd not lecture about the subject at hand.
News details about the conference had appeared in the media before it took
place, including here and here. The complete program for the event, with
the list of speakers, can be seen here. The defense by the Tel Aviv
University president of the misuse of campus facilities for Stalinist
indoctrination was all the more alarming when coming from the very same
campus officials who had censored a student protest exhibit exactly a year
ago about human rights abuses in communist China and had ordered the
student exhibit shut down. Academic freedom at Tel Aviv University is
The content of the talks at the "conference" was exactly as expected.
Several of the speakers were party henchmen from the Stalinist MAKI party
and not academics at all. Representatives of the communist party were on
the scene distributing party "literature" and propaganda books. Every
single speaker celebrated and praised communism, and most spent time
attacking Zionism, Israel and Israel's very existence, praising Arab
terrorism as "resistance" to Zionist colonialism.
Among the speakers was Elana Kaufman, who teaches a pro-Arab "narrative"
course at Israel's Open University. She had been a collaborator with the
late pro-terror Marxist sociologist Baruch Kimmerling, best known for his
long pseudo-academic fabrication of the history of the "Palestinian
nation." She spoke at the conference about the communist party's wonderful
role in organizing Arab resistance to Zionism. She denounced Zionism for
coercing the Arabs to become dependent upon the marketplace and for
stealing their lands. She hailed the communist party for organizing the
early violent "Land Day" protests among Arabs to "protest" Israel's
supposed policy of "inflicting injury" on its Arab population. This led to
the party's greatest electoral victory, she said, in which it won 80,000
votes in 1976.
She was followed by Dr. Amal Jamal, currently head of the department of
political science at Tel Aviv University. He bewailed the fate of the poor
Arab communists in Israel. He objected that the communist party is first
and foremost the communist party of Jews, a rather curious observation
given its voter support and membership makeup, and objected that Arabs who
wish to be communists also have to be Israeli.
He was followed by Samiach Al-Qassam, presented as a "Druse poet," whose
lecture was supposed to be on "literature and politics." Instead, his talk
was devoted to the thesis that Jews and Arabs could not be equal in Israel
and so Israel should be dismantled and enveloped within a larger
bi-national Palestinian state with an Arab majority. In other words, a
sort of Middle Eastern version of Rwanda.
Al-Qassam denounced President Obama and ex-President Bush of the United
States for trying to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel instead
of a state that replaces Israel. He then launched a lengthy sycophantic
celebration of how wonderful communists are, how they not only defended
the downtrodden workers but even the middle class. He declared that the
Israeli communist is the true patriot, whereas American capitalists are
phony patriots. He then bragged about how he had been hosted by the
Romanian dictator Ceau.escu and by Russian's Gobachev, although claimed
that as a poet he feels somewhat constricted in formal communist
discipline. Thus when he was in Romania he preferred to dine with his
Romanian security service guide and not with Comrade Ceau.escu himself.
Later in the "open discussion" section of the "conference," Al-Qassam also
bragged about how he had been arrested and later was on Israel's wanted
list for his seditious and illegal activities. Al-Qassam insisted that
Israel stop looking upon the Hamas and the Fat'h as its enemies and
instead should look upon the Jewish political right, which he described as
"racists," as the true enemy. To loud applause he added that while he
understands the suffering of the family of Gilad Shalit, the Jews have to
understand that there are 11,000 Palestinian "Gilad Shalits" imprisoned by
Israel. In other words, Gilad Shalit is the moral equivalent of imprisoned
mass murderers, terrorists, bombers and ordinary criminals in prison.
He was followed by Marxist Gadi Algazi, a radical anti-Zionist from Tel
Aviv University's department of history. Algazi has long denounced Zionism
as a form of colonialism and vilifies every attempt by Israel to defend
its civilians from terrorists, including Israel's security fence. For a
sampling of his anti-Israel propaganda writings, see this. His talk was
devoted to celebrating the Arab "resistance" to Israel and to Zionism, a
resistance that just happens to take the form more often than not of
atrocities and terrorism.
Yair Tsaban, who had long served in the Knesset as a representative of the
Marxist MAPAM party and later of MERETZ (into which MAPAM was merged)
enraged the hostile audience, most of whose members made little secret of
their violent anti-Israel political sympathies. He was the closest thing
to a Zionist participating in the conference. Tsaban aroused the enmity of
much of the audience when he suggested that commemorations for any
suffering of Palestinians be separated from Israel's own celebrations of
its Independence Day. For this he was booed and denounced as
Dov Chanin, a Stalinist Knesset member from Israel's Maki-Hadash communist
party, gave a dry boilerplate denunciation of Western capitalism as the
true danger to human civilization, because capitalism is based on the
pursuit of profit for its own sake. Communism, he insists, represents the
future hope of humanity.
Want to let the heads of TAU know what you think about all this?
Tel Aviv University:
President, Professor Zvi Galil
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
Fax: 972-3-6422379 and 972-3-642-2752
American Friends Offices of Tel Aviv University:
Other "Friends of" Groups: http://www.tau.ac.il/friends-eng.html
2. I frequently describe Ehud Barak as being personally responsible
for the firing of 4000 rockets at northern Israel. His policies directly
produced that and made him morally responsible for those rockets as if he
had fired them with his own hand. Ditto for Ehud Olmert (and also Ehud
Barak) regarding the 8000 Qassam rockets fired from Gaza at the children
of southern Israel. And ditto for them being responsible for Gilad Shalit
rotting in captivity.
Some people object to this characterization of Israeli political leaders.
The Talmud, however, is on MY side in this!
I owe a large hat tip to Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston
Globe, who drew my attention to this:
Here is a Plautian teaching if there ever was one:
The story of Gedalia b. Achikam is told in Jeremiah 40 and 41. Gedalia
was warned by Yochanan b. Kare'ach that a Jewish traitor named Yishma'el
b. Netanya was plotting to kill him. Gedalia refused to believe it.
warned him again, and asked for permission to preemptively kill Yishma'el,
pointing out that if Gedalia were killed, it would prove a disaster for
remaining Jews in Judea ("ve-avda she'erit yehuda"). Gedalia refused.
Sure enough, Yishma'el murdered Gedalia, and slaughtered many other Jews
as well, dumping their bodies in a mass grave.
Now check out the gemara in Niddah 61:
One taught: That was the pit which Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had
filled with slain bodies, as it is written, "Now the pit wherein
Ishmael cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had slain by the
hand of Gedaliah." But was it Gedaliah that killed them? Was it
in fact Ishmael that killed them? . But owing to the fact that he
should have taken note of the advice of Johanan the son of Kareah
did not do so Scripture regards him as though he had killed them.
A perfect lesson, no?
3. Netanyahu betrays his voters:
4. More Israeli auto-annihilation - paying army "salaries" to leftist
traitors who refuse to serve in the army:
5. Dersh on anti-Israel "Investigations":
6. Rushing aid to the HAMAS:
7. Much too little, much too late:
RAMALLAH, West Bank . Israel rounded up 10 Hamas leaders in the West Bank
early Thursday, two days after indirect talks between Israel and the
Islamic militant group on a prisoner swap broke down.
Among those detained were four Hamas lawmakers, a university professor and
a former Hamas deputy prime minister.
8. Interesting column at the Jewish Week:
9. What Israel Lobby?
10. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/130500 New health
care program by Palestinian Authority
12. Israeli Philistines: