1. Tel Aviv University anti-Israel philosophy professors (and friends) produce yet another one sided "book" – a collection of Bash Israel pseudo-academic diatribes:
The Power of Insinuation: the modalities and normative anti-
Israel discourse of Israel's academics as seen through The
Power of Inclusive Exclusion.
The Power of Inclusive Exclusion edited by Adi Ophir, Michal Givoni and Sari Hanafi, Brooklyn:
Zone, 641 pages, (Hardcover), 2009 $25.71
Reviewed by Seth J. Frantzman
The fact that there is yet another book about the "occupation" should not be a surprise. The fact that
it consists ONLY of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist writers is not either. The fact that not a single pro-
Israel writer was invited to participate should be met with yawns. Ideological self-recruiting to
promote a political agenda under the guise of "research" has become trivially common in Israeli
universities and elsewhere.
Books about the conflict are also unique in their attention to the most minor details of the conflict.
Consider Tim Jon Simmerling's Israeli and Palestinian postcards: Presentations of National Self
published in 2004. Or Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation by Eyal Weizman, who
coincidentally is also a contributor to this volume reviewed here. It is unlikely a coincidence that the
photo used for the cover of Architecture of Occupation is identical to the one used on the cover of
Power of Inclusive Exclusion. The book was commenced in 2003 as a project "under the auspices of
the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute" (page 26). This organization spends much of its time hosting and
funding extreme anti-Israel discourse. It currently publishes the Marxist Hebrew magazine "Theory
In part, such books are the result of Israeli and Jewish academics who build careers out of churning
out such articles. Dr. David Hirsh, a sociology lecturer at University of London's Goldsmiths
College, recently described these antics: "Israeli anti-Zionists boast that their country carries out the
most important and horrific genocides in the world...[they have] delusions of grandeur." They are
celebrated as minor celebrities by weaving a narrative about being "Jews" and "Israelis" who
supposedly are supposedly courageously standing up against the mainstream. One example of this is
Dr. Anat Matar of Tel Aviv University, who attended a February 17, 2010 London University School
for Oriental and African Studies conference, where she spoke on "Supporting the boycott on Israel: a
View from Within."
Consider the introduction of Inclusive Exclusion, where the editors claim, "This book has been
conceived in an atmosphere that is generally hostile to the kind of political questions and theoretical
perspectives it strives to open." This is nonsense. The academic world is awash with Bash-Israel
diatribes and advocacy "research." Nevertheless every anti-Israel propagandist in academia insists
IsraCampus.Org.il Page 1 of 10
that he or she is challenging the dominant paradigm, "breaking moulds" and "exploding myths." In
loud unison every single one of these people casts himself or herself as the "lone voice" who is
"radically refashioning." In many departments devoted to Middle Eastern studies, for example, every
single person claims to be a "lone voice" who "dares" to speak up about the Israeli occupation. It is
the conformism of the postureurs of non-conformity. In reality it is a form of group think.
(Review continues on http://www.isracampus.org.il/Extra%20Files/IsraCampus.Org%20-%20Seth%20Frantzman%20-%20Power%20of%20Inclusive%20Exclusion%20book%20review.pdf )
Anti-Zionism is now the 'most favoured vehicle' for anti-Jewish expression, says renowned authority
Written by Atara Beck
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
TORONTO-JERUSALEM – Antisemitism "adapts itself to the spirit of the time" and is now evident in the form of anti-Zionism, according to Professor Robert S. Wistrich, director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) at the Hebrew University.
"Anti-Zionism has become the most favoured vehicle for expressing anti-Jewish sentiments that are considered politically incorrect in academic circles," he asserted.
Speaking to the Jewish Tribune just a week before the release of his A Lethal Obsession: Antisemitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (published by Random House), a 1,200-page encyclopedic work spanning more than 2,000 years of history, Wistrich discussed what he sees as the "common thread among many variations" of antisemitism.
"Jews have been perceived throughout the ages as being a distinctive people, even when Jews have tried to forget that fact and remove these distinctive aspects," he stated. "Antisemitism has always adopted a singling out of the unique and distinct characterization of Jews, but it has done it in a negative way; in fact, a demonization of the Jewish 'other' as threatening, evil.
"Something I've noticed is that however hard some Jews have attempted to run away from their Jewishness – whether religious, cultural or ethnic – this has never helped," he added. "In a strange, distorted way, I don't think they [antisemites] are wrong in that there is a difference."
According to Wistrich, in the ancient world the Jewish difference and source of conflict was mainly monotheism versus paganism, even at the highest point of pagan culture such as the Hellenistic era.
"Pagan antisemitism was not insignificant," he said. "It represented a real clash of values, as can be seen in the story of Chanukah. But with the advent of Christianity, we do see the beginning of a line that creates stereotypes painting Jews and Judaism as being not just a physical or cultural threat, but as a metaphysical one."
Roots of leftist antisemitism go back to late '60s
Regarding the Israel-bashing prevalent among gays, feminists and others who would be persecuted under the regimes dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, the author dedicated several chapters to the "background of these strange distortions," going back to the political and cultural roots in the late '60s.
"I think the Six Day War transformed the perception [of Jews] among many non-Jews. It expelled the myth that Jews had to be compensated after the Holocaust, which for 20 years served as a fragile shield against the worst outbreaks of antisemitism. But in the post-'60s, in the West, the image of the Jews as perennial victims and of the state of Israel as a small, besieged island in the Middle East and to a degree as a socialist utopia, seen through rose-coloured glasses – this was all turned around. Israel was perceived from this point on as an occupying power, a colonial entity. It was a quick transformation. And once you're seen as the victim, you're always right; you can do no wrong.
"I was a student then and I remember the atmosphere very well. I belonged to the left at the time and this was one of the things that turned me away. I could see the seeds of it [antisemitism] already."
Wistrich devoted a chapter of his book to bigotry at the UN.
"Even I was shocked when researching it," he commented, adding that the "power of antisemites is always underestimated. The obsession with Israel is very much apparent. [For example,] the Iraq/Iran war was the bloodiest conflict in the Middle East," yet it received so much less attention at the UN.
"I think the Jewish people are facing the most serious and potentially dangerous moment in its history since the Shoah," he declared. "I don't say that lightly. Iran presents an existential danger…. Its links with antisemitism are downplayed in the American media – a big mistake.
"The situation is necessary to grasp. The idea of cleansing the Middle East and the world of Jews is fundamental to Islamism. This is the first time this has happened since Nazism," he said, adding that one should make a "distinction between Islam, one of the great monotheistic faiths, and Islamism, which builds on manipulation and distorts and says the world has to be conquered for Allah."
As for the recent talks in Toronto delivered by former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy, who downplayed the Iranian threat, "I would obviously disagree with each word of that. I think he has not the remotest understanding of what I'm talking about…looking at it from a completely different perspective. He hasn't studied any of this material [that] I study every day…. You would have to be blind, deaf and dumb to ignore, every single day, the propaganda…. As a historian, I can say that even the Nazis were more careful, used more euphemisms."
Multiculturalism can be a 'double-edged sword'
When researching the situation in Canada, Wistrich used B'nai Brith Canada's Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents as an important source of information.
"Antisemitism is there and is not a negligible problem," he said, notwithstanding the fact that "the Canadian government in recent years is among the most pro-Israel in the world and takes a lead in many issues.
"There is one chapter – 'Multiculturalism and its Discontent' – where I discuss Canada, among others. It's a stunning paradox. Multiculturalism was embraced as a positive development by Canadian Jews and was seen to provide many opportunities [and] tolerance of differences. But now we see in Britain, France, Australia…[that] multiculturalism can also be a double-edged sword. It can have negative side effects for Jews and we are seeing some of them now," such as "cultural relativism. Certain common values are being eroded.
"There is a Canadian government that is responsive to the Jewish community but that might not always be the case."
He took issue with the recent expression of "concern" voiced by Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) over the recent Swiss ban on the construction of minarets alongside mosques. According to a CJC press release, "state-imposed bans on essential elements of houses of worship are inconsistent with freedom of religion."
"It's not just about religious freedom," Wistrich argued, pointing out that Switzerland is a "model democracy, notwithstanding its black marks with Jews…. People expressed a view that I do not think is Islamophobic. What they said is they do not want minarets on their landscape because they think it is in some way a threat to them. That could be debated. Islam – not just Islamists – has taken a very aggressive position in the societies in which they live, a position that no Jewish community in the diaspora has ever taken…. In some cases they try to impose shariah [Islamic law].
"Jewish communities should definitely be against intolerance of other minorities, but that doesn't mean you give a blank cheque. In any case in Western Europe where the Muslim community has grown significantly, the position of the Jewish community has declined. What is going on here? Are they going to do anything for the Jewish community? There's something a bit reckless about rushing to take their position. There will be no gratitude; that's for sure.
"The year 2009 was the worst year for antisemitic incidents in Great Britain since they began recording about 25 years ago…same in France…. Nobody would question that Britain is democratic, multicultural. Its government is not anti-Israel, although not as pro as Canada. But in society you see a coarsening of attitude."
According to information released this week by the Jewish Agency, antisemitic incidents in western Europe have reached the highest level since WWII.
Jews are 'on the front line'
Wistrich was in the US when the massacre at the Fort Hood army base by a radicalized Muslim American major occurred.
"I saw all the politically correct statements" following the shooting, he said. "This [American] administration has been in denial for a long time, but reality is the greatest teacher. Part of the process is that they are beginning to understand there is a problem with Islamists in America.
"Obama's Cairo speech is meaningless today," he said. "He got slapped in the face…. He is still portrayed in the Arab world as a puppet of the Jews, although he is probably the least sympathetic American president to Israeli concerns in the postwar decades," Wistrich observed. Israel's building freeze in Judea and Samaria "had a brief and ironically disastrous effect…. Obama got nothing from the PA or the Arab world. It was supposed to be a quid pro quo, but he got nothing. Obama is not antisemitic. It was delusional to think he could bring about a shift in attitude.
"We are in a war of civilizations and Jews are on the front line, whether we like it or not," he asserted. "First, you have no chance if you don't recognize the problem. It's very important that we are clear-headed and clear-sighted, because to fight back will require a concerted effort.
"We have to pray as well as act," he suggested. "As Jews in particular, we have to draw on all our resources, spiritual, as well as military and economic."
3. Dershowitz blasts the bias in the Goldstone Report:
"Much more scurrilous than most of its detractors (and supporters) believe."
4. Israel's leftist McCarthyists did not dawdle for even a few minutes after the Chief Justice was attacked by a thug in court yesterday. Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch was struck by a shoe thrown by a disgruntled hooligan in court over disagreements regarding his alimony payments. The thug probably never even heard the expression "judicial activism."
But Beinisch of course is also the leading advocate in Israel these days of "judicial activism," the theory that holds that unelected judges should have powers of veto over the legislature and the executive branch and should use them to promote the agenda of the "enlightened" Left. That makes her popular with Israel's leftist chatterers and gets her criticized by other folks.
The leftists celebrating Beinisch's "judicial activism" ideas are the same McCarthyist chatterers who insist that the exercise of freedom of speech by non-leftists in Israel is what produces all the political violence in the country, including the murder of Yitzhak Rabin. Well, they are back today, led by Haaretz columnists, insisting that criticism of Beinisch (from the Right?) no doubt set the stage and inspired the shoe hooligan yesterday. Here is Tel Aviv University professor Zeev Segal, a Haaretz regular, at the head of the McCarthyists: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1145659.html A defendant of laws against "incitement," He is all indignant over "those who disobey laws," but has never spoken out against the hundreds of his academic colleagues calling for mutiny and insurrection by Israeli soldiers. For Hebrew readers, here is another professor making the same McCarthyist points: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3840812,00.html
The solution for hooliganism and for everything else wrong in Israel is thus to silence the Non-Left!!
5. The civil rights activists in Israel who hate civil rights and oppose freedom and equality under the law: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3838854,00.html