Thursday, April 08, 2010

Just in time for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Just in time for Yom Hashoah:

TAU sociologist Marxist Yehouda Shenhav discovers a new "Six Million" - the "six million Palestinian refugees"

"While serving the particular political and economic interests of Jewish liberal elites in Israel, the green line overlooks and denies the rights of most Palestinians and Jews in the region. For one, it offers no solution to the six million Palestinian refugees, who are denied 'return' to their cities and villages from which they fled during the 1948 war."

from http://www.medarabnews.com/2010/04/07/the-trap-of-the-green-line-%e2%80%93-interview-with-professor-yehuda-shenhav/
 
Want to complain?  Write to

Tel Aviv University:

President, Professor Joseph Klafter

Email  klafter@post.tau.ac.il

Tel Aviv University

P.O. Box 39040

Tel Aviv 69978

ISRAEL

Tel: 972-3-6408254

Fax: 972-3-6406466

Rector: Prof. Dany Leviatan

Email:   leviatan@post.tau.ac.il

and       rector@post.tau.ac.il

Tel Aviv University

P.O. Box 39040

Tel Aviv 69978

ISRAEL

American Friends Offices of Tel Aviv University:
http://www.aftau.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_contact

Other "Friends of" Groups: http://www.tau.ac.il/friends-eng.html

 

2.  http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Joel%20Amitai%20-%20David%20Newman%20-%20Ducks%20the%20Issues.htm

Ben-Gurion University – David Newman (Dept of Politics and Government) Ducks the Issues, Whines about "McCarthyism"

One of the main critics of IsraCampus and other sites and organizations that monitor anti-Israeli Israelis, including academics and NGOS, is David Newman, professor in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is currently running to be elected Dean of Social Science and Humanities at Ben Gurion University. Newman has condemned these monitoring activities in harsh and sweeping terms. "I have no hesitation in calling this a McCarthyite campaign," he told an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. And he has written of "a concerted campaign…to silence and delegitimize anyone who holds pro-peace, pro-human rights positions…," a "vicious, anti-democratic campaign," "the concerted right-wing campaign to silence all critics," and even "concerted attempts to delegitimize and silence more than half of the country's [Israel's] citizens"! About donors who have been disturbed by what the monitoring organizations report on, Newman also has unkind words, speaking of "donors from abroad [who] attack any left-wing academic for daring to air his/her views" and "false supporters who use the power of their pocketbook to threaten Israeli academics because of their perceived political views." The upshot is that Newman sees Israeli democracy as being on its last legs, writing,: "A country which [sic] ceases to value the spirit of open debate…is a country whose democracy has much to fear," and referring to "Israel's rapidly fading democracy" and "our dying democracy." (The various quotations above are taken from here, here, here, and here.)

 

 

Ben-Gurion University – David Newman (Dept of Politics and Government) Ducks the Issues, Whines about "McCarthyism"

By Joel Amitai
7/4/2010

One of the main critics of IsraCampus and other sites and organizations that monitor anti-Israeli Israelis, including academics and NGOS, is David Newman, professor in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is currently running to be elected Dean of Social Science and Humanities at Ben Gurion University.

Newman has condemned these monitoring activities in harsh and sweeping terms. "I have no hesitation in calling this a McCarthyite campaign," he told an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. And he has written of "a concerted campaign…to silence and delegitimize anyone who holds pro-peace, pro-human rights positions…," a "vicious, anti-democratic campaign," "the concerted right-wing campaign to silence all critics," and even "concerted attempts to delegitimize and silence more than half of the country's [Israel's] citizens"!

About donors who have been disturbed by what the monitoring organizations report on, Newman also has unkind words, speaking of "donors from abroad [who] attack any left-wing academic for daring to air his/her views" and "false supporters who use the power of their pocketbook to threaten Israeli academics because of their perceived political views."

The upshot is that Newman sees Israeli democracy as being on its last legs, writing,: "A country which [sic] ceases to value the spirit of open debate…is a country whose democracy has much to fear," and referring to "Israel's rapidly fading democracy" and "our dying democracy." (The various quotations above are taken from here, here, here, and here.)

Newman, in other words, paints with a broad brush. But what does he think of the specific phenomena that the monitoring organizations reveal? We don't know, because he doesn't address these.

What, for instance, would Newman think of the fact that last fall Uri Hadar, professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University, told an audience in London that Israel's "attack on Gaza" (Operation Cast Lead) had "little to do with security" and instead, Israeli society has a "vengeful unconscious" and "a full-blown Palestinian Holocaust is part of the unconscious [Israeli] itinerary"? Does Newman consider it a "pro-peace, pro-human rights position" to tell a foreign audience that the Gaza war—launched after three thousand rockets and mortars had been fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians in a single year—was not motivated by security, or that Israelis aim for a "full-blown Holocaust" for the Palestinians? And when I reported on Hadar's speech, was I performing an anti-democratic act—did democratic norms require that I keep it hushed up? And what of private donors to Tel Aviv University—are they required to foot the bill for such speeches? Do they have a right not to? Are they entitled to freedom of speech? Not to mention that Israeli universities are still mostly funded by Israeli taxpayers; do they have a right to know what they're paying for? Are they entitled to freedom of speech?

Was I taking part in a "right-wing campaign to silence all critics" when I reported on David Shulman, Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem? I noted that last year Shulman accused Israeli settlers, with the collusion of Israeli soldiers, of committing what he called a pogrom—"They've already killed four innocents, and another eleven or twelve have been wounded by gunfire." I wrote that "if Shulman actually believed such things were going on, he could have contacted any number of journalists or officials or police…. There is no sign that he did any such thing, nor that anyone at all in the Israeli or international media picked up on the supposed settler-soldier 'pogrom.'" Accusing Israelis of mass murder and bodily harm without a shred of substantiation—does Newman think this falls within the category of "political views" that should never be criticized?

I also noted that Shulman rendezvoused in South Hebron, locale of the alleged pogrom, with—in his telling—"150 Combatants for Peace—former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian members of the armed resistance organizations who have given up all forms of violence," and then, as they were "fanning out…advancing toward the settlers' caravan…the soldiers swoop down on us, with some lunatic settler barking orders at them, and the officer flashes the inevitable piece of paper that declares we are in a Closed Military Zone and we have two minutes to get out…." What does Professor Newman think of such activities? What were the 150 "peace combatants" planning to do if they had reached the caravan? If someone finds such activities objectionable and seditious, does this mean he seeks to crush "open debate"?

Then there's Newman's departmental colleague and chief at Ben-Gurion University, Professor Neve Gordon, who among much else is infamous for publishing an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times last year calling on "foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens" to boycott Israel. Rivka Carmi, president of the university, condemned Gordon's statements as "irresponsible and morally reprehensible" and said "academics who entertain such resentment toward their country are welcome to consider another professional and personal home." Was she, too, in Newman's view, participating in the "McCarthyite campaign"? Does Newman insist that his own university president be muzzled?

Newman is originally from Britain and has taken part in many academic activities there and in other countries (to his credit, he has even worked against the anti-Israeli boycott in Britain, but not against the members of his own department at Ben Gurion University who promote boycotts). Is he familiar with the phenomenon—anywhere outside of Israel—of tenured (or other) academics calling for an international boycott of their country? Is it unambiguously clear to Newman that it is Israeli taxpayers' duty to provide a livelihood for academics like Gordon and others (such as Tel Aviv University's Rachel Giora, Adi Ophir, Nadia Matar, Omar Barghouti, and the abovementioned Uri Hadar) who take part in the international BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) endeavor against Israel, the anti-Semitic underpinnings of which are recognized by leading scholars of anti-Semitism?

Since Newman thinks the monitoring organizations' whole complaint against the radical Israeli academics concerns their "views," one would be curious to know what he thinks of the infamous petition, first circulated at the height of the terror war against Israeli civilians known as the Second Intifada, in which over three hundred Israeli academics "express[ed] our appreciation and support for those of our students and lecturers who refuse to serve as soldiers in the occupied territories" as well as "our readiness to do our best to help students who encounter academic, administrative or economic difficulties as a result of their refusal to serve in the territories." It's a remarkable document since it was only such "service in the territories" that eventually defeated the onslaught and enabled all Israelis not living in the immediate Gaza vicinity, including David Newman, to lead normal lives again.

Yes, one would be curious…until one goes down the list and finds signee number 230: "David Newman, Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University."

This sheds some light on why Newman is so touchy about accusations regarding statements, writings, and actions by Israeli academics that in normal contexts would be considered seditious and treasonous.

Joel Amitai is an independent researcher and filmmaker. Reach him at jamitai40@gmail.com.






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