Photo Credit:
Richard L. Cravatts

Beinin’s intent is to make any defensive actions on the part of Israel seem an overreaction, regardless of how many of its citizens have been murdered or how many threats against its very existence have been proclaimed.

“According to both Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon,” Beinin wrote, dismissively, “Israel is engaged in a war despite the spectacularly unequal military balance in the conflict,” as if a nation reacting to unprovoked attacks on its citizens is compelled to insure that its enemy is equally armed and that the fight will be “fair” – something only a college professor, from the comfort and safety of his Stanford office, could possibly consider.


Sharing Beinin’s worldview is Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s unctuous Noam Chomsky. MIT, like Stanford, has been very successful in attracting Department of Defense funding, $876,792,510 in 2009 alone, which has seemingly not impeded Chomsky from making his views widely known about how atrocious his country and its military are.

Chomsky, whom Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz has called the “godfather” of anti-Israel thought, when he is not lecturing on the evils of American capitalism and its ruthless lust for “empire” busies himself by blaming Israel for every problem of the Middle East’s highly dysfunctional, authoritarian regimes.

Like other anti-Zionists in the West and in the Arab world, Chomsky does not even recognize the legitimacy of Israel, believing its very existence to be a moral transgression against an indigenous people.

Chomsky draws the perverse parallel between Israelis and Nazis so frequently in his writings that, to paraphrase the wry Professor Edward Alexander, he would be rendered nearly speechless if he were unable to use the epithet of Nazi against Israel in every sentence he utters.

“Israel has tried killing, beating, gassing, mass arrests, deportation, destruction of houses, curfews and other forms of harsh collective punishment,” Chomsky wrote, and yet, even in the face of this hideous, Nazi-like behavior by Israel, “nothing has succeeded in enforcing obedience or eliciting a violent response.”

In 2011, the University of Michigan was awarded almost $15 million in defense contracts, which ought to have been upsetting to the school’s conspiracy-frenzied Juan Cole, who routinely takes swipes at Israeli and American defense policies while simultaneously excusing Arab complicity for violence or terror. In fact, according to Cole, it is the militancy of the West that causes the endemic problems in the Middle East, and makes America guilty for its moral and financial support of Israel.

“When Ariel Sharon sends American-made helicopter gunships and F-16s to fire missiles into civilian residences or crowds in streets,” Cole wrote in 2004, “as he has done more than once, then he makes the United States complicit in his war crimes and makes the United States hated among friends of the Palestinians. And this aggression and disregard of Arab life on the part of the proto-fascist Israeli Right has gotten more than one American killed, including American soldiers.”

There is, of course, no mention in Cole’s fantasies about why American or Israeli soldiers would be involved in military actions in the first place, affirming the view that it is Western imperialism and oppression that disrupt and embroil the otherwise taciturn political state of the Arab world.

At Harvard, which annually receives some $44 million of Defense Department funding, Sara Roy, a researcher at the University’s Center for Middle East Studies (CMES), has been an apologist for Hamas. She and Boston University professor Augustus Richard Norton co-authored an article for the Christian Science Monitor in which they conjured up the fantasy of a “New Hamas,” a benign political group the authors felt were deserving of recognition by Western diplomats.


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Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., is president emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and the author of “Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.”