Sunday, July 01, 2012

Ben Gurion University's Assault against Jewish Studies

1. The Israeli right-leaning newspaper Makor Rishon has a MAJOR
expose on the latest academic atrocities taking place at Ben Gurion
University. Like so many of the past outrages there, this one
involves David Newman, a leftist geographer who teaches in the
political science department and who is currently Dean of Humanities
and Social Sciences at BGU. Newman is best remembered for having
helped produced an anti-Semitic documentary for British television
. He is collaborator and busom buddy with Neve Gordon. Both of these
critters have repeatedly called for the suppression of the freedom of
speech for critics of Far Leftists. As head of the politics
department, Newman built a department in which no non-leftist was
allowed to teach. The single non-leftist Zionist who was teaching in
the department was fired for incorrect thinking. The academic quality
of that department, where anti-Israel hate propaganda is regarded as
scholarly research, was so atrocious that an international panel of
experts called for shutting it down altogether. (BGU's president
responded to that report by suggesting some cosmetic changes, which
leads me to suggest she go to work for Avon instead of for BGU.)

Well, now, according to Makor Rishon, Dean Newman has a new cause
and that is slashing and reducing the departments in the university in
which Jewish Studies are taught. The university has departments of
"Jewish Thought," Jewish History, and Hebrew literature. Dean Newman
thinks that is far too much. He wants to reduce the sizes and number
of those departments, slash their budgets and merge them into a single
small department. Is he upset because so few students and faculty in
these departments participate in campus pro-Hamas rallies and call for
world boycotts of Israel?

Newman, whose own department was denounced for its academic
standards, likes to call these Jewish departments "mediocre" in terms
of academic quality. They do not publish enough in English, he says,
you know – unlike the books by Neve Gordon calling for world boycotts
of Israel and denouncing Israel as an apartheid regime. Of course, at
the same time Newman is struggling to ADD slots and budgets to his OWN
political science department! Newman, whose department runs
"conferences" every few weeks in which only leftists may speak,
including conferences devoted to Marxist indoctrination, criticized
the Jewish departments for running conferences whose academic quality
was not "high enough"!

The newspaper notes the atmosphere of suppression and terror
introduced by Newman, manifested in the fact that none of the faculty
members of the departments being targeted by Newman were willing to be
interviewed. The newspaper also notes that while the commission
appointed by Israel's Council on Higher Education demanded that BGU's
department of political science not run a PhD program or accept PhD
candidates (because of the department's low quality), not only is the
department still doing so but the chap in CHARGE of the doctoral
program is none other than Neve Gordon. Gordon's own PhD is from the
sixth rate Notre Dame University, where he was associated with the
Kroc Institute. The Kroc Institute is an openly Marxist "institute"
( ), best
remembered for its attempts to bring a radical Islamofascist with ties
to al-Qaeda to the university as a "guest scholar" until the FBI
blocked them. (
) According to Makor Rishon, Newman has also appointed Gordon to be
in charge of the School's budgets.

2. The following is my translation of an Op Ed in Makor Rishon by Uri
Elitzur. I think it is the best thing that has been written to date
about the "Social Justice Protest" brats in Israel:

It is not a Protest but an Insult

You, dear reader, are not the only one who has no idea what the
protest activists want. No one knows. It is not that you failed to
understand their message, but it is because they themselves have no
idea of what they want. They are enraged, they are bitter, they hate
the government and the Orthodox and the settlers and the rich folks
and the poor folks and Tel Aviv's Mayor. And they honestly and in
their whole hearts feel that it is awful to live in this country in
its current state. Their goal is to bring you to feel the same way,
full of rage and bitterness.

They include some hard-core anarchists with a well-defined
political agenda, but most of the protesters express nothing more than
anger and frustration. Anger about what exactly? Are they angry at
the enormous prosperity of Tel Aviv? The overflowing cafes? The
shopping malls crowded with upscale merchandise? The protesters are
NOT really concerned with the poor and the weak, and also do not flee
from Tel Aviv, because they do not really have it tough. SO what is
their problem?

Maybe it is just like the anger and frustration that a divorced
man feels when he sees his ex having such a happy time with her new
hubby (or ditto for reversed genders). The reason it is so hard to
define the goals of the protest is that the protest is not really
targeting the "system" or the state for their failures, but rather for
their successes. It is a protest against the annoying fact that
someone ELSE is in charge, someone they were certain would fail and
collapse, but to their frustration that someone succeeded.

That someone is not just Netanyahu. It is not personal and not
even entirely political. It is deeper. This is a protest against the
success of modern Zionism, which they were certain would fail. It is
a protest against the prosperity produced by the same capitalism that
they were certain would collapse. And in spite of all their efforts
and theories, the world by and large is not boycotting Israel or
crushing it. The world does not share the protesters' view that the
state is a captive of "settlers" and the ultra-Orthodox, that the
state has plunged into undemocratic darkness.

The protest is less about rage than it is about the protesters
feeling insulted. Their "enlightenment" and leftist secularism had
promised them supremacy. But a religious man runs the country's
health system. Orthodox and settler youths are senior military
commanders, immigrants from the old Soviet Union sit in the cabinet
and influence policy.

And since they are driven by hurt feelings, social justice
protest is so beloved by them, the self-proclaimed enlightened. It
restores to them their sense of pride and purpose. That and the
grand fun of belonging and being there.

(See also

3. In all the talk about the flood of Africans infiltrating Israel,
in all the condemnation of Israel for not agreeing to be converted
into a country with a sub-Saharan population growing with no limit,
the world and the anti-Israel Israeli Left seem to be forgetting

The Eritreans and Sudanese and others make their way to the Sinai
peninsula, pretending to be "refugees" escaping persecution, but in
reality seeking nice cushy minimum wage employment in Israel. But
once they are in Sinai there is ANOTHER alternative place they can go.
There is another conceivable refuge where these "persecuted refugees"
could infiltrate. In fact, infiltrating this alternative place of
refuge is easy as pie because the gates are all wide open to anyone
from Sinai. And it is an alternative place of refuge in which there
are no "racist Jews" who supposedly object to Africans because they do
not like dark skinned folk.

That alternative place of refuge is Gaza. Any Eritrean, most of
whom are Moslem, and any Sudenese can just walk in, or stroll into
Gaza through the countless smuggling tunnels. These tunnels are large
enough to accommodate endless rockets so a few tens of thousands of
Eritreans should have no problem passing through. There are plenty of
jobs there. And endless handouts from the international "refugee"
organizations. So who says they need to try to enter Israel to gain
safety, jobs or asylum? Who says they need to be oppressed by racist

But there is a problem here. As far as I know, not a single
African has attempted to infiltrate into Gaza. Well, one part of the
story might be that there have been cases of Gazans catching the
Africans while still in the Sinai peninsula and murdering them. There
are persistent rumors even that some Gazans have killed Africans in
order to steal and sell their body parts, which might be what has
inspired the Palestinians to insist that Jews routinely murder people
to steal their body parts.
Here is a sampling of news reports:

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