Thursday, May 07, 2009

Et tu, Bar Ilan U? Smearing Israel on Al Jazeera!

1. The Bias in Israel's Departments of German:

2. Bar-Ilan University leftist sociologist smearing Israel on Al

Bar-Ilan University Sociologist Orna Sasson-Levy smears the IDF on
Pro-Terror Al Jazeera

by Lee Kaplan, <>

One of the most extremist of Israeli leftist "professors," and surprisingly
someone who teaches at Bar-Ilan University (where she is deputy chair-person
of MA Studies), has just emerged in the limelight as a result of a broadcast
by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news network. The broadcast purported that
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who fought in Operation Cast Lead were
now wearing T-Shirts boasting of their killing pregnant women and children.

Orna Sasson-Levy <> is a
sociologist who specializes in "Gender Studies," one of the trendy new
pseudo-academic disciplines that radical leftists have gotten universities
to recognize. "Gender Studies" is yet another study of "oppression" within
democratic western societies, and never mind about the treatment of women or
female genital mutilation in the Third World. Sadly, Sasson-Levy does little
more than project her political agenda into her "field," and that agenda is
decidedly hateful of Israel's soldiers.

Sasson-Levy, it turns out, is a devoted acolyte of the late Marxist
sociologist Baruch
> Kimmerling, who long
worked assiduously against the Jewish state and who wrote extensively and
negatively about "the state of the IDF" when he was not inventing a history
of a Palestinian "people." Sasson-Levy builds upon Kimmerling's ideas about
the Israeli army as being militarism-gone-amuck in an otherwise uncivilized
society that "oppresses" the Palestinian people. Her curriculum vitae
<> shows she studied personally
under Kimmerling, and this apple did not fall far from the tree. Sasson-Levy
built her entire career upon denouncing the "gender practices of Israeli
women soldiers in 'masculine roles'" as well as "hegemonic masculinity and
Israeli militarism." That is what passes for neutral academic research these
days in Gender Studies.

Sasson-Levy explains in one of her papers
<> that she studies the
IDF by conducting " in-depth interviews with Israeli combat soldiers," in
which she claims that "the warrior's bodily and emotional practices are
constituted through two opposing discursive regimes: self-control and
thrill. The nexus of these two themes promotes an individualized
interpretation frame of militarized practices, which blurs the boundaries
between choice and coercion, presents mandatory military service as a
fulfilling self-actualization, and enables soldiers to ignore the political
and moral meanings of their actions." We are not making this up! In other
words, she dabbles in "scholarly analysis through doubletalk."

In simple English, soldiers in the IDF are not serving to protect their
families from Arab irredentists or jihadis who want to murder or terrorize
them, nor are they protecting the Jewish people from the endless pogroms
conducted against them. Instead, they are serving as blind ignorant
automatons with no moral or political sense, too stupid to understand the
world as Sasson-Levy and the anti-Zionists see it. Military conscription
does not fit her sense of "democracy" either. Never mind that it results in
a people's army that can protect the country so middle-aged intellectuals
like herself can denounce it from the comfort of Bar-Ilan University. Never
mind that the actual elite combat units that do most of the fighting are
generally composed of volunteers who asked for combat duty.

Of course, today any good "Gender Studies" professor worth her salt would
also have to show oppression of women in the military. Sasson-Levy
determines that Israeli women who serve as trainers in the IDF somehow
undergo a "gender transformation" by lowering their voices and actually
behaving there like men, instead of serving in traditional feminine roles
(how sexist of this Gender Studies professor to think such roles exist!).
Frankly, we have seen many a female army officer who looks better in a skirt
than Sasson-Levy! She arrives at these "scholarly theories" after
interviewing a little more than 50 women in the IDF, an army in which about
20% of combat units have women soldiers in them. But, wait! She also
produces another <>
paper in which she explains how women serving as secretaries in the IDF are
subject to male chauvinists forcing them into the "matrimonial principle of
the office wife," which makes them "status symbols" (i.e. underpaid sex

The truth is that as recently as last month the IDF
> once again took steps to integrate further the service
and open up more careers for women. What a surprise to learn from
Sasson-Levy that female drill sergeants are coerced into shouting orders the
same as their male counterparts, instead of curtsying, asking their recruits
to open doors for them, or showing them traditional "feminine" deference.
And frankly, we suspect that if a male recruit were to hold the door open
for a female DI or gallantly throw his coat over a puddle for her to walk
across, Sasson-Levy would have a tantrum. Women soldiers performing
"traditional feminine" roles in the IDF, such as secretaries, are also
enough to get Sasson-Levy's petticoat twisted in rage. In short, whatever
the IDF does, and to whomever it does things, it must always be considered
oppressive and evil.

Sasson-Levy has also appeared and been quoted on the website of Neo-Nazi
pseudo-academic Norman Finklestein, in an article
d=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us> based largely on anonymous "quotes" by IDF
soldiers that are impossible to verify as genuine. A
> PR agent for the Hizballah, Finklestein has built a career on the
claim that world Jewry and Israel use the Holocaust as a profitable industry
to extort the poor Germans and is opposed to the very existence of any
Zionist state.

Al Jazeera routinely refers to suicide bombers and terrorists who murder
Israelis as "martyrs," and was accused of using its correspondents inside
Israel for espionage, phoning in rockets positions to the Hizballah during
the 2006 summer war. In addition, Al Jazeera gives
038;position=> free press time to bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Despite this,
their news crews are allowed into Israel, where they churn out propaganda
against Israel. In part, they are assisted in this by none other than our
Orna Sasson-Levy.

Her latest "scoop" begins with what was a possibly tasteless choice in
tee-shirts by some young Israeli soldiers. One shirt showed a pregnant woman
in gun sights. It was ordered from a commercial tee-shirt print shop. Since
then, soldier "Tee Shirt Insensitivity" has become the new banner of the
anti-Zionist Israeli Far Left!

So amidst the attempt by the Palestinians to obliterate southern Israel in a
rocket blitz, triggering Operation Cast Lead to stop the Qassams falling on
Sderot and Ashkelon, Sasson-Levy and the other "leftists against tee-shirts"
decided to paint the IDF as a bunch of bloodthirsty warmongers and
cutthroats. The Al Jazeera report about the "tee shirt atrocity" was
produced in English so that it has the look of a CNN report. Al Jazeera
expressed no shock or remorse when the Arabs were firing thousands of
Qassams at children in Sderot and Ashkelon. But a tasteless cartoon on
tee-shirts trumps that as a human rights abuse! Or at least it does so
according to Orna Sasson-Levy.

Meanwhile, The Committee For Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
(CAMERA) reports that Danny Zamir, a leftist opposed to Israel fighting the
Hamas in self-defense, submitted a "report" to head of the IDF, Gabi
Ashkenazi, based on some hearsay about Israeli soldiers supposedly shooting
innocent women and children during Operation Cast Lead. The subsequent
investigation proved the accusations false, but, of course, the intended
<> media damage was
already done. Israel's soldiers were smeared. Al Jazeera's cynical use of
Orna Sasson-Levy to further smear the IDF over Shirtgate was similar.

So a handful of IDF soldiers (out of an army of 500,000) were allegedly
purchasing with their own money and wearing objectionable tee-shirts, as a
joke. Shirts that supposedly glorified the killing of women and children!
Gosh, where on earth do teenagers ever don tasteless tee-shirts!?? One
T-shirt had a picture of a pregnant woman in the sight of rifle with the
caption, "One shot, Two Kills." Another tee-shirt had an image of a child in
the gun sight with a comment about how inconvenient it is to kill such a
small target. We are not amused. But we have seen far worse slogans on tee
shirts on the campus of Berkeley and in San Francisco. Frankly, we find the
tee-shirts less disturbing than Arab chants of "In fire and blood we will
redeem thee Oh Palestine."

Gabi Ashkenazi, Chief of Staff of the IDF, rightfully describing the shirts
as "tasteless." He added that the shirts had been made up by a few yahoos,
immature young people with no sense of decorum. But for Sasson-Levy the
shirts were a gold mine. She exploited the prank to smear Israel and the IDF
as a whole, and on Al-Jazeera no less!

Al Jazeera produced a video about the T-shirts that appeared on anti-Israel
web sites and blogs all over the planet, next to headline banners such as
"UN Accuses Israel of War Crimes" and "Guardian Uncovers Evidence of Israeli
War Crimes in Gaza, Parts 1, 2, 3." Al Jazeera of course does not run
stories about Palestinians using
<,1518,553724,00.html> Mickey
Mouse and other childish images on children's TV shows to mass murder of

Interviewed by the Al Jazeera reporter, Sasson-Levy states, "The tee-shirts
are an example of culture, they're symbolic, even if they're not really used
by the Israeli force, right? They're saying. 'This is our culture, we're
proud of it,' and by wearing the T-shirt again and again, you again and
again make public this statement: We are proud of killing Palestinian babies
or Palestinian pregnant women..." Sasson-Levy then adds, "The tee-shirts
represent an increasing trend in Israeli culture that 'dehumanizes'
Palestinians as can be shown on the shirts." You can watch the video here
hirts> . We have yet to hear of anyone ever being blown up by a tee shirt.
[In light of her jihad against the tee-shirts, we kind of prefer that
ultra-feminist haters of Israel should go back to burning bras.]

Sasson-Levy pretends to be an academic expert on women's oppression at the
hands of a patriarchal male-dominated society, a slogan she intersperses in
her "analyses" against the IDF as if it were a punctuation mark. She argues
that tee-shirts are an indication of the acceptance of "force" in Israeli
society. "It's frightening for everyone," she says in the Al-Jazeera video,
"and it's frightening for women in Israeli society and that's also the
orientation the last elections shows, that the state is going more to the
right wing..."

It is a shame that the Arabs do not fire nasty T-shirts into Sderot from
Gaza instead of Qassams...

Actually our scholar Sasson-Levy did no research or interviews at all with
any soldiers on the matter, not even those who allegedly wore the
tee-shirts. She has no way of knowing whether they hate Arabs or just have a
teenager sense of "humor." She also did no research to show that women in
Israel are any more frightened by the patriarchal menfolk of the IDF than by
Qassam rockets. She states for Al Jazeera's camera that the Israeli
electorate voted for the new conservative government because the country is
trending toward violence. It does not occur to her that voters considered
the previous Leftist government to have failed to protect the public from
Arab missile attacks.

And Israeli taxpayers are picking up the bill for such "scholarship."

The Al Jazeera reporter who interviewed her claims to have visited the
tee-shirt shop where the shirts were supposedly printed, but claims he was
ordered out by police. Yeah, sure. I suppose one should also not rule out
the possibility that they were actually ordered in the first place by
Israel's leftist anti-war and pro-Arab groups as a provocation and ruse. We
also do not know if any of the soldiers wearing the tee-shirt had been
stationed in Gaza or took place in combat there

The leftist daily <>
Haaretz also ran a "scoop" about Shirtgate, in which it stated that
employees responsible for producing the shirts at the printer were in fact
Arabs. Could they have created the shirts as a provocation? Or just as a
gimmick to make money? These possibilities do not interest social scientist
Sasson-Levy, who pontificates with authority that such shirts represent a
dangerous trend in Israeli society and the IDF as a whole! On the pro-terror
Al <>

This "expert" on Israeli trends toward violence in society also saw no
hypocrisy in signing a
<> petition to
free Tali Fahima, the Jewish Israeli who helped smuggle weapons for her
Palestinian boyfriend to kill her fellow Israelis.

Even more annoying is that the Israeli taxpayer subsidizes most of the costs
of her Bar-Ilan University salary.

3. More on the Israelis for the extermination of Israel:

by Ann Coulter
May 6, 2009

The media wail about "torture," but are noticeably short on facts.

Liberals try to disguise the utter wussification of our interrogation
techniques by constantly prattling on about "the banality of evil."

Um, no. In this case, it's actually the banality of the banal.

Start with the fact that the average Gitmo detainee has gained 20 pounds in
captivity. There's even a medical term for it now: "the Gitmo gut." Some
prisoners have been heard whispering, "If you think Allah is great, you
should try these dinner rolls."

In terms of "torture," there was "the attention grasp," which you have seen
in every department store you have ever been where a mother was trying to
get her misbehaving child's attention. If "the attention grasp" doesn't
work, the interrogators issue a stern warning: "Don't make me pull this car

Farther up the parade of horribles was "walling," which I will not describe
except to say Elliot Spitzer paid extra for it.

And for the most hardened terrorists, CIA interrogators had "the
caterpillar." Evidently, the terrorists have gotten so fat on the food at
Guantanamo, now they can't even outrun a caterpillar.

Contrary to MSNBC hosts who are afraid of bugs, water and their own shadows,
waterboarding was most definitely not a "war crime" for which the Japanese
were prosecuted after World War II -- no matter how many times Mrs. Jonathan
Turley, professor of cooking at George Washington University, says so.

All MSNBC hosts and guests were apparently reading "Little Women" rather
than military books as children and therefore can be easily fooled about
Japanese war crimes. (MSNBC: The Official Drama Queen Network of the 2012

Given what the Japanese did to prisoners, waterboarding would be a reward
for good behavior.

It might be: waterboarding PLUS amputating the prisoner's healthy arm, or
waterboarding PLUS killing the prisoner. But waterboarding on the order of
what we did at Guantanamo would be a reward in a Japanese POW camp.

To claim that the Japanese -- architects of the Bataan Death March -- were
prosecuted for "waterboarding" would be like saying Ted Bundy was executed
for engaging in sexual harassment.

What the Japanese did to their POWs made even the Nazis blanch. The Japanese
routinely beheaded and bayoneted prisoners; forced prisoners to dig their
own graves and then buried them alive; amputated prisoners' healthy arms and
legs, one by one, for sport; force-fed prisoners dry rice and then filled
their stomachs with water until their bowels exploded; and injected them
with chemical weapons in order to observe, time and record their death
throes before dumping them in mass graves.

While only 4 percent of British and American troops captured by German or
Italian forces died in captivity, 27 percent of British and American POWs
captured by the Japanese died in captivity. Japanese war crimes were so
atrocious that even rape was treated as only a secondary war crime in the
Tokyo trial, similar to what happens during an R. Kelly trial.

The Japanese "water cure" was to "waterboarding" as practiced at Guantanamo
what rape at knifepoint is to calling your secretary "honey."

The Japanese version of "waterboarding" was to fill the prisoner's stomach
with water until his stomach was distended -- and then pound on his stomach,
causing the prisoner to vomit.

Or they would jam a stick into the prisoner's nose so he could breathe only
through his mouth and then pour water in his mouth so he would choke to

Or they would "waterboard" the prisoner with saltwater, which would kill

Meanwhile, the alleged "torture" under the Bush administration consists of
things like:

-- "failing to respect a Serbian national holiday"; or

-- "forgetting to wear plastic gloves while handling a Quran."

Finding out who started the tall tale about "waterboarding" being treated as
a war crime after World War II would take the talents of a forensic
historian, someone like Christina Hoff Sommers.

After years of hearing the feminist "fact" that emergency room admissions
for women beaten by their husbands soared by 40 percent on Super Bowl
Sundays, Sommers traced it back to an unsubstantiated rumination erupting
from a feminist rap session.

But the lunatic claim was passed around with increasing credibility until it
ended up being cited as hard fact in The New York Times, The Boston Globe
and on "Good Morning America."

One of the earliest entries in the "waterboarding as war crimes" myth must
be this October 2006 article in The Washington Post, citing a case raised by
Sen. Teddy Kennedy -- and heaven knows Kennedy understands the horrors of a

"Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese
officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of
waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher
that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor,
and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping
for air until he agreed to talk."

Even if that description of what Asano did were true -- and it isn't -- the
only relevant word in the entire paragraph is "civilian."

Any mistreatment of a civilian is a war crime. So every other part of that
paragraph is utterly irrelevant to the treatment of prisoners of war, much
less non-uniformed enemy combatants at Guantanamo, who could have been shot
on sight under the laws of war.

What Americans need to understand is that under liberals' own "laws of war,"
they will invent apocryphal incidents from history in order to give aid and
comfort to America's enemies and to undermine those who kept us safe for the
past eight years.


5. McCarthyism:

Daniel Bar-Tal (Tel Aviv University - Dept. of Political Psychology) and
David Newman's (Ben Gurion University - Dept of Political Science) use of
"McCarthyism" is "absurd, intellectually dishonest and immoral" according to <> Executive Director Prof.
Gerald Steinberg

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:56:32 +0300
From: Gerald Steinberg <>
Subject: [Social Science- IL]: Anachronistic Left-Right Feuds -
McCarthyism-Finkelsteinism in Israel

This exchange reminds me of the days when Israeli theaters (or cinemas)
would get movies from the US and Europe months or even years after they had
been playing over there. Or, to use a totally different metaphor, the splits
in the kibbutz movement. In this case, the ideological wars of Israeli
academics continue decades after they have stopped being relevant.

So for those of you on this list who missed the past 20 years, here is the
bottom line: Ideology is a one-dimensional filter that diverts attention
away from the real world. In trying to force complex situations to fit
simplistic ideologies, adherents to political religions and false gods on
both fringes Left and Right have more in common than they care to admit.
Fascism and Communism sought to box human behavior into one-dimensional
models, and both failed, but only after their impassioned adherents did
considerable damage. And ideologues, like other fanatics, tend to be
intolerant of outsiders and skeptics, perhaps explaining why antisemitism is
found at both ends of the spectrum.

What surprises and depresses me is that so many Israeli academics seem to
take such rhetoric seriously, when the feuds between the so-called Left and
Right are entirely anachronistic. Does anyone really think that university
professors such as Bar Tal, David Newman, etc., journalists writing for
Haaretz, -- or powerful NGO officials from IDI, B'tslem, ACRI, Adallah,
Gisha, and dozens of other groups with very large budgets and direct access
to the media -- are an endangered species whose survival requires
suppression of critical analyses? Is the right to criticize restricted to
this elite, while its members have divine immunity from being criticized
when they fail to live up to the universal moral principles that they

Furthermore, I find ideological claims of "attempts to restrict free speech"
and the absurd use of the term "McCarthyism", intellectually dishonest and
immoral. By screaming "McCarthyism" whenever critical analyses of their
claims or activities are published, these critics can themselves be accused
of trying to suppress and discredit free speech. The same would be true of
fringe Right groups labeling criticism and public debate from the Left as

So, my suggestion to Profs. Bar Tal and Newman, and others is to use your
considerable energies for useful academic research, and drop the fruitless
ideological warfare. If you criticize, you should expect to be criticized --
get over it.

Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
Executive Director, and
Chair, Department of Political Studies,
Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Tel: 972-3-5318578, Fax: 972-3-7384036;

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