Thursday, September 20, 2012

About those "reforms" at Ben Gurion "University"

Special Isracampus Report:
Rivka Carmi's new "Diversity" in the Department of Politics at Ben
Gurion University.

Special Isracampus Report:

Carmi is telling the whole world that she has introduced "diversity"
into the Department of Politics at BGU in response to the calls from
the Council on Higher Education to shut down the anti-Israel
department. Carmi is proud that there are three new "recruits" in this
department. But who are these recruits? Every single one of the new
recruits is a Far Leftist! That is correct. Rivka Carmi is
diversifying the worst anti-Israel propaganda department in Israeli
academia by adding three NEW leftist radicals to it!

The first and the worst of the three is a radical anti-Israel
historian, who is not even a political scientist at all. She is Michal
Givoni, and she was a "researcher" at Tel Aviv University until
offered a position in the Carmi cosmetics fix-up. Givoni may be even
more anti-Israel than the existing members of the Department. You can
read all about her here (or posted in full below).

She will be joined by Gad Arieli, who evidently is also a far leftist,
this based on the fact that he has been on the staff of the leftwing
Israel Democracy Institute and also that he is an author of these (and
other similar) articles:

• Zemlinskaya, Y. (2009) "Cultural Context and Social Movement
Outcomes: Conscientious Objection and Draft-Resistance in Israel."
Mobilization: An International Journal, 14(4):449-466
• Zemlinskaya, Y. (2010) 'Gendered Protest: Social Movements through
the Gender Lens', Sociology Compass 4(8):628-641
• Zemlinskaya, Y. (forthcoming) 'Political Conscience in Israel: Draft
– Resistance and Conscientious Objection', Aldershot: Ashgate

His PhD is from the University of Haifa.

The third new "recruit" is actually now doing a Post-Doc at UCLA and
has not yet joined the department. She is Ayelet Harel-Shalev, and she
is also a far-leftist. She works with and turns out propaganda for the
extremist anti-Israel Arab nationalist Adalah group (see this report
on it - She claims to be
an expert on Israel's oppressed Arab minority (she calls them "Israeli

She was singled out for criticism for the anti-Zionist content of her
courses in a report by the Im Tirtzu student group. Her PhD is from
the very same department of politics at BGU. So she is a product of
Neve Gordon, Dan Filc, and David Newman. level pages/Editorial - Lee Kaplan -
TAU - Michal Givoni - New Polysyllables to Eliminate Israel.htm

Tel Aviv University (Dept of History) and UC Berkeley (Townsend
Humanities Lab): Michal Givoni Strives for New Polysyllables that Can
help Eliminate Israel

By Lee Kaplan

Michal Givoni is a mistress of one-sided anti-Israel propaganda
disguised as academic work.

She completed her Ph.D. at the Cohn Institute for the History and
Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University in 2008. Her
work purportedly deals with transnational humanitarianism,
contemporary practices of "witnessing," and "testimony" and
"governmentality" (a nonsense polysyllable she likes to use). Givoni
was a researcher at the fiercely anti-Israel semi-Marxist Van Leer
Jerusalem Institute, where she co-directed (together with Adi Ophir
and Sari Hanafi "a research project on the Israeli occupation in the
Palestinian territories." She was one of the editors (again together
with Ophir and Hanafi) of a volume on the subject, entitled The Power
of Inclusive Exclusion: Anatomy of Israeli Rule in the Palestinian
Territories (Zone Books, 2009).

She and her colleagues' editing churn out one- sided propaganda
against Israel and its control over the "Palestinian territories." She
loves to rely on Arab "witnessing" and "testimony" about alleged
abuses of the Arab population by Israel. These should be better termed
"bearing false witness" and simply "lying." She speaks of the
"Governmentality of emergencies," a pompous way of describing how
government intervenes in cases of such "witnessing" and "testimony"
that something injurious has happened. Her interest in witnessing is
restricted to accusations against Israel by Arabs.

Givoni has a new book on the "contemporary ethics of testimony" with
the Van Leer Institute / Hakibutz Hame'uchad Press. Givoni's
"research" at The Minerva Humanities Center concerns "ethical
practices in the political sphere" and "focuses on a genealogical
investigation of the concepts of testimony and of indifference."

She developed her skills at Israel bashing while teaching in the
uniformaly anti-Israel department of politics at Ben Gurion
University, the home to such objective academics as arch-anti-Semite
Neve Gordon. These days she is a visiting fellow at the University of
California at Berkeley, where anti-Israel activism long ago replaced
frat partying as the main campus recreation activity.

My fellow IsraCampus contributor Seth Frantzman has done an excellent
review of Michal Givoni's first edited book. Ms. Givoni is one of
those "scholars" who substitute politics and advocacy for hard
research. She is particularly fond of mind numbing silliness in
rhetoric and nonsense polysyllables. In Star Wars movies, Yoda always
reversed what he had to say to sound like a wise inscrutable guru
("Going to visit Luke Skywalker, today, we are"). But Yoda had it over
Givoni because at least we could figure out what Yoda was saying.
Someone should give Givoni a good language checker as a Nakba Day

Here's an example of her writing. In an abstract she wrote, in which
she argues Israel is a violator of human rights because it controls
the Arabs in the "Palestinian territories" she wrote:

"This article seeks to analyze contemporary humanitarianism as an
advanced-liberal formation of global governance. It tracks the
emergence in the 1970s of the French humanitarian organization
Mיdecins sans Frontiטres and shows that its care for and control of
distant victims has been commingled with and dependent upon care for
Western selves. The article contends that humanitarianism 'without
borders' was the outgrowth of the legitimacy crisis of the medical
profession, and that its practice of witnessing has ultimately been a
mode of ethical self-cultivation by means of which physicians could
fashion themselves as more enlightened personae. It further shows that
the recent concern with the detrimental side effects of humanitarian
action should be deciphered as the culmination of the practices of the
self in which global humanitarianism has been embedded since the

Huh? Ok, so we had to read it three times. And THAT was one of her
clearer paragraphs.

It should be noted that "Doctors Without Borders" is not
pro-Palestinian enough for her. Ms. Givoni finds fault with them for
being self-serving and egotistical ("practices of the self") even
though the NGO routinely sides against Israel. Alas, a la Michal, they
are in it solely for Western ego gratification. Givoni, who loves to
identify with dead Marxist killer Michel Foucault, despises the
democratic West. Medecins sans frontieres has a long track record of
attacking pro-Israel voices. Including me!

For example,

In July 2010, MSF worked "closely with an Israeli team of burn
specialists" to treat victims of a fuel tanker crash in the Democratic
Republic of Congo. According to a Haaretz report, one of Israeli
doctors described negative interactions with the MSF volunteers, who
"did not want to be around him or the other team members." In
response, MSF denied that "cooperation was difficult due to alleged
anti-Israel sentiment from MSF staff," or that it "places politics
above the best interests of our patients."
MSF accused Israel of "devastating disregard" for civilians during the
2009 Gaza war, alleging that Israel conducted "indiscriminate
bombings" during the fighting.
In 2007, an MSF employee from Gaza was arrested for allegedly plotting
to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The NGO responded that "We
are very sad for Bashir, but we want to make it very clear that we
make a distinction between his professional work and what he does on
his personal time. I don't think our organization can be held liable
for every aspect of its staff's lives."
Medecins sans Frontiers also frequently recounts other ISM propaganda
on their blog.

Givoni likes to use the term "witnessing" but sees no reason why
witnessing has to involve truth.

To this end, she relies in some of her work on the Goldstone Report,
repudiated even by Goldstone himself. She treats it as fact. She also
relies on the discredited extremists from the tiny Israeli treasonous
"Breaking the Silence," an ISM group that lied to the Media about
Operation Cast Lead. Givoni praises their "witnessing" even though it
rarely if ever has any evidence to back things up..

NGO Monitor has said about Breaking the Silence (which is funded by
the EU): "Breaking the Silence (BTS) collects testimonies of soldiers
who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifadah."
It continues: "The NGO was active in promoting "war crimes" charges
against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009. These charges
were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay 'testimonies.'"

Just the way Michal Givoni likes it.

She produced a paper in which she compared the treatment of the Arabs
in Gaza with that of Jews during the Holocaust, citing Breaking the
Silence and the Goldstone report. Several of the soldiers who
supposedly revealed "war crimes" had not actually witnessed any of the
events they described, and in at least one case, had not been in Gaza
at all at the time the alleged events were said to have taken place.
Even Haaretz, the Pravda of the radical anti-Zionist Left, has seen
fit to condemn the "witnessing" by Breaking the Silence. For Givoni,
all the proof needed that Israel is evil is for an Arab fascist or a
Jewish communist to allege so.

Givoni cut her teeth at the anti-Israel Van Leer Institute, where she
started as a researcher. A description of an abstract by her about the
Biafra tragedy reveals how she started her bash Israel academic
"research" titled "Who Cares [What's to be Done?]? Israel Responds to

"The first reports on the Biafran outrages, which appeared in the
Israeli press in July 1968, prompted an outcry. From the outset, the
Biafrans were viewed as an extension of the Jewish-Israeli self; their
distress and armed struggle against the Nigerian forces were seen in
analogy to the Jewish holocaust and the Jewish people's fight for
independence. The forms of moral-political discourse manifested in the
Israeli public debate about the appropriate responses to the Biafra
crisis are examined. It is juxtaposed to the sans-frontieres
humanitarian discourse that emerged in France during the same crisis.
The distant suffering of the Biafrans was understood as falling under
the jurisdiction of the Israeli sovereign, hindering the establishment
of a civil-society force to deal with similar crises. The structural
equivalence between humanitarian sovereignty and the Israeli form of
political sovereignty, which is also maintained as a paradoxical
authority to protect an endangered population, is stressed."

What? You don't understand what she is saying? Well, it's all pretty
simple. Israel back in 1968 (a year after the Six Day War, in which
the Arabs sought to wipe out the Jewish state) was concerned about the
people in Biafra who were suffering, even despite its own problems.
But Ms. Givoni can only find things to complain about Israel so she
faults the Jewish state's government for controlling whatever aid it
gave the Biafrans because this somehow in her mind hindered the
ability of non-governmental groups to render aid in similar crises. A
report back then by the American Jewish Congress showed that giving
aid to the people of Biafra had international security considerations.

Those darned Israelis, they can't do anything right and they mix
politics into everything, with ulterior motives that prevent the
proper protection of "an endangered population" (guess who she is
really alluding to? The Palestinians!!!!).

Givoni is among faculty teaching a program at Bard College in New
York, part of a consortium of colleges teaching about "international
human rights." We suspect the leading human right they defend is the
right of Arabs to murder Jews. Bard has the only officially sponsored
and campus funded chapter of human shields for terrorists (better
known as the ISM) in the United States that actually trains ISM human
shields to go to the West Bank and who were involved with the
Flotillas. That chapter will be part of a massive march to "take back
Jerusalem" led by the PFLP on March 30th this year. Perhaps Michal
Givoni will help the marchers with their propaganda about Israeli
"human rights violations."

To complain, write to

The Council for Higher Education in Israel
(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities and colleges)

Prof. Manuel Trachtenberg
Chairman, Council on Higher Education
POB 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel

Aharon Beit-Halahmi
Planning & Budgeting Committee Chairman
Council for Higher Education
P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Tel: 02-5679911
Fax: 02-5679969

Ministry of Education

The Honorable Gideon Sa'ar
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Additional Email:
Phone: 972-2-6408131
Fax: 972-2-6753525

Shalomit Amichai
Director General of the Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem

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