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)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Amid Oxford's Dreaming Spires, A New Gown In Town

To Oxford, the most illustrious English seat of learning of them all, a new student is bound, all the way from Gaza.

The  young woman in question is described thus by BBC reporter Jon Donnison:
"Rawan Yaghi is a bookish 19 year old who, appropriately for a student of literature, arrives to meet me in Gaza with a text tucked under her arm.
It is a well-thumbed copy of Catch 22, Joseph Heller's classic satirical novel on the absurdities of war; not an inappropriate choice for somebody who's spent her entire life amid one of the Middle East's most intractable conflicts.
But Rawan's life is about to take a different direction. Currently a student at Gaza's Islamic University, she has just won a scholarship to Oxford University to study linguistics and Italian...."
And  he quotes her as saying: 
"Most people think it's like a war zone here and that everyone here is really depressed and involved in politics.  But it's not always about war. It's also about families, friends and love. It's not only about the conflict with Israel."
However, as Hadar Sela has demonstrated over at BBCWatch, there's more to Ms Yaghi than Donnison's account is willing to reveal.

What the weasely (my adjective, not Ms Sela's) Donnison neglects to mention is that she's a political activist and blogger and (see here) contributor to the foul Israel-demonising website Mondoweiss, which is naturally cock-a-hoop at the news that Ms Yaghi will be coming to Oxford.

Ms Yaghi has received the Jesus College Junior Common Room Scholarship:

"In 2011, the students at Jesus College Oxford, headed by undergraduate, Emily Dreyfus, led an initiative to establish a full undergraduate scholarship for a student from a university in Gaza. Future scholars will be chosen from other regions where access to higher education is limited. Applications for the first scholar will open in September 2011 for courses beginning in 2012.
A significant portion of the costs of the Scholarship will be funded by the students themselves. In response to this pledge of student support, the University of Oxford will waive 60% of the tuition fees. Further external funding for the first scholar has been pledged by the Hoping Foundation, the Hani Qaddumi Scholarship Foundation, and the A.M. Qattan Foundation. Jesus College has also agreed to waive the College fee...."
I don't begrudge Ms Yaghi her opportunity to study at Oxford.  But what I find disturbing, yet oh-so-woefully-instructive, oh-so-typical of our times, is that it took tiny beleaguered Israel's defensive response to continuing Hamas terrorism towards Israeli civilians to rouse the student body out of its apathy towards poltical issues: not Darfur, not Sri Lanka, not abuses of human rights in Iran and Saudi Arabia, not oppression, slave-trading and women-trafficking in Burma, nor the subjugation of women in Afghanistan, Pakistan and whole swathes of the Middle East, not Iranian persecution of the Bahai, nor the Islamic persecution of Christians:
'Around the UK, thousands of students have occupied lecture theatres, offices and other buildings at more than 20 universities in sit-down protests. It seems that the spirit of 1968 has returned to the campus.
While it was the situation in Gaza that triggered this mass protest, the beginnings of political enthusiasm have already spread to other issues....
Beginning with a 24-hour occupation at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on 13 January, the sit-ins spread across the country. Now occupations have been held at the LSE, Essex, King's College London, Birmingham, Sussex, Warwick, Manchester Metropolitan, Oxford, Leeds, Cambridge, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford, Nottingham, Queen Mary, Manchester, Strathclyde, Newcastle, Kingston, Goldsmiths and Glasgow.
Among the demands of students are disinvestment in the arms trade; the promise to provide scholarships for Palestinian students; a pledge to send books and unused computers to Palestine; and to condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza....
Emily Dreyfus, a 21-year-old political activist in her third year of reading classics at Oxford, was one of around 80 students to occupy the historic Bodleian library building in the city and demand that the university issue a statement condemning the Gaza attacks and disinvest from the arms trade. She said: "I found Oxford politically very dead when I arrived, but it's completely different now. There seem to be more and more people talking about politics, which is so exciting. It's really been aided by the communication tools we've got, things like Facebook."....' [Emphasis added] Read more here


  1. Yaghi no doubt will be trotted out as the emblem for all UK universities to ban Israelis from setting foot on their campuses and then of course, Jews.

    1. I feel a great sense of despair when see what has become of the land of my birth.

    2. Yes, Shirlee - there's much hype about how the great Maggie Thatcher changed Britain, but Blair changed it too ...

  2. Am I to presume that Emily Dreyfus is Jewish?

    Or is it in name only?

    1. Dunno.
      Here's more:

    2. And here:

  3. Thanks for posting this up. Very nice information shared
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