Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Jihad on behalf of Ben Gurion University’s Tenured Extremists

The Jihad on behalf of Ben Gurion University's Tenured Extremists
By Steven Plaut

In Israel there are two schools of thought as to what a university
should be. The first school of thought, a shrinking minority opinion
on Israeli campuses, holds that universities should be centers of
scholastic inquiry, research, scientific exploration and analysis, and
teaching. The second school of thought, which is the growing
majority position, holds that universities should be indoctrination
centers in which radical leftist anti-Israel and sometimes Marxist
ideology is drummed into students by tenured thought police. Under
the second school of thought, faculty leftists bully students into
toeing the ideological line and agreeing with the ideological
positions of the lecturers, a bit like re-education camps in North
Korea. Student grades often depend upon their endorsing and agreeing
with the leftist anti-Israel positions of faculty members. Faculty
members are hired and promoted in many departments based on their
leftist ideological purity. Bashing Israel has become both a
necessary and a sufficient condition for being hired in many
university departments in Israel.

The comparative prevalence of the two schools of thought varies by
disciplines. Natural sciences and engineering usually are dominated
by the first school. Social sciences, humanities, education and law
schools are dominated by the second. The political biases are well
documented at the web site of Isracampus (www.isracampus.org.il ).

The first school of thought is very strong at all four of Israel's
liberal-arts universities (Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University,
Hebrew University, University of Haifa), and is weaker at the
science-engineering institutions (Technion and Weizmann) and at the
nominally religious Bar-Ilan University.

In many ways Ben Gurion University is the very worst offender. The
most infamous of the "academic" units in Israel in which the second
school of thought dominates is the department of political science at
Ben Gurion University. There no Zionist or non-leftist is permitted
to teach. The one single dissenting pro-Israel faculty member who
once taught there was fired by the university for incorrect thinking.
The department was largely erected by one David Newman, currently Dean
of social sciences and humanities at Ben Gurion University, a
geographer (and Jerusalem Post columnist) who believes that academic
freedom means critics of the Left should be silenced and suppressed.
In the politics department he built, far-leftist anti-Israel faculty
members get evaluated for hiring and promotion by appointing
evaluation committees consisting of other far-leftist anti-Israel
extremists who then solicit evaluation letters from still other
far-leftist anti-Israel radical academics from around the world. The
results of these politicized and corrupt "evaluation procedures" of
faculty members is visible to all.

The conversion of the department of politics at Ben Gurion University
into an anti-Israel indoctrination camp has by now become well known
around the world and to everyone in Israel. Last year Israel's
Council on Higher Education, which oversees and funds Israel's
universities (and is composed of representatives of those same
universities) appointed a special commission to investigate and
evaluate the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University. That
commission found what everyone already knew, that the department is a
radical monolithic politicized incitement camp, not a serious academic
department, one in which anti-Israel activism had replaced serious
scholarship, and in which serious academic standards have been
trashed. The commission proposed that the entire department be shut
down unless radical reform and restructuring takes place, including
complete de-politicization of and introduction of real pluralism into
the department.

Since that CHE report was issued, Israel's radical Left, led by its
tenured Left, has been leading a campaign to defend the anti-Israel
indoctrination camp calling itself the Department of Politics at Ben
Gurion University. They have been joined by the President of Ben
Gurion University, Rivka Carmi, who sees nothing wrong with a
university department engaged in anti-Israel agitation in which no
pro-Israel person may teach. And they are also being championed by
Haaretz, the radical anti-Israel leftist "newspaper," better thought
of as a Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew. These people
insist that preserving the second school of thought in Israeli
academia is the country's highest priority. Universities must
continue to serve to indoctrinate students into correct leftist
anti-Israel ideology. All attempts at interfering with this sacred
mission must be resisted and defeated.

Now the tenured Left in Israel is organizing petitions of like-minded
radical tenured leftists in Israel and around the world to express
their support and solidarity with the Ben Gurion University
indoctrination camp. Here is the report in Haaretz about this:
. An actual examination of those signing the petitions shows that
they are themselves radical Marxist and anti-Israel pseudo-academics.
So naturally they identify with the sacred need to preserve and defend
leftist pseudo-academic indoctrination at Ben Gurion University.

While one could go through the lists of signers of the petition name
by name to document their own anti-Israel far-leftist biases, it is
sufficient to illustrate the point with one of the leading signers,
Berkeley's Judith Butler. She is a notorious collaborator with
anti-Semites and supporter of Israel annihilation. An analysis of the
academic credentials and political bias of Butler appears here:


The full piece is reprinted here:

Collaborators in the War against the Jews: Judith Butler
Posted By Steven Plaut On March 9, 2010
Professor Judith Butler from Berkeley's Department of Rhetoric and
Comparative Literature is not just your ordinary deconstructionist
feminist anti-Semite. A self-proclaimed leading scholar in the
pseudo-discipline of "Queer Studies," she is also one of the leading
academic defenders of anti-Semitism, which she insists is not
anti-Semitic at all. She has devoted much of her academic career to
the struggle to see Israel eliminated. While often posturing as a
free speech absolutist, she is also absolutely opposed to Israelis
having any academic freedom and is a leader in the attempt to impose a
world boycott against Israeli universities. Naturally, she has never
come out in favor of an academic boycott of Syria, Libya, Iran, Cuba,
or the Hamas. Hamas and Hezbollah may seek the extermination of every
Jew on the planet and not just of Israel, but Butler still likes to
wave her "Jewish roots" when she serves as an apologist for them.
Butler is perhaps best remembered as one of the most strident
attackers against Lawrence Summers, the ex-President of Harvard. She
was horrified when Summers proclaimed: "Profoundly anti-Israel views
are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual
communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking
actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent
(September 17, 2002)." Butler venomously denounced Summers for
telling the truth, arguing that telling the truth threatens academic
freedom: "Summers has struck a blow against academic freedom, in
effect, if not in intent."
Edward Alexander, who is also a professor of comparative literature,
explains that Butler's hysterical attacks on Summers stemmed from
something more than her girlish enthusiasm:
"Butler had herself signed the divestment (against Israel) petition at
its place of origin, Berkeley, where it had circulated in February
2001. She therefore found Summers' remarks not only wrong but
personally 'hurtful' since they implicated Judith Butler herself in
the newly resurgent campus anti-Semitism. Butler could hardly have
failed to notice that the Berkeley divestment petition had supplied
the impetus and inspiration for anti-Israel mob violence on her own
campus on 24 April 2001, a few weeks after it had been circulated, and
for more explicitly anti-Jewish mobs at San Francisco State University
in May of the following year."
Summers insists that people who oppose Israel's very existence are
anti-Semitic. The fact that a second Jewish Holocaust would result
from Israel's annihilation does not seem to matter to his attackers
like Butler. She writes, "A challenge to the right of Israel to exist
can be construed as a challenge to the existence of the Jewish people
only if one believes that Israel alone keeps the Jewish people alive
or that all Jews invest their sense of perpetuity in the state of
Israel in its current or traditional forms." The fact that the very
people calling for Israel to be annihilated are not calling for the
elimination of any other country, not even a single one of the 22
fascist Arab states, cannot possibly have anything to do with
anti-Semitism, she insists.
Butler's proof that anti-Israel radicals are not really anti-Semites?
It is that she manages to find some anti-Israel extremists among
Israelis, the Israeli equivalents to Taliban John, Lord Haw-Haw, and
Noam Chomsky. She writes, "Identifying Israel with Jewry obscures the
existence of the small but important post-Zionist movement in Israel,
including the philosophers Adi Ophir and Anat Biletzki, the
sociologist Uri Ram, the professor of theatre Avraham Oz and the poet
Yitzhak Laor. Are we to say that Israelis who are critical of Israeli
policy are self-hating Jews, or insensitive to the ways in which
criticism may fan the flames of anti-Semitism?" The proper answer to
her question is often: yes.
Butler recently showed up in the Middle East, to strut her support for
the intifada. As a militant feminist, however, she was on a bizarre
mission. In February, 2010, she spent her time in the West Bank
shilling for the very same Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups who
make a point out of torturing and murdering homosexuals and who insist
that the place of women in Muslim society is somewhere out back and
out of sight, barefoot and scarved. Like so many apologists for
Islamofascism, the only "oppression" of Palestinian women Butler could
find was their supposed mistreatment by the Zionist "occupiers." You
know, the same ones who have a woman Chief Justice in their Supreme
Court, who have more women doctors than men, and who have elected a
woman as Prime Minister. Butler denounced Israel at length for its
"mistreatment" of Arab women, and never mind that they are treated at
least a thousand times better by Israel than they are inside any Arab
regime. Meanwhile, Islamic religious figures in Egypt have been
proclaiming that Muslims have the natural right to rape all Jewish
women. Butler has yet to issue a response to that.
To remove all doubt, Butler made it clear that she objects to Israel's
presence not only in the West Bank, where she was doing her Terrorism
Grand Tour. She also wants Israel removed from within Israel's
pre-1967 borders. Butler has long supported a worldwide boycott of
Israel, and not simply because Israel "occupies" the West Bank. She
has made it clear that she demands that Israel allow millions of Arabs
claiming to be Palestinian "refugees" to flood into Israel and convert
it into yet another Palestinian Arab state. She wants this even after
the creation of some Palestinian state.
While in the West Bank, Butler went to visit a "theater" in the
terrorist stronghold of Jenin. Theatrics is largely what Jenin is all
about. During Israel's battle against terrorists there in April of
2002, the Bash-Israel Left invented fictional tales about Israel
carrying out a "massacre," some even calling it a "genocide." As it
turned out, after days of Jenin street-to-street gun battles, launched
by the Palestinians intentionally in built-up urban areas, 23 Israeli
soldiers were killed along with a few dozen terrorists. Less than 20
Palestinian civilians died in the intense urban firefight, largely
because Israel foreswore reducing the town to rubble using artillery
to spare civilian collateral damage. It sacrificed the lives of its
own soldiers for that reason. And this was called "genocide." A
propaganda film about the battle called "Jenin, Jenin" was later
produced by Israeli Arab pro-terror director Mohammed Bakri, who
himself publicly admitted that his film was a tissue of lies. Bakri
is now being sued by some Israeli soldiers for libel.
Butler explained to her terrorist hosts that she opposes the existence
of a Jewish state even alongside some future Palestinian Arab state.
Instead, she favors what she calls a bi-national state, something
along the lines of Rwanda. She claims to be some sort of authority
on Hannah Arendt and promotes her anti-Israel "bi-nationalism" by
obsessively citing Arendt's ancient writings on bi-nationalism (at
Berkeley Butler is officially the "Hannah Arendt Professor"). Of
course, no one knows just what Arendt would have to say about the
Arab-Israeli conflict in the twenty-first century. But one suspects
that anyone like Arendt who spent so much time studying the
totalitarian mindset would retch at the willingness of people like
Butler to vouch and shill for Palestinian violence.
Butler writes: "And if we have a bi-national state, it's expressing
two nations. Only when bi-nationalism deconstructs the idea of a
nation can we hope to think about what a state, what a polity might
look like that would actually extend equality." Come to think of it,
the genocidal consequences of bi-nationalism in Rwanda are pretty
close to what Butler seems to have in mind for the Israeli Jews. Among
the terrorists who hosted her in Jenin was Zakaria Zabeidi, a head of
the genocidal "Al Aqsa" Brigades. Assaf Wohl, a columnist in Israel's
leading daily Yediot Ahronot, dismissed Butler as a Jewish
According to Professor Edward Alexander,
"Prior to the autumn of 2003, this University of California professor
of rhetoric and comparative literature was, like many members of
Berkeley's 'progressive' Jewish community with which she habitually
identifies herself, somebody who defined her 'Jewishness' (not exactly
Judaism) in opposition to the State of Israel. She was mainly a signer
of petitions harshly critical of the Jewish state, full of mean spite
towards its alleged 'apartheid' and 'bantustan' practices, oily
sycophancy towards such Palestinian figures as Sari Nusseibeh, and a
habit of covering over the brutality of Arab terror with the soft snow
of Latinized euphemisms. She was one of the 3700 American Jews opposed
to 'occupation' (Israeli, not Syrian or Chinese or any other) who
signed an 'Open Letter' urging the American government to cut
financial aid to Israel; later she expressed misgiving about signing
that particular petition–it 'was not nearly strong enough…it did not
call for the end of Zionism.'"
Butler, whose PhD is actually in philosophy, is a walking illustration
of the very worst things wrong with the humanities. She is a leading
American proponent of "Queer Theory" (which is what she calls it.)
You will never discover in "Queer Theory" any scientific hypotheses
about what produces homosexuality. Instead, it serves as the umbrella
term for politicized militant homosexuals seeking the annihilation of
America, Israel, and capitalism. Whether such people seriously think
that homosexuals are treated better in non-capitalist regimes and in
the Islamic sections of the Third World is doubtful.
Butler's favorite prefix is "post." She uses it more often than the
Cliff-the-Mailman character on "Cheers." She proudly describes
herself a "Post-Zionist," by which she means she is anti-Zionist.
Butler likes to describe herself as a "poststructuralist," and
sometimes also as a "Post-Marxist," which – as far as we can tell –
seems to mean a Marxist. (The Marxist New Left Review is one of
Butler's favorite venues.) She claims to reject "dialectics" as her
political theology because it is too "phallogocentric," and that has
upset some of the members of the academic Comintern.
Like so many members of the tenured Left – her favorite methodology of
analysis is the silly polysyllable. Her writings ooze
"Deconstructionist" jive and are exercises in the worst forms of
pseudo-academic NewSpeak. And that is when she is sticking to her
actual "discipline," not pontificating about the Middle East, about
which she has no expertise or training at all. "Deconstruction" is
the nonsensical infantile "philosophy" that argues that words have no
meaning, there are no facts nor truth, and the only thing we can
really be absolutely certain about are that the US and capitalism and
Israel are evil and must be eliminated. Language is the ultimate form
of tyranny and source of control over us oppressed folks by those evil
elites. There are no false narratives, just different subjectivities.
Deconstructionism has become something of a pseudo-intellectual
orthodoxy among certain of our academic colleagues, especially those
in the academic professions that never quite found out where's the
Butler's "theories" about feminism include her argument that sexual
relations are "performative," and are based on "regulatory discourse."
The "system" attempts to impose "constructions of binary asymmetric
gender." She has even devoted time to celebrating drag queens:
"There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is
a kind of imitation for which there is no original." A fuller
collection of some of her bizarre pronouncements can be read here.
She insists, "Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed
but socially constructed," which seems to prove that she never took
any biology courses back at Yale.
A typical Butler bloviation is this:
"Performativity cannot be understood outside of a process of
iterability, a regularized and constrained repetition of norms. And
this repetition is not performed by a subject; this repetition is what
enables a subject and constitutes the temporal condition for the
subject. This iterability implies that 'performance' is not a singular
'act' or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under
and through constraint, under and through the force of prohibition and
taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and
compelling the shape of the production, but not, I will insist,
determining it fully in advance." (From Butler, Judith 1993; Bodies
That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge.
pp. 95. )
It is almost impossible to read a sentence by Butler without reacting
with a loud "Huh?" So much of it sounds like a parody of an academic
being concocted by "The Onion" or "National Lampoon." In 1998 she won
first-prize in the Bad Writing Contest sponsored by the academic
journal Philosophy and Literature. She won for this sentence:
"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood
to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view
of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition,
convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality
into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of
Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical
objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility
of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up
with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of
So much of what Butler writes is so mindless and filled with so many
grammatical flaws that one wonders how her text survives a word
processing program. Butler's take on the 9-11 attacks on America was
that "the violent acts of 9/11 is (sic) exacerbated by the inability
of Americans to recognize the precariousness of non-American
(particularly Muslim) lives. They are always already dead, and
therefore cannot be killed." Huh? She insists that the West is guilty
of this: "These excluded are brutally subjected to the "violence of
derealization." Huh? She "claims that the War on Terror has provided
a climate where the sexual freedoms she and others fought for are now
misused to symbolize (sic) the shining, gleaming modernity of the
West. The backwardness and inferiority of 'others' is counterposed
(sic) and underscored against this." Huh?
In an interview she explains how her feminism differs from that of
some of the others, like Catharine MacKinnon or Andrea Dworkin: "I'm
not always calling into question who's a man and who's not, and am I a
man? Maybe I'm a man [laughs]." She is not one of those folks in favor
of homosexual marriage, by the way. In fact she is opposed to
marriage: "It's very hard to speak freely right now, but many gay
people are uncomfortable with all this, because they feel their sense
of an alternative movement is dying. Sexual politics was supposed to
be about finding alternatives to marriage."
Butler was one of the noisiest people denouncing the Campus-Watch
website for daring to criticize anti-Israel radical Middle East
Studies faculty members. Naturally, Butler thinks that critics of
anti-Israel radicals are not entitled to freedom of speech and that
their criticism is "McCarthyism."
While she likes to beat on her drum about supposedly growing up in a
Jewish home, there is no evidence that she knows the slightest thing
about Judaism. She claims her "Jewish values" are what drive her to
embrace Palestinian anti-Semites and barbarians. Here she sums up
her own knowledge of Judaism: "As a Jew, I was taught that it was
ethically imperative to speak up and to speak out against arbitrary
state violence." There is no such Jewish ethical imperative. She
clarifies: "There were those who would and could speak out against
state racism and state violence, and it was imperative that we be able
to speak out. Not just for Jews, but for any number of people."
Needless to say, the only "state violence" she feels obliged to
denounce is that supposedly practiced by Israel when it defends its
civilians. She is not exactly outspoken when it comes to the state
violence practiced by Iran or Syria.
As part of Butler's campaign on behalf of Palestinian terrorism, she
likes to wave about the fact that she herself grew up as a "Reform"
Jew. There are very few things wrong with the world that she does not
attribute to the unforgivable desire by Jews for self-determination.
Her attitude towards the Jewish homeland was summed up by her thus:
"The argument that all Jews have a heartfelt investment in the state
of Israel is untrue. Some have a heartfelt investment in corned beef
When it comes to academic streetwalking on behalf of anti-Semitism and
Palestinian violence, that old adage is true: the Butler did it.

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