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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

Why are Feminists Not Standing Up for Israel?

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

T.S. Eliot was wrong. March, not April, is the cruelest month. Certainly it is at New York University.  In the early days of the month a conference took place there on “Circuits of Influence: United State, Israel, and Palestine.”  The conference was organized by Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, whose academic fields at NYU are listed as lesbian and gay studies, and the history of gender and sexuality.

Professor Duggan is a gender scholar rather than a political scientist renowned for expertise in Middle East history and politics. She is presently president-elect of the American Studies Association (ASA) that on December 4, 2013 disgraced itself and the academic world by its ignorance, its bias, and its bigotry in calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The resolution of the ASA, by 66 per cent of voters, endorsed the Palestinian call for a boycott because of alleged denial of Palestinian basic rights by Israel. The resolution said nothing about the denial of women’s basic rights by Palestinians and other Arabs.

Professor Duggan’s invitation to the conference was ironic. It was sent only to selected recipients, and said, “Please do not post or circulate the flyer (about the conference). We are trying to avoid press, protestors, and publication.” It was ironic because the conference avoided confrontation by inviting only those who were not known for their pro-Israeli views.

The NYU meeting was not exactly secret, but it was a closed-door conference. To no great surprise, it coincided with the celebration of Israel Apartheid Week. It may perhaps have been described as a meeting discussing the Protocols of the Learned Leaders of the boycotters or the New York friends of the ASA.
It is not clear, though one can guess the reasons, why leaders of an association created to deal with American studies, and especially if they are most interested in women’s issues, make declarations on Middle Eastern affairs or why they are primarily or solely concerned with the State of Israel. One would have thought that Professor Duggan and other members of the ASA might be more properly concerned with the problems that women encounter in Arab Middle East societies, including that of Palestinian.

The nature of those problems is detailed in reports of NGO Monitor and various think tanks. Women in all the Middle East countries, except Israel, have few rights, and do not enjoy equality with men. The gender gap in those countries is among the highest in the world. Women are discriminated against in almost all relationships and activities, in marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. They are restricted in movement, expression, and work opportunities. Women suffer from being forced into child marriage, female genital mutilation, and “honor” crimes, which may be punished by death.

Professor Duggan and her ASA colleagues must know that there has been no significant improvement in women’s lives in spite of the “Arab spring.” In most Arab countries women are marginalized; in Islamic societies they are repressed. She should know that the lack of freedom for women in all Middle East countries, except Israel, is a major problem in the world today. Have she and her colleagues in the ASA, reported on this? Are they so concerned with their ideological attack on Israel that they have no time or thought for the political and social freedom of women? Even though they are supposedly interested in American studies, why do the members of ASA not state clearly and unequivocally that women in the Arab world including the Palestinians should enjoy the same rights and opportunities as women in Israel?

Let’s deliver a clear message from the 1993 UN Vienna Declaration to Duggan and the ignorant and biased boycotters of Israel.  The Declaration called for the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at all levels, and eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex.

It may well be, as the UN Arab Human Development report of 2005 said, that it is beyond the power and resources of women’s movements to affect the condition of women in the Middle East. But perhaps Duggan, with the support of other women in the ASA, might have organized a conference on the subject. She might have addressed the problem of why the 2011 departure of dictators in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya has not led to fundamental reforms for women.

The UN Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR), written by Arab scholars about conditions in the 22 member states of the Arab League, have recognized the major problem: the oppression of women. Women suffer from inequality with men and are vulnerable to discrimination in law and in practice.  The prevailing masculine culture and values view women as dependents of men.  Those AHDR reports clearly state the need for change: Arab societies must provide for the complete empowerment of Arab women. Specifically, they should deal with illiteracy (more than half of Arab women are illiterate), the low rate of education of women, maternal mortality, and the low participation of women in politics.

The statistics in the Global Gender Gap Index, compiled by the World Economic Forum, which measures gender-based disparities, confirms the AHDR conclusions. Of the 136 countries analyzed in terms of the access of women to education, political participation, economic opportunity, and health, the Arab countries come last. Political empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia and Qatar is listed as zero.

Gender-based discrimination exists in personal status laws which require permission of a male relative for marriage, favor husbands in divorce cases, give fathers the rights in child guardianship, restrict freedom of movement, make it difficult for women to get a passport, and deprive women of their proper inheritance. In the law courts the testimony of women is regarded as of less value than that of men in a number of countries. Dress codes for women are enforced by the religious police force.

Beyond all this legal and social inequality there is the matter of domestic violence against women. Rape is usually not seen as a criminal offense. Honor killings exist in many of the Arab societies, including that of the Palestinian Authority. It is legal for women to be beheaded, burnt alive, stoned, and tortured for “immoral” behavior such as adultery or having sexual relations with a non-Muslim man. They are also forbidden to marry non-Muslims. On the other hand, polygamy is legal in a number of Arab countries.

Given her scholarship on the history of sexuality, Professor Duggan must surely be familiar with the sad condition of women in all Middle East countries except Israel, where women have full social and political rights. Can we expect her as the leader of ASA, to organize a conference on that sad condition and to call for equality and justice for women in the Arab countries?  If not, she may be judged guilty of indifference to the problems of women.
Originally published at The American Thinker.

New Anti-Semitism Tailored for Evangelicals

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

In what was dubbed an “unprecedented advisory,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to Christians to steer clear of the “Christ at the Checkpoint” [CATC] conference that took place from March 8th-15th in Bethlehem, and coincided with Israel Apartheid week there. Israel Today , a publication that investigated the conference, concluded that it could pose “a long term threat to Israel’s security.” According to the official statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”

A ministry official stated that, “the conference is designed for the evangelical Christian leadership leadership — an extremely important audience to us.” Christians around the world should pay close attention to the Israeli government’s concern about the dangerous propaganda being fanned and fueled at “Christ at the Checkpoint.” According to the conference website: “the checkpoint and the wall become a focal point and symbol of the conflict.” Yet the reason for the wall and the checkpoint is never mentioned — not the daily incitement to destroy Israel, the countless terrorist attacks against it which necessitated the barrier, nor the seemingly corrupt leadership of the Palestinian people.

Looking further into the agenda of this event, the Jewish National News Service pointed out that “Christ at the Checkpoint” emphasizes replacement theology, which teaches that the Christian Church has replaced Israel and the Jewish people in God’s purpose and plan so that the Jews are no longer God’s “chosen people,” and that Christians have replaced them. This is a source of division in the Churches and a stance many Christians resolutely oppose.

Bethlehem Anglican Canon Rev. Naim Ateek , president of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, spoke at the inaugural CATC in 2010; he is one of the first church leaders to connect Liberation Theology with the Palestinian cause. Liberation Theology is a political movement in the Catholic church that stresses liberation from unjust economic or political circumstances; in the Palestinian cause, it replaces the Jewish Messiah in scripture with that of a Palestinian Jesus or martyr. As an aggressive anti-Israel campaigner, Ateek stated in an Easter message he once delivered: “In this season of Lent, it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him. It only takes people of insight to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.”

Executive Director David Brog of Christians United for Israel described the speakers of CATC as the “who’s who of the new anti-Israel narrative…in a guise of love…. who claim to be “pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace.” Just before the conference convened, Brog warned that “almost every speaker will blame Palestinian suffering on Israel and Israel alone.” He calls CATC a “dangerously one-sided propaganda campaign against Israel.”

According to a World Net Daily report, Brog later lamented about the conference that: “They are so careful about excluding possible justification for Israel’s actions that not a word was uttered about the 60 missiles fired from Gaza into southern Israel. … they are so disconnected from real Christian suffering that there’s been no mention of the besieged Christian communities of Egypt, Iraq or Syria.”

Responding to the ‘Israel Apartheid State’ Lie

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

A number of my friends’ children have just experienced their first ‘Israel Apartheid’ week on campus (more on this below) and this has raised the question of how best to respond. The response should be the same as if a man who has never met your grandmother tells you that she is an Alien bounty hunter from the Planet Zog and demands to know if you are therefore prepared to help him kill her. You should expose the person who says that as the liar and insane psychopath that they are.

The Nazi propaganda chief Goebbels said: if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it and the bigger the lie the more they will believe it. The Nazis’ used this observation to devastating effect. Their lie about the Jews being ‘dangerous subhuman specimens’ was propagated over a relatively short period of time (6 years) but was sufficient to enable otherwise cultured, civilised, rational people to gleefully participate in the mass murder of 6 million Jews, including one and a half million children slaughtered like the animals the Nazis said they were. The long-term objective of the ‘Israel is an apartheid state’ lie is similarly nothing less than the destruction of the Jewish state and its 6 million Jewish inhabitants. Just look at the people who are behind the lie.

Any rational person who has ever spent any time in Israel knows, of course, that the Apartheid lie is every bit as ludicrous and offensive as the Nazi lie. To enter into a discussion defending against the Apartheid lie only gives undeserved credibility to the liars. Nevertheless there is a wealth of unimpeachable, easily accessible material that exposes every single facet of the Israel Apartheid lie (see, e.g. here, here, here, here and here). But just as the only rational way of dealing with the Nazi lie should have been to expose the Nazis, the only rational (and honourable) way to deal with the Apartheid lie is to expose those who promote the lie. I am not talking about the thousands of naive, easily influenced (and sometimes well-meaning) university students who have fallen for the lie (just as hundreds of thousands of well-meaning Germans fell for the Nazi lie). I am talking about those who started the lie and those who actively promote it.

For the historical record the Israel apartheid lie was actually invented by the KGB in communist Russia as part of the Cold War – after the total defeat of the Arab armies with their Soviet equipment in 1967. The KGB produced all the propaganda material in the late 1960s and 1970s that was then used by radical leftists throughout the Western world. Since the fall of the Soviet Union the apartheid lie has been driven by a hard core of anti-Semites, leftist revolutionaries and Islamists – the latter of whom come from Arab countries which practice real apartheid (those same Arab countries provide much of the funding now for the propaganda which is still based on the Soviet material). The liars’ agenda is the destruction of the State of Israel. Despite belonging to organisations with names like the ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign’ or ‘Students for Justice in Palestine they have no interest in the welfare of the Palestinians; this is proven by their total lack of concern for the genuinely appalling plight of Palestinians in Syria (where they are being starved and murdered) and Lebanon (where for over 65 years they have been denied rights of citizenship and are banned from most professions). Read here about the kind of Western student organisations which promote Israel Apartheid week.

College Senior’s Challenge Defeats Israel Apartheid Week Leaders

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Once again the method of shining a bright light on fetid hatred prevails: a college student exposed those promoting hatred, and, predictably, they scuttled back into the dank corners where ugliness and ignorance breed.

Last week The Jewish Press shared the story of Brandeis senior Joshua Nass, whose television appearance on a Fox Business show was copied and pasted into a trailer promoting the upcoming Israel Apartheid Week on U.S. campuses.

Nass was livid when he began receiving calls from people asking him how he could have become an Israel hater. After his initial shock, Nass shifted into gear.  He wanted the clip of him removed from the propaganda trailer, but his immediate impediment was that he had no idea who was behind the cut and paste job.

So Nass took to social media, which eventually caught the eye of other media. A story or two was written about how his likeness had been, essentially, stolen and used for malevolent purposes. But still, who was to blame? How could he find out who had done it, and then get them to remove it?

Nass spoke with lawyers about filing litigation. But he still did not know how to find and name the defendant.

During an interview with The Jewish Press, the idea occurred to him: he could do something that was likely to at least force the wrongdoers into removing the clip of him from their odious promotion of Israel hatred, something that might also out them, and perhaps even shame them into a public debate about the absurdity of comparing the richly diverse, democratic and liberal Jewish State with South Africa’s era of apartheid.

Nass decided he would challenge the Apartheid promoters. He offered $5000 of his own money to them if they would: one, reveal themselves; two, remove his clip from their promotional trailer; three, apologize; and four, agree to debate him in the public square about the comparison of Israel to Apartheid South Africa.

That challenge was made late on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Nass heard back from lots of people – so did the author and The Jewish Press – more on that further down, but nothing from the Israel Apartheid Week promoters.

On Friday, Feb. 28, before Shabbat, Nass checked the link to the promotional trailer, and saw something odd: “this video has been removed by the user.” When Nass checked it again after Shabbat ended, he saw that the video had been replaced with one that did not include the Fox Business News clip in which he appeared.

“They buckled under the pressure,” Nass told The Jewish Press in a follow-up interview on Sunday. “Not surprisingly, they did not reveal who they are, but they did reveal what they are,” he said.

“I received so many messages, especially from students and alumni, from all over the world,” Nass continued. “They all wanted to know what happened as the result of my challenge. They also told me that my speaking up was a tremendous source of encouragement to them.

“Pro-Israel students have felt intimidated on college campuses for far too long. I really think others felt like what I did was, in a sense, speaking up and out for them,” Nass added.

So a single college senior, one who describes himself as “ambitious but slightly insecure,” can add a notch in the pro-Israel column in the campus wars currently on rapid boil.

When asked what he wanted the lesson to be, the takeaway from this experience, Nass responded:

Pro-Israel students need to be supported for standing up for their beliefs. If more students knew how many others believe, just as they do, that the BDS movement is one built on deception and intimidation, and all of those students stood up and spoke out, the anti-Israel hatred would crumble. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, it’s when good people stay silent that evil prevails.

Although Israel Apartheid Week is still going to take place this month on many U.S. campuses, maybe by next year the pro-Israel students, inspired by Nass and the growing cadre of other action-oriented students, will have an effective response to the entire charade.

Pro-Israel Rallies Outnumber Opposition at ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Despite the attempts to delegitimize Israel on American campuses during the so-called “Israel Apartheid Week,” the Sochnut — the Jewish Agency for Israel, under the direction of Natan Sharansky, has helped change the tone on North American campuses.

Sharansky told Makor Rishon that he made sure the Sochnut sent five representatives (“Shlichim”) to every campus in North America.

Pro-Israel rallies were organized by campus Hillels, Hasbara Fellowship, and Stand With Us.

Makor Rishon reports that, in fact, pro-Israel rallies far outnumbered the anti-Israeli rallies this week.

Sharansky said that he sees a definite weakening in the anti-Israel Boycott movement, simply because the facts and the truth are on Israel’s side.

Israeli Apartheid Week Project Shows True State of Israel’s Arabs

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

A project by an Israeli alternative media group has revealed the true face of alleged “apartheid” in Israel.

It is commonplace to accuse Israel of segregationist policies against the Arabs living in the Jewish state, and various anti-Israel organizations invoke South Africa’s apartheid regime to compare Israel’s treatment of its Arab residents.

The Mida information and news site asked its readers to document incidents of discrimination, segregation, humiliation and exclusion of Arabs from Israeli public life.

The findings were staggering and proved that the claims heard internationally against Israel are no more than a farce.

“Many universities world-wide are marking the Israel Apartheid week,” explained Akiva Bigman, an editor of Mida. “We decided on a creative initiative. Instead of attacking these anti-Israel stances with rhetoric laden with facts and information, we announced a photography competition, which depicts the true state of Arabs living in Israel.”

According to Bigman, the photos demonstrate that Israel’s Arabs are integrated in all facets of life in Israel, on university campuses, through hospitals, shopping malls and welfare institution.

“The competition was a satirical; the photo descriptions are written in a cynical way, such as ‘Exclusion from campus’ when in fact the photo depicts a large group of Arab students on campus, or ‘Oppression though advanced academic degrees,” Bigman said.

Anyone living in Israel knows that Arabs are employed by and receive service at all government offices, study at all universities, including 800 Arab students at Ariel University in Samaria, are found in the legal system as judges, serve as IDF officers and soldiers as Members of the Knesset.

The latest claims of segregation were leveled against Israel in relation to buses coming out of Arab areas in Judea and Samaria which were designated for Arabs only. These buses enable Arab laborers coming into Israel to ride the bus at low costs, not having to rely on hitch-hiking or private and expensive services.

Local Arabs who used the buses have praised the new service. Chaim Levinson, a Haaretz reporter, writes that thanks to this reform, thousands of workers who were previously exploited by private services have finally received professional and orderly services provided by the State of Israel.

Levinson interviewed Halil, a construction worker from Hevron, who was once forced to sleep away from home to get on time to his job. The new bus service enables him to sleep at home and saves him a large sum of money every month.

Anet Haskia, a Muslim Arab woman, recently told Tazpit’s Anav Silvermen in an interview, “I am proud to live in Israel. I am even prouder that both my sons have served as soldiers for this country.

“There are many people who are too scared to speak up, who love Israel like I do and have done well here. They want a future where their children will not fall to hatred and incitement, but overcome that,” she concluded.

Palgrave Macmillan Participates in ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

I published a book, The Hidden Hand, with St Martin’s Press in 1996 and had a good experience with the house. Which gives me the more reason to be appalled to see the message that St Martin’s corporate successor, Palgrave Macmillan, sent out today, “Debating Israeli Apartheid Week“:

In conjunction with the 9th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week, take a look at our featured titles from our distribution partners Pluto Press, I.B. Tauris Publishers and Zed Books, bringing attention to this moment of the Palestinian struggle.

Comment: (1) This is another sign, as if more were needed, of the corruption of Middle East studies. (2) I am breaking all relations with Palgrave Macmillan. (March 11, 2013)

(The “learn more” link above takes the reader directly to the “Israel Apartheid Week” website.)

 

Mar. 12, 2013 update: Amy Bourke, Corporate Communications Manager at Palgrave Macmillan, wrote me the following note today under the subject line “Palgrave Macmillan response”:

Dear Mr Pipes

Palgrave Macmillan would like to express our regrets for the e-mail sent in error on Monday morning.

While many of our authors have published seminal works debating various aspects of the Israeli/Palestine conflict, and Palgrave Macmillan is committed to promoting scholarship, research and debate on this difficult topic, we would never endorse one particular political point of view. The wording used in the e-mail is unacceptable, and the e-mail does not represent the views of Palgrave Macmillan, distribution partners or its employees.

The e-mail was sent without having gone through the usual checks and processes, for which we sincerely apologise. We are working with the team involved to find out how this happened, and to ensure it does not happen again.

I hope you will include our response on your blog – do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions.

Kind regards

Amy

Amy Bourke
Corporate Communications Manage
Palgrave Macmillan, Scholarly

Congratulations to Palgrave for its quick and complete reversal. I am happy to renew ties to this important publishing house.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org and the National Review Online, The Corner, March 11th, 2013 and updated March 12, 2013.

Harvard Jewish Students Contemptuous of Mock Eviction Notices

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Jewish undergraduates at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts received mock eviction notices last week which had been distributed by a radical anti-Israel group, the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, in advance of and as a “coming attraction” to Harvard’s Israel Apartheid Week.

The notices read:

Dear Resident(s)

We regret to inform you that your suite is scheduled for demolition in the next three days.

If you do not vacate the premise within this time frame, we reserve the right to destroy all remaining belongings. We are hereby released of any liability for damage to any persons or effects including gross negligence.  You will receive an invoice for the charges of demolition and waste removal soon.

This may seem like unrealistically harsh treatment, but this is the actual state of affairs in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaa Strip.  Around 25,000, homes have been destroyed by the Israeli military occupation forces since 1967 resulting in the internal displacement of over 160,000 Palestinians.  All of this is against international law yet continues to this day.

Harvard’s Israel Apartheid Week took place this past week, March 3 – 9.  However, other than the mock eviction notices and some tattered sandwich board-type signs protesting the “Illegal Occupation,” some of which looked as if they had been re-cycled from other protests, there were only two scheduled events.

The first event was the propaganda movie about protests against the security fence, “5 Broken Cameras,” which was shown on March 7.  Then, on March 8, one of the oldest voices against Israel, linguist Noam Chomsky, spoke about “Lessons from Apartheid South Africa.”  That’s it.

Harvard students were apparently less blase about the “Israel Apartheid” events than had been the case in the past.

Senior Seven J. Triconowicz shared his negative view of the events with the school paper.

“I feel like [Israeli Apartheid Week] goes against what Harvard stands for as a place for open academic dialogue, open thoughts, and open intellectual activity,” said Tricanowicz. “I find it kind of concerning that an event is going on in a way that promotes polarization and closed-mindedness.”  His statements echo similar sentiments expressed by Oxford University students about an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion which was soundly defeated last month.

One of the organizers of the mock eviction notices, senior Yacoub H. Kureh, was reportedly “dismayed” that some of the notices had been ripped up and thrown down on the ground.  Imagine.

Even Jewish student leaders expressed disapproval of what amounts to childish pranks and one-sided information filled with inaccuracies, a welcome change from the past and from the situation at many other campuses.

Junior Sara Kantor ’14, co-chair of Harvard Students for Israel, told the school paper that she believes the Harvard Israeli Apartheid Week is “inherently problematic.”

“We feel bad responding to something that is so outside the spectrum of what we are willing to engage in,” said Kantor. “The issue is that it no longer becomes a question of dialogue—it simply becomes rhetoric and demonizes an entire nation and people.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/harvard-jewish-students-contemptuous-of-mock-eviction-notices/2013/03/08/

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