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.

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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!

 

Exposing IAW and BDS on campus

bdsI have been attending the IAW Israel/apartheid week and BDS  lectures and and observing their behavior in Montreal for at least five years.

The Palestinian Mafia on campus systematically takes over student union positions, something not too difficult to do since most students are totally uninterested in student government issues, preferring to focus on study and grades and getting that degree. The student union fees are automatically deducted from students’ fees.
The “student union” in Montreal is not part of the university and does not come under the jurisdiction of the university. It comes under the labor law and the jurisdiction of labor unions. They become therefor untouchable unless students wake up to where their funds are going.

I know this because of personal experience.
In Montreal, and I can see that IAW and BDS uses the same tactic everywhere.  On campuses all over North America the same speakers and programs are offered. It is clear that they are a well organized franchise having very little to do with student leadership.

Their most recent pretty boy is Steven Salaita, the professor who was declined for a tenure position at the University of Illinois for his poor scholarship and egregious tweets regarding the recent war in Gaza.
I attended his talk here in Montreal last week and recorded it.
 The hall was full of those and only those who are already convinced of the “cause”. They tried to dissuade me from attending. They wanted to know “why I was there”. I was the only one in the room not clapping and not adulating the speaker.

The other modus operandi of BDS and IAW is to infiltrate left wing student organizations, and student media. Check out the student run media In Montreal, CUTV, a tv lab run by student union funds, and the student run radio station, CKUT 90.3fm, that is totally infiltrated by professional Palestinian activist students. In addition the students infiltrate left wing student causes and organizations, convincing them that they are in the same boat as the Palestinians. They prey on underdog issues, aboriginal causes, feminism, queer issues, sexual harrassment, infiltrating these student organizations and comparing Israel and the Palestine issues to South Africa and its apartheid era. (Any scholar can differentiate between these two but these people thrive on the innocence and ignorance of students seducing them to these “social justice” causes by false information and a false narrative: ie, that the Israelis are Jewish “colonizers” who have stolen Arab lands. That the Israelis are committing “genocide” vis a vis the Palestinians. The BDS mafia has no respect for history or numbers. Very few students are in a position to check them. In addition to bringing false information about the Israel/Palestine situation, by bringing rogue Israeli soldiers and “professors” Jewish, and otherwise, in this way they wage a psychological campaign for the hearts and minds of college students.
And sadly I have seen even legitimate tenured college professors supporting them. Because the left wing rhetoric can be compelling. I used to have an uncle who while not being a leftie himself was wont to pronounce, “the world is veering to the left”…that was before the fall of Communism.

Students and the public are beginning to understand this situation. This year 2014/2015, the McGill student union brought two motions for the university to boycott and divest from Israeli enterprises. They were defeated in the autumn term because students made a concerted effort to invite students who never attend student GA’s to come out and vote “No”. The student leaders then put it on the agenda again in the spring term close to exams. This time in addition to student mobilization, Justin Trudeau himself, an alum of McGill showed up to denounce the motion and it was defeated 267 – 217.
Ryan Bellrose, a Metis from Calgary, has personally waged a one man campaign to show how the aboriginal situation in Canada is more like the Israeli position than the Palestinian position.

But how many people can involve themselves in a serious way in this ugly battle.
In addition to the blogs that I have published on my own site (www.askabigailProductions.com)  and the blogs that Ryan Bellrose has published (http://www.cuwi.ca/ryan-bellerose.html), I am aware of several organizations that have stepped up to the plate to expose this situation. SPME, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East), CIJR (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research), ISGAP (Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism).

I would love to hear from you on this issue.

Abigail Hirsch, CSW
CEO askabigail Productions
March 18, 2015

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

 

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/

 

 

Has Anti-semitism Become Politically Correct?

bds bigotry double standards -bigotry “Anti-semitism”, has it become politically correct? Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak about anti-semitism, BDS, Jews and Israel at the  Freedom Talk Conference in Edmonton.

Here is what I said:

I am a Hungarian born Jew who was born into the post Holocaust world.  I did not grow up with any overt anti-semitism in Montreal. Many of us thought that sharing what had happened in Europe during World War ll, would immunize  well meaning persons everywhere against the scourge of anti-Semitism, indiscriminate attacks against Jews for the sole reason that they were Jews or desendants of Jews. However, reports from all quarters of the world includng Canada report that antisemitism – prejudice and gratuitous assaults against Jews because they are Jews has returned with a vengeance. Here is a link to a report on antisemitic resurgence in Europe from an EU committee that has prepared data on this subject.

Of course, it’s impossible to have a conversation  in the present time about anti-semitism without mentioning Israel, and the Israel/Palestine conflict which has always been also an Arab/Jewish conflict.I would agree that  it is hardly anti-semitic to criticize policies between Israel and the Palestinians, or even to pressure the Israelis. However It becomes anti-semitic, when facts are distorted, problems elsewhere are simply ignored, and Israel alone is singled out to be chastised.

The record of the United Nations vis-a-vis Israel amply demonstrates this disparate and disproportional criticism. About 3/4 of all the resolutions taken up by the general assembly have condemned Israel. in spite of many other and more serious human rights violators such as China, Korea, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and the list goes on and on.

UN Watch was created to monitor this anti-Jewish, anti-Israel bias and below is  a link to the latest example posted by UN Watch.

http://www.unwatch.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=bdKKISNqEmG&b=1317489&ct=13398889

Moreover, It was a  UN UNESCO conference  in Durban 2001, on human rights, that singled out Israel and Israel alone for human rights violations, and coined the term “zionism is racism”. This goes along with calling Israel a genocidal entity, picturing Israel as a greedy Jew with a hooked nose in cartoons gobbling up Palestinians as was noted recently in “The Economist”.

You may have also heard about the BDS movement, – Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions – proposed against Israeli by Palestinians and  supported by left wing academics, human rights NGOs like Oxfam,  some churches and now the  European Union which really should know better. The BDS movement proposes that “since Israel Is an “apartheid” state practicing “racist” policies the whole world should boycott Israeli academics, Israeli artists and  Israeli industry. Anyone aware of history could easily expose that Israel does not practice apartheid as it was spelled out in South Africa and that Israel is not and has never been racist.  But how do you defend yourself against these “wifebeating” charges?

Every year in the guise of a “conference” the pro Palestinian factions organize a one week BDS conference on campuses all over the US and Canada, espousing their one sided narratives demonizing Israel as an apartheid state and promoting the BDS (Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel. I have attended  these conferences where those opposing these ideas are booed and hissed. Even when these resolutions fail to pass, as they usually do, the battle itself counts as a success for Israel’s enemies, as the Jewish state assumes a cumulatively negative image in the public mind. The influence-makers of tomorrow on campuses today are likely to graduate with the idea that Israel is a rogue, or at least quasi-rogue, nation. Students must actively seek out objective information if they wish to approach Israel with an open mind.

Recently Oxfam was “appalled” that Scarlett Johannsen who has been one of their ambassadors, became a spokesman  for Soda Stream, a successful Israeli enterprise on the West Bank that actually provides jobs to Palestinians. She chose to resign rather than withdraw from her support of Israel and Soda Stream. You can see here  to what degree Oxfam assumes that their attitudes toward Israel is the only true one  and the one which has beome “politically correct”.

We can also see the extent to which anti-Israel feeling has become politically correct in the responses to Harper’s visit to Israel in Canada in the left wing Canadian media. Many were “shocked and disappointed” by Harper’s support of Israel asking whether his stance was “balanced”. Steven Harper  is the only world leader who has grasped the insidious nature of the Arab hatred of Jews, and how that hatred and demonization is what is actually maintaining a state of war between Israel and the Arab population: a hostility that Israel has been contending with since its inception during the war of 1948 and 1967 and which is a threat which continues to manifest in Irans’ nuclear ambitions,, and the degree to which Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, fuelled by Islamic fundamentalists,  refuse to recognize any Jewish connection to the Holy land, threaten Israel’s very existence, and continue to be supported by the left wing human rights mafia.

Fortunately the academic left leaning world is an ivory tower and Israel enjoys amazing support across the board from average Americans and Canadians like yourself who understand her plight and are not taken in by this perfidious and increasingly “politically correct” propaganda machine.

Israel, Jewish organizations, Jews and non-Jews, have taken up the challenge to expose and educate regarding this new anti-semitism. I refer you to several organizations that you can access over the internet that were created to expose the bias of the UN, left wing academia, and the anti-semitism that has infected the dialogue regarding Israel in the Middle East.

CIJR Canadian Institute for Jewish Studies
ISGAP Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy
SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
MEMRI Middle East Media Research Institute

As well as individual journalists, scholars, and observors, who have spoken out, like the Winnipeg  born scholar Catherine Chatterley, the historian Andrew Roberts, The Washington Post journalist, Bret StephensRobert Wistrich, Jonathon Goldhagen, David Nirenberg, and  even some of my own blogs which have focused on exposing these trends.

Footnote:  3/8/2014
Today I discovered on the internet a study by University of Warsaw regarding the current state of antisemitism in Ploand: Anti-semitism, The Indelible Stain. It bears out the notion I discovered in two recent books about anti-semitism that anti-semitism has very little to do with Jews and that it can exist even more virulently in places where there are no Jews: Poland since World War ll is virtually Judenrein or Jew-free.

The two important new books on the subject are: The Devil that Never Dies by Jonathon Goldahagen. And the other new book is Anti-Judaism by David Nirenberg.

The above links are to two excellent reviews of these books which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand “why Anti-semitism? and Why the Jews?”.

 

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-devil-that-never-dies-global-antisemitism-by-daniel-jonah-goldhagen/2013/11/07/6057b6fa-14b6-11e3-a100-66fa8fd9a50c_story.html

 

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.