Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Friends I need your help. I have written a new Opera and I need you to help demand that the Metropolitan Opera in New York stage it. It is an opera about the lynching of black people in Alabama and Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan. The opera presents the moral ambiguity of the struggle for self-determination of the Klan members against the harsh and cruel behavior of the pickaninnies. The opera is careful not to pick sides and it presents both sides with musical delight. After the Klansters lynch the darkies, they take off their hoods and paint themselves as minstrel singers to show their common humanity with the dead. I am sure you agree that this is a must performance that the Metropolitan Opera needs to stage! Write the Opera chairman today!
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
1. The anti-Semitic Left is trying to argue that Israel should stop complaining about the kidnappings of the three children because, after all, look at all the poor Palestinians killed by Israel in its anti-terror operations. The "Palestinians" are promoting conspiracy theories that claim that Israel itself kidnapped the children so as to have an excuse to crack down on them. All of this brings to mind the Malmedy massacre, in which 84 American troops were captured during the Battle of the Bulge and massacred by German troops. Try to imagine how the US would have dealt back then with people who claimed that the US should stop complaining about the killings at Malmedy since, after all, think about how many German civilians, some of them innocent, were being massacred in Allied air bombings of German population centers. Finally, imagine how the US would have dealt with conspiracists saying that the US massacred its own troops at Malmedy. If you can imagine what the US would have done with such people in such circumstances, now you know what it is that Israel should be doing.
2. If it turns out that the kidnapped children were in fact snatched by terrorists released by the Israeli government in the "Shalit deal" or one of the other wholesale releases of murderers, will those responsible resign from politics permanently, wear a hair shirt and confine themselves to eating bread and water in a cave near the Dead Sea forever?
3. The dominant theory of environmentalism in the 21st century: When people become so wealthy that they are lacking nothing significant materially in the lives, when they take their material comfort for given, when they live in countries that are not at war and face no cataclysmic problems, when their major challenge in life is figuring out how to spend their leisure time, then they often start worrying about climate change.
4. This is an English translation of a facebook message in Hebrew that is going viral in Israel:
Oh Lord, my favorite singer was Arik Einstein and you took him away. Lord, my favorite comedian was Sefi Rivlin and you took him away also. My favorite producer was Assi Dayan and you took him away. My favorite actress was Hana Merom and you took her away. Lord, I just wanted to let you know that my favorite Knesset Member is Hanin Zoabi.....
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Alongside the agony regarding the kidnapping by the terrorists of three Israeli teenagers, two of them aged 16, one of those an American citizen, there is also emerging a wave of celebration of the kidnappings by ultra-leftist anti-Israel Jews. In the US, a number of Jewish anti-Semites have justified and celebrated the kidnappings. One in particular is "professor" Marc H. Ellis, who was the "Professor of Jewish Studies" at Baylor University before Baylor fired him. Ellis is a know-nothing Jewish-born Catholic-educated pseudo-academic who insists that the only real moral conclusion from the Holocaust is that Israel must be eliminated. His celebration of the kidnappings appears on the anti-Semitic junk blog Mondoweiss (http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/kidnapped.html ). Ellis by the way is employed these days at a 12th rate UN school in Costa Rico where he no doubt has convinced the rainforest tribesmen that he is an authority on Judaism.
Within Israel, a number of ultra-leftists have also emerged to celebrate and justify the kidnappings. Quite a few columnists at Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, have expressed such sentiments. In Haaretz, Avraham Burg, who was once speaker of the Knesset, published this piece (http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.599318), in which he said that Israel had "kidnapped" all of Palestinian society so there was nothing particularly noteworthy in Palestinians kidnapping Jewish children. Burg is active in J Street and Meretz these days. While Palestinians have been handing out candies and sweets to celebrate the kidnappings, it would not surprise me if we hear that Peace Now is similarly handing out candies to celebrate this wonderful blow against the occupiers.
The Arab fascist Knesset member Hanin Zoabi has of course been outspoken in expressing her joy at the kidnappings. She insists that kidnapping children is simply not terrorism at all, unlike writing anti-Arab graffiti on walls. Interestingly, quite a few Israeli leftists are backing Zoabi, defending not only her "right" to celebrate the kidnappings but also endorsing the content of what she says. The European-funded anti-Israel 972 Magazine web site is solidly pro-Hanin.
Among the leading figures endorsing Hanin's celebration of the kidnappings has been Orit Kamir. Her endorsement of Hanin Zoabi appears in Hebrew here: http://2nd-ops.com/orit/?p=65931 . She proclaims that Zoabi not only has the right to support the kidnappings but Kamir explicitly says she agrees with Zoabi. Who exactly is Kamir? Her story states volumes about the collapse of academic standards in Israel.
Kamir is a radical feminist "academic" who made headlines a few years back when she was denied tenure at the law school of the Hebrew University. She had gotten a law degree and worked as the legal rep for Israel's main feminizt lobby, the "Women's Caucus." She later did doctoral work on "stalking" and in "feminist law," whatever that is. She was offered a position at the law school at the Hebrew University. But in 2001 she was turned down for promotion and tenure due to a lack of serious bona fide academic publications.
Kamir decided to turn herself into a feminist martyr and started harassing the University in court. She filed a discrimination suit in an Israel labor court (these are special courts that are invariably hostile to employers). Kamir claimed she was turned down because of her feminist opinions. Yeah, sure. The law school at the Hebrew University is crawling with leftists and the politically correct, but the ones who advance in the system also publish academic articles. A lot of what Kamir has published consists of quack articles about movie actors and films. 24 out of 29 members of the law faculty filed a written petition with the University administration demanding that Kamir NOT be granted tenure or promoted, an event without precedent! The administration told the court that Kamir had a track record of personal acrimony with other faculty and with students.
After dragging along for two years, the labor court proposed a compromise, under which Kamir could continue working at the Hebrew University but without tenure, for a period of 6 years. The Hebrew University administration caved and signed. She was allowed to stay on in one of the worst incidents of affirmative action in Israeli academia. In 2009 she was finally dismissed from the Hebrew University altogether.
Since then she has held minor positions at other institutions and evidently these days she is employed by the "Shimon Peres Academic Center," a pseudo-college. She also has gotten funding from the New Israel Fund to promote feminizt agendas. To her credit, she did speak out against instances of sexual harassment of students by faculty members at the Hebrew University. The web lists a course she still offers at the Hebrew University outside the law school in the "multidisciplinary department," whatever that is.
Kamir is the new defender of Hanin Zoabi and the rights of terrorists to kidnap Jewish children.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
The Israeli government has revealed that there were dozens of failed attempts by Palestinian terrorists to kidnap Jews in the past three years. After each of these, the Israeli government did absolutely nothing. It preferred to keep betting on luck, and ignore the law of large numbers in statistics. That law says that it is only a matter of time until one such attempt will succeed. And the government was completely unprepared for one such success.
Had Israel assassinated 300 Hamas members after every previous unsuccessful kidnapping attempt, the kidnapping of the three children this past weekend would not have occurred. Had Israel grabbed the immediate family members of Hamas leaders and held them in internment, the kidnapping would not have occurred.
Instead, Netanyahu and his predecessors preferred top reward the terrorists by releasing thousands of jailed murderers. Not only to buy back kidnapped hostages but also to buy back the bodies of murdered soldiers, to buy back a drug smuggler held in Lebanon, and basically to buy Kodak moments in which Israeli politicians could posture for the cameras with the heads of the "Palestinian Authority." It was all part of the grand Oslo game of pursuing peace by make-pretending that war does not exist. The terrorists had every motivation to kidnap more Jews. When soldier Nachshon Wachsmann was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in 1994, in a village whose residents pelted with rocks soldiers attempting to free him, the village was not bulldozed. Its residents were not deported to Jordan. Rabin was too busy appeasing the terrorists in the name of peace.
The "moderate" "peace partners" of the Fatah have published a cartoon mocking the three kidnapped children, representing them as mice. The "peace partners" throughout the areas under the control of the "Palestinians" are celebrating the kidnappings, passing out sweets and candies. Israel has not responded by passing out napalm. I have no doubt that many on the Israeli Radical Left, starting with "Peace Now," are also passing out sweets in celebration of this blow against "occupation." Leftist professor Moshe Zimmerman from the Hebrew University has long claimed that "settler" children are Nazis, and Prof. Zeev Sternhell from the Hebrew University has urged the terrorists to attack and murder "settlers." They have not been fired.
For years Netanyahu cowered and capitulated, removing all the security checkpoints around the West Bank. The anti-Israel Left claimed they were "oppressive." After all, they inconvenienced "Palestinians." So when the children were kidnapped, there were no inconvenient security checkpoints to stop or apprehend the kidnappers. Netanyahu put the agenda of the anti-Israel Machsom Watch communists ahead of that of parents of Jewish children.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Hebrew University and Van Leer Institute - Amos Goldberg (Dept of Holocaust Studies) discovers a Moral Equivalent to the Holocaust.
Goldberg promotes the 'Nakba' as the equivalent of the Holocaust in an alarming trend that starts once he joined the semi-Marxist Van Leer Institute.
Goldberg's PhD dissertation concentrated on diary writing by victims during the Holocaust. But since joining Van Leer he has devoted much of his energies and attention to the idea that Israel should give "equal recognition" to the "Nakba," the supposed "catastrophe" that befell Arabs when they failed in their attempt in 1948-9 to conduct genocidal ethnic cleansing of Jews in Israel.
"Nakba" today sums up the Palestinian narrative about the "tragedy" of the founding of Israel. Goldberg writes widely about the need to convert Israel into a Rwanda-style bi-national state. Goldberg is involved with Zochrot("Remembering"), an ultra-anti-Israel leftist NGO seeking to removing Jewish names from towns and villages in Israel and "restoring" their Arab identities. It isbasically an Erase-Israel group. In other words, Zochrot seeks to undermine Jewish sovereignty and promote the idea of the Nakba, as well as the "right of return" of Palestinian "refugees" to Israel, destroying it demographically from within… He today insists it is important to give equal footing to Arab "suffering" and to the "narrative" that asserts they underwent a catastrophe because Israel won the war against it in 1948-9. Goldberg's writings constantly compare the Holocaust with the "Nakba."
Quoting Goldberg in an abstract:
"This article develops a theoretical framework for shared and inclusive Jewish and Palestinian deliberation on the memories of the Holocaust and the Nakba. It argues that a joint Arab-Jewish public deliberation on the traumatic memories of these two events is not only possible, however challenging and disruptive it may be, but also fundamental for producing an egalitarian and inclusive ethics of bi-nationalism in Israel/Palestine… The figure of the refugee, constitutive of Palestinian and Jewish histories and identities, we suggest, serves as a herald of this binational and disruptive ethics. We conclude that 'empathic unsettlement' also has a productive and transformative potential which gives further (however partial and initial) meaning, shape and content to the ethics and democratic politics of bi-nationalism heralded by the refugee."
Hebrew University's Amos Goldberg (Holocaust Studies) discovers a Moral Equivalent to the Holocaust. Guess who the Analogue to the Stormtroopers is!
By Lee Kaplan. www.isracampus.org.il
Amos Goldberg teaches and researches "Holocaust Studies" as a senior lecturer at Hebrew University. He has a respectable curriculum vitae in studying the Holocaust. But there is an interesting trend in his career, which seems to have begun once he established ties with the semi-Marxist Van Leer Institute.
The Van Leer Institute is a non-university think tank that is invariably far-leftist and Marxist. Among its leading associates have been people like Yehouda Shenhav, a Tel Aviv University anti-Zionist communist sociologist. Van Leer sponsors the only openly-Marxist pseudo-academic "journal" in Israel, "Theory and Criticism." Van Leer was involved with the infamous graduate thesis by Tal Nitzan that maintained that IDF soldiers do not rape Arab women because they are so racist. Nitzan, a translator at Van Leer, was even given an award for this "thesis" by Van Leer. Just why is a Holocaust researcher like Goldberg tying himself to the same group?
Goldberg spent his early years even working at Yad Vashem. Goldberg's PhD dissertation concentrated on diary writing by victims during the Holocaust. But since joining Van Leer he has devoted much of his energies and attention to the idea that Israel should give "equal recognition" to the "Nakba," the supposed "catastrophe" that befell Arabs when they failed in their attempt in 1948-9 to conduct genocidal ethnic cleansing of Jews in Israel.
"Nakba" today sums up the Palestinian narrative about the "tragedy" of the founding of Israel. Goldberg writes widely about the need to convert Israel into a Rwanda-style bi-national state. Goldberg isinvolved with Zochrot ("Remembering"), an ultra-anti-Israel leftist NGO seeking to removing Jewish names from towns and villages in Israel and "restoring" their Arab identities. It is basically an Erase-Israel group. In other words, Zochrot seeks to undermine Jewish sovereignty and promote the idea of the Nakba, as well as the "right of return" of Palestinian "refugees" to Israel, destroying it demographically from within. Zochrot is funded entirely from outside Israel, primarily by the EU and the New Israel Fund. It recently lost funding from a German source because it is so openly anti-Israel. It is particularly hostile to the Jewish National Fund because it has a history of purchasing lands from Arabs and converts them into Israeli public and private lands.
Goldberg spent a year at Cornell in the US under a mentor, Dominic LeCapra, professor of intellectual history in the, School of Theory and Criticism. Theory and Criticism is a euphemism for Marxism. While there he also studied the philosophical darlings of the anti-Semitic left, especially in Israel such as the French critical scholars Michel Foucault, deconstructionist Jaques "Words do not Mean anything and There is no Truth" Derrida or Jean Leoytard. LeCapra denies the uniqueness of the Holocaust - either in the moral sense or as a case of murder on a vast industrial scale, and accuses those who assert the uniqueness of Jewish suffering. Goldberg seems to have joined their bandwagon. He today insists it is important to give equal footing to Arab "suffering" and to the "narrative" that asserts they underwent a catastrophe because Israel won the war against it in 1948-9. Goldberg's writings constantly compare the Holocaust with the "Nakba."
Quoting Goldberg in an abstract:
"This article develops a theoretical framework for shared and inclusive Jewish and Palestinian deliberation on the memories of the Holocaust and the Nakba. It argues that a joint Arab-Jewish public deliberation on the traumatic memories of these two events is not only possible, however challenging and disruptive it may be, but also fundamental for producing an egalitarian and inclusive ethics of bi-nationalism in Israel/Palestine. In order to develop this conceptual framework, we first present some examples, most notably Elias Khoury's epic novel Gate of the Sun (Bab al-Shams), which bring the memories of the Holocaust and the Nakba together in a fashion that disrupts the dominant, antagonistic and exclusionary Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. We then interpret Dominick LaCapra's notion of 'empathic unsettlement', which transforms 'otherness' from a problem to be disposed of into a moral and emotional challenge, as a political concept that best captures and explains the disruptive potential of a joint deliberation on these traumatic events. The figure of the refugee, constitutive of Palestinian and Jewish histories and identities, we suggest, serves as a herald of this binational and disruptive ethics. We conclude that 'empathic unsettlement' also has a productive and transformative potential which gives further (however partial and initial) meaning, shape and content to the ethics and democratic politics of bi-nationalism heralded by the refugee."
Of course had the Arabs succeeded in 1948 to drive the Jews into the sea, as they intended, there would have been another Holocaust for Goldberg to study, had he himself managed to survive it.
Goldberg uses the touchy-feely term of "otherness" to describe his equating the Holocaust and Arab propaganda rants about a catastrophe or Nakba among the Arab-Israeli population. Here he explains why he writes as he does:
"Firstly, the Holocaust and the Nakba are defining events in the political consciousness and collective identity of the two increasingly intertwined peoples, and both generate a dominant collective awareness that incorporates elements of victimhood. Thus, in Arab-Jewish debates and conversations it has become very hard to address one without mentioning the other.
'Secondly, the two events are historically related. It is beyond the scope of this article to fully discuss the exact ways in which this is the case, but it is clear that the events of 1947–48 in Palestine/Israel—namely, the establishment of the State of Israel and the Palestinian Nakba—were in various direct and indirect ways strongly influenced by the events in Europe between 1933 and 1945. They have emerged as inseparable in light of the seeming intractability of the conflict.
'Thirdly, the "ethics of catastrophe", for which the Holocaust serves as its major trope and symbol, is mainly premised on the 'rejection of the metaphysics of comprehension'. Therefore, while "the metaphysics of comprehension" demands and emphasizes closure, consensus and unity, the 'ethics of catastrophe' insists on acknowledging the constitutive yet disruptive role of various forms of "otherness" in the social and political domains. The mainstream and endorsed national narratives of the Holocaust and the Nakba largely operate according to 'the metaphysics of comprehension' rather than the "ethics of catastrophe". Stated differently, they produce and reinforce total comprehension and essentialist identities that oppress the disruptive 'otherness'. One way of restoring the critical and ethical force and meaning of these two catastrophic events, we argue, is by discussing them together in a disruptive fashion.
'Fourthly, and intimately linked to the previous point, these two "foundational pasts" are deeply exclusionary and conflicting in current dominant Jewish and Palestinian identity politics. They are often used to demonize the other side and establish a complete self-justification. Hence, they further widen the gap between the two peoples and disable the possibilities of conducive Jewish-Arab discussion on the question of Israel/Palestine. The unavoidable inseparability and interdependence of Arab and Jew means that productive engagement between the two memories, histories and identities has become both inevitable and timely. This productive engagement, we argue, produces a conceptual frame within which these two mutually and radically exclusionary traumatic memories can become politically and ethically transformative in establishing a common, even if minimal, binational 'we' and ethics."
Goldberg does acknowledge that the Holocaust was far worse, bloodier and vicious than the "Nakba" (how nice of him!), but then he would have us believe the Arabs acknowledge this in their discourse. Show us where!
One has only to read his political writings in support of the likes of the ISM and Anarchists Against the Wall. He writes of Jewish attempts and the "Judaization of Jerusalem," in referring to the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, where a twenty-year long lawsuit ultimately found that Jewish plaintiffs had their homes stolen by Arabs in 1948:
"Saleh Diab, depicted in this photo, is one of the leading activists in the joint Palestinian-Jewish struggle against the Judaization of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. His family, originally from Jaffa, was expelled during the Nakba events of 1948. Together with some twenty-seven other families, they settled in Sheikh Jarrah in 1953. Following long juridical discussions in Israeli courts in which the alleged (prior to 1948) Jewish land owners claimed back their property in the neighborhood, some of these Palestinian families were recently evicted from their homes while others remain under this threat. The photo was taken in May 2013 during a joint Jewish and Palestinian demonstration against these processes. As Saleh noted, they deliberately chose the slogan (i.e. Nakba survivor) on his shirt because the word 'survivor' is automatically associated in Israeli as well as in American culture with Holocaust survivors. It seems that while the slogan implicitly acknowledges the catastrophic fate of the Jews, it also wishes to provoke a moral reaction to the Nakba."
He also uses the rhetoric of the Arabs. He refers to the security fence as the "separation barrier" (thank goodness he avoids saying the falsely coined "apartheid wall"), about an edifice that stopped 95% of the suicide bombings that have also killed so many Holocaust survivors in Arab attacks:
"Another interesting case is the Holocaust exhibition displayed on 27 January 2009 in the village of Na'alin—a village that has become the symbol for the Palestinians' struggle (supported by Israelis against Israel's construction of the separation wall in the West Bank). To mark the international Holocaust day of remembrance, the village, whose inhabitants suffer severely from the Israeli military oppressive measures against their ongoing struggle against the wall, erected a display of photographs purchased from Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and invited the public to learn more about the persecution of the Jews (see Figure 2).52 This exhibition was initiated by Khaled Kasab Mahameed, a lawyer from Nazareth, who mounted a small Holocaust exhibition on the ground floor of his home. He dedicated many years of his life to promoting historical knowledge of the Holocaust among Palestinians. He believed that without understanding the Holocaust, the Palestinians could not really understand the Israeli Jewish society and politics, and therefore could never reach an agreement with them.
'The exhibition in Na'alin was indeed unsettling in two ways. On the one hand, and as the photo demonstrates, the Palestinian inhabitants who suffer tremendously because of their struggle against the wall were willing to confront the catastrophic history of their enemy. On the other hand, the sign in this exhibition stated: "Merkel, why should we Palestinians continue to pay the price for the Holocaust?". The message of this exhibition to Israeli Jews was: yes, we are willing, however hard and challenging it may be for us, to engage with your history but we do not abide by your narrative. "
Na'alin isn't that far from An-Najah University, which hosted an exhibition in praise of the Sbarro Pizza house bombing in Jerusalem, replete with simulated bloody limbs and other body parts of Jewish children. The woman responsible for the bombing is out free now, attending university in Turkey and proclaiming she has no regrets and would do it all over again. We wonder why she did not stay home and attend courses by Goldberg.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
There is an old joke that everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. Well, probably the most widely discussed but poorly understood subject in Israeli social science is ethnic inequality. The number of people with an opinion exceeds the number of people who have actually analyzed the data by several orders of magnitude.
As in so many things, too many commentators on the subject in Israel rely on "what everyone knows." Except most of "what everyone knows" is wrong.
Anyone interested in what the data actually show about ethnic inequality in Israel might find this interesting. Because it is long, I will not post the text here but leave it in your hands to open it if it interests you:
Middle East Quarterly
SUMMER 2014 • VOLUME XXI: NUMBER 3
The Myth of Ethnic Inequality in Israel