Mourning Baruch Kimmerling
Stand Tall With Baruch Kimmerling
All of us must learn to stand tall and talk eloquently like Baruch Kimmerling who died this week in Israel. None of us can remember him other than moving spasmodically, seated in his mobile wheel chair, speaking his words with tremendous effort and grinning over a point that he had made in an argument.
His clarity of thought, his devotion to fairness and truth in politics and science made Baruch Kimmerling a heroic figure. Day by day, and year by year he rolled through a fog of pain and over barriers of his severe handicap to do his scientific work, all the time taking a clear and bold stand against the moral degeneration that seized this country. The hired intellectuals here had been programmed to answer charges of genocide, but they were thrown into total confusion when Kimmerling refined the charge and accused Israel of perpetrating the major crime of politicide against the Palestinian people. This charge is clear: Israel’s policies are calculated to eliminate the Palestinian people’s aspirations for national survival.
Some of you may have come across a group of right wing Jewish loonies on the internet by the name “Israel-academic-monitors”. Well, the loonies have a zombie machine that scans the net for any appearance by a
democratic Israeli academician. Automatically, they send out links to what they consider “anti-Israeli” or anti-Semitic statements made by that academician. Well, the loonies’ zombie machine sighted Baruch Kimmerling’s name in articles on his death and sure enough, the emails warning the world about Baruch Kimmerling are now scattered all over the net. Of course, they – the monitors - would explain that it is all automatic. Even so, I ask them, gentlemen, have you no shame?
Reuven Kaminer, writer and political analyst, is a veteran activist in the Israeli peace movement and the left. He is the author of The Politics of Protest: The Israeli Peace Movement and the Palestinian Intifada and innumerable articles in Hebrew and English. He is one of the founders and editors of Ha'gada Ha'Smolit [The Left Bank] which is the leading news and commentary website in the country. Over the years, he has been a founding member of various important protest formations such as SIAH (The New Israeli Left), the Israeli Committee for Solidarity with Bir Zeit University, the Committee against the War in Lebanon, and "Dai L'kibush" [End the Occupation]. Along with the late Eliezer Feiler, Yael Lotan, and Latif Dori, he was one of the defendants in a historic court case during 1987-1990 when the four were tried for having met with the PLO in Romania. An independent leftist, Kaminer is now a member of the Control Commission of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality and the local left-leaning branch of Peace Now in Jerusalem.
Kaminer is also a proud grandfather of Matan Kaminer, one of the five Israeli refuseniks who served two years in military and civilian prisons, including ten months of "open detention" in an army camp. The nicest compliment that he ever heard was the comment of a youngster previously unknown to him, who told him, outside the Jaffa Military Court during the refuseniks trial, that some people say that he is the grandfather of all the refuseniks.
On 4/10/07, Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
"...>a Jewish American, Reuven Kaminer, a Marxist who emigrated to Israel
>decades ago and whom I [Jeffrey Blankfort] met and interviewed there in 1983 when a son,
>Noam, was a member of Yesh G'vul, the refusenik Israeli reservists
>who refused to serve in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon,..."
His grandson Matan Kaminer, an Israeli activist who spent some two years in prison for refusing to enlist in the Israeli army, wrote the piece
"The Colonial Drama of Israel and Palestine "
Further reading on Reuven Kaminer: