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Israeli Academic Extremism

Professors fuel fire of anti-Israel propaganda

Radical Israeli Jewish academicians that condemn Israel’s right to exist fuel the fire of anti-Israel rhetoric, said Dr. Yitzchak Mansdorf, former director of the pro-Israel campus advocacy David Project, at the recent Jerusalem Conference.   He was referring to the anti-Israel propaganda war on college campuses, saying that the new form of antisemitism challenges Israel’s legitimacy on a political, ideological and academic level. ...Ignorance of Jewish history – by non-Jewish and even by Jewish-Israeli professors – is another reason cited by Mansdorf.

 

 

http://www.jewishtribune.ca/TribuneV2/index.php/201002242706/Professors-fuel-fire-of-anti-Israel-propaganda.html

Professors fuel fire of anti-Israel propaganda

Written by Avraham Zuroff
The Jewish Tribune
Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Jerusalem – Radical Israeli Jewish academicians that condemn Israel’s right to exist fuel the fire of anti-Israel rhetoric, said Dr. Yitzchak Mansdorf, former director of the pro-Israel campus advocacy David Project, at the recent Jerusalem Conference.

He was referring to the anti-Israel propaganda war on college campuses, saying that the new form of antisemitism challenges Israel’s legitimacy on a political, ideological and academic level.

“Last week, [Israeli Ambassador to the US] Michael Oren ‘spoke’ at the University of California at Irvine. I say that he ‘spoke’ because he didn’t get in more than a few sentences at a time before he was heckled,” Mansdorf related.

Oren’s lecture was interrupted more than 10 times with shouts of “killers” and “how many Palestinians did you kill?” before university police arrested the hecklers.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was similarly verbally attacked at Oxford University by a student protestor who shouted Itbah al-Yahud [Slaughter the Jews]. Protestors outside the Oxford Union chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The protest was organized by the Oxford University Palestine Society.

A “carnival” of anti-Israel protests takes place annually throughout Canada and around the world during Israel Apartheid Week, this year beginning March 1. During last year’s events, students at the University of California at Irvine made a mock checkpoint at a main campus entrance. The checkpoint was manned by ‘Israeli soldiers’ who referred to Israel as the “Fourth Reich” and “Holocaust in the holy land.”

Mansdorf mentioned several reasons for the campus warfare against Israel’s legitimacy. One obvious reason is antisemitism, as in the case of an Oxford student’s call for the slaughtering of Jews.

Whitewashing Jewish history

Ignorance of Jewish history – by non-Jewish and even by Jewish-Israeli professors – is another reason cited by Mansdorf. He mentioned Al-Quds University’s web site as an example of Arab whitewashing of the Jewish claim to Jerusalem.

Students studying towards an MA in Jerusalem studies at the university are taught about the Armenian, Byzantine and Palestinian connections to Jerusalem. The students aren’t taught about any Jewish link. Mansdorf points out that Al-Quds’ web site even denies the existence of King David and Solomon’s Temple. However, students learn about Israeli history from a Palestinian perspective. Students touring the former Arab Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Deir Yassin and Ein Kerem are taught how they were “taken over by the Zionist occupying forces.” In contrast, they aren’t taught about the Arab massacre of Jewish doctors and nurses on a convoy from Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus.

Suppose you want to research Jerusalem on the Internet? Feel free to browse the Jerusalem Library, co-sponsored by Al-Quds and Hebrew University. But you will find little reference to Judaism’s connection to Jerusalem. The project is ostensibly a comprehensive resource on the history of Jerusalem. Yet Jewish connections in the virtual library are hardly mentioned. Instead, you will learn about Jerusalem’s Christian and Muslim connection – all from a seemingly reliable academic source.

But the Al-Quds partnership with Hebrew University ended after the Al-Quds faculty called for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

British professors subsequently jumped on the Israel-bashing boycott bandwagon.

Dr. Sue Blackwell of the University of Birmingham is a frequent promoter of anti-Israel rhetoric, which she calls an “academic Intifada” against Israel.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) unanimously passed a resolution in 2006 to disinvest from Israel “until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.” In February 2009, CUPE called for the boycott of academic cooperation with Israel. B’nai Brith Canada called the boycott “discriminatory and racist.”

Fighting Ignorance

Erez Tadmor, spokesman and founder of the Im Tirtzu Israel advocacy program, told the audience that none of his studies in Political Science at Hebrew University included any courses on the history of Zionism or the idea of nationalism.

“This is what our future educators, scientists and lawmakers are learning,” he said. He added that Israeli students are ill-equipped to understand historical rights to the Jewish homeland or to battle anti-Israeli propaganda. He says his organization promotes Zionist values on Israeli campuses to help fill the gap.

Yigal Cohen-Orgad, chancellor, Ariel University Centre, said, “Our problem starts with us.” He reiterated Tadmor’s statement that widespread ignorance among world Jewry makes it difficult for one to draw the proper conclusions regarding the Jewish claim to Israel.

Combatting campus battle

A study published by the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry concluded that “settlement encroachment” causes illness in Palestinian children. Mansdorf claims the research was biased. The two academicians conducting the research based their findings on reports from Arab students attending the Ramallah-based Birzeit University. Mansdorf said that academic journals shouldn’t publish biased studies.

“It has nothing to do with politics; it’s poor science,” he remarked.

Mansdorf said that the way to combat anti-Israel ideology in scientific journals is to expose the source or funding of the study.

“Afterwards, you can show that you’re against the lack of scientific objectivity involved in the study,” he said. “There is a difference between expressing an opinion and performing scientific research.”

Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz said that ending dialogue could prevent peace. He added that the British academic boycotts would primarily harm the British.

“When you boycott, you harm yourself,” he remarked.

“Israel has what to give to the world,” he said. “Anyone who cooperates with Israel in the academic realm only benefits. We already are a light unto the nations. Let’s continue being a light unto the nations.”