Sunday, May 23, 2010
The Israel Democracy Institute to Hold Conference on the Plusses and Minuses of Annihilating Israel
1. Well, later this week the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), a leftist think tank funded by the New Israel Fund and the Eurocrats, will be holding an academic conference on the advantages and disadvantages of annihilating Israel. To be fair, that is not the conference's official title. The official title is "An International Workshop on Bi-Nationalism."
The conference will host a group of academics, almost all of them from the far-Left. Some will tell the audience how wonderful it would be to turn Israel into a Middle East Rwanda, a "bi-national state." A few will express opposition to the idea. You know, so's it will be balanced.
The conference's announcement can be read here, much of it in English: http://www.idi.org.il/events1/NonfictionDays/Pages/Conferences_71.aspx
It follows up a similar conference at York University last year, in which some of the same people appeared, where the official goal of that conference was to find alternatives to Israel's existence.
Now clearly the IDI is trying to "break the taboo" about conducting serious consideration and debate over the idea of annihilating Israel. While some at the conference will speak against a Rwanda solution for Israel, the very fact that a Think Tank in Israel is holding a conference about the possibility of annihilating Israel is what is significant here. If the conference organizers were honest, they would hold a conference on the topic of the Advantages and Disadvantages of shipping off Israeli Jews to Death Camps operated by Islamists, and then allow a few of the speakers to speak against the idea.
The University of Haifa, though, is even less disingenuous. Tomorrow it will be holding a small panel featuring two Arabs and a leftist Anti-Zionist lecturer in English (Ron Kuzar) who will all celebrate the idea of the Palestinian Right of Return and demand that Israel's existence as a Jewish state be ended and that it be turned into a nice Rwanda.
2. Don't you love poetic justice? Ben Gurion University has long been one of the centers of the anti-Israel academic Left inside Israel and the capital for calls from tenured traitors for a world boycott of Israel.
Well, Cowabunga! Now it turns out that a South Africa "University" wants to boycott Ben Gurion University, in response no doubt to the bleatings of Comrade Neve Gordon and his BGU friends in mufti:
Varsity row over Israel links
LIONEL FAULL - May 21 2010 12:00
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is considering cutting academic ties with Israel's Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in protest against Ben Gurion's alleged association with Palestinian human rights abuses.
An "extraordinary" meeting of the university's senate debated the matter on Monday.
The university's current partnership with Ben Gurion dates from August when the two signed an academic cooperation and staff exchange agreement, relating to water purification and micro-algal biotechnology research.
This re-established a relationship forged between the former Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) and Ben Gurion in the apartheid 1980s. RAU merged with Technikon Witwatersrand in 2005 to form the University of Johannesburg.
In October, 52 academic staff members signed a petition opposing the current partnership. It states in part: "The Palestinian people are currently victims of an Israeli occupation, which violates their human rights as well as international law. Their plight has been repeatedly compared with that of black South Africans under apartheid."
Professor Steven Friedman presented the pro-boycott argument in the senate on behalf of the petitioners. "We are not asking UJ to join a boycott campaign against Israel," said Friedman, who is the director of the joint UJ-Rhodes University Centre for the Study of Democracy.
"But we are asking them not to sign agreements with institutions which collaborate with governments that commit human rights violations," he told the Mail & Guardian.
Friedman argued that:
Israel has 53 apartheid-style laws that discriminate between Jews and non-Jews;
The Israeli occupation of Gaza is a colonial exercise; and
The Ben Gurion offers stipends and partial exemptions from its degree requirements to members of the Israeli military, and tenders for Israeli Defence Force research contracts.
The partnership was defended in the senate meeting by Professor Ilan Troen, the Ben Gurion's founding dean of humanities and social sciences, and South African advocate David Unterhalter.
Troen flew to South Africa from Israel for the meeting; Unterhalter appeared pro bono. Their participation was organised by the South African Associates of Ben Gurion University, the president of which, Bertram Lubner, is vice-chairperson of Ben Gurion's board of governors. Lubner is an honorary life member of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.
Troen told the M&G he was "surprised" that a "water purification project that is of manifest benefit to South Africans and an academic cooperation of 20 years' standing between two institutions" should be questioned. He said the proposed boycott was reprehensible. "It is understandable that South Africans should interpret other societies in terms of their own experiences, but the apartheid metaphor is a fallacy."
Petition signatory Salim Vally, a senior researcher in UJ's Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, said: "RAU played a particular role in cooperating with apartheid. It was on the wrong side of history then and we don't want UJ to be on the wrong side now."
The university's SRC president, Emmanuel Mapheto, echoed this: "We cannot allow our institution to partner BGU. What Israel is doing in Palestine amounts to apartheid," he said.
The senate unanimously resolved that a nine-member committee, led by UJ deputy vice-chancellor Adam Habib, should make recommendations on the matter to the senate within three months.
Source: Mail & Guardian Online
Web Address: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-05-21-varsity-row-over-israel-links
(Friedman teaches literature by the way, making him an expert on the Middle East)
Want to tell the brand new rector of BGU what you think of this? Contact:
New rector at BGU is
Prof. Lily Neumann, Vice-Rector
Prof. Yael Edan, Deputy-Rector
3. Well, that may be what HE thinks but not what I think:
Vanunu: I'm not an animal
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND JTA
Nuclear whistleblower back in prison for three months.
4. Juan Cole's "Nakba": http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/warpedmirror/entry/juan_cole_s_nakba_posted
5. Gil Troy on whines about "McCarthyism"
6. Ok, Who's got a spare torpedo? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3892605,00.html
7. Livni under attack from within Kadima for backing gays: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3892687,00.html
8. It ain't funny: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137634
9. You know how the New Israel Fund and its fellow rhino horn wearers have been attacking the Im Tirtzu student group because it accepted a donation from a pro-Israel church group? Remember how they said this proved that Im Tirtzu students are fascists and harmful to Israeli democracy?
Well, what happens when anti-Israel Jewish groups are offered money by anti-Semitic church groups? Find out here: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/133486