Sunday, August 24, 2008

Post-Zionist "Academic" Uri Davis converts to Islam (not a spoof)

Davis has taught in the same school, University of Exeter in the UK, where
Ilan Pappe has been hired:

Post-Zionist Jewish Academic Converts to Islam
23 Av 5768, 24 August 08 12:34
by Hillel Fendel

( Dr. Uri Davis, who has often termed Israel an "apartheid
state" and refused to serve in the IDF, converted to Islam about a week
ago and married a Fatah activist in Ramallah. The conversion ceremony
involved two oaths in which Davis recognized Allah and the Muslim prophet
Mohammed. Davis said he plans to follow the laws of Islam, but not

The conversion took place in a Moslem religious court in Baka el-Garbiye,
an Israeli-Arab town just outside northwestern Samaria (Shomron).

Davis's lawyer explained that the Arabs of the Palestinian Authority know
him for his great sacrifices on behalf of the "Palestinian problem" and
the "realization of their rights." He noted that the consent of the Arab
woman and her family to the marriage to a Jewish activist is an "admirable
social development."

Just two months ago, David took part in an Arab-sponsored "Haifa
Conference," billed as "defend[ing] a secular democratic state in historic
Palestine." A summary of the conference written by Yoav Bar states that
the Conference "was our moment to raise our heads from the exhausting
daily struggle and promise ourselves and the world that the suffering of
the Palestinian people may be brought to an end and there can be a bright
future for everybody in Palestine after we get rid of the racist Zionist

Bar himself, an initiator of the Haifa Conference, is an Israeli member of
the political bureau of Abnaa el-Balad - Sons of the Land, a secular
movement that seeks the return of all Arab refugees, the abolishment of
Israel as a Jewish state and the establishment of a Palestinian state in
its place.

Dr. Davis gave one of the three Hebrew speeches at the Conference; the
others were delivered by Yehuda Kupferman of the "Committee for a Secular
and Democratic state in the Whole of Palestine," and Dr. Anat Matar, a
leading supporter of the rights of Palestinian prisoners and the rights of
Israeli youth to refuse to serve in the IDF.

Davis, who has described himself as an "anti-Zionist Palestinian Hebrew,"
has been advocating support for Palestinian issues for over 40 years, and
was arrested more than once on charges of illegal activities in this
connection. He is a founding member of the Movement Against Israeli
Apartheid in Palestine, is a former member of the Executive Committee of
the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding, and is
actually an Observer Member of the Palestine National Council.

2. From Isracampus:

Yael Korin.s War on Israel

by Joel Amitai

.As an Israeli-born Jew, that my family survived the Holocaust, it.s an
incredible pain, and very difficult for me,. proclaims Yael Korin in this
video, .to keep watching Israel committing war crimes, crimes against
humanity, crimes against the Palestinian people, and now the Lebanese

Yael Korin, an immunologist at the UCLA medical school, speaking here at a
rally against the Second Lebanon War in Los Angeles on August 12, 2006, is
introduced as a member of the far-Left Women in Black. Korin.s Los Angeles
branch of the organization describes itself here as supporting .the right
of Palestinian refugees to return [to Israel]..recognized by all Israeli
governments, Right and Left, as a formula for Israel.s destruction.

Korin goes on to tell the gathering: .What we need to remember is that
Israel is born in a sin, 1948 the al-Naqba [.catastrophe. in Arabic] was a
war of ethnic cleansing, of grabbing land by force and cleansing it from
its inhabitants, the Palestinians.Israel consistently and persistently
have been continuing this strategy, continuing grabbing more land, 1967
the whole historic Palestine.Israel wants land but it doesn.t want the
people on the land, the Zionist ideology is calling for a state of Jewish
people only...

She goes on to explain that Israel is now applying this same .strategy. to
southern Lebanon, where it wants to grab the land and the water sources,
and so it has to be gotten out of southern Lebanon totally (something
that, in the real world, Israel was actually all too glad to do on its

In the telling of this self-professed daughter of Holocaust survivors,
then, Israel in the same time it was already absorbing tens of
thousands of Holocaust survivors.was already behaving monstrously, a
savage juggernaut of land theft and ethnic cleansing. Indeed Korin.s
Israel is in some respects worse than Nazi Germany, which, while
exterminating certain populations, didn.t try to ethnically cleanse, for
instance, Poland of all Poles or France of all French. But for Korin.s
version of the .Zionist ideology.calling for a state of Jewish people
only,. this would be too moderate.

So for Yael Korin, 1947-1948 was not the story of the UN Partition Plan
(accepted by Israel, totally rejected by the Arab side) or of seven Arab
armies massing to strangle Israel in its cradle, but rather of the newborn
state of 600,000 Jews, fresh Holocaust memories and all, actually seeking
war with the surrounding Arab world in a vicious land-grab. In 1967 there
was no Nasser and no Soviet Union, in 2006 there was no Hizballah; it was
all Israeli avarice and racism. A Jewish state that .consistently and
persistently. behaves this way for sixty years running is not actually
different from what Hitlerian doctrine would have expected of it.pure evil
and a menace to other peoples; Korin.s and the Mein Kampfian views of
Jewish collective goals and behavior are strikingly similar.

Yael Korin has been propagating this sort of vicious tripe during years in
which there have been numerous deadly terrorist attacks on Israeli Jews by
people who have the same emotions that she flaunts and incites: rage
against Israel and Israelis and a yearning for the Jewish state.s
destruction. Indeed, Korin.s sympathy for exterminatory passions toward
Israel and Israelis could not have been more explicit than on March 27,
2004, when she spoke, having donned Arab garb for the occasion, at a rally
outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles to protest Israel.s
assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.the Hamas leader responsible for the
murders of over three hundred Israelis including many children.

Korin was there at the consulate again on October 17 that year.this time
to protest .Israel.s latest assault on Gaza. amid demonstrators carrying
signs saying .Stop Use of U.S.-Supplied WMDs on Civilians. and the
like.again, the clear and emphatic link between supposed Israeli behavior
and Nazi-style mass-murdering behavior. Korin and a fellow speaker at the
rally had .returned days earlier from Palestine, where they had frequently
joined Machsom Watch,. an Israeli women.s organization that harasses
Israeli soldiers doing difficult and lifesaving anti-terror work at
checkpoints. Korin .said she doesn.t want anyone to do to another people
what was done to her parents..again that fundamental, recurrent confusion
in someone who announces herself as a Jew and dresses as an Arab, who
can.t seem to process the notion of post-1945 Jews as victims and so
instead turns them into Nazis.

Not surprisingly, Korin.s sympathy for Palestinian terrorism doesn.t stop
with Ahmed Yassin and Hamas. Just recently she signed a petition for the
release of Sami Al-Arian, the University of South Florida computer
scientist convicted in 2006 of aiding Palestinian Islamic Jihad. That
organization.s charter calls for the elimination of .the Zionist entity,.
the establishment of an Islamic state .from sea to sea,. and .Jihad
against the Jewish existence in Palestine..right after Yael Korin.s
twisted heart.

In addition to Women in Black, Korin is listed here by Al-Awda (the
Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) as a .founding member of the
Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid, Southern California.. Attach any
vicious terminology to Israel..born in sin,. .war crimes,. .ethnic
cleansing,. .apartheid..and Yael Korin is there to endorse and propagate
it. Her pathological loathing of Israel and Israelis, if not literally
murderous (and that is an open question), certainly encompasses
identifying with those who do murder Israelis en masse. Psychologically
speaking she is a frightening phenomenon of reality-distortion and evil,
exploiting her democratic freedoms to spread her message of incendiary

Joel Amitai is an independent researcher and filmmaker. Reach him at

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Georgia Hypocrisy

Subject: The Georgia Hypocrisy

The Georgia Hypocrisy
By Steven Plaut

So let's see if we have this straight.

The entire world is horrified at Russian behavior. The Russians invent a new
'nation' in need of self-determination, all as a ploy to break up Georgia. The
Russians scream about the mistreatment of the Ossetians and never mind human
rights abuses inside Russia, especially in Chechnya. The Russians coordinate
moves by separatists inside Georgia to serve as justification for their own
invasion. The Russians preach human rights and self-determination as a ploy to
engage in aggression. Hmmm, where have we heard that before?

The story brings to mind immediately two historic parallels. The first is the
campaign by Nazi Germany on behalf of 'self-determination' for the Sudeten
Germans inside Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. For details see this: Germany also invented a 'people' in need
of self-determination inside the small state it had designs on, invented claims
of human rights abuses, and then used the separatist activities of the Sudetens
as an excuse to invade and demolish in stages Czechoslovakia. Never mind that
human rights were respected a zillion times better inside Czechoslovakia than
inside Nazi Germany. Never mind that ethnic Germans already had their own
sovereign countries they could migrate to if they were unhappy in the Sudeten
areas of Czechoslovakia.

The other historic parallel concerns the invention of a 'Palestinian people.'
The Arabs use the 'Palestinian' separatist movement the exact same way that
Russia uses the Ossetian separatists. The Arabs and their apologists invent
tales of 'human rights abuses' by Israel of 'Palestinians' much like Russia
invents stories about Georgian mistreatment of Ossetians. Never mind that the
human rights of Arabs inside Israel are respected infinitely better than are
those of Arabs inside Arab countries, and the non-Arabs inside Arab countries
are treated even worse. The world whines about Israeli 'apartheid,' whereas in
reality Israel is the only Middle East regime that is NOT an apartheid regime.

In fact, the Georgians did sometimes mistreat the Ossetians and the Ossetians
have a far stronger case for self-determination than the 'Palestinians. The
Ossetians speak their own language unrelated to that of their neighbors and
have their own culture. In comparison, the 'Palestinians' are less different
culturally and less distinct linguistically from the Arabs in Jordan, Lebanon
and Syria (whence most of them migrated into 'Palestine' in the late 19th and
early 20th century) than Californians are from other Americans.

If the world is horrified at Russian aggression and behavior towards Georgians,
why are so many of these same people not horrified at Arab aggression towards
Israel and behavior identical to that of Russia? Why are those who pooh-pooh
the claims of a right to self-determination by Ossetians not dismissing as a
similar Sudeten-style ploy the demands for 'Palestinian self-determination?'
Why are Palestinians, who enjoy treatment far better than that of the Ossetians
and the Chechens, the focus of countless media exposes about their imaginary
mistreatment by Israel?

And where are all those solidarity protesters? How come the same
'International Solidarity Movement' protesters who like to attack Israeli
troops and police and to serve as 'human shields' to protect the po'
Palestinian 'victims' of Israeli self-defense not rushing to Ossetia and
Georgia to stand up to the Russian troops, throwing rocks at them and singing
Kun-Ba-Ya? Where are the leftist human shield blocking Russian (and Georgian)
military vehicles the same way they block Israeli Defense Forces operations?
Are they afraid they will not be served the same nice gourmet lattes they get
when Israeli forces apprehend them for hooliganism in the West Bank?

Why are the leftists not organizing ships to break the Russian blockade of the
Georgia coast the same way they are trying to provide sea-borne aid to the
Hamas in Gaza? Where are the Rachel Corries and why are they not challenging
Russian bulldozer crews? Why are the Anarchists against the Wall not hopping
planes to Tbilisi to challenge Russian construction crews erecting walls in
Abkhazia and Ossetia? Why are the Israeli leftist professors not holding
pro-Ossetian poetry readings and solidarity rallies in Tbilisi?

Leftist hypocrisy seems to have no limits!

The Chomskyite Terror at Tel Aviv University

1. From Isracampus
The Chomskyite Terror at Tel Aviv University:
Tel Aviv U.s Chomsky disciples in linguistics leave us speechless
By Lee Kaplan

When historians look back at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they will
no doubt observe the importance that words played for Israel.s enemies in
the dispute. Blowing up a bus full of people becomes .legitimate
resistance,. and a security fence to keep out suicide bombers and
terrorists suddenly becomes an .apartheid wall.; .occupation. takes on
multiple meanings.does it mean the West Bank and Gaza or all of Israel? In
fact, it means both depending on its usefulness at the time the phrase is
spoken by irredentist Arabs. Words such as .genocide. and .ethnic
cleansing. increasingly refer to a subjugated Palestinian Arab population
that in reality seems to only grow exponentially. To the outside world, a
plethora of deceptive words, be they in English or translated to other
languages, suggest Israel is persecuting the Arabs who are bent on the
Jewish state.s annihilation by distorting that Israel, a Jewish haven from
European Nazism, has in effect become the nation of the new Nazis and that
the Arabs are the new Jews. Such is the power of words used to manipulate
ideas and disguise facts in any language.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. But the harm to
Israel.s image is still there and can be dramatically inflated when Jewish
linguists contribute to this misperception for political reasons that are
just as damaging as those presented by the Arabs themselves. One cabal of
such linguists exists in the Linguistics Department at Tel Aviv

In education, the purpose of language is to enlighten rather than
obfuscate, but education became a business in the 20th century where
careers could be enhanced by political activism within academe. Bookings
for lectures, lucrative publishing or just plain job advancement can hinge
on one.s politics more than ever before. For Israel.s universities it is
no different. Given the importance of linguistics.we can see how words can
kill given the sloganeering by terrorist groups dismissing each attack on
Israelis, or when Israel.s self-defense is described as .war crimes,.
.apartheid. or .crimes against becomes even clearer the need
for Israel.s universities to help defend the nation from such obfuscation.
But the business of education has become tainted by Arab oil money that
helps fuel radical leftists who seek Israel.s destruction as the .Zionist
entity. and the end of a democratic America for a dictatorship of the
proletariat as parts of their platform.

One linguist who has had a profound effect on the misuse of language to
curse Israel and America is the major radical leftist star in the
linguistics field by the name of Noam Chomsky, a professor at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Manfred Gerstenfeld, considered an
expert on anti-Semitism and Jewish culture and the effects of
post-Zionism, has observed that Chomsky is a .paradigm of cultural
anti-Semitism.. Chomsky, who belonged as a youth to an anti-Zionist youth
movement against a Jewish state called Akuva, has made a fortune
denigrating both Israel and its ally, the United States, repeatedly,
branding those countries as imperialists, warmongers and guilty of crimes
against humanity.

Despite his damning of America and Israel, one has only to see that those
totalitarian governments and leaders that Chomsky embraces are the real
practitioners of genocide such as Pol Pot, who Chomsky once praised, or
the murderers in Hizballah and Hamas who Chomsky has met and spoken out in
support of publicly against Israel in the Media. Chomsky even degenerated
into writing the forward to a book denying the Holocaust recently.

Chomsky.s influence grew during the Vietnam War when his linguistic
theories, now pretty much discredited, ascribed to an idea of combining
ideas of revolution with anarchist dogma. There no longer was any right or
wrong such as is found in grammar; linguistics had no rules any more but
was based on the mind of the speaker. This attitude of no right or wrong
plays an important part in how linguists can rationalize the misuse of
language to support Arab anti-Semitism against Israel. Chomsky disciples,
in order to be true to their dogma, would have to develop more and more
sophisticated types of explanations that explained the contradictions
found in natural speech; grammar became less important than what the
speaker intended to say. In true anarchistic fashion, the rules no longer
need apply. The perceived hierarchy of society that existed before,
including those rules of grammar, were no longer important, because with
hierarchy destroyed, the mantra goes, all people will be equal. However,
Chomsky himself enjoys a lucrative career as a rich anarchist who drives a
Mercedes, has tenure at MIT and lives like a capitalist with profitable
book and speaking tours.

Meanwhile, the Linguistics department at Tel Aviv U. is like any other
academic department at any other university; it.s a small pond with some
big frogs. And when those frogs follow the same dogma of Chomsky.s sense
of anarchism, it affects everything else in that department.

However oddly, Chomsky.s students among his acolytes accorded to him this
same hierarchy and status he eschews as their guru of the use of language
as part of the political ideas of the day. Since right or wrong no longer
applies, some of the most bizarre ideas emerged from, let us call them the
Chomskyites, including blind acceptance of totalitarian murderers from Pol
Pot to the Hizballah, even support for anti-Semitism and all manner of
accusations against Israel and Jews, even Holocaust denial. Chomsky, given
his domination in the field of linguistics during the Vietnam War,
developed an international following, that continues today even in the
Linguistics department at Tel Aviv University.

Because Chomsky as a linguist has acolytes from Israel who studied under
him or from his closest followers promulgated his theories to be learned
and carried forth, his political campaigns of vilification of the West in
support of totalitarian regimes and interests also reached Israeli
universities. Of these followers, many have ended up as mini-Chomskys at
the University of Tel Aviv where they repeat their mentor.s inanities
against the right of Israel to exist or defend itself.

Although she is recently deceased, Professor Tanya Reinhart was one of
Chomsky.s best known disciples, who traveled in anti-Israel circles within
Israel itself as a faculty member in Linguistics at Tel Aviv U and as a
visiting faculty member abroad where she promoted the goals of Israel.s
enemies. Chomsky was in charge of Reinhart.s PhD thesis and she was also
an acolyte of the late Edward Said, the Palestinian demi-god (born in
Egypt like Arafat) among anti-Israel pro-PLO activists abroad.

If you ever wanted an example of the use of linguistics to convey an
untrue impression of a country like Israel, the quote below is pure Tanya

"My biggest hope and plea is - save the Palestinians!...what Israel is
doing now exceeds the crimes of the South Africa.s white regime. It has
started to take the form of systematic ethnic cleansing, which South
Africa never attempted. After 35 years of occupation, it is completely
clear that the only two choices the Israeli political system has generated
for the Palestinians are apartheid or ethnic cleansing (transfer)."

So in the above paragraph we have Israel, the only pluralistic country in
the Middle East, reduced to the level of the truly apartheid state of
South Africa in the 1980.s, a common propaganda tactic of anti-Israel
forces in academia and Arab irredentists who want to appeal to the social
conscious of the West through obfuscation. Thus Reinhart throws in the
overused word .apartheid. and phrase .ethnic cleansing. that actually
originated in the propaganda war between the Muslims and the Christian
Serbs in Bosnia. The use of that language inspired NATO bombing runs
against Serbian forces that never committed atrocities they were accused
of doing. Such a threat from NATO still exists today, only now for Israel.
If you wonder why Israel is so cautious about retaking Gaza to clear out
the terrorist government there that is firing on its southern border
towns, consider what happened to the Serbs.

The good news is Tanya Reinhart no longer teaches at Tel Aviv U since she
passed away over a year ago. The bad news is her effect is still felt
there, and her legacy lives on particularly among the linguistics faculty
who comprise a large number of anti-Israel activists on the Tel Aviv
campus. The question remains why she was allowed to be on board and
represent the TAU linguistics department and faculty as a world-traveled
anti-Semite for so many years.

Professors Mira Ariel and Rachel Giora are two more of such linguists on
the TAU linguistics faculty list, both of whom organized a conference
memorializing Tanya Reinhart with the help of Professor Yeshayahu Shen,
another faculty linguist. Both Ariel and Giora signed a petition urging
their students and other Israeli youth to refuse service in the IDF citing
as the reason that .such service too often involves carrying out orders
that have no place in a democratic society founded on the sanctity of
human life.. The strangeness of it all was Tanya Reinhart actually
campaigned to have her fellow TAU linguists boycotted worldwide as
Israelis and that included Ariel and Giora!

Uttering Chomkyisms can keep one in favor no doubt in TAU.s linguistics
department, yet Chomsky has been guilty of telling inveterate lies against
the West and in particular Israel, most which center around false
accusations of genocide such as Reinhart alluded to in her statement
above. For example, Paul Bangador has compiled over 200 lies told by
Chomsky that get accepted among the academic elite which could be said to
maintain an elitist attitude toward the non-academic world (that includes
most Israelis). Thus students wishing to enter that world as carbon copies
of their professors, or merely to get along, tend to follow in the
footsteps of professors such as Tanya Reinhart, which could explain the
memorial given for her.

The fact that the IDF protects the Children of Israel from Arab
terrorists, and in fact also protects the Palestinian Arabs in the
Territories who are subject to harm from terrorist murderers and thugs,
are hardly services that have no place in a democratic society concerned
about human life. But such rhetoric voiced to impressionable college
students at Tel Aviv University does take its toll: Enlistments are being
discouraged more and more by radical groups that are not always truthful
about Israel.s security needs.

The Linguistics department at Tel Aviv U. is like any other academic
department at any other university; it.s a small pond with some big frogs.
So who are some of these .anti-Israel. or .anti-Zionist. academics in
TAU.s linguistic department? Here are some of the more active ones and
what been saying or doing:

As mentioned, Rachel Giora who organized the Reinhart memorial with
colleagues from the Linguisics department was one of those Israeli
academics that Tanya Reinhart encouraged academic institutions abroad to
boycott. Giora.s behavior is so bizarre that she initiated recommending
Tali Fahima for the Nobel Peace Prize. Fahima is the Israeli woman who
helped her Palestinian boyfriend smuggle weapons to kill Israelis. Giora
has further stated, "I support every form of open criticism against the
current policies of the Israeli government in the occupied territories,
whether it is an economic boycott or other forms of resistance. A lack of
such stances allows Israelis to assume that the world is not against them.
But the world, or large parts of it, are against them. And rightly so."
The words .other forms of resistance. stated above denote terrorism even
to someone without a degree in linguistics.

Mira Ariel played a part in organizing a petition blaming a denial of
academic freedom at colleges in the Palestinian Authority on Israel
despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority had responsibility for
such things and had already chosen a constitution based on Shariah Law.
Bir Zeit University is an educational institution where the student
government represents various terrorist groups such a Hamas and Fatah. Yet
Mira Ariel accused Israel for the dictatorial lack of academic freedom
under Palestinian Authority control despite the fact these groups work to
murder Israelis. Israel.s responsibility extends to security needs against
terrorism that the Arabs refuse to show any cooperation to enforce. Only
today, news reports of Fatah and Hamas affiliated students doing battle on
campus give testament to the real reason for any lack of academic freedom
on the BirZeit campus: Palestinian inclination to terrorism and violence
against opposing views, not because of Israel. Ariel has also called for
the release of Tali Fahima despite Fahima.s assistance in an attempt to
murder fellow Israelis.

Professor Outi Bat-el called upon her students to break Israeli law and
refuse to serve in the IDF. She further called for international
intervention against Israel for allegedly wanting to destroy the
Palestinian state. Perhaps she.d like NATO to do to Israel what was done
to Serbia in setting up the new Muslim slave trade state in the region,
like Kosovo.

Professor Julia Horvath is presently Chair of the Linguistics Department
at TAU. She uses the same rhetoric as the other linguists in her
department in describing Israel by misusing the word .apartheid,. and
advocating for the Arab right of return that would demographically destroy
the Jewish state and set up another Arab Muslim dictatorship. As a
linguist she didn.t mind signing a petition that stated, .Since its
foundation Israel has lived by its sword. An incessant succession of
.retaliations., military operations and wars has become the life-support
drug of Israel's Jews.. and claims that .Ten years after the Oslo Accords,
we are living in a benighted colonial reality - in the heart of darkness.
Thirty-seven years after Israel conquered the last of the Palestinian
territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.. In other words (and the
words of this linguist Horvath) Israel.s self-defense is merely a ruse for
Jews to persecute Palestinian Arabs. The petition even suggests there was
a Palestinian nation partially seized by Israel in 1948 in its wording, a
strange and fabricated revisionist history to be accepted by an .educated.
noted linguist! Horvath and co-professor emeritus Alexander Grosu, another
TAU linguist are still acolytes of Noam Chomsky in their academic work.

Professor Paul Wexler has called for his students to not serve in the IDF.
Nirit Kadmon accuses Israel of being responsible for a denial of academic
freedom at Palestinian universities too (After all, isn.t everything
Israel.s fault?).

Others among the leftists in TAU.s linguistics department who express a
unity against Israel are Galit Adam, Gary Cohen, Charles Kisseberth, Lior
Laks, Fred Landman, Aya Meltzer, Tal Siloni and Lyle Lustigman. Most have
only signed onto petitions condemning Israel for practicing self-defense
against the Arabs, or for rubberstamping whatever claims the Arabs make
against Israel and its existence. All of these academics have either
encouraged Israeli youth to not serve in the Army or accused Israel of
violating academic freedom in Palestinian universities governed by
totalitarian terrorist groups over which Israel has little control.

One thing is for certain. Most of the team at TAU Linguistics, are
adherents to at least the anarchist politics of Noam Chomsky, if not his
theories on the usage of the spoken word, where anarchy reigns supreme and
that translates into a consistent anti-Israel attitude, even if not
official one, from that academic department .

That leaves all of us here speechless.

2. Yet another anti-Zionist kook at Ben Gurion University:
Ben Gurion University - Uri Ram (Dept. of Sociology) has a "glaring flaw
of logic",7340,L-3580743,00.html

Post-Zionism.s fatal flaw
If Israel is not Zionist, it won.t be Jewish; if it.s not Jewish it won.t
be democratic

Martin Sherman

In my understanding, the concept "Post Zionism" is - at the ideological
level - a demand for democratization of the state - i. e. a call for a
liberal democratic state in the Western mode.
Prof. Uri Ram -- from "The Anti Zionist Congress" Israel Radio (Reshet
Bet) 27-4-2008

This quote from one of the leaders of the post-Zionist school in Israeli
academia is representative of the moral hypocrisy, intellectual
shallowness and pompousness, and grossly misplaced self-righteousness that
characterize the adherents of this self- contradictory philosophy.

For it takes only the most elementary analytical skill to identify the
glaring flaw in the logic of post.Zionist positions which - allegedly in
the name of enlightened liberal values - call for the conversion of Israel
from a "Jewish State" to a "state of all its citizens." It requires no
extraordinary intellect to grasp the fact that should such a change indeed
take place, the resulting realities would in fact be the exact antithesis
of the values invoked for making it.

Indeed, it is not difficult to foresee the inevitable chain of events that
such a move would trigger. First, the significance of a simple but
far-reaching truth must be recognized: If Israel is indeed defined as a
"Jewish state," there is a valid rationale and a viable justification for
the existence of an entire range of elements that characterize the conduct
of national and public life in the country, such as: the Star of David on
the Flag; the "Menora" candelabrum as the state emblem; the words of the
national anthem that refer to the "yearning of the Jewish soul"; and the
status of Hebrew as the dominant vehicle of communication between the
citizens of the state. The same is true for a considerable body of
"Judeo-centric" legislation such as the Law of Return granting any Jew
immediate citizenship on immigrating to Israel.

However, should Israel be re-defined as a "state of all its citizens,.
there will be no valid rationale or viable justification for any of these
features. As an inevitable consequence, there will neither be rhyme nor
reason why any Jew (apart from those ultra-devout few who regard living in
the Holy Land a religious command) would choose to live their life in a
"non-Jewish Israel" rather than in any other "state of all its citizens"
where the rigors of daily life are less demanding and less stressful. No
Jew (apart from the handful of ultra-pious souls who believe in the divine
sanctity of the Land of Israel) would insist on living their life in a
country, where instead of the blue Star of David, the national flag
displays stripes . whether vertical or horizontal . of different colors
even if these include nostalgic tinges of blue and white.

Continual erosion of Jewish population

Accordingly, not only would there be a dramatic increase in the number of
Jews who leave the country (and who of course no longer will be called
"Yordim" but merely "emigrants",) but also an almost total termination of
the number of Jews arriving here. After all, if Israel in not a Jewish
state, there will be absolutely no motivation for, nor reason, why highly
educated, highly skilled and highly trained Jews from across the developed
world should aspire to make their homes here - not scientists, not
doctors, not engineers not entrepreneurs, not academics.

There would be no mass "aliyah" from lands where Jews were oppressed and
sought safe haven in the Jewish state. Obviously the extraordinary
phenomenon of the huge inflow of Jewry from the former USSR, with is huge
contribution to every aspect of life in the country, would be
inconceivable if Israel became just another "state of all its citizens" on
the fringes of a desert at the gateway to the Levant.

Moreover, if Israel became a state of all its citizens, there would be
little grounds for preventing the massive influx of migrants from
neighboring lands from pouring into the country . whether to fulfill the
"right of return" or merely to make a better living . since, initially,
the chances of finding a more lucrative livelihood would still be higher
here rather than there.

Inevitably, these processes will bring about a continual erosion of the
Jewish population. As the composition of the population in the land
becomes similar to that in the other states of the region, there is no
reason to suppose that the realities that prevails in it will not also
become similar to those prevailing in those states . including the level
of economic development, standard of living and lifestyle, status of
women, nature of the regime, and the liberties it allows those living
under it. It is difficult to imagine that even the post-Zionists, with
their bias and selective view of the world, are unaware of the fact that
that in the entire Arab world - from Casablanca to Kuwait - there is no
semblance of any "liberal democratic state in the Western mode" for which
they allegedly yearn with such passion.

Indeed, in view of the stark contrast between their declared objectives
and the nature of the realities that the endeavor to achieve that
objective is likely to create; in light of manifest contradiction between
their purported aspirations and the consequences likely to result from the
pursuit of those aspirations, it is difficult to determine whether the
post-Zionists are motivated by nastiness or naivet; whether they are being
mean-spirited or only feeble-minded.

However, whatever the explanation may be, all those genuinely desirous of
"liberal democratic state in the Western mode" in this neck of the woods
must recognize a basic inescapable truth: If Israel is not Zionist, it
will not be Jewish; if it is not Jewish it will not be democratic.

3. That terror boat to Gaza:

4. The Terror Poet: and

5. CAIR and Savage:'ll%20Take%20CAIR%20To%20Supreme%20Court&sectionid=14&mode=a&recnum=0

Monday, August 18, 2008

Latest Updates from Isracampus:

1. From Isracampus:
Bad Manners at the Hebrew University
Joel Fishman
8 August 2008
Translation of original Hebrew version that appeared in Makor Rishon

On Thursday afternoon, July 31, I attended the graduation ceremony which
took place in Mexico Hall of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in
Jerusalem. At this medium-sized gathering, the Faculty of Humanities of
the University awarded diplomas to students who had successfully completed
the Master of Arts degrees. When I came to this event I was looking
forward to a pleasantly but slightly dull afternoon.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the public was asked to stand for
Hatikvah, the national anthem. While the audience was singing, I turned
around and saw something incongruous. Several rows behind me, sat a group
of students who by their body language and defiant looks communicated that
they chose to distance themselves from the public. These were Arab
students. For the sake of honesty and truth, I must add that I learned
afterward that this group was not entirely representative, because there
were some Arab students who did stand for Hatikvah.

Although I had heard reports of this type of offensive behavior on the
part off minority students at Yom Ha'Shoah commemoration ceremonies at the
University, this experience was new to me. Had I not seen it myself, I
would not have raised subject. Therefore, I apologize in advance if I
refuse to pass over this incident in silence. Although many Israelis hope
for understanding between Jews and Arabs, nothing good can come from an
environment of incivility and hatred. Please do not dismiss my first
person account by calling me a right-wing extremist, a reactionary, a
racist, a fascist, a Nazi, an "Enemy of the Peace," or "a friend of
Hamas." I am none of the above and refuse to be intimidated by those who
resort to totalitarian epithets. What happened at the University is a
legitimate subject for discussion.

The first logical question to ask is: what message did these individuals
wish to convey? Basically, there are two levels of meaning. First of all,
they publicly expressed their contempt for a national symbol, in this
case, the national anthem Hatikvah. Secondly, they openly demonstrated
their contempt for the general public whose feelings they were bound to
offend. It was a calculated affront. It is not that these people did not
know how to behave; through their actions they chose to transmit a
provocative and hostile message to their hosts and to the audience.

Although in all likelihood I shall not meet the offending individuals
again, I still wish to send a response. This gesture is an example of bad
manners. People who behave offensively have no place in good company. They
belong on the street. If I entered a Church, I would take off my hat. If I
went to a mosque, I would remove my shoes. When, for example, President
Bush recently visited Jerusalem, the audience stood respectfully through
both the American and Israeli national anthems. It is a simple question of
common sense and mutual respect. Jews have a term for this tasteful and
considerate behavior, derech eretz.

Participating in rituals of social graciousness is not necessarily an
expression of friendship or closeness. Such rituals of civility and
politeness ease social contacts and make relations easier for all
concerned. There may be Israelis who would not care to have Arabs in their
midst, but the Hebrew University received all of its guests hospitably.
Furthermore, the University has gone to great lengths to accommodate the
Arab minority. No one asks these students to show gratitude for the fine
educational opportunities they have been given. They do not have to become
Zionists, and, if they don't care for us, that's fine too. But there is
simply no justification for crude and illmannered behavior.

There is another way of looking at the matter. Several decades ago, Uri
Loubrani, David Ben Gurion's advisor on Arab affairs, made a statement
which was considered to be particularly unenlightened. He declared that
"It might have been better if there were no Arab university students. If
they remained hewers of wood it might have been easier to control them."
Although his message was disagreeable, Loubrani made an important point.
The well-educated malcontents are the most dangerous because they can do
far more harm. They will lead the war against the State and seek regime
change. In contrast, terrorists and bulldozer drivers cause less damage.

Therefore, we must ask: what possible interest does Israel have in
producing more of these academic malcontents . like those who were so
badly out of place in Mexico Hall -- and arming them with the intellectual
weapons they need to wage war against the State of Israel and Israeli

Dr. Joel Fishman is a Fellow of a research center in Jerusalem.

2. Let us hope this is for real:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Terrorism "Exodus Ship"

The Terrorism "Exodus Ship"

You probably have heard that a group of Israel haters, including
several members of the Jews for a Second Holocaust, are planning to outfit
a boat to crash through the blockade of the Gaza Strip, to show their
solidarity with the Hamas and their opposition to Israel defending itself.
It is sort of a Bizarro world version of the ship "Exodus," which smuggled
refugees from Europe into the Land of Israel and challenged the British
blockade. A similar pro-terror Bizarro Exodus was outfitted about 25
years ago by Peace Now types to bring Palestinian "refugees" into Israel
as part of their support for the Palestinian "right of return." Singer
Hava Alberstein was one of the organizers back then. In the current
project, the idea would be to embarrass Israel into ending the blockade of
the Gaza Hamastan, and so allowing Hamas to import weapons and rockets
more freely.

In the current pro-Hamas publicity stunt, the ship and its mission are
funded by Jimmy Carter, the very worst ex-President in American history,
and a gaggle of other anti-Semites.

In today's Maariv, deputy editor Ben Dror Yemini, himself left of
center, demolishes the cretins organizing the terror ship, in one of his
best columns ever. It can be seen in Hebrew here:

Here are my translations of some portions of the column:

"The Hate Ship that will Rescue the Hamas" by Ben Dror Yemini
Aug 5, 08

The Hamas regime in Gaza decided to show the world last weekend what it is
capable of doing. Not that we did not already know, but the timing was
impeccable. The tied down on the floor a group of "prisoners,"
Palestinians (from the Fat'h and the PLO --- SP), and massacred them. The
leading media did not show the photos. I wonder why... The Hamas knew
how to take care of them. They did so with gas. They pumped it into the
private body parts of their victims until they died. Nine unarmed people,
killed in cold blood. No doubt there were many more, but the nine were
confirmed by "human rights organizations." ...

This murderous regime is now the favorite of the "forces of progress," the
same people who supported Stalin while he murdered 20 million of his own
compatriots. ...

And now the alliance of "progressive forces" with mass murderers has to a
new expression.... They are with the Hamas. And they are partners in the
Hate Ship that is supposed to leave Cyprus today or tomorrow for the
Hamas-regime in Gaza. They want to "break the blockade." Sure they do.
So that the Murder-ocracy will not be contained only in Gaza. We need to
take care of them. Once again we see the axis of the international Left
with the Kingdom of Evil. The same people who pump gas into the rectums of
their own countrymen, while the Leftists prepare a support ship to help

It would be one thing if we were talking only about the lunatic fringe.
But the Jimmy Carter Center is behind this ship of support for the
murderous terrorists. And not just him, some Nobel Prize winners, Desmond
Tutu from South Africa, an ex-British cabinet minister, Tony Blair's
sister-in-law, and even Hedi Epstein, an anti-Israel radical who claims to
be a Holocaust survivor, even though she left Germany in 1939. You see,
she was rescued from the gas chambers, which is why she is now acting to
support those who use gas to murder people....

These people do not really care about human rights for Palestinians. They
are driven by hatred of Israel, not compassion for Palestinians, desire
for human rights or for peace. They prefer an alliance with Satan....

2. FYI: Chapters One and Two of Nations United: How The UN Undermines
Israel and the West. Alex Grobman

New Materials from Isracampus:

1. Israeli Academics Exporting Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

2. Ben Gurion University's Disloyalty Pledge
by Anne Horowitz

3. Hebrew University's Disgrace
Coerced sex, the IDF and the dark side of feminism
by Seth J. Frantzman

4. See also

Ben Gurion University Students Fight Back!! Attack Anti-Israel Fanatic!

I guess there was a local shortage in Beer Sheba in tar and feathers.

You may recall the incident a few months back in which an Arab lecturer at the Sapir College in Sderot refused to allow a student wearing an army reserve uniform to enter his class room.

Well, this time a radical leftist self-hating Jewish teaching assistant at Ben Gurion University named Yakim Silverman did the same thing. A few weeks back he asked a student in reserve uniform not to enter his class. Silverman teaches in the Ben Gurion U math department, the same department in which ultra-leftist Kobi Snitz, head of Anarchists for Attacking Israeli Police and Tearing down the Security Wall so that Terrorists can Get In, used to teach. Snitz has since moved to Bar Ilan's math department. On his Facebook entry, Silverman describes Ben Gurion University as occupied Palestinian land. It is not known whether he ever studied under Ben Gurion University anti-Israel fanatics Neve Gordon or Oren Yiftachel.

Yesterday a student wearing an army reserve uniform and a mask, together with two friends, entered the classroom in which Silverman sat and dumped a bucket of paint on him.

The full story in Hebrew is here:

You will be happy to hear that the paint was blue. Turning Silverman into a walking blue and white banner. The Haaretz report says at least one student proposed in the chat forum for students at BGU that someone should shoot Silverman instead of painting him.

Ben Gurion University Students Strike Back against Anti-Israel Faculty!

1. I guess there was a local shortage in Beer Sheba in tar and feathers.

You may recall the incident a few months back in which an Arab lecturer at
the Sapir College in Sderot refused to allow a student wearing an army
reserve uniform to enter his class room.

Well, this time a radical leftist self-hating Jewish teaching assistant at
Ben Gurion University named Yakim Silverman did the same thing. A few
weeks back he asked a student in reserve uniform not to enter his class.
Silverman teaches in the Ben Gurion U math department, the same department
in which ultra-leftist Kobi Snitz, head of Anarchists for Attacking
Israeli Police and Tearing down the Security Wall so that Terrorists can
Get In, used to teach. Snitz has since moved on to Bar Ilan's math
department. On his Facebook entry, Silverman describes Ben Gurion
University as occupied Palestinian land. It is not known whether he ever
studied under Ben Gurion University anti-Israel fanatics Neve Gordon or
Oren Yiftachel.

Yesterday a student wearing an army reserve uniform and a mask, together
with two friends, entered the classroom in which Silverman sat and dumped
a bucket of paint on him.

The full story in Hebrew is here:

You will be happy to hear that the paint was blue. Turning Silverman
into a walking blue and white banner. The Haaretz report says at least
one student proposed in the chat forum for students at BGU that someone
should shoot Silverman instead of painting him.

2. Not just at BGU: Hebrew U students also strike back:
Three students file harassment complaints against professor

By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: Israel Women's Network

Three former students have filed police complaints of sexual harassment
against Professor Eyal Ben-Ari. As of Monday, the three women testified
that Ben-Ari's made them indecent proposals. Police say that in the coming
days they expect the women to add additional charges to the file.

Ben-Ari, a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was
arrested last week on suspicion of forcing sexual relations on students
and doctoral candidates he was advising in exchange for their advancement
and scholarships.

The police have the names of seven students who were allegedly victimized
by Ben-Ari. A number of them have been summoned to the police to testify,
and police continue to seek out other possible complainants.

Investigators say they believe the publicity in the case will bring other
women forward.

Ben-Ari, a sociology and anthropology professor, denied the allegations
during his police questioning. He would admit only to having a consensual
affair with a student 12 years ago.

The investigation against Ben-Ari began after students who were allegedly
victimized by Ben-Ari sent an anonymous letter to the university
authorities. The students accused Ben-Ari of rape, forced sexual relations
and misuse of university funds to finance his own trips abroad with female
students and to purchase gifts for them.

Ben-Ari was released last week with restrictions. He has been banned from
the campus for 30 days and prohibited from contacting the complainants or
university officials. He is also not allowed to leave the country and had
to sign a bond of NIS 10,000.

Three months ago, a teaching assistant published sexual allegations
against a colleague of Ben-Ari's, which ultimately led to Ben-Ari's

The university has denied dragging its feet in handling sexual harassment
complaints. But Israel Women's Network attorney Yifat Mitzner, who is
representing the teaching assistant, said the university tried to close
her client's case without even hearing the complainant's testimony.

3. Interesting point of view:

4. Coddling terrorists - instead of arresting them, they sit in the

5. The US does not allow Palestinian "students" with dubious security
status to enter its territory to study - see,7340,L-3577877,00.html. Then compare
that with the pusillanimous anti-Israel behavior of a group of University
Presidents in Israel - see

6. from the Wall St Journal:

Krugman's Wager

Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman weighs in with an argument to DO
SOMETHING!!!! about global warming:

It's true that scientists don't know exactly how much world temperatures
will rise if we persist with business as usual. But that uncertainty is
actually what makes action so urgent. While there's a chance that we'll
act against global warming only to find that the danger was overstated,
there's also a chance that we'll fail to act only to find that the results
of inaction were catastrophic. Which risk would you rather run?
It wasn't so long ago that global warmists were acting as if their
alarming forecasts had already come true, even likening skeptics to
Holocaust deniers. Now they are reduced to saying we really don't know if
global warmism is true or not, but since the consequences are so dire if
it is, we'd better just assume that it is and act accordingly.
If this sounds familiar, perhaps you've heard of Pascal's Wager. Blaise
Pascal, a 17th-century French theologian and mathematician, wanted a
reason to believe in God but believed that God's existence could not be
proved by reason. So he argued instead that faith was a good bet.
If you believe in God and you turn out to be right, Pascal argued, the
payoff is "an infinity of an infinitely happy life." If the probability of
God's existing is anything greater than zero, then, the expected value of
the bet is infinity, and therefore the rational thing to do is bet on God.
Krugman is interested in hell, not heaven. If nonbelievers are wrong about
global warmism, the results will be "catastrophic." Therefore, believing
in global warmism is a good bet regardless of the actual probability that
it is true.
One problem with Pascal's Wager is that assuming an infinite payoff is a
cheat of sorts--one that renders calculations of expected value
nonsensical. As the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy points out, it
turns out that flipping a coin and believing in God only if it comes up
heads also yields an infinite expected value.
Krugman's Wager presumably does not presuppose an infinite expected value,
but Krugman cheats in the same way. By raising the specter of
"catastrophic" consequences, he evades the question of just how probable
those results are.
Another problem with Pascal's Wager is that it presupposes only two
possibilities: Either God exists more or less as Christians conceive of
him, or he doesn't exist at all. But from a standpoint of pure logic, this
is completely arbitrary. What if God exists and it is Muslims or Mormons
or atheists who go to heaven?
Krugman's thinking is similarly binary: Either global warming is true and
the stakes are enormous, or it isn't and they are trivial. But how do we
know that global warming won't turn out to be beneficial, or that efforts
to avert it won't have catastrophic consequences?
One difference between Pascal's Wager and Krugman's is that whereas Pascal
was making a case for individuals to embrace faith, Krugman is arguing for
collective action--which is to say, he wishes to use the power of
government to impose his beliefs on others.
By imploring political leaders to make a bet on speculative predictions of
catastrophe, Krugman has made an important concession: that current
scientific knowledge is insufficient to justify the "action" he advocates.
Seems to us it's more prudent to bet against the former Enron adviser.

7. Iraq:
August 5, 2008
Wall St Journal


My Bet With Francis Fukuyama
August 5, 2008; Page A17
No matter what happens in November, the war in Iraq will not be brought to
an end by either Barack Obama or John McCain. The war in Iraq is over.
We've won.
Exhibit A for my claim: Francis Fukuyama has agreed to write me a check
for $100.
In March 2006, I wrote a blistering review of "America at the Crossroads,"
Mr. Fukuyama's sensational repudiation both of the war in Iraq as well as
the neoconservative movement of which he was once a leading light.

The book was widely praised. I called its arguments weak, its policy
prescriptions weaker, and its manner disingenuous, since Mr. Fukuyama --
an early advocate of regime change in Iraq who claimed to have changed his
mind several months before the war began -- had given no unequivocal
indication of his opposition when his views might have made a real
There followed between us an exchange of emails, in which Mr. Fukuyama
pointed to various pieces he had published prior to the war indicating
some concerns about how the U.S. would go in, and some foreboding about
what might follow. He also mentioned a $100 bet he had made in May 2003
with a friend -- a supporter of the war -- that Iraq would be a mess five
years after the invasion, the definition of a mess being "you'd know one
if you saw it." We agreed to make the same bet.
I nearly forgot about the bet until last Friday, when the Washington Post
reported U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq for the month of July. The total
came to five. Six other soldiers were killed in noncombat situations.

For weekly updates of Bret Stephens's Global View column, point your RSS
reader here:
The rate of combat fatalities may again inch higher. For all the progress
made in the last year, Iraq remains a dangerous (if no longer terrifying)
place. But to speak of Iraq as a "war" no longer accurately characterizes
the nature of the situation: For purposes of comparison, U.S. combat
deaths in Vietnam in 1971, when America's involvement was winding down and
U.S. troop levels stood roughly where they are today in Iraq, averaged 115
a month.
Speaking of "war" also confuses our understanding of what the U.S. should
do next. Put simply, and pace Barack Obama, "getting out of Iraq" and
"ending the war" are no longer synonymous.
With this in mind, I wrote Mr. Fukuyama to suggest that he owed me $100.
He conceded, albeit strictly on "the narrow terms" of the bet itself.
Mr. Fukuyama insists, however, that he has been vindicated on the broader
issue: "We've spent a trillion or so dollars, 30,000 dead or wounded, a
large loss in international influence and prestige, all for the sake of
disarming a country with no WMDs."
He adds that "my concern right from the beginning was that the war
wouldn't be worth the effort it would require, and that the American
people don't have a good record in supporting long, costly struggles in
developing countries." And he asks for "public recognition" that he was no
latecomer to opposing the war.
I'll grant that Mr. Fukuyama had decided the war was a mistake -- if only
in a whisper -- before it was begun. Where does that leave us now? Perhaps
it's worth considering what we have gained now that Iraq looks like a
Here's a partial list: Saddam is dead. Had he remained in power, we would
likely still believe he had WMD. He would have been sitting on an oil
bonanza priced at $140 a barrel. He would almost certainly have broken
free from an already crumbling sanctions regime. The U.S. would be faced
with not one, but two, major adversaries in the Persian Gulf. Iraqis would
be living under a regime that, in an average year, was at least as
murderous as the sectarian violence that followed its collapse. And the
U.S. would have seemed powerless to shape events.
Instead, we now have a government that does not threaten its neighbors,
does not sponsor terrorism, and is unlikely to again seek WMD. We have a
democratic government, a first for the Arab world, and one that is
increasingly capable of defending its people and asserting its interests.
We have a defeat for al Qaeda. Critics carp that had there been no
invasion, there never would have been al Qaeda in Iraq. Maybe. As it is,
thousands of jihadists are dead, al Qaeda has been defeated on its
self-declared "central battlefield," and the movement is largely
discredited on the Arab street and even within Islamist circles.
We also have -- if still only prospectively -- an Arab bulwark against
Iran's encroachments in the region. But that depends on whether we simply
withdraw from Iraq, or join it in a lasting security partnership.
None of these are achievements to sneer at, all the more so because they
were won through so much sacrifice. Mr. Fukuyama has now granted the
"narrow" point of our bet in the form of a personal check. Here's betting
him $100 back that he will come around to conceding the broader case for
the war in Iraq -- shall we say, on the 10th anniversary of its
Write to bstephens@wsj.com3

Monday, August 04, 2008

How to Get the World to Hate Israel


How to Get the World To Hate Israel
By Richard L. Cravatts
Mr. Cravatts, PhD, director of Boston University.s Program in Book and
Magazine Publishing at the Center for Professional Education, writes
frequently on terrorism, higher education, politics, culture, law,
marketing, and housing, and is currently writing a book about the
world-wide assault on Israel taking place on college campuses.

As part of evaluating the competitive landscape of the popularity of
nations, in a process referred to in marketing circles as .place
branding,. Israel, to no one.s great surprise, comes up short in brand
likeability, ranking last out of 35 nations included in an August 2006
survey conducted by nation branding expert Simon Anholt, even less
attractive to respondents than Indonesia, Estonia, and Turkey.

How could this have happened to a country that is the Middle East.s only
thriving democracy and enjoys a remarkably robust economy that has spawned
some 1000 startup high tech companies, for example, second only to the
U.S.? How, in short, would you go about making the world hate Israel?

This is how you would accomplish that objective if you were an enemy of

Even after 60 years of its existence, you question the fundamental right
of Israel to even exist and regularly, though falsely, condemn it for
being created .illegally..through the .theft. of Palestinian lands and
property.and thus decide, because of its original sin, it has no .right to
exist.. You accuse the government of a .brutal,. illegal .occupation. of
Palestinian lands, especially Gaza and the West Bank (but for many, all of
Israel), of being a .colonial settler state,. a Zionist .regime. or
.project,. a land-hungry nation, a usurper of property that was lived on
and owned by a Palestinian .people. .from time immemorial..

You describe the very existence of the country as being the .greatest
threat to world peace,. the core cause of all Muslim anger toward the
West, the root of all of the Palestinians. suffering and economic plight,
and describe Israel as a nation that has even been referred to publicly as
a .shitty little country. by the French ambassador to Britain.

You make .Palestinianism. into a virtual cult whose members offer a
world-wide reverence for the Palestinian cause and repeat without end that
their nationalistic striving is inviolable, a basic human right, Of all
the 100 million refugees who were dispersed around the globe and were
re-assimilated since World War II, you chose only the Palestinians to
languish, as if in amber, in barbaric refugee camps where their lives are
used as political fodder to denounce the existence of an Israel that
supposedly has deprived them of a home.

You have the United Nations set up an agency whose sole function it is to
make sure that this one group of refugees in the whole world are coddled,
advocated for, and repeat, mantra-like, that a human .right of return.
has been sanctified and assured by international law for the Palestinians,
giving only this group of refugees a collective, as opposed to individual,
right of return.and not only to those refugees who supposedly lived in and
left what is now Israel, but all of their descendents, as well.

You use the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council of the United
Nations to further demonize and delegitimate Israel, making it a pariah
in the world community and issuing an edict that equates Zionism with
racism. In 2006-07, if you are the Human Rights Council, you pass one
hundred percent of your condemnatory resolutions against Israel.

If you are the autocratic, despotic states of the Arab world, you initiate
a prolonged, unceasing propaganda war against Israel and Zionism, in which
it is your intention to encourage your citizens, not to question why they
live under tyranny and despair under their own corrupt, defective
governments, but that their circumstances are bleak because of the success
and very existence of Israel. You depict Jews as apes, pigs, and subhuman
monsters, and regularly produce Nazi-like propaganda and cartoons in your
state-owned media that accuses Jews and Israelis of blood libels,
bloodthirstiness, militarism, a desire for world domination, imperialism,
and complicity with the U.S. and the West to destroy Islam.all which make
Jew-hatred inevitable.

You inculcate Palestinian children, nearly from birth, with seething,
blind, unrelenting, and obsessive hatred of Jews and the 'Zionist regime,'
so that kindergartners graduate with blood-soaked hands while toting
plastic AK 47s and dedicate their lives to jihad, and older children are
recruited to hide explosives on their bodies to transform themselves into
shahids -- a new generation of kindling for radical Islam's cult of death.

When Israel launches a military strike against nests of terrorists or in
response to ceaseless rocket barrages, you term their response
.disproportionate,. another escalation in the .cycle of violence,. a
violation of human rights, aggressive, militaristic, with Apache gunships
.pounding. terrorist neighborhoods.

If you are the Palestinian media, and members of the world media who are
either intentionally biased or willing to be duped by anti-Israel
propaganda, you repeatedly report on supposed Israeli human rights
violations, such as an alleged .massacre of the 21st century,. a horrible
war crime and example of .genocide. committed by Israel against
Palestinians in the village of Jenin.

You talk about the Israeli security barrier as an .apartheid wall,. and
describe it as a massive, soaring, unbroken division through Palestinian
neighborhoods and communities, overlooking the fact that the wall is
towering and solid concrete only in those regions that have been
repeatedly assaulted by terrorism, and that 90 percent of the hundreds of
miles of barrier is comprised merely of wire fence.

You use the .apartheid wall. image to create a broader misconception about
the Palestinians living under a South African-style apartheid regime,
disingenuously equating race restrictions that blacks lived under in
Soweto with the open society of Israel in which Israeli Arabs have more
rights than in any Arab state and are asked only not to murder Jews in
their midst.

On campuses where a coddled and insulated professoriate often express
antipathy for the perceived ills of capitalism, the usurpation of
.Palestine. by Israel, .land grabs. through occupation, and the denial of
the civil and economic rights of the Palestinians, you contend that
Israel.s very existence is not at all about self-determination (something
you deem appropriate only for the Palestinians) and all about greed,
globalism, colonialism, exploitation, and undeserved political and
economic might. No longer able to fight apartheid in South Africa, you now
try to transmogrify that racist social system onto Israel, holding rallies
and encouraging the signing of petitions which call from divestiture from
companies doing business in Israel.

You fund Middle Eastern Studies centers on university campuses and use
them as anti-Israel, anti-American .think tanks. where scholarship is
tainted with ideology and singularly focused on the Palestinian cause. You
fund the active and vocal Muslim Students Association on campuses across
the country that hold .Israel Apartheid Week. and .Holocaust in the Holy
Land. festivals at which propaganda, Jew-hatred, apologies for terrorism,
and further demonizing of Israel takes place.

In the Arab world, you play fast and loose with history in your attempt to
create a historical narrative conforming to your own political agenda,
erasing any link between Palestine and the Jews. Though Jerusalem is
mentioned not once in the Koran and over 669 times in the Jewish Bible,
you claim that Jerusalem is now the .third holiest site to Muslims,. that,
as Yasser Arafat announced at Camp David in 2000, the Temple Mount was
never a Jewish site, that Jews now .occupy. Muslim lands, and that the
archeological and historical evidence that confirms an uninterrupted
3000-year presence by Jews in the Holy Land is merely a .construct,. yet
another lie promulgated by Israeli historians and archeologists as way of
erasing and obscuring an Islamic past.

If you are in the traditionally Arabist U.S. State Department, or in the
.realist. school of diplomacy, or part of the European Union, and you have
an insatiable need for oil, you overlook the tyrannies and unfaithfulness
of our Middle Eastern .friends,. and ask nothing of them, but demand that
Israel, the only democracy in a sea of despotism, continually prove its
loyalty to us and embrace policies that could potentially threaten their
own security. You write academic books questioning the strength of the
"Israel Lobby," and wonder out loud if Jewish influence and wealth forces
us to lose credibility and threaten our national security on behalf of

You do all of these things, as part of a concerted effort and also as
random, independent efforts on the part of Israel.s enemies, and you do it
for the 60 years of Israel.s existence, and then you are shocked, shocked,
when Israel is shown to rank unfavorably in surveys which measure the
public.s perception of nations and how they compare to one another in the
world community. But you are pleased, because you know that if Israel
cannot be annihilated with armaments and rockets, perhaps you can make it
cease to exist simply by making the entire world loathe it for being what
it is.
[1] Monday, August 4, 2008


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict long ago spilled over into
America's education departments of Middle East studies. In an attempt
to appear balanced in the face of charges of anti-Israel biases, some
departments or programs of Middle East studies have added Israeli
scholars to their ranks - a move that at first glance appears welcome.

Yet many of these Israeli academics have built their reputation on a
scholarship that is harshly critical not only of Israeli policy, but
of Israel's very existence. Anti-Israel scholars who hail from Israel
are cited favorably by the entire range of Israel's critics. These
range from pro-Palestinian groups like the Committee to Stop
Demolition of Houses in Palestine, the Committee to Stop Torture and
Breaking the Silence to Jewish anti-Zionist groups
like the American
Council for Judaism. They also include neo-Nazis and Islamists.

The international standing of such scholars received a boost in the
mid-1980s with the rise of the so-called "new historians" in Israeli
universities. These scholars sought to debunk what they claim is a
distorted "Zionist narrative" in Israeli historiography. In practice,
they twisted the history of Israel's rebirth by dismissing the efforts
of Arab states to destroy the newborn Jewish state as a Zionist myth,
and claiming that Israel is built on ethnic cleansing and brutality
toward the Palestinians.

Given this hostility to Israel's very existence, Middle East studies
departments in the United States are tempted to hire anti-Israeli
Israelis. They inoculate the employer against charges of anti-Semitism
while seemingly legitimizing their claims of ideological balance
gained through presenting an Israeli viewpoint. All this is achieved
without changing the radical, anti-Israel, Arabist
prejudices of their

This problem is noted by leading Middle East historian Efraim Karsh,
who in his book "Fabricating Israeli History" observes that propaganda
in the field of Middle East studies has become the accepted norm. In
other disciplines, this would have created a serious crisis of
credibility. Yet, Mr. Karsh notes, this is not so in contemporary
Middle East studies. For such is the politicization of this field that
the new historiography's partisanship has been its entry ticket into
the Arabist club and its attendant access to academic journals,
respected publishing houses and the mass media.

Today, these "new historians" teach at many North American and
European universities. In practice, it ensures that students are
taught an ahistorical, one-sided interpretation of the Arab-Israeli

Some recent examples illustrate the problem: Ilan Pappe, formally of
Haifa University and now with the University of Exeter in England, was
one of the
driving forces behind the academic boycott movement against
Israeli academics that began in the United Kingdom. Mr. Pappe believes
that Zionism is a genocidal, racialist movement. Here he describes the
founding years of the Jewish state: As resistance to colonialism
strengthened, the Zionist leadership became convinced that only
through a total expulsion of the Palestinians would they be able to
create a state of their own. From its early inception and up to the
1930s, Zionist thinkers propagated the need to ethnically cleanse the
indigenous population of Palestine if the dream of a Jewish state were
to come true.

Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was a visiting
professor at the University of Michigan this academic year. Mr. Gordon
believes that Israel is not a democracy and that Israel controls the
Palestinian population in the occupied territories without giving them
political rights. Accordingly, the notion that the occupation is
provisional or temporary
should be considered an illusion concealing
the reality on the ground.

o Oren Yiftachel, a geography professor at Ben-Gurion University of
the Negev and a Diller Visiting Professor at the University of
California at Berkeley, states that: The failed Oslo process, the
violent intifada and - most acutely - Israel's renewed aggression and
brutality toward the Palestinians in the occupied territories, have
cast a dark shadow over the joint future of the state's Palestinian
and Jewish citizens. He also says that actual existence of an Israeli
state (and hence citizenship) can be viewed as an illusion, and that
Israel has ruptured, by its own actions, the geography of statehood
and maintained a caste-like system of ethnic-religious-class

Sanford and Helen Diller endowed Mr. Yiftachel's position at
Berkeley. Helen Diller admits that she was motivated by the
pro-Palestinian activism on campus: With the protesting and this and
that, we need to get a real strong
Jewish studies program in there,
she said, expressing the hope that it will be enlightening to have a
visiting professor and that it would calm down the situation on
campus. Her comments, though well intentioned, illustrate the core
mis-assumption that the presence of an Israeli scholar guarantees
ideological balance in a department.

Sanford Diller has noted the risks involved in trusting the
university to fulfill his and his wife's wishes, and stated that it
was never their foundation's intent to supply a platform at Berkeley
for someone of Mr. Yiftachel's views, to which he and his wife are
strongly in disagreement.

In Middle East studies, politicized writing and teaching have
displaced scholarship, and academic freedom has been redefined as the
liberty to dispense with academic standards. Hiring token Israeli Jews
who share these views eliminates debate while providing the illusion
of balance.

Asaf Romirowsky, an adjunct scholar for Campus Watch, is manager
of Israel and Mideast affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater

3. Phyrric Peace

4. Lies of the American "New Historians":

5. Was Ehud Olmert the very worst Prime Minister in Israeli history? The
competition for that title is tough but I think the answer is NO. Ehud
Barak was even worse, and a good argument could be made that Yitzhak Rabin
was even worse - esp in terms of the long run effects of his reign.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tel Aviv University's Shlomo Sand and the Neo-Nazi Theory about the Khazars

Last year I published an article entitled "The Khazar Myth and the New
Anti-Semitism." It dealt with the myth, popular these days on Neo-Nazi
web sites, claiming that Ashkenazi Jews are not decendent from Jews at all
but are "Khazars" who are nothing more than interlopers in the Land of
Israel, people who cannot claim the land as their ancestral homeland. The
article can be read here:

Meanwhile, one of the very worst members of Israel's Tenured Left,
Professor Shlomo Sand from Tel Aviv University, has a new "book"
in which he insists that Jews were never a nation and cannot be
considered one today, unlike Palestinians - who of course have been a
nation since the Big Bang. Sand is a malicious anti-Zionist and a
evidently a communist (he endorsed Stalinist HADASH). But his
new "book" clearly establishes him as a leading academic anti-Semite in
Israel. Much of the book seeks to breathe life into the Khazar myth and
repeats most of the same claims about Jews losing their nationahood status
because of their descendency from Khazars that are found on those Neo-Nazi
sites. It is a set of claims designed to negate the legitimacy of any
Jewish claims to a homeland anywhere in the Land of Israel.

Sand is a Professor of History at Tel Aviv University. Almost everything
he publishes is in French, which by Israeli academic standards makes him a
third-rate pseudo-academic. (See

The new Sand "book" was demolished in a review in Haaretz, of all places,
by the Zionist Professor Israel Bartel from the Hebrew University (no, not
all faculty members at the Hebrew University are anti-Zionist traitors)

The review is a bit long but worth reading in full. It follows here:

Last update - 18:46 06/07/2008
Inventing an invention
By Israel Bartal

According to Shlomo Sand, everything you ever thought you knew about the
Jewish people as a nation with ethno-biological origins is false. Israel
Bartal, however, says Sand didn't do his homework

Mattai ve'ekh humtza ha'am hayehudi?
(When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?), by Shlomo Sand
Resling (Hebrew), 358 pages, NIS 94.

The first sentence of "When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?"
reads: "This book is a historical study, not a work of pure fiction.
Nevertheless, it will open with a number of stories rooted in a collective
memory that has been adulterated with a considerable degree of
imagination." I recalled these words when I found myself utterly astounded
by the statements of the author of this learned, fascinating study,
concerned with the "period of silencing" in the "Jewish-Israeli collective
memory," a period that, to quote Sand, gave rise to a total avoidance of
"any mention of the Khazars in the Israeli public arena."

This assertion, according to which an entire chapter in Jewish history was
deliberately silenced for political reasons, thrust me back to my days as
a ninth grader, in the late 1950s. I recalled the Mikhlal Encyclopedia, an
almost mythological reference text that nearly every Israeli high school
student relied on in those years, the flagship of what is termed
"mainstream Zionism," in the lean Hebrew of 21st-century Israel. My ears
still reverberate with the introduction to the encyclopedia's entry on
"Khazars": "A source of consolation and hope for the scattered Jewish
communities of the Diaspora during the Middle Ages, the story of the
Khazar kingdom today has the ring of pure mythology. Nonetheless, that
story is one of the most wonderful chapters in Jewish history."

Sand suggests that it was "the wave of decolonization of the 1950s and
1960s [that] led the molders of Israeli collective memory to shield
themselves from the shadow of the Khazar past. There was a profound fear
that, should the Jews now rebuilding their home in Israel learn that they
are not direct descendants of the 'Children of Israel,' the very
legitimacy of both the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel's
existence would be undermined."

With considerable trepidation, I returned to my yellowing copy of volume
IV of the Mikhlal Encyclopedia. Could I perhaps have been mistaken and
could it be that my teachers in the Socialist-Zionist city of Givatayim
wanted to brainwash me with an ethno-biological perception of my parents'

When I reread the entry on the Khazars, my mind was put at rest. It was
not the Zionist education to which I, as an Israeli teenager, was exposed
that tried to make me forget the fact that the members of gentile tribes
converted to Judaism in the Khazar Kingdom; instead, it is the author of
this book about the "invention of the Jewish people" who has invented an
ethno-biological Zionist historiography.

Here is what was written about the conversion of the Khazars, a nation of
Turkish origin, in the Zionist Mikhlal Encyclopedia that the State of
Israel's Zionist Ministry of Education recommended so warmly during that
"period of silencing": "It is irrelevant whether the conversion to Judaism
encompassed a large stratum of the Khazar nation; what is important is
that this event was regarded as a highly significant phenomenon in Jewish
history, a phenomenon that has since totally disappeared: Judaism as a
missionary religion.... The question of the long-term impact of that
chapter in Jewish history on East European Jewry -- whether through the
development of its ethnic character or in some other way -- is a matter
that requires further research. Nonetheless, although we do not know the
extent of its influence, what is clear to us today is that this conversion
did have an impact." Sand, a professor of modern European history at Tel
Aviv University, comments further on the silence of the historians:
"Israel's academic community developed a violent attitude toward this
issue.... Any mention of the Khazars in the public arena in Israel was
increasingly considered eccentric, a flight of fancy, even an open

Zionist historiography, he claims, concealed the possibility that the
millions of Yiddish-speaking Jews were actually descendants of the Khazars
and that even today Israeli historians deny the existence of an early
Jewish nucleus that was augmented by immigrants who moved from Ashkenaz
(present-day northern France and western Germany) to Eastern Europe.

These claims are baseless. Sand, for example, does not mention the fact
that, from 2000 onwards, a team of scholars from the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem labored on a monumental task: the production of a three-volume
study on the history of the Jews of Russia.

In the first volume, which will shortly be published in Hebrew by the
Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History (another "Zionist" institution),
considerable attention is devoted to the question of the origin of the
East European Jews and to their link with the history of the Khazar

Sand repeats the method he employs vis-a-vis the place of the Khazars in
Jewish historiography in connection with other topics as well, presenting
readers with partial citations and edited passages from the writings of
various scholars. Several times, Sand declares what his ideological
position is. Like him, I am not one of those who support the injustices
committed by a number of Israeli government agencies against minority
groups in this country in the name of arguments pretending to represent
"historical values." However, critical readers of Sand's study must not
overlook the intellectual superficiality and the twisting of the rules
governing the work of professional historians that result when ideology
and methodology are mixed.

Sand's desire for Israel to become a state "representing all its citizens"
is certainly worthy of a serious discussion, but the manner in which he
attempts to connect a political platform with the history of the Jewish
people from its very beginnings to the present day is bizarre and

Descendants of pagans

What is Sand trying to prove in this study? In his view, the homeland of
the Jewish people is not Palestine, and most Jews are descendants of the
members of different nations who converted to Judaism in ancient times and
in the medieval period. He claims that the Jews of Yemen and Eastern
Europe are descendants of pagans.

According to Sand, this historical truth was concealed by Zionist
thinkers, who developed an ethno-biological ideology, and the so-called
"Jewish people" was invented as late as the 19th century. Furthermore, he
argues, the idea of a "nation" that was exiled from its homeland in
ancient times and which is destined to return to it in the modern age so
as to rebuild its independent state is merely an invented myth.

Sand also maintains that, in the era preceding the emergence of European
nationalism, the Jews were an ethnic group, not a nation. In his eyes, the
argument promulgated by the Zionists and by their successors in the
Israeli political arena concerning our "right to this land" rests on a
biological- genetic ideology; that argument became the "narrative of the
ruling group" thanks to the fact that the "authorized scholars of the
past" have concealed the truth concerning the real, impure origin of the

My response to Sand's arguments is that no historian of the Jewish
national movement has ever really believed that the origins of the Jews
are ethnically and biologically "pure." Sand applies marginal positions to
the entire body of Jewish historiography and, in doing so, denies the
existence of the central positions in Jewish historical scholarship.

No "nationalist" Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known
fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in
the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an
exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli
culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions.
Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations
regarding this myth or denied it completely.

Sand's references to "authorized" historians are absurd, and perpetuate a
superficial pattern of discussion that is characteristic of a certain
group within Israeli academe. The guiding principle in this pattern of
discussion is as follows: "Tell me what your position is on the past and I
will tell you the nature of your connection with the agencies of the

The kind of political intervention Sand is talking about, namely, a
deliberate program designed to make Israelis forget the true biological
origins of the Jews of Poland and Russia or a directive for the promotion
of the story of the Jews' exile from their homeland is pure fantasy.

Sand points to three components in the structuring of the Jewish national
past. First, the national historical narrative, especially the Zionist
narrative, emphasizes the "ethno-biological" identity of those who belong
to the imaginary Jewish nation.

Second, this identity is directly connected with a nationalist ideology
that is a substitute for the religious link between Jewish communities in
the Diaspora that has considerably weakened in the present era of
secularization. Third, an aggressive political establishment that controls
the dissemination of knowledge is concealing vital information on what
really happened in the past, preventing the publication of sources that
can serve as an alternative to the recommended national narrative, and
censoring dangerous passages in published texts.

The central book of the Zionist "Jerusalem School," "Toldot am yisrael"
("History of the Jewish People," published in 1969), speaks extensively of
the Jewish communities that existed in the Diaspora before the destruction
of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and whose total population exceeded that
of the tiny Jewish community in Palestine. As one would expect from a work
that reflects a profound knowledge of scholarly studies in the field, the
Zionist "Toldot am yisrael" explains that the number of Jews in the
Diaspora during the ancient period was as high as it was because of
conversion, a phenomenon that "was widespread in the Jewish Diaspora in
the late Second Temple period .... Many of the converts to Judaism came
from the gentile population of Palestine, but an even greater number of
converts could be found in the Jewish Diaspora communities in both the
East and the West."

Choosing to ignore all this, Sand categorically states in his book that,
"the mass conversions that created such huge Jewish populations throughout
the Mediterranean region are scarcely mentioned in Jewish national
historiography." Apparently, he is obsessed with the idea of proving that
the Zionist historians (including Nahum Slouschz, who wrote about the
North African Jewish warrior-queen Dahia al-Kahina) were "ethnocentric
nationalists." It is irrelevant to Sand what these historians actually
wrote: To hell with the facts -- the argument is what really counts!

Sand bends over backwards to prove that the great Jewish historians (such
as Simon Dubnow, Salo Baron and Benzion Dinur), who, in their works,
linked Jewish nationalism with liberalism, radicalism and socialism, were
simply racists. Here's what he writes, for example, about Israeli
historian Haim Zeev Hirschberg (1903-1974), who studied the Jews of North
Africa: "His continual attempts to prove that the Jews were a race of
people that had been displaced from its ancient homeland and which had
been condemned to wander from country to country as an exiled nation ...
dovetail beautifully with the directives of mainstream Zionist
historiography." According to Sand, Hirschberg never managed to liberate
himself from a "purifying substantive ideology." Does this sound familiar?
When and where did you last read that Zionism was a racist movement?

Scattered communities

I will now refer briefly to the connection between the book's conceptual
underpinnings and the author's main historical argument, namely, that,
prior to the modern period, the Jews constituted only a group of
"scattered religious communities." Sand defines national identity in the
spirit of the ideas of the French Revolution. Not only does he reject the
concept of an ethnic identity that is not dependent on the existence of a
political entity confined within clearly defined borders, he even rejects
an identity whose possessors' claim is founded on a cultural or political
entity that is not subject to control or management by the agencies of the
central regime. In his view, such identities are merely "invented
identities" and he does not believe that pre-modern identities can survive
in the modern era. In fact, Sand advocates the position that was heard in
the French National Assembly in December 1789: "The Jews must not be
allowed to constitute a special political entity or to have a special
political status. Instead, each Jew must on an individual basis be a
citizen of France." However, whereas the champions of the Emancipation in
Paris did recognize the non-religious essence of the pre-modern Jewish
nation, Sand does not.

I was unable to find in Sand's book any innovations in the study of
nationalism. The author is stuck somewhere between historians such as Eric
Hobsbawm, Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner -- a generation behind what
is happening today in the field. As far as I can discern, the book
contains not even one idea that has not been presented earlier in their
books and articles by what he insists on defining as "authorized
historians" suspected of "concealing historical truth." "When and How Was
the Jewish People Invented?" is a marvelous blend of clearly modernist
arguments, drawn from the legacy of 18th-century European Enlightenment,
with a moderate, but disturbing (because of its superficiality), pinch of
Foucaultian discourse from a previous generation.

Moreover, the author's treatment of Jewish sources is embarrassing and
humiliating. What serious reader who knows the history of modern Hebrew
literature can take seriously the views expressed in a book that defines
"Bohen tsadik" (Investigating a Righteous Man), a satirical (fictional!)
work by the Galician intellectual and supporter of the Haskalah Yosef Perl
(1773- 1839), as something that was written by a person named Yitzhak Perl
and which "contains 41 letters from rabbis that relate to various aspects
of Jewish life"? Who would attest to the accuracy of facts in a research
study where it is stated that historian Joseph Klausner (1874-1958) -- a
scholar who never was (despite his burning ambition to do so) a professor
of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and who, instead, served
there as a professor of Hebrew literature -- "was in fact the first
official historian of the 'Second Temple period' at the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem"? Does such sloppiness reflect the author's attitude to the
subject of his research? Or, perhaps, because everything is an invention
anyway, it does not really matter whether the "imagined object" is black
or white?

The lugubrious Israeli combination of aggressive one-dimensional
conceptuality and blatant disrespect for details (a characteristic mix
among writers at both ends of the political spectrum) will undoubtedly
captivate the hearts of the public relations executives of the electronic
media. However, we, the skeptical historians, who are buried between
mountains of books and piles of archival files, can only continue to read
what has really been written and to write about what has really been read.

Prof. Israel Bartal is dean of the humanities faculty of the Hebrew
University. His book "Cossack and Bedouin: Land and People in Jewish
Nationalism" was published by Am Oved in its Ofakim series (Hebrew).

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