Thursday, January 29, 2009
1/29/2009 12:00:00 PM
1. A few days back we posted to you a report on the efforts by handful
of far-leftist anti-Zionist extremist faculty members at Tel Aviv
University to prevent the appointment of an Israeli army woman colonel to
teach in the law school. (See report here: http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Steve%20Plaut%20-%20Assault%20on%20Academic%20Freedom.htm
) The Dean of the Law School properly dismissed the "petition" of the
Well, now Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, has
announced the launching of its OWN jihad against academic freedom. It has
come out AGAINST the appointment of the colonel and in support of the
moonbats, in an official editorial (see following). Like most far
leftists, Haaretz believes that you have the freedom of speech to agree
with it, but none otherwise.
Here is the Haaretz version of academic freedom:
Last update - 01:55 29/01/2009
By Haaretz Editorial
Tags: israel news
The Tel Aviv University faculty members who oppose the appointment of Col.
Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, head of the international law division (ILD) in the
Military Advocate General's office, to a post at the university's law
faculty, are right.
This faculty, the spearhead of academic legal research in Israel, now has
a public responsibility of the first order - to examine in depth Israel's
conduct during the war in Gaza, to distinguish between what is permitted
and what is not, and to offer an alternative and objective set of rules to
the self-serving ones formulated by Sharvit-Baruch during her time as head
of the ILD.
One of the important reasons not to appoint Sharvit-Baruch to the law
faculty is her sanctioning, as head of the division, of the killing of
hundreds of Palestinian civilians, many of them children, women and
elderly people, during the three weeks of the war.
The division headed by Sharvit-Baruch gave the go-ahead for the criminal
killing of dozens of Palestinian policemen by the air force - which bombed
them during their graduation ceremony on the war's first day - with the
knowledge that these policemen were nothing more than civilian
law-enforcers, and on the grounds that they might become participants in
the fighting with Israel (as reported in a story that will appear in the
Haaretz English edition Magazine tomorrow).
The legal appendix that the division attached to the military orders of
Operation Cast Lead did indeed demand that caution be employed in the
field, but it did not rule out the use of cluster bombs, phosphorus bombs
or anti-personnel mines.
The appendix even stated that it was possible to avoid warning the
civilian population that was near a target slated for attack.
Severe criticism is being voiced about the conduct of the ILD. A long list
of experts in international law and the laws governing the war on
terrorism, including the former head of the division, Daniel Reisner, have
expressed their objections to the way Sharvit-Baruch made possible such
trigger-happiness during the Gaza campaign.
Hanoch Dagan, the dean of TAU's law faculty, is misleading in the
demagogic argument he employs to justify Sharvit-Baruch's appointment. He
says that it is better to expose students to a wide range of opinions and
points of view, so long as they are within the framework of the law.
Dagan is misleading, both because Sharvit-baruch's opinions - which are
acceptable among the general public and, one can assume, in the corridors
of the law school - already enjoy wide expression, to a level far beyond
that received by opposing points of view; and also because the reason
Sharvit-Baruch's opinions fall within the framework of the law is because
she is the one who formulated the law, in her capacity as head of the ILD.
2. Please join in this trench war:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3663679,00.html See also this:
3. Aumann and friends on the clash of civilizations:
Clash of Civilizations: Is Israel at War with Islam?
Shevat 3, 5769, 28 January 09 05:10
by Hana Levi Julian
(IsraelNN.com) Nobel laureate Professor Yisrael Aumann of the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem went head to head with colleague Professor Shlomo
Avineri on Wednesday over whether Islam is at war with Israel.
The verbal sparring match came during a panel discussion held Wednesday at
the Jerusalem Regency Hotel during the annual Jerusalem Conference over
which threats are facing Israel and the West, and whether there is in fact
a .clash of civilizations.. The two were joined on the panel by Likud MK
Silvan Shalom and former Prisoner of Zion and minister, Natan Sharansky,
currently the chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies.
As did most of the other speakers at the conference, as well as the others
on their panel, both focused on Israel.s current security issues as well
as its past.
.I want peace,. proclaimed Aumann, .but the truth is, we are the
terrorists. We have brought the terrorism upon ourselves.. Aumann blamed
the past three years of rocket fire from Hamas terrorists on the 2005
Disengagement from Gaza.
.We expelled thousands of Jews from their homes in response to the last
intifada,. said Aumann. .We destroyed synagogues. We destroyed homes,
.We left Gaza, and that brought Hamas to Gaza, and increased the rocket
fire to the south,. he stated flatly. .It hurts me terribly over our sons
that died, and it hurts me terribly over the Arab residents that died. We
are to blame,. he continued, .because we told them, keep pressuring, keep
up the fight . we will fold. And they understood. They got it right..
Aumann, whose main focus was the issue of how to achieve a lasting peace
in Israel, underscored the view that one must be ready for war in order to
.The way to bring peace is not to yell .Peace, Peace!., it.s not with
arguments, and concessions and all these things. All these things bring us
to war. You only need a little straight intelligence and knowledge of
history to understand; they knew it 2,000 years ago, they understood how
to be ready for war, not only with armor and weapons, but also with the
.If you are not spiritually ready for war, you bring war,. he warned. .You
don.t even need to go back 2,000 years. Just take a look at the Soviet
Union, and look at our own people these days.
.Enough! Enough!. he declared, striking his hand on the podium sharply.
.Come! Let us prepare for a struggle . and real peace..
Within 15 seconds of taking the podium, Avineri had expressed his strong
disapproval of Aumann.s words.
.With all due respect to my colleague, I do not recommend to anyone to say
that we brought upon ourselves the terror,. he stated. .I do not recommend
that anyone say that, the words of Jewish confession during the Yom Kippur
prayers notwithstanding. We did not bring upon ourselves the terror..
Avineri contended that the concept of the struggle itself, however, is
misunderstood by most of Israel.s leadership, if not most of the Jewish
.The fact is, there is a struggle, and there is a war, but it is not
between civilizations,. he said. .The struggle is not with another
civilization. It is not with Islam. We have no war with Islam..
According to Avineri, Islam is not at war with democracy but rather at war
with itself. .There is a war within Islam,. he maintained. .It went
through a change. It is worth remembering that there is very deep
frustration and deep change taking place.
.One of the biggest enemies of fundamentalist Islam at the current time is
Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, who is not at all democratic or
liberal in any way. Another enemy of fundamentalist Islam is the secular
Fatah faction,. he said, noting that Hamas.s rival, led by Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is also not known for its gentility.
.It is important to remember who the enemy is,. said Avineri.
4. Recent materials From Isracampus.org.il:
On the anti-Semitic web site Counterpunch, Ben Gurion University's Neve
Gordon and Tel Aviv University's Yigal Bronner smear Israel using Hamas
propaganda "statistics" verbatim
'This latest assault underscores that Israel, not unlike Hamas, readily
resorts to violence and does not distinguish between civilians and
combatants (only the weapons at Israel's disposal are much more lethal).
No matter how many times the Israeli government tries to blame Hamas for
the latest Palestinian civilian deaths it simply cannot explain away the
body count, especially that of the children. In addition to the dead,
1,855 Palestinian children were wounded, and tens of thousands of others
have likely been traumatised, many of them for life.....Israel's masters
of war must be happy: the seeds of the next wars have certainly been
University of East London - Yosefa Loshitzky (Dept. of Film Studies)
claims that Operation "Cast Lead" is a victory of "disinformation" and
"lies" by Israeli hasbara (public relations)
Oxford - Avi Shlaim (Dept of History) calls Israel's right to defend
itself .propaganda. and .a pack of lies.
Amy Goodman: Professor Avi Shlaim, Israel says the reason it has attacked
Gaza is because of the rocket fire, the rockets that Hamas is firing into
Avi Shlaim: This is Israeli propaganda, and it is a pack of lies.
University of Haifa - Yuval Yonay (Dept. of Sociology) writing on the
Segel-Plus list on 18 January 2009, endorses the smears of Israel as a
Nazi country made by anti-Semitic British Member of Parliament. Yonay
'He also mentioned that an Israeli spokeman (sic) replied that many of the
Palestinian victims (800 at the time, climbing to 1245 as of this morning)
were militants "was the reply of the Nazi" and added: "I suppose the Jews
fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as
militants." If someone can find a logical flaw here, I am interested in
University of Exeter - Ilan Pappe (Dept. of Political Science) justifies
Hamas kassam missile war crimes; hangs the war crime .albatross. on
Between 1967 and 2005, Gaza.s land and water were plundered by Jewish
settlers in Gush Katif at the expense of the local population. The price
of peace and security for the Palestinians there was to give themselves up
to imprisonment and colonisation. Since 2000, Gazans have chosen instead
to resist in greater numbers and with greater force. It was not the kind
of resistance the West approves of: it was Islamic and military. Its
hallmark was the use of primitive Qassam rockets, which at first were
fired mainly at the settlers in Katif. The presence of the settlers,
however, made it hard for the Israeli army to retaliate with the brutality
it uses against purely Palestinian targets. So the settlers were removed,
not as part of a unilateral peace process as many argued at the time (to
the point of suggesting that Ariel Sharon be awarded the Nobel peace
prize), but rather to facilitate any subsequent military action against
the Gaza Strip and to consolidate control of the West Bank. . Israel
justifies its conduct in Gaza as a part of the fight against terrorism,
although it has itself violated every international law of war.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
1/28/2009 05:55:00 PM
LESSONS OF GAZA
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, January 28 2009
The great untold story of Operation Cast Lead was the level of euphoria
and national unity that gripped Israel. Those who think the era of
miracles is over will have to explain this sudden wall-to-wall political
consensus in Israel.
In what is arguably the most contentious society on earth, public opinion
polls were showing a 94% approval rating among Israeli Jews for the
military action against Hamas. Almost the same percentage opposed any
cease-fire that did not include the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad
The emergence of this sudden national consensus came against a backdrop of
an international wave of naked anti-Semitism on a level not seen in
decades, and of Israeli Arabs almost uniformly expressing both opposition
to the operation and outright hatred of Jews and the Jewish state.
The really amazing thing, however, was that the man responsible for the
surge of good feelings and patriotism among Israelis was the most
unpopular and probably the most corrupt politician in modern Israeli
Ehud Olmert already had one foot out the door of the Prime Minister's
Office before the shooting started, and many believed his other foot was
headed straight for prison. Olmert's approval ratings before the Gaza war
were not significantly above zero. Yet within moments of his ordering the
commencement of operations, Israelis were closing ranks behind him in a
way that caught nearly everyone by surprise.
The rest of the world may be united in denouncing Israeli "brutality" and
the supposedly disproportionate level of Palestinian casualties. But
Israel was just as united, at least for the moment, in celebrating the
beginning of the end of its era of national self-debasement and
Israeli television stations and newspapers reported in great detail on the
countless anti-Israel demonstrations all over the world, down to and
including the swastikas and the chants that Hitler had been right. This
only seemed to augment the sense of national unity and determination among
The devotees of Hamas could march on Western campuses all they wanted,
Israelis seemed to be saying, but we will deal with the savages in our own
The new Israeli national unity manifested itself even in the face of the
distorted and maniacal denunciations of Israel for its alleged
insensitivity to the plight of Palestinian civilians.
Of course, the same world media that failed to challenge the lies
surrounding the infamous "death" of the Gaza boy Muhammad al-Dura back in
2000 kept repeating the Hamas "estimate" as if it were a scientific
finding from an unimpeachable source.
In any case, clearly the bulk of the Palestinian dead were armed genocidal
terrorists. The usual "human rights" organizations, which have never
acknowledged that Jewish civilians in the Negev are entitled to their
human rights, kept claiming that a quarter of the dead were "children." Of
course, they count any 17 year old killed while firing a bazooka at Jews
as a "child."
My youngest son spent most of the war dodging rockets in Netivot, a town
of 26,000 in the Negev near the Gaza Strip best known for serving as the
spiritual center for Moroccan Jewry, with its shrines of leading Moroccan
rabbis. Netivot was hit by more than its fair share of Hamas rockets.
Home for a weekend, my son watched the televised images of a Palestinian
man sitting on a pile of rubble that had once been his home and sobbing
about how there is no justice.
"You do not like having your house blown up?" my son responded to the TV
screen. "So who told you to start firing rockets at me?" He speaks for
nearly all Israelis.
And then of course there was all the whining by the media about how Israel
was preventing convoys of supplies from entering Gaza, as if the Allies in
World War II had sent convoys of supplies to Berlin when it was under
siege. A caller to an Israeli radio program put it rather succinctly: "So
release Gilad Shalit and stop shooting rockets at us and you can have all
the supplies you want; in fact you can shop in Israel and use our
hospitals and beaches."
Even some - though certainly not all - members of the country's dwindling
far left came out in support of the operation. (I say "dwindling far left"
because half have woken up to the fallacies of leftist thinking while the
other half have morphed into outright anti-Zionists.)
Consider the following developments, which would have been unthinkable a
month ago and which are a very small sampling of the changed mindset in
The novelist A.B. Yehoshua, leader of Israel's leftist literary soviet,
wrote a scathing article telling off an anti-Israel columnist at the far
left anti-Zionist daily Haaretz.
The popular singer Arik Sinai, long associated with Tel Aviv bohemian
leftism, suddenly went on a Zionist crusade, complete with bashing of
Street protests in Israel against the war consisted almost exclusively of
Arab students and Jewish members of the pro-terror HADASH communist party.
The Israeli national consensus opposing the declaration of a cease-fire by
the Olmert team was almost as broad as the consensus in support of the
* * *
Within days of the new cease-fire, however, it was becoming clear that
Olmert had blown the whistle before the team had finished its work. The
abandonment of Gilad Shalit was just part of it. The new cease-fire would
allow Hamas to re-stock its armories and replenish its rocket warehouses.
Hours after the cease-fire went into effect, Hamas's smuggling tunnels
were being repaired and returned to operations. Worst of all, most of the
Hamas leadership remained alive.
Even more worrisome, the Olmert people were reverting to the approach that
had produced the rocket blitz on Israel in the first place. After eight
years of a policy of restraint that had achieved absolutely nothing,
turning the other cheek was being restored as the national defense policy.
Olmert and Livni were back to offering land for peace, reaffirming that
two decades of giving up land and getting war in return had taught them
nothing. For decades Israeli leaders had agreed to one unilateral
cease-fire after the next. These bought Israel nothing but demonization in
the world media.
After their brief incarnation as fierce Zionist warriors, Olmert and his
pals were once again pretending that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA were
something different from the Hamas; that they were reasonable people who
yearned for peaceful coexistence with Israel and with whom deals could be
struck. And Israel was again offering to release hundreds of terrorists
If there was one lesson Israel should have learned over the past eight
years, it was that Israeli restraint buys neither goodwill for the country
nor moderate behavior on the part of Palestinians. For eight years Hamas
and its affiliates in Gaza fired rockets at Jewish civilians, while the
Israeli government's main response was to turn the other cheek and order
the country just to wait passively for Hamas to run out of ammunition.
Israeli leaders had deluded themselves into thinking that if only the
world would clearly see unprovoked Palestinian aggression and terror,
Israel would enjoy a public relations Xanadu. Especially after the Israeli
government, for the sake of peace, drove all Jews out of Gaza.
The expectation that restraint would boost Israel's image was among the
stupidest of the delusions of Israel's Osloid leadership. The world not
only ignored the thousands of rockets fired at Jewish civilians, it went
to contorted moral lengths to justify them.
For decades Israel's leaders misunderstood and misjudged anti-Semitism and
they continue to do so now.
Anti-Semites and those with totalitarian ideologies always reverse cause
and effect. For them, every atrocity against Jews is a righteous protest
against Jewish wrongdoing and Israeli misbehavior. Every retaliation by
Israel is an unprovoked criminal act of malice and Nazi-like aggression.
It is exactly like claiming the Japanese were the victims of American
aggression at Pearl Harbor.
The real problem is that the Anti-Israel Lobby does not consider Jews to
be human. Therefore Jewish deaths never matter and Jewish lives are
expendable. Because Jews are not quite human, they can never be entitled
to the right of self-defense or permitted to engage in it. Anti-Zionism
has now been thoroughly Nazified. There can be no other word for people
who insist that Jewish life is worthless and that Jewish deaths never
If Olmert had responded to the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel by
merely sneezing in the general direction of the terrorists, thousands of
protesters would have take to the streets and the campuses in Europe and
America to denounce this as a disproportionate response and a war crime;
many would no doubt describe it as an act of biological warfare.
Absolutely nothing can ever be gained by Israeli restraint, except to
demonstrate weakness and fan terrorism. But that insight, clear to any
reasonably intelligent seven year old, was too complicated for Israeli
officials who for eight years ordered residents of Sderot and the other
towns of the Negev to sit and take it. Sderot had been turned by the
Israeli government into an undefended Guernica, its children traumatized,
its families reduced to paupers.
* * *
Another delusion that fell victim to Operation Cast Lead was the notion
that Israel's far left, while perhaps dangerously na.ve, is not at all
anti-Semitic or self-hating.
Over the past two decades a malignant plague of anti-Semitism has swept
the left, including the Jewish left. It affects Jews in the United States,
in Europe, and even in Israel. While 94 percent of the Israeli public was
solidly behind the soldiers and the attack on the Hamas infrastructure,
the Jewish left was out at the forefront of the pro-jihad Nuremberg
marches, waving Hamas and PLO flags, demanding international boycotts of
Israel, calling for a Hamas victory.
The Jewish-born British Member of Parliament ranting about how Israel is a
Nazi regime was just the tip of the iceberg. While the Arab regimes
themselves were letting everyone know the contempt they felt for Hamas,
Jewish leftists were out displaying their contempt for Jews, from the
members of J Street to the Reconstructionist "rabbi" leading a pro-Hamas
rally in Philadelphia,.
Those who thought that "Jewish anti-Semite" was an oxymoron will have to
think again. Increasingly, the left, and especially the campus left,
produces a mass of Jewish collaborators with the enemy, the Jewish
equivalents of Taliban John. Just about every Israel-bashing newspaper and
Internet site now features anti-Jewish columnists and writers, many of
them Israeli faculty members.
But the rudest awakening of all at the end of Cast Lead came with regard
to the Israeli far left, led by the academic fifth column. For years, the
pursuit of leftist silliness has been just as fashionable on Israeli
campuses as it's been on campuses in the U.S. and Europe. As Orwell wrote,
some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them. As the
guns in Gaza began to fall silent, a number of Israeli leftists emerged
from their bunkers with a vengeance, sabotaging the consensus of
patriotism that had filled Israel during the war.
Ben-Gurion University, the campus with arguably the largest number of
anti-Israel extremist faculty members, was shut down for weeks as Hamas
rockets bathed Beersheba. Several rockets landed close to the campus.
Public-school buildings in Beersheba were destroyed by rockets. Yet
leftist faculty members at BGU went on the warpath against Israel and in
support of Hamas. In an article titled "Black January," BGU sociologist
Lev Grinberg proclaimed Hamas terrorists to be the true Maccabees,
struggling against the evil empire:
I admit that I find the name "Cast Lead" in bad taste because of its
allusion to Chanukah and the Maccabees who fought against a mighty
conqueror. If indeed there is a struggle here of the weak against an
occupying empire, it is the struggle of Hamas against Israel, not the
other way around. Our self-image as the weak victim is utterly surreal and
trapped in the mythology of the Jews as the ultimate victims, regardless
of reality.... The firing of missiles by the prisoners in protest against
their starvation was interpreted as aggression, while their oppression by
their jailers was interpreted as self-defense.
Grinberg had earlier denounced Israel's targeting of terrorist leaders as
Neve Gordon, a BGU lecturer now serving as the chairman of political
science at the university, turned out one pro-terror anti-Israel article
after the next for anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi websites, denouncing Israel
as a criminal entity. In one, he excoriated Israel for bombing the Islamic
"university" in Gaza that was serving as the storage warehouse for the
very same rockets being fired at his own university campus.
Oren Yiftachel, a professor of geography at Ben Gurion University who has
made a career out of denouncing Israel for being an "apartheid" regime,
cheered the firing of rockets at the children of Sderot and Netivot as the
moral and just response of Palestinians "imprisoned" by Israel firing at
At my own University of Haifa, left-wing faculty members exploded in a
wave of outraged protests when the campus heads decided to fly Israeli
flags as a gesture of solidarity with the embattled residents of the Negev
towns. The leftists claimed this would be insensitive because it would
offend the pro-jihad Arab students who fill the campus.
The most important lesson of the past eight years, at this late stage
understood by everyone except university leftists and most Israeli
politicians, is that nothing will really put an end to the terror and
rockets other than some good old-fashioned R&D - Reoccupation and
Everything else is a delusion.
2. From the Wall Street Journal - OPINION EUROPE
JANUARY 27, 2009, 6:20 P.M. ET
End the Holocaust Memorials
The ceremonies have become a substitute for acting against modern
By DANIEL SCHWAMMENTHAL | From today's Wall Street Journal Europe
After yesterday's Holocaust Memorial Day, I have a request: Let it be the
last one, at least outside the Jewish world.
Let's put an end to the shallow declarations of "Never Again," which have
degenerated into denunciations against long-dead Nazis made from a safe
historical distance. This is risk-free grandstanding, which German writer
Johannes Gross summed up well: "The resistance to Hitler and his kind," he
once wrote, "is getting stronger the more the Third Reich recedes into the
Holocaust Memorial Day has become an annual ritual in which Europeans
promise moral clarity and courage the next time it's needed. Yet the list
of post-Holocaust genocides is long: the killing fields of Cambodia, the
slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda, the murder of Christians and animists in
southern Sudan and the continuing destruction of Muslims in Darfur. While
the world yawns, the Islamists in Khartoum are busy with their second
Nor has the memorial day benefited Jews. Solemn declarations about the
evils of the Holocaust have not ended Europe's booming trade with those
dreaming of Israel's destruction, the mullahs in Tehran. The ceremonies
deploring the West's inaction against the German fascists 60 years ago
have become a substitute for action against modern fascists, predominantly
Anti-Semitism -- and not only when disguised as anti-Zionism -- is in
vogue again in Europe. To scant media attention, and even scanter
government criticism, the shouts of "Death to Jews" have filled the
streets of the Continent in recent weeks, as protestors, mostly Muslims,
voice opposition to the war in Gaza. Western trade unions and academics
have intensified their calls for a boycott of Israel. In Italy, a trade
union even called for boycotts of local stores owned by Jews.
The solemn speeches around Europe yesterday mourning those who died in the
Holocaust hardly mentioned these developments. Citing the rise of
anti-Semitism in Europe, the Central Council of Jews in Germany stayed
away from yesterday's official ceremony in the German Parliament.
The United Nations also had a Holocaust memorial service yesterday. Yet
just four months ago, the president of Iran was allowed to give an
anti-Semitic speech at the General Assembly to enthusiastic applause from
many delegations. Although talking about "Zionists," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's
use of classic anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish plot for world
domination made it clear whom he really was after.
Although they "are miniscule minority," he said, the Zionists "have been
dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as
well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries
and the U.S. in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner." And so on. The
secretary general of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann,
embraced the Iranian after his hate speech.
That's the same d'Escoto Brockmann who is calling for a boycott of Israel.
It's also the same man who was scheduled to open yesterday's U.N.
Holocaust Memorial ceremony but backed down after Israel complained. It's
easy to understand why he had wanted to be there: The more crocodile tears
people like him spill for dead Jews the easier it is for them to demonize
the living ones and avoid being tagged as anti-Semitic. In such hands,
Holocaust memorials have become a cover to pound the Jewish state with
greater moral authority.
In Europe, there were a few cancellations of yesterday's annual Holocaust
Memorial Day events, along with comments suggesting that Jews are the new
Nazis. In Barcelona, a city official told La Vanguardia that "marking the
Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian Holocaust is taking place is not
right." People in Lulea, Sweden, said Israel's war in Gaza left it unable
to mourn the six million dead Jews. "It feels uneasy to have a torchlight
procession to remember the victims of the Holocaust at this time," Bo
Nordin, a clergyman and spokesman for a local church, told Swedish
National Radio. "We have been preoccupied and grief-stricken by the war in
Gaza and it would just feel odd with a large ceremony about the
Trine Lilleng, a Norwegian diplomat -- stationed in Saudi Arabia no less
-- spelled it out more directly in an email that found its way into the
Jerusalem Post: "The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War
II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi
Germany," she is reported to have written.
The lessons of the Holocaust are straightforward enough but they haven't
been learned, as yesterday's events show. Let's stop pretending otherwise
and put an end to these phony ceremonies.
Mr. Schwammenthal is an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal
3. Montreal Jews and the Anti-Israel Israeli Moonbat:
4. Ben Gurion University does, so why shouldn't UNRWA?:
5. Pipes on Israel's legacy of foolishness:
6. The Wilders Show Trial:
7. Lying about dead Palestinians:
8. Guilty until proven innocent - yet another leftist professor at the
Law School of Tel Aviv University wants Israel's "war crimes" investigated:
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1/27/2009 08:36:00 PM
(not a spoof!!)
1. Please take action!!! - Incitement to Murder IDF officers at
University of Haifa chat list
Please write, and pass on this information to others who will write!
Isracampus hereby issues a public call to the Attorney General of Israel
and to the University of Haifa to investigate whether the publication of
the names and photos of senior Israeli army officers on the ALEF chat
list, together with (false) allegations that these people are war
criminals, constitutes incitement to murder!
The names and photos of Israeli military officers who participated in
.Operation Cast Lead. are posted on the ALEF anti-Semitic chat list,
operated under the auspices of the University of Haifa, so that these
officers can be persecuted and harassed legally in Europe. We at
Isracampus have decided not to publish the officer names as a public
service. (The names and photos were originally gathered by the Uruknet
web site, a site run by exiled Iraqi Baathists loyal to Saddam Hussein)
The names were posted by Dorothy Naor, a notorious anti-Semitic Israeli
communist, on ALEF on Jan 25, 2009. She claims that .we and others will
continue doing whatever is possible..
If you wish to join us in this call, please contact:
Attorney General of Israel
To whom can you complain at the University of Haifa:
President of the University of Haifa
Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze.ev
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Rector of the University of Haifa
Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Mr. Leon Charney
Law Office of Leon H. Charney
New York, NY 10018
University "Friends of" Offices Outside Israel are listed here:
On the original unedited posting, full names with photos appear. Those
have been removed as a public service.
The message as posted by Dorothy Naor:
For circulation and use as you see fit to put them behind bars [that is on
original posting - proof that the goal is to see these heroic officers
persecuted and harassed]
I have decided
Journalist Attacked During Islamic Demo Against Israel (click on pictures
to see them bigger) Names and Photos of Israeli War Criminals in Gaza
I have decided to publish some names and photos of the Israeli military
personnel who participated in the so-called .Operation Cast Lead., the
offensive launched by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on the Gaza
Strip between 27 December and 18 January 2009. The names of these
criminals called my attention since the first day of their criminal attack
against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. I consider each person who took
part in this IOF and each one whose name appears in this report as a war
criminal who should be requested by an international court of justice,
just like all other war criminals who were persecuted before.
My decision is a challenge to the State of Israel, to the Israeli attorney
general Mazuz and the military headquarters, who forbade the media from
publishing the names of the Israeli officers who lead .Operation Cast
Lead. in Gaza, murdering 1310, and wounding over 5600, over 90% of these
casualties being civilians, destroying public and the private property in
many parts of towns and cities, and completely razing several areas
completely to the ground.
The Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz is conniving with others to
cover the war crimes committed in Gaza. These others are Ehud Barak, Ehud
Olmert and his cabinet of criminals, and the military counterpart,
Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit. Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi is
equally involved in the war crimes in Gaza. The Attorney General of Israel
asked his military counterpart to open a quick investigation among the
military as an .alternative. measure to hinder potentially .hundreds. of
international lawsuits against Israeli officials alleging war crimes
against the Gaza population during the operation has been widely
anticipated. There is growing concern in the offices of the Israeli
justice and war ministries because they expect a massive wave of lawsuits
for human rights violations against Israeli officers and politicians.
The criminal intentions of Menechem Mazuz, namely helping to cover up war
crimes of the State of Israel by giving an advice to the military, and by
opening a "formal and internal investigations" is a clear fraud planned by
the Israeli ministry of justice. Such a behavior is not that of a state,
it is the behavior of a criminal organization trying to escape their well
The military censor of Israel is preventing the media from identifying
officers who participated in the Gaza Strip IOF, and divulging information
about them which could be used in legal proceedings against them in courts
of justice abroad. There is great concern at the defense and the justice
ministries that Israeli officers will be singled out in a massive wave of
suits for human rights violations.
In recent days the censor has forbidden publishing the full names and
photographs of officers from the level of battalion commander down. It is
assumed that the identity of brigade commanders has already been made
known. The censor also forbids any reports tying a particular officer of
battlefield command rank (lieutenant to lieutenant colonel) to destruction
inflicted in a particular area.
The Israeli war criminal number one, Ehud Barak, stated that the State of
Israel bears the responsibility for sending IOF troops on missions in
Gaza, as well as for defending civilians, and as such it is obligated to
grant its full support to these officers and soldiers who participated in
the IOF in Gaza. Barak said that no harm should come to officers and
soldiers as a result of their involvement in the operation.
The war criminal Barak ordered the IOF to set up a team of intelligence
and legal experts to collect evidence related to operations in Gaza that
could be used to defend military commanders against future lawsuits
Here are Some Names of the Israeli War Criminals who Operated in Gaza
[What follows and not included here is a list of 20+ officers who are
labeled individually as .war criminals.. Various vague descriptions of
their past .crimes. are also included for most of them. Calls the Chief of
Staff a .moral degenerate.. Also names Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Tzipi
Livni and Shin Bet Chief in this list]
The names of many other war criminals from the infantry, tanks, combat
engineers, artillery, and intelligence who participated in the war crimes
in Gaza are still unknown. They should not feel safe either. War crimes,
crimes against humanity and genocide are proscribed and prosecuted in all
countries of the world in one way or other, and there exists no statute of
limitations for such crimes. The .protection. offered by Mazuz and his
cronies is weak, first of all because the fact that such .protection. is
offered is a implicit admission of guilt, and because national and
international statutes specifically address the issue of sham .proceedings
which are instituted to protect the guilty., and because since the
Nuremberg proceedings against the German army, following orders is no
excuse and does not absolve of culpability. We and others will continue
doing whatever is possible to find out the names of as many of the
criminals who participated in Gaza as possible, and any information which
will put them behind bars.
Want to tell the heads of Haifa University, through whose auspices and
computer the above was disseminated, what you think of this?
To whom can you complain?
University of Haifa:
President of the University of Haifa
Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze.ev
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Rector of the University of Haifa
Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Mr. Leon Charney
Law Office of Leon H. Charney
New York, NY 10018
University "Friends of" Offices Outside Israel are listed here:
Israel, Gaza and International Law
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Anti-Zionism and the Abuse of Academic Freedom
By Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
FrontPageMagazine.com | 1/27/2009
. Since 2001, anti-Zionist discourse has found its way into
classrooms and academic events at the University of California, Santa Cruz
(UCSC). At an academic conference held on that campus in 2007, the
speakers claimed that Zionism was an illegitimate ideology and argued for
the elimination of the Jewish state.
. The unscholarly, political, and anti-Semitic nature of the
conference raises questions about whether events of this kind are a
legitimate exercise of academic freedom or an abuse of it.
. Although the recently revised University of California rules do
not specify the limits of academic freedom, they do presume that faculty
and administrative agencies will define those limits and impose sanctions
on faculty who violate them. However, despite a system of shared
governance, in which faculty are responsible for ensuring the scholarly
integrity of academic programming and administrators for making sure all
programming accords with university regulation, abuses of academic freedom
have been allowed to flourish at UCSC.
. Members of the UCSC chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle
East have documented numerous cases of faculty-generated anti-Zionist
political advocacy and activism on that campus, and they have presented
evidence of academic-freedom abuse to the faculty senate and
administration for further investigation. These efforts have largely been
unsuccessful, however, as neither governing body has been willing to
address the problem, or even acknowledge that it exists.
Under the mantle of academic freedom, falsehoods and distortions about
Zionism and Israel-claims, for example, that Zionism is racism, that
Israel perpetrates genocide and ethnic cleansing, and that the Jewish
state should be dismantled-are heard in classrooms and at
departmentally-sponsored events on many university campuses. This essay
will analyze the problematic nature of academic anti-Zionism, the
factors within the university that allow the problem to flourish, and the
attempts of a small group of concerned faculty to address the problem
within the university-governance structure. It will focus on one
campus-the University of California, Santa Cruz-where the problem is
particularly acute, and present an analysis of an academic conference on
Zionism that took place there in March 2007.
Anti-Zionism at the University of California, Santa Cruz
Over the past several years, faculty members at the University of
California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) have injected anti-Zionist rhetoric into
their courses and departmentally-sponsored events. For example, a
community-studies class designed to train social activists was taught by
an instructor who described herself in her online syllabus as an activist
with the "campaign against the Apartheid Wall being built in
Palestine," and whose recommended readings included such unreferenced
statements as: "Israeli massacres are often accompanied by sexual assault,
particularly of pregnant women as a symbolic way of uprooting the children
from the mother, or the Palestinian from the land."
The previous summer, the same lecturer taught a community-studies course
on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which she used the class email
list to encourage students to participate in a demonstration against
Israel's "destructive actions" in Lebanon and Gaza outside the Israeli
consulate in San Francisco. UCSC students also report that some
professors insert into class lectures anti-Israel or anti-Zionist
materials unrelated to the course, as when a full class period in a course
on women's health activism was devoted to a lecture on the allegedly
ruthless treatment of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers.
At the departmental level, since 2001 more than a dozen events dealing
with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been sponsored by a number of
UCSC departments and research centers, and all of these have been biased
"Alternative Histories Within and Beyond Zionism": An Academic Conference
Perhaps the most egregious expression of academically-legitimized
anti-Zionism at UCSC was a conference entitled "Alternative Histories
Within and Beyond Zionism," which took place on 15 March 2007 with the
sponsorship of eight university departments and research units. Four
professors and a graduate student presented papers whose primary goals
were the deconstruction, delegitimization, and elimination of Zionism and
its realization in a Jewish state:
. David Theo Goldberg, director of the University of California
Humanities Research Institute, delivered a paper on "Racial
Palestinianization," in which he claimed that Israel has been from its
inception a racist entity, which has used its racist state policies to
protect the purity of the Jewish race and exclude and oppress the
Palestinians. He further suggested that such a state does not deserve to
exist and that, like the antiapartheid resistance in South Africa, suicide
bombings are a legitimate means for bringing about Israel's justly
. Judith Butler, professor of rhetoric and comparative literature at
UC Berkeley, presented a talk on "Hidden Histories of Post-Zionism," in
which she revived the pre-state Zionist critiques of Jews such as Hannah
Arendt and Martin Buber in order to argue that the Jewish state should be
replaced by a binational secular state. She claimed that besides
redressing the "longstanding issues of legal injustice and political
violence" perpetrated by Israel, binationalism had the added advantage of
being able "to subject nationalism to a deconstruction" and in this way
defeat Zionism on the battlefield of ideas rather than through Israel's
. Hilton Obenzinger, associate director for honors and advanced
writing at the Stanford Writing Center, presented a personal account of
his experiences as a Jewish anti-Zionist activist in a talk entitled
"Jewish Opposition to the Occupation since 1967: A Personal and Public
Journey." He portrayed Israel as an imperialist and colonial-settler state
in partnership with the United States, and encouraged members of the
audience to take responsibility for "ending this empire."
. Terri Ginsberg, adjunct professor at Purchase College, delivered a
paper on "Holocaust Film and Zionism: Exposing a Collaboration," arguing
that Holocaust films have facilitated and justified the propagation of a
racist Zionist ideology and its realization in a state that perpetrates
ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Palestinians. She called on
fellow members of the Left to confront the Holocaust-Zionist conspiracy
head-on, in order to "transform radically the ideology and institutional
structures of Zionism as we know it."
. Ryvka Bar Zohar, a graduate student at New York University,
presented a talk on "A History of Zionism and the Politics of Divestment,"
in which she argued that Zionism grew out of the attempt of East European
Jews to recover from the "shame of the Diaspora" and the Holocaust by
finding "pride in domination." She claimed that Zionism was a racist
doctrine that led to the creation of an apartheid state, and she used her
analysis to argue that the movement to divest from Israel was a justified
and effective strategy for mounting an opposition to the Jewish state.
Although advertised as an academic event, the conference violated
well-accepted norms of scholarship and university protocol. Most
conspicuously, rather than providing a forum for the presentation of
legitimate scholarly research in order to advance knowledge in the field
and educate participants and audience, the conference was an exercise in
political indoctrination, dominated by the promotion of an anti-Zionist
agenda and directed toward the goal of encouraging activism against the
Jewish state. Moreover, the speakers left little room for doubt about
their partisanship: most identified themselves in the course of their
talks as anti-Zionists, and two of them, Obenzinger and Ginsberg, openly
expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people.
In addition, most of the speakers were explicit about their political
motivation and advocacy efforts. The talks by Obenzinger and Bar Zohar
were wholly devoted to justifying and promoting their anti-Israel
political efforts; and Ginsberg said her goal was "to transform Zionism in
the better interest of social justice." It is hard to imagine that the
conference organizer, who herself had publicly acknowledged her opposition
to Zionism and Israel, was unaware of the fact that all of the speakers
she had selected had previously identified themselves as anti-Zionists and
were actively engaged in efforts to undermine the Jewish state.
Given the highly politicized nature of the conference, it is not
surprising that much of the discourse was tendentious and unscholarly. For
example, numerous unsubstantiated claims about the illegitimacy of Zionism
and Israel were made:
. All of the speakers expressed the idea that Zionism is racist in
its formulation and realization in a Jewish state.
. Goldberg, Obenzinger, Ginsberg, and Bar Zohar claimed that Zionism
was a brand of European colonialism and imperialism.
. Bar Zohar called Israel "an apartheid regime," and Goldberg called
Israel's actions "worse than apartheid."
. Butler, Obenzinger, and Bar Zohar claimed that Zionism is
discontinuous with Jewish historical experience and is therefore a
historically and religiously illegitimate ideology.
In addition, some of the speakers made claims that were either untrue or
gross misrepresentations of the facts:
. Goldberg, Ginsberg, and Bar Zohar accused Israel of ethnic
. Goldberg and Ginsberg accused Israel of genocidal intentions and
insinuated Israel's use of Nazi-like practice to achieve this end.
. Butler, Obenzinger, Ginsberg, and Bar Zohar stated or implied that
Zionists have engaged in a vicious, immoral campaign to silence all
criticism of Israel.
. Ginsberg claimed that Holocaust film scholar Alan Mintz "commits
the shanda [disgrace] of dedicating his book to Baruch Goldstein, the
right-wing Orthodox Jewish settler who, in 1994, murdered twenty-nine
Palestinians in cold blood while they were praying in a Hebron mosque." In
point of fact, the Baruch Goldstein to whom Mintz dedicated his book is
not the same individual whom Ginsberg describes in her comments.
Finally, much of the discourse at the conference was anti-Semitic
according to the U.S. State Department, which has adopted a broad working
definition of anti-Semitism that focuses on the commonalities of its
contemporary manifestations, including the targeting of the state of
Israel. Numerous statements made by the speakers, which challenged the
legitimacy of the Jewish state or called for its elimination; which
demonized Israel out of all proportion to reality; which compared Israel's
treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazis' treatment of the Jews; and
which accused Israel of exaggerating the Holocaust for immoral purposes,
correspond to the following examples given in the State Department's 2008
report on contemporary global anti-Semitism:
. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination
. Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not
expected ordemanded of any other democratic nation
. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the
. Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing
or exaggeratingthe Holocaust
Academic Freedom and Its Abuses
"I want to welcome everyone to what I consider to be a historic event on
our campus.This is a conference-the Alternative Histories Within and
Beyond Zionism-that I think exemplifies the highest ideals of academic
freedom: the ability to debate and discuss and have dialogue on
controversial issues. That, I think, is the highest ideal of academic
freedom. So I'm very happy to see all of you participating in this
Lisa Rofel, conference organizer
In her brief introductory remarks, the conference organizer indicated that
the presentations to follow were not only protected by academic freedom
but were in fact exemplars of the highest ideals of that freedom. However,
given the academically questionable, politically motivated, and
anti-Semitic quality of the five presentations, these remarks beg the
question: do the conference presentations constitute bona fide expressions
of academic freedom, or are they rather abuses of it?
The academic-freedom rules that governed the University of California from
1934 until 2003 conceived of competent scholarship as a dispassionate duty
hostile to attempts at ideological conversion: "Where it becomes
necessary...to consider political, social, or sectarian movements, they
are dissected and examined-not taught, and the conclusion left, with no
tipping of the scales, to the logic of the facts." Also included in this
older version of the rules is an assertion of university policy, by which
the university "assumes the right to prevent exploitation of its prestige
by unqualified persons or by those who would use it as a platform for
propaganda." Judged by the standards of competent scholarship and
university policy set forth in this statement, the conference
presentations analyzed above constitute clear abuses of academic freedom.
But things are far less clear when the conference is viewed through the
lens of the current academic-freedom rules. These were revised by legal
scholar Robert Post in 2003 at the request of the then UC president
Richard Atkinson, following the failure of both faculty and administrators
to apply the longstanding rules to a contentious UC Berkeley course, "The
Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance," whose course description
indicated that the instructor would engage in unabashedly pro-Palestinian
polemics. As a result of these revisions, all references to standards
of competent scholarship that existed in the previous document, including
the requirements of "dispassionate" scholarship, which eschews making
ideological converts, and a concern with objectivity and "the logic of the
facts," were removed. Similarly deleted was all language asserting
university policy proscribing the use of the university as "a platform for
Although the new statement acknowledges that academic freedom "requires
that teaching and scholarship be assessed by reference to the professional
standards that sustain the University's pursuit and achievement of
knowledge," these standards are no longer spelled out in the rules. And
while the new regulation mentions that "the exercise of academic freedom
entails correlative duties of professional care when teaching, conducting
research, or otherwise acting as a member of the faculty," the reader
must refer to another document, the Faculty Code of Conduct (APM-015),
in order to determine what these duties are, as well as to deduce how they
may serve to limit academic freedom.
However, by excising from the original rules those sections whose purpose
was to define the limits of academic freedom with respect to competent
scholarship and university policy, Post was not denying that academic
freedom had limits, but only shifting the responsibility for defining
those limits to other agencies within the university, namely, to faculty
and administration. How, then, do these bodies monitor academic freedom
and ensure that it is legitimately exercised and not abused?
The University's Two-Headed Monster
The governance of each campus of the University of California is shared
between faculty and administration. For its part, the faculty directly
controls all academic matters through its representative body, the
Academic Senate, whose responsibilities include the authorization,
approval, and supervision of all academic programming. Often, as in
the case of new-course approvals, academic programming is first vetted by
faculty at the departmental level and then sent to an Academic Senate
committee made up of faculty from across the university for final review
and approval. Both reviewing bodies must determine whether a given course
or program meets a variety of criteria, which in theory include "the norms
and standards of the profession."
In practice, however, these norms and standards have been selectively or
wholly ignored by both reviewing bodies. For example, even before the UC
academic-freedom rules were emended in 2003 to exclude standards of
scholarly competence, both the UC Berkeley English Department and the
Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction reviewed and approved
the remedial writing course, "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian
Resistance." Yet the course's egregiously tendentious, unscholarly, and
anti-Israel course description included the contention that the "brutal
Israeli military occupation of Palestine, an occupation that has been
ongoing since 1948, has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed
millions of Palestinian people," and it ended with the exhortation,
"Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections."
Moreover, although statements about standards of scholarly competence were
removed from the revised academic-freedom rules, the UC-wide Committee on
Academic Freedom, in a recent document entitled "Academic Freedom: Its
Privilege and Responsibility within the University of California," warns:
"Professors who fail to meet scholarly standards of competence or who
abuse their position to indoctrinate students cannot claim the protection
of academic freedom." Nevertheless, as noted previously, courses in
which faculty overtly promote anti-Zionist perspectives, and even
encourage students to engage in activism against the Jewish state, exist
at UCSC and on other UC campuses.
While the content of all academic programming falls within the purview of
the Academic Senate, ensuring that its implementation meets the standards
set by university policy is one of the responsibilities of the chancellor,
chief administrative officer of a UC campus, though it may be delegated to
a divisional dean. Based on a statute in the California State
Constitution, which provides that the University of California "shall be
entirely independent of all political and sectarian influence," there
are several university regulations that effectively limit the freedom of
faculty to promote a personal or political agenda while implementing
academic programming. These include:
Directive issued by Clark Kerr, president of the University of California,
September 1961: "University facilities and the name of the University
must not be used in ways which will involve the University as an
institution in thepolitical...and other controversial issues of the day."
The Policy on Course Content of the Regents of the University of
California, approved 19 June 1970 and amended 22 September 2005: "[The
Regents] are responsible to see that the University remain aloof from
politics and never function as an instrument for the advance of partisan
interest. Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used
for political indoctrination...constitutes misuse of the University as an
institution." (emphasis added)
Directive issued by Charles J. Hitch, president of the University of
California, 18 September 1970, "Restrictions on the Use of University
Resources and Facilities for Political Activities": "The name,
insignia, seal, or address of the University or any of its offices or
units...equipment, supplies, and services...shall not be used for or in
connection with political purposes or activities." (emphasis added)
Academic Personnel Policy (APM) 015-Faculty Code of Conduct: Types of
unacceptable conduct: "Unauthorized use of University resources or
facilities on a significant scale for personal, commercial, political, or
religious purposes." (emphasis added)
Although the word political, which occurs in each of the above policies
and directives, can be narrowly construed as limited to supporting or
opposing candidates or propositions in elections, a consideration of the
wording of the regulations and the context in which they were written
suggests that their authors intended a much more expansive interpretation.
President Kerr, for example, linked "political" with "other controversial
issues of the day" in his 1961 directive. And both the Regents policy
proscribing "political indoctrination" in the classroom and President
Hitch's directive prohibiting the use of university resources and
facilities for political activities were issued in 1970 in the wake of
campus protests against the Vietnam War that spilled into the classroom
and university-sponsored events.
In a letter that President Hitch wrote to all UC faculty just three weeks
before the Regents issued their Policy on Course Content, he noted that
faculty involvement with anti-Vietnam War activism had led many California
legislators to "believe that the basic academic purposes of our campuses
are being distorted and subverted, that academic credit is being given for
work that is not appropriate, and that the atmosphere of the campuses has
become politicized, with freedom for some views and not for others."
According to such an interpretation of "political," courses, academic
conferences, and other departmentally-sponsored events that permit
anti-Israel propagandizing are in clear violation of these university
regulations, and yet these violations are routinely ignored by
Failure of Efforts to Address the Problem
In response to the rising incidence of anti-Zionism in classrooms and at
departmentally-sponsored events at UCSC and on other UC campuses, a few
concerned faculty, including this author, established a local chapter of
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) in 2004. Since then, our
group has sought to document the problem, to use our evidence to raise the
awareness of the faculty, the administration, and the public, and to
encourage each of these university stakeholders to address the problem
with the means available to them.
Our earlier efforts within the university focused on influencing the
highest levels of UC governance, both administrative and faculty. In
September 2006, we presented an open letter with more than three thousand
signatories to the UC Regents, asking them to address the growing problem
of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism on UC campuses.
Although the Regents did not respond to us, in November 2006 we received a
letter from then-UC president Robert Dynes recommending that we discuss
our concerns with the then head of the UC Academic Senate, Professor John
B. Oakley, and in early 2007 we met with him to discuss the problem and
how the UC Academic Senate could address it.
We presented Professor Oakley with a report in which we documented
numerous examples of faculty-sponsored anti-Zionism on several UC
campuses. We argued that such faculty behavior violated UC policies,
eroded the core academic values of the university, and created a hostile
environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students, and we recommended that an
independent Academic Senate taskforce be established for examining the
problem. Professor Oakley refused to have the UC Academic Senate
consider our concerns, and instead suggested that we build our case on
individual UC campuses.
Following Professor Oakley's suggestion, we decided to focus our efforts
on one campus, UCSC, where we had documented the problem most extensively.
Furthermore, in analyzing the unresponsiveness of both the UC systemwide
administration and Academic Senate, we concluded that we would be most
effective if we formulated our concerns more precisely, addressing
academic matters to the UCSC Academic Senate and matters of university
policy to the campus administration.
Our first opportunity to test our two-pronged strategy at UCSC came soon
after, with the March 2007 anti-Zionist conference. A week before the
conference, we began a correspondence with the UCSC chancellor, in which
we argued that the event, sponsored by eight departments, was politically
motivated and directed and therefore violated several UC policies
proscribing university-sponsored political activities. Furthermore, we
urged the chancellor to address these violations.
We did not hear from the chancellor directly, but in May received a letter
from the UCSC counsel in which she contended that the conference did not
violate any university policy, in part because it was not "political"
according to her very narrow interpretation of that term, as limited to
supporting or opposing political candidates or ballot measures. She
concluded that the conference was a perfectly legitimate exercise of the
faculty's academic freedom and should not be censured in any way.
Despite subsequent letters and emails that we sent to the chancellor and
counsel demonstrating that the UC presidents and Regents who authored the
regulations prohibiting university-sponsored political activities intended
the word political to be understood quite broadly, and that even the
California Supreme Court had determined that the term political included
the espousal of any cause, we received no further response from either
We had a similar experience with another administrator, the dean of social
sciences, after we shared with him our concerns regarding a
community-studies course that we believed violated both state law and
university policy in promoting an anti-Israel political agenda and
encouraging students to engage in political activity. The course in
question, "Violence and Non-Violence in Social Change," was taught in
summer 2007 and its course goals included training students to be
nonviolent activists in "a current social conflict." Included in the
course's online syllabus were the instructor's biography, indicating that
she was an activist "with the nonviolent joint Palestinian-Israeli
campaign against the Apartheid Wall being built in Palestine," and a
reading list weighted with books and articles on the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict written from an unambiguously anti-Israel perspective.
Moreover, a student who had taken a previous community-studies class with
the same instructor reported that she had used her classroom as a platform
for politically biased and unscholarly instruction, and that she sought to
indoctrinate students to her anti-Israel perspective, stifle dissenting
opinions, and inappropriately encouraged students to engage in anti-Israel
activism. Before and during the more recent class, we sent letters to
the chair of the Community Studies Department explaining why we believed
there was a very good chance the instructor was using her classroom as a
platform to indoctrinate students rather than educate them, and we
requested that the department chair look into our concerns. When the
chair did not respond to our letters, we turned to the divisional dean,
who, after consultation with the department chair and campus counsel,
reported that no state laws or university policies had been violated.
Addressing the faculty's responsibility for ensuring the integrity of all
academic programming at the university, in May 2007 we submitted to the
Senate Executive Committee (SEC) of the Academic Senate a letter
documenting a pattern of political bias and advocacy-predominantly, though
not exclusively, anti-Zionist-in classrooms and at
departmentally-sponsored events since 2001. We argued that such bias and
advocacy were antithetical to the academic mission of the university and
urged the Academic Senate to investigate this problem.
The SEC agreed to look into our inquiry and sent it to the Committee on
Academic Freedom (CAF) for consideration. In May 2008, we received the CAF
report along with a letter indicating that the SEC fully endorsed it.
Unfortunately, the report ignored our primary concern and instead twisted
the committee's charge into an investigation of members of our faculty
group for alleged violations of academic freedom. This is made clear in a
letter sent by the chair of the CAF to eight UCSC professors soliciting
reports on their negative interactions with members of our group, which
was included as part of an appendix to the CAF report:
Our committee does not plan to investigate incidents of this allegedbias,
but seeks rather to determine if, connected to the complaintin any way,
including the activities of those making the complaint,there is anything
that threatens academic freedom on our campus.
Also included in the appendix are testimonies from four professors
accusing members of our group of infringing on their academic freedom.
Although the CAF report ultimately upholds "the right of SPME, on freedom
of speech grounds, to make their opinions and viewpoints heard," it is
apparent that including an investigation of our group in the report was
intended to both discredit us and stifle further inquiry into this matter
by members of our group or other faculty members.
The foregoing analysis has amply demonstrated that anti-Zionist and
anti-Semitic discourse has found academic legitimacy on at least one major
university campus and is allowed to flourish because faculty and
administrators are unwilling to address, or even acknowledge, these abuses
of academic freedom. Needless to say, university students are the true
victims of such discourse, whose one-sided, tendentious nature not only
limits their access to vital information about complex topics of global
importance but also violates their fundamental right to be educated and
not indoctrinated. In addition, for many Jewish students, the academic
legitimization of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has helped to foment an
atmosphere on campus, both inside and outside the classroom, that is
intellectually, emotionally, and at times even physically threatening.
On some campuses, the situation has become intolerable. For example, the
Orange County Taskforce, an independent body established to investigate
anti-Semitism at UC Irvine (UCI), recently determined that "acts of
anti-Semitism are real and well documented. Jewish students have been
harassed. Hate speech has been unrelenting." While much of the problem
at UCI is linked to the Muslim Student Union (MSU) and the
administration's unwillingness to condemn that group's anti-Semitic hate
speech, the taskforce also implicates faculty "who use their classrooms as
a forum for their anti-Israel agenda" in contributing to the hostile
campus environment: "The anti-Israel bias on the part of many in the
faculty provides a fertile environment for the MSU and its anti-Israel and
anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions."
Unfortunately, the situation on college campuses is not likely to improve
until faculty and administrators acknowledge the seriousness of the
problem and commit themselves to solving it. Given their intransigence
until now, it is clear that new strategies need to be found to achieve
this goal. In this regard, the Orange County Taskforce offers two
promising ideas. Among the recommendations in the taskforce's report are
. Students with a strong Jewish identity should consider enrolling
elsewhere unless and until tangible changes are made.
. The Jewish organizations and the Jewish benefactors should be
aware that their continued support of an anti-Semitic campus is, in the
end, counterproductive and works against their own interests.
Fear of losing their student and donor base, along with the stigma of
being labeled an anti-Semitic campus, may be just the impetus faculty and
administrators need to solve this alarming problem.
* * *
 For the purposes of this paper, "anti-Zionism" refers to an opposition
to Zionism, understood either in its classic sense as a belief in the
centrality of the land of Israel in Jewish historical and religious
experience, or in its modern manifestation as a movement to reestablish a
Jewish homeland in the historic land of Israel. Anti-Zionist criticism
denies the legitimacy of the Jewish state's founding ideology and, by
extension, the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself.
 Leila Beckwith, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, and Ilan Benjamin, "Faculty
Efforts to Combat Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Bias at the University of
California-Santa Cruz," in Academics Against Israel and the Jews, ed.
Manfred Gerstenfeld (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,
 Syllabus for Community Studies class "Violence and Non-Violence in
 Nadine Naber, "A Call for Consistency: Palestinian Resistance and
Radical US Women of Color," in Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology,
ed. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (Cambridge, MA: South End
Press, 2006), 75.
 See Appendix 1 in letter to UCSC Community Studies Department
 See Appendices 2 and 3 in letter to UCSC Senate Executive
 See Appendix 4 in ibid., 9-10.
 The following UCSC departments and research units sponsored the
conference "Alternative Histories Within and Beyond Zionism": Feminist
Studies, Anthropology, Community Studies, Sociology, Politics, History,
Institute for Humanities Research, and the Center for Global,
International and Regional Studies.
 All direct quotations from the conference presenters and organizer
were taken from a transcription of a recording of the event.
 For example, Goldberg, Butler, and conference organizer Lisa Rofel
all signed a University of California petition for Divestment from Israel,
and Obenzinger has been part of divestment campaigns at Stanford and with
the Presbyterian Church; Butler, Obenzinger, and Ginsberg all signed a
petition for U.S. Jewish/Muslim Solidarity calling for cutting off all
military and economic aid to Israel; Butler signed a petition boycotting
Israeli academics and research; Ginsberg is a member of Jews Against the
Occupation; and Bar Zohar helped organize "Israeli Apartheid Week" in New
 In a personal communication, Mintz wrote: "The Baruch Goldstein to
whom I dedicated my book was a rabbi and Hebrew school teacher who taught
me in Worcester, MA, in the late fifties and early sixties; Rabbi
Goldstein is now quite old. He is the first Holocaust survivor who told me
his personal story."
 United States Department of State, "Contemporary Global
Anti-Semitism: A Report Provided to the United States Congress," 2008,
 See Martin Trow, "Reflections on Proposed Changes in the University
Regulations Bearing on Academic Freedom in the University of California,"
NoIndoctrination.org, 24 July 2003, www.noindoctrination.org/uc_cas.shtml.
 See: www.ucop.edu/acadadv/acadpers/apm/apm-010.pdf
 See: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/manual/apm015.pdf.
 See: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/aboutuc/governance.html.
 Robert C. Post, "Academic Freedom and the 'Intifada Curriculum,'"
Academe Online, 89, May-June 2003.
 "Academic Freedom: Its Privilege and Responsibility Within the
University of California" was presented by the University Committee of
Academic Freedom to the UC Academic Council on 16 February 2007, and
distributed to UC campus Academic Senate offices.
 See: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/bylaws/so1006.html.
 Article IX, Section 9 of the California Constitution establishes the
constitutional autonomy of the University of California.
 From a letter by UC president Charles J. Hitch to all UC faculty,
discussing the actions taken by the California legislature to deny salary
increases for UC faculty, dated 29 May 1970.
 SPME Open Letter to the Governor of California, University of
California Board of
Regents, Board of Trustees of the California State Universities,
Chancellors of the University of California, and the Presidents of the
 Executive Summary of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Presentation to John B. Oakley, Chair, Academic Senate, University of
California, 29 January
 Our first letter to the chancellor, dated 9 March 2007, was sent
Our second letter, dated 20 March 2007, was sent the week after the
conference and includes a report of the
 Letter from UCSC counsel Carol Rossi, dated 30 April 2007, in
response to our letters about the conference:
 Letter from SPME at UCSC to the chancellor, in response to the UCSC
 Gay Law Students Assn. v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co., 595 P,2d 592, 610
 Beckwith, Rossman-Benjamin, and Benjamin, "Faculty Efforts."
 Naber, "Call for Consistency."
 Our first letter to the chair of the Community Studies Department
regarding the course was sent on 18 June 2007, approximately one week
before the course began:
Our second letter to the chair was sent on 2 July 2007, a few weeks into
 Our letter to the dean of social sciences, dated 4 September 2007, in
response to the
and the dean's response:
 Letter from SPME at UCSC to Senate Executive Committee of the UCSC
Academic Senate, dated 20 May 2007, regarding a pattern of political bias
and advocacy in academic
 CAF report in response to SPME
 Inquiry email from CAF chair to eight UCSC faculty regarding threats
to academic freedom from SPME, and four faculty
 In a letter dated 29 May 2008, we expressed several points of
dissatisfaction with both the CAF's report and the SEC's endorsement of
 Report of the Task Force on Anti-Semitism at the University of
California, Irvine, 2008,
 Ibid, 26.
 Ibid, 27-28.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is lecturer in Hebrew at the University of
California, Santa Cruz, and a Jewish educator who teaches widely in the
local Jewish community. She is cofounder of the UCSC chapter of Scholars
for Peace in the Middle East.
California college student: Terror is the New Communism
by Dennis Prager
The New Anti-Semitism
Claudia Rosett, 01.22.09, 12:00 AM ET
6. More Oslo success:
7. YOU JUST MIGHT BE AN ASSIMILATED JEWISH LIBERAL...
By: Steven Plaut
Friday, June 27 2003
Those who watch the Tennessee Country Music Network or
Comedy Central have come across comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Foxworthy's
shtick, based on an exaggerated hillbilly accent and mannerisms, revolves
around his making pointed observations followed by his standard joke
line, 'then you just might be a redneck.' (Example: 'If you have eight
motor vehicles in your yard and none work...then you just might be a
If Foxworthy were Jewish, he could do a similar shtick based on
the refrain (all together now) 'then you just might be an assimilated
Jewish liberal.' It would go something like this:
1. If you spend more time worrying about whales and dolphins than
about Jews, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
2. If you think that the essence of Jewish ethics is supporting the
political agenda of the left wing of the Democratic Party, then you just
might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
3. If you think Michael Lerner and Arthur Woodstock of Tikkun
magazine are really sensitive or deep thinkers, then you just might be an
assimilated Jewish liberal.
4. If you think the highest priority for your 'Temple' is to have a
good recycling program, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish
5. If you think Clinton was the most pro-Israel president ever, then
you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
6. If you think that American pressure on Israel to make peace is
necessary and valuable, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish
7. If you think Jews should support affirmative action programs,
even though they discriminate against Jews, then you just might be an
assimilated Jewish liberal.
8. If you disapprove of the Rev. Al Sharpton but think he has a
good point about Jews being racists, then you just might be an assimilated
9. If you oppose voucher programs for schools and school choice,
then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
10. If you think Anthony Lewis and Leonard Fein make a lot of
good points, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
11. If you approve of the Religious Action Center of the Reform
synagogue movement, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish
12. If you do not understand why America still needs a strong
military, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
13. If you still believe the US should have just let sanctions work
in Iraq, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
14. If you still think Nelson Mandela is a hero, then you just might
be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
15. If there's even the slightest possibility you might vote for Jesse
Jackson for any public office, you just might be an assimilated Jewish
16. If you like to complain about how tough people have it in
America, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
17. If you send your kids to a Quaker day school, then you just
might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
18. If you think all that talk about political correctness suppressing
free expression is a myth, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish
19. If you seriously doubt that the media are dominated by liberals,
then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
20. If you donate to the New Israel Fund, then you just might be an
assimilated Jewish liberal.
21. If you think the courts and police are riddled with institutional
racism, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
22. If you think Jews should practice zero-population growth
because the world is so crowded, then you just might be an assimilated
23. If you think the Israeli settlements are the main obstacle to
peace, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
24. If you think that Oslo was basically a sound idea that was
applied incorrectly, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
25. If you think Shimon Peres is basically a decent guy with the
right agenda, then you just might be an assimilated Jewish liberal.
Monday, January 26, 2009
1/26/2009 05:42:00 PM
1. QUOTE OF THE DAY . . . .
. . . . . There were 1.8 million people at the inauguration and
only 14 missed work.
The Assault on Academic Freedom by Tel Aviv University Leftist Faculty
To right - Zionists and other "criminals" not welcome in the School of Law
at Tel Aviv University
The anti-Zionist caucus of far-leftist professors at Tel Aviv University
has a new cause. It is the suppression of academic freedom in the
university's School of Law. The leftists are upset that the school is
considering allowing the woman colonel who heads the Israeli Defense
Forces international law division to lecture in its Law School. The
far-leftists are opposed to that. Basically they are opposed to anyone
teaching in the School of Law who is not a far-leftist anti-Zionist like
See this for the full report.
The new assault on academic freedom involves Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, a
lawyer in the military. One might think that leftist postureurs for
rigorous enforcement of "law" in warfare and in battles would be happy to
have such a person speaking in a School of Law. After all, unlike so many
of the denizens of the law school, she has been forced to deal with
real-world military dilemmas, involving complex tradeoffs and
difficulties, not just self-righteous pieties about human rights.
The campus leftists however claim she is herself a war criminal because
she gave the okay to bomb the "graduation ceremony" of a group of Hamas
terrorists pretending to be police cadets. As you may recall, one of the
most successful anti-terror operations in the recent Operation "Cast Lead"
was the strike against the "school" for the terrorist cadets. In addition,
the academic Fifth Column is angry because Sharvit-Baruch evidently thinks
that Jews are legally permitted to defend themselves against genocidal
terrorists, and that they may even use weapons in self-defense! They
decided that such a point of view must be muzzled!
According to the news report on this assault on academic freedom,
published in Haaretz:
'Leading the protest against Sharvit-Baruch's appointment is Professor
Chaim Ganz of the university's Minerva Center for Human Rights.
'Ganz wrote a letter to Professor Hanoch Dagan, the dean of the law
faculty, claiming that Sharvit-Baruch's interpretation of the law during
Israel's Gaza offensive allowed the army to act in ways that constitute
potential war crimes. Ganz also said that Sharvit-Baruch harms Israel's
'Dr. Anat Matar, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University's philosophy
department, said, "I was shocked to learn that half of the second-year law
students will learn the foundations of law from someone who helped justify
the killing of civilians, including hundreds of children."
'Dagan told Haaretz that he will not respond to the claims of the original
story, but said that the Faculty of Law makes every effort to expose its
students to a variety of opinions and encourages discussion, even about
questions that provoke disagreement.'
As background to this, it should be noted that the School of Law at Tel
Aviv University is already one of the most politicized and extremist
academic departments at the university, and is a bastion of far-leftist
anti-Israel extremist faculty members. Faculty members at the school
misuse their positions to engage in naked political advocacy, some of it
in conjunction with openly anti-Israel advocacy and activist
organizations. Leftist law faculty in Israel, including at Tel Aviv
University, were the main focus of a recent research paper and expose of
political bias in Israeli law schools, entitled "Pro-Bono for Palestine:
Scholarship, Law, Lawyers. European Government Funding, and the Internal
Legal Campaign against Israel." The report was produced by
www.isracampus.org.il and copies may be obtained from it (email:
email@example.com ). That expose was written by Dr. Seth Frantzman from
the Hebrew University. Chaim Ganz (or Gans) was one of those targeted in
the study, including for his support for the mutiny and insurrection of
Israeli soldiers refusing to serve because of political ideology. This is
the same Ganz now trying to prevent the colonel from teaching.
In particular, in his report Frantzman singles out the Minerva Center,
with which Ganz is associated, financed with money from Germany and the
EU, as a biased politicized pseudo-academic center, devoted mainly to
promoting a radical advocacy agenda.
Here are some citations from Frantzman:
The Minerva Center for Human Rights .... receives funding from the Minerva
Foundation in Germany, the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund (NIF), the
Konrad Adenauer foundation, the United States Institute for Peace, the
European Commission and the Faculty of law and the Truman Center at Hebrew
University. It partners with the NIF's Shatil 'training program' for NGOs,
which principally 'trains' NGOs that denounce Israel, and Bimkom, an
organization that primarily supports only Palestinians and Arabs. Through
its partnerships it provides 'human rights' training for Palestinian
teachers, mostly teaching them how to oppose Israel. It is currently
involved with Bimkom in a research project whose goal is to study the
Palestinian Arab village of Isawiyeh in East Jerusalem and help it prepare
a land use plan for "development." The Minerva Center, it should be
pointed out, has never advised a Jewish municipality, even the most
poverty-stricken ones like Kiryat Malachi, on planning and land use.
Minerva claims that it is involved with "diverse disciplines" and
"different sectors." The problem is that they are all far-leftist ones.
On the Minerva website listing those organizations benefiting from the
Minvera fellows' volunteer work one finds Adalah (an Arab "human rights"
group), the Public Committee Against Torture, ACRI, B'tselem, Hamoked, the
"Legal Center for the Arab Minority, and the Jerusalem-based Palestinian
Organization for Economic and Social rights. These organizations are not
exactly 'diverse' and they cater primarily to helping Palestinian Arabs
Clearly Minerva, an organization established in 1997 at the Hebrew and Tel
Aviv Universities, actively strives to influence the political opinions of
its interns through driving them to work with the most radical anti-Israel
voices in Israeli society.
Besides Ganz, the other faculty member organizing opposition to the
appointment of Col. Sharvit-Baruch is Anat Matar, who is not a lawyer or
legal studies faculty member at all. She teaches philosophy, sort of.
Matar is one of the most extremist and most openly anti-Israel faculty
members in Israel. She openly calls for Israel to be destroyed by means of
granting Palestinians a "right of return" to all Israeli territory. She
has been arrested for violently assaulting Israeli police and soldiers at
a protest against the building of Israel's security wall. She has a long
history of illegally promoting mutiny and insurrection among Israeli
These anti-Israel extremists are the people who are seeking to destroy
academic freedom at Tel Aviv University by creating an ideological litmus
test for hiring lecturers, an anti-Israel extremist one.
3. Israeli film-makers for the destruction of Israel:
4. JANUARY 19, 2009, 6:38 P.M. ET
London's reaction to the Gaza war shows it is giving up against jihad.
By MELANIE PHILLIPS | From today's Wall Street Journal Europe
In Britain, the war in Gaza has revealed the extent to which the media,
intelligentsia and political class have simply crumbled in the face of the
The U.K. is a major player in European and world politics and is America's
most significant strategic ally. Until now, it has been considered one of
Israel's firm supporters and a linchpin of the Western defense against the
world-wide Islamist onslaught. With the reaction to Gaza, however, that
reputation is no longer sustainable.
Years of demonizing Israel and appeasing Islamist extremism within Britain
have now coalesced, as a result of the media misrepresentation of the Gaza
war as an atrocity against civilians, in an unprecedented wave of hatred
against Israel and a sharp rise in attacks on British Jews.
Throughout the war, London's streets have witnessed a hallucinatory level
of violent and explicit support for Hamas from Muslims, members of the far
left and supposedly progressive individuals.
Night after night, Israel's embassy in well-to-do Kensington found itself
under violent siege. Demonstrators attempted to storm the building,
howling their support for the terrorist body whose genocidal intentions
toward Israel and the Jews necessarily includes killing every one of the
Certainly, there have been anti-Israel protests around the world. But in
Britain, not only have these been particularly violent but the authorities
have done nothing to stop such incitement of hatred.
The police told pro-Israel demonstrators on at least one occasion to put
away their Israel flags because they were "inflammatory." Yet officers
allowed some anti-Israel demonstrators to scream support for Hamas -- and
even to dress up as hook-nosed Jews pretending to drink the blood of
In general, the police have reacted passively to the violence. One recent
video clip captured the astonishing spectacle of Muslims stampeding
through London's West End hurling traffic cones and other missiles at the
police, all the time shrieking "Allahu akbar" and "cowards." The police
ran and stumbled backward rather than standing their ground and stopping
Not only has such violence barely been reported. There has also been no
acknowledgment of the explicitly Islamist nature of these demonstrations.
Keffiyeh-clad demonstrators prostrated themselves in prayer or shouted
"Allahu akbar" as they attacked Jewish-owned or -founded stores, such as
Starbucks and Tesco, on numerous occasions.
Instead, the political class has simply regurgitated Hamas propaganda. In
a debate in the House of Commons last week, one MP after another expressed
horror at Israel's supposed crimes against humanity in Gaza.
More serious still, Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell cited as fact the
Hamas claim that 300 children had been killed in Gaza, even though Israel
has given a much lower figure, and said the Israeli action was
"disproportionate" and the bombing was "indefensible and unacceptable."
Similarly, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, commenting after this weekend's
cease-fire that "too many innocent people" had been killed, made no
mention of Israel's strenuous attempts to minimize civilian casualties,
nor Hamas's responsibility for holding Gaza's civilians hostage.
In fact, the British government has effectively taken the view that Israel
should not be allowed to defend itself by military means against the Hamas
rockets that ministers have taken care to condemn.
From the second day of the war, Foreign Secretary David Miliband was
calling for an immediate cease-fire by both sides. Since Hamas would take
no notice, this in practice amounted to pressure upon Israel to stop
It was Britain which took the lead in framing the United Nations
resolution calling upon Israel to withdraw all its forces from Gaza while
making no mention whatever of Hamas. And it was Britain which also drew a
disquieting moral equivalence between Hamas terrorism and Israeli
Certainly, neither Mr. Miliband nor Mr. Brown -- a reputed supporter of
Israel -- can be unaware that it was Tony Blair's refusal to call for an
immediate cease-fire by Israel in the 2006 Lebanon war that finally led
his MPs, already enraged by his support for the war in Iraq, to force him
prematurely out of office.
But Britain's new coolness toward Israel is due to much more than this.
The government's failure to support Israel's war against Hamas as the
front line of the West's defense against the global Islamic jihad reflects
its failure in turn to acknowledge the nature of that world-wide
Last Thursday, Mr. Miliband wrote in the Guardian that there was no
single, unified Islamist threat but merely a set of various local
grievances, such as Kashmir or the Golan Heights. Such startling ignorance
of the goals and ideological antecedents of the Islamic jihad, from Hamas
to Hezbollah to Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba, is of a piece with the British
government's stubborn refusal to accept that the West is under assault
from a war of religion.
The government denies this fact because it does not want to face up to the
unpalatable realities of fighting such a war. So although "middle Britain"
is beginning to grasp that the Islamists in Gaza are the same as those
rampaging through the streets of London, ministers are intent on appeasing
Muslim extremism and intimidation both at home and abroad.
Accordingly, while Britain's security services have had significant
success in smashing Islamic terrorism plots, government strategy for
combating Islamist extremism rests upon seeking to mollify Britain's two
million or so Muslims by avoiding confrontation -- which means turning a
blind eye to threatening statements.
Recently, prominent British Muslims who advise ministers against Islamist
extremism wrote an open letter making the veiled threat that unless the
government condemned Israel there would be a rise in violence in Britain.
Ministers' openly stated fear that this will indeed happen as a result of
the war in Gaza makes them anxious to show Britain's Muslims that they
oppose Israel's actions. They don't understand that, by showing such
weakness in the face of intimidation, they are not just betraying their
Israeli ally but also undermining the Western defense against the jihad.
Across the spectrum, Britain's elites are terrified of dealing with
militant Islamism. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, in a pattern
which goes back to the foundational Christian blood libel against the
Jews, they are concealing their fearful inability to deal with Islamist
aggression by displacing the blame onto its Israeli victims instead.
Ms. Phillips is a columnist for the Daily Mail and author of "Londonistan"
(Encounter Books, 2005).
. 5. JANUARY 24, 2009
. Iran Is the Terrorist 'Mother Regime' OPINION: THE WEEKEND
Israel's would-be prime minister says he was mocked for warning of the
Gaza rocket threat.
By BRET STEPHENS
It's Sunday morning, and I've been trying for days to get an interview
with former -- and, if his poll numbers hold up through the Feb. 10
election, soon-to-be -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But
it's a political season, and there's a war on, and my calls aren't being
returned. With nothing better to do, I go downstairs to the hotel gym for
So who should be on the treadmill next to mine? Benjamin Netanyahu. We
chat for a few minutes, mostly about the cease-fire that the government of
outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has just declared, and I ask if he'd
be willing to sit for an interview later in the day. His answer is
something between a "maybe" and a "yes." As a nod to the customs of the
country, I take that as a definite yes, so much the better to press his
aides to arrange the meeting.
When the interview finally happens, in the grand reception hall of the old
King David Hotel, it's close to one o'clock in the morning on Monday. Mr.
Netanyahu has come from a long dinner with visiting European leaders --
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel among them -- and he is plainly exhausted,
joking that he can't be held responsible for anything he might say.
The crack is unnecessary. Rare for a leading Israeli political figure, the
59-year-old Mr. Netanyahu is a phenomenally articulate man -- Obama-esque,
one might even say -- not just in his native Hebrew, but also in the
unaccented English he acquired at a Philadelphia high school and later as
an architecture and management student at MIT. True to form, near-lapidary
sentences all but trip from his tongue. Such as:
"I don't think Israel can accept an Iranian terror base next to its major
cities any more than the United States could accept an al Qaeda base next
to New York City."
"If we accept the notion that terrorists will have immunity because as
they fire on civilians they hide behind civilians, then this tactic will
be legitimized and the terrorists will have their greatest victory."
"We grieve for every child, for every innocent civilian that's killed
either on our side or on the Palestinian side. The terrorists celebrate
such suffering, on our side because they openly say they want to kill us,
all of us, and on the Palestinian side because it helps them foster this
false symmetry, which is contrary to common decency and international
And so on. The immediate question, of course, is the Israeli government's
unilateral cease-fire, followed hours later by Hamas's declaration of a
conditional, one-week cease-fire. Was the war a win? A draw? Or did it
accomplish nothing at all -- thereby handing Hamas the "victory" it loudly
claims for itself?
When Mr. Olmert announced Israel's cease-fire late Saturday night, he
could hardly keep a grin off his face. In his estimate, along with that of
his senior military brass, Israel had scored a clear win: It had
humiliated Hamas militarily; it had caused a political rift within the
group; it had taken relatively few casualties of its own; it had focused
international attention on the problem of the arms smuggling beneath
Gaza's border with Egypt. Most important, in the eyes of the Olmert
government, it had avoided the trap of reoccupying Gaza -- the only means,
it believed, of finally getting rid of Hamas.
Ordinary Israelis, however, seem less confident in the result, and Mr.
Netanyahu gives voice to their caution. He is quick to applaud the
"brilliant" performance of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the
"perseverance and strength" of Israeli civilians under Hamas's years-long
But, he adds, "we have to make sure that the radicals do not perceive this
as a victory," and it remains far from clear that they would be wrong to
see it as one. "Notwithstanding the blows to the Hamas, it's still in
Gaza, it's still ruling Gaza, and the Philadelphi corridor [which runs
along Gaza's border with Egypt] is still porous, and . . . Hamas can
smuggle new rockets unless it's closed, to fire at Israel in the future."
So is Mr. Netanyahu's preference regime change in Gaza? "Well, that would
have been the optimal outcome," he says, adding that "the minimal outcome
would have been to seal Gaza" from the missiles and munitions being
smuggled into it. So far it's unclear that Israel has achieved even that:
A "Memorandum of Understanding" agreed to last week by Israel, the U.S.
and Egypt could be effective in stopping the flow of arms, but that's
assuming Cairo lives up to its responsibilities.
"One would hope they would actually do it," says Mr. Netanyahu, sounding
less than optimistic. Within days, his doubts are confirmed when the
Associated Press produces video footage of masked Palestinian smugglers
moving through once-again operational tunnels.
Rather than looking for solutions from Egypt, however, Mr. Netanyahu's
gaze is intently fixed on Iran, a subject that consumes at least half of
the interview. Iran is the "mother regime" both of Hamas, against which
Israel has just fought a war, as well as of Hezbollah, against which it
fought its last war in 2006. Together, he says, they are more than simply
fingers of Tehran's influence on the shores of the Mediterranean.
"The arming of Iran with nuclear weapons may portend an irreversible
process, because these regimes assume a kind of immortality," he says,
arguing that the threat of a nuclear Iran poses a much graver danger to
the world than the current economic crisis. "[This] will pose an
existential threat to Israel directly, but also could give a nuclear
umbrella to these terrorist bases."
How to stop that from happening? Mr. Netanyahu mentions that he has met
with Barack Obama both in Israel and Washington, and that the question of
Iran "loomed large in both conversations." I ask: Did Mr. Obama seem to
him appropriately sober-minded about the subject? "Very much so, very much
so," Mr. Netanyahu stresses. "He [Mr. Obama] spoke of his plans to engage
Iran in order to impress upon them that they have to stop the nuclear
program. What I said to him was, what counts is not the method but the
It's easy to believe that Mr. Netanyahu, of all people, must be wishing
President Obama well: If diplomacy with Iran fails and the U.S. does not
resort to military force, it would almost certainly fall to Mr. Netanyahu
to decide whether Israel will go it alone in a strike. (In a separate
interview earlier that day, a senior military official assured me that a
successful strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is well within Israel's
On the other hand, a Prime Minister Netanyahu could easily tangle with the
Obama administration, particularly if it makes a big push -- as it looks
like it might with the appointment of former Senate Majority Leader George
Mitchell as the new special envoy to the region -- for the resumption of
comprehensive, "final status" peace negotiations. There's already a
history here: During his first term as prime minister from 1996 to 1999,
Mr. Netanyahu frequently clashed with the administration of the man whose
wife is now the secretary of state.
Mr. Netanyahu's own prescriptions for a settlement with the Palestinians
-- what he calls a "workable peace" -- differ markedly from the approaches
of the 1990s. He talks about "the development of capable law enforcement
and security capabilities" for the Palestinians, adding that the new
National Security Adviser Jim Jones had worked on the problem for the Bush
administration. He stresses the need for rapid economic development in the
West Bank, promising to remove "all sorts of impediments to economic
growth" faced by Palestinians.
As for the political front, Mr. Netanyahu promises a gradual, "bottom-up
process that will facilitate political solutions, not replace them."
"Most of the approaches to peace between Israel and the Palestinians," he
says, "have been directed at trying to resolve the most complex problems,
like refugees and Jerusalem, which is akin to building the pyramid from
the top down. It's much better to build it layer by layer, in a
deliberate, purposeful pattern that changes the reality for both
Palestinians and Israelis."
Whether this approach will work remains to be seen: Palestinian economic
development was also a priority in the 1990s, until it became clear that
billions in foreign aid were being siphoned off by corrupt Palestinian
officials, and after various joint economic projects with Israel were
But however Mr. Netanyahu's economic and security plans play out, he makes
it equally clear that he is prepared to go only so far to reach an
accommodation that will meet some of the current demands being made of
Israel -- not only by Palestinians, but by the Syrians, the Saudis, and
much of the rest of the "international community" as well. "We're not
going to redivide Jerusalem, or get off the Golan Heights, or go back to
the 1967 boundaries," he says. "We won't repeat the mistake our [political
opponents] made of unilateral retreats to merely vacate territory that is
then taken up by Hamas or Iran."
This brings Mr. Netanyahu to the political pitch he's making -- so far
successfully -- to Israelis ahead of next month's election. When elections
were held three years ago, bringing Mr. Olmert to power, "we [his Likud
Party] were mocked" for warning that Gaza would become Hamastan, and that
Hamastan would become a staging ground for missiles fired at major Israeli
cities such as Ashkelon and Ashdod.
"I think we've shown the ability to see the problems in advance," he says.
"Peace is purchased from strength. It's not purchased from weakness or
unilateral retreats. It just doesn't happen that way. That perhaps is the
greatest lesson that has been impressed on the mind of the Israeli public
in the last few years."
The polls seem to agree. As of Wednesday, an Israeli poll gives Likud a
30-seat plurality in the next Knesset, ahead by eight of Foreign Minister
Tzipi Livni's Kadima party. Well behind both of them is the left-leaning
Labor Party of Defense Minister Ehud Barak (at about 15 seats), which in
turn is running roughly even with Avigdor Lieberman's right-wing Yisrael
The dovish parties of yore, particularly Meretz, barely exist as political
entities anymore. Whether they'll ever be back will be a testament, one
way or another, to the kind of prime minister Mr. Netanyahu will be this
Mr. Stephens writes Global View, the Journal's foreign affairs column.
6. So the Pope is reinstating as bishop a Holocaust Denier.
British-born Bishop Richard Williamson, one of those Benedict is bringing
back into the fold, denies that the Nazi Holocaust ever happened:
You realize what this means? Why, the guy could probably now get tenure
at Ben Gurion University!