Thursday, November 04, 2010

The REAL McCartyists in Israel

1. Israeli universities continue to coddle the REAL McCarthyists of
Israel – the anti-Israel Academic Left

• Published 02:45 04.11.10
• Latest update 02:45 04.11.10
A considerable number of instructors in these departments teach their
students that Israel is the spearhead of colonialism in the Middle
East, that Zionism is a racist movement that supports expulsion and
that the Law of Return is racist.
By Israel Harel
In the wake of reports that were compiled in regard to anti-Zionist
slants in research and instruction in a number of the country's
university social sciences faculties, and after students and teachers
complained about being reprimanded and insulted when they voiced their
opposition, on Tuesday the Knesset Education Committee debated the
issue. Lo and behold, members of the Knesset - so protective of
freedom of expression of this body - claimed that the discussion is
not legitimate.
The very act of discussing academia at the Knesset, argued several
MKs, including Haim Oron, Nitzan Horowitz, Ahmed Tibi, Raleb Majadele
and Orit Zuaretz, is a violation of academic freedom. University heads
who attended the session echoed the same sentiments.
They were not reassured by the calming words of committee chairman
Zevulun Orlev, nor the admonishments of Education Minister Gideon
Sa'ar, according to which there was no intention, heaven forfend, of
dictating curriculum. Rather, the purpose was to determine, for the
sake of the universities' public image, whether the hue and cry was
founded. But the MKs stood firm.
One can imagine how these legislators - these in particular - would
react were the Shin Bet security service, or the Israel Defense
Forces, or the Mossad, to claim that discussing matters pertaining to
it in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee harms national
security. After all, the MKs would say, the main purpose of this
committee is to supervise the defense establishment. And of course
they would react similarly to any criticism of the Knesset over any
other public entity in the state with the exception of the Holy of
Holies, academia.
The complaints that reached the committee concerned departments such
as sociology and political science, as well as law faculties. As part
of its "partnership with organizations" effort, the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem Faculty of Law, according to its website, has academic
partnerships with dozens of NGOs from the extreme left, including
B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Yesh Din, Machsom Watch and the
Association for Civil Rights in Israel. A few of these, such as Adalah
and Mada al-Carmel, deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
Students who volunteer with these NGOs are awarded scholarships, and
at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev they even receive credit.
A considerable number of instructors in these departments teach their
students that Israel is the spearhead of colonialism in the Middle
East, that Zionism is a racist movement that supports expulsion and
that the Law of Return is racist. They call for getting rid of
"Hatikva," the national anthem, and the other symbols of the Jewish
state, and quote from "research" establishing that Israel is a
war-mongering nation. And if all that were not enough, students have
complained, anyone who dares to protest is reprimanded and pays the
price in their grades, while faculty members who fail to toe the line
are not promoted.
Is it any wonder, then, that few dissenting voices are heard and that
they are lampooned? Where can one find a respected unversity abroad
that would dare to host on sabbatical a declared Zionist who has been
pegged as a McCarthyite?
In their false championing of the precious and genuine value of
freedom of expression, the university heads are protecting the real
McCarthyites, those who libel the state and Zionism and who suppress
the brave, decent teachers. The leaders of these institutions have
themselves, as one admitted to me, been threatened with the
McCarthyite label if they stray from the path, but one could still
expect better from them.
Those who believe that they would be able to continuously recruit
these departments to serve the purposes of the radical-left NGOs in
the name of "academic partnership" are wrong. They will never be able
to avoid criticism by terrorizing their critics or by libeling those,
at home or abroad, who expose their real face.
The Council for Higher Education must wake up. If the university
establishment persists in extending full protection to them and their
ilk, and in ignoring the broad public criticism, it will be
responsible for the decline in the public image of the universities,
especially the image of the social sciences and humanities faculties.

2. Even Haaretz writers sick and tired of the leftist denunciations
of everyone with whom they disagree as "fascist" =

3. Apologies for error in yesterday's posting – Eric Cantor will not
be speaker of the House but rather majority leader.

4. Ruth Wisse – as always excellent:
When anti-Semites point fingers

5. Holocaust Denial and Academic Freedom:

6. Olive tree slurs:

7. Pestilinian racism:

8. From the Wall St Journal:

Can Israel Be Jewish and Democratic?

Many nations have laws and practices that recognize their majority
group's history, language or religion while also protecting the rights
of minorities.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently asked Palestinian
peace negotiators to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state. Some
critics have called this move cynical, because Palestinian leaders are
unlikely to offer such an acknowledgment. But others oppose it for a
more basic reason: They claim it is antidemocratic.
Israel, so the argument goes, affronts its non-Jewish citizens by
identifying itself as a Jewish state and by using traditional
religious emblems as official national symbols—for example, the Star
of David on its flag.
Along the same lines, various Israeli intellectuals have proposed
dropping "Hatikvah" (The Hope) as their country's national anthem,
because it refers to the Jewish soul's millenial yearnings for a
return to Zion. A few have urged repeal of Israel's longstanding law
of return, which gives Jews from any country a right to immigrate and
become citizens.
Some Israeli Arabs have advocated that Israel should become a state
identified with no particular ethnic or religious group but rather a
state of all of its individual citizens. Israelis commonly view this
liberal ideal with suspicion, for it has no relation whatever to the
political practices of any countries in the Middle East. Also, Azmi
Bishara, the principal Israeli Arab proponent of "a state of all of
its citizens" and a former member of parliament, outraged many
Israelis by supporting Hezbollah against Israel in the 2006 Lebanon
Israeli law respects the voting, property, religious and other rights
of its Arab citizens (most of them Muslims) who constitute some 20% of
the population. Nevertheless, the ongoing conflict over Palestine has
created bitterness between many of them and their fellow Jewish
citizens. Many Israeli Jews resent what they see as disloyalty on the
part of Israeli Arabs. Many of the latter resent what they see as
their second-class status.
But the larger question of Israel's identity as a Jewish state does
not hinge on the particulars of its Arab citizens' current status.
Rather, it is whether democratic principles are necessarily violated
when Israel asserts a Jewish identity based on the ethnic and
religious heritage of its majority group. That is a matter of interest
to everyone who thinks seriously about self-government.
Israel is by no means unique among democracies in considering itself
the embodiment of the national existence of a specific people. In
fact, most democracies see themselves that way. Most have laws and
practices that specially recognize a particular people's history,
language, culture, religion and group symbols, even though they also
have minorities from other groups.
The United States is unusual in this regard. It is among the most
liberal of democracies, in the sense that it is committed to the
principle that laws should, in general, ignore group identities
(ethnic, religious or regional) and treat citizens equally as
individuals. Canada, Australia and New Zealand—likewise lands of new
settlement—are among the other countries on this liberal end of the
democratic spectrum.
The democracies of Europe and East Asia and those in the former
republics of the Soviet Union, meanwhile, tend to cluster on the
ethnic side of the spectrum. Numerous laws and institutions in those
nations favor a country's principal ethnic group but are nevertheless
accepted as compatible with democratic principles. Christian crosses
adorn the flags of Switzerland, Sweden, Greece and Finland, among
other model democracies, and the United Kingdom's flag boasts two
kinds of crosses.
Several of these democracies have monarchs—and in the U.K., Norway and
Denmark, the monarchs head national churches. France famously protects
the integrity of the French language and the interests of French
speakers, as do pro-French forces in Canada.
Ireland has a law that allows applicants of "Irish descent or Irish
associations" to be exempted from ordinary naturalization rules.
Poland, Croatia and Japan have similar laws of return favoring members
of their own respective ethnic majorities. Many other examples exist.
Israel was founded as a national home for the Jews, recognized as a
nationality and not just a religious group. After Allied forces
conquered Palestine from the Ottomans in World War I, Britain, France,
Italy and other leading powers of the day supported the idea that the
Jewish people, long shamefully abused as exiles throughout the
diaspora, should be offered the opportunity to reconstitute a
Jewish-majority state in their ancient homeland of Palestine.
Those powers planned that the Arabs, whose nationalist leaders from
across the Middle East insisted that they were a single, indivisible
people, would exercise national self-determination over time in Syria,
Lebanon, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Arabia and elsewhere. Britain soon
decided to put the 78% of Palestine east of the Jordan River under
exclusive Arab administration, barring Jewish settlement there.
The British government's wartime Balfour Declaration in favor of a
Jewish national home in Palestine—incorporated verbatim in the
Palestine Mandate, which received League of Nations confirmation in
1922—made a crucial distinction between the collective rights of the
Jewish people in Palestine and the individual civil and religious
rights of the country's non-Jewish residents. The point was that all
such rights, collective and individual, should be honored.
After World War I, numerous ethnic groups achieved statehood. It was
not considered antidemocratic that the Hungarians or Poles, for
example, should establish nations to embody and sustain their
particular cultures.
All democratic countries have minority populations. Such countries do
not believe that they have to shed their national ethnic identities in
order to respect the civil, property and other basic human rights of
their minority citizens. The distinction between majority collective
rights to a national home and the individual rights of all citizens
remains important in Israel and in all ethnically-based democracies.
So democracies vary in the degree to which their laws take account of
ethnicity. Their common practices provide an answer to our question:
It is not antidemocratic for Israel to protect its status as a Jewish
state in ways similar to those used by the French, Swiss, British,
Germans, Italians, Lithuanians, Japanese and others to protect the
status of their countries as national homelands.
Mr. Feith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, served as under
secretary of defense from 2001 to 2005. He is the author of "War and
Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism"
(Harper 2008).
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