The Main Reason for Israel’s Humanities Failure

04.02.21

Editorial note

The previous IAM post has dealt with the elements that contribute to the decline of the Humanities in higher learning institutions, such as political activism disguised as academics.

One of the main facilitators of political activism dressed in academic garb is the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

Van Leer often hosts discussions for “leftists,” who follow neo-Marxist, critical scholarship. For example, recently, Van Leer has held an event in memory of David Graeber, who was “one of the most fascinating and pioneering intellectuals on the renewed left [emphasis added] in the last decade.” Graeber, an “anthropologist and activist,” was the author of “groundbreaking books” such as Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, as well as Debt: The First 5,000 Years. The Van Leer discussion has dealt with his life and work. “His activism in the United States and the Middle East; His harsh critique of capitalism and his identification as an anarchist; His revolutionary view of money and value;” among others. Worth noting that Graeber was one of the founders of Occupy Wall Street. Clearly, there is not much academic work here but rather polemics. For the discussion, the organizers also invited Dr. Yaara Benger Alaluf from Academia for Equality, who specializes in “Exploring the production of relaxation in Club Med seaside resorts.” 

Also recently, Van Leer has held an event, “Philosophy at the end of the world – Hegel, Agamben and the day after.” According to the invitation, it is the second meeting to honor the publication of issue 53 of Theory and Criticism. The event questioned “Agamben and Hegel: Why should we read them, especially today? What in their total and all-encompassing philosophy can describe or interpret the current political moment—a moment of dismantling and lack of a way out, of confusion and error? What is the end of history that each of them predicted and how is it related to the end of a particular world order—and with it, also, the order of culture and meaning—that we are witnessing now? And what can come after it?” Not surprisingly, the end of the world order is referring to the former US President Donald Trump. Participants: Dr. Gal Katz, Columbia University, who already gave a talk at Van Leer in June 2019, titled “The Philosopher and the Political Sphere;” Shir Hacham, an independent researcher, a former Haaretz and Time Out contributor in arts and dance; Dr. Yoav Ronel, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, who teaches “representations of desire in western culture, through 20th century critical theory.” The host is Dr. Shaul Setter, the editor of Theory and Criticism

The previous edition of Theory and Criticism, number 52, titled “Critical Theory in the Era of the New Radical Right,” was also edited by Setter.  He wrote in the preface that critical theory is a “philosophical endeavor with noise at its heart. It is a noise generating enterprise—that is, intellectual activity that is not hemmed in by the boundaries of thought, of the kingdom of reason and imagination or of the ivory tower of institutional research and academic freedom.” Instead, he argues, “it is an endeavor whose movement echoes throughout the polis, takes place in the public sphere and is heard throughout the social sphere, raising its voice and seeking to transmit and disseminate it. Its center is the din of philosophy that is created by connecting thought to action, that is, to practice. It has been this way not only from the moment of its founding or its naming, but rather since 1845, the year in which a young intellectual who was exiled from his homeland jotted down some thoughts after reading a book; that is, since Marx’s theses on Feuerbach.”

By its own admission, Van Leer’s Theory and Criticism is a “journal for theoretical thought and critical study” founded in the early 1990s. It has dealt with “critical theory in local contexts.” Articles of “theoretical discussions and new forms of critique, and portray their demands from both scholarship and social praxis. They consider the fundamental questions of theory and criticism in light of the concrete changes in society—in Israel, with all its political and cultural issues, and elsewhere, from a comparative perspective and in a global context.” In effect, the journal has been a platform for the radical left, producing mountains of undetected polemical verbiage.

IAM reported about Van Leer before. Two years ago, IAM reported that Van Leer has been facilitating Holocaust inversion practiced for over a decade by a number of scholars whose aim is to minimize the scale of the catastrophe befallen on the Jews in WWII, by comparing the Holocaust to the Palestinian Nakba. This Holocaust equivalence serves two goals: It absolves the Palestinians and their Arab allies from any blame for starting a war that intended to destroy the nascent State of Israel, and it presents the former Jewish Holocaust victims as the “new” Nazi perpetrators. In Holocaust inversion, the Palestinians have become the “new Jews.”

Between 2017 and 2019, Van Leer facilitated another project, “Settler Colonialism and Resistance,” by a group of radical activists who discussed “a new understanding of the relations between the Zionist settlers and the local Arab-Palestinian population.” Among the participants were Lev Grinberg, Daniel DeMalach; Gadi Algazi; Khaled Anabtawi; Avishai Ehrlich; Hanna Herzog; Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar; Jacob (Kobi) Metzer; Mansour Nasasra; Tom Pessah; Areej Sabbagh-Khoury; Oren Shlomo; Na’aman Tal; Erez Tzfadia; Himmat Zu’bi’. Some of the participants are BDS supporters, and others are just anti-Israel activists.

It is easy to see that, in essence, many of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute’s projects espouse the negation of the right of Jews to a Jewish state by describing it as a settler-colonial entity.   There are no academics on the various panels who can provide a rebuttal to the settler-colonial theory which has become dominant in universities in the West. 

But the ‘cherry on the icing’ is that the Council for Higher Education is housed on Van Leer Institute’s premises. There cannot be a more significant conflict of interests than this.

https://www.vanleer.org.il/en/events/philosophy-at-the-end-of-the-world-hegel-agamben-and-the-day-after/

Philosophy at the End of the World – Hegel, Agamben, and the Day After

Tuesday | 01/26/21 | 08:30 pm

Second meeting in honor of the publication of Issue 53 of Theory and
Criticism

Dr. Gal Katz, Shir Hacham, Dr. Yoav Ronel, Dr. Shaul Setter | 

Agamben and Hegel: Why should we read them, especially today?
What in their total and all-encompassing philosophy can describe or
interpret the current political moment—a moment of dismantling and
lack of a way out, of confusion and error? What is the end of history
that each of them predicted and how is it related to the end of a
particular world order—and with it, also, the order of culture and
meaning—that we are witnessing now? And what can come after it?

Participants

Dr. Gal Katz, Columbia University
Shir Hacham, independent scholar
Dr. Yoav Ronel, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
Editor-in-chief of Theory and Criticism, Dr. Shaul Setter, moderator.


26 JANUARY AT 20:27פילוסופיה בסוף העולם – הגל, אגמבן והיום שאחרי // שידור חיThis video is now available to watchWatch Now

============================================================

https://www.hum-il.com/message/0110200/

אירוע // שיחה: לראות מעבר ל”בולשיט” ערב לכבודו של האנתרופולוג והאנרכיסט דייוויד גרייבר [ון ליר, מקוון] 9.11.20

פרטים כלליים

סוג הודעה: אירועים

תאריך פרסום: 02-11-2020

מקוון / לא מקוון:

מיקום: מכון ון ליר ירושליםמקווןישראל

מועד: 09-11-2020 – 09-11-2020

מעניק מלגה/שכר: לא

כרוך בעלות: לא

אקדמיה/קהילה: אקדמיהקהילה

קהל יעד: חוקרים/ותסטודנטים/ותהקהל הרחב

שפות: עברית

פקולטות: מדעי הרוחמדעי החברה

דיסציפלינות: כלכלהסוציולוגיהאנתרופולוגיה

מחקר אינטרדיסציפלינרי: קפיטליזם / ליברליזם / סוציאליזםשוק, צרכנות

פרטי קשר

איל עפרון | מתאם פעילות לציבור, שיווק וקשרי חוץ | eyale@vanleer.org.il | 02-5605282

כתובת ההודעה: https://www.hum-il.com/message/0110200/

לראות מעבר ל”בולשיט”

ערב לכבודו של האנתרופולוג והאנרכיסט דייוויד גרייבר (2020-1961)

דייוויד גרייבּר שמת בפתאומיות בתחילת ספטמבר נמנה עם האינטלקטואלים החלוצים המרתקים ביותר בשמאל המתחדש בעשור האחרון. הוא היה אנתרופולוג ואקטיביסט, מחברם של ספרים מחוללי שינוי ובהםBullshit Jobs: A Theory ו-Debt: The First 5,000 Years. בערב הדיון נעסוק בשלל היבטים של חייו ועבודתו: האקטיביזם שלו בארצות הברית ובמזרח התיכון; עבודתו האנתרופולוגית רחבת ההיקף; ביקורתו החריפה על הקפיטליזם והזדהותו כאנרכיסט; השקפתו המהפכנית על כסף ועל ערך; ניסיונו להציע תפיסה מוסרית שונה של חוב ושל עבודה, וגישתו הייחודית ומעוררת התקווה ביחס להיסטוריה האנושית. 

שיחה עם:

ד”ר יערה בנגר אללוף, ארגון אקדמיה לשוויון

ד”ר ראמז עיד, האוניברסיטה הפתוחה

בהנחיית ד”ר אלי קוק, אוניברסיטת חיפה

9.11.20, 20:00-18:00

https://bit.ly/3iTUxr9

https://www.vanleer.org.il/%D7%90%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%9D/%D7%9C%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%9E%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%A8-%D7%9C%D7%91%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%98/

לראות מעבר ל”בולשיט”

ערב לכבודו של האנתרופולוג והאנרכיסט דייוויד גרייבר (2020-1961)

יום שני | 09/11/20 | בשעה 18:00

לראות מעבר ל

שיחה בשידור חי | 

דייוויד גרייבּר שמת בפתאומיות בתחילת ספטמבר נמנה עם האינטלקטואלים החלוצים המרתקים ביותר בשמאל המתחדש בעשור האחרון. הוא היה אנתרופולוג ואקטיביסט, מחברם של ספרים מחוללי שינוי ובהם Bullshit Jobs: A Theory ו-Debt: The First 5,000 Years. בערב הדיון נעסוק בשלל היבטים של חייו ועבודתו: האקטיביזם שלו בארצות הברית ובמזרח התיכון; עבודתו האנתרופולוגית רחבת ההיקף; ביקורתו החריפה על הקפיטליזם והזדהותו כאנרכיסט; השקפתו המהפכנית על כסף ועל ערך; ניסיונו להציע תפיסה מוסרית שונה של חוב ושל עבודה, וגישתו הייחודית ומעוררת התקווה ביחס להיסטוריה האנושית.

בהשתתפות

ד”ר יערה בנגר אללוף, ארגון אקדמיה לשוויון

ד”ר ראמז עיד, האוניברסיטה הפתוחה

בהנחיית ד”ר אלי קוק, אוניברסיטת חיפה

==============================================================================

https://www.vanleer.org.il/en/projects/settler-colonialism-and-resistance/

Project

Settler Colonialism and Resistance

The Settler Colonialism and Resistance Group met throughout 2017-2019to discuss a new understanding of the relations between the Zionist settlers and the local Arab-Palestinian population. In the first year the group discussed theoretical texts and the early work of its participants. In the second year the group focused on presentations of original research with the aim of publishing a collection of articles.

Led By

Lev Grinberg, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Daniel DeMalach, Sapir Academic College

Participants

Gadi Algazi
Khaled Anabtawi
Avishai Ehrlich
Hanna Herzog
Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar
Jacob (Kobi) Metzer
Mansour Nasasra
Tom Pessah
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury
Oren Shlomo
Na’aman Tal
Erez Tzfadia
Himmat Zu’bi

Coordinator

Tom Mehager

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s