Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 19 November 2010

Chanting the Chants That Europe wants to Hear – Israeli Academics who Demonise Their Own Country

“Thy destructors and destroyers shall come from amongst you “ warns Isaiah (49:17). And in recent years such would-be obliterators of the Jewish State have included not only far-left, often deracinated, Jews, but Israelis or ex-Israelis (yordim), many of whom teach in universities.

Interfering with academic freedom is rarely if ever a worthy undertaking. Stifling the free expression of opinion leads to the burning of books and to McCarthyist witch hunts, and is the hallmark of tyrannous dictatorships. Nevertheless, when some academics, in their classrooms and outside them, advocate harm to their own democratic nation state – for example in the form of crippling economic boycotts – it seems prudent to subject them to scrutiny. Similarly, when they call for that state to be dismantled altogether, it seems not unreasonable to suspect them of sailing close to the wind of treason.

In 2004, alarmed at the presence on campuses of Israeli academics calling for BDS, a non-profit watchdog organisation called Israel Academia Monitor (IAM) was founded, stating that "Israeli academic institutions have been misused in recent years for radical anti-Israeli and even anti-Semitic propagandizing, often by tenured radicals with embarrassing academic records and dubious research credentials." IAM aimed to "bring to light statements written by and about the academic extremists and university anti-Zionists...to expose their activities”.

Derided by a leftwing journalist in Ha’aretz last year as a "vigilante group of dangerous cranks”, IAM has this year participated in a campaign to persuade university Boards of Governors - particularly that of Tel Aviv University – a comparative hive of such activity, being arguably the most radical campus in Israel – to take action against "anti-Israeli" academics. It’s also supporting the Knesset Education Committee’s investigation into calls for BDS by Israeli academics.

IAM’s chairman is bluntly-spoken Dr Mordechai Kedar, from the Department of Arabic at Bar Ilan University, who has become something of a star of the airwaves, not least for a memorable interview he gave to Al Jazeera.

He’s also on record as saying:
“Those leftists act under academic freedom, and there is no greater vileness than this ...If they think that Israel is an apartheid state oppressing the Arabs, let them go to the place that they love....
All we do is expose to the public the hypocrisy of those whose actions are contemptible while sanctimoniously they adorn themselves as impartial humanitarians.
We do not call for their execution at the marketplace, nor do we have gallow trees. We do not demand that they get fired. That final conclusion is for the academic institution to make. When I draw a rector’s attention to the fact that a certain lecturer calls for a boycott of the institution that he works for and by doing so he harms the livelihood of his colleagues, the rector will summon that lecturer and will ask him why he is harming his colleagues. Anyway, who authorized all those academics, who call for a boycott of Israel, to harm their colleagues livelihood ?...
I would like them to behave honestly. If the state and its institutions commit apartheid, as they claim, then let them stand up and boycott the institutions that feed them.
.... What is going on behind the closed doors of appointment committees, where lecturers are getting their promotions is one of the big secrets. I would like to believe that before promoting someone, the institution considers his statements."
He’s convinced that some left wing academics are willing to betray Israel for the sake of career advancement.
 “Nowadays, there are anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist, and anti-Jewish tendencies in many departments of Israeli academia ...
These fellows chant the chants that the world wants to hear. The world nowadays, mostly in Europe, has neglected the issue of the nation-state. In academia, it is expressed by Israelis chanting the European chants. They have given up their ethnic and religious identity and were accepted into the academic inner circles. Academic promotion is based on your colleagues’ opinions about you and their reviews of your books.
Since there are no laboratories in humanities and social sciences, and they cannot prove theories by lab-experiments, the researcher is dependent on his colleagues to accept whatever he says. Therefore, they broadcast the chants that Europe wants to hear. Humanities academics are captured in their European colleagues ideology and they will sell the state history and the future for their personal promotion.
They use academic freedom as a pretext, and there is nothing more vile than that. For example, there is a certain researcher who found out that Israel is an apartheid state (i.e. the racial segregation policy practiced in South Africa until 1994). I have no problem with this provided he gives freedom of speech to those that prove him wrong. You see, in South Africa, black people were not allowed to live everywhere. There were buses, hospitals and schools for white people only. No such phenomena exist in the state of Israel."
And this no-holds-barred specialist on the Arab world has this warning for the West:
“Islam is a religion designated to replace all other religions and to abolish idolatry. Islam, according to its own point of view, is compatible to [sic] every culture, every people, every background and every person. From the Islamic point of view, peace is possible only when all accept the essence of Islam. Therefore, peace is principally impossible under the Islamic umbrella."

3 comments:

  1. He's got a good point about supra-national Europe versus Israel as a nation state, haven't heard it before

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  2. Yes, it's an interesting take!

    I especially love the apartheid poster I reproduce here - one of several by that great blogger Elder of Ziyon.

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  3. http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=7322

    Statement of Nobel Laureates on Academic BDS Actions Against Israeli Academics, Israeli Academic Institutions and Academic Centers and Institutes of Research and Training With Affiliations in Israel
    Believing that academic and cultural boycotts, divestments and sanctions in the academy are:

    * antithetical to principles of academic and scientific freedom,
    * antithetical to principles of freedom of expression and inquiry, and
    * may well constitute discrimination by virtue of national origin,

    We, the undersigned Nobel Laureates, appeal to students, faculty colleagues and university officials to defeat and denounce calls and campaigns for boycotting, divestment and sanctions against Israeli academics, academic institutions and university-based centers and institutes for training and research, affiliated with Israel.

    Furthermore, we encourage students, faculty colleagues and university officials to promote and provide opportunities for civil academic discourse where parties can engage in the search for resolution to conflicts and problems rather than serve as incubators for polemics, propaganda, incitement and further misunderstanding and mistrust.

    We, and many like us, have dedicated ourselves to improving the human condition by doing the often difficult and elusive work to understand complex and seemingly unsolvable phenomena. We believe that the university should serve as an open, tolerant and respectful, cooperative and collaborative community engaged in practices of resolving complex problems.

    ReplyDelete