The Case for Israel (Studies): It’s not hasbara. Honest.

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 108 Comments
ais
A notice for the upcoming Association for Israel Studies annual conference in Haifa.
(Image: Association for Israel Studies)

Introduction

In April 2011, I wrote a post for Mondoweiss on the role played by Israel studies in ‘rebranding’ and fighting ‘delegitimization’. My sources included the Reut Institute, and the think tank subsequently responded to my piece – which I then dealt with in a further post. I was thus interested to read a new briefing by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) on the same topic, published last month under the title: “Universities rebranding Israel’s image: Hasbara posts in Israel Studies threaten academic integrity”. With the Association for Israel Studies (AIS) annual meeting scheduled to take place in Haifa next week, it seems a good opportunity to revisit the topic.

A call to action

The visibility of Israel studies as a discipline is not new. The AIS was founded in 1985 “by scholars fed up with bias against Israel in the Middle East Studies Association”, origins which are important for understanding more recent developments. According to the authors of ‘Jewish Polity and American Civil Society’: “The Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the established professional association of Middle East scholars, also had a well-founded anti-Israel reputation. The Israel Studies Association was formed to provide an alternative forum for Middle Eastern scholars.”

But it has been particularly in the last decade that a desire to tackle Israel’s deteriorating international image has spurred concerned donors and faculty members to establish new initiatives. A key moment came in 2003, when the then-President of Brandeis University Jehuda Reinharz issued a “Call to Action” in which he lamented “the rise of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel sentiment on some university campuses”, including “demands for divestment of university funds from companies doing business with Israel and a boycott of Israeli scholars”.

Reinharz called for “an ambitious agenda that would enable the American Jewish community to counter the intentional misinformation and demonization of Israel and Zionist history”, proposing “the creation of first-rate, scholarly Middle East centers around the country” to “bring balance to the study of the Middle East on college campuses”. According to New York University’s Bethamie Horowitz, Reinharz’ report “created the rationale for the founding of the Israel Studies Center at Brandeis”.

By 2005, an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education described how “in recent years [American Jewish philanthropists] have sought to counter what they see as a pro-Palestinian propagandist view of Israel by endowing chairs, centers, and programs in Israel studies”. Indeed, it was “the perception of the Arab-Israeli conflict on college campuses that led to the creation of [Prof. Ilan] Troen’s chair at Brandeis”. The same year, Troen – a key figure in Israel studies – pointed to a decline in Israel’s image going back to the 1990s, and thus “explained there arose a need to create academic programs that were neither extremely politicized against Israel nor exercises in pro-Israel public relations.”

As a 2011 Ha’aretz report put it, “several Jewish donors have taken it upon themselves to address the problem [of the deterioration in Israel’s image on campuses]” by “establishing research institutes and Israel studies programs”. A substantial document published by the Israel Campus Coalition (ICC) in 2007 called ‘In Search of Israel Studies’, made the same point: “frequent complaints of hostility toward Israel within [Middle East study departments]… has stimulated the creation of Israel studies programs”.

That causal link between concern about increasing Palestine solidarity and ‘anti-Israel’ sentiment and the establishment of Israel Studies initiatives is made by those involved. The philanthropist behind a $1.5 million gift that established the University of Maryland’s chair in Israel studies said in 2007 that “he underwrote the new position in an effort to counteract what he characterized as a proliferation of ‘warped’ images regarding the Jewish state”. Likewise, the Israel  studies centre at the University of California was set up after an approach to the university by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, whose COO Martin Blank explained:

The American academic institutions have a large Muslim student population. And these students don’t tend to have fond feelings toward Israel…Berkeley and UCLA, tend to have politically liberal faculties. And with that liberalism, as stupid as it might sound, comes substantial dislike of the State of Israel, because of its ‘terrible treatment of the Palestinians’.

In 2010, Dr. Yoel Rapport, from Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, praised what he called “an institutionalized Jewish response to the Arab takeover here”, and went on to speak “of the growing academic interest in Israel as a response to smear attempts made on campuses against the Jewish state”. Last year, Ronald W. Zweig, professor of Israel studies at New York University’s Taub  Center for Israel Studies, told The Jerusalem Post that “at least some of the motivation behind the establishment of these centers is the desire to counter the ‘hostile atmosphere about Israel’ on various campuses”.

One significant initiative has been the Visiting Israeli Professors (VIP) program, a partnership between The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). As well as placing scholars at U.S. universities, Schusterman also provides “scholarships for graduate students to pursue Israel-related studies”.

In a Brandeis study called ‘Expanding the Study of Israel on Campus’, the advocacy context for the VIP programme is clear. One of AICE’s “immediate goals” is to “enable these VIPs to take an active role in the public arena, portraying on and off campus an honest picture of the Zionist enterprise”. One of the intended “longer-term outcomes”, meanwhile, is “to motivate host institutions to continue to expand the presentation of Israel Studies in an academically sound fashion and help them become places where balanced and reasoned discussion of Israel can take place”.

Even AIPAC have taken note. A little-known program called ‘iVest’ – “AIPAC’s Initiative to Reposition The American Campus as an Asset to the Pro-Israel Movement” – is “designed to create permanent ties to Israel through tangible multiple connections”, including by “increasing Israel studies opportunities on campus”. Although there is not much about iVest online, the wording in this document implies that AIPAC is itself involved in promoting Israel studies.

Operation Cast Lead and BDS

The massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008-2009 prompted a new wave of Palestine solidarity on campuses worldwide – and for some, Israel studies was part of the counter-attack. In February 2009, Prof. Neil Netanel – the director of UCLA’s Israel studies program – affirmed that the “antidote” to phenomena like a “symposium on ‘Human Rights and Gaza’” is “already in place right on campus”. The aforementioned report on AICE’s VIP initiative notes that while the work began in 2005-06, “the reasons for establishing the program and continuing its work remain salient”, since “in 2008-09, campuses experienced a resurgence of anti-Israel propaganda activities (Israeli apartheid walls, etc.) stirred by the war in Gaza”.

Meanwhile, as the campaign for the academic boycott of Israel has grown, pro-Israel advocates have sought to harness Israel studies as a means of fighting back. As Troen told far-right Israeli news site Arutz Sheva in 2004:

Clearly there’s a political reason why this is happening now. There is a recognition of the need to understand Israel better, of the growing hostility towards Israel in  U.S. academy, the movements on campuses for boycott and divestiture, accusations that it is an illegitimate apartheid society…

Two years later, Troen made the link between “the academic boycott” and “the willingness of donors to give funds toward this cause”, in a Ha’aretz piece titled ‘A different way to fight academic boycotts’ and subtitled: “Jewish donors establish  Israel studies centers to improve country’s image”.

An example from the UK is the Leone Ginzburg Research Fellowship in Israeli Law, Politics and Society at Oxford University. According to its first holder, Emanuele Ottolenghi (a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies), it was in 2002, at “a difficult time for Israel in the world of academe…with the launch of an academic boycott against Israeli universities”, that “an anonymous donor decided to support Israel studies” at Oxford. One of the “conditions” was “a series of public lectures…whose prime purpose was to shed light on the current conflict and put Israel’s predicament into the right context”.

Israel studies also figures in the strategies of anti-boycott specific campaigns (and note that the AIS conference in Haifa next week features a panel on “Exploring Effective Responses to Calls for Academic Boycotts of Israel”). At an Israel Foreign Ministry organised conference in 2009, a BDS-focused working group – co-chaired by Mitchell Bard, signatory to the introduction to ICC’s ‘In Search of Israel Studies’ – produced recommendations under the heading “Vision – 5 Year Plan”. This included “encouraging more Israel Studies on campus as part of a broader rebranding”, whileideas for “Going on Offense” included “Developing Israel Studies as an academic discipline”.

Smart hasbara: rebranding and teaching complexity

In my post last year, I highlighted the Reut Institute’s recommendations for Israel advocacy, and the significance they attached to Israel studies as part of rebranding.

in the context of Reut’s current work on how to fight the delegitimacy of Israel, the suggestion to create chairs of Israel studies in leading UK universities could act as an important component of Israel’s strategy.

promoting Israel studies on campus and ‘branding Israel’—a strategy aimed at associating Israel with positive characteristics unrelated to the Arab-Israeli conflict—are central to improving Israel’s international standing and countering delegitimacy

This idea to “brand Israel away from its image as purely a place of conflict” by “promot[ing] Israel Studies Departments at universities” is part a smarter strategy  whereby it is not frowned upon –indeed it is encouraged – to discuss Israel’s ‘flaws’. As Antony Lerman put it in a post on Israel studies at SOAS and the Pears Institute, it is “a soft advocacy philosophy, one that incorporates a degree of critical scrutiny of Israel’s past and present”. In this regard, there is an instructive section of the hasbara guide Israel: A Playbook for Hillel, which under the section “Partnering with Faculty and Academic Departments”, notes:

Dynamic speakers who are regarded as being part of the center-center [sic] left Zionist movement in Israel can be very successful in situations like this, particularly when the class is diverse and the Professor is towards the political left. Clearly, these speakers may be critical of government’s policy while in Israel, but when speaking abroad clearly understand that their mandate and mission is to be identifiably pro-Israel. We must be extremely careful in our selection of speakers.

This approach is widely reflected: from the donor behind the UCLA Israel studies program who believes “the solutions don’t lie in these [campus advocacy] organizations”, to London’s Prof. Colin Shindler, author of an apologia for Zionism, who says: “I teach complexity”. In the David Project’s recent reappraisal of hasbara strategy on campus, they emphasised less crude, longer term aims like “training more professors to teach about Israel, organizing pro-Israel faculty on campuses and endowing chairs of Israel studies at key universities”.

Thus when Troen told a reporter in 2005 that “We don’t do hasbara”, the denial contained truth, but also a diversion. More revealing (presumably unintentionally) was remarks by an adviser to a 2009 Israel studies seminar in China who – while claiming it was an “accidental strategy” to pick more liberal academics – put it like this: “We didn’t want the seminar to be too much hasbara” (my emphasis).

Normalizing apartheid

In a piece on Ynet in 2010, Troen commented: “The Americans like Israel because of its democracy and media openness. This is what we present to the students”.  This is the hasbara role of Israel studies in a nutshell. The focus on ‘complexity’, ‘flaws’, and ‘diversity’ may look sophisticated, but the desire to put forward the image of a ‘normal’ democracy is all about masking the facts of ethnic cleansing and ongoing settler colonialism, and thwarting growing global resistance to that ugly reality.

About Ben White

Ben White is author of 'Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide' and 'Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, discrimination and democracy'. Follow him on twitter at @benabyad and on his website www.benwhite.org.uk.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

108 Responses

  1. seafoid
    June 21, 2012, 10:32 am

    Israel studies are all well and good but Israel doesn’t have time to slowly hasbarise university students when the situation on the media ground is falling away from Israel every day .

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/nobel-prize-laureate-j-m-coetzee-appears-to-boycott-international-writers-festival-in-jerusalem.html/comment-page-1#comment-452679

    When the “Israeli” ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, finished his term in Madrid he wrote an op-ed in Haaretz he termed as a very dismal stay & seemed genuinely relieved to leave. This kind of complaint now seems to be standard farewell letter of all their ambassadors in W.Europe. “

    Sure, go ahead and educate people for 3 years at enormous expense – WTF use will a degree in hasbara studies be in 2015?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/imfs-rajan-undresses-keynesian-emperor

    even though degrees have become more valuable in the labor market….”
    they have just the same way blue eyes were in a previous…at many companies, degrees are added as an arbitrary appendage to job profiles….degree required – could be finance, information systems, psychology, fine arts etc – proving that the degree is not relevant and that much capital has been grossly misallocated to (mis)education….

  2. Les
    June 21, 2012, 10:53 am

    Add to this missinformation by academics, I wanted to puke when I saw my alumni association was sponsoring a trip to Israel with no mention about the opportunity to see occupation and ethnic cleansing in action. I wonder how many other alumni associations have become part of the Israel Lobby.

  3. HarryLaw
    June 21, 2012, 11:52 am

    David Bernstein said [ in the David project, in this post] ” We also know, especially after strong anti-BDS statements were made by President Amy Gutman, that BDS has no chance for success” at the University [of Pennsylvania] What insufferable arrogance, the University President is against it, therefore it will not succeed.

    • hophmi
      June 21, 2012, 12:26 pm

      Why is that arrogant? Usually, if a university president opposing something, the Board of Trustees is not likely to support it.

      By this standard, it’s a lot more arrogant to suggest that because a tiny minority of loud students support something, it’s likely to be forced upon the rest of the student body.

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 7:44 am

        Why is that arrogant?

        President Gutmann and her representative, David Cohen, introduced the event with some shameless editorial screeds based upon nothing more than their own ipse dixits. Cohen said ”We are unwavering in our support of Israel. We do not support the message or the goals of BDS,” he added that BDS activism is one of the most “immoral, illegal and despicable concepts around academia today.” If you have to ask why its arrogant to 1) say that BDS won’t succeed in obtaining equal rights for Palestinians; or 2) say that BDS is immoral, illegal, and despicable for demanding equal rights for Palestinians, then you’re more mentally challenged than I thought you were.

        The 2005 call for BDS was based upon the need to act on the findings of fact contained in a 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion. It indicated that Israel is one of the most immoral, illegal, despicable, and indefensible concepts being kicked around academia today.

        Despite all of the brilliant lawyers, like Alan Dershowitz and Dr. Alan Baker, no one showed-up in person to argue on Israel’s behalf at the Hague. In fact, the MFA Legal Counsels are only famous for failing to show-up in Court.

        Year after year, the UN Treaty monitoring bodies have asked for written responses to the ICJ findings and the efforts of Israel to eliminate all forms of racism in the occupied territories. Despite all of these brilliant scholars, who occupy endowed chairs for the promotion of Israel Studies, no one has ever published so much as a simulated good faith reply on that particular subject. The scholars are really just “seekers after smooth things” who run around shreying about Israel’s declining legitimacy and trying to silence criticism with charges of antisemitism. Why don’t they channel all of that energy into responding to these?

        ICJ Advisory Opinion – http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf
        1998 ICERD Observations – http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=CERD/C/304/Add.45
        2007 ICERD Observations – http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=CERD/C/ISR/CO/13
        2012 ICERD Observations – http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 8:01 am

        By this standard, it’s a lot more arrogant to suggest that because a tiny minority of loud students support something, it’s likely to be forced upon the rest of the student body.

        BDS is based upon UN resolutions, international law, and an ICJ Advisory Opinion. All of those reflect the considered and repeated opinion of the majority of mankind. In the “Voting Procedure” case, Judge Lauterpacht addressed the “Cumulative Legal effect” of a succession of recommendations, on the same subject and with regard to the same State, solemnly reaffirmed by the General Assembly:

        ‘[A] … State may not be acting illegally by declining to act on a recommendation or series of recommendations on the same subject. But in so doing it acts at its peril when a point is reached when the cumulative effect of the persistent disregard of the articulate opinion of the Organization is such as to foster the conviction that the State in question has become guilty of disloyalty to the principles and purposes of the Charter. Thus [a] . . . State which consistently sets itself above the solemnly and repeatedly expressed judgment of the Organization in particular as that judgment approximates to unanimity, may find that it has overstepped the imperceptible line between impropriety and illegality, between discretion and arbitrariness, between the exercise of the legal right to disregard the recommendation and the abuse of that right, and that it has exposed itself to consequences legitimately following as a legal sanction.

        –See pdf file page 61 of 68 link to icj-cij.org

        The US Declaration of Independence described that quality as having a decent respect for the opinions of mankind. The behavior Lauterpacht described is exactly what has destroyed the legitimacy of the State of Israel. No amount of hasbara will be of any help.

      • hophmi
        June 22, 2012, 9:03 am

        The notion that BDS is based on international law is nonsense that even Norman Finkelstein can see through. It is based on politics. Its adherents pay LIP SERVICE to international law in order to give their cult the veil of legitimacy, as they do to human rights and other shibboleths. In reality, they fail to apply human rights standards to Palestinians themselves, fail to condemn suicide bombings, which are violations of international law, fail to speak about the lack of civil liberties in the PA, and promote a one-state solution that essentially constitutes politicide of the Jewish state.

        We understand you have a political case to make, but to claim it is based in international law is laughable.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 22, 2012, 10:31 am

        hoppy, your criticism is laughable because you apply your regular anti-Arab-bigoted double standard. YOU fail to apply human rights standards to Israel, fail to condemn the daily terrorism of the occupation and the acts of war on the Gazans, fail to speak about the denial of civil liberties and basic freedom to the Palestinian and promote a solution which has resulted in generations of control by a single ethnic group to the exclusion of the other.

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 11:25 am

        The notion that BDS is based on international law is nonsense that even Norman Finkelstein can see through.

        Sorry, but international law does call for: 1) the exercise of the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination; 2) equal rights; 3) an end to the Israeli occupation and illegal colonization of the Palestinian territory; and 4) a just solution for the refugees that provides for their right of return or compensation in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 194(III). Finkelstein supports all of those BDS goals. Who wouldn’t?

        He objects to the unofficial position taken by a few in the solidarity movement that refuse to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist – even if it agrees to all of those things that I just mentioned. He says that is cult-like thinking, for which there is no basis in international law or international political consensus. But he didn’t claim that was the official platform of the BDS movement, as you suggest. He suggested that the goals be clarified to clear-up that point.

        It is based on politics.
        So? Without exception, international law and the national laws of every democratic society are based upon a political consensus.

        they fail to apply human rights standards to Palestinians themselves

        I’ve commented many times about Palestinian war crimes that the Fatah/PLO and Hamas-affiliated militias have committed and supplied links to reports about that from from Dugard, Goldstone, et al. The Goldstone report addressed PA and Hamas human rights abuses against their own populations and I’ve always recommended that the Prosecutor investigate that and the 300 other communications about crimes committed on the territory of Palestine since 2002. Those include reports from AI and HRW which address Palestinian human rights abuses. I’ve always condemned Palestinian or Arab attacks on Israeli civilians carried out on the Israeli side of the Green Line, regardless of the motive involved. See for example my comment on the controversial Derfner editorial. link to mondoweiss.net

        If you’ve read the ICJ Advisory Opinion, then you know that the PA is a creation of an agreement with the occupying power. Zionists don’t have to depend on the ICC, because Israel remains responsible for taking corrective action on human rights abuses in the West Bank. I’ve condemned the de facto government in Gaza on many occasions for incitement, holocaust denial, and profiteering off the blockade, e.g.
        *http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/p-a-has-lost-all-its-meaning-abbas.html/comment-page-1#comment-443341
        *http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/finkelsteins-critque-misreads-the-special-relationship-and-misunderstands-political-mobilization.html/comment-page-1#comment-462586

        and promote a one-state solution that essentially constitutes politicide of the Jewish state.

        Likud’s charter calls for a one state solution, and leaders, including Mose Ahrens and MK Tzipi Hotovely have endorsed a one-state apartheid solution that essentially constitutes politicide of the Palestinian state. People who live in glass houses . . . You never miss an opportunity to act as a shill for the existing regime or engage in apologetics for the occasional, localized acts of genocide. Besides, if complying with international law and granting equal rights to everyone constitutes politicide, then what does that say about the existing nature of the Jewish State?

        I’ve always commented on the obligation of both the so-called Jewish and Arab State to abide by the terms of the minority protection plan contained in UN GA resolution 181(II).

        I’ve cited Thomas Musgrave, who explains that only formally recognized “peoples” have the right to self determination. A “people” cannot be defined in terms of ethnic identity alone, because if it were, participation in the political process would then be determined solely on the basis of ethnic characteristics. That’s contrary to Article 1(3) of the UN Charter and customary minority rights to political equality under international law. So, a new state or people in the modern era will always include all of the indigenous groups inhabiting a territory. That means there should have been “Arab Jews” and “Jewish Arabs” living in peace in the respective states all along. I’ve always commented that there were 17,000 UNRWA Palestine refugees who were internally displaced Jews. I’ve also commented that the international community has no more historical obligation to maintain a racist Jewish state in Palestine than it did a racist Nazi regime in the Sudetenland.

        We understand you have a political case to make, but to claim it is based in international law is laughable.

        The citizens who where purged from the Florida voting registration records have a political case to make. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a legal one too. Self-determination of peoples is jus cogens. Suggesting that a peremptory norm of international law which entails rights and erga omnes obligations is not entrenched in international law is the thing that’s laughable.

    • Rusty Pipes
      June 21, 2012, 7:16 pm

      One of a college president’s main jobs is fund-raising from major donors. Her words came across more as a clarification for the potential donors (some of them zionists) that the push for BDS was not coming from the administration, but from student activists who were acting as student activists do. If BDS succeeds at UPenn, it will do so in spite of the administration.

  4. hophmi
    June 21, 2012, 11:59 am

    There are chairs in Arab studies, are there not? Who funds them?

    • Ranjit Suresh
      June 21, 2012, 12:16 pm

      There are already departments in Jewish Studies. So, there’s already a complement to Arab departments. When you add the fact that most social sciences are dominated by Jewish academics in any event, then the gratuitousness of Israeli Studies propaganda departments become even more blatant.

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 3:07 pm

        This is somewhat unfair. Jews may well be prominent in academia, but to say they ‘dominate’ it is an exaggeration, and in any case, they’re not usually concerned with Israel.

        I’m sure there were more, but I was remarkably indifferent to such matters at the time, and I can only recall one professor I had who was Jewish. Her field was European intellectual history. I don’t think Israel ever came up.

        There are two things that strike me as incongruous about an ‘Israeli Studies Program.’ First, Israel is a very, very small country: to take the two countries that rank above and below it in population, do we seek to establish a ‘Togo Studies Program,’ or a ‘Honduras Study Program’? As a matter of proportionality, Israel basks far too much in the light to begin with. There’s hardly a need for it to get more attention. Israel does indeed require attention, but not for academic reasons. Perhaps it could figure in a seminar on the history of attempts to establish sociologically separatist regimes among an alien and hostile population: Prussia and Livonia under the Teutonic Knights, the Ireland of the Protestant Ascendency, Apartheid South Africa, Israel. Israel could merit a few weeks of attention from such a perspective.

        Second, any program of Israeli studies would presumably be sympathetic to Israel, and that really is going to necessarily have to warp the truth — which is hardly going to conform with academic ideals, even if it doesn’t actually diverge from academic practice.

      • Mooser
        June 21, 2012, 3:51 pm

        “Perhaps it (Israel) could figure in a seminar on the history of attempts to establish sociologically separatist regimes among an alien and hostile population: Prussia and Livonia under the Teutonic Knights, the Ireland of the Protestant Ascendency, Apartheid South Africa, Israel. Israel could merit a few weeks of attention from such a perspective.”

        Finally, somebody puts Israel in the company it deserves. No matter how appealing it is to make Nazi comparisons for some of the behavior of Israelis, the comparison to projects attempting to “establish sociologically separatist regimes among an alien and hostile population” is much more appropriate.

      • Daniel Rich
        June 21, 2012, 4:56 pm

        The truth is out there for all to see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBNiPh1f-qo

        [on the outside of the cave]

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 12:46 am

        Finally, somebody puts Israel in the company it deserves. No matter how appealing it is to make Nazi comparisons for some of the behavior of Israelis, the comparison to projects attempting to “establish sociologically separatist regimes among an alien and hostile population” is much more appropriate.

        Sorry Mooser but a good Jewish studies department should have at least one person devoted to teaching about all of the Jewish social scientists, historians, and philosophers that have written about the continuities and parallels between the Germans who established separatist regimes in Southern Africa among alien and hostile populations; the age of fascism in Europe; and Israeli society and culture. It’s a matter of public record that Israel’s leaders, like Ariel Sharon, consciously adopted and advocated the Bantustan model as the best possible solution to the I-P conflict.

        *The publishers of Richard H. King, Dan Stone (eds), “Hannah Arendt and the uses of history: imperialism, nation, race, and genocide”, Berghahn Books, 2008, ISBN 1845455894 said:

        Hannah Arendt argued that there were continuities between the age of European imperialism and the age of fascism in Europe in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” (1951), reprinted by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994 ISBN 0156701537

        *Arendt said that the Herut party, Menachim Begin, and Irgun Zvai Leumi had an organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal akin to the Nazi and Fascist parties. In her book “Eichmann in Jerusalem” she outlined the similarities between Israel’s state-imposed rabbincal laws governing personal status and Hitler’s Nuremberg laws.
        http://www.archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948
        Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7

        *The father of genocide studies, Raphael Lemkin, wrote two manuscripts: “Herero” and “The Germans in Africa”. They detailed the genocide in Namibia, the suppression of the so-called “Maji-Maji Rebellion” in Tanzania and the “Duala Massacres” in Cameroon. Lemkin noted that “the Germans introduced the Prussian military system into their rule of the African colonies, a system of cruelty and oppression” and the continuities to Axis practices in Eastern Europe. The papers are part of the collection at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, the Raphael Lemkin Papers (Box 6, Folder 9).

        *Benjamin Madley, documented the continuities in “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe”, European History Quarterly, 2005; 35: 429-464

        *The BBC studied the earlier German genocide in the documentary, “Namibia – Genocide and the second Reich”

        *Baruch Kimmerling, Henry Siegman, Israel Shahak, the Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz each documented the fact that Israeli officials, like Ariel Sharon, consciously pursued a public policy modeled on the South African and Namibian Bantustans. See:
        -Kimmerling, Politicide:Ariel Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians
        http://books.google.com/books?id=TE8oCW2J2F4C&vq=&source=gbs_navlinks_s
        -Siegman, Sharon and the Future of Palestine
        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2004/dec/02/sharon-and-the-future-of-palestine/?pagination=false
        -Siegman, Imposing Middle East Peace http://www.thenation.com/article/imposing-middle-east-peace
        -Israel Shahak’s Senate testimony and the JPost interviews with Sharon entered as exhibits in “The Colonization of the West Bank Territories by Israel” @ the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/law/find/hearings/pdf/00139297647.pdf
        -The citation to Akiva Eldar, “Sharon’s Bantustans are far from Copenhagen’s hope”, Ha’aretz, 13 May 2003 in the report of the UN Special Rapporteur
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/BCFFFF2CC84AE9BC85256E2B00685371

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 1:28 am

        P.S. A number of studies, like those done by Lemkin, John Docker, and Ned Curthoys have found that all settler colonial societies are inherently genocidal. See:
        -Raphael Lemkin’s History of Genocide and Colonialism
        http://www.ushmm.org/genocide/analysis/details/2004-02-26/docker.pdf
        – John Docker and Ned Curthoys, The Gaza massacre, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 9 January 2009

        Israel is no worse than earlier settler colonial systems as Zionists are found of pointing out, but it is an anachronism among so-called “western democracies”.

        South West Africa was a classic case where the genocide was manifested in two phases. The earliest phase was one in which a portion of the society was physically removed and destroyed. The second phase consisted of the persecution of the remaining population through a policy of segregation or apartheid. It also included the imposition of conditions of life that were calculated to destroy the group, either in whole or in part, through a process of attrition.

      • Mayhem
        June 22, 2012, 8:41 am

        @Daniel, if you can’t handle Dershowitz because he gets up your goat then you probably would prefer to participate in something like this – a pro-Palestinian demonstration through the streets of Sydney, Australia that commemorated Nakba Day.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLc-P-mY_No
        Take particular note of the rousing speech after 8 minutes, the reading of a “letter from a Palestinian female prisoner”, from which I quote some passages:
        “Dear brothers, we are your sisters. Do you not hear our cries? … We are your sisters, captured in cages like animals, with zookeepers—the Zionists. Our stomachs have been filled with children of zina [unlawful fornication] from daily rape. Our bodies are paraded naked in front of these animals while they drool over us. Our food is mixed with their faeces and our drink mixed with their urine.
        “Where are you, oh brothers? Where is your honour? Why have you not liberated us? Why have you not destroyed the walls of this hell we live in? … Wallahi death to us is sweeter than being handled by them…
        “By Allah my brothers, on the Day of Judgment, after we complain to God about the injustice we’ve suffered at the hands of the Zionists we will complain about our brothers who sat idle while their sisters were raped. Do not let any of us give birth to one more child of zina from the descendants of Zion. We would rather have our wombs torn out and fed to the dogs.
        If you swap “Zionists” for “Jews” in this vile, faked diatribe that does not make this any less an example of the most flagrant anti-Semitism. And it demonstrates perfectly that the anti-Zionist Left is the dark cave of the Jew-hater.

      • Mayhem
        June 22, 2012, 9:45 am

        @Hostage, your analogy between the foundation of Israeli society with settler colonialism, of the kind that has been practised across the entire globe, is completely false. This is a typical canard that those who seek the demean Israel choose along with the apartheid clarion call.
        Israel was established by the rule of law, quite different to the trajectory of your archetypal settler colonial power.
        The references provided by Hostage are irrelevant.
        John Docker is a very prominent anti-Zionist Jew, whose biased persuasions are well known, while Lemkin would have never entertained a bad word about Israel and would have objected to being used as Hostage has attempted to do.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 10:24 am

        Israel was established by the rule of law, quite different to the trajectory of your archetypal settler colonial power.
        The references provided by Hostage are irrelevant…….If you swap “Zionists” for “Jews”

        you really are a piece of work mayhem.

      • Shmuel
        June 22, 2012, 10:28 am

        Israel was established by the rule of law, quite different to the trajectory of your archetypal settler colonial power.

        Are you suggesting that other colonial projects were not carried out in accordance with the laws of the colonial powers themselves and their peers? The question of legality is not essential to the definition of settler colonialism, especially considering the fact that world powers tend to make the laws that suit them. It suited the British government and the powers present at the San Remo Conference to support Jewish settlement in Palestine (although not necessarily a Jewish state), so they did, as did the US and USSR after the war. Rule of law? Perhaps, but that doesn’t detract from the colonialist nature of the project.

        But you did get the words “canard”, “demean”, “clarion call” and “biased” in, so that’s OK then. Kudos on your Nakba Day threadjack as well. The expression “gets up your goat” is definitely a keeper.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 22, 2012, 10:39 am

        Israel was established by the rule of law, quite different to the trajectory of your archetypal settler colonial power.

        LMAO. No, in every case, European powers decided the fate of other people’s lands without giving them the decision. That the Europeans decided to run their decisions through the nonsense of the Paris Peace Conference and the UN doesn’t demonstrate “the rule of law,” because there was no law permitting them to dispose of the Palestinians’ land.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 22, 2012, 10:50 am

        If you swap “Zionists” for “Jews” in this vile, faked diatribe that does not make this any less an example of the most flagrant anti-Semitism. And it demonstrates perfectly that the anti-Zionist Left is the dark cave of the Jew-hater.

        Oh, baloney. If you swap in “Chinese,” it would be phrased as against Asians, but that point is absolutely irrelevant. The writer didn’t write “Chinese” or “Jew” but “Zionist,” which demonstrates an ideological — and not a racial or ethnic — identification of an enemy. It’s no more antisemitic than it would have been indicative of anti-German bigotry to write a diatribe against “the Nazis” in WWII or indicative of anti-Russian bigotry to write a diatribe against “the Soviets” in the Cold War.

        If zios can’t take a bit of rhetorical hyperbole in reaction to the oppression of the Palestinians, they should stop earning it by their actions in Palestine.

      • hophmi
        June 22, 2012, 10:57 am

        “First, Israel is a very, very small country”

        No argument there. But it has an oversaturation of everything – religions, cultures, media, diplomats, and achievements. It’s a small country that’s important to billions of people. But I’d be happy if there was not one single chair in Israel Studies if at the same time Israel was not the subject of biased UN Resolutions and the target of Islamic terrorists.

        “As a matter of proportionality, Israel basks far too much in the light to begin with. ”

        It’s not attention Israel seeks.

        “erhaps it could figure in a seminar on the history of attempts to establish sociologically separatist regimes among an alien and hostile population: Prussia and Livonia under the Teutonic Knights, the Ireland of the Protestant Ascendency, Apartheid South Africa, Israel. Israel could merit a few weeks of attention from such a perspective.”

        I think Israel gets plenty of attention in academia from the post-colonialist perspective. There are more than enough radical leftists in academia.

      • Shmuel
        June 22, 2012, 11:21 am

        It’s not attention Israel seeks.

        You have got to be kidding. You can argue chicken and egg if you like (although attention-seeking has been a prime Zionist/Israel strategy from the very beginning), but the fact is that Israel is one of the most attention-seeking countries on the face of the earth. Countries that don’t want attention, take a sticks-and-stones approach or make do with a few feeble diplomatic protests and letters to the editor from low-ranking press attachés. They don’t devote huge amounts of time and money to convincing the world of how great they are and how much everyone should love them.

      • hophmi
        June 22, 2012, 11:22 am

        You’re in no position to tell other people what is and what isn’t antisemitism, Tanaka.

        Anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic. It’s just that most anti-Zionists have no clue what the difference is.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 22, 2012, 11:36 am

        “It’s a small country that’s important to billions of people.”

        Billions??!?! LOL. Why not just go full-bore nutty and say that it is beloved by trillions and trillions of people…

        “But I’d be happy if there was not one single chair in Israel Studies if at the same time Israel was not the subject of biased UN Resolutions and the target of Islamic terrorists.”

        If israel is unhappy with the current state of affairs that it, itself, created, it need only end it’s self-impose pariah status, learn some humility, beg forgiveness for its crimes, remove itself and its citizens back behind the green line, pay the tens of billions it owes in restitution and accept the Arab Peace Plan.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 22, 2012, 12:15 pm

        “You’re in no position to tell other people what is and what isn’t antisemitism, Tanaka.”

        Actually I am, hoppy. I am an intelligent human being. I need no more qualification than that. Unless you subscribe to the bigoted notion that being of a certain ethnicity mystically grants you special knowledge…

        “Anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic.”

        True.

        “It’s just that most anti-Zionists have no clue what the difference is.”

        False. Most zionists have psychological issues whereby they convince themselves that opposition to their actions is a reflection of their ethnicity/relgion rather than those actions themselves. The psychological issues are interesting.

        The egocentrism is most interesting to me. Do you REALLY think that if Israel were acting as a decent, civilized country that people would still oppose it, simply because there’re Jews there?? Really, hops, Jews are very interesting people and all, and you have an interesting culture/subculture, but at the end of the day, you’re not all THAT interesting, at least not more so than any other people.

        If Israel treated the Palestinians like the way Beligium treats the Waloons, I’ve no doubt that the level of interest in the Jews of Palestine by the rest of the world would be about on par with the world’s interest in the Flemish. Just one more strand in the tapestry of humanity.

      • hophmi
        June 22, 2012, 12:19 pm

        “You have got to be kidding.”

        I’m not. It is all reactionary attention-seeking. I’m fairly certain that mostly, Israel wants to be left alone.

        If Israel is really attention-seeking, it definitely seems to work. The international community lavishes attention on it through meaningless UNHCR resolutions, to the ignorance of other, much more deserving places. Countries with dismal human rights records lavish attention upon it. The West seems to have a keen interest in internal Israeli politics, and there seems to be no end of Western NGOs willing to fund projects inside Israel.

        So, please, let’s be honest. This is at best a mutual love affair with attention.

      • hophmi
        June 22, 2012, 12:21 pm

        “Billions??!?! LOL. Why not just go full-bore nutty and say that it is beloved by trillions and trillions of people…”

        Do you deny that? There are around 3 billion Muslims and Christians. They seem to be interested in the Holy Land, the Muslims at least.

        “If israel is unhappy with the current state of affairs that it, itself, created, it need only end it’s self-impose pariah status, learn some humility, beg forgiveness for its crimes, remove itself and its citizens back behind the green line, pay the tens of billions it owes in restitution and accept the Arab Peace Plan.”

        Just as soon as Arab countries pay its citizens the tens of billions in restitution they owe to the Jews they expelled from their countries.

      • hophmi
        June 22, 2012, 12:28 pm

        “Actually I am, hoppy. I am an intelligent human being. I need no more qualification than that. Unless you subscribe to the bigoted notion that being of a certain ethnicity mystically grants you special knowledge… ”

        You aren’t. Last I checked, no one has the right to tell a minority what does and what does not constitute bigotry toward them.

        “False. ”

        True, most anti-Zionists cannot explain the difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Some openly admit they are antisemitic. Some spout very old antisemitic canards about Jews and money and claim they’re not antisemitic. This entire blog subscribes to old canards about Jews and power that are antisemitic.

        As Chris Rock once said, you don’t know shit because you doin’ shit.

        “Do you REALLY think that if Israel were acting as a decent, civilized country that people would still oppose it, simply because there’re Jews there??”

        Without question. Arab opposition to Israel had nothing to do with what Israel did or didn’t do. It had to do with the concept of a non-Muslim political entity in the Middle East.

        “Really, hops, Jews are very interesting people and all, and you have an interesting culture/subculture, but at the end of the day, you’re not all THAT interesting, at least not more so than any other people. ”

        No one said we were. But the world seems to think so, which is why a tremendous amount of attention is lavished on us, Nazi Germany was dedicated to wiping us out, and books are written about how we’d like to take over the world.

        “If Israel treated the Palestinians like the way Beligium treats the Waloons, I’ve no doubt that the level of interest in the Jews of Palestine by the rest of the world would be about on par with the world’s interest in the Flemish. ”

        I highly doubt it, unfortunately. Too many people have a stake in the Holy Land for that to happen.

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 1:41 pm

        @Hostage, your analogy between the foundation of Israeli society with settler colonialism, of the kind that has been practised across the entire globe, is completely false.

        @Mayhem, although Israel is considered unique in some respects, it’s a classic example of a state established by its own violent acts and settler colonialism.

        Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall and Ben Gurion’s diaries were written before the term apartheid was coined. But they contain all of the necessary evidence to confirm the existence of a deliberate policy and plans for rule by military force, colonialism, and apartheid.

        Israel was established by the rule of law, quite different to the trajectory of your archetypal settler colonial power.

        Oh please, the settlements in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai were established from the Israeli Metropole in flagrant violation of the rules of public international law. Herzl and Rothschild both utilized chartered colonial companies before and after the mandates were established. Turkey participated in the public international law and Concert of Europe. Many of the European colonies in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific where established by publicly chartered colonial companies and groups of settlers in exactly the same manner as their 20th century Zionist counterpart.

        Palestine/Israel has been the subject of well documented historical case studies, performed by experts on the subject, e.g. Caroline Elkins and Susan Pedersen (eds), “Settler Colonialism in the Twentieth Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies”, Routledge; 2005. Caroline Elkins is Assistant Professor of History at Harvard University. Susan Pedersen is Professor of History at Columbia University. The book also contains a chapter contributed by Gershon Shafir. He is a Professor at UC Berkley who specializes in the areas of Comparative-Historical Sociology, Nationalism, Citizenship and Globalization, and Middle Eastern Societies. http://sociology.ucsd.edu/faculty/bio/shafir.shtml

        The references provided by Hostage are irrelevant.

        I just provided you with several more. I notice that you can’t back-up your claims with any citations at all.

        John Docker is a very prominent anti-Zionist Jew, whose biased persuasions are well known

        So was Hannah Arendt. Being really intelligent can lead to a bias against fascism and racism. When you combine great scholarship and communications skills, like Docker’s, you just might end-up being prominent enough to have the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) solicit your paper for its symposium on Lemkin.

        Lemkin would have never entertained a bad word about Israel and would have objected to being used as Hostage has attempted to do.

        Lemkin wrote that genocide was a new term for an old practice. He said that:

        Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization by the oppressor’s own nationals.

        He wrote about specific proposals for redress under international law against occupation and colonization, including penal sanctions and international control of all military occupations in his volume on “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation – Analysis of Goverment – Proposals for Redress, Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944.

        The notion that he wouldn’t have a bad word to say about Israel for violating every one of the international controls that he proposed to govern occupation regimes is simply ludicrous. Here is an extract on the topic of colonists:

        6. The Problem of the Colonists.
        The problem of the colonists is specific because many thousands of them have been settled on properties of dispossessed persons.24 The fact that many of them, especially those coming from the Baltic States, Transylvania, and Bukovina, were moved against their will, may exclude their penal responsibility in assisting the enemy in acts of dispossession but does not provide any valid title to the property on which they are settled. In cases where colonists have been settled on state property, the legal situation remains the same. The occupant has the right only to the usufruct of real property belonging to the state in the occupied country; he has no right to dispose of such property and convey title to it to other persons. Consequently, the property given by the occupant to the colonists should be returned to the original owners.

        INTERNATIONAL CONTROL OF OCCUPATION PRACTICES

        Genocide as described above presents one of the most complete and glaring illustrations of the violations of international law and laws of humanity. In its several manifestations genocide also represents a violation of specific regulations of the Hague Convention such as those regarding the protection of life, liberty, and honor. It is therefore essential that genocide procedures be not only prohibited by law but prevented in practice during military occupations.

        Therefore the Regulations of the Hague Convention should be modified to include an international controlling agency vested with specific powers, such as visiting the occupied countries and making inquiries as to the manner in which the occupant treats nations in prison. In the situation as it exists at present there is no means of providing for alleviation of the treatment of populations under occupation until the actual moment of liberation. It is then too late for remedies, for after liberation such populations can at best obtain only reparation of damages but never restoration of those values which have been destroyed and which cannot be restored, such as human life, treasures of art, and historical archives.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=y0in2wOY-W0C&lpg=PA45&ots=m-bsZRvtWg&pg=PA45#v=onepage&q&f=false
        http://books.google.com/books?id=y0in2wOY-W0C&lpg=PA94&ots=m-bsZRvtWg&pg=PA94#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 3:43 pm

        Thanks for responding Hostage. I don’t know where you find the time or the patience, but I’m very glad you do.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 3:51 pm

        “You’re in no position to tell other people what is and what isn’t antisemitism, Tanaka. “

        I just spit lightly toasted cinnamon-raisn bagel and butter all over my screen. Somebody asked earlier if these guys had ‘no brains, or no shame’?
        We got us a two-fer, here.

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 11:20 pm

        Thanks for responding Hostage. I don’t know where you find the time or the patience, but I’m very glad you do.

        You’re welcome Mooser. I’m glad you subject the Ziobrats to a little laughter or ridicule.

        Correction “Herzl and Rothschild both utilized chartered colonial companies before and after the mandates were established.” should obviously have read “The organizations founded by Herzl and Rothschild both utilized chartered colonial companies before and after the mandates were established,” e.g.:
        -The Jewish Colonial Trust and its Anglo-Palestine Bank http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/jct.html
        – The Jewish Colonization Association
        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0011_0_10128.html
        http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/907-agricultural-colonies-in-palestine

      • Hostage
        June 23, 2012, 12:52 am

        Just as soon as Arab countries pay its citizens the tens of billions in restitution they owe to the Jews they expelled from their countries.

        Okay please present your case for delaying Palestinian compensation.
        Arab Jews were settled on Palestinian lands because of wrongful acts committed by third parties. The Palestinians did not accrue any benefits from those transactions.

        Worse still, the documentary record establishes that in at least some cases the government of Israel was instrumental in initiating a “deliberately generated exodus” from the Arabs states in order to transfer their Jewish populations to Palestine. The record from the State of Israel’s own commissions and reports from Hashava establish that several State and Zionist Organization-owned banks reaped enormous windfalls by charging refugees exorbitant exchange rates – between 30 and 50 percent – and withholding assets invested during the mandate era by holocaust and other refugee populations from the heirs, e.g. see page 20 of The New York State Banking Department Holocaust Claims Processing Report regarding Bank Leumi. http://www.dfs.ny.gov/reportpub/hcporeport10.pdf

        Journalist Naeim Giladi reported that:

        There were ways of getting Iraqi dinars out, but when the immigrants went to exchange them in Israel they found that the Israeli government kept 50 percent of the value.

        See , Ben Gurion’s Scandals, 2nd ed, Dandelion, 2006, page 16

        It’s axiomatic that a State should not be allowed to profit from its own wrongdoing:

        Ingathering of Exiles

        At the close of the interview I asked Kollek to tell me frankly whether Israel planned to start the ingathering of 70,000 Jews from Iran along the lines of the ingathering from Iraq. I said that so far as I knew, the level of anti-semitism in Iran was not abnormally high and I thought the friends of Israel, including the United States, would not favor a deliberately generated exodus there.

        Kollek replied that there was a school of thought in Israel which believes that when a nationalistic government of the Mossadegh type comes into power sooner or later they turn against their minorities and this has caused consideration to be given to the Iranian Jews. He did not believe, however, that efforts would be made to bring them to Israel unless the situation generally deteriorates. There could be no doubt that the need of the Roumanian Jews to come to Israel is far greater than the need of the Iranian Jews.

        I opined that the Iraqi operation had been bad for Iraq. I said that I hoped the Iraqi Government would not disenfranchise the Jews who had elected to remain Iraqi citizens. Kollek argued that short range, Iraq may have lost some skills, but he thought that long range it is “better for a country to be homogeneous” as would be the case if all of the Jews left Iraq. I asserted that homogeneity of population is not always a good thing and pointed with pride to the fact that the United States is in no sense homogeneous. Kollek’s only answer was “The United States is different.”

        — Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs (Jones), Secret [WASHINGTON,] August 2,1951.
        Subject: Israel’s Concern Re Peace With the Arabs and Other Matters.
        Participants: Mr. Theodore Kollek, Embassy of Israel and Mr. G. Lewis Jones, NE, Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa, page 815 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1951v05&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=815

      • Mooser
        June 24, 2012, 7:25 pm

        “I’m glad you subject the Ziobrats to a little laughter or ridicule.”

        To tell you the truth, Hostage, that’s mostly my way of dealing with the prickly-heat shame episodes I get when I read their comments. I realise, it’s all part of the two-pronged Zionist program. On the one hand, their comments will help, they hope, convince as many people as possible that Jews aren’t fit to live with, and on the other, reaching out to sociopaths in the “Jewish community” to tell them: ‘Why be lonely, and frustrated, when you can make Aliyah to a country where your talents will be appreciated’
        I realise all that, but it still gets to me.

      • Hostage
        June 25, 2012, 3:52 am

        ‘Why be lonely, and frustrated, when you can make Aliyah to a country where your talents will be appreciated’

        Yes. I commented about that earlier today when someone could not fathom giladg’s motives. –http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/help-mondoweiss-continue-to-push-israelpalestine-into-the-mainstream.html/comment-page-1#comment-465556

    • Bumblebye
      June 21, 2012, 12:35 pm

      Disingenuous as usual.
      Palestine studies is the appropriate comparison, and there aren’t nearly as many.

    • Donald
      June 21, 2012, 1:23 pm

      “There are chairs in Arab studies, are there not? Who funds them?”

      Interesting questions, and I’d add a few followups. I assume you are implying it might be oil money or the Saudi monarchy. If Saudi Arabia, for instance, funds such chairs, do the people holding those positions put out scholarship that makes the Saudi monarchy look good? Do they put out studies that praise the oil companies and their role in the Middle East?

      But I’m not sure this really makes any difference regarding Ben’s post. The field of Israel studies is either propagandistic or it’s not. There’s no reason why one couldn’t have a field called “Israel studies”, but if it were a genuinely academic discipline I wouldn’t expect professors to be defending Operation Cast Lead. Do professors of American studies defend, say Operation Speedy Express ?

    • seafoid
      June 21, 2012, 1:42 pm

      Arab studies typically cover all that history and go deep into culture. No limits. Academic study of Israel on the other hand has many off limits areas- don’t talk about 1948, ethnic cleansing, current policy in Gaza, torture, the security state etc.

      Talk about gay pride. Talk about technology. Zionist history isn’t strong enough for academic wear and tear. The problem with lying is you have to keep on remembering what you said and with zionist history it becomes impossible.

      BTW Tel Aviv has just cut funding for pride-.

      • hophmi
        June 21, 2012, 2:27 pm

        “Academic study of Israel on the other hand has many off limits areas- don’t talk about 1948, ethnic cleansing, current policy in Gaza, torture, the security state etc. ”

        Uh, sorry, but what’s your source for that?

        And what your source for what Arab studies “typically cover?” Do they cover antisemitic rhetoric in the Arab world? Do they cover anything from something other than an anti-Western post-colonial POV?

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 21, 2012, 3:20 pm

        “Do they cover antisemitic rhetoric in the Arab world? Do they cover anything from something other than an anti-Western post-colonial POV?”

        Oh, I’m sure they believe it’s vitally important that Arab studies courses address the concerns that an anti-Arab bigot like you, hoppy, might have.

      • seafoid
        June 21, 2012, 3:21 pm

        Any decent program covers what is relevant, Hoph. And antisemitic discourse in the Arab world – that would be studied along with football chants in Kuwait.

        Zionist history is a crock. Anyone studying Zionist history who transfers to a real history course knows that.

        I met an Israeli insurance salesman a few years ago whose son studied architecture in Israel and did a postgrad in France. They just laughed at his undergrad work.

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 3:21 pm

        “Uh, sorry, but what’s your source for that? ”

        Well, the most basic facts about 1948 and the associated ethnic cleansing only became established as such within the last twenty years. That does suggest a concerted refusal to examine the matter critically.

        Even today, with Israel, one does have a series of commonplaces that are diametrically opposed to verifiable fact — and yet remain in general circulation. ‘The Jews were expelled from Palestine.’ ‘Israel offered peace to her neighbors in 1948.’ ‘Israel is a democracy.’ ‘The IDF has the finest human rights record in the world.’ ‘Israel is our only ally in the Middle East.’ Etc, no doubt.

        In general, academic study of Israel — as opposed to academic dissimulation on the topic — hasn’t even begun. There are a few scattered and often still distorted works on the topic, but in general, it’s been covered over rather than revealed.

      • hophmi
        June 21, 2012, 3:38 pm

        I’ll take that as a “no.”

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 3:50 pm

        ‘Do they cover anything from something other than an anti-Western post-colonial POV?’

        I’m not up on it, but I believe they do.

        There actually seems to be a running feud between the ‘Arab haters’ such as Bernard Lewis and Arab apologists of the type you seem to have in mind.

        It seems to be quite an open field, with a free exchange of ideas and all that. Not at all like ‘Israel studies’ — witness the rather ham-fisted attempts to deny Nadia Abu El Haj tenure or a new academic post or whatever it was.

        I can’t resist pointing out that as always, adopting a pro-Israel position as you have leads one into positing a non-existent anti-universe where everything has to be posited as being the opposite of what it in fact is.

        That’s what comes of lying, to be blunt. Ask any ten-year old.

      • Mooser
        June 21, 2012, 3:56 pm

        “Uh, sorry, but what’s your source for that?”

        Gee, let’s see, whom shall I believe, Hophmi (that’s a Jewish name?) or seafoid? Maybe I should believe the one who doesn’t consistently lie, and doesn’t have an ulterior motive determining his comment content?
        Now, let’s see, which one would that be.

        Ah, that good ol’ Ziocaine amnesia. And of course Costanza’s Dictum!

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 21, 2012, 4:00 pm

        “I’ll take that as a ‘no.'”

        Hey, hoppy, are you ready to “man up and take responsibility” and admit bigoted anti-Arab statement yesterday was a bigoted anti-Arab statement? Or don’t you have the character to do so?

      • seafoid
        June 21, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Hoph

        Israeli school history books are crap.

        H/T dickerson
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/israeli-school-racism-claim

        Israeli university history books are crap

        Zionist history is crap

        Look at how afraid they are of Zochrot. Facts are like garlic to the vampire of Zionism. And check out the vacant faces of the ideologically “educated “who know no better .

      • Daniel Rich
        June 21, 2012, 4:59 pm

        @ hopmi,

        Q – Uh, sorry, but what’s your source for that?

        R – No news in your neck of the desert?

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 3:56 pm

        “‘Do they cover anything from something other than an anti-Western post-colonial POV?’”

        Man, you just can’t trust those leftist intellectuals, they’ll lie to you every time! It’s a crime against the truth for them not to admit that colonialism was a complete success, and one of the best systems ever devised for the good of mankind. Why if it wasn’t for those goddam left-wing intellectuals, colonialism would still be in full swing today.
        But noooo, those lefties keep it from happening, in spite of the pleas of billions of impoverished third world people begging us to bring it back.

      • Fredblogs
        June 21, 2012, 2:55 pm

        To the contrary. There is no reason not to talk about 1948. The Arabs tried to destroy Israel, they lost, Israel expelled the civilian population because they had no way of telling those who were helping the attacking Arab armies from those who were not. Current policy in Gaza is to let food and humanitarian supplies in while keeping weapons out. Torture is banned in Israel. The security state is necessary to protect against terrorists. These things are the plain truth that the Israeli studies departments are designed to get across. The departments are countering the propaganda that makes you believe the opposite.

      • seafoid
        June 21, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Fred

        That is pure ideology. It doesn’t belong in a university.

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 3:24 pm

        ‘To the contrary. There is no reason not to talk about 1948. The Arabs tried to destroy Israel, they lost, Israel expelled the civilian population because they had no way of telling those who were helping the attacking Arab armies from those who were not. Current policy in Gaza is to let food and humanitarian supplies in while keeping weapons out. Torture is banned in Israel. The security state is necessary to protect against terrorists…’

        You’re illustrating the point. What remains accepted as ‘truth’ in many circles is directly opposed to demonstrable fact. I’m not going to go through every one of your canards, but if you’d like to pick one, I’d be happy to demolish it.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 21, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Fredo, talking about things in an academic setting means doing what these israeli studies programs don’t do: talking truthfully. These do programs, instead, do what you do here: spread lies and propaganda in order to justify your judeo-fascist apartheid state (with lies that are as heinous as holocaust denial) so that you can continue to steal the land from the people to whom it rightfully belongs.

      • mig
        June 21, 2012, 3:30 pm

        Fredb:

        The Arabs tried to destroy Israel

        No they didn’t.

        Israel expelled the civilian population because they had no way of telling those who were helping the attacking Arab armies from those who were not.

        Nope. They had to be expelled because without it, there wouldn’t be jewish state.

        Current policy in Gaza is to let food and humanitarian supplies in while keeping weapons out.

        Provide link where are supplies mentioned which pass to Gaza.

        Torture is banned in Israel.

        Official statement, in reality not really.

        The security state is necessary to protect against terrorists.

        Terrorism grows from occupation. And they just keep on coming……until….

      • Annie Robbins
        June 21, 2012, 3:40 pm

        Torture is banned in Israel

        hey fred, would stake your mothers life on the allegation the goi wasn’t torturing a palestinian this very minute.

      • Light
        June 21, 2012, 3:53 pm

        Israel is a security state because the government rules over a large number of people who it systematically oppresses, occupies, disenfranchises and in many cases steals from. These are the plain truths that people are finally learning today.

      • Mooser
        June 21, 2012, 4:02 pm

        “I’m not going to go through every one of your canards, but if you’d like to pick one, I’d be happy to demolish it.”

        Don’t waste your time, Colin. Every Ziocaine Syndrome event ends with what is called “ziocaine amnesia”. This prevents hasbaratchniks from remembering what they said in previous comments, and completely block any contradictory information from getting through.
        So they come back and throw the same stupid crap at us, day after day.

        Jeez, land is a very important thing, I grant you, but I wish somebody had told me we were going to have to sacrifice the Jewish reputation for intelligence (among other things, but let it go) to getting it and keeping it.

      • lysias
        June 21, 2012, 4:50 pm

        Even officially, didn’t the Israeli Supreme Court, while purporting to prohibit torture, expressly permit what it called “mild torture”?

      • Daniel Rich
        June 21, 2012, 5:00 pm

        @ Fredblogs

        So we actually live in the year 64 A.I.? [Anno Israel]

      • lyn117
        June 22, 2012, 1:13 am

        Fredblogs: “There is no reason not to talk about 1948. The Arabs tried to destroy Israel, they lost, …”

        LOL. If this is what Israel studies produces, it proves beyond doubt what crock Israel studies is.

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 4:40 am

        The Arabs tried to destroy Israel, they lost, Israel expelled the civilian population because they had no way of telling those who were helping the attacking Arab armies from those who were not.

        That’s an unhistorical editorial. Plenty of Middle Eastern Studies programs have already discussed the documentary record from 1948, and have labeled your version hasbara. Here is the stated position of the Government of Israel after the conclusion of the 1948 war:

        Israel would welcome the creation of an independent Arab State in Palestine, a State which would be constituted, in the measure possible, conforming to the disposition of the 29 November resolution; the Government of Israel would be ready to negotiate with that State in view of proceeding to mutual rectifications of frontiers, if that State would declare it self ready to conclude a binding alliance with Israel. But if the Mediator’s proposal to incorporate the Arab part of Palestine to Transjordan is carried out, the relationship between the area of Israel and that of the Arab neighbour would be 1 to 20, which would change the very principle which dominated the territorial division envisaged in the resolution of 29 November.”

        — See paragraph 15 of A/AC.25/W/19, 30 July 1949 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/4ECBF3578B6149C50525657100507FAB

        It isn’t incorporated to Transjordan any more. As a matter falling within the domestic jurisdiction and right of self-determination of the emancipated Palestinian people, it shouldn’t have made an iota of difference in the territorial settlement in the first place.

        Even if your version of history were true, it would still constitute a serious war crime and crime against humanity. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and lost. No sane intellect suggests that they should be subjugated for all time as “just deserts” for the generations now living who played absolutely no role whatever in those events of long ago. The Palestinians constituted 2/3rds of the population in 1948. The bulk of them were completely defenseless. By all accounts, many of them had already been expelled from their homeland before there even was such a thing as “Israel”.

        Zionists continually try to justify their war crimes, that were perpetrated against the entire Palestinian people, by assigning all of them responsibility for the actions of third parties. Zionists also try to conflate peaceful political opposition to the unfair terms of a UN partition proposal with armed resistance and active participation in the civil war. But most Palestinians never took-up any arms against the Zionists. According to Ian Bickerton, Carla Klausner, “A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004, few Palestinians bothered to join the Arab Liberation Army and many Palestinians favored partition more than war and indicated a willingness to live alongside a Jewish state (page 88).

        *The Israeli Observer, Mr. Katznelson, told the XVIIth ICRC Diplomatic Conference that no Palestinians had been expelled (pdf file page 61). http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/RC_XVIIth-RC-Conference.pdf
        *Ezra Danin worked in various capacities in the Jewish Agency and the Arab department, “Sherut Yediot”, the “Information Service” of the Haganah. In January of 1948, Danin wrote “I believe the majority of the Palestinian masses accept the partition as a fiat accompli and do not believe it possible to overcome or reject it.” See Document 90, page 128 “Political and Diplomatic Documents Central Zionist Archives/Israel State Archives, December 1947- May 1948, Jerusalem, 1979.
        *The representatives of the Jewish Agency repeatedly claimed that, if left alone, considerable sections of the Palestinian people would be willing to acquiesce, or that they had already accepted the inevitability of partition. The Government of Israel said that it was still willing to enter into the Economic Union as formulated in the Assembly resolution (29 November 1947), if all their basic premises regarding an Arab State were to materialize. See for example:
        – Page 9 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/PV.271
        – Paragraph 8 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/4ECBF3578B6149C50525657100507FAB

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 6:15 am

        Torture is banned in Israel

        Says who?

        The 1987 Landau Commission was established to review the interrogation methods used against terror suspects. It was headed-up by its namesake, a former Chief Justice of the Israeli High Court. It was actually the State Commission itself that recommended the use of “moderate physical pressure” in interrogations based upon statutory “necessity”. At the time, commentators said that the State had banned the use of torture. http://www.btselem.org/torture/hcj_ruling

        In 1999 the Israeli Supreme Court decided that some of the methods used to apply “moderate physical pressure” met the legal definition of torture. What the Court did in response was 1) instruct the state to correct some gaps in the statutes in order to authorize the GSS to conduct interrogations; 2) advised that the “necessity defense” wasn’t a source of statutory authority, just a defense in criminal proceedings; and 3) dismissed the petition from the Public Committee Against Torture, while advising:

        The Court’s decision did not negate the possibility that the “necessity defense” would be available post factum to GSS investigators—either in the choice made by the Attorney-General in deciding whether to prosecute, or according to the discretion of the court if criminal charges are brought against them.

        http://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files/hc5100_94_19990906_torture_ruling.pdf

        Once again commentators said the Court had acted courageously and adopted a long overdue ban against torture. But what it actually said was that in future cases where officers exceeded their statutory authority and tortured a suspect, the Attorney General and the Court had a reserved right to waive prosecution. That allowed the GSS interrogators who had admittedly tortured suspects in the 1999 case to go unpunished. I’m certain that example was a severe warning to others.

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 6:21 am

        Even officially, didn’t the Israeli Supreme Court, while purporting to prohibit torture, expressly permit what it called “mild torture”?

        No that was just a state commission headed-up by a Supreme Court Chief Justice.

        The Supreme Court expressly permitted itself and the Attorney General the right to hold the interrogators coat during the mild torture, so long as everyone looks the other way while its being done. See the links in my other comment in this thread.

      • Fredblogs
        June 22, 2012, 1:38 pm

        @Hostage
        Well exactly, the “middle eastern studies” departments examine only those carefully cherry picked (and in some cases faked) documents that appear to support your side’s propaganda. That’s why we need an Israel studies department to counter your slanted presentation.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 1:50 pm

        the “middle eastern studies” departments examine only those carefully cherry picked (and in some cases faked) documents that appear to support your side’s propaganda

        source?

      • Hostage
        June 22, 2012, 2:59 pm

        @Hostage Well exactly, the “middle eastern studies” departments examine only those carefully cherry picked (and in some cases faked) documents that appear to support your side’s propaganda.

        Yeah right. When the responsible Israeli minister, Ariel Sharon, gives a series of long in-depth interviews to a reporter from the Jerusalem Post outlining his plans to establish strips of illegal Jewish settlements to disrupt the territorial continuity of the large Arab population centers in Palestine and adjacent areas of Israel it only “appears” to support my side’s propaganda. Nonetheless it’s a fact, and as they say “You can look it up in the Library of Congress” at the link that I supplied in my earlier comment.

        That’s why we need an Israel studies department to counter your slanted presentation.

        So far you haven’t cited anything that I’ve “slanted” or that anyone “faked”. In several instances that I cited, you’d need these Israel Studies departments to counter the propaganda published by the Jerusalem Post. They were getting their story straight from the horse’s mouth. At the time Sharon was one of Israel’s most popular Cabinet Ministers, and he went on to serve as Israel’s Prime Minister. No one in this country needed Israel Shahak to bring us clippings, Time Magazine was reporting on similar stories in 1979:

        Even for a parliament that is notoriously rowdy and undisciplined, one session of the Israeli Knesset last week was unusual. Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon, who is known as his country’s ‘settlement czar,’ gleefully baited and ridiculed opposition members who attacked the Cabinet’s decision to establish a new Jewish settlement at Elon Moreh on the occupied West Bank.

        The opposition MK’s were upset because the settlement was being built on privately owned Palestinian Land. See Middle East: Strange Way to Seek Peace, Jun. 25, 1979 — http://www.time.com/time/archive/collections/0,21428,c_ariel_sharon,00.shtml

        Even the NYTimes Blog has gotten in on the act by publishing The West Bank Archipelago Map: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/04/01/world/middleeast/02lede_archipelago.480.jpg

        Frankly if you have to pay your enemies to say nice things about you, they will only be of small help. If they really loved you, these “seekers of smooth things” would already be saying nice things about Israel for free. Poor Bibi couldn’t get Dersh to represent Israel as his Ambassador to the UN for love nor love of money.

      • Mooser
        June 24, 2012, 7:28 pm

        “That’s an unhistorical editorial.”

        Gosh, what a nice way to describe what oxen leave behind.

    • ColinWright
      June 21, 2012, 2:38 pm

      One would hope there would be chairs in Arab studies. Arabs make up a fine large chunk of the earth’s population, and as such, one would want to have the opportunity to learn about them.

      Do you wonder about who funds chairs in Latin American studies?

  5. talknic
    June 21, 2012, 12:50 pm

    101 ways to apply lipstick

  6. German Lefty
    June 21, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Sorry if someone has already mentioned this before, but I just discovered that Press TV has a documentary series called “Plight of Palestinian families in exile”. You can watch it online here:
    http://www.presstv.ir/section/3510549.html

  7. David Green
    June 21, 2012, 1:59 pm

    The Schusterman family brings soft hasbara to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (excerpts from the Daily Illini):

    http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2010/10/speaker_dr._daniel_pipes_uses_authority_charisma_energy_to_spread_fear_of_islam

    Sitting through Dr. Daniel Pipes’ talk last week in Foellinger Auditorium, it was hard not to be impressed by his erudition and his commanding presentation. Dr. Pipes clearly knows his material and he knows how to hold an audience’s attention.
    But after the talk my husband commented: “He didn’t actually say anything.”And he was right. For almost an hour Dr. Pipes kept us captivated by a talk empty of substantive content but full of one main, powerful component: fear. The event was consumed by a fear of radical Islam, as though nothing else existed.

    I will not try to refute Dr. Pipes’ theories. I am not a scholar of Islam. Moreover, I am well aware that the foundation on which Dr. Pipes builds his argument is true; there are some radical Islamic groups that are extremely dangerous and destructive. Is there something to be afraid of in radical Islam? Certainly. Should we be consumed by that fear? Certainly not.

    During the talk I tried an exercise: every time Pipes said “radical Islam” I substituted “Zionism” in my head, and suddenly the talk became horribly familiar. Learned and hate-filled anti-Zionism is something I’ve often come across and is, for me personally, particularly unsettling. If — as a Zionist and an Israeli — I had been sitting through that version of the talk, I would have been horrified. And so I wondered how a young Muslim student sitting in Pipes’ talk would have felt. Like Islam, there is much about Zionism that can and should be criticized. But there is a line between scholarly criticism and McCarthy-like fear-mongering. Dr. Pipes crossed that line.

    I urge the students who were there to think critically of the information that was handed to them by Pipes with such authority. Even in the Middle-East (one of the most volatile regions on the earth) there is room for moderation. There is room to think about these issues in a more complex light, one that does not erase historical context or opposing viewpoints, one that is not overcome with fear. It’s almost comical that the words that kept going through my head after Pipes’ talk were: “Be afraid! Be very afraid!” For those in the audience who were distressed by what they heard last week I offer this alternative: Be aware. Be challenging and be critical. Be thoughtful and thought-provoking. But be consumed by fear? Absolutely not.

    Dr. Rhona Seidelman ,
    Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor,
    scholar of Israeli history
    *************

    The October 20th letter from Dr. Rhona Seidelman regarding a recent lecture by Daniel Pipes is evasive, and a form of Zionist propaganda in its own right. Islamophobes like Pipes are invited by “respectable” organizations to speak on college campuses, because Islamophobia is an accepted part of our mainstream political cultures, both American and Israeli. Characterizations of Islam are used to justify ongoing American and Israeli imperial policies.

    Seidelman is disingenuous in drawing an analogy between “anti-Zionism” and Islamophobia. “Anti-Zionism”—if one wishes to describe critics of Israel in this manner—is rooted in a serious critique of Zionism and its manifestations as racist and proto-fascist, and now a form of religious fanaticism. Criticism of Zionism is rooted in a genuine concern for the Palestinian and other victims of Israel’s criminal behavior, supported with U.S. tax dollars. Seidelman’s analogy attempts to create a moral equivalence between destructive American/Israeli policies, and the struggle against those policies. Her posturing as a “moderate” Zionist is transparent, and as appalling as that of Pipes.

    It is clear why Pipes is invited to this university, and why blatant anti-Semites could never be. It’s the same logic: Islamophobia is useful in promoting “respectable” policies; charges of “anti-Semitism” are useful at silencing critics of the U.S. and Israel. It’s also clear why Seidelman can be “Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor, scholar of Israeli history,” while it is inconceivable that there would be a “visiting Palestinian professor.” Her status is a manifestation of who dictates the terms on which such important issues will be addressed. That is, the oppressors will define the terms of debate. It has nothing to do with scholarship and open inquiry.

    **********
    http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2011/09/todays_palestine_mirrors_israels_fight_for_statehood

    This week my history of Israel class will be reading about the Jewish response in 1947 to UN General Assembly Resolution 181. It is an achingly beautiful description of a people — previously devastated by genocide, persecution and exile — uplifted by the promise of a country of their own.

    Although different, there are parallels with the current Palestinian bid for UN recognition. Today’s events are also inspiring and heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking to imagine how different history could have been if the Arab world had accepted a Jewish state in 1947. But they did not, and decades of numbing violence followed.
    The past can’t be changed. The present and future can. Just as the Jews needed — and continue to need — the world’s recognition of their right to statehood, so too the Palestinians need that recognition today.

    But I am not naïve. I know that many people wish to destroy Israel. For me personally, this period is very frightening. My family lives in the Israeli city of Beersheba where rocket attacks from Gaza have become more frequent and unpredictable. Recent conversations with my sister focus on what she and her husband are doing to protect their young daughters from the physical violence of rocket attacks as well as the emotional terror of the warning sirens. For my family, the Palestinian’s inspiring UN bid has also meant fear for how much worse the violence could become.

    But these attacks will not be stopped by continuing to deny the Palestinians a state. I also don’t actually believe that they will stop once the Palestinians do have a state. My feeling is this: I refuse to let the most radical, fanatical and violent groups dictate my own moral compass. For decades now there has been two-sided violence, non-recognition and delegitimization. Why not try something different?

    Rhona Seidelman, professor of Jewish Culture and Society
    ****************

    Hi Dr. Seidelman,

    Just to mention that I found your recent letter pretty unconvincing. I’d much prefer an overtly racist Zionist over one with your liberal pretensions. You distort the founding of Israel, and fail to mention the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. You talk about those who would destroy Israel, while not lifting a finger in relation to those who continue to destroy Palestine.

    Nobody is capable of destroying Israel, and you know it. But the U.S. and Israel have destroyed plenty of countries in the meantime. You don’t say a word about it.
    You’re no friend of the Palestinian people, and you’re unconvincing as a moderate, if a Zionist can be any such thing.

    Not too many people are fooled anymore by your tactics.

    I think you should stick to disease, instead of propagandizing U of I students.

    Best,
    David Green
    ************

    http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2011/10/building_trust_necessary_for_coexistence

    On Tuesday evening, Rhona Seidelman, a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, gave a lecture and led a discussion about coexistence in Israel to a diverse group of 40 students. Her talk centered on her experiences working at a coexistence organization, The Center for Creativity in Education and Cultural Heritage, based in Jerusalem during the Second Intifada (a time of extreme violence in the year 2000). This organization focuses on bringing Arab and Jewish children together over folklore and heritage. Once a month, children from Arab and Jewish schools come together and share familial stories about a previously assigned topic. The experience Seidelman shared as her favorite was the discussion that took place about bread. Through this intimate discussion, these children formed a relationship with one another that was based not on politics but solely on culture, tradition and — of course — bread.

    The goal of this organization, and many others working on coexistence efforts in Israel, is not to solve the conflict in the Middle East. But these grassroots organizations are making a difference; they are changing the atmosphere on the ground, working effortlessly to create communities of Arabs and Jews that — while they may not agree on issues of politics — find cultural commonalities and very real reasons for mutual respect.

    As Seidelman emphasized: We are not all politicians or, to put it in context, political science majors. But we are all people, with cultures and stories and experiences. Let’s start with these, and if politics come up after the trust is built, then perhaps the enemies will become acquaintances and the arguments will become discussions where we actually listen.

    It’s time we started taking Seidelman’s ideas about coexistence and applying them here, to our campus.

    It’s time we started respecting each other as students and as humans.
    It’s time we started taking advantage of the coexistence groups that exist around us.
    It’s time to start talking about bread.

    Tali Segev, junior in LAS
    **************

    http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2011/10/coexistence_rhetoric_not_reflective_of_zionist_cruelty

    This is a response to “a letter by student Tali Segev (published Oct. 14) which lauded a recent talk by Israeli Professor Rhona Seidelman on “coexistence” among Jewish and Arab children in Israel. It’s also a response to Seidelman’s previous efforts in the DI to promote her image as a conciliatory Zionist.

    The conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs is deeply rooted in the nature of the Zionist settler-colonialist project, with its violent ethnic cleansing, dispossession and occupation, all ongoing. The material goal of the Zionist project — a Jewish state — has necessitated legalized discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel. This goal is fundamental to a historical understanding of Israel’s numerous wars, and its unwillingness since the 1970s to abide by the international consensus for a two-state solution.

    Israel’s history as an aggressive colonial-settler society has determined its decision to serve militarily as a “strategic asset” for American hegemony in the region, support compliant Arab dictators, oppose popular Arab movements and foment regional conflicts, now with Iran.

    Whatever Seidelman’s motivations, “coexistence” and cultural understanding among children mean at best absolutely nothing in relation to addressing the fundamentally oppressive and one-sided nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Worse, this approach allows liberal Zionists to avoid taking honest responsibility for their complicity in oppression. Even worse, Seidelman’s rhetorical tactics become an aspect of “hasbara” (propaganda) for Israel’s systematically cruel policies.

    Seidelman is entitled to promote her understanding of decency. Nevertheless, she is a privileged person in apartheid Israel, and her tenure on this campus is a result of the manner in which Zionist perspectives have been academically institutionalized here, to the detriment of truth, scholarship, fairness and Palestinian rights.

    Whatever her rhetoric, it should be made clear that she is unwilling to lift a finger in genuine and meaningful support of Palestinian justice. She has no basis whatsoever to claim otherwise.

    David Green, Urbana resident
    **********

    http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2011/11/students_need_to_stand_with_palestinians#comment14780

    Israel has precious few avid defenders on this campus; yet, Zionism is institutionalized in such a way as prevent the Palestinian (that is, the truthful and justice-oriented) perspective from getting the hearing it deserves. Sincere supporters of the Palestinians need to think about how to change this institutional status quo, which is partly enforced by the Israel Lobby, broadly speaking, including local Jewish institutions (Federation, Hillel). For example, a course on these issues is taught by Rhona Seidelman, a visiting Israeli “history” professor funded by the Schusterman family; outside funding supports the Lobby’s perspectives; Israel is sanitized by Seidelman. Meanwhile, I’m unaware of any Palestinian ever invited to teach on this campus and address these issues honestly and truthfully. It’s 2011, and apartheid is alive and well as an acceptable ideology among Zionists at the U of I. It’s alive and well in the scholarly treatment of this issue—only Jews are deemed qualified to address it. That especially applies to the “Israel Studies” program.

    David Green

    For a more general perspective:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/the-israel-lobby-on-campus-in-illinois-a-challenge-for-bds.html

    • hophmi
      June 21, 2012, 2:29 pm

      LOL. David Green is apparently the arbitor of who is committed to Palestinian justice.

      You’re pretty arrogant, David.

      • David Green
        June 21, 2012, 3:28 pm

        Actually, I’m a lot more arrogant in person than I ever am on Mondoweiss. But arrogant or otherwise, it’s pretty clear when someone is not committed to Palestinian justice; at least not committed enough to actually participate in some credible way in the movement for Palestinian justice. Moral grandstanding isn’t really that difficult to discern, when you think about it. It’s especially easy in instances when an overwhelming inbalance of power makes it obvious that unless one does not clearly side with the oppressed, and clearly offer no excuses whatsoever for the oppressor, then one does not support justice. Thus, Seidelman in no way supports justice for the Palestinians.

        And I have no idea, on reflection, what it means to be called an “arbiter.” Is that sort of accusation supposed to just shut people up?

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 4:04 pm

        ‘But arrogant or otherwise, it’s pretty clear when someone is not committed to Palestinian justice; at least not committed enough to actually participate in some credible way in the movement for Palestinian justice. Moral grandstanding isn’t really that difficult to discern, when you think about it. ‘

        On the other hand, while one’s sense of integrity will pose limits, it’s perhaps more useful to draw figures such as Seidelman into dialogue rather than simply driving her into the camp of the uncritical pro-Israel chauvinists (Nazis, to use an equally accurate and more concise term).

        There’s not much to be done with those who like Israel as she is. On the other hand, when it comes to those who obviously genuinely need for there to be a ‘good’ Israel one can encourage them to attempt to reconcile their views with yours rather than drive them back behind the circled wagons — where they will attempt to reconcile their views with those of the Nazis.

        This is a war. The idea is to win, not be right. I know I’m right — and presumably, so do you. Now, what are you going to do about it? Pile up private intellectual trophies — or seek to see the outrage that is Israel stopped? I’m reminded of global warming activists who often seem more interested in imposing perfect political correctness than in actually reducing CO2 emissions.

      • Fredblogs
        June 21, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Well at least this post makes you better than Dickinson456 or whater the guy’s name is. You may be a cut-and-paste-bot like him, but at least you sometimes have your own opinions. BTW, I didn’t read any of your 50 page cut and paste-athon up there. Why don’t you make your own arguments, and link to support instead of just stealing wholesale?

      • Bumblebye
        June 21, 2012, 7:09 pm

        Fredfrog – letting your own side down again! (Zio-dim?) Admitting you’ve not read the comment you’re responding to – which consists of David Green’s *own* letters in response to others so no “stealing wholesale” there then.

      • talknic
        June 22, 2012, 12:13 am

        Fredblogs June 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm = Ziocaine addict walks into a wall

      • David Green
        June 22, 2012, 9:53 am

        Ben White documents an important issue on the national level; I provide supporting evidence on the local level. Mondoweiss seems like a good place to put these things on the record, instead of everyone having to do their own research. And my own arguments are pretty clear in response to Rhona Seidelman’s efforts to publicize her “moderate” views (on the dime of the Israel Lobby, sanctioned by the taxpayes of Illinois).

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2012, 5:58 pm

        the arbitor”

        Jeez it’s one thing to use a word when you don’t know what it means. But you don’t have to make it quite so obvious by misspelling it, too

  8. ColinWright
    June 21, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Well,, reading Seidelman’s remarks and the post in support of her, I’m inclined to suspect that such an approach will let the cat out of the bag anyway.

    The notion that there is a humane, tolerant Israel in the first place merely sets up expectations that get repeatedly dashed by reality. Something like this led to my present attitude towards Israel: through about 1980, I expected it to be good, and when it wasn’t, I was outraged. And kept getting more outraged, and kept looking some more…and here I am. If one starts with the assumption that Israel SHOULD shoot ‘terrorists’, etc., one won’t necessarily be excessively disturbed by what goes on. If one begins with the notion that Israel is a law-abiding state with Western values, etc — one is going to be horrified.

    It seems to me that courses in ‘Israel studies’ are just going to lead more down the same road. People like Seidelman’s admiring student are setting themselves up to have the scales fall from their eyes at some point. The academic approach just can’t provide the kind of cover Israel needs. This would be all the truer if rather than blocking such courses, supporters of Palestine TOOK them, and kept interposing awkward questions and offering unpleasant facts. Indeed, take a leaf from the Hasbara handbook and offer guidance to such activists on how to conduct themselves.

    • Fredblogs
      June 21, 2012, 6:05 pm

      Hey, Colin. Still waiting on your cite for the IDF calling an 8 year old a “terrorist with a long resume”.

      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 6:35 pm

        Oh. That’s from a rocketing that happened in Khan Yunis in 2002.

        The Israelis had been bombarding an area, and had apparently quit for the day. The inhabitants came out to look at the damage — and the Israelis slapped a rocket into the crowd. They killed twenty or thirty — I forget which.

        The IDF claimed ‘all the victims were terrorists with long resumes.’ Haaretz enumerated the victims. One of them had a conviction for auto theft. Another had an uncle who was a Hamas activist.

        That was the eight year old.

      • Fredblogs
        June 22, 2012, 1:07 pm

        Oh, you mean the one where 14 people died, not 20 or 30. The one where the IDF spokesman said that of the 14 _dead_ people, 13 were wanted terrorists with long resumes and the other one was an innocent elderly woman (the mother of one of the dead terrorists). The one where he didn’t say anything of the kind about any of the injured?

        “Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that all but one of the 14 Palestinians killed in an assault on a Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip were armed. “They [the 14 dead people] were all terrorists with long resumes,” he said, “except for one innocent elderly woman.””

        http://www.propheticround-up.com/wr/wr2002/wr101102.htm

        “In commenting on the IDF operation in Khan Unis, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that only one of those killed was not a wanted terrorist. Ben-Eliezer said he would release details of the terrorist activity of the 13. “They were all terrorists with long resumes,” he said, “except for one innocent elderly woman.””

        http://www.chareidi.org/archives5763/noach/agaza.htm

        Got a cite for your version of events? Because the only source in Ha’Aretz is you, in the comment section.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 22, 2012, 1:21 pm

        Oh, you mean the one where 14 people died, not 20 or 30. The one where the IDF spokesman said that of the 14 _dead_ people, 13 were wanted terrorists …Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said

        Got a cite for your version of events? Because the only source is iof spokesperson/known liars and Defense Minister all definitely w/bias.

      • Fredblogs
        June 22, 2012, 3:46 pm

        ROFL. Since my “version” of events is that I don’t believe that the IDF called an 8 year old a terrorist with a long resume, and he claims that they did, and I provided the real quote, which was about terrorists, not eight year olds, the burden is on Colin to show that one of the 13 dead referred to in that quote was an eight year old, when no google search turns up any source for his claim, other than him.

      • OlegR
        June 22, 2012, 7:04 pm

        Fred come on, preaching debate logic to Annie ?
        You should know better then that.

      • ColinWright
        June 23, 2012, 2:24 am

        Aside from my being off on the body count, my version is the same as your version.

        Wasn’t your problem with my claim that Israel described an eight year old they killed as ‘a terrorist with a long resume’? Well, as you appear to have ascertained to your own satisfaction, they did just that. I quote you:

        ‘…In commenting on the IDF operation in Khan Unis, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that only one of those killed was not a wanted terrorist. Ben-Eliezer said he would release details of the terrorist activity of the 13. “They were all terrorists with long resumes,” he said, “except for one innocent elderly woman.””…”

      • ColinWright
        June 23, 2012, 2:52 am

        ‘…the burden is on Colin to show that one of the 13 dead referred to in that quote was an eight year old…’

        When it comes to supporters of Israel, there’s no burden on me to do anything whatsoever.

        I would pull my hair out finding the subsequent article that identified each of the dead and their ‘resumes.’

        I don’t think I’ll bother. There was such a subsequent article. I know I read it, and you know I read it. I am certain that the victims were enumerated, that none of them had any connection to terrorism at all, least of all ‘long resumes’, and that at least one of them was an outrageously young child.

      • Hostage
        June 23, 2012, 5:38 am

        Oh, you mean the one where 14 people died, not 20 or 30.

        There have been so many reports, including the apparent massacres carried out during the 1956 Suez Crisis that Israel and its partners manufactured. During that one the UNRWA reported 275 people killed in Khan Yunis and 111 in Rafah. — A/3212/Add.1 of 15 December 1956 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/6558F61D3DB6BD4505256593006B06BE

        In 2002 the outrage was over the use of a US Apache helicopter to fire an anti-tank missile in a densely populated residential area of a UN refugee camp adjacent to the neighborhood mosque simply because people with small arms were offering light resistance. The UN, Red Crescent, and IDF reported between 80 and 150 people wounded. The IDF conceded that at least two of the dead were minors. They obviously had no idea who the hell they were targeting with an anti-tank missile fired at 4 A.M. from hundreds of meters away. The initial IDF reports claimed that 16 people had been killed.

        Amos Harel and Aluf Benn wrote that “The U.S. said it was “deeply troubled” by yesterday’s IDF operation in Khan Yunis that left 14 Palestinians dead and more that 100 wounded. Israel said most of the casualties were armed terrorists but Palestinians insisted most were civilians. …U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the U.S. was “deeply troubled” by the deaths of civilians. He reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself but in ways that do not harm civilians. …Shortly after the operation began after midnight, Palestinian gunfire was directed at the soldiers, along with anti-tank rockets, the army said. The exchange of fire took place around the house of one of the wanted men. The soldiers saw a figure peering from a window and fired. But the figure turned out to be the wanted man’s mother, who was fatally wounded. The army says it gave her medical care but she died.

        The IDF said the gun-battle intensified. Around 4 A.M., when the force began moving out of the neighborhood, a large group of Palestinians, many with arms, was spotted near the neighborhood mosque, about 700 meters from an the IDF outpost where the force was heading. Other armed men were seen getting out of cars on the other side of the mosque.

        According to the army, an Apache helicopter fired an anti-tank missile toward the crowd, hitting most of the people. Among the dead were several 15-17 year old boys, the army conceded, but it also claimed that lately many teens of that age have been taking part in armed clashes with the army. Haaretz October 8, 2002 http://osdir.com/ml/politics.communism.environmental/2002-10/msg00120.html

        “An operation by Israeli helicopters and dozens of tanks early Monday killed 14 people, including a woman and child, and about 150 people wounded, the Palestine Red Crescent Society and hospital sources said.”
        http://articles.cnn.com/2002-10-07/world/mideast_1_israeli-forces-gaza-khan-younis?_s=PM:WORLD

        An Israeli missile attack on Khan Younis on 7 October, which left 14 Palestinians dead and over 80 injured, prompted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to voice “extreme concern” over the deaths, which, he said, was an “unacceptable loss of civilian life”.
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/9053CE9EC5F4A6C985256CD40072C161

        The UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) 2001-2002 ANNUAL REPORT
        One year ago, Israeli military forces marked the first anniversary of the uprising by staging a deadly assault on major Palestinian towns and refugee camps in the West Bank. This year the military target was the Khan Younis area of the Gaza Strip, including the Khan Younis refugee camp. Thirteen Palestinians were killed in the attack including 4 children. Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects is considered a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
        http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/55-press-releases-2002/336-press274-02

      • Annie Robbins
        June 23, 2012, 6:25 am

        Fred come on, preaching debate logic to Annie ?

        oleg..fred has some explaining to do.

        I provided the real quote

        his word is dirt:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/pchr-says-misfired-rocket-killed-girl-in-gaza.html/comment-page-1#comment-465075

      • Fredblogs
        June 23, 2012, 12:59 pm

        @Colin
        So basically, you are admitting that you have no source.

      • Fredblogs
        June 23, 2012, 1:01 pm

        @Hostage
        Cut and paste job skimmed.
        I didn’t see an 8 year old called “a terrorist with a long resume” in your long post either.

      • Fredblogs
        June 23, 2012, 1:02 pm

        @Colin
        I don’t know you read it. I think you made it up. A search of Ha’aretz shows no sign of it.

      • Hostage
        June 23, 2012, 6:47 pm

        @Hostage Cut and paste job skimmed.

        RFLMAO! Dissimulation noted.

        I didn’t see an 8 year old called “a terrorist with a long resume” in your long post either.

        I didn’t merely skim the two citations that you provided. I read them both very carefully, because Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said he would release details of the terrorist activity of the 13. Unfortunately, the names, ages, and dossiers of the victims were not included in the propaganda puff pieces that you provided to substantiate the defense minister’s claims. I did notice Ariel Sharon’s baldfaced attempt to rewrite the laws of armed conflict in order to shift the burden of responsibility from the IDF to Hamas for the use of disproportionate force and the inordinately high number of casualties.

        The IDF went on a fishing expedition looking for two suspects and ended-up killing and wounding one hundred or more civilians with an anti-tank missile that they launched in the middle of a residential area. Any innocent bystanders were sure to be killed or wounded.

        I provided citations which reported that anywhere from 2 to 4 of the victims of the massacre were children. Unless you can provide a link to the promised details about the terror activities of the 13, there’s no reason for me to rule out the possibility that one of the victims was an innocent eight year old.

  9. HarryLaw
    June 21, 2012, 3:55 pm

    @hophmi, “Why is that arrogant? Usually, if a university president opposing something, the Board of Trustees is not likely to support it”. If the students decide in a democratic way to support BDS then no matter what the President might say is of no account, she can of course warn that the trustees may not like it, but so what, its what we call democracy.

    • Fredblogs
      June 21, 2012, 7:31 pm

      Except that a university isn’t a democracy. If the student government says “divest” and the board of trusties says “no”. Guess who wins? Israel.

  10. Mooser
    June 21, 2012, 4:06 pm

    “Learned and hate-filled anti-Zionism is something I’ve often come across and is, for me personally, particularly unsettling…”

    But not often enough to give us a link to it, or any examples of it?

    Or is the ranting of an old Palestinian man who has had his family’s house and land stolen by Israelis considered “hate-filled anti-Zionism?”

  11. Mooser
    June 21, 2012, 4:11 pm

    “a soft advocacy philosophy, one that incorporates a degree of critical scrutiny of Israel’s past and present”.

    Gosh, he could be describing a website I read frequently, but I just can’t think which one right now. Oh well, it’s just a battle of ideas, that never hurt anyone.

  12. Jenny Grossbard
    June 21, 2012, 4:43 pm

    London’s Prof. Colin Shindler, author of an apologia for Zionism, says: “I teach complexity”

    The doctrine of intractable “complexity” is the last refuge of the ideologue, functioning as part of the Zionist erasure of history. In other words, Zionist ideological targets are chastised into believing that things are not what they appear.

    Deaths are not deaths; they’re casualties. The siege of Gaza is not a siege of Gaza; it’s an emblem of Israeli humanitarianism. Prisons are not prisons; they’re complimentary housing. But you’ll never really understand why without getting your Phd.

    Zionism waves the flag of complexity because everything that appears is actually quite clear. Visceral reactions to human pain cannot be studied in a textbook — but the systematic creation of a culture of sociopathic apathy takes a lot of work.

    Zionism teaches you to ignore what you see.

    • ColinWright
      June 21, 2012, 6:12 pm

      ‘…The doctrine of intractable “complexity” is the last refuge of the ideologue…’

      It’s been my observation that all things being equal, ‘complexity’ is usually a sign of a fundamental error in the paradigm. For example, charts of planetary rotations were wildly complex as long as it was assumed they were all rotating around the earth. That paradigm overthrown, they assumed much simpler paths.

      As Einstein said, ‘everything should be as simple as possible, but not too simple.’ While oversimplification is a temptation, excessive complexity is the marker of an theory that’s crap to start with.

    • ColinWright
      June 21, 2012, 6:32 pm

      ‘Zionism teaches you to ignore what you see.’

      Or better still, not look. I frequently notice that above all, Zionists are loathe to permit the appearance of anything that suggests Palestinians have a human identity. Even a film as innocuous as ‘Miral’ was fairly effectively blocked from distribution in the United States.

  13. Daniel Rich
    June 21, 2012, 4:51 pm

    The normalcy of an utterly inhumane and unlawful siege of fellow human beings http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NF22Ak02.html

  14. ToivoS
    June 21, 2012, 5:04 pm

    A little off topic but would like to draw your attention to a recent book by William Hagen “German History in Modern Times”.

    This book takes a very broad historical sweep of German history but has a chapter on Nazi ethnic cleansing of the Slav and Jews of Eastern Europe. We all know of the 5 million Jews that were systematically slaughtered but this chapter also focuses on the efforts to exterminate the Slav and Polish people. The number of civilians killed was in excess of 10 million which was in addition to the 3 million Soviet POWs that were killed. The 20 year goal was the elimination of 50 million Slavs. What struck me was that Goebbels defended that action by citing the European conquest of North America and the slaughter of the native peoples. He quipped, “when we eat wheat from Canada, who thinks about the Indians”.

    Now where else have we heard that comparison as the justification for ethnic cleansing?

  15. CitizenC
    June 21, 2012, 5:14 pm

    The Forward called Israel studies Zionist “public diplomacy”.

    http://www.forward.com/articles/128346/israel-studies-scholarly-pursuit-or-public-diplom/

    In re David Green’s exchange with the Schusterman professor (the Schusterman Foundation is a major funder of Israel studies), here is a relevant quote from Gabriel Piterberg’s The Returns of Zionism about “progressive Zionism”. In this view

    Zionism refers to a progressively liberal or moderately
    social democrat national liberation movement, which sought
    a national home for the Jews with the peaceful consent
    of its neighbors, and which still holds the key for
    peace and for the perfectly feasible existence of
    a state that is simultaneously Jewish and democratic.
    All other forms are deviations from, and corruptions of,
    that true Zionism… I believe, however, that the
    goal of founding an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine
    by European Jews is a more or less continuous concept
    and praxis from Herzl’s foundational Zionism,
    through the settler movement in the Occupied Territories,
    to Sharon’s wall… From the perspective of Zionism’s victims,
    who have been dispossessed and cleansed by all Zionist varieties,
    this continuity outweighs the differences.

  16. ColinWright
    June 21, 2012, 6:26 pm

    ‘…Zionism refers to a progressively liberal or moderately
    social democrat national liberation movement, which sought
    a national home for the Jews with the peaceful consent
    of its neighbors…’

    This is both accurate, and false. To the early Zionists, those ‘neighbors’ — and even those occupying the land itself — tended to be invisible. It wasn’t a matter of seeking their consent so much as of being unaware there was anyone’s consent to seek.

    This was a common European failing at the time. North Africans, Australian aborigines, Annamese, etc were simply not considered. They literally weren’t seen. The land was there, wasted, waiting to be put to proper use by civilized people.

    Early Zionism is rife with this blindness. When the Palestinians are considered at all, it is quickly assumed that they could be paid to go away, or manipulated into it, or if all else fails (see the early Ben Gurion) discovered to be authentic Hebrews themselves, who can be brought to see the light (and presumably start toiling for their more enlightened brethren).

    Zionism didn’t start out as some dark plot against the Palestinian people. The Palestinians simply weren’t there. It’s telling that some Zionists still cling to this version of events — ala ‘From Time Immemorial.’ There WEREN’T any Palestinians. There couldn’t have been. Else the whole project would have been transparently misconceived from the start.

    When the Zionists got to Palestine, and discovered that there were Palestinians, and that these Palestinians weren’t in the least interested in going away, or becoming Jewish, or in any other way fitting in with the Zionist project, then the lies started. But originally, it was more of an oversight than anything else. ‘A land without a people for a people without a land.’ That’s really what Zionists allowed themselves to believe — and indeed, as the history of Zionist ideology since shows, that had to be true. Had the existence of the Palestinians been taken into account, ‘Israel’ would have been a non-starter.

Leave a Reply