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Tel Aviv University
[TAU, Sociology] The Parallel Reality of Yehouda Shenhav's Universe Supported by the Taxpayer
TAU Professor Yehouda Shenhav
e-mail: shenhav@post.tau.ac.il

Editorial Note: 
Yehouda Shenhav (Sociology TAU) was hired to teach sociology of organizations.   Like many of activist faculty, once tenured, he switched his "research" to topics that promote his political agenda, namely the creation of a binational state.  His first effort was to publish a number of articles and a book where he "proved" that Jewish immigrants from Arab speaking countries (Mizrahim) are really Arab Jews; like the Palestinians, were victimized by the Zionists and forced to adopt an identity that made them hostile to Arabs.  In the parallel reality that Shenhav, a self-proclaimed critical sociologist, occupies, empirical finding indicating that the Mizrahim vehemently rejected the label of Arab Jews, do not matter.  Though his work received acclaim from his paradigmatic peers, empirical reality saw a critical bloc of the Mizrahim vote for the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, a stalwart in the Likud led coalition for more than a decade.
Shenhav's next research venture was to prove that the international and regional realities are ripe for a binational Palestinian-Jewish state.  In an essay published just before the Arab Spring he "found" that the region was ripe for a post-Westphalian order, his term for a new era where sovereign states are passe. Indeed, Shenhav called for the creation of a binational state with Jewish and Palestinian cantons.  Living in a parallel reality, Shenhav can ignore the recent developments, including the rise of Islamism in the wake of the Arab Spring.  As the following interview makes clear, Shenhav apparently is not aware that neither the nationalist Fatah nor the Islamist Hamas are ready to embrace his post-Westphalian vision.
Under the permissive reading of academic freedom at Tel Aviv University, Shenahv, a tenured professor, can pursue "research" that catches his fancy.  IAM repeatedly reported that Shenahv is one of several faculty members that parlayed their positions into virtually full-time political work.  Tel Aviv University's leadership owes the taxpayers and their political representatives an explanation why such an arrangement has been tolerated for so long.

January 13, 2013

Broadcast Date: 
  Jan 13 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013: Revolutions, once and future.

Co-hosts Alex Kane and Lizzy Ratner kick off the show with an interview with Frederick Stanton, the director of Uprising, a new film about the first heady days of the Egyptian revolution.  

Then, Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark interviews Israeli sociologist Yehouda Shenhav about his bold, new(ish) book, Beyond the Two State Solution. Translator and journalist, Dimi Reider, joins the conversation.


Yehouda Shenhav: Most Israeli’s view the conflict from the perspective of the ’67 War; most Palestinians view it from the perspective of what occurred in ’48, the Nakba and thereafter, noting that 750K refugees were expelled or fled and that the green-line is illusory.  The Jewish, liberal, white, elite in Israel believes a two-state solution, with land swaps, would preserve Democracy by relinquishing the Occupied Territories, forgetting that refugees want to return to their homes within Israel proper which has been prevented since 1948.  The goal is to whitewash, to cover-up what occurred in 1948, eluding practical solutions.   


There is no difference between settlements in Israel proper comprised of 80-85% Ashkenazi Jews vs. those in the West Bank, half “Arab-Jews” and half Russians and other lower-class individuals, the occupied territories that were seized from the Arabs.  The latter have been attracted because the Israeli welfare-state satisfies their basic needs, notwithstanding the fact that this created, starting in the 1950’s, a middle-class.


The two-state solution would cause the latter to sacrifice, but not the former…despite the fact that both were victimized by the creation of Israel.  Half of the million-strong Russians were not Jews.  The goal is to not just to preserve the status-quo; thus, stakeholders, not just Abbas, should be involved in any effort to resolve the conflict.  Indeed, the main-issue is the right-of-return of the Palestinians, even to Tel Aviv.


Jews and Arabs should not be separated geographically; any transfer would be dishonest, for it would drive-out Arabs from the Jewish State.  Arabs have individual citizenship rights in Israel, but they don’t have collective rights; because Israel is an ethnic state, non-Jews need their rights disparate protected.  Thus, there are myriad alternatives to the old 17th Century concept of territorial sovereignty, manifest as a two-state solution.

Summarized by Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D., F.A.C.P.

About the Show

BEYOND THE PALE has aired on WBAI/New York, 99.5 FM, part of the Pacifica Radio Network, since 1995. The program, which currently broadcasts Sundays from noon to 1 p.m., explores local, national and international political debate and analysis from a Jewish perspective. We also bring listeners the voices and sounds of contemporary Jewish culture, from film critics to filmmakers, novelists, poets and musicians. BEYOND THE PALE is the only Jewish program on radio or television devoted to bringing a left perspective to political and cultural debates. As we all emerge so happily from underneath the soul-crushing weight of these last vicious eight years, it’s important to remember how critical our voices are under a more liberal administration- an administration we can push on from the left and hold to the high ideals it claims. What a relief that these ideals are not fundamentalist, war-mongering, free-market mania.

BEYOND THE PALE will continue to bring audiences the critical analysis and vision for social change that are the proud legacy of Jewish radicalism. BEYOND THE PALE is produced with the support of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ).

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