Thursday, July 31, 2014
The new Leftist Assault against Bar Ilan University
1. A few days ago I posted a sarcastic spoof piece about how the Allies were providing free electricity to the Third Reich so that German civilians would not suffer, and how FDR refused to condition the electricity on the Germans stopping their V-2 rocket attacks on London or paying for the power. I also posted it on the Israeli social science professors list. This is a highly-censored leftist chat list and I suspect they allowed the piece to post because they thought it was for real. Since then I have gotten quite a few responses from professors of social science on that list who believed the story was for real. I thought this is as good an indication as you can find of the state of academic standards in Israel.
2. Israel's fascist Left is suddenly all upset about the suppression of academic freedom at Bar Ilan University. What got them upset was a group of students who denounced a professor there who used an announcement about the date for an exam to insert his own leftist ideological agenda in the message an impose it upon his students. The professor, one Hanoch Sheinman, sent out the message about the exam date but added wishes that his message "finds you in a safe place and that you, your families and those dear to you are not among the hundreds of people that were killed, the thousands wounded, or the tens of thousands whose homes were destroyed." The students, all of whom either serve in the military or have friends at the front and almost all of whom know soldiers killed or wounded, resented the snide attempt by the professor to equate the suffering of Israeli victims of the Hamas with the Gazans targeted in retaliation. We now know that of the "hundreds of people that were killed" in Gaza, at least 80% have been armed terrorists. The professor can stand on the street corner and express his opinions but inserting them into a message about the exam to his students is political harassment.
The students filed a complaint against the prof with the Dean of Students at Bar Ilan. The dean issued a statement condemning the behavior of Sheinman. Two other universities warned students and faculty against using campus facilities to spread "unrestrained" discourse, meaning treasonous anti-Israel propaganda.
The Tenured Left and Haaretz have been having a fit. Haaretz denounces Bar Ilan University today in an editorial for "McCarthyism" in the Sheinman affair. See the editorial here: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.608117 . Let us note that this is the same Haaretz that has been demanding in recent days that Bar Ilan professor Mordecai Kedar be silenced and fired (http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.606542 ). This is the same Haaretz that has operated a McCarthyist campaign against Bar Ilan University for years, denouncing it for being responsible for the murder of Yitzhak Rabin because Yigal Amir studied there. Curiously, Haaretz has never gotten around to reporting that Haggai Amir, the convicted accomplice of his brother Yigal Amir, is today a far-leftist who supports Haneen Zoabi and Palestinian statehood. This is the same Haaretz that has led the lobby demanding that rabbis who write books it regards as "racist" be jailed for this and their books burnt.
Meanwhile, some protesters held a protest against leftist journalist Amnon Abramovich outside the latter's home. Some members of the Tenured Left are demanding that these protesters be arrested and jailed. No academic freedom for THEM!
3. Here is another "assault" against "academic freedom" that has the Left soiling its nappies: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183550#.U9nqo6Pb7ZQ
Eldad to Israeli Students: Boycott Leftist Professors
Former MK Professor Aryeh Eldad has a message for Isreali students: Just say no to leftist professors
By Yaakov Levi
Former MK Professor Aryeh Eldad, head of the Professors for a Strong Israel organization, called on Israeli students to "vote with their feet" and reject leftist professors who have come out against the IDF's mission in Gaza. In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Eldad suggested that students check the names of professors before signing up for courses, and boycott the courses taught by leftist professors.
"They must be rejected and ejected from the family of academia," Eldad said. "If I could, I would paper the land with posters and take out ads listing the names of the professors and teachers who advocate for Hamas."
He is unable to do so himself, Eldad said, but he had a suggestion for students who wanted to avoid such teachers. "Just don't sign up for their courses," he said.
"Israeli academia has a long tradition of 'self-hate,'" said Eldad. "We have this all year long, but it becomes much more annoying and dangerous during periods of war and tension. More people see it, and more families whose sons are fighting and dying on the front are hurt." By avoiding their courses, students will be sending the professors – and their employers, the universities – a clear message, that such activity is unacceptable.
Eldad believes that Israel needs to remain in Gaza on a permanent basis. "Without a Jewish presence in Gaza the IDF will not be able to operate there," he said. "The real breaking point in security for the south leading to this war was the disengagement. In order to restore security we must return to the point when there was security – before the disengagement, when Israelis lived in Gush Katif. Anything less will not enable us to fight the tunnels and the missiles," he added.
4. About those Hamas supporters who whine that Israel harms Palestinian children:
Wiesenthal Center Urges 47-Member UN Human Rights Council to Investigate Hamas Over the Deaths of 160 Palestinian Children Forced to Work on Terror Tunnels
5. Many of those Gaza rim villages in Israel that have borne the brunt of Hamas atrocities have been far-leftist kibbutzim. These spent decades promoting the "two-state solution" and "self-determination" for the "Palestinians." The Guernica of Israel has been the town of Sderot and it hosts Sapir College, another bastion of leftism. Sapir has held Solidarity with the Hamas rallies. The terror assault tunnels that have been uncovered were designed to allow hundreds of terrorists to infiltrate these areas in a flash and carry out mass murders of hundreds of Jewish children and other civilians. The leftists living near Gaza have been mugged by reality. They are leading the demands that the Hamas be exterminated.
Bastions of the left, kibbutzim are on front lines of war
Despite all the changes they've been through, kibbutzim still account for a high share of combat soldiers and are big champions of mutual aid.
6. Always good to hear from "Palestinian moderates":
'Moderate' PA Leader: Jews Brought the Holocaust on Themselves
Senior member of Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party, Jibril Rajoub, calls Israelis 'the new Nazis', says Israel committing a 'holocaust' in Gaza.
7. The Messiah must be Nigh: here is an Op Ed in Haaretz:
The 'hounding' of Israel's hypocritical left
Claims of a 'crackdown' on left-wing dissent are ludicrous self-promotion. If they really cared about free speech, where were they during the antinationalist witch hunts in the disengagement and after Rabin's murder?
By Amiel Ungar | Jul. 29, 2014
To believe the Israeli left, it is encountering intellectual persecution that threatens to degenerate into political assassination. As proof, the left cites the dismissal of comedian Orna Banai from her job as a cruise liner presenter, and the recent decision by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate MK Haneen Zoabi (an investigation that's subsequently been dropped).
These self-serving premonitions of martyrdom are, of course, relayed by the leftist village tom-toms to like-minded sympathizers abroad. Now, in addition to "war crimes," they can charge Israel with stifling dissent.
It is also an act of self-promotion, because our intellectual shahids can congratulate themselves on maintaining their principles against the mob and they will undoubtedly reap rewards, invitations and perhaps film festival honors for playing the righteous in Sodom.
To round out this tragic soap opera, the left has even provided us with a prince of darkness – a heavy (literally and figuratively) who calls himself 'Shadow' – and provided him with international notoriety. If this goes on, we could even see a revival of the 1930s radio series that began with the immortal line, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
Admittedly our "shadowed" Israeli left is not exactly flavor of the month because the war in Gaza has further demolished two of its favorite arguments: Gaza, or for that matter an independent Palestine, can never pose a threat to Israeli security; and if we are – however improbably – threatened, we would enjoy international backing to hit back hard. This was the logic behind Oslo and the disengagement/expulsion from Gaza and we are currently paying the wages of that folly.
However, to talk of a crackdown on the left is ludicrous. Meretz chair Zahava Gal-On and other left-wing talking heads remain welcome guests on our talk shows to spout the same nostrums. They are free to rave about the moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, even though we saw Abbas Jr. and Abbas II in Arabic dismissing their father's talk about renouncing claims to pre-1967 Israel as window-dressing intended for gullible Israelis.
Israel can compare favorably with any country fighting a battle against an enemy that promises to destroy it and makes good on its threats by launching attacks on the homeland.
When Britain fought desperately on in World War II, it rounded up the fascist Oswald Mosley and his supporters; even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were deported to the West Indies because of their known Nazi sympathies. The German American Bund, let alone Japanese Americans, were roughly treated in the United States.
Going back further in American history, President Abraham Lincoln, who viewed the Civil War as a test of whether the United States would hold together, suspended habeas corpus for the antiwar Copperheads.
The Israeli left faces no similar privations or restrictions, and has received deferential treatment when we recall political crackdowns against Israeli nationalists.
During the disengagement from Gaza, the Israeli police engaged in short-circuiting political dissent – frequently by arbitrary measures. The book was thrown at demonstrators whose tactics were far more restrained than those witnessed at other demonstrations.
Our current defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, was sacked as chief of staff for daring to privately question the wisdom of the measure and replaced by the more pliable Dan Halutz. Opponents of the disengagement – who have since been vindicated – were then pilloried by a vicious government-sponsored press campaign.
They were charged in the press with planning armed resistance to the Gaza expulsion or hurling acid at soldiers tasked with their eviction. These charges were proven baseless, but no apology was ever offered.
After the Rabin assassination, a veritable witch hunt was launched for "Rabin's assassins." Despite the Shamgar commission's findings that Yigal Amir acted alone, the hunt was on for would-be inciters.
The only way to secure immunity from the charge of being Amir's accomplice was to recant opposition to Oslo. Those now trumpeting freedom of dissent didn't intervene but actually fanned the flames. So they should at least have the decency not to lecture us on intellectual freedom and political intimidation.
Zoabi represents the failure of the compromise, forged by former MK Geula Cohen, which would have barred politicians who either did not subscribe to democratic principles or undermined Israel's identity as a Jewish state.
The left was happy to use the agreement to block Meir Kahane's reelection to the Knesset, but they reneged on their part of the deal when it came to Arab MKs such as Azmi Bishara or Ms. Zoabi. The real question is not why Zoabi is being prosecuted now, but why she wasn't prosecuted long ago.
It is particularly rich of Ms. Banai to complain of persecution. When Arafat launched his suicide bombers at us, Banai knew whom to blame: the settlers. "Because of them we are dying like flies," she moaned.
She promised never to appear in a settlement. After the Jewish residents of Gaza were herded into buses so the bulldozers could destroy their life's work nine years ago, Banai piled on by accusing them of abandoning their pets.
Now, for however briefly, the usual boycotters have become the boycotted – and they find this situation unacceptable. Believe me, I don't want any harm to befall leftists because – to paraphrase De Gaulle on Sartre – they too are Israel.
I can only hope that the reversal of roles that the left has encountered may engender a more respectful political debate within Israel.
Dr. Amiel Ungar is a political scientist.
8. Thomas Sowell - Cease the Ceasefires:
9. Oh dear - the Jews shoot back: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/mark-tapson/jews-can-shoot/