Monday, April 26, 2010
More Political Sedition and Disappearing Academic Standards at Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University - Taking a Hard 'GAZE' at the anti-Israel NewSpeak and Gobbledygook of Dr. Orly Lubin (Dept of Comparative Literature)
By Lee Kaplan, www.Isracampus.org.il
A senior lecturer in Comparative Literature and "Women's Studies" at Tel Aviv University, Orly Lubin is what could be called a compulsive "joiner." She joined Tel Aviv University, a matter we still find a bit puzzling. She joins any group and signs almost any petition that bashes Israel, particularly when such involve so-called "feminist" and "peace" groups. These include "New Profile," which specializes in fabricating "war crimes" by the Israeli army, and the Coalition of Women for Peace, with its intimate ties to Israel's communist party. She got her PhD in 1989. Have a look at her "academic record" since then and make up your mind for yourself as to what her credentials are (we were able to find only one English article by her in a refereed bona fide academic journal).
Reading Lubin is like reading an essay that received a failing grade written by a student in an inner city high school. It is unreadable pabulum. Lubin has a fetish about "power": she claims it is held by what she calls the "community" that oppresses "the Other." This is all postmodernist Newspeak and PC gobbledygook. She is trained in comparative literature so just what could she possibly know about power?
Just what do we know about her "community." The one with which she identifies? It pretty much consists of Israel bashers, anti-Semites and terrorists. For openers, she signed petition put out by the PFLP-backed Alternative Information Center complaining that leftists in Germany are not sufficiently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel enough because they actually sided with Israel's defensive war in Gaza to stop the rocket attacks. She signed on to the call for Germany to boycott Israel, and disarm it. The petition accepts at face value all the smears in the discredited Goldstone Report accusing Israel of war crimes.
The statement she signed then goes on say that "Germany's diplomatic and military action throughout the region couples with its active support of Israel's occupation policies represent sufficient reason to view the FRG as an additional actor responsible for the violations of international law and war crimes committed by the Israeli government."
You will be astounded to hear that Orly Lubin has never signed any petitions objecting to Kassem rockets landing on Sderot.
Another petition signed by her called for "international intervention" to erase Israeli sovereignty and to pressure Israel to stop defending itself in time of war; it was sent to embassies in Israel. One other petition voiced support for ultra-anti-Semite Neve Gordon, who had served as a human shield for terrorists, who writes a column for the Iranian government newspaper, and who leads the campaign of Israelis for an Elimination of Israel to boycott and "divest" from Israel. Lubin has also endorsed calls for a boycott against Israeli universities, including the very university TAU in which Lubin is employed.
But by far the best way to appreciate the "thinking" of Lubin is to consider an article she wrote in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, while in the US as a visiting scholar. It was titled, "Masked Power: An Encounter with the Social Body in the Flesh." The article describes mourning the dead of the 9/11 attacks as "…a way to maintain the innocence, namely the innocence of the victim suffering an unjust injury inflicted on her for reasons that she can grasp but are beyond her control. She mourns from the bottom of her heart and in the very act of mourning proves herself to be the good person she always knew she was, that we all were." (Note the obsessive misuse of "she" rather than "he" as the neutral third person pronoun.)
Lubin then continues, "But mourning, even when it does not need to have meaning, does need to be framed. This framing becomes 'the community'; and the notion of the community seems to be a prism through which one can view the trauma, as community becomes the containment of the trauma."
She drones on: "After 9/11, 'community' became the magic word. The sense of community born at the very moment the event has become, already, an object of nostalgic lament. Very quickly people began to reminisce nostalgically about both the shock and sense of togetherness; the terrible sense of vulnerability and the birth of new friendships; the feeling of isolation and the ability to rely on others for company and help. It is this construction of the near sacredness of the community, though, that also enabled discourse of revenge, military action, violations of civil rights, and 'the post 9/11 hush', [that] …labels the lack of civic activism."
In case you missed it above, Ms. Lubin rejects the right of the US and allies to go after al-Qaeda terrorists or state sponsors of terrorism. She considers such anti-terror operations after 9/11 as simple "revenge," and "military action." They are not so much as a way to protect Americans and others (even Israelis) from terrorism. Instead they are reaction by the terrorist "community" to perceived injustice against what she describes as "the Other." She shrilly complains of violations of civil rights of supporters of terrorism. She laments how even mentioning 9/11 serves to prevent the pro-terror forces in the Islamic world from coming to terms with the western "community."
Of course, she has no problem with the Hamas and PLO attacking the Israeli "community," to which she testily belongs. Instead, Israel, and by extension the US and the West, are the worst violators imaginable of her "sense of oppression." She couldn't care less that Israel's community provides her with a cushy academic post at the taxpayers' expense.
In summing up 9/11, Lubin wrote: "September 11 created a traumatic shock not so much in the realization of actually having power, but in the realization of the horror of being in power. Students of culture, colonialism and postcolonialism [sic], of feminism and queer [sic] studies, have been theorizing and demonstrating in the last two decades the position of the victims of the gaze [sic]." "Gaze" is another of her nonsense words; by gaze she means ogling someone until they drop their eyes, in this case using power over the oppressed individual. She then explains, "The owner of power, the owner of the gaze, has to encounter herself as a source of violence, inherent in her status. which she more often than not, has not chosen to confront her own positioning…Her only way out, her only option to get rid of the objectifying power of the gaze, is to move—metaphorically when the literal move 'to the other side' is impossible—to the side of the Other."
Reading her prose is enough to convince would-be undergraduates to sign up for carpentry shop. "An altogether different understanding of the very notion of Otherness, of how to get rid of power and the gaze by defying the 'demand' to have an Other in order to maintain one's identity, by never gazing long enough so as to objectify the gazed at, never standing long enough in one identity positioning so as to have to create an Other for that positioning to imagine itself as a position. As abstract as it sounds, this is the task that the shock of recognition of power brings. It requires one to be on the move constantly, never being 'one' long enough for the creation of the Other." Finally, "In a community one is never moving, one is always static, one is always a part of something, which is by definition an Other of an Other."
We suggest that the heads of Tel Aviv University need to take a nice solid GAZE at what Lubin is inflicting on her hapless students.
Tel Aviv University – Gerardo Leibner (Dept of General History) Battles against "Judaizing" and for Communism
He spends much of his time churning out semi-communist articles for the Ultra-Left, chanting mantras about "class struggle," in Israel and around the world. Over the years Dr. Leibner has signed petitions to free and support terrorist Tali Fahima, to stop Israeli "war crimes" in Gaza; to send an armed international force to fight the Israeli army; to celebrate the traitor/spy Azmi Bishara, accuses Israel of being a terrorist entity, denounces Israel as an apartheid entity and endorses all the calls for world boycotts against Israel. He especially likes to rant against the racism of "Ashkenazim" and to wring his hands over the supposed "mistreatment" of the Sephardim, rather amusing coming from someone with the obviously Ashkenazi name Leibner.
Tel Aviv University – Gerardo Leibner (Dept of General History) Battles against "Judaizing" and for Communism
by Joel Amitai
At the founding conference of the Jewish-Arab movement Hit'habrut-Tarabut in 'Arara, an Arab township near Haifa, the radical Israeli activist Reuven Abergil (a one-time founder of the Israeli "Black Panthers" and a far leftist) gave a talk that Dr. Gerardo Leibner described as "moving." Leibner, a member of the coordinating committee of Hit'habrut-Tarabut, was at the conference and devoted an article to it. He is also a lecturer in the Department of General History at Tel Aviv University, where he specializes in Latin American Marxism and Communism. By "specializes," we mean he engages in preaching it. His rather thin academic record consists entirely of articles in Spanish about communists and similar "radicals." He spends much of his time churning out semi-communist articles for the Ultra-Left, chanting mantras about "class struggle," in Israel and around the world.
Over the years Dr. Leibner has signed petitions to free and support terrorist Tali Fahima; to stop Israeli "war crimes" in Gaza; to send an armed international force to fight the Israeli army; to celebrate the traitor/spy Azmi Bishara, accuses Israel of being a terrorist entity, denounces Israel as an apartheid entity and endorses all the calls for world boycotts against Israel. He especially likes to rant against the racism of "Ashkenazim" and to wring his hands over the supposed "mistreatment" of the Sephardim, rather amusing coming from someone with the obviously Ashkenazi name Leibner.
As paraphrased by Leibner, Abergil focused in his "moving" speech on "the need to build a counterforce that will stand against the Zionist movement…. The urgent task is to be freed from the control of the foreign forces of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization…. It must also be stated that Shimon Peres…is basically an enemy of peace…and one of those who Judaizes the Negev and the Galilee…."
This is indeed "moving"—if you have fundamental loyalty to Israel's core values, it will move you to rage. In his account of the meeting Leibner adoringly quotes additional anti-Zionist and Marxist drivel from other speakers—"an analysis of the regional situation, which centers on the struggle against imperialism"; "the goal of forming a movement that will be both popular and radical"; "the struggle against the Judaization of Jaffa"; "the existing, racist and alienated political system…." No, it wasn't a meeting of the Comintern in the 1920s; it happened in Israel two years ago, and Dr. Leibner admiringly recorded the proceedings.
No one aware of Dr. Leibner's milieu at Tel Aviv University, which includes fellow Communist and anti-Zionist historians like Gadi Algazi, Shlomo Sand, Yoav Peled, Yossi Schwartz, and Yehouda Shenhav, will be surprised. Along with his academic work, Leibner is identified as a "political and social activist"—which in his case involves agitating against core Israeli values and needs and, not infrequently, clashing with the security forces.
In addition to Hit'habrut-Tarabut, Leibner is a member of Ta'ayush, an Arab-Jewish NGO that was founded in the autumn of 2000 just as the terror war was intensifying. Ta'ayush supports the so-called "BDS" (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaign against Israel. It was at a Ta'ayush demonstration in Umm al-Fahm in 2001 that Leibner was arrested along with five others, including his colleague Algazi.
A few years later Leibner penned a laudatory article called "They Are A-F-R-A-I-D" about another demonstration in which he took part, this time in Bil'in in the West Bank against the security fence. (Violent demonstrations there and in Nil'in have long been a weekly fixture). The "They" in Leibner's title refers to the Israeli army and government—or what people with Leibner's mindset, mired in juvenile rebellion, might call the "establishment." The event, in Leibner's telling, was "a rare display of brotherhood and friendship" among "about 1000 demonstrators—700 Palestinians and 300 Israelis"—until the "'security forces' [he uses scare quotes around that term] decided to create a confrontation at any price." At that point "two masked thugs began to throw stones at the uniformed ones…." In other words, Leibner informs us—without a shred of substantiation—that the "masked thugs" were actually provocateurs working for the bad guys, the "security forces," that is, Israel, while he and his friends could not have been more nobly peaceful. As he explains:
(S)omebody was so alarmed by the joint demonstration and the possibility of the expansion of popular protest against the fence that he decided to create the conditions…in which the new methods of repression could be implemented. Up there, on the level of the military command or the political elite, there is someone who is very afraid…. Somebody wants blood to be spilt….
I used to see such things, and hear such talk—conspiracy-mongering, anti-establishment, smugly self-righteous—as an American college student in the late hippie era. That a taxpayer-funded Israeli academic employs people who indulge in such narcissistic self-aggrandizement, such calumny of basic Israeli institutions, in an agitation against the security fence—and this was in 2005, not long after it began to be built in response to waves of suicide bombings—is incredible!
About a year ago Leibner was at it again, this time in a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the Gaza War. (Clearly, there's not much Israel can do to defend itself—build a fence to keep bombers out, react militarily to thousands of rockets fired at its civilians—that Dr. Leibner won't demonstrate against.) This time, in his telling, it was the police who saved him—after he received a sock in the face from a "bourgeois rightist." But then a woman drew near, and one of the policemen expressed surprise when it turned out she was Leibner's daughter. Leibner doesn't hesitate—again, with no actual basis—to ascribe it to ethnic stereotyping on the officer's part: "'This low-level Sephardi girl - the daughter of an Ashkenazi leftist?' he no doubt thought to himself."
Supposed solidarity with the working class—Israeli policemen are hardly high-wage earners—doesn't stop Dr. Leibner from making this nasty imputation to a policeman who helped him; it's trumped by his hatred of Israeli "uniformed ones." Note also that Leibner projects his own tendency toward crude stereotyping: he is the one who speaks of the "bourgeois rightist," the "low-level Sephardi girl," the "Ashkenazi left."
There is no evil that Leibner won't attribute to Israel and no limit to his hostility towards his own country. In 2005, a few months before the disengagement from Gaza, he wrote that it was all a trick by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to "expand the zone of military control a little more, to strengthen Israel's internal nationalist and racist glue, to embark on new settlement ventures after the crushing of the enemy…. That is what Ben-Gurion wanted to achieve between 1948 and 1967." The wickedness of racist Israel, for Leibner, goes back long before Sharon to the earliest years of state-building and is constitutive and axiomatic. Leibner's is the basic anti-Zionist creed now wildly popular among Israel-haters and anti-Semites all over the world, but it makes you wonder: why are professors at Tel Aviv University espousing it?
Not surprisingly, on the international plane Leibner is a proud Chavista, an admirer of the notorious anti-Semitic, pro-Iranian Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Asked by Ynet last year what he thought of the ouster in Honduras of the Chavez-ally Manuel Zelaya, who had illegally tried to change the country's constitution to get himself reelected as president, Leibner said the cause of "defending democracy" required U.S. president Obama to back Zelaya. A few years earlier Leibner spoke admiringly of Chavez to Ynet as someone who "doesn't have to grovel" and "dares to confront America head-on."
Whether it is Israel "Judaizing" the Galilee and the Negev, controlling violent demonstrations, fighting and defending against terrors, or daring to exist at all, Dr. Gerardo Leibner comes down squarely on the side of Israel's enemies and works to undermine, destabilize, and delegitimize it. The wonder is that Tel Aviv University and Israeli society are giving him a cushy, prestigious job in which he can do this.
Joel Amitai is an independent researcher and filmmaker. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tel Aviv University – TAU hosts Ilan Pappe in an anti-Israel propaganda event on campus
In the fall of 2009, Ilan Pappe was scheduled to speak before the Municipality of Munich, Germany. Pappe is best known for his fraudulent invention of a non-existent massacre of Arabs by the Hagana near Haifa in Tantora in 1948, and for other notorious lies. He writes "books'" claiming falsely that Israel carried out "ethnic cleansing" against Arabs in 1948. His most famous fabrication has become known as the Katz Affair, named after the MA student directed by Pappe to invent the Tantora "massacre" in his thesis. … Pappe resigned from his post at the University of Haifa and has been jihading against the existence of Israel from his new perch in the UK at the University of Exeter. … Once the Munich people found out who and what Pappe is, they cancelled the invitation, disinviting him. The Germans cancelled on grounds that any talk by Pappe would be nothing more than an "anti-Israel propaganda show."… The very same Pappe is to be the featured speaker at a "conference" to be held at Tel Aviv University on April 29, 2010, where he will again be calling for a worldwide campaign to boycott Israel. … The officials of Tel Aviv University evidently do not have the courage of the Munich Germans. They are refusing to cancel this atrocious anti-Israel propaganda event misrepresented as an academic conference. They are refusing to disinvite Ilan Pappe.
Why Munich is More Zionist and pro-Jewish than Tel Aviv University
Posted by Steven Plaut
Friday, April 23, 2010
Quick: What is the Difference between the City Officials of Munich, Germany and the Campus Heads of Tel Aviv University?
Answer: The city officials in Munich respect Jews and have a sense of honor and integrity!
To complain, write
Tel Aviv University:
President, Professor Joseph Klafter
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
Rector: Prof. Dany Leviatan
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
American Friends Offices of Tel Aviv University:
Other "Friends of" Groups: http://www.tau.ac.il/friends-eng.html
4. J Street Treason: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/04/23/the-anti-israel-lobby/
5. At long last - a REAL peace program: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3880735,00.html
6. The REAL Middle East Apartheid Regime: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=173919