Saturday, December 15, 2012
Suddenly the Right to Boycott is not Sacred?
Suddenly the Right to Boycott is not Sacred?
By Steven Plaut
For a number of years now, Israel's tenured Left has rallied in defense of the "right" to boycott other Israelis and the right to boycott all of Israel. Whenever a public figure would speak out against the Israeli tenured traitors who call for world campaigns of divestment and economic sanctions against Israel, the Far Left bellows that this is "McCarthyism," that no one should be permitted to express disgust with such traitors. The "BDS" movement (BDS = boycott, divest, sanctions, or more correctly - Bigots, Dingbats, and Scoundrels) is a movement of economic warfare and aggression against Israeli Jews. It is to a large extent the creation of Israeli tenured leftists.
Then there is the other "defense of boycott" campaign. The Israeli Left wants to boycott every Jew who lives in the West Bank, including and especially Ariel University. It wants products made in the West Bank and Golan to be boycotted, and calls on foreign anti-Semites to promote such boycotts. Whenever any eyebrows are raised in Israel at their behavior, the leftists again scream "McCarthyism" and insist they are simply defending "academic freedom," and "freedom of speech." When Israel's Knesset passed a law allowing victims of such leftist boycotts to file civil suits for damages against the Leftists organizing the boycotts, again the Left bellowed that this was fascism and suppression of democracy. Boycotting those whose political position one dislikes is a downright sacred entitlement and the highest most lofty value of democracy, they insist.
In fact, there is only one form of boycott which they see as anti-democratic, treasonous, and fascist. That is when a leftist is boycotted.
And that is why over the past few weeks the tenured Left in Israel has been soiling itself over the "boycott" of a leftist Tel Aviv University by Bibi Netanyahu.
Now the truth is that Prof. Rivka Feldhay was not really "boycotted" by anyone. She was just pointedly not invited by Netanyahu to participate in a pow-wow in Berlin with the German Prime Minister. Netanyahu made it clear that he disapproves of Feldhay's political positions, particularly her participation in a petition 10 years back calling for insurrection and mutiny among Israeli soldiers, calling for them to refuse to serve in the military until the country adopts the political platform of the Communist Party and the Ultra-Left.
Netanyahu does not consider participation in any ceremony with the German PM to be an automatic entitlement for anyone. But the Left considers Netanyahu's unwillingness to include Feldhay in the ceremony to be a fascist assault on academic freedom. The same president of Tel Aviv University who censored members of his own Board of Governors and prohibited them from expressing an opinion in the Board Assembly a few years back, the same university president Joseph Klafter whose administration prohibited a human rights student protest exhibit directed against Chinese abuse lest it upset the Chinese Embassy, denounced Netanyahu for refusing to include Feldhay in the ceremony. HE also accused Netanyahu of subverting academic freedom!
Feldhay teaches history at Tel Aviv University, where the bulk of faculty members in that department are communists. (Some academic freedom, huh?) At Tel Aviv University she also runs the Minerva Institute (see http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/TAU%20-%20organized%20vilification%20of%20Israel%20campaign%20at%20TAU.htm) , a leftwing advocacy institute that is partly funded by Germany (which is why she was considered an apt person to be at the ceremony). If my memory does not fail me, she was also one of the organizers of the campus protests years back at Tel Aviv University against opening any synagogue on the campus. She has been a political crony of the spy Azmi Bishara, now in hiding but wanted for treason and terrorism.
A leading member of the Minerva institute was an initiator of a petition to deny academic freedom to an army woman colonel who wanted to teach in the law school (see http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Steve%20Plaut%20-%20Assault%20on%20Academic%20Freedom.htm ). Among Minerva's activities is organizing law students to defend Arab terrorists in court. Felday is the wife of leftist Professor Mordecai Kremitzer, who teaches law at TAU and is also a central figure in the leftist think tank IDI (see http://isracampus.org.il/IDI%20Watch.htm). You can get a good idea of Kremnitzer's notions of democracy and civilization from this: http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Joel%20Amitai%20-%20Mordechai%20Kremnitzer.htm
TAU President Klafter may be contacted at
President, Professor Joseph Klafter
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978