web analytics
August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘leftists’

Israeli Left’s Mind-Numbing Hypocrisy On Freedom Of Speech

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

The assault on freedom of speech in Israel by the leftist establishment continues, manifested in a series of arrests of rabbis merely for expressing opinions.
 
Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef (the son of Rav Ovadia Yosef) were both arrested for the “crime” of approving a book. In response, Rabbi Lior’s followers rioted violently. I strongly oppose such behavior, but I know it was triggered by the anti-democratic zeal of the prosecution in its attempts to suppress freedom of speech.
 
This is all about a 230-page esoteric book written by Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur concerning the halachic rules under which non-Jewish non-combatants may be killed during wartime. (The question of collateral harm to civilians arises in halacha as it does in other real-world ethical debates.)
 
The publication of the book was foolish and has served to needlessly antagonize non-Jews. Predictably, it is being featured on anti-Semitic websites as “proof” that Jews connive to murder gentiles (al-Jazeera ran a piece claiming rabbis approve the murder of gentile babies).
 
As one prominent Orthodox Israeli rabbi has said regarding the book, some rabbis should be prohibited from taking pen to hand. Just because something should theoretically be protected speech doesn’t mean it’s smart to say it or write it.
 
(Of course, the position of Israel’s leftist elite is that the book is not protected speech, and that even praising the book or recommending that others read it is illegal “incitement” and “racism.”)
 
Having said that, and given that the book was published, potential provocation notwithstanding, the Israeli judicial establishment has been using it as an excuse to suppress freedom of speech. The authors of the tract themselves have not yet been indicted but are expected to be.
 
Meanwhile, the leftist SWAT teams in the Ministry of Justice are going after any rabbi with anything positive to say about the book.
 
The persecution of rabbis for expressing an opinion on someone else’s book stands in sharp and dramatic contrast to the treatment of Sheikh Salah. Head of the Islamofascist movement in Israel, the sheikh regularly and openly calls for the annihilation of Israel.
 
Two years back, he spoke at the University of Haifa and called for Arab students to become suicide bombers. He is so openly genocidal that he was just arrested in Britain when he slipped through passport control and managed to enter the country. But with the exception of one incident when he punched a policeman, he has never been arrested or indicted in Israel.
 
Persecuting rabbis who exercise their freedom of speech about a controversial book is not all the anti-democratic left is up to. According to Haaretz, authorities are preparing to prosecute rabbis who call on Jews not to sell or lease property in Jewish neighborhoods to Arabs. This is “racist,” cry the leftists.
 
But it is evidently not racist for leftists and Arabs to call for the prohibition of sales and renting of property to Jews in Sheikh Jarrah and other parts of East Jerusalem. There is no thought of prosecuting or indicting anyone for that.
 
The hypocrisy of the left when it comes to freedom of speech is mind numbing. At my own university (Haifa) the tenured left is obsessed these days with justifying and celebrating the decision by the law school to prohibit the singing of the Israeli national anthem lest it offend the delicate sensitivities of Arab students, some of whom regularly hold rallies with Hamas banners and who distribute photos of bin Laden.
 
Scores of tenured leftists are posting support for the decision on an internal university chat list. Some of those express the opinion that the anthem is a racist anti-Arab song and should be banned altogether. At least one Jewish faculty member called for the singing of the PLO anthem “Baladi Baladi” at the university. I have no doubt most of these people would also like to ban all Israeli flags from campus.
 
Now as it turns out, most of the tenured leftists so upset by the idea of Arab students having to be present when the Israeli national anthem is sung also just sent a petition to the university rector and president demanding that Sheikh Salah again be allowed to speak at the university. After that last incident on campus, when the genocidal sheikh called for suicide bombers, the university decided he would not be allowed to speak on campus again. (Tel Aviv University came forward to fill the void and hosted Salah a few weeks back.)
 
So here we have scores of tenured university faculty members insisting, in the name of freedom of speech and academic freedom, that the genocidal sheikh be allowed to speak on campus and call for mass murder of Jews. Many of those signing were faculty members of the law school.
 
So guess how many of those same people, including the law school’s tenured left, have expressed protest and indignation over the arrests of Rabbi Lior and Rabbi Yosef? How many objected to that infringement of freedom of speech?
 

That’s right, not a single one.

 

 

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Israeli Left Goes Bonkers Over Transparency

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

You will be excused if you have not been following the debate over proposals to demand that sources of funding for political parties and activist groups be revealed.
 
In Ireland.
 
Curiously, it is the Sinn Fein Party there that is demanding reform. Actually, this is not so unusual. Lots of democracies require disclosure of financial support from outside the country for political groups operating therein. The United States requires that such groups register as agents for foreign entities. Aside from Israel, I doubt any country has allowed funding from abroad for seditious groups supporting the enemies of their country in time of war.
 
What a difference between the debate in Ireland and the bloodcurdling hysterical rhetoric of the Israeli left, led by President Shimon Peres, against the proposals to investigate and expose funding sources for the anti-Israel activist groups operating inside Israel. Even the left wing of the Likud, led by Dan Meridor, has come out in opposition to the investigation.
 
The intervention by Peres against the legislation is notable because he himself is hardly a neutral observer. His own left-leaning Peres Center is financed by members of the European Union and other foreign interests.
 
The Israeli left is taking to the streets and to the newspapers. A few days ago a demonstration by leftists against the proposal was held in Tel Aviv, complete with PLO flags and anti-Israel banners. The demonstration was sponsored in part by the Israeli communist party, so you can see how devoted the demonstrators were to freedom, democracy and pluralism.
 
Now even Prime Minister Netanyahu has been cowed into changing the proposal. First, instead of investigating the funding of leftist seditious groups operating in Israel, the Likud government proposes symmetric scrutiny and investigation of funding for groups of both the left and the right.
 
Second, Netanyahu turned the rewrite of the proposed law over to an open agent of the New Israel Fund. Since the New Israel Fund was probably the main group the law’s initiators wanted investigated in the first place, this is a bit like allowing Tony Soprano to conduct his own RICO investigation of organized crime.
 
The rewrite of the law has been handed over to Isaac “Buji” Herzog, a Labor Party stalwart and son of the late Israeli President Chaim Herzog. Until a few days ago he was the Labor Party minister of welfare in the coalition government. He is now a member of one of the three factions left over from the breakup of Labor after Ehud Barak and four others quit its ranks.
 
Public opinion polls show Herzog as the most popular of the leaders of the rump Labor Party, and he is generally respected more than the other Labor lightweights. But he also has a long track record of working with the New Israel Fund. Last year he led the campaign to demonize critics of the New Israel Fund as “McCarthyists.” More troubling, he himself was involved in the recruitment of foreign tainted and illegal funds for various front groups set up in 1999 that were involved in the Mugabe-style campaign finances of Ehud Barak.
 
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the demand that groups from the right also be subject to a bit of financial transparency and accountability. But the symmetry already conceded by Netanyahu is intolerable and out of place.
 
NGO groups of the right operating in Israel are not actively attempting to achieve Israel’s demonization or even annihilation. They have their own platforms, with which you are free to disagree or agree.
 
But the far left is composed of groups that are seditious and actively seeking to harm Israel. Many persecute innocent Israeli army officers, collaborate with terrorist groups and with the enemies of Israel (like the flotilla terrorists), support the worldwide boycotts against Israel, collaborate with anti-Israel figures like Goldstone, endorse forms of treason such as advocating the Palestinian “right of return,” promote refusal by soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and openly identify with Israel’s enemies.
 
The Israeli left and its amen chorus outside Israel are trying to misrepresent the proposal for transparency of finances as an assault against nice caring “human rights” groups in Israel, claiming it is because Israel fears having its “war crimes” revealed. These are ordinarily the same people who posture their devotion to transparency and open government – in fact, they are the same people who celebrate the WikiLeaks leakers.
 
But the reality is that these far-left “human rights” NGOs generally support the enemies of Israel even during time of war. They refuse to acknowledge that Jews are entitled to human rights – certainly not the human right to walk down the street or sip coffee in a cafe without being murdered. Many have never heard of a Palestinian terrorist atrocity they wish to denounce.
 
And to make matters worse, many of these same leftists are whining that the proposal to require transparency in their finances is undemocratic and contrary to freedom of speech. But these are the very first people to demand that non-leftists in Israel be stripped of their rights to freedom of expression. These are the first to insist that every denunciation of left-wing sedition is in fact “McCarthyism” and “fascism.”
 
These same leftists led the massive McCarthyist assault against freedom of speech for non-leftists after the Rabin assassination. These are the people who regard the expression of any opinion with which the Israeli communist party might disagree to be “racist” and to constitute “incitement.”
 
Not a single one of them has spoken up on behalf of the right of settlers and right-wingers to express themselves. Not a single one has spoken out against the selective misuse of Israel’s idiotic “anti-racism” law to harass non-leftists while there has yet to be a single case in which that law was used to indict Arabs or leftists for anti-Jewish bigotry.
 
Arabs and leftists in Israel can cheer and justify mass terrorist attacks against Jews. That is not racist. Left-wing professors at Ben Gurion University may wave banners (as they recently did) in Arabic, saying: “In spirit and in blood we will redeem thee, Palestine” and “A Thousand blessings to the shaheed suicide bombers.” That is not racist either.
 
But wives of Israeli rabbis suggesting that Jewish girls not date Arab men may soon be facing criminal indictment for “racism.”
 

Of course, we all know what happens to any Arab women who date Jewish men, but their “honor killings” and mutilations do not count as “racist” either in the minds of the caring left.

  

 

   Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

What The Israeli Left Means By The Word ‘Fascist’

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Israel’s radical left is obsessed with the word “fascist.”
 
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where people vote and enjoy free speech, a free press, due process and habeas corpus, but none of that makes any impression on an increasing number of Israeli left-wingers whose definition of fascist seems to be any government that doesn’t adopt left-wing policies.
 
At any rate, with Israel’s leftist chattering classes so eager to label virtually anyone and anything as fascist, perhaps it’s necessary to clarify just what such people mean when they use the word.
 
● It’s fascist to allow Israeli voters to dictate the decisions of the Israeli government. Those voters cannot be counted on to support correct policy choices.
 
● It’s fascist to allow Zionist students to hold rallies on campuses against anti-Israel groups that also hold campus rallies, such as those organized by Arab and Jewish leftist students.
 
● It’s fascist to complain that the Israeli media are dominated by leftists who prevent non-leftists from expressing themselves.
 
● It’s fascist to allow non-leftists to hold academic posts teaching political science, sociology, education, etc. These departments should serve only to instruct students in leftist ideas.
 
● It’s fascist to suggest that people applying for Israeli citizenship be required to express a commitment of loyalty to the country. (It’s OK, though, for other countries to require it.)
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to have a dominant ethnic majority. That makes it an apartheid-like entity. (It’s OK, though, for other countries to have one.)
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to ignore UN resolutions.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to use force to defend its citizens. Terror should be dealt with by Israel only through capitulation.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to allow people to express opinions and ideas with which the Left disagrees.
 
● It’s fascist for anyone to object to the use of university classrooms for anti-Israel political indoctrination and ideological brainwashing.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to reject the ideas preached by the international Left.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to expect Arabs to obey the law.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to interfere with the smuggling of explosives and other weapons to Hamas in Gaza.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to allow Jews to live in neighborhoods within Jerusalem.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to refuse to turn half of Jerusalem over to terrorists.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to allow Jews to move to and live in the Galilee.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to allow Jews to live in lands outside the “Green Line” pre-1967 borders. It’s also fascist for anyone to suggest Jews should have the right to live in the West Bank even if a Palestinian state is someday erected there.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to allow people to criticize judicial activism or other politicized behavior of the courts.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to expect Arabs to pay taxes.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to refuse to bail out Arab municipalities that have refused to collect taxes.
 
● It’s fascist for anyone to suggest that Israeli Arabs should do some form of national service.
 
● It’s fascist for Israel to defend its borders.
 
● It’s fascist to allow soldiers in uniform to attend classes in universities.
 
● It’s fascist to allow non-leftist students to criticize leftist professors.
 
● It’s fascist for Jews to shoot back.
 

● It’s fascist to remind leftists of how they have been wrong about almost everything.

 

 

Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

What Freedom Of Speech?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

           The latest headliner in the campaign to silence critics of Israel’s radical Left is Prof. Zvi Hacohen, the new rector at Ben Gurion University. A professor in chemistry and “desert research,” Hacohen was cited at length in Haaretz (Sept. 15) denouncing people, especially students of the Zionist Im Tirtzu movement, who dare criticize leftist sedition.
 
            Hacohen calls all such critics of anti-Israel extremism “McCarthyists.” Leftists denouncing Israel as a Nazi country, a fascist apartheid entity in need of obliteration, are simply exercising their legitimate academic freedom, but anyone who denounces those leftists for what they say and do is guilty of “McCarthyism” and so must be suppressed.
 
            Radical leftist academics who call for a world boycott of Israel are engaging in legitimate use of academic freedom, they insist, but others who call for boycotts of such boycotters of Israel are fascists and guilty of “incitement.”
 
            Hacohen denounces students at his own university and others (I assume he means the www.Isracampus.org.il  watchdog group, Israel’s equivalent to Campus Watch in the U.S.) for recording the public lectures of radical anti-Israel faculty members and then making them public. He also is upset when they cite verbatim the seditious public pronouncements of those faculty members. Hacohen insists it’s McCarthyism to protest the anti-Israel indoctrination that is the main (if not the sole) activity of the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University, and he denounces students from Im Tirtzu for calling on donors to place their contributions to the university into escrow until the university makes needed reforms.
 
             Hacohen is just one of Israel’s many increasingly hysterical radical leftists inside (and outside) academia who demand that freedom of speech for non-leftists be suppressed.
 
             Leftists in Israel are free to endorse violence, to call for Israel to be destroyed, and to endorse anti-Semites and terrorists. They are free to promote lawbreaking and violence. They are free to call on the world to boycott Israel and to impose upon Israel by force an outside “resolution” of the conflict along lines the vast majority of Israelis oppose.
 
             Yes, it may be upsetting to people, say the leftist poseurs, but offensive speech needs to be protected in the name of democracy.
 
Or does it? A young Jewish woman named Tanya Susskind drew a protest poster of the Prophet Muhammad as a pig. Her drawing was distasteful, but no worse than those Danish cartoons that were judged to be protected speech. She was sentenced to more than two years in prison. Israeli soldiers who recently had their photographs taken alongside handcuffed or blindfolded suspected terrorists have been prosecuted for insensitivity. Why was their behavior not considered protected freedom of expression?
 
In a similar manner, Israel has criminalized and banned the various Kahanist factions of followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. They are denied freedom of speech under Israel’s silly “anti-racism law,” a law that has never been used to prosecute a single anti-Semite. Their crime? They express political opinions Israeli leftists find repulsive.
 
            A professor at the University of Haifa was ordered by the Attorney General’s Office to report to the police for interrogation concerning things he was accused of saying about Arabs in class – statements he denies having made. But even if he had said negative things about Arabs, why was that not protected speech? Is protected speech in Israel limited to the rights of anti-Semites and traitors to smear Jews?
 
Just what happened to the idea that freedom of speech protects unpopular and even offensive opinions? Leftists expressing anti-Semitic or anti-Israel radical ideas are never prosecuted in Israel. The most the government ever did was deny entry into Israel to a few foreign leftist professors who had been maintaining intimate association with terrorist organizations like Hizbullah.
 
Let us go back to Prof. Hacohen, the rector. We know what upsets him, but what does not upset him? He is not disturbed that entire departments at his own university operate as open anti-Israel indoctrination camps. He is not disturbed that faculty members at Ben Gurion University are leaders in the international campaign to boycott Israel, to “divest” from Israel, to place sanctions against Israel. He is not disturbed about BGU faculty members who associate with Holocaust deniers.
 
Prof. Hacohen is not concerned about reports of leftist faculty members at BGU harassing and penalizing students there who dare dissent from the anti-Israel ideology poured out in classroom indoctrinations. He is not concerned that anti-Israel radicals are being hired and promoted on the basis of “academic records” consisting of nothing more than anti-Israel hate propaganda. He is not concerned about BGU faculty members who endorse terrorist violence. He is not concerned about Arab and Jewish leftist students marching about his campus giving Heil Hitler salutes.
 
The only thing he seems worried about is that some Zionist students at BGU wish to express their opinions and criticize treasonous behavior. He demands that they be silenced. He insults the students at his own university, calling them “McCarthyists.” He demands that criticism of treason be silenced in the name of protecting academic freedom.
 

The academic freedom of which he dreams is the sort to be found in North Korea.

 

 

 

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

When Naivet? Becomes Sedition

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The most dramatic and important political change in Israel over the past 20 years has been the transformation of the Israeli Left from a movement of political naivet? to one of, in an increasing number of instances, political sedition.

For most of its history, the Israeli Left was a well-meaning if rather clueless political camp. Its core belief was that a more accommodationist set of policies could buy Israel peace with the Arab world.

Throughout the 1970s and much of the 1980s, the Israeli Left insisted that endless Israeli “goodwill gestures” would prove to the Arabs that Israel’s intentions were benign, and as a result the Arabs would be persuaded to come to terms with the Jewish state.

The Left insisted that Israel’s turning the other cheek in response to Arab terrorist atrocities was the most effective method to end them. It argued that Israeli retaliatory acts were actually causing Arab terror attacks. (Leftists everywhere have long been fond of Orwellian inversions of cause and effect.)

The Israeli Left dismissed the genocidal agenda of Arab terrorist groups as empty rhetoric. It believed Israeli self-abasement could buy friendship and goodwill from the very terrorists who hailed Hitler as their role model, who libeled Jews with the claim that they drink the blood of gentile children on Passover, and who denied there had ever been a Holocaust.

The Israeli Left of yesteryear – the Israeli Left pre-Oslo, pre-1993 – was wrong but for the most part not malevolent or self-hating. However misguided its policy prescriptions, its motivations were essentially pro-Israel.

Back in 1993 most Israeli leftists believed the Left’s ideas would benefit Israel and the Jewish people. (Today, all too many leftists support those same ideas whether or not they harm Israel and Jews.)

In 1993 most Israeli leftists believed Israeli concessions would lead to Arab moderation. (Today’s leftists know – but seemingly don’t care – that concessions are seen as signs of weakness that only inspire greater Arab violence.)

In 1993 most Israeli leftists believed in Israeli restraint because they thought it would stimulate Palestinian goodwill and most leftists thought Israel would emerge stronger if the Oslo accords were implemented. (Today’s leftists demand endless restraint even after witnessing the bloody results.)

In other words, the Israeli Left of 1993 was by and large a Left that could, if properly provoked, be awakened from its delusions. And in fact, many longtime leftists would move to the center and even to the right in the decade immediately following Oslo as Palestinian atrocities, endless violations of PLO commitments, and increasingly Nazi-like rhetoric from both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs continued to mount.

This is not to in any way excuse the old Israeli Left for its disastrous policies – policies originating out of fear and weariness rather than hard-headed realism.

Ultimately, the old Israeli Left got to implement its agenda in the great Oslo “peace process” experiment, with successive Israeli governments under Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert agreeing in principle to eventually abandon all or almost all of the “occupied territories,” even to divide Jerusalem and restore the Golan Heights to Syria’s ruling clique.

The result was escalated terrorism and a global campaign of delegitimization against Israel.

The Oslo policy of Israel’s old Left was based on a total loss of the ability to think rationally. It was a loss of historic proportions, a relinquishment of reality for a make-pretend universe, and a complete loss of the Jewish determination to survive as a nation.

How else to explain thespectacle of Israeli leaders meeting, back-slapping and kissing the same Arab fascists who murdered Jewish children and only yesterday denied there had ever been a Holocaust while at the same time insisting that if there had been one, the Jews deserved it?

* * * * *

 

Now, less than 20 years after the beginning of the Oslo “peace process,” Israel’s very continuation as a Jewish state is regarded as a legitimate topic of conversation in polite company. Even worse, it is the Israeli Left that more and more is leading the assault against its country’s legitimacy and very survival.

The “peace process” experiment proved beyond doubt that the Israeli Left’s perception of the problems of the Middle East had always been distorted. Perhaps the most egregious example of this was Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which served to convert all of Gaza into a Hamas terror base rather than the tranquil oasis the Left was convinced would follow.

The Gaza withdrawal produced a torrent of thousands of rockets from terrorists in Gaza on Jewish civilians in the Israeli Negev, which of course is located well within Israel’s pre-1967 “Green Line” border.

And thanks to Israel’s unilateral capitulation in Southern Lebanon in 2000, there was a barrage of thousands of Katyusha rockets from Lebanon into Northern Israel in the summer of 2006 as well as the seizure of much of Lebanon by genocidal Hizbullah terrorists. The Palestinian Authority of the “moderate” PLO entered into an open competition with Hamas and Islamic Jihad over which group could launch the most terrorism against the Jews.

The Oslo disaster also triggered a global upsurge in anti-Semitism and support for Arab demands around the world.

Israel’s endless self-restraint in the face of terrorism and its countless capitulations won Israel no friends. Even the White House responded to such displays of weakness by demanding that Israel agree to turn its holiest shrines over to terrorist control. The more Israel exhibited restraint, the more the world denounced it for its “violations of human rights” and “apartheid racism.”

Israeli displays of weakness have not only convinced the Arab world the Jews are on the run, they have resulted in a worldwide campaign of demonization against Jews, including – but not limited to – medieval-style tales of Jews trafficking in the body parts of dead Palestinians and Israelis engaging in Nazi-like war crimes.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have yet to comply with a single punctuation mark in any of the “accords” and agreements they have signed, yet the world insists in rare unison that Israel is the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

The failures of the “peace process” have also had interesting domestic political ramifications inside Israel. The de facto implementation of leftist thinking by the various governments of the Labor Party, Kadima and Likud has ultimately served to undermine the very survivability of the country. As a result, more and more Israelis have experienced a “dropping of the token,” as Hebrew slang describes a rude awakening.

As noted above, large numbers of Israelis abandoned the political Left as it became ever more difficult to deny that leftist-inspired policies had simply made the situation far worse and far more dangerous. The Meretz Party lost 75 percent of its electoral support within just a few years. Leftist organizations Peace Now and Dor Shalem are largely defunct.

On the other hand, the people remaining within the ranks of the dwindling Left have become increasingly extreme. Indeed, many of them have emerged as a political Fifth Column. For reasons only psychiatrists might properly fathom, this rump political Left in Israel openly identifies today with the enemies of its own country, supporting all enemy demands without reservation.

The ugly and indisputable reality is that the contemporary Israeli Left consists of people openly calling on the world to impose on Israel sanctions and divestment schemes. It consists of people proclaiming that peace has been blocked because Israel is an evil entity. The Palestinian “right of return” that would annihilate Israel from within is now supported by hundreds of leading Jewish leftists.

The Israeli Left, particularly the academic Left, churns out enormous amounts of anti-Israel hate propaganda for all takers. It was the Israeli Left that invented for world consumption the “apartheid” calumny, as well as fictions about Israeli “war crimes.” (Does it even need to be said that no leftist has ever been indicted for this under Israel’s toothless anti-treason laws?)

The Israeli Left is also increasingly involved in law breaking and violence. The government turns a blind eye to this. Even though the original idea for Israel’s security wall had actually come from the Left (because leftists thought this would calm the situation and lead to Israel’s abandoning most of the West Bank to the Palestinians), week after week Israeli leftists now hold violent demonstrations against that wall, attempt to vandalize it, and physically attack Israeli police and soldiers. They also hold demonstrations demanding that large swaths of Jerusalem be kept judenrein – Jew-free.

To grasp the absurdity of this, try to imagine U.S. civil-rights protesters wearing Klan hoods and demanding that black folks be kept out of neighborhoods “where they do not belong.” Israel is the only country on the planet where domestic leftists lobby to force their country into giving up its capital city.

Most alarming, however, has been the Israeli Left’s adoption of the political positions and agendas of its country’s worst enemies regarding almost everything. Before any audience that will listen, Israeli leftists routinely denounce Israel as essentially a colonialist racist entity with no moral right to exist and certainly no moral right to defend itself.

There is not a single act of self-defense that Israel could undertake today against terrorists that would not be denounced by Israel’s Left as criminal, fascist, or racist (sometimes all three). Israel’s most visible leftists seem to have one position and one position only – total Israeli capitulation to terrorist demands, including “talks with” (meaning capitulation to) Hamas.

The old na?ve Israeli Left may have preferred that Israel seek to resolve its conflict with the Arab world through niceness, but it had no delusions about what ultimately lay at the origins and the heart of that conflict. The old na?ve Left understood that the Middle East conflict was caused by the Arab refusal to accept any manifestation of Jewish self-determination in the Middle East.

The Israeli Left of the 21st century, in stark contrast, believes the conflict stems from the temerity of the Jews in reestablishing sovereignty in their historical homeland. Israel’s very existence, in the eyes of a dismayingly large number of leftists, particularly those in academia and the media, is a crime in itself – the original sin, if you will.

More and more Israeli leftists openly mourn the very creation of Israel, joining together with Islamists in “Nakba Day” commemorations marking the “catastrophe” of Israel’s existence.

Israeli leftists routinely join foreign anti-Semites in promoting what they call the One-State Solution – in effect a final solution under which Israel would cease to exist altogether as a Jewish state and simply become absorbed into a larger, predominantly Arab, binational state.

That a growing number of Israeli leftists regard their own country as a paragon of evil is bad enough. Also growing, however, are the manifestations of open anti-Semitism among Jewish Israeli leftists. Their intellectual nexus is Israel’s professoriate (exposed in detail at www.isracampus.org.il).

Israeli tenured academics are the sponsors and initiators of campaigns all over the world to boycott Israel, including boycotts against the very universities that pay their salaries.

Hundreds of Israeli university professors have been involved in organizing mutiny and insurrection among Israeli soldiers, and some have even been arrested for violence. Israeli university authorities wink at such faculty behavior and sometimes condone or promote it.

Israeli students are increasingly complaining about being harassed by leftist faculty members if they dare express dissenting pro-Israel opinions in the classroom, and some claim their grades were lowered as punishment for this felony.

In-classroom anti-Israel indoctrination is becoming more common at Israeli universities. Israeli extremist academics have misused their classroom podiums to force-feed their students anti-Israel libel and anti-Jewish venom. Some courses consist of little more than North-Korean-style one-sided political indoctrination. “Academic” conferences held weekly on Israeli campuses are often anti-academic exercises in one-sided advocacy of leftwing positions.

Faculty hiring and promotion decisions are often subordinated to political bias and gestures of leftist political solidarity. Authors of tracts as openly anti-Jewish as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are granted tenure automatically. Israeli extremists with mediocre academic records are hired and promoted as acts of solidarity by other leftists within the university system. University officials often pretend that anti-Israel political propaganda is serious scholarship and research.

* * * * *

 

On the left wing of the Israeli political spectrum, the simple son of the Passover Haggadah has been replaced by the wicked son. This is not to say that every leftist is wicked or has evil intentions, just that the Left as a collective entity no longer has Israel’s best interests at heart.

The Left in Israel is at war with Zionism and Israel’s continuation as a Jewish state. It is also radically opposed to democracy and freedom of speech. For too many leftists, the highest form of democracy means issuing calls for foreign powers to neutralize Israel’s electorate and to impose an outside “solution” on the country – one to the liking of the Arabs – by means of threats and force.

This is a phenomenon that needs to be understood and internalized – and actively fought – by all non-leftist Jews in Israel and throughout the Jewish world if the Jewish state is to survive.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Israeli Left’s Checklist For Academic Freedom

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

With so much recent debate in Israel about academic freedom, I thought it would be constructive to describe the current politically correct ideas about academic freedom held and proliferated by the academic left:
 
● There is only one correct point of view, that of the radical left. It is the main function of universities to operate as centers for the proliferation of radical leftist ideology and for indoctrination into progressive thought.
 
            ●* There is no reason for any courses to provide students with any point of view other than the correct one. Students should express correct ideas if they expect to pass the course.
 
● Faculty members who express opinions that leftist colleagues and students might find offensive must be prohibited and suppressed. Ditto for those who dare to criticize organizations like the New Israel fund; that criticism makes some people feel offended and sad.
 
● While faculty members who express opinions leftist students might find offensive should be fired or at least disciplined, there is nothing wrong with radical anti-Israel faculty members using their classrooms to lecture students on why IDF soldiers resemble Nazis, why terrorist attacks against Israel are morally just, why Israel should be destroyed, why Jews are morally inferior.
 
● Academic freedom means anti-Israel radical faculty members have the right to denounce and demonize Israel and call it foul names, but no one has the right to criticize radical anti-Israel faculty members or accuse them of disloyalty.
 
● Criticism of anti-Israel faculty members is McCarthyism and must be suppressed at all costs, at all times. It is also incitement.
 
● There are those who claim real commitment to freedom of speech is exhibited by defending the free-expression rights of those with whom one disagrees. This is nonsense. Politically-correct defenders of academic freedom should not be expected to criticize the anti-democratic suppression of the freedom of speech of people on the right.
 
● Because there is only one correct view, and it is a radical leftist anti-Israel view, those adhering to this view must be hired and promoted even if they have no academic publication records at all or only very thin ones. This is how one shows solidarity in the struggle for peace.
 
● Leftist anti-Israel faculty members are entitled to unlimited freedom of speech, but donors to Israeli universities, elected politicians, students, and non-leftist faculty members are not. They have no cause to interfere in university matters that do not concern them.
 
● Israeli taxpayers are not entitled to any accountability or say in Israeli universities. It is their job to pony up the funds that keep anti-Israel faculty members in their cushy jobs, where the latter can, without interference, advocate attacks against, harm to, and boycotts of those very same taxpaying citizens. Taxpayers who express reluctance to finance academic sedition are anti-democratic, unhygienic troglodytes.
 
● Students who dare disagree with the correct ideas of radical anti-Israel faculty members should have their grades lowered.
 
● Students who go to prison because they refuse to serve in the IDF deserve university backing and support, but those who go to reserves do not – and should be barred from entering classrooms in uniform.
 
● Calling for world boycotts of Israel is academic freedom. Denouncing such callers as traitors is McCarthyism.
 
● Academic diversity means having Ashkenazim, Mizrachim, women and Arabs in the same department all expressing the same leftist anti-Israel ideas. It never means including non-leftists in an academic department to achieve diversity by expressing dissident non-leftist ideas.
 
            ● There is no reason for students to be exposed to any ideas other than those of the radical anti-Israel left, including in course readings and lectures. There is no reason for leftist faculty members to balance their own biases in class by mentioning the views of those who disagree with them.
 
● Faculty chat lists should be censored so that leftists may freely insult non-leftists, but no one should be allowed to answer them in kind.
 
● Whenever a radical leftist is presented with documentation of facts that contradict leftist theology, the leftist must insist that no facts have been presented at all.
 
● No facts contradicting leftist theology are admissible. They must be dismissed as being “right-wing.”
 
● The only permissible set of policies that may be advocated for Israel is that of accommodation to the just demands of the Arabs. If peace has not been achieved, it is because Israel has not been accommodating enough.
 
● Churning out anti-Israel hate propaganda must always be counted as scholastic achievement and research.
 
● Watchdog groups like Isracampus or NGO Monitor should be suppressed for their questioning of leftist orthodoxy.
 

● Critical thinking must never involve criticism of the radical left.

 

 

            Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Israelis As Nazis, 1982

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. For those who labor under the mistaken assumption that media liberals and leftists turned against Israel because of its handling of the two Palestinian intifadas, or because of what they perceive to be the neoconservative hold on the Bush White House (particularly during Bush’s first term), or because they lay the blame squarely on Israel for the collapse of Oslo and the failure of the Clinton initiatives at Camp David and Taba, it might be instructive to take a brief look back at what liberals and leftists were saying about Israel a quarter-century ago.

Columnist Nicholas von Hoffman, who recently described Israel as “not good for much beside limited or mass destruction” and who decries “the Israeli-American war against the Palestinians,” was already secreting his anti-Israel bile back in 1982 when he wrote, “Incident by incident, atrocity by atrocity, Americans are coming to see the Israeli government as pounding the Star of David into a swastika.”

The late columnist Carl Rowan also looked eastward and beheld the Fourth Reich rising in Jerusalem: “In their zeal to ensure that the Jewish people never suffer another Holocaust, Israel’s leaders are imitating Hitler.”

Columnist and author Pete Hamill cited an unnamed “Israeli friend” who supposedly said of Israel, “Forgive me, but all I can think of is the Nazis.” (One of the Monitor’s journalistic rules of thumb: When a reporter quotes anonymous sources, they invariably agree with the reporter’s agenda or story line – assuming the sources are even real in the first place.)

The late Alfred Friendly, former managing editor of the Washington Post, was in fine frenzy: “[Israel’s] slaughters are on a par with … Trujillo’s Dominican Republic or Papa Doc’s Haiti. Still absent are the jackboots, the shoulder boards, and the bemedalled chests, but one can see them, figuratively, on the minister of defense.”

Columnist Richard Cohen, who just a few months ago tried to backpedal from his statement that Israel is “a well-intentioned mistake,” had this to say 25 years ago: “Maybe the ultimate tragedy of the seemingly nonstop war in the Middle East is that Israel has adopted the morality of its hostile neighbors. Now it bombs cities, killing combatants and non-combatants alike – men as well as women, women as well as children, Palestinians as well as Lebanese.”

Columnist William Pfaff suggested that “Hitler’s work goes on” – and speculated that Hitler may “find rest in Hell” with “the knowledge that the Jews themselves, in Israel, have finally … accepted his own way of looking at things.”

The late NBC News anchor John Chancellor, reporting from Lebanon, delivered a series of commentaries sharply critical of Israel, including this historically illiterate blast: “What will stick in the mind about yesterday’s savage Israeli attack on Beirut is its size and scope…. Nothing like it has ever happened in this part of the world…. What’s an Israeli army doing here in Beirut? The answer is that we are now dealing with an imperial Israel which is solving its problems in someone else’s country, world opinion be damned [emphasis added].”

NBC’s Tom Brokaw, interviewing Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, burnished his progressive credentials with this bit of nonjudgmental gable: “…the PLO, or the terrorists as you call them [emphasis added].”

Reporters and anchormen weren’t the only media types to take the sledgehammer to Israel. Zev Chafets, in Double Vision, his 1985 study of anti-Israel media bias, noted that editorial cartoonists were particularly vicious and inclined toward the Nazi imagery favored by so many pundits:

Artist Steve Benson compared Ariel Sharon with Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and showed goose-stepping Israeli storm-troopers guarding a death camp labeled BEIRUT; Tony Auth depicted the ghost of a Jewish inmate of Auschwitz looking at a bombed-out site in Lebanon and, in horrified recognition, saying, “Oh, my God.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal ran a picture of Begin looking into a hole where Lebanon had been, captioned “A final solution to the PLO problem,” and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner carried a Bill Schorr cartoon in which Begin said, “For every problem, there is a final solution.”

The Indianapolis Star carried one cartoon by Oliphant of a wrecked city with a sign saying WARSAW GHETTO crossed out and the words WEST BEIRUT substituted and another with Israeli soldiers saying, “We are only obeying orders.” The Arizona Republic ran a picture of Begin wearing a badge saying NEVER AGAIN, and an Arab standing next to him wearing a button saying UNTIL NOW.

Chafets’s book, by the way, is as powerful today as it was when first released, not least because many of the journalists whose work he critiques are still active.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/israelis-as-nazis-1982/2007/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: