Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Leftwing Academic Fascism now Spreads to the Hebrew University
1. It seems that the Hebrew University intends to challenge Ben Gurion University and Tel Aviv University as the worst center for academic fascism in Israel.
Just a few days back we posted a piece on the saga of the Hebrew University leftist sociology professor accused of raping at least 10 of his students. The Hebrew University circled their wagons around him, backed him, protected him, and he is still on the payroll, teaching (and fondling?) his students. That article is here. http://frontpagemag.com/2010/07/19/a-tale-of-two-professors/
The same leftist Israeli media that had a field day attacking (and continuing to report in detail every nuance concerning) a prominent Rabbi accused of making sexual advances on his male students have completely forgotten and suppressed that story of the accused tenured rapist.
But the Hebrew University DOES fire some faculty members. Maariv today reports (only in Hebrew – at http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/135/354.html ) that the "Hebrew" University of Jerusalem has just decided to fire Dr. Ron Baratz, of its philosophy department. Baratz is the most popular teacher in the department. His student ratings appear here: http://www.dargoo.co.il/displayRanking.asp?lecturerID=3186 and they average a 5.0, the highest you can get (an average I can only dream of for myself!).
Baratz's felony? It seems he is guilty of being a non-leftist. And the Hebrew University thinks that disqualifies him to work there. This is not MY take on the firing, but Maariv's!!! Baratz has worked with the Zionist student organization Im Tirtzu, another felony. And he works with the Likudish Shalem Center. Oh the Humanity!
His firing has set off a firestorm of rage against the "Hebrew" University. The Maariv web page has almost 600 talkbacks on it, many from LEFTIST students who support Baratz, say he was their best teacher, and denouncing the university! Many of his faculty colleagues from the Left have also expressed outrage at the firing.
Ron's email is here: firstname.lastname@example.org in case you want to send him a note.
It is kind of a shame that he is not a leftist rapist, because then he could keep his job and salary and maybe even purchase vibrators with his research funds (as Hebrew University Prof. Eyal Ben-Ari did!! For details, see this: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Blog.aspx/1/21 )
2. When anti-Semites and Nazis pretend to be "Critics"
Dissent or Destruction?
Posted By Edward Alexander On July 21, 2010 @ 12:00 am In FrontPage | 4 Comments
A recent addition to the ever-burgeoning genre of books instructing Israel on the most suitable method of ceasing to exist (one-state solution, no-state solution, final solution) is adorned by the following from Noam Chomsky:
Constance Hilliard raises very critical issues…and unless those who call themselves 'supporters of Israel' are willing to face these moral and geopolitical realities, they may in reality be supporters of Israel's moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.
It is commonplace that moral passions are far more imperious and impatient than self-seeking ones, and who could have a stronger sense of his own moral rectitude than a man who has been an apologist for Pol Pot in Cambodia, a collaborator with neo-Nazi Holocaust-deniers in France, and a cohort to anti-Semitism-deniers everywhere?
"Anti-Semitism," Chomsky has declared, "is no longer a problem, fortunately. It's raised, but it's raised because privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98% control; That's why anti-Semitism is becoming an issue…" Beautiful and touching words, but words by no means unusual in the parlance of those who deem Israel uniquely evil and, with help from its "supporters," responsible for every misery on the planet with the (possible) exception of global warming. (Here reality outpaces my rhetorical flourishes: Clare Short, a member of Tony Blair's cabinet until 2003, charged that Israel is "much worse than the original apartheid state" because it "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming.")
Chomsky is generally and mistakenly identified as "a critic of Israel." But he is by no means the only beneficiary of the flagrantly euphemistic redefinition of "criticism" where Israel and its numerous enemies are concerned. Examples, in fact, abound. A Vassar professor (writing in Judaism Magazine, no less) referred to the second Intifada, during which Palestinian Arab suicide bombers, pogromists, and lynch mobs slaughtered a thousand people (most of them Israeli Jews) and wounded thousands more, as "a critique of Zionism." A Panglossian writer in the Chronicle of Higher Education assures readers that "calls to destroy Israel, or to throw it into the Mediterranean Sea…are not evidence of hatred of Jews," but merely "reflect a quarrel with the State of Israel." Some critique, some quarrel. When questions were raised in November 2003 about the indecency of Harvard and Columbia honoring and playing host to the Oxford poetaster, blood libel subscriber, and London Review of Books regular Tom Paulin after he had urged that Jews living in Judea/Samaria "should be shot dead" and announced that he "never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all," his apologists in Cambridge and Morningside Heights defended his right "to criticize Israeli policy." But the prize for redefinition of the term "criticism" should probably go to the Swedish Chancellor of Justice Goran Lambertz who, in 2006, ruled that repeated calls from the Grand Mosque of Stockholm to "Kill the Jews" by dispatching suicide bombers to Israel and other Jewish population centers, was not racial incitement to murder. Rather, ruled this Solomon, they:
Should be judged differently and therefore be regarded as permissible because they were used by one side in an ongoing and far-reaching conflict where calls to arms and insults are part of the everyday climate in the rhetoric that surrounds this conflict.
Just what, then, does "criticism" mean? The Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold defined criticism (by which he did not mean merely literary criticism) as "the attempt to see the object as in itself it really is." Writing in 1865, he believed he was still living in the shadow of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, but also in the new age of science. He wanted criticism to model itself on the disinterested observation of science and not the fierce political partisanship that derived from the Revolution. Like science, criticism should espouse no party and no cause except the cause of truth. Its proper aim is to see the object as it really is, not to destroy the object. Dickens, a few years earlier in Tale of Two Cities (1859), had encapsulated the murderous aspect of French politicide by mocking its two favorite slogans: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity—or Death" and (Chamfort's version) "Sois Mon Frere, ou Je Te Tue." (Be my brother, or I'll kill you.)
The "critics of Israel," who deny its right to exist and threaten it with destruction if it fails to dance to their tune, may be dishonest, despicable, consumed with blood-lust, but let us not deny them their triumph. In the war of ideas, they have beaten us at almost every turn — and by "us" I mean those for whom the foundation of Israel was one of the few redeeming acts of a blood-soaked and shameful century. A widely-publicized 2007 BBC poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries shows Israel as the "least-liked" country in the entire world. Among Europeans polled, Israel was most disliked in Germany. Yes, in the very country where the Jews' "right to live" was once a popular topic, Israel-haters outpolled Israel-admirers by 77% to 10%. And still greater triumphs than those in the war for public opinion may yet await these "critics." Their threats to Israel are not idle ones. On their own, the Chomskys, Paulins, Norman Finkelsteins, Tony Judts and Alexander Cockburns of this world cannot visit upon Israel the terrible fate they think it deserves. But they know they have a powerful ally named Iran, which is under the leadership of someone bent not merely, on politicide (like the "critics") but on genocide; someone who daily promises to "remove Israel from the map" and watches with glee as the international noose tightens around Israel's throat and the umbrellas go up in Europe and Washington.
Edward Alexander is the co-author, with Paul Bogdanor, of The Jewish Divide over Israel: Accusers and Defenders (Transaction Publishers).
Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
3. Note how many articles are suddenly appearing in the Israeli press about academic freedom – and this one actually appeared in Haaretz and was actually written by a TAU prof! And it actually favors academic freedom! This is shocking because Haaretz generally opposes academic freedom for non-traitors, and certainly opposes pluralism and diversity of any sort … in Haaretz!!
What do boycotts have to do with academic freedom?
The pretension of wrapping political critique in academic garb will end up curtailing the right to criticize - as if people who do not enjoy academic freedom should not express their opinions.
By Asher Maoz
A university lecturer calls the naval commandos who raided the Mavi Marmara cold-blooded murderers. Another lecturer refuses to permit a student returning from reserve duty to enter the classroom in uniform. A third tells his students that he does not believe reserve duty in the territories justifies absence from class - but he is prepared to excuse the absence of students who attend a protest at a checkpoint.
Yet another lecturer calls for a boycott of Israel because of the occupation. His colleague calls for an academic boycott of Israeli universities, including the one that employs him. Another lecturer's students claim he silences them when they disagree with him.
But the greatest threat to academic freedom is the academic boycott. This weapon - even if those who preach it are trying to target government policy - strikes a mortal blow at the freedom to research and develop, because it cuts the scholar off from sources of funding for his research and from colloquy with colleagues, which is essential to academic research.
Nor can we ignore the fact that those who call for a boycott will not be harmed by it themselves. They will enjoy the best of both worlds - both the rights conferred by belonging to the boycotted university and the right to exemption from the very boycott they advocate.
The writer is a professor of constitutional law at Tel Aviv University