Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Antisemitism on the fringes of "Occupy Wall Street"

From SWC, 16 Oct 2011, by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and historian Dr. Harold Brackman:

…Unfortunately, the hateful fringe of the Occupy Wall Street Movement is now also coast-to-coast, though you might not know it from the mainstream media. Today’s hate propaganda from the New York protests has gone viral. This includes placards identifying “Wall Street Jews” as “Hitler’s Bankers,” and angry shouts of “Kill/Screw Google Jews.” According to anecdotal evidence, the conspiracy banter that the 9/11 attacks were a U.S. government and/or Israeli plot is also popular among some protestors.

From Wall Street to LA’s City Hall now comes a copycat wave of street posters including one with the headline “End the Fed Spigot” under which are pictures of missiles and Stars of David bombarding innocent victims. Another pseudo-learned poster tells us: “Humanity has been colonized by a Satanic cult called the ILLUMINATI . . . Masonic and Jewish bankers who . . . control the purse strings [and] are conspiring against us. They have orchestrated TWO WORLD WARS and are planning a THIRD.” We are told that it’s “Humanity VS. The Rothschilds”. Protester Patricia McAllister, who says she works for LA Unified Schools exercised her First Amendment Right thus: “I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, . . . need to be run out of this country.”

For almost 200 years, blaming the world’s economic woes on the Rothschilds or Wall Street or Jewish bankers has been “the socialism of fools”—and mother’s milk of every demagogue from Hitler to Henry Ford to the Internet bloggers who still insist that Goldman Sachs’s secret Zionist high-command cunningly engineered the 2008 global financial collapse. Of course, toxic hate is not the motivator of most protestors, many of whom are suffering from orsincerely concerned about real economic hardship. Yet history shows the danger of lunatic fringe ideas spreading from the periphery to the center of a tumultuous movement…

The Tea Party, when it emerged in 2009, also attracted its own extremist fringe, as a hyper-vigilant national media was correct to quickly expose. Some of the Tea Party fringe equated Obama with Hitler and claimed that the first African American president was a Manchurian candidate with a phony birth certificate. Yet the Tea Party Movement eventually produced grassroots leaders who denounced such nonsense and repeatedly disavowed racism and racists. Though not everyone was convinced by the Tea Party’s disavowals of prejudice, millions of decent Americans who weren’t bigots voted in the 2010 elections to support the complaints and goals of the movement.

…If the Occupy Wall Streeters really want their movement to achieve mainstream credibility, they should begin by policing their own ranks… social and political civility must also prevail. The Occupy Movement’s leaders in LA as well as New York need to disown the purveyors of hate within their ranks. They must pull the plug on the bigots amongst them who view the slogan of fighting the detested “1 percent of fat cats” as their opportunity to mainstream the hatred of Jews.

Why are Palestinians celebrating the release of mass murderers?

From Commentary, 17 October 2011, by Jonathan S. Tobin:

....Though the vast majority of Israelis support the trade and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s willingness to pay the ransom for Shalit, the impending release of so many murderers is nothing to celebrate. That is, unless you are a Palestinian.

Mass rallies and celebrations Ramallah  ..celebrate the freedom of those who were convicted of mass murders. Who will they be cheering? As the New York Times reports:

Those being freed include the founders of Hamas’s armed wing and militants who kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians. A mastermind of the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria who killed 15 will walk out of prison, as will a woman who used the Internet to lure a lovesick Israeli teenager to a Palestinian city and had him murdered.
Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences, some for being involved in attacks like the 2001 bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people and a suicide bombing a year later of a Netanya hotel in which 29 died.
Apologists for the Palestinians will argue those in Israeli jails were resisting the “occupation” of the country, though few will own up to the fact that as far as the prisoners are concerned, the territory of pre-June 1967 Israel is just as “occupied” as the West Bank. But even if you think the Palestinian cause is just, how can anyone justify the slaughter of innocents such as at the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem? Even if you think Israel should withdraw back to the 1967 lines, how can any civilized person condone the Palestinian decision to treat those who committed such atrocities as heroes?

What is on trial this week is not the moral calculus by which Netanyahu decided that saving the life of one Jewish soldier was worth the subversion of justice–freeing murderers as ransom.

What ought to be discussed is the upside-down ethos of Palestinian political culture in which the spilling of Jewish blood grants the killer not only absolution but also heroic status.

The world turned away in horror a decade ago when a photograph captured the moment when one of the ringleaders of a Palestinian lynch mob showed his bloodstained hands to a cheering crowd after he had helped murder an Israeli. Yet today, the Palestinian political elite, including many whom our government deems “moderates,” will not only facilitate the release of this miscreant but treat him like a conquering hero.

The prisoner swap has unfortunately reminded us of the depths of degradation to which the Palestinian political culture sank during the second intifada, as mass slaughter became not merely a tool of war but the touchstone of a people’s identity. We would have hoped the passage of years and the realization of the cost in Palestinian suffering that this terror war incurred would have sobered them up. It would be one thing if these murderers were taken back in an atmosphere that showed some recognition their crimes were nothing to emulate. But instead, the release is proving to be yet another indication nothing has changed.

Those, like the Obama administration, who repeat tired clichés about the need for Israel to take risks for peace, never seem to own up to the costs of those risks. The second intifada and the 1,000 Jewish lives lost to terrorists were the price of earlier risks previous Israeli governments took in the hope of securing peace.

The celebration that will convulse Palestinian society sad proof that similar risks taken today will also be paid for in blood.

Rather than ask why Israel is willing to trade so many terrorists for one soldier, the world should be asking why the Palestinians are cheering the release of sociopaths.

Ban Ki-moon equates Gilad Shalit to Hamas Terrorists

From a UN Watch Press Release, GENEVA, Oct. 18:

A Geneva-based watchdog group called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon to clarify remarks made today that seemed to draw a moral equivalence between the imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and Hamas terrorists.

"I am very encouraged by the prisoner exchange today after many many years of negotiation," Secretary-General Ban told Reuters today. "The United Nations has been calling for (an end to) the unacceptable detention of Gilad Shalit and also the release of all Palestinians whose human rights have been abused all the time."

"Mr. Ban needs to clarify whether, as it appears, he was referring to the Palestinians who committed such gruseome crimes as the bombing of Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria that killed 15, the bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21, and the bombing of Netanya's Park Hotel that killed 29 people attending a Passover Seder," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch

"We call on Mr. Ban to recognize that those who masterminded and carried out terrorist attacks against women and children are despicable criminals, not innocent victims, and that their detention is a moral and security obligation rather than a so-called violation of human rights," said Neuer.

"The UN was founded on moral clarity, and its highest officials should know better than to engage in false moral equivalence. They should instead be condeming all of those today who obscenely celebrated cold-blooded murderers as heroes."

UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.

Terrorists released in Shalit deal

From Ynet News, 18 Oct 2011, by Elior Levy*:

Hamas-affiliated websites, Arab media post partial lists of Palestinian prisoners included in prisoner exchange deal. List includes terrorists involved it attacks which claimed dozens of Israeli lives 

..The list, published on the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV website, includes several top Hamas leaders, such as Yehya al-Sinwar, as well as the eldest Palestinian prisoner, Sami Younis (78).

The list also includes the following prisoners:
  • Abdel Hadi Ghanem, an Islamic Jihad terrorist responsible for the 1989 terror attack on Egged bus 405, in which 16 Israelis were killed.
  • Fahad Schludi, a terror operative who took part in the 1993 abduction and murder of IDF soldier Yaron Chen.
  • Bassam Abu Sneina and Riyad Asila, who are serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of yeshiva student Haim Kerman.
  • Nael al-Barghouthi, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1978, for murdering an Israeli security officer.
  • Yehiya As-Sinwar, who was one of the founders of Hamas' security forces in Gaza and was involved in the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman. He is also the brother of one of the terrorists involved in Gilad Shalit's kidnapping. 
  • Jihad Yarmur, who was convicted of Nachshon Wachsman's murder.
  • Amna Muna, who in 2001 lured 16-year-old Ophir Rachum to Ramallah where he was shot to death by terrorists.
  • Ahlam Tamimi, who orchestrated the 2001 bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem.
    Ahmed Najar, former head of the Silwad terror cell, which killed three Israelis in six shooting attacks during the al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • Mohammed Hamada, who was convicted of planning a rocket attack on Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
  • Ruhi Musteha, a senior operative with Hamas' military wing.
  • Husam Badran, the former head of Hamas' military wing in the West Bank, who orchestrated the deadly terror attacks at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium in 2001, at the Park Hotel in Netanya in 2002 and at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001.
  • Muhammad Duglas, who was implicated in the Sbarro attack, and is serving 15 consecutive life sentences for the murder of 19 Israelis.
  • Tariq Hassin, an Islamic Jihad operative who carried out a terror attack on Highway six, killing a seven-year-old girl.
  • Iyad Abu Hizran, a terror operative convicted of a 1991 murder of a 76-year-old Israeli man.
  • Iyad Abiyat, an operative of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, who was implicated in two shooting attacks in 2000 and 2002.

The list also includes the names of the six Israeli-Arabs slated to be release: Ali Amira, Muhammad Jabarin, Muhammad Ziada, Wahem Amisha, and Mukhales Braal.

  • For the partial list in Arabic click here
    Some of the Palestinian prisoners included in the swap deal will be released to Turkey and other third countries, according to Turkish Daily Radikal.

    According to the Radikal, some 40 prisoners, who were not allowed to return to the West Bank, will be transferred to Turkey and other countries. The Daily Hurriyet claimed that Israel had refused to allow these prisoners be exiled to Syria, Lebanon or Egypt...

    *Attila Somfalvi and Reuters contributed to this report

  • Gilad is returned to his family and his people!!

    Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Dean and founder addressed a crowd of Jewish and political leaders who gathered in Los Angeles to commemorate the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

    PHOTO: Rabbi Marvin Hier, at the Los Angeles gathering of Jewish & PoliticalLeaders commemorating Gilad Shalit’s release sponsored by the Lo Angeles Jewish Federation and the Israeli Consulate. 

    “This is a moment of great joy for not only Gilad Shalit and his family but for the whole Jewish world.  This is also a time of reflection.  Can anyone think of a single country in the world that would let escape 1,027 murderers and terrorists for a single soldier?"

    We are currently celebrating the festival of Sukkot.  The Sukkah has always been subject to the whims of the weather and political trends as well. But there is one message to the world: For 3,500 years the Jewish people have lived under such conditions of uncertainty and have not only survived but thrived. No enemy has ever or will ever defeat that.”

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Never have so few been blamed for so much by so many

    From The Asia Times Online, 12 October 2011, by Spengler (David P Goldman):

    Here's your final exam question in Middle Eastern studies:

    A mass of Coptic Christians marches through Cairo to protest the military government's failure to protect them from Muslim radicals. They are attacked by stone-throwing, club-wielding rowdies. Armed forces security personnel intervene, and the Copts fight it out with the soldiers, with two dozen dead and scores injured on both sides. Who is to blame?

    The full credit answer is: Benjamin Netanyahu, for building apartments in Jerusalem. If that's not what you wrote, don't blame me if you can't get a job at the New York Times.

    Rarely in the course of human events have so few been blamed by so much for so many. There are precedents, for example, when Adolf Hitler claimed that a Jewish "stab in the back" lost World War I for Germany. The notion that the problems of three hundred million Arabs revolve around the governance of a few million Palestinians has the same order of credibility.

    Israeli-Palestinian negotiations always presumed that Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan would remain intact - that Egypt would interdict terrorists infiltrating Israel from the Sinai, stop weapons from reaching Hamas in Gaza, and otherwise fill its obligations. But Egypt is dissolving. The Egyptian army crossed a red line on October 9, according to Egyptian blogger Issander al-Armani. [1] Soldiers attacked Coptic demonstrators who were demanding protection from the army, The military not only shut down news coverage of the massacre, but used state television to call on Egyptian Muslims to "defend the army from the Copts".

    On September 19, the Egyptian army showed that it could not protect Israel's embassy in Cairo; on October 9, it showed itself ready to murder members of the country's Christian minority. Egypt is dissolving because it can't feed itself, and it can't feed itself because it is going bankrupt. Former International Atomic Energy chief Mohamed ElBaradei, now a candidate for Egypt's presidency, warned last week that Egypt would run out of money within months, according to the English-language edition of Almasry Alroum:
    Egypt might face bankruptcy within six months, Egyptian reform advocate and presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei warned on Monday. During a meeting with labor leaders at the Center for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS) in Helwan, south of Cairo, ElBaradei attacked the "failing" policies of Egypt's ruling military council.He criticized the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for what he called incompetence and lack of experience, saying that experienced government officials don't have enough power. Egypt is currently relying on its cash reserve with no gross domestic product, he said [2].
    ElBaradei, the undeserved winner of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (he helped Iran cover its tracks en route to enriching uranium to near weapons grade), nonetheless is the closest thing to a responsible figure in Egyptian politics. His warning that Egypt is burning its cash reserves is accurate. On October 5, the Financial Times reported that Egypt's foreign exchange reserves had fallen from $35 billion in January to only $19.4 billion, [3] enough to cover less than five months' worth of imports.

    The central bank had reported $25 billion of reserves in August, [4] so the monthly decline appears to be around $6 billion; it is hard to tell precisely because the Egyptian central bank publishes contradictory data about its reserve position. The earlier $25 billion figure might have counted loans expected from the Gulf states, but as the FT explains, "Only $500m of some $7bn of promised aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have arrived so far."

    Almost 60% of Egyptians live in rural areas, yet the country imports half its caloric consumption and spends $5.5 billion a year in food subsidies. When it runs out of money, millions will starve. Many already are hungry. The state-controlled newspaper al-Dostour warned on October 9 that an "insane" increase in the price of food - up 80% so far this year - has left citizens "screaming". [5]

    The newspaper added that the "current state of lawlessness has left merchants and businesses with no supervision", leading to hoarding, price-gouging and shortages. This was evident at the outset of the uprisings, [6] and a breakdown of the country's food distribution system was evident by May, as I wrote at the time. [7]

    The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces appears baffled. Its leader, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, does not appear in public. Previously he ran Egypt's military industries. Prime Minister Essam Sharaf was briefly transportation minister, having taught highway engineering for most of his career.

    He has spoken publicly about only one topic of political importance, namely the peace treaty with Israel, which he proposes to change, as he told Turkish television on October 8. [8] Egypt's leaders face a crisis brewing for two generations in which the Egyptian government kept half of its population illiterate and mired in rural poverty as an instrument of social control. As ElBaradei warns, they have no idea what they are doing.

    Syria, meanwhile, is in civil war, which may turn into a proxy war between the Sunni powers and Iran. And Iraq's leader Nuri al-Maliki, the leader of the supposed Iraqi democracy we spent a trillion dollars and 4,000 lives to put in place, is backing the Bashar al-Assad regime in alliance with Iran. [9]

    Turkey, the self-styled rising power in the region, is about to get its come-uppance in the form of a nasty economic downturn. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's belligerence has risen in inverse proportion to the market price of the Turkish lira:

    I warned in August of the "instant obsolescence of the Turkish model" as the credit bubble engineered by the ruling party explodes. [10]

    Markets have already anticipated a sudden turnaround in the Turkish economy. The lira fell by a quarter between November 2010 and September 2011, making it the world’s worst-performing emerging market currency. The stock market has fallen in dollar terms by 40%, making Turkey the worst performer after Egypt among all the markets in the MSCI Tradable Index during 2011.

    A hard landing for Turkey has now become the Wall Street consensus. "Goldman Sachs Group Inc added Garanti to its focus sell list, saying the stock's gain last month was based on optimistic macroeconomic assumptions that don’t account for a 'relatively high probability' of a recession," Bloomberg News [11] reported on October 6.

    The Russian brokerage Renaissance Capital [12] and my own firm, Macrostrategy LLC [13] have published warnings about the Turkish banking system, which has increased lending at a 40% annual rate for the past couple of years.

    In short, there is not a patch of ground in Israel's proximity that is not roiling and boiling with political and economic turmoil. Echoing in the ears of Israel's leaders are the words of Isaiah (57:20-21), which Jews around the world read on October 8 on the Day of Atonement: "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

    Spengler's corollary states: Neither is there peace to the stupid. We have Nicholas Kristof writing in the October 6 New York Times: "Now it is Israel that is endangered most by its leaders and maximalist stance. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is isolating his country, and, to be blunt, his hard line on settlements seems like a national suicide policy. Nothing is more corrosive than Israel’s growth of settlements because they erode hope of a peace agreement in the future."

    Kristof is talking about the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, which was undeveloped land before 1967 and which every conceivable peace agreement would assign to Israel.

    Nothing will appease the liberals, because if liberal social engineering can't fix the problems of the Middle East, the world will have no need of liberals. The New York Times will demand [14] that Israel concede and apologize, as surely as a gumball will roll out of the machine when I crank in a quarter. Existential need trumps rationality, most of all among the self-styled priesthood of rationality.

    For extra credit, class: If 15 million Egyptians starve to death, and all the Copts are murdered, and Syria plunges into a genocidal civil war, and Turkey kills another 40,000 Kurds, and the Iraqi Shi'ites and Iraqi Sunnis all fight to the death, whose fault will it be?

    I bet you guessed right this time. Israel's, for building apartments in Gilo.

    1. See here.
    2. See here.
    3. See here (registration required).
    4. Egypt government to rely less on local banks: Finance Minister Ahramonline. October 2.
    5. See here.
    6. See Food and failed Arab states Asia Times Online, February 2, 2011.
    7. See The hunger to come in Egypt Asia Times Online, May 10, 2011.
    8. See here.
    9. See Iraq, siding with Iran, sends essential aid to Syria’s Assad Washington Post, October 9.
    10. See Instant obsolescence of the Turkish model Asia Times Online, August 10.
    11. See here.
    12. See here.
    13. See here.
    14. See here.

    Israel's Tenured Extremists

    Israel is under assault from within and not just from the usual suspects. Its legitimacy and, in many cases, its very existence are being attacked by a domestic academic fifth column. Hundreds of professors and lecturers, employed by Israel's state-financed universities, are building careers as full-time activists working against the very country in which they live. And the problem is growing. 

    Fortunately, the Israeli public has become aware of the problem and is increasingly demanding that something be done about it. A not inconsiderable part of the credit for this belongs to the Middle East Quarterly, probably the first serious journal to discuss the problem a decade ago, sparking a debate that continues to challenge the Israeli academy's offensive against the Jewish state.

    "Socrates" Blows the Whistle

    In fall 2001, the Middle East Quarterly ran a major exposé of anti-Israel academics based inside Israeli universities. Titled "Israel's Academic Extremists,"[1] it shattered the conspiracy of silence that had long been observed in the Israeli media and on Israeli campuses about scholars working against their own country and in support of its enemies. And it opened a floodgate.

    Although no longer teaching in Israel, Ilan Pappé, formerly of the University of Haifa, perhaps best exemplifies the internal academic onslaught against the Jewish state. Pappé continues to make a career out of maligning Israel as an "ethnic cleanser" despite all evidence to the contrary.
    The article was attributed to "Solomon Socrates," described as "the pen name for a watchdog team of researchers keeping an eye on Israel's universities." The very fact that the authors felt they needed the cloak of anonymity to protect themselves from retaliation from their colleagues within higher education may have been the most dramatic illustration of the sorry state of academic freedom and pluralism in Israel's universities. Noting that hiring and promotion procedures at Israeli universities were commonly politicized, with leftist faculty who had poor academic publication records getting hired and promoted as acts of political solidarity, the article offered thumbnail characterizations of about two dozen Israeli academic extremists. Today that list seems tame and thin, at least when compared with the dimensions of the problem as it is now understood. A few of the names were of obscure academicians of little interest, evidently spotlighted as a result of some outlandish statements and positions. Two of those named, Benny Morris and Ilan Gur-Ze'ev, would no longer make the list and are generally considered today to be important defenders of Zionism and critics of "post-Zionist" historical revisionism of which they were once key articulators. Morris appears to have jettisoned most of his earlier Israel-bashing and New History revisionism regarding the period of Israel's war of independence, though not everyone is persuaded the rehabilitation is sincere.[2] As a result he has become the favorite whipping boy for much of the anti-Zionist Left, incensed that he no longer spends his days denouncing Israel as the ultimate evil in the world. In February 2010, Morris was even denied the right to speak at a Cambridge University student event on the grounds that he was too pro-Israel and thus supposedly anti-Arab.[3] In June 2011, he was accosted by anti-Israel activists while on his way to lecture at the London School of Economics.[4] Gur-Ze'ev, meanwhile, has been speaking out forcefully against the anti-Semitism and totalitarian inclinations of the radical Left, to the chagrin of those who oppose him.[5]
    From Socrates' 2001 list, Baruch Kimmerling, Dan Bar-On, and Israel Shahak are no longer alive while Ilan Pappé and Gabriel Piterberg have emigrated and built careers elsewhere as full-time Israel bashers. The remaining names have, however, been joined by scores, perhaps hundreds, of home-grown academic bashers of Israel over the past decade.

    The Internal War against Israel

    Most of Israel's anti-Israel academics hold tenured faculty positions at the country's tax-funded public universities. They include people who justify and celebrate Arab terrorism and who help initiate campaigns of boycott and economic divestment directed against their own country in time of war. Today, many of the leaders of the so-called boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel are Israeli academics. The phenomenon is near pandemic at the four main Israeli liberal arts universities: Tel Aviv University (TAU), the Hebrew University, the University of Haifa, and Ben-Gurion University. At the two scientific-engineering institutions, the Technion and the Weizmann Institute, there are small numbers of faculty involved in such political activity but they are a minor presence, and this is also true of the religious university, Bar-Ilan. Israeli colleges are less generously funded by the government than universities and so are more dependent on competing for student tuition. This may explain why extremist faculty are more unusual there than in universities, though Sapir College in the Negev may be an exception.
    On the eve of the 2003 Iraq war, dozens of Israeli academics warned the world that Israel was planning massive war crimes and genocidal massacres against the Palestinians the moment the first coalition troops were to land in Iraq.[6] When the actual fighting took place and no such crimes were perpetrated by Israel, not a single signer of the petition issued an apology for the smears against the Jewish state.
    In other petitions, Israeli academics routinely denounce Israel for carrying out war crimes and human rights violations. In some, they call for suppressing Israeli sovereignty by imposing certain political solutions on the country that are opposed by the vast majority of Israelis.[7] Hundreds of Israeli university professors have been involved in organizing mutiny and insurrection among Israeli soldiers, and some have been arrested for violently attacking police and soldiers or for similar forms of law-breaking. For example, Tel Aviv University's Anat Matar,[8] the Hebrew University's Amiel Vardi, math lecturer Kobi Snitz[9] (who has taught at several institutions), and others have been arrested for law-breaking and for participating in violent, illegal demonstrations. At least one faculty member at Ben-Gurion University has openly called for murder of those who reject his far-leftist opinions.[10] The Israeli university authorities wink at such behavior [11] and sometimes even collaborate with [12] and promote it.
    Scores of Israeli academics openly advocate the so-called Palestinian right of return,[13] which would effectively end Israel's existence, while others openly call for Israel to be annihilated altogether. Other Israeli academics signed the so-called Olga document demanding that Israel grant the Palestinians an unrestricted "right of return."[14] Such people often claim to favor a "one-state solution,"[15] in which Israel's existence as a sovereign nation would end, to be enfolded within a larger state with an Arab and Muslim government and majority. A few Israeli academics even campaign on behalf of and promote Holocaust deniers. Articles by Ben-Gurion University's Neve Gordon have been published on the web site of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel[16] and in Iran's state newspaper.[17] Neve has also endorsed Norman Finkelstein,[18] often regarded as a Holocaust denier or at least a Holocaust trivializer while other Israeli academics have praised Holocaust revisionist David Irving.[19]
    During the Cast Lead military operation against Hamas in Gaza (winter 2008-09), the visibility of this group grew. While polls showed near-unanimous support for the operations among Israeli Jews,[20] a high proportion of Israeli academics opposed the operation.[21] The Hebrew University professor of linguistic education, Nurit Elhanan-Peled, has devoted much of her career to promoting the political agenda of the very same Palestinian terrorists who murdered her own daughter in a suicide bombing of a civilian Israeli bus.[22] Many anti-Israel academics cheered on Hamas as it launched rockets at the civilians in Israel's south.[23] Others publicly endorsed Hezbollah's "legitimate resistance" when northern Israel was showered by Katyusha rockets during the summer war of 2006.[24] Some are currently among the leaders of marches that call upon the world to prevent Jews from living in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, where, they believe, Jews just do not belong.

    The Dershowitz Counterattack

    Probably the most dramatic exhibition of the problem came at the national assembly of the governors of Tel Aviv University in the spring of 2010. The keynote speaker invited to the affair was Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. While left of center, Dershowitz is passionately pro-Israel and, at the same time, vehemently opposed to infringements upon academic freedom.
    Upon receiving an honorary doctoral degree at Tel Aviv University, Dershowitz gave a dramatic speech denouncing the homegrown, anti-Israel cadre of lecturers dominating Israeli universities.[25] He defended the rights of these academics to exercise freedom of speech—or, in his words, the "right to be wrong." But he also defended the rights of others to denounce and criticize them.
    In no time, Dershowitz confronted the all-too-common refrain sounded by these scholars that they are only engaging in legitimate criticism of Israel. To the contrary, Dershowitz contended, these people were actually often engaged in delegitimizing Israel itself, calling for world boycotts against the Jewish state, and at times calling for its annihilation. They go so far, he stated, as to organize boycott campaigns by recruiting and leading teams of anti-Israel radicals. Dershowitz then named several Tel Aviv University faculty, including some who were in Boston that same week attempting to organize a boycott against the Technion, Israel's main engineering university,[26] for supposedly being a cog in the Israeli "war machine."
    Without naming names, Dershowitz heaped scorn on TAU professor Shlomo Sand for his recent book, The Invention of the Jewish People,[27] which claims that there is actually no such thing as a Jewish people. Dershowitz went on to denounce those who insist that freedom of speech belongs only to people who agree with them and assailed those at Israeli universities who harass students who dare to disagree with forced-fed ideology, comparing this behavior to teachers who sexually harass students. He insisted that students, too, are entitled to academic freedom, which includes the right to disagree with their professors.
    While such a peroration would ignite controversy anywhere, it was downright incendiary at Tel Aviv University, arguably home to the greatest concentration of tenured leftists teaching in Israel.[28] While the audience repeatedly interrupted him with loud applause, faculty members reportedly squirmed in their seats.[29]
    It did not take long for these academics to open fire in retaliation; within days, a group of TAU professors denounced Dershowitz and challenged his right to criticize them. Signatures for a petition were collected and published on a left-wing website. The petition essentially denied Dershowitz's right to freedom of speech, despite the pretence of some signatories to the contrary, by deriding his charges against specific academics as "bordering on incitement that can pose a clear and present danger to these members of staff."[30]
    A quick look at the names on the petition illustrates the nature of the problem. Among the signatories claiming that Dershowitz's words criticizing the anti-Israel camp reminded them of "the dark regimes" in human history were:
    • Chaim Gans of TAU law school, who organized a petition demanding that Col. Pnina Baruch-Sharvit, head of the Israel Defense Forces international law division, be prevented from teaching a course in the school after her retirement from military service because her department (allegedly) legitimized strikes in which civilians were hurt or killed during Operation Cast Lead.[31]
    • Gadi Algazi, a historian at TAU who, among other activities, led a march of Israeli Arabs supporting Hezbollah terror.[32]
    • Uri Hadar, a psychology professor, who recently organized a conference at TAU to support Hamas and Hezbollah.[33]
    • Daniel Bar-Tal, an educational psychologist, who produces anti-Jewish propaganda for the U.N. and believes Zionism is an obstacle to peace.[34]

    Attack against Freedom of Speech

    As starkly demonstrated by the anti-Dershowitz petition, Israel's tenured radicals are not only vehemently anti-Israel but also staunchly anti-democratic. For them, academic freedom and freedom of speech means absolute protection of the right to "criticize" Israel but not to defend it.
    McCarthyism has become the favorite rhetorical bludgeon wielded by Israeli academics to deny their critics the freedom of speech. This McCarthyism, they charge, endangers freedom of speech and democracy. So tenured academics should have the sacrosanct right to denounce and demonize all of Israel and also to smear non-leftist Israelis, including private citizens such as army officers, in the most lurid and vulgar ways. But those who respond by criticizing these critics are endangering democracy. In particular, the radical academics have denounced the watchdog web sites that monitor and cite what they say, as well as the Zionist student organization Im Tirtzu (If you will it) and members of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) who have criticized the behavior of the radicals. In the strange world of Israeli academic radicals, the worst offense against academic freedom is the verbatim citing of what they actually say or write.
    Some professors, most notoriously David Newman, dean of social sciences and humanities at Ben-Gurion University, [35] and Daniel Bar-Tal of the School of Education at Tel Aviv University,[36] have published calls for the suppression and silencing of critics. The president of TAU censored Mark Tanenbaum, a governor of the university's board, when the latter proposed an investigation into professors who use the school's name and funds when participating in forums of a political nature[37]—behavior that is barred by the university's own bylaws. The Israeli media have also reported a growing number of demands from academics that the freedom of expression of their critics—and for that matter, of scholars deviating from politically correct dogmas—be suppressed.[38]
    Thus, for example, when Yeruham Leavitt was teaching a class in medical ethics at Ben-Gurion University, he questioned the assertion that children raised by homosexual couples experience no adverse effects. For this he was not only fired for "unacceptable thinking," but the president of Ben-Gurion University, Rivka Carmi, went out of her way to defend the firing.[39] On the other hand, when a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University, Eyal Ben-Ari, was accused by several female students of having raped and sexually molested them, the university at first circled the wagons around him and only years later suspended him for two years without pay.[40]
    Tel Aviv University faculty members have participated in protests demanding that the campus Center for Iranian Studies be shut down because they feared its work could assist the United States and Israel in confronting Tehran.[41] The radicals also opposed allowing an Israeli ex-general to speak there.[42] In 2008, the student union at Tel Aviv University wanted to hold an exhibit protesting human rights abuses in China, but university officials ordered it shut down lest it offend Chinese diplomats.[43] Meanwhile, TAU has repeatedly hosted events organized by the Israeli Communist Party, held in campus facilities.
    Academics from all across the country are now calling for a boycott of Ariel University Center in Samaria because it is located across the "Green Line."[44] There have been no petitions though to eliminate politicized programs of ideological indoctrination run by the radical Left inside many university departments. There have been petitions by left-wing faculty members to eliminate university programs for Israeli army officers, intelligence service officers, and police, as well as petitions to bar army officers from holding academic positions.[45] Similarly, a group of University of Haifa faculty from its school of education organized a petition to demand that army officers be barred from speaking in schools.
    All too often, university administrations have colluded with this mindset. When Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University filed a harassment "strategic lawsuit against public participation" (SLAPP) against this author for criticizing his public, political activities and writings, Gordon was backed by the highest officials at the university. These evidently see nothing amiss with such attempts at suppressing freedom of speech for other academics who happen to dislike Gordon's extremist opinions.[46]

    Hiring for Uniformity in Thought

    The Israeli campus has become thoroughly politicized with faculty hiring and promotion decisions subordinated to political bias. As noted in the 2001 MEQ article, scholars with mediocre academic records are often hired and promoted as acts of solidarity with the Left. There have also been allegations of malicious blocking and sabotaging of the academic careers of those with political views on the Right. Israeli academics recruited through this politicized process have misused their podiums to impose courses consisting of anti-Israel libel and venom on students.[47]
    The manner in which this ideological hegemony is maintained over campuses is well known within the Israeli academic institutions even if the corruption has rarely been aired publicly. Consider a typical hiring or promotion procedure for an academic whose publication record consists mainly, or exclusively, of propaganda articles that bash Israel. Evaluation procedures are typically corrupted and politicized: An evaluation committee for the candidate is appointed, consisting entirely of like-minded faculty members who then typically request assessments from eight to ten "referees" from Israel and around the world. But all, or nearly all, of the referee letter-writers will themselves have identical anti-Israel sympathies and can generally be counted upon to write glowing letters of support out of a sense of political solidarity. Ben-Gurion University seems to be the most accomplished institution in such practices.
    Faculty chat lists in which Israeli professors post comments, especially in the social sciences, are invariably dominated by the self-defined "progressives." The author was personally summoned by a rector of the University of Haifa, Yossi Ben Artzi, and threatened with disciplinary actions for using sarcasm in response to "bash-Israel" postings placed on the local professors' chat list. The "Israel Social Science" chat list is routinely censored to limit postings critical of the Left while ideological postings by anti-Israel faculty members suffer from no such handicap and dominate the list.[48] For example, an ideological article by the left-leaning Hebrew University professor Yitzhak Galnoor attacking the exercise of academic freedom by critics of leftists in Israeli universities[49] was posted on the list while list manager David Levi-Faur refused to permit any response to it to appear.
    Would-be non-leftist faculty can clearly see the political writing on the wall. They must choose either to toe the political line out of career self-interest or to muzzle themselves and maintain a low profile, at least until they reach senior academic ranks and often after that as well.[50] Thus political uniformity and the campus hegemony are perpetuated.

    Abuses in the Classroom

    Israeli administrators have long turned a blind eye to anti-Israel courses which are often mandatory for students.[51] They have ignored growing reports that students are being harassed and penalized by faculty members when they dare to disagree with faculty political opining and indoctrination.[52] When the Im Tirtzu movement issued reports documenting classroom intimidation and indoctrination of students,[53] the group was denounced by scores of faculty members and by the rectors at Ben-Gurion University, University of Haifa, and Tel Aviv University as McCarthyists and fascists.[54]
    Administrators have also refused to speak out against anti-Israel rallies, misrepresented as academic conferences, which take place almost weekly on Israeli campuses. When Islamist cleric Sheikh Ra'ed Salah spoke at the University of Haifa in June 2009, the university heads ordered that Jewish students be physically barred from entering the auditorium in which he spoke.[55] The cleric then called upon Arab students attending the lecture to become "martyrs." The following year the University of Haifa barred the sheikh from speaking, but Tel Aviv University responded by hosting him.[56]
    Meanwhile the level of in-classroom anti-Israel indoctrination conducted in Israeli universities has been steadily growing. Crusading against Israel has become the chief scholarly credential of a growing number of tenured Israeli academics.[57] Rigid, anti-Israel uniformity and monolithic far-left consensus are to be found in many academic departments in Israeli universities, especially in the humanities, the softer social sciences, law, and education. There are some departments in which no Zionist or non-leftist is, in effect, permitted to teach.
    In many university departments in Israel, academic pluralism means that anti-Israel opinion is preached and taught by a diverse set of faculty members—leftist Jews, Arabs, men, and women, all holding the same opinions—but not pluralism of ideas and ideological outlooks. All Israeli universities strive to expand the presence of Arab and female faculty members in the name of diversity, using affirmative action preferences. Yet none of them see anything wrong with the existence of entire departments in which there is not a single religiously observant faculty member or someone with writings from the Right side of the political spectrum.[58]
    The anti-Israel political activities of faculty often border on open support for treason. Dozens of tenured extremists[59] were active in celebrating Tali Fahima, an Israeli woman arrested for collaborating with terrorists and helping to plan terror attacks.[60] Many openly identified with convicted nuclear spy and traitor Mordechai Vanunu,[61] or with the former Arab Knesset member Azmi Bishara, wanted for espionage and now in hiding outside Israel.[62]
    In a few cases, Israeli faculty members who have defamed army officers and other public figures as war criminals have caused their targets to cancel study and travel plans outside Israel for fear of being prosecuted on the weight of these smears.[63] Some of the most openly anti-Semitic propaganda on the planet, including much produced by neo-Nazis as well as open calls for the annihilation of Israel, is currently being disseminated via the ALEF List, an anti-Israel chat list operating under the auspices of the University of Haifa. Many of the worst anti-Semitic pronouncements disseminated by that list are posted on the "ALEF Watch" web site, run by IsraCampus.[64] These include endorsements of terrorism, calls for Israel to be exterminated, and Holocaust denial.
    This anti-Israel bias and the accompanying suppression of dissident, pro-Israel opinion has been the focus of several recent studies receiving wide attention in the media. These include a survey of syllabi in political science courses, collected by the Im Tirtzu student organization,[65] and a similar report on sociology departments prepared by the Institute for Zionist Strategies.[66] Both studies claim to detect extreme bias and one-sided indoctrination in departmental courses, including mandatory courses.

    Change in the Air?

    The biggest change that has occurred since the 2001 Socrates article is that the Israeli public now is aware of tenured extremism. Public figures, members of the parliament, journalists, students, alumni, donors, and other academics are speaking up courageously, criticizing anti-Israel academics, and challenging the hegemony of the far Left over Israel's four main liberal arts universities. There have been proposals in Israel's parliament to require disclosure of sources of funding for radical, anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).[67] Israeli radical academics are active in all such groups. There have also been proposals for a law that would deny citizenship to those refusing to declare loyalty to Israel or who engage in extremist, anti-Israel activities.[68] A number of Knesset members and other political leaders in Israel have repeatedly spoken out against the political activities of radical academics, including in NGOs, among them Danny Danon, Gideon Sa'ar (the Israeli minister of education), Alex Miller, and Michael Ben-Ari.[69] Sa'ar held special Knesset committee hearings on the seditious activities of faculty and political biases in Israeli universities.[70]
    The Knesset has considered bills directed against Israeli academics who issue calls for anti-Israel boycotts[71] and probing human rights NGOs involved in anti-Israel propaganda activities.[72] Other public figures, such as the mayor of the town of Omer in which many faculty members of Ben-Gurion University reside, have called for sanctions against universities that refuse to act against tenured radicals.[73]
    One sign of how far things have been transformed is the widespread willingness today to criticize Israel's tenured foes by name in all of the Israeli mainstream media, with the daily Ma'ariv the most aggressive. The most consistent and effective critics of the anti-Israel radicals have been Ben-Dror Yemini[74] and Kalman Liebskind,[75] both at Ma'ariv. Watchdog web sites have arisen that monitor and document the anti-Israel activities of Israeli faculty members. The main such group is IsraCampus, operating as a sort of Israeli cousin to the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch. Other groups and websites also follow the anti-Israel political activities of academics, including NGO Monitor headed by Gerald M. Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University.
    But perhaps the most dramatic change on Israeli campuses has been the emergence over the past few years of a patriotic, Zionist student movement. Until three or four years ago, it was unusual to see Israeli university students take to the barricades except over the price of tuition or cafeteria food. The Arab student unions would regularly hold small anti-Israel protests and political activities, but Jewish students were rarely involved in campus political expression. Thanks to the Im Tirtzu movement, all that has changed. Largely the initiative of two eloquent and prolific Hebrew University students, Ronen Shoval and Erez Tadmor, Im Tirtzu is the dominant student ideological movement today on most Israeli campuses.[76]
    The term Im Tirtzu, means, "If you will it," and it is part of a longer mantra originally coined by Theodor Herzl as part of his proposal for creation of a Jewish state. The Im Tirtzu student movement has emerged as the most effective and vocal force drawing public attention to the abuses stemming from campus politicization.[77] Im Tirtzu leaders have testified in the Knesset and write frequently in the media; the movement regularly organizes counter-protests with Israeli flags and patriotic slogans in response to every anti-Israel demonstration organized by Arab and Jewish leftist students. Its members wear T-shirts to class with images of Herzl and Jabotinsky. It has called for pressure on Israeli universities, especially Ben-Gurion University,[78] to force campus officials to act against classroom politicization, and it has threatened to file Supreme Court petitions to achieve this.
    Left-wing academics increasingly complain about Im Tirtzu students cataloguing information about political bias, gleaned from course descriptions and syllabi. The group's leaders have highlighted the fact that students from the center and right of the Israeli spectrum experience harassment from left-wing faculty.[79] In one infamous incident, a student at Ben-Gurion University, Rachel Avraham, was threatened with penalties and a lowered grade by the anti-Zionist geography professor Oren Yiftachel if she refused to toe his ideological line.[80] Other harassment of student Zionists is even worse. In another incident, leftist students at Ben-Gurion University were photographed giving Heil Hitler Nazi salutes to pro-Zionist students at a campus rally following the Turkish flotilla raid[81] while Hebrew University students used the Nazi salute during student council electioneering.[82]
    The Israeli public is losing patience with radical anti-Israel academics and demanding accountability from the universities regarding the use and misuse of taxpayer funds. Indeed, the awakening of public awareness in Israel (and outside it) over the past decade has been breathtaking. Internet web searches about the subject yield thousands of articles on numerous websites, both inside and outside of Israel, leading many leftist professors increasingly to complain about being "spied upon."[83] Other radicals may be exercising greater caution and circumspection as a result. While difficult to prove numerically, far-leftist academics now seem increasingly to perceive and complain about a drop in the willingness on the part of their fellow travelers in the anti-Israel camp to go public these days with anti-Israel statements and actions, to engage in open incitement against Israel, or to sign their names to openly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic petitions.
    Still, the battle rages on. Depoliticizing the Israeli campus is yet a far-off dream. But as anger grows against Israel's tenured extremists, change is in the air.