Professor Lev Grinberg, one of the cadre of radical academics in BGU, is serving as a visiting professor at Berkeley University, California. Berkeley, the Mecca of anti-Israeli advocacy has a long history of inviting radical left-wing Israeli scholars and/or publishing materials which seek to delegitmize Israel in the international arena.
Lev Grinberg is a good match for this agenda; he has long argued that Israel is not a democracy because it is driven by a ferocious military ethos that occupies Palestinian territory and, in the process, commits war acts. Indeed, Grinberg led efforts to mobilize the international community against targeted killings of terrorists, advocating the arrest of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was supported such tactics.
It would would have been interesting to see whether Grinberg makes the same demands against President Barak Obama, whose administration killed some of the top terrorists in the world. If the past is of any indication, he is probably not. Grinberg and his peers are the architects of a double standard approach. Israel gets condemned for acting in self-defense, a right that is enshrined in international law.
The Israeli movement for Social Justice, J14, was initiated in the quiet summer of 2011, inspired by the Egyptian democratic mobilization in el-Tahrir Square and the Spanish M15 movement. Within 52 days, J14 gained incredible popularity of 85% support, according to the polls, and mobilized a mass demonstration of more than half a million people, with no precedent in Israel. The Government recognized its economic policies were inducing inequality, and declared new taxation and budget policies aiming to reduce poverty and the social gap. However, the movement never mentioned the injustices the state caused to the Palestinians nor the military occupation. The events at the UN in September and the recent violent escalation in the Gaza Strip are marginalizing the J14 movement.
Is there a chance to democratize Israel without ending the occupation? Is there a chance that the J14 movement for social justice will embrace justice for Palestinians too? Using the analytical concepts and insights suggested in his book Politics and Violence in Israel/ Palestine – Democracy vs. Military Rule, Prof. Lev Luis Grinberg will analyze the recent political events from a historical perspective.