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Smadar Lavie (Beit Berl) finds some apartheid for Anthropology News - Surprise, surprise, it is Israel!

Anthropology News May 2005

Susan Lees alleges that I provided an improper

analogy between Israel’s regime and academe

and the concept of apartheid. Yet she

resorts to grossly inappropriate analogy in

comparing me to Ward Churchill, who

described 9/11 victims as “little Eichmans.”

In my recent AN piece I did not accuse anyoneAN

pieces does not demonstrate apartheid,

what does? Lees ignores the FTE distribution

chart in my October 2003

and the data in the Jan 2005 piece. What

evidence does Lees present to the contrary

besides her own subjective “understanding

of the facts” based on her well-documented,

elaborate research ties to Israel?

The South African and Israeli situations are

similar because Mizrahim and Palestinians (like

blacks in South Africa) experience discrimination

in all spheres of life, academe included.

Unless they conform, Israel’s academe is

blocked for Mizrahim and Palestinians in the

first place. This is why the Ahoti-Rainbow-

Mossawa complaint was filed. Yet the Israeli

and South African apartheids differ because

Israel camouflages its moral duplicity and presents

the world with a posture of European

humanism on the one hand, while screening

from view its racist colonialism of non-

Europeans on the other. Another difference is

that South Africa had the courage to change.

Presently, the Israeli situation seems hopeless,

although the Israeli Anthropological

Association is finally beginning a long overdue

discussion about developing an ethics code

and a call for affirmative action.

Unlike Ward Churchill, to whom I’m

wrongfully compared, I fear no one can call

for me to be fired. Lees does not address

the substance of our complaint. She rather

disingenuously states she doesn’t wish to

silence me when in fact she suggests that

AN article


public data available to all Israelis I use

“apartheid” to describe the ideology and

practice of Israel’s academe. This is exactly

how American anthropologists have aided

their Israeli counterparts in continuing the

current state of affairs—through squelching

any dissent. I can only hope that our

NGOs at least get the freedom of speech

to make it known that we do live through

Ashkenazi-Zionist racial discrimination.

should not publish me if based on the

Smadar Lavie


of being Nazi-like. Her analogy thus suits

her own allegation of wild academic “political


In the Webster’s dictionary “apartheid”

is “ ... policy of segregation and political ...

economic discrimination against non-

European groups in ... South Africa.” Crosscultural

comparison is at the crux of anthropology.

Substitute “Mizrahim” and

“Palestinians” for “non-European groups,”

and “Israel” for “South Africa” to obtain

an accurate description of Israel. Israel’s

anthropologists hold privileged positions

they use to both perpetrate and benefit

from the systematic discrimination of Israel’s

70% non-European majority. They are the

cynical tip of this iceberg.

If the data presented in my two

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