1. 'Tis the season to be jolly, Fadlallah la la la la la la la! Sheikh Fadlallah croaked: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gsXxFQubJxUPJxm8FP0kDNx0VGEQ
Hating Israel on our campus
Ben-Gurion University turning into village fool, hotbed of anti-Israel activity
The protests following the Turkish flotilla incident included activists marching outside the Ben-Gurion University senate building while giving the Nazi salute and shouting "Heil Bibi." These were apparently outside provocateurs, yet members of the university's teaching staff participated in the demonstration.
Teaching staff members also took part in the illegal protest held on the outskirts of campus two days earlier. Some of them have been calling for a boycott on Israel and characterizing it as an "apartheid state" – a term that has been well-perceived in the global anti-Israel market.
The true role played by Ben-Gurion University in Israeli academia's overall anti-Zionist activity does not justify the reputation it built in this area. However, in recent years the university assumed the role of village fool in the academic arena, characterized by ridiculous displays of the abovementioned type.
However, it is not one professor or another who are responsible for Ben-Gurion University being perceived as second only to the Palestinian Birzeit University in respect to anti-Israeli sentiments. Such phenomena do not grow in a vacuum.
Let's take the boycott motive for example. Upon taking office, a senior university official submitted to an interview where he pledged to take part in leftist student protests yet shun rightist ones. In the same interview, the official explained that one should join a boycott on global universities "should a substantial crime take place there." Earlier, in January 2005, a boycott was organized against a guest lecture by Professor Yaakov Bergman, for "fear of his influence on young minds." This year, ahead of the board of trustees' session, a donor was boycotted (in writing!) and the same happened to a university professor.
And what about the Nazi circus discussed at the opening of this piece? Not too long ago, the university dismissed a member of the appointments committee for speaking out against the candidacy of an Israeli lecturer who lives in the US. This candidate organized a military insubordination campaign and compared IDF commanders and soldiers to the Nazis. The university's official spokesman said that "a member of the appointments committee cannot take non-academic factors into consideration" – a response that infuriated online readers ("And what if it was Dr. Mengele?")
Outside the university senate building we have a large poster bearing Prime Minister Netanyahu's image, graced with a large "catastrophe" caption." Anyone can come and see the display, which originally was meant to glorify Prime Minister Ben-Gurion. The protest expressed by about 90% of those signing the exhibit's guestbook have not impressed university officials, who responded by saying this is "artistic freedom."
The management of my university would do well to stop ridiculing itself and making people fed up with it, and instead contemplate the complex meaning of terms such as "academic freedom," "freedom of speech," "artistic freedom," and "artistic considerations" vis-à-vis its own simplistic perception.
The mathematics department includes a serving professor whose son died a hero's death during Operation Cast Lead, while defending the rocket-battered university. Would it be too much to ask university officials to consider, alongside the glorious academic freedom for lecturers to openly curse the IDF, the bereaved professor's freedom not to hear his colleagues say that his son was a "Nazi criminal?"
Israel David is a mathematics and performance research professor at Ben-Gurion University
3. The Free Gaza Fraud: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/07/08/the-free-gaza-fraud/
4. The Jewish disease: Strung Out on Liberalism: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/07/07/the-jews%e2%80%99-liberalism-addiction/
5. Phyllis Chesler on the Avalanche of anti-Semitism:
6. Some of you might recall leftist Carmi Gillon, who headed Israeli Shin Bet intelligence back in the bad old days when the Shin Bet was using moles planted within far-Rightist organizations to conduct provocations designed to discredit the Right. Gillon's competence was on display when his people failed to take Yigal Amir's rhetoric seriously and were asleep on the job when Amir got close enough to Rabin to murder him. That incompetence has in turn fed the infantile conspiracy "theories" about the Rabin assassination by people like Barry Chamish.
Well, Gillon is back, and has crayoned an Op-Ed together with Meretz honcho Ron Cohen demanding that Israel just release all the imprisoned Palestinian mass murderers. It appears, in Hebrew only - unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, here: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3915890,00.html The pink duo claim they do not think putting thousands of mass murderers back on the street represents a threat to anyone. They also insist that buying back the release of Gilad Shalit by releasing thousands of murderers will not drive the terrorists to kidnap even more soldiers, a claim that seems to show that Gillon and Cohen have been spending much too much time these past 3 decades on the planet Vulcan. They also insist that Israel should capitulate to the Hamas even if that strengthens the Hamas.
With the level of competence and intelligence displayed by Gillon in this piece, I suggest that we hire him to take charge of protecting the lives of the heads of the Palestinian Authority.
7. Can we send these Greenpeace "protesters" to protect the environment in Gaza? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3916818,00.html
8. Leftist moonbats in high places – in the Israeli Ministry of Justice: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138486
Israel: A Normal Country
Hostility to the Jews has been a stain on the Western world's honor for centuries.
Israel is a Western democracy and a normal country. Nonetheless, Israel has faced abnormal circumstances since its inception. In fact, Israel is the only Western democracy whose existence has been questioned by force, and whose legitimacy is still being questioned independently of its actions.
The recent flotilla crisis in the Mediterranean provided yet another occasion for Israel's detractors to renew their frenzied campaign. It was so even before the facts of that tragic incident had come to light. Eyes were blind to the reasons why Israel had to respond to the Gaza flotilla's clear provocation.
Because we believe Israel is subjected to unfair treatment, and are convinced that defending Israel means defending the values that made and sustain our Western civilization, we have decided to launch the Friends of Israel Initiative. Our goal is to bring reason and decency back to the discussion about Israel. We are an eclectic group, coming from different countries and holding different opinions on a range of issues. It goes without saying that we do not speak for the State of Israel and we do not defend every course of action that it decides upon. We are united, however, by the following beliefs, principles and aims:
First, Israel is a normal, Western democracy and should be treated as such. Its parliamentary system, legal traditions, education and scientific research facilities, and cultural achievements are as fundamental to it as to any other Western society. Indeed, in some of these areas, Israel is a world leader.
Second, attempts to question Israel's basic legitimacy as a Jewish state in the Middle East are unacceptable to people who support liberal democratic values. The State of Israel was founded in the wake of United Nations Resolution 181, passed in 1947. It also arose out of an unbroken Jewish connection to the land that stretches back thousands of years. Israel does not derive its legitimacy, as some claim, from sympathy over the Holocaust. Instead, it derives legitimacy from international law and from the same right to self-determination claimed by all nations.
Third, as a fully legitimate member of the international community, Israel's basic right to self-defense should not be questioned. Nor should it be forgotten that Israel faces unique security threats—from terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and from an Iran seeking nuclear weapons.
United Nations condemnations of Israel arising from last year's Goldstone Report on the recent war in Gaza, for example, ignore the security challenges that Israel faces. All democracies should oppose such campaigns, which ultimately undermine the legitimacy not merely of Israel but of the U.N. itself.
Fourth, we must never forget that Israel is on our side in the battle against Islamism and terror. Israel stands on the front line of that fight as a bulwark of Judeo-Christian values. The belief that the democratic world can sacrifice Israel in order to placate Islamism is profoundly wrong and dangerous. Appeasement failed in the 1930s and it will fail today.
Fifth, attempts by people of good faith to facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians are always to be supported. But outsiders should beware of attempting to impose their own solutions. Israelis and Palestinians should know how to build a viable peace on their own. We can help them, but we cannot force them.
Sixth, we must be alive to the dangers that the campaign against Israel poses in reawakening anti-Semitism. Hostility to the Jews has been a stain on the Western world's honor for centuries. It is a matter of basic self-respect that we actively confront and oppose new manifestations of an old and ugly problem.
The Friends of Israel Initiative has come together to encourage men and women of goodwill to reconsider their attitudes toward the Jewish state, and to relocate those attitudes inside the best of Western traditions rather than the worst. We urge them to recognize that it is in our own best interests that an increasingly jaded relationship between Israel and many of the world's other liberal democracies is rescued and reinvigorated before it is too late for us all.
Mr. Aznar is a former prime minister of Spain. Mr. Trimble is a former first minister of Northern Ireland. Mr. Bolton is a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Mr. Toledo is a former president of Peru. Mr. Pera is a former president of the Italian Senate. Mr. Roberts is a British historian. Ms. Nirenstein is vice-president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Weigel is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mr. Agostinelli is managing director of the Rhône Group. Mr. Bustelo is a former minister of industry in Spain.