Academics as Theologians: Judith Butler and Stephen Hawking

The internet wages war mainly via words and images. However words and ideologies are indeed important in understanding and in influencing the world. The Jewish Bible claims that G-d’s ideas and words preceded the creation of the world. “In the beginning there was the word” and indeed ideas do precede actions in a thinking world.

Judith Butler, a feminist, a philosopher, a professor of critical thinking who also happens to hold the Hannah Arendt Chair in Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Sass-Fee, Switzerland, – another point of irony for anyone who knows about the controversies that swirl around Hannah Arendt, who was also a Jewish and academically acclaimed, but very controversial  philosopher) is about to receive an honorary degree from McGill University in Montreal.

She has been criticized for supporting the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement that was seeded at the notoriously anti-semitic first Durban UN Human rights conference,and which has become an international political arm of the Palestinian “electronic and political” intifada against Israel. BDS has become an industry solely focused on Israel and has spawned legal opposition groups. Here is how one of them Shurat Hadin describes the BDS movement:

“The Briefing: Israel, and the Jewish community at large, is beset by a dangerous international campaign utilizing new strategies to delegitimize the Jewish State. Unable to defeat the IDF militarily or weaken the population through persistent terrorism, the extremist groups, Islamic terrorists and their rogue regime allies have embarked upon a global effort to demonize and isolate Israel, casting it as a pariah state.The widespread Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and its utilization of Lawfare, is the main component of the “Durban Strategy” adopted by Israel’s opponents at the U.N.’s Human Rights Conference in 2001. Tactics like the Gaza Flotilla,  the effort overseas to indict IDF officers and elected officials for war crimes, blood libels in the media, the boycotting of Israeli academics, and the persistent debate over whether a Jewish State has a right to exist, are having a perilous impact on Israel’s security and diplomatic capabilities.  As the Anti-Defamation League has stated: “The BDS movement at its very core is anti-Semitic.”

Judith Butler has defended herself in a blog: “Judith Butler Responds to Attack”. Sadly, she exposes her lack of critical thinking in a long and wordy defense focusing on her “Jewish and ethical” background without any appreciation of the political and ideological war that she has been drawn into by her academic leftist convictions. At one point she states:

“…A few words are taken out of context, their meaning distorted, and they then come to label or, indeed, brand an individual. This happens to many people when they offer a critical view of Israel – they are branded as anti-Semites or even as Nazi collaborators; However she uses exactly the same tactic of devaluing the scholars who criticize her by saying: “SPME, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East is not, as The Jerusalem Post has reported, a large group of Jewish scholars in Germany, but an international organization with a base in Australia and California. They are a right-wing organization and so part of an intra-Jewish war.

Having attended one of the SPME conferences in Miami, I can assure her that the members of SPME are scholars of academia just as she is, not all Jewish by the way, and actually from all parts of the world including Germany. They have united to fight the spurious BDS movement which was ignited on campuses all over the world and has been embraced by left-wing academics such as herself.

I have written about anti-semitism, the anti-Jewish rhetoric and ideology, that is propagated by Islam in more than one post:

Jonathan Spyer on Obama’s Foreign Policy and Antisemitism: an unsexy subject.

However, today I read an editorial that reveals the Christian anti-Jewish “replacement theology” bias that I would have thought was by now obsolete in the Christian world.  By “replacement theology” I refer to the Christian doctrine that Judaism is an inferior religion that has no validity since it has been superseded by the birth of Christ and Christianity, the superior religion. We all owe Mordechai Ben Dat a debt of gratitude for reading and analyzing the 10 page treatise published by the Scottish Church (PDF), which few of us would ever read, and exposing its virulent outdated ideology in  Polemics as Theology. He writes, “The document titled ‘The Inheritance of Abraham? A Report on the ‘Promised Land,’ is a brazen attack on the Jewish state as well as on the Jewish religion.” If you have some time you will appreciate his insightful article.

In addition, we have recently witnessed the sad case of the atheist scientist, Stephen Hawking, refusing to attend a scientific conference in Israel, because he too supports  BDS, and boycotting Israel for “human rights abuses”.  As Allan Dershowitz astutely pointed out, Hawking has previously attended conferences in China and Iran without objecting to their human rights abuses. Allan Dershowitz writes:

“Yet Iran is a country that Stephen Hawking visited. He did not boycott that Islamic country. He limited his boycott to the democratic nation state of the Jewish people.
 
Not only did Steven Hawking visit China, he praised it effusively. Although Chinese universities are considerably better than Iran’s, there is no real freedom to criticize the government or the Communist Party. The people who brought us Tiananmen Square still hold positions of authority in China. Dissidents are persecuted. There is no semblance of fair trial. Censorship reigns.
 
Yet Stephen Hawking did not boycott China. He boycotted only Israel — the only country of these three with real academic freedom and the only country where people with disabilities are fully integrated, first-class citizens of society. In China, many disabled children are aborted due to the country’s one-child policy. In Iran many disabled people are kept hidden within families because of prevalent cultural taboos.
 
I am neither an academic or a scientist or a rabbi or a priest. All I can do is to share what I see and rely on the power of words and the internet to shine a light on these issues.
 
Author: Abigail Hirsch, MSW, social worker, filmmaker, blogger, journalist, citizen of the world:
 
Author’s note: This was first published four years ago on May 7, 2014. I am republishing it today because, sadly, this message is just as relevant today as it was then.
 

Free Speech and Fake News on Campus

In this post I  explore academia, professors, and their legitimate sounding papers and books that may even use legitimate concepts but apply these concepts fallaciously. I refer to the left, using the ideology of “colonialism” to apply to Israel, and the Palestinian strategy of applying the South African ideology of “apartheid” to the Israel/Palestine conflict, and plain deceptive media like “Electronic Intifada”

Over the years, I have become acquainted with Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of The Electronic Intifada, Jewish Voices for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace, Israel/apartheid conferences.

Here are some images of Omar Barghouti.

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And here is his bio on wikipedia:
Omar Barghouti is a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Wikipedia
Born: 1964, Qatar

Note that his first degree was from Tel Aviv University. He is identified with the website Electronic Intifada whose Home page has the following screen today: December 25, 2015 and is an example of the misleading media which employs classic antisemitic methods of lying and deception about the truth of what is going on.

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 5.48.08 AM

Of course they don’t tell you that on Christmas eve there were three separate attacks, car jammings and knife attacks on IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians as reported here in The Times of Israel. The Israel news report lists the incidents, the attackers and their victims, and the condition of both attackers and victims.

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This is how it was reported in the Israeli press.

One person was lightly injured Thursday morning in a suspected car-ramming in the West Bank north of Jerusalem, Israeli officials said, the third attack in as many hours Thursday morning.

The army said a car tried to hit soldiers and border police at the Adam junction next to the Rama army base. The driver was shot and killed at the scene, an IDF statement said.

The incident was the third attack of the day after two separate stabbing incidents, also in the West Bank.
Earlier Thursday, a Palestinian stabbed and injured two security guards at an industrial park outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Guards at the site shot and killed the attacker during the incident, police said.
One victim, 24, was listed in serious condition after suffering several stab wounds to his upper body. A female guard, also 24, was listed in moderate condition with a stab wounds to her upper body, according to police and the Magen David Adom rescue organization.
Less than an hour later, a Palestinian man attempting to stab soldiers with a screwdriver was shot and killed near the West Bank city of Hebron Thursday morning. The army said the assailant, “armed with a screwdriver, approached a checkpoint near Hebron and attempted to the stab security forces.” The soldiers opened fire on the man, killing him, the IDF said.

Sadly, Since September, Israel has endured hundreds of knife attacks and car rammings on civilians in many cities both inside Israel the West Bank. There have been many dead and many injured on both sides. However clearly the aggressors are the stabbers and terrorists. And the world media largely ignores it because of its anti-Israel bias. Some people call anti-Israel bias – antisemitism. So there you have it!

 

Antisemitism: Rational or Irrational?

Antisemitism has been at times likened to a disease or a mutating virus.israel apartheid dry bones

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Laureate and Auschwitz survivor, made the remark, “The world has changed in the last 2,000 years, and only antisemitism has remained … The only disease that has not found its cure is antisemitism.” (1)

Where does antisemitism come from and why? Is antisemitism rational or  irrational. This is the sixty four million dollar question and the answer is: – “it is both rational and irrational”.

The Goals and Purpose of Antisemitism

To the propagators  of antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, antisemitism is understood to be a powerful psychological weapon in the interest of national policy.This is very rational and goal directed. Both Hitler and the current day jihadists/Palestinians, understand this very well. Hermann Rauschning, who claimed to be Hitler’s ‘confidant’, said in the mid-1930s:

“Anti-Semitism … was beyond question the most important weapon in [Hitler’s] propagandist arsenal, and almost everywhere it was of deadly efficiency. That was why he had allowed Streicher, for example, a free hand. The man’s stuff, too, was amusing, and very cleverly done. Wherever, he wondered, did Streicher get his constant supply of new material? He, Hitler, was simply on thorns to see each new issue of the Stürmer. It was the one periodical that he always read with pleasure, from the first page to the last”.[10]

 

And now here is the deceptive and irrational part exemplified by deceptive books and newspapers, such as the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Hitlers’ Mein Kampf (which was largely based on the previous book and Der Sturmer, the antisemitic German newspaper which began its publication in Germany in 1924. I quote from wikipedia: 

“Beginning in 1924, Streicher used Der Stürmer as a mouthpiece not only for general antisemitic attacks, but for calculated smear campaigns against specific Jews…Streicher orchestrated his early campaigns against Jews to make the most extreme possible claims, short of violating a law that might get the paper shut down. He insisted in the pages of his newspaper that the Jews had caused the worldwide Depression, and were responsible for the crippling unemployment and inflation which afflicted Germany during the 1920s. He claimed that Jews were white-slavers and were responsible for over 90 percent of the prostitutes in the country. Real unsolved killings in Germany, especially of children or women, were often confidently explained in the pages of Der Stürmer as cases of “Jewish ritual murder.”

One of Streicher’s constant themes was the sexual violation of ethnically German women by Jews, a subject which served as an excuse to publish semi-pornographic tracts and images detailing degrading sexual acts. These “essays” proved an especially appealing feature of the paper for young men. With the help of his notorious cartoonist, Phillip “Fips” Rupprecht, Streicher published image after image of Jewish stereotypes and sexually-charged encounters. His portrayal of Jews as subhuman and evil is widely considered to have played a critical role in the dehumanization and marginalization of the Jewish minority in the eyes of common Germans – creating the necessary conditions for the later perpetration of the Holocaust.”

Although Julius Streicher was able to escape the consequences of his writing during Nazi times. (He was frequently sued for libel but manged to evade guilty verdicts): in 1945 he was one of the nine Nazis tried and found guilty by the Nuremberg Tribunal. Julius Streicher was one of the nine Nazis who were convicted  for “Crimes against Humanity.” and died on the gallows.

Joshua Muravchik in his book “Making David into Goliath” documents the pro-Palestinian leanings of the EU. Is this political stance rational or irrational? Joshua Muravchik points to the policy of appeasement of Palestinian hijackers by European states in the wake of Palestinian terror attacks such as the plane hijackings which were so ubiquitous in the 1960’s and the Munich Olympics terror attack in 1973.

In an interview based on his book Joshua Muravchik  notes:

We know that several European governments made quiet deals with the Palestinians to keep the violence off their soil. One barometer of this was that in virtually every case – and there were dozens – where the perpetrators were taken into custody after a hijacking or terror act, they were soon released. This was sometimes in exchange for other hostages who had been seized by the terrorists and sometimes as part of some other diplomatic deal. This was a measure of how much governments, particularly European governments, didn’t want to be embroiled in a conflict with these groups and were inclined to make concessions to keep things quiet.

Thus for policy reasons, European nations have turned a blind eye towards the anti-Israel terrorism on their own soil and on Israeli soil. Of course, this policy has come back to bite them big time. As many have noted “antisemitism may begin with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews.”

These are the Rational Purposes of Antisemitism: What about the Irrational Aspects? What about those ideas prevalent since the middle ages and into the present time, that Jews use human blood to create matza (unleavened bread) for Passover. Can any rational person believe this? And then there are the even more outlandish internet videos on youtube that spew lies about Jews and Israel the following is just a very abbreviated list:•  

 ARE THE JEWS ALIEN LIZARDS ? I thought it was a crazy idea until I studied it by Neo triestowarnyou 124,198 views 
 1:20:59

•    Where have the Rothschilds disappeared to? by The Bilzerian Report 1,373,332 views 
 21:03

•    Michael Collins Piper vs Eric Jon Phelps – The Great Debate: Zionists or Jesuits? by Reasonable Doubtt 28,625 views 
 1:26:06

•    Should the British stop tolerating intolerance? (The Big Questions, 15/6/14) by Islam & Islamicate 58:50

(By the way I have not watched all of these but any brief look  at the titles will advise you of the nature of the content.)

And then there are the conspiracy theory antisemites highlighted inthese kinds of videos.

•    The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion by ZeroSixtyFive 40,721 views 
 3:21:38

•    Evidence that The Protocols of Zion are Genuine, 1of4 by TheRapeOfJustice 10,258 views 
 14:57

But we have not yet talked about the most significant driver of antisemitism, the emotional psychological driver. It is well known that emotional arguments suffused with fear and anxiety have a powerful hold on individuals both children and adults and take precedence over critical thinking. The best example of this is the claim that “Jews murdered Jesus”. This calumny is what motivated Christian antisemitic pogroms as it was promoted by the Christian church to the masses who then felt justified in hating and murdering Jews through many centuries of Christian church influence.

 

What is the Israel/apartheid, BDS movement all about?

workers party europeWhat is the Israel/apartheid movement all about? It is a  radical left wing, communist workers party, focusing on Israel as the “bad guy capitalist” and “colonial” entity. They will tell you that they don’t focus only on Israel and its true. They also are anti-Canada and anti-US. They court aboriginals with incitement that Canada has “stolen lands from the aboriginal Indians”, and claim to support feminist and “queer” issues, and all anarchic environmental and political issues. Their current flag waving is about the prospect of raised student fees. Certainly any serious academic can punch giant holes in all their arguments but they are convinced of their self righteous political correctness, of being on the side of “justice” and “human rights”.

So why have they made a name for themselves with the Israeli issue? Because they think they can. Why did the Nazis target the Jews? Because they were a distinct and demonized minority, easy to push around. We now realize that this is antisemitism.  As Prof.Wistrich pointed out “there are some things that only an intellectual would be stupid enough to believe…Intellectuals invented modern antisemitism”

The BDS Israel/apartheid movement is doing the same thing. It is attracting students with the call for “social justice” by using spurious academic arguments regarding Israel as a colonial entity who has “stolen” Arab land and is committing genocide vis a vis the palestinians. They call it “apartheid” and call for Justice for Palestinians. The Nazis also had their academic supporters. They too were spurious.

Anyone who believes this is not a sophisticated organizing labor/union party is fooling themselves. And by the way, apparently student unions in Quebec fall under the legal law of labor unions. I learned this the hard way, via an experience of discrimination by a Concordia student union enterprise: CUTV. When I complained to the university authorities, they told me their hands were tied because the student union comes under the labor union law and is a defacto union, supported by student fees.

They call themselves a grass roots movement similar to the unionizing movement of another era.  They adopt the tactics of Saul Alinsky, the social worker of the early twentieth century who supported the unionizing of farm workers in the US at the beginning of the twentieth century. And they infiltrate victim-associated student groups in order to get them to align themselves with their subverted Palestinian narrative. For example one of the titles of their talks is

from Turtle Bay to Palestine”

Turtle bay is a Canadian Aboriginal community

I quote from a recent article published by SPME, Schlars for Peace in the Middle East:

Academic freedom” is invoked today by the BDS movemetn largely to criticize two Satans – America and Israel.  Only sexual harassment appears exempt from this blanket protection. Gradually the entire campus has become an “academic freedom” zone where protests often filled with anti-Israel speech that demonize the Jewish State qualify as academic “speech.”  Universities have enacted “speech codes” and imposed restrictions on “hate speech” in an attempt to curtail speech that academics find uncongenial. But these codes and restrictions do a pitiful job protecting against the falsehoods waged against Israel. Clearly, academic freedom is a one-way street; only those having the “correct” opinions may claim it.

In conclusion, the IAW/BDS movement propogates a false and delegitimizing narrative vis-a-vis Israel under the banner of “social justice”.

And this is why, I, who am not an academic, feel compelled to share with you my experience and understanding of the IAW and BDS campus movements. IAW and BDS is subverting the minds of our students with false narratives and they need to be “called out”.

But don’t take my word for it, Here is a very detailed and well researched article on BDS its supporters and funding.

Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends

 

Muslim Antisemitism: Rational or Irrational Enmity?

January 2015 has been a tough month for Europe and for Jews.

January brought us the Charlie Hebdo murders and the Paris Kosher Market murders. January 26th marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What have we learned in the interim between the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their Hungarian, Polish, Austrian, French, Belgian and Dutch collaborators? And What to make of the resurgence of Jew hatred in current times all over Europe, and Jew hatred in the Middle East which continues to threaten Israel and its inhabitants?

Just a few days ago Professor Mordechai Kedar of BESA the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies gave a seminar at McGill on the roots of Islamic hatred of Christians and Jews which goes back to the origins of Islam, the teachings of Mohammad in 609 AD. the very founding of Islam.

He explained that Mohammed borrowed extensively from the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians but when this was pointed out to him by Christians and Jews, he attacked them for the denial of his message. And further made the claim that only his, Muhammed’s message was the true one. The scriptures of the Jews and Christians were deception and void. A very convenient self serving doctrine which he followed up with murder of Jews and Christians, and with an insincere truce, followed subsequently by additional murders and forced conversions by the sword. This can be verified by any Islamic scholar or wikipedia.

The conflict between Shia and Sunni also goes back to the founding of Islam and the conflict over the succession to Mohammed. This continues to be the driving division between Sunni and Shia, each one calling the other “infidel”.

As Professor Kedar pointed out Muslims have a different view of history, and different values than those that have developed in the western democracies. I.e. their concept of peace is “the peace of Sharia”, and no compromise with other religions or cultures can be envisioned. This is a hard lesson to accept but it has to be faced if we are to understand the current state of conflict in the middle East between between Islam and the West, between Shia and Sunni, and between Islam and Israel which sees itself as a democratic but Jewish state.

In addition, to the anti-infidel hatred of Muslims, the hatreds of Nazi Germany in the twentieth century found fertile ears among the Arabs, specially the Mufti of Jerusalem. Professor Kedar in his talk, spoke about the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It has become a popular book in the middle east all over the Arab world. Apparently, no one has told them that this was a forged anti-semitic document published by the Russians; It was even one of the documents that the New Library of Alexandria, in recent times, chose as one of the two most important books representative of Jews and Judaism. (Until the Israel ambassador intervened when the library was opened.)

If you have never heard of the 

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

I quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

“The Protocols is a fabricated document purporting to be factual. Textual evidence shows that it was transcribed by a speaker of Ukrainian and could not have been produced prior to 1901…”

And it’s forgery was already uncovered in 1921:

“The Protocols is one of the best-known and most-discussed examples of literary forgery, with analysis and proof of its fraudulent origin going as far back as 1921.[9] The forgery is an early example of “conspiracy theory” literature.[10] Written mainly in the first person plural,[a] the text includes generalizations, truisms and platitudes on how to take over the world: take control of the media and the financial institutions, change the traditional social order, etc. It does not contain specifics.[12]”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other similar books such as Mein Kampf written by Hitler himself formalized the rampant antisemitism and made it sound ratuonal. It formed the basis of the irrational Jew hatred which lay behind the genocidal murder of at least six million Jews for the sole reason that they were “Jews” as identified by the Nazis. It’s publication has been banned in many countries due to its libelous nature.

This fraudulent book is considered to be G-d’s truth in the Arab World as evidenced by the many publications and republications. Some of the covers are reproduced here:     

 

Alongside other anti-semitic publications:

 

In addition one can find hundreds of videos on youtube espousing  conspiracy theories regarding Jews, Israel, Judaism and its supposedly demonic aims. One wonders who is the audience for these videos?

As unpleasant as this is, it has to be faced if anyone wants to understand the sources of anti-Jewish  and anti-israel sentiment in the Muslim world and even in the non-Muslim anti-Jewish ranks.

Sadly few Western pundits or journalists basing their ideas on “rational actors” and supposed “facts” has faced this dark truth about Islam and European antisemitism.

Fortunately most Europeans and Americans are aware of the deceptions involved in antisemitic tropes although many don’t understand how these tropes infiltrate anti-Israel attitudes and dogmas such as the Israel/apartheid calumny.

And Of course one always wonders how the theory accords with what actually exists on the ground in Islamic communities.  But now we have the cold hard facts about how Islamic communities on the ground think and feel. An extensive  Pew report on the views of Islamic people in different countries was just published:

The evidence is that the middle east where Islam is already the law of the land, are most supportive of Islam and sharia Islamic law.

“Indeed, the survey finds that support for making sharia the law of the land is often higher in countries where the constitution or basic laws already favor Islam over other religions.2 Majorities in such countries say sharia should be enshrined as official law, including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and Iraq (91%). By comparison, in countries where Islam is not legally favored, roughly a third or fewer Muslims say sharia should be the law of the land. Support is especially low in Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan 8%).3

I think this means that there are differences among Islamic communities in different parts of the world but we have to be aware of what the terms and ideas are in order to understand how to deal with them.

Open Letter to the Students of Concordia re: CUTV

Open Letter to the Students of Concordia re: CUTV

My name is Abigail Hirsch. I have been an active volunteer at CUTV (Concordia University Television) prior to it’s current management team for two years, and I would like to share a number of my concerns with you.

CUTV as you know is funded by your student association fees, which you are required to make, and will soon be voting to increase. It therefore follows, that the station funded as it is by the entire student body, should represent that student body fairly and honestly, without becoming divisive or discriminating.

This policy has changed since September 2010 when Laith Marouf became the new programming manager of CUTV.  How has he acted?

First, he has taken a leadership role at the Israel-Apartheid movement since many years, and the CUTV programming now reflects his anti-Israel bias.

Second, he has been censured for unethical reporting by the McGill radio station, ‘The Olive Tree’ where he was the executive producer. He was asked to retract a baseless claim, which alleged that Israel had been involved in the Abu Graib scandal in Iraq. His retraction was made evasively and without contrite honesty.

Anti-Israel Programmer Suspended by Montreal Campus Radio (April 20, 2010)
CKUT Radio suspends “Under the Olive Tree” programmer Tariq Jeeroburkhan following HRC member’s complaints.

Third, since his tenure at CUTV, they have posted to youtube a news piece in which Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, writer and Nobel Prize winner, was characterized as a “war crimes apologist”.

And here are the comments that I posted to CUTV that Laith Marouf found objectionable.

“Israeli war crimes apologist? Elie Wiesel? Now that’s a kangaroo court.

I disagree with the CUTV being shut out of the media, however it is clear from this interview that CUTV is biased and not listening to Mr. Wiesel at all.

Is the interviewer aware that not everypne agrees with his assumption that Israel is guilty of oppression and war crimes.

For anyone who is truly interested in Israel/Palestine, two courses are offered for credit at Concordia: Contact CIJR 514-486-5544.”

What is most distressing however is what I found out when I approached the campus ombudsman about this situation. I learned that the Concordia Students Association is actually a legal union of workers governed by the laws of union in Quebec and is outside the authority of the Concordia Academic Apparatus. It is for this reason that the Student Association is able to function with impunity based on the funding of your student fees which go directly to the student union which then manages a rather large budget.

It is time to decide how much longer your news should be reported with bias and rancor. I feel certain that you are strongly against biased and  dishonest reporting and biased management. Is Laith Marouf the kind of person that you entrust with media leadership? Is Mr. Marouf your choice of station manager? Is CUTV deserving of your student dollars and financial support

I hope you will inform yourself accurately about this situation so that when it comes time to vote again you will be able to do so with clarity and enlightenment.

Sincerely,
Abigail Hirsch
Former volunteer at CUTV
Concordia student

The above letter was sent to the student paper and I don’t believe was ever published. The student paper is also funded by the student association fees. The letter was published here on my website: November 28, 2011. I am republishing it now with the addendum below which can act as a smoking gun for Students at Concordia. (Isn’t it wonderful that nothing disappears on the WEB.) I am publishing it in wake of the recent vote to approve the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) re Israel academics by the CSA (Concordia Student Association) which I believe is highly unrepresentative of the Concordia Student body, (all of the votes re BDS were submitted and concluded on Friday evenings or Jewish holidays). A CSA, a Concordia Student Association which functions with impunity under the aegis of the Quebec law of workers unions, which is funded by a compulsory student fee and which apparently continues to be monopolized by the Pro-Palestinian mafia that demonizes Israel in its Israel/apartheid conferences etc.

I am publishing here my own research regarding Laith Marouf and CUTV and CKUT in 2011

Here are links re Laith Marouf that are worth looking at because it shows the entire infiltration by student councillors of the Student Council that is funded by student fees.

Anti-Israel Programmer Suspended by Montreal Campus Radio (April 20, 2010)
CKUT Radio suspends “Under the Olive Tree” programmer Tariq Jeeroburkhan following HRC member’s complaints.
http://www.honestreporting.ca/news_article_name/49578uothostsuspended.aspx

Montreal Campus Radio Reprimands Anti-Israel Program (March 26, 2010)
A CKUT Radio program that lent credence to bizarre claims of Israeli culpability for the notorious 2004 Iraqi prisoner abuse atrocities
http://www.honestreporting.ca/news_article_name/radioreprimand45965.aspx

Montreal Campus Radio Blames Israel for Abu Ghraib Prisoner Atrocities (January 26, 2010)
A CKUT Radio McGill program lent credence to bizarre claims of Israeli culpability for the notorious 2004 Iraqi prisoner abuse atrocities at Abu Ghraib without any supporting evidence.
http://www.honestreporting.ca/news_article_name/58420CKUTAbughraib.aspx

For other links about his problematic past, simply type “Laith Marouf” in Google and you’ll get plenty of articles:

and here are additional information of the workings of the Concordia Student Union

2001 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents

“English-Language Universities
In September 2001, the Concordia Student Union (CSU) published an Agenda entitled Uprising, which accuses Israel of being involved in “state terror that has killed civilian men, women, and children whose only ‘crime’ is their nationality”. The CSU-produced Uprising goes one step further with an article by Laith Marouf that insinuated that “the ‘Jewish’ Rector knows how much money the university owes to Zionists”, and accused the Concordia administration of being Arabophobic.

Earlier in the year, Mr. Marouf, a foreign national from Syria who was in Canada on a student visa, is alleged to have harassed and intimidated the editor of a Concordia University newspaper and her staff, by alluding to their religion. He is also alleged to have stated in an undergraduate Political Science class in the winter semester of the 2000-2001 academic year, in front of all his peers and the professor, that the “Talmud obliges Jews to kill all non-Jews”.

Marouf, who was elected as a CSU student councilor in March 2001, was allegedly caught on two occasions scrawling graffiti on Concordia University property. One of these incidents relates to graffiti containing both anti-Jewish and anti-Israel diatribes, including “Stop Jewish Apartheid”, “End Jewish Occupation”, “Israel is a racist State”, and the Star of David being equated to a swastika. Similar anti-Jewish and anti-Israel graffiti was scrawled by an unknown person or persons on the corners of eight sidewalks on St. Catherine Street not far from the York Theatre, stating “Stop Jewish apartheid” and “End Jewish supremacy”.
http://www.bnaibrith.ca/publications/audit2001/audit2001-02.html

Broken code
http://www.mcgilltribune.com/2.12361/broken-code-1.1637972

Jihad at ‘Gaza U’
http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/311

Calling all Students: PIRG, Tadamon, BDS, SPHR: Are they related?

israel apartheid dry bonesHave you ever heard of a PIRG? Have you ever heard of QPIRG or McGill PIRG? What about Tadamon? BDS? SPHR?

If you are a student, you no doubt have been recently challenged by a vote by the student councils of both McGill and Concordia University promoting a pro-Palestinian vote on BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel which have both been shelved for the present.

The PIRG movement was originally proposed in the book Action for a Change by Ralph Nader and Donald Ross, and materialized in the early 1970’s on U.S. college campuses starting with University of Minnesota. By the 1980’s, the PIRG movement caught fire in North America. Today, there are more than 200 PIRGs in the US and 20 in Canada.
However, the Canadian PIRG model has diverged sharply from its U.S. counterpart.
While most US PIRGs are state-based lobby and community action groups, Canadian PIRGs are almost entirely run on university campuses. US PIRGs focus primarily on issues related to environmental protection, child health and obesity prevention, closing corporate tax loopholes, increasing energy efficiency, health care reform, consumer protection, and public transit reform. However in Canada, this public interest research idea has become a cover for the most virulent anti-Israel demonization campaign on campuses throughout Canada otherwise known as Israel/apartheid week, a week dedicated to promoting the  BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) demonization of Israel on campus.

Sixteen of Canada’s 21 PIRGs are involved in funding, planning and/or executing Israel Apartheid Week on their campuses. “Wherever there is an anti-Israel event on campus, it is likely run by a so-called ‘Public Interest Research Group,’ or ‘PIRG,’ financed by students who have no idea how anti-Israel they are,” said Dr. Roy Eappen, assistant professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal. In fact, every Israel Apartheid Week held in Canada, except for Winnipeg’s and New Brunswick’s, received funding from a PIRG last year.

All Canadian PIRGs provide discretionary funding to dozens of working groups and events that speak out against Israel. QPIRG McGill and Concordia’s most up-to-date list includes a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference which took place in October 2010 in Montreal, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-Concordia, a “Remember Gaza” event, and many others. They will tell you that they also fund other worthy causes. I will get back to this later.

University of Regina’s PIRG, actively supports BDS, describing itself as a group of students “committed to showing support to the people of Palestine by answering the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society call for Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel”. The PIRG at the University of Lethbridge, in Western Canada, recently screened documentaries by Concordia film professor Mary Ellen Davis that denounced “the occupation” and hosted an event with the author of Building Apartheid, a book described by LPIRG as “a critical primer about Canada’s ties to Israel that suggests Canadian complicity in the 20th and 21st century colonialism, dispossession, and war crimes.”

Tadamon is another Pro-Palestinian Montreal group connected with Concordia and funded by QPIRG, Tadamon claims in its mission statement that they “recognize that the colonization of Palestine has, from its inception, been connected to Western European aspirations to dominate the entire ‘Middle East,’ and oppose the apartheid policies of Israel and endorse the July 2005 call by Palestinian civil society organizations for an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. According to QPIRG’s (Quebec PIRG) annual report, Tadamon, receives the maximum allocation a PIRG is allowed to give to a working group ($2000.) This sum does not include the money QPIRG spent organizing Israel Apartheid Week at McGill last year. Those sums are listed under discretionary expenses and allocations to other supposedly worthy causes, such as LGBT, aboriginal issues, feminism. However if you analyze the platforms of these groups you will notice that they too are focused and  committed to BDS/QPIRG/Tadamon issues.

Tadamon, for example which supports the removal of Hezbollah from the Canadian government’s list of terror organizations, also supports  artists against apartheid campaign, as well as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and of course Tadamon is a co-host  of Montreal’s Israel Apartheid Week in conjunction with QPIRG McGill and QPIRG Concordia.

Tadamon’s letter of thanks to QPIRG reads:“Because of QPIRG McGill, we have been able to actively work with students and student groups at McGill, such as SPHR (Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights) and the Political Action Working Group of Queer McGill.”

This begins to explain why queer organizations in Montreal and Toronto consistently parade against Israel, caliming that Israel is an “apartheid state” even while Israel is the only country in the Middle East that protects gay rights.

Now here is the dope on student funding of PIRGs. Canadian university-based PIRGs are funded by a fee  of $1-$5 per semester that is imposed on all students, meaning that some PIRGs get up to $300,000 per year. While at some universities, students can opt out of the fee, some PIRGs make it very difficult and guilt-inducing, requiring students to visit their headquarters where they are made to feel that if they opt out, that they don’t care about social and environmental justice,” said Jess Weiser, a 2011 McGill graduate who led the university’s QPIRG Opt-Out campaign. The McGill administration changed the system in 2007 to enable students to opt out of the fee anonymously and online.

McGill is not the only university that has acted to create an opt-out option.Opt-out committees, such as “StopNSPIRG.org” in Nova Scotia and “NOPIRG” in Ontario, encourage students to opt-out of these organizations because they fail to support the views of the majority, opting only to advocate for “marginalized” “leftist” causes like “anticolonialism”. OPIRG Queen’s in Kingston, Ontario, lost its fee of $4.36 per student after 62 per cent of voters in a February referendum voted for its removal. The organization is now defunct; its website has not been updated since the end of the Winter 2012 semester. (It is interesting to note that there was no Israel Apartheid Week 2012 held in Kingston, after having been held there in previous years). University of Western Ontario’s PIRG was shut down in 2008 due to its controversial positions on many issues. It had been the official sponsor of a number of pro-Palestinian speakers on campus. At McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, the use of the term “Israeli Apartheid” was banned, which caused an uproar from the OPIRG McMaster offices and the cessation of activities related to the delegitimization of Israel from that PIRG.

As noted above, These PIRG’s support advocacy for an anarchist, socialist political system, as is evident by the many events and organizations they sponsor: For example they compare the aboriginal issues in Canada with the Israel Palestine conflict, claiming that Canada too is an apartheid state that has “stolen aboriginal lands” in the same way that supposedly “Israel has stolen Palestinian land”. Although these ideas are totally bizarre and intellectually bankrupt, they manage to attract young students eager to be on the right side of traditional left wing liberal causes.

Fortunately students are getting wise to this scam. The McGill PIRG has been feeling the bite and has gone to the extent of writing the following article in the McGill Daily: The Anti-PIRG Campus Conservative Conspiracy.

The next struggle will be to educate the Concordia campus to institute an opt-out option.

Written by Abigail Hirsch, an educated observer of the campus scene

Researched by Alexandra Markus, a recent graduate of McGill University and second year medical student.

For anyone interested in pursuing these issues I am listing some relevant recent events connected to BDS.

British Architects Reverse Israel Boycott Motion, in Severe Blow to BDS Movement http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/12/05/british-architects-reverse-israel-boycott-motion-in-severe-blow-to-bds-movement/
Hating Jews at Berkeley http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/12/05/hating-jews-at-berkeley/

Crushing Labor Unions, and Other Harbingers of a Palestinian Dictatorshiphttp://www.algemeiner.com/2014/12/05/crushing-labor-unions-and-other-harbingers-of-a-palestinian-dictatorship/

This is an article from the Dean of a University: Martin Kramer
When the Middle East Studies Association Boycotts Israel:http://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2014/12/when-the-middle-east-studies-association-boycotts-israel/

And for anyone who doubts that the left is ant-semitic, I suggest this article by Robert Wistrich, the foremost scholar in the field

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/judeophobia-and-marxism/

 

 

Anti-semitism? in the middle east?

Anti-semitism is a very unsexy subject. No one wants to be considered an anti-semite, a Jew hater; especially in the West. It is as unsexy as racism – taboo. So why has ISGAP, the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism, presented over 100 speakers on this subject and posted all of them to Vimeo?

To really understand the deep seated anti-semitism of the current leadership in the middle east I suggest that you watch one of the ISGAP speakers, Edwin Black’s recent talk for ISGAP speaking about his book: The Farhud: The Arab/Nazi alliance and its lasting effects.

He points out that the Arab Jew-hatred did not start with World War II, but preceded it, and the Farhud, the Arab governing organization of the time, allied with Hitler, whose need for oil coincided with the Nazi and Arab Arab desire to eliminate the Jews. Few people are aware that Palestinian Arabs fought alongside Hitler all over Europe and in the Middle East: while England pandering to the Arab presence blocked any Jewish immigration to the area then known as Palestine, now known as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as the area currently known as the West Bank and Gaza. Edwin Black removes the veil of ignorance about a nasty and unpleasant topic, the anti-semitism of the Arab world from 1850 to the present, which we ignore at our peril. He has researched a book on the subject and here lectures about it to a University audience. After listening to this talk, you will never again be able to close your eyes to the anti-semitism that pervades the middle east today and you will understand why there is no peace there now, nor will there be peace in the near future as long as the current Islamic leadership persists in their anti-semitic, anti-Jewish beliefs that have been inculcated for years:

And this is not to say that Jews and Islam have never been able to co-exist or that all Muslims hate Jews just that the road to peace between Israel and its neighbors needs to address these issues head on and so do the do-gooders in the West.