Haim Bresheeth-Zabner on Israel: Proto-Fascist Apartheid State

09.09.2020
Editorial Note
 
IAM reported in March how “Anti-Zionist Haim Bresheeth Admits Being anti-Semite.” As an Israeli BDS activist who teaches film at SOAS University of London, Prof. Bresheeth-Zabner admitted that “my background qualifies me as an antisemite according to the Labor coda,” because he is a “socialist, anti-Zionist and anti-racist activist.”  Bresheeth-Zabner is a member of a group calling for “dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel,” which is also anti-Semitic.

Bresheeth-Zabner, who is not a historian, regularly provides a distorted account of history. In his 2018 article, “The Israel Lobby, Islamophobia and Judeophobia in Contemporary Europe and Beyond: Myths and Realities,” he writes that for speakers and authors who discuss the concept of the New anti-Semitism, it “was a crucial invention – it enabled them to mark leftwing and Muslim critics of Israel as anti-Semites… but even more ridiculous accusations were to come. Much of these were levelled at a number of Hollywood films and Broadway musicals… From its inception, the ‘new anti-Semitism’ was intended as a political weapon… while the facts give cause for serious concern, the idea that they add up to a new kind of anti-Semitism is confused. Moreover, this confusion, combined with a McCarthyite tendency to see anti-Semites under every bed, arguably contributes to the climate of hostility toward Jews.”

Published last month, Bresheeth-Zabner’s new book is titled An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Force Made a Nation

In a recently recorded interview about the book, published by Verso Blog, Bresheeth-Zabner claimed that South Africa exterminated black people; Herzl requested the transfer of Arabs from Palestine; Benjamin Netanyahu perceives Israeli Arabs not as Israeli citizens; among other claims.

Not surprisingly, the book is full of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist tropes. 

One of his chapters is, “Is Israel a Democracy?” To which he answers, “While Israel was not a democracy even before the Netanyahu government took over in 2009, it is clear that the few threads that still connected its social structure to that of normative democracies were removed in the last decade, making way for a proto-fascist apartheid state.” 
 
Bresheeth-Zabner details how “In Israel, military service starts before birth.” He gives an example, “an advertisement in the rightwing newspaper Makor Rishon, depicting a mobilized Israeli fetus. The advertisement for Lis Maternity Hospital, part of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, shows a fetus wearing a military beret with a caption reading: ‘Recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence 2038’. Portraying an unborn child as a soldier is disturbing in its own right, regardless of country. In Israel, an occupying power whose military has for over five decades been primarily concerned with maintaining control over a civilian population, this advertisement is even more charged.”
 
However, in an article by Merav Zonszein, a +972 Magazine journalist, she wrote this paragraph verbatim. Not only did Bresheeth-Zabner copy Zonszein, but also, in his twisted logic, an ad in a newspaper is proof that military service starts before birth in Israel.
 
In the book, Bresheeth-Zabner also tells the story of his arrival in the United Kingdom. He says, “On arrival in Britain I was ready for a change. I studied for a graduate degree at the Royal College of Art, a progressive institution in the early 1970s, and soon enough met members of Matzpen, the radical organization of Middle Eastern radical anti-Zionists, mainly Israelis but also some from Arab countries, led by Moshe Machover, who by then had left Israel for London… At last, I started to understand the nature of Zionism and Israel. It was a painful experience of inner transformation. It allowed me to resolve my identity and beliefs and freed me from the all-powerful, stifling collectivities of Zionism.”
 
Interestingly enough, in another book chapter about Professor of Media Studies, Stuart Hood, written by Bresheeth-Zabner, he reveals being accepted to an MA degree in films at the Royal College of Art Film School, for his political views. In an interview for a place in the MA program, Hood, the then head of the school, “asked me what I felt about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Sinai and the Golan Heights. I was obviously against it, I said.” 

Bresheeth-Zabner’s story is, unfortunately, typical. His lifelong academic career boils down to anti-Israel scholarship.  Some Western universities recruit radical Israelis because of their anti-Israel stance.  IAM often documented this phenomenon.  These activist-scholars serve as the “useful idiots” of the massive anti-Israel academic movement by shielding its leaders from accusations of anti-Semitism.  

  Exploring the Gulf Between History and National Myth in Israel  

Haim Bresheeth-Zabner on His Father’s Refusal to Serve in
the Israel Defense Force

By Haim Bresheeth-Zabner

    August 24, 2020

The projection of their own evil impulses into demons is only one portion of a system which constituted the Weltanschauung [World View] of primitive people, and which we shall come to know as “animism.”

–Sigmund Freud, “Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence,” Origins of Religion

I am the son of two Holocaust survivors from southern Poland who, like most Polish Jews before 1939, shunned the Zionist call, supporting instead the socialist Jewish Labour Bund; like most other Jews, both considered Polish and Yiddish their languages and cultures. Both my parents were forcibly taken from the Nazi-controlled ghetto in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski to the nearby Auschwitz extermination camp in June 1944, after the rest of their families were destroyed in Treblinka during 1943. Reduced to horrifying skeletons, they were forcibly marched to other camps in January 1945, as the Red Army approached Auschwitz. My mother was liberated from Bergen-Belsen by the British in April 1945; her weight at the time was recorded as thirty-four kilograms and she suffered from advanced typhoid. My father was liberated by the US Army from Gusen II, a subcamp of Mauthausen, on May 8, 1945. His recorded weight was thirty-two kilograms. They were married in a Torino Displaced Persons camp in October 1945. I was born, stateless, a year later in Rome.

Having failed to secure passage elsewhere, my parents decided to emigrate to Israel in May 1948, not a choice they would have otherwise considered. On the boat my father refused to undertake weapons training. After what he had experienced, he was not prepared to shed blood, his own or anyone else’s. He was promptly arrested on arrival in Haifa as a draft resistor; he may have been the first, or one of the very first, conscientious objectors.

My mother and I were incarcerated in Athlit, a prison camp built by the Mandate authorities, then used to house immigrants. My father resisted for some weeks, but after realizing that he might spend years in prison, agreed to serve as an unarmed medic and was sent to one of the worst battles of 1948, in the Latrun area, at which almost 2,000 Israelis, mostly Holocaust survivors, perished; so too did a large number of Jordanian troops. Many were buried in mass graves; having just arrived, their identities were unknown.

How my father survived this hell I will never know. He never spoke to me about it or admitted that he had refused to serve in the army; later, when I became an officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he was ashamed to tell me about it. I only know this part of his story because his communist brother, who admired him for his stand, told me about it; he wanted me to appreciate my father’s courage. This revelation affected me deeply.Jebaliya, and Jaffa itself, were hardly parts of Israel proper then—they existed in a twilight zone where Holocaust survivors were living cheek by jowl with Nakba survivors

I grew up in Jebaliya, a small modern town adjoining Jaffa, that was forcibly cleared of its Arab inhabitants by the Etzel (Irgun, the rightwing Zionist militia) even before the Mandate expired. Only a few Arabs managed to remain, becoming the unwilling and unequal captives of the Jewish State. The neighborhood was exclusively populated by Holocaust survivors in their twenties and thirties, and none of the many children had grandparents. We lived, like everyone else, in a flat that had been the home of a Palestinian family. Yosefa Loshitzky accurately describes this process:

Many Holocaust survivors were, as a matter of government policy, settled in evacuated Palestinian homes in Arab towns like Jaffa, Haifa, Lod and Ramla, thus forcibly grafting the memory of the Holocaust onto Palestinian national memory, and symbolically linking the Holocaust of the Jewish people (mostly Polish Jews) to the Palestinian Nakba.

This aptly describes our own situation. Jebaliya, and Jaffa itself, were hardly parts of Israel proper then—they existed in a twilight zone where Holocaust survivors were living cheek by jowl with Nakba survivors, their children studying in the same school, Al-Ahmadiyya, a green modern Bauhaus building within a copse of sycamore trees, renamed Dov Hoz after a Zionist apparatchik. We studied in Hebrew but also learned Arabic, and when later I was transferred to a religious school, I found that the Arab boys had to stay in for the Hebrew daily prayers—an odd punishment for the crime of being Other.

My parents, like so many other Holocaust survivors who came to Palestine/Israel after WWII, were hardly willing colonialists. But living as part of the colonial project, they were normalized into its ranks, and later also accepted its rationale and methods. When faced with such massive injustice, one either rises in opposition or, willingly or otherwise, joins in. By the time I was drafted at eighteen, in 1964, my parents had changed their relationship to military power; it had become the symbol of survival for them, as for most other survivors. I, on the other hand, was disinclined to join the IDF, having developed a naïve, instinctive gut pacifism but lacking the courage to follow in the footsteps of Giora Neuman, two years my senior, one of the famous draft resisters of Israel. He spent some years in prison for his principled stand, but I was not strong enough to emulate him or my own father (about whose courage I only learned later). I was selected for officer training, which I tried unsuccessfully to get out of or postpone.

I was placed in one of the few regular fighting units, the Golani infantry brigade, as a young second lieutenant, a role I held during the 1967 war. As part of the brigade command staff, I did not partake personally in the horrific battle in the Golan Heights, taking place a few hundred yards from us; I followed the battle through the communications system. When the battle was over, I heard the dazed voice of one of the battalion commanders asking the commanding officer standing next to me, a shaky voice emanating from the metal speakers: “I have 200 prisoners of war. What shall I do with them?”

He received no answer from the commanding officer, who snarled at us, “The idiot, doesn’t he know what to do with them? Do I have to tell him? No one answer this idiot, do you hear?!”

After some further requests, the transmissions stopped. The penny dropped.I was told that Golani had to earn its glory, like the paratroopers did in 1956, and that glory is only earned through battle and bloodshed.

I was deeply shocked; throughout the officer training program we were told that the IDF was the most moral army; that we never harm civilians; that we never shoot prisoners of war. So, what was this officer, one I intensely disliked, trying to tell us? Deep bitterness grew inside me.

In the debriefing session after the war, it became clear to me that the battle fought by Golani had no real military objective: The men who had died like rats in a barrel had not represented a threat: their positions were isolated, their retreat was blocked, and the main force was getting around through other routes. I asked the commanding officer about the purpose of the attack. I was told that Golani had to earn its glory, like the paratroopers did in 1956, and that glory is only earned through battle and bloodshed.

For the first time in my young life I started to comprehend the deep gulf between reality and propaganda. I also grasped that as a young, white male of European origin, there may be some duties I am morally bound by and need to be committed to, as a past refugee indebted to the refugees in whose home I grew up. What could I do for them? I needed to find out. I also needed to get out of the Jewish State.

On arrival in Britain I was ready for a change. I studied for a graduate degree at the Royal College of Art, a progressive institution in the early 1970s, and soon enough met members of Matzpen, the radical organization of Middle Eastern radical anti-Zionists, mainly Israelis but also some from Arab countries, led by Moshe Machover, who by then had left Israel for London. In Israel it was at its zenith, with almost 2,000 members, while in London there were only ten of us at the weekly meeting, sometimes less. What followed was an intensive, political group study lasting months if not years. We read and discussed Zionist history and radical literature. Ironically, then as now, the main readers of key Zionist texts are anti-Zionists. At last, I started to understand the nature of Zionism and Israel. It was a painful experience of inner transformation. It allowed me to resolve my identity and beliefs and freed me from the all-powerful, stifling collectivities of Zionism.

__________________________________

An Army Like No Other

From An Army Like No Other: How the Israel Defense Force Made a Nation by Haim Bresheeth-Zabner. Used with permission of the publisher, Verso Books. Copyright © 2020 by Haim Bresheeth-Zabner.

Haim Bresheeth-Zabner
Haim Bresheeth-Zabner

Professor Haim Bresheeth-Zabner is a Filmmaker, Photographer and a Film Studies Scholar, and Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He is the editor of The Gulf War and the New World Order, (with Nira Yuval-Davis), and the author of The Holocaust for Beginners (with Stuart Hood). His films include the widely shown State of Danger (1989, BBC2)—a documentary on the first Palestinian Intifada—and London is Burning, after the 2011 riots. He has also written in the Israeli Ha’aretz and the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Weekly. (edited)

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

https://pledgetimes.com/middle-east-israel-is-a-militarized-state-preferring-the-state-of-war-2/

Middle East. “Israel is a militarized state preferring the state of war”

Bhavi Mandalia by Bhavi MandaliaAugust 17, 2020 in World

Haim Bresheeth, research fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London (1).

What are the reasons you focused your work on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)?

Haim bresheeth The IDF has been the most crucial social institution in the Israeli state since 1948. It is the largest, best funded, and largest in number, comprising most of Israel’s men and a huge number of women. This has serious repercussions – the IDF is fully representative of the Jewish population in Israel. In this sense, the army is the most representative organ of Israeli society. Understanding this is starting to understand Israel, and the difficulty we face when it comes to resolving the conflict in Palestine, a colonial type conflict. Because the only solution the IDF will accept is one in which they hold all the cards.

You say the IDF made a nation. Why ?

Haim bresheeth In the book, I deal with the fact that what existed in 1948 was an army, and that army built a state, but there was no nation! This is not my point of view, but that of David Ben-Gurion, who understood that a collection of people from all parts of the world, without anything connecting them, is not a nation. The nation had to be formed by a broad social organization in order to create a national culture, a sense of belonging, the identity of a new Israeli-Jewish nation. The only body that was capable of this complex task, which takes hundreds of years in most cases, was the IDF, and Ben-Gurion chose it because in 1948 it included virtually all Jewish adults – all of them. men and most women. It was an army that fought the Palestinians and the Arab armies. But it also performs all the civic tasks normally performed by civil society. Most of them are still carried out by the IDF. In the latest coronavirus crisis, the IDF and the secret services (Shabak) thus took over from a large part of the country for the monitoring and tracing operation, for example. The flip side is that most Israelis see their identity only in terms of the military and only see the conflict through the filter of military force.

What is the role of the military in political and economic life?

Haim bresheeth The IDF and related companies form Israel’s largest sector and are responsible for the bulk of the income from exports, between $ 12 billion and $ 18 billion per year. Selling to more than 135 countries, Israel is one of the world’s leading arms dealers. Israel turned the conflict into a thriving business – it turned adversity into commercial success, under the slogan “tested in action”. The business model also includes thousands of high-tech companies started by retired officers, which, along with nationalized arms and security companies, are the country’s largest employer. All academic institutions benefit from substantial research funding from the IDF, the Ministry of Defense and various security organizations; some universities and colleges have also organized training programs for IDF and related organizations.

In the book, you wonder about “Israel is a democracy” and if “there could have been another Israel”. Can you give us some answers?

Haim bresheeth There has never been a colonizing society that was democratic or free. Israel is no exception. A settlement plan is all about control – over land, resources and labor. As such, it depends on anarchy and injustice, always defended by the violation of the legal system. It was true for Algeria, Australia, North and South America, South Africa, Congo, and it is true in Palestine. A military society in illegal occupation cannot be democratic, and, as Marx pointed out, cannot, per se, be free. Therefore, Zionist Israel can never be democratic. In the past, some leftist Zionists have argued that the Zionist idea is pure and fair, but somehow soiled by practice. There is nothing further from the truth. As I have pointed out, the ultimate goal of the Zionist project, from the time it appears in Herzl’s work until our time, was and remains the dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinians, and the establishment of an exclusive Jewish society on racist principles. This is the reason why, over time, Israel becomes more racist and more aggressive. The Zionist dream is essentially a colonial nightmare. Even if one is brutal enough to ignore Palestinian suffering, life for Jews in Israel cannot, by definition, be safe or normal. Israelis live a Spartan life of soldiers on vacation. Israel has had many chances to achieve peace and has always avoided it. It is a militarized state, preferring a state of war – with its empire illegally clinging to the territories of four Arab states – which imposes racist oppression on nearly five million Palestinians without any rights. Nearly two million of its own Palestinian citizens are now losing the few rights they once had. We can safely say that Israel is a militarized state by choice, due to its need to protect its empire with military booty and illegal occupation. No one imposed this occupation regime on the Israelis. It’s their decision. The rest of the world, however, is responsible for authorizing and funding it, especially the United States and the European Union.

As of July 1, Israel is supposed to annex 30% of the West Bank. How does the IDF behave in this context?

Haim bresheeth The move towards the illegal annexation of most of the West Bank is the ultimate example of US-backed lawlessness – unilateral, non-negotiable illegal action against Palestinian rights. The fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed his annexation deadline by July 1 is a clear sign that even the IDF is opposed to this measure. Prior to the 1990s, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) controlled the West Bank and had to invest enormous human and material resources in maintaining order throughout Palestine. This dire situation, which developed in the aftermath of the first Intifada, prompted Israel to organize the Oslo Accords, establishing a Palestinian National Authority (NPA). Since then, the AFN – formed and armed by Israel, and partially funded by the EU and the United States – has secured the occupied territories on Israel’s behalf, exonerating the IDF from their duties and from any financial cost.

But annexation can lead the ANP to collapse. Ultimately, it could lose control of the Palestinian security organizations, hated and despised by the Palestinian people. The IDF does not wish to lose this important relaxation of its functions and is greatly concerned about its ability to control the occupied territories if such a scenario occurs. The IDF has vetoed the annexation program as Netanyahu presented it, and so he seems to have had to quietly abandon it for now. In contrast, Israel has not abandoned its real program, which continues at a steady pace. The inability of the international community, as it stands, to oppose such atrocious illegality is a danger to the rule of law everywhere in the world, at a time of great international fragility. International law must be applied before further irreparable damage is done to the Palestinians, and a dangerous precedent is set.

All Western countries, but also the PLO, are still talking about the two-state solution. With the annexation, this idea died. But when the Zionist state refuses a Palestinian state, is it possible to establish a single state, even binational and with full rights for all citizens?

Haim bresheeth It should be clear to readers of Humanity that Israel never intended to end its military occupation, and has done everything humanly possible to block any form of Palestinian state since 1948, and especially since 1967. It could not do so. do it alone, of course. Without the strong and unwavering support of Western “democracies”, this would never have been possible. In this sense, Israel has always been against the so-called two-state solution. The debate at the UN actually included two options: that of partition, which was passed, led to the Nakba and the expulsion of two-thirds of Palestinians from their homes. But also, we less remember, the proposal for a single secular and democratic state over the whole of Palestine: a state of all its citizens, without special racist laws. Until 1988, this option, rejected by the UN in 1947, was the official position of the PLO. In arguing that such a democratic outcome cannot take place because of Israeli opposition, let us remember that this is also the reason why there can be no agreement on another solution. Israel has rejected any solution that would give the Palestinians some autonomy even over a tiny part of their land. So we, the rest of the world, must force Israel to accept it. The world had done it in the case of the other apartheid state – South Africa. Only a committed, internationally coordinated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign can dislodge Israel from its colonial project. Such a campaign, in favor of equality, human rights, international law, United Nations resolutions, Geneva conventions, and the International Criminal Court, can bring hope to establish peace. just and lasting justice in the Middle East to all those residing in Palestine, as well as to Palestinian refugees.

The BDS campaign, which opposes Israel’s illegal and aggressive military actions, is a civilian campaign. Civic action carried out by all citizens of the world, avoiding violence and brutality, trying to change the situation by non-violent methods. I think the time has clearly come for such an approach, if we want to avoid more bloodshed and suffering.================================================
https://www.versobooks.com/books/3168-an-army-like-no-other

  An Army Like No Other
How the Israel Defense Force Made a Nation
by Haim Bresheeth-Zabner

Hardback with free ebook
£25.00£15.0040% off
448 pages / August 2020 / 9781788737845

A history of the IDF that argues that Israel is a nation formed by its army

The Israeli army, officially named the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), was established in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, who believed that “the whole nation is the army.” In his mind, the IDF was to be an army like no other. It was the instrument that might transform a diverse population into a new people. Since the foundation of Israel, therefore, the IDF has been the largest, richest and most influential institution in Israel’s Jewish society and is the nursery of its social, economic and political ruling class.

In this fascinating history, Bresheeth-Zabner charts the evolution of the IDF from the Nakba to wars in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and the continued assaults upon Gaza, and shows that the state of Israel has been formed out of its wars. He also gives an account of his own experiences as a young conscript during the 1967 war. He argues that the army is embedded in all aspects of daily life and identity. And that we should not merely see it as a fighting force enjoying an international reputation, but as the central ideological, political and financial institution of Israeli society. As a consequence, we have to reconsider our assumptions on what any kind of peace might look like.

Reviews

“It is said that Israel is an army with a state. This book validates fully this assumption. With a clear and accessible style and with illuminating of many hidden chapters in Israel’s history, Bresheeth exposes fully the militarizationof the Jewish State. The book unpacks successfully the military grip of the IDF on every aspect of life in Israel and Palestine, from crucial decisions of going to war to the formulation the policies towards the Palestinians. Even if you are a knowledgeable reader on the topic, this book will be an essential contribution to your library.”

– Ilan Pappe, author of 10 Myths About Israel

“Israel’s drive to become a modern-day nuclear Sparta could only be ensured by An Army Like No Other—an army at the centre of illegal occupation, the creation of settler-colonial facts on the ground and Israeli identity self-fashioning. Thoroughly researched and painstakingly documented, this book is a must for those seeking to understand the centrality of the most powerful institution of Israel and for those who wish to see a just and lasting solution in Palestine–Israel.”

– Nur Masahla, author of Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

“An original and a remarkable interpretation of the wide-ranging impact of the military on Israeli society and one of the most insightful and challenging works on Israeli society from 1948 to our days. His book traces the ways in which military power acquired legitimacy in the civilian society and how the use of organized violence became an acceptable solution to all conflicts in the Arab-Israeli history. Anyone interested in understanding the Middle East should read this book.”

– Shlomo Sand, author of The Invention of the Jewish People

“Israeli left-wing critics of the Zionist state have long described it as ‘an army with a state, instead of a state with an army.’ And yet they have produced very few studies of the Israeli military-industrial complex over the years. In helping to fill this gap, Haim Bresheeth makes a crucial contribution to the critical study of the Zionist enterprise.”

– Gilbert Achcar, author of The Arabs and the Holocaust

“Bresheeth—one of the most important anti-colonial intellectuals of our era—takes the Israeli army as an entry point to undertake a deep analysis of Jewish-Israeli society. The original contribution of the book lies in its ambitions and scope: Bresheeth brilliantly describes the way an army whose ethos is rooted in Jewish historical trauma, has grown to become the occupation arm of zionism, the motor of its settler-colonial domination and the basis of its politics of separation.”

– Eyal Weizman, author of Hollow Land

“This book places the Israeli army under an uncompromising lens. It reveals a yawning gap between the propaganda about ‘the most moral army in the world’ and the dark reality. Through a wide-ranging historical survey, studded with little known facts, it exposes the army for what it really is: a brutal police force of a brutal settler-colonial state. Essential for understanding the political sociology of Israel today and the reasons for the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian so-called ‘peace process.’”

– Avi Shlaim, author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

“A hard-eyed look at the role of Israel’s army in the creation of the Jewish state.”

– Kirkus

“This is a very important book, offering a highly timely and rigorously documented view of the military/nation-state nexus in Israel, its links and dynamics, and its global sources of power. In the process it unavoidably affords us a view of the workings of the contemporary global order, in which Israel’s role as policeman and instrument is becoming more critical to the repressive, discriminatory and surveillance operations that are being increasingly developed and deployed today.”

– Lena Jayyusi, Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies

“Bresheeth-Zabner has written a comprehensive and well-researched history of the Israeli military. In doing so, he has also issued an indictment of its brutal tactics, its political power and its destructive effects on the Israeli state.”

– Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

“An Army Like No Other is a real page-turner, combining history and analysis with firsthand tidbits from within the belly of the beast … Bresheeth-Zabner deserves substantial praise for his pursuit of truth.”

– Belén Fernández, Jacobin

“An insightful look into the history of Israeli militarism and the military ethos that marks both state and society.”

– Rod Such, Electronic Intifada

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https://www.humanite.fr/middle-east-israel-militarized-state-preferring-state-war-692492

Middle east. « Israel is a militarized State, preferring the state of war »

Lundi 17 Août 2020
Pierre Barbancey

The Israeli army, officially named the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), was established in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, who believed that “the whole nation is the army.” In this book (1) Bresheeth charts the evolution of the IDF from the Nakba to wars in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and the continued assaults upon Gaza, and shows that the state of Israel has been formed out of its wars. (French version available here).

Haim Bresheeth

Haim Bresheeth, researcher at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas).

What are the reasons you focused your work on the Israeli Defense Forces?

Haim Bresheeth The IDF is the most crucial social institution of the Israel State, ever since 1948. It is the largest, best financed, and with the widest ‘membership’ Most Israel males, and many females. In that sense, it is a pseudo-democratic institution, if one can say this about an instrument of violence and injustice of this kind. This has serious repercussions – the IDF is fully representative of the Jewish population in Israel, rather than being a small professional army. It means that large numbers of Israelis of all classes, ethnicities and backgrounds are involved in IDF war crimes, since 1948. The fact that the publisc support given to brutal actions like the attack on South Lebanon in 2006, and on Gaza in 2008/9, 2012, and 2014, ranged higher than 95% is evidence of such wide public consent for such illegal, not to mention immoral actions by the IDF. It is the only social institution in Israel with such wide, almost total support for its actions, most of which are against international law and UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions. In that sense, the IDF is the most representative body in Israeli society, beyond the many tribal, political, gender, class and ethnic divisions. It is more important than the Israeli parliament, the intellectual elites, the financial cultural and political leadership. To understand this is to start understanding Israel, and the difficulty we face when wishing to resolve the conflict in Palestine – a settler-colonial conflict. Because the only solution that the IDF will accept is one in which it holds all the cards, it is clear that waiting for Israel to resolve the conflict is senseless and unwise position – Israel had always gone for military solutions for political problems, due to the special position afforded to the IDF.

You say that IDF made a Nation. Why?

Haim Bresheeth In the book, I deal with the fact that what existed in 1948 was an army, and this army built a state, but there was no nation! This is not my view, but that of David Ben-Gurion, who understood that the collection of people from all parts of the world, with nothing connecting them, is NOT a nation. The nation had to be formed by a large and wide-ranging social organisation – to form a national culture, a feeling of belonging, an identity of a new, Israeli-Jewish nation. The only body which was capable of this complex task, which takes hundreds of years in most cases, was the IDF, and Ben-Gurion chose it because in 1948, it included practically every single Jewish adult – all males and most females. This meant an army which was not only fighting the Palestinians and the Arab armies, responsible for expelling two third of the indigenous population of Palestine, but also for all civic tasks normally carried out by civil society. Thus the IDF dealt with education, language teaching, water projects, agricultural and urban settlement, industrial production, broadcasting, performance arts, communications, media and cultural production, publishing, research, building and commercial activities. Most of these are still performed by branches of the IDF. There is no other military force anywhere in the world which includes such a range of activities. In the latest Corona Virus crisis, the IDF and the Secret Service (Shabak) have taken over large part of the country, and the track and Trace operation, for example. Ben-Gurion was right – if one intends building a modern Sparta,  it can only be done by the military authorities. The flip side is the most Israelis see their identity in terms of the IDF – and they see the conflict through the filters of the military force. This means that they look at the Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims through the virtual gunsight. This also makes a just and peaceful solution of the colonial conflict almost impossible, if Israel is allowed the whip hand. Since 1948, this has always been the case.

What is the role of the militaries in the political and economical life?

Haim Bresheeth The IDF and the companies connected with it, are forming the largest sector in Israel, and are responsible for the largest portion of income from exports, between 12 and 18 $ billions annually. These figures are indicative only, as much of the arms trade Israel is involved in is secret. Selling to more than 135 countries, Israel is one of the main arms dealers on the planet, and always amongst the top ten. Israel has turned the conflict into a thriving business – it made adversity into a commercial success, building on the strapline ‘tested in action’. What it really means is: tested on Arab and Moslem people, and especially, on Palestinian civilians. Israel has turned Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and some other countries into the largest testing grounds of modern arms. The business model also includes thousands of hi-tech companies set up by IDF retired officers, which together with the nationalized armament and security companies are the largest employer in Israel. All academic institutions enjoy substantial research funding disbursed by the IDF, the Defence Ministry, and the various security organisations; such universities and colleges also ran training programmes for the IDF and related bodies. For example, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem includes a large army camp inside its campus on Mount Scopus, with hundreds of soldiers studying and living there, behind barbed wire. It is difficult to find similar arrangements elsewhere in the world. The income from such activities ties the universities financially, politically and ideologically to the Security forces.

As currently set up, the Israeli economy, financial system and industry are all parts of a war economy. This was economy, destructive and violently-oriented as it is, is the mainstay of Israel’s prosperity. Israel received more foreign support than any other country since 1948. This financed its wars, occupations, destructions of countries in the region, and the lawlessness of continuous massacres of tens of thousands. This is good business for Israel, because the bills are paid by Washington and Brussels. Unless this changes, there is no reason for Israel to change its tactics and strategy.

You ask « Is Israel a democracy ? » and « Could there have been another Israel? » The best is to read your book but can you give us some elements of response?

Haim Bresheeth There never was a settler-colonial society which was either democratic or free, and Israel is no exception. A colonizing project is about control – of the land, resources and labour. As such, it depends on lawlessness and injustice, always defended through the violation of the legal system. This was true about Algeria, Australia, North and South America, South Africa, the Congo, and is true in Palestine. A military society in illegal occupation cannot be democratic, and as Marx pointed out, cannot, in itself, be free. Hence,  Zionist Israel cannot ever be democratic.

In the past, some left-Zionist argued that the Zionist idea was a pure and just one, and it was somehow defiled by the practice; there is nothing further from the truth. As I pointed out, the ultimate goal of the Zionist project, from the moment it emerges in Herzl’s work to our own time, was and remains the dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinians, and the setting up of a Jewish-exclusive society on racist tenets. This is the reason that Israel is getting more racist and more aggressive as time passes – the Zionist ‘dream’ is in essence colonial nightmare. Even if one was brutal enough to disregard Palestinian suffering, the life of Jews in Israel cannot, by definition, be safe or normal. Israelis are living a spartan life of soldiers on vacation. In its more than seven decades of existence, Israel was involved in armed conflict in every single of these years, and in major armed wars, ‘operations’ and other military adventures more than any other state on this earth. This is not an accident, but the result of building a society based on the armed forces.

Israel had numerous chances to bring about peace, and always avoided it: in 2002, the Saudi initiative, for example, offered Israel enduring peace with the Arab world if it agreed to retreat to the international boundaries of 1967, and allow a Palestinian State to be set up in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. For decades Israel claimed that there is no one to make peace with, and if only the Arabs were agreed, peace will reign. Here was the whole Arab world, including Saddam Hussein and Muamer Ghadaffy, offering Israel stable and dependable peace, and it did not even agree to discuss this or negotiate on this basis. Israel never wanted peace, and now is even frightened of discussing it. It is a militarized State, preferring the state of war – with its empire which holds on illegally to territories of four Arab states, and enforces racist oppression on almost five million Palestinians with no rights whatsoever, and near two million of its Palestinian citizens are now losing the few rights they had.

We can safely say that Israel is a militarized state by choice, because of its need to protect its empire of military spoils and illegal occupation. This it does by its own choice and is handsomely rewarded by the western world. No one has imposed this occupation regime on the Israelis – it is their own free choice, and they are fully responsible for it. The rest of the world is, however, responsible for allowing and financing it – especially the US and EU.

Since July 1, Israel is supposed to annex 30% of the West Bank. How did the IDF behaves in that framework?

Haim Bresheeth The move towards the illegal annexation of most of the West Bank is the ultimate example of lawlessness supported by the US – an unnegotiated, unilateral illegal action against the rights of the Palestinians. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to meet his deadline of annexing by 1 July is a clear sign that even Israel’s own military opposes the move.

Before the 1990s, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) controlled the West Bank and had to invest enormous human and material resources in policing the whole of Palestine. This dire situation, which had developed in the wake of the first intifada, pushed Israel to arrange the Oslo accords, establishing a Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Since then, the PNA – trained and armed by Israel, and partially funded by the EU and the US – has securitized the occupied territories on behalf of Israel, removing both the duties and the cost from the IDF. But annexation may drive the PNA towards collapse; ultimately, it could lose control of the Palestinian security organisations, hated and despised by the Palestinian people. The IDF does not wish to lose this important easing of its duties and worries greatly about its ability to control the occupied territories if such a scenario takes place. It is right to be worried. The attacks on Lebanon in 2006, and on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014 have shown the IDF’s inability to act in a logical and efficient way against well-organised guerrilla units.

This is not merely a question of firepower – in 2006, Hezbollah had few thousand well-trained and motivated fighters, and the IDF threw more firepower at them than used by both sides in El Alamein during the second world war . It is impossible to defeat a guerrilla force by firepower alone, as the US army found out in Vietnam. The IDF has vetoed the annexation programme as Netanyahu presented it, and hence he appears to have had to quietly abandon it for the time being. But Israel has not abandoned its real agenda, which continues apace.The failure of the international community, such as it is, to move against such atrocious unlawfulness is a danger to the rule of law everywhere, at a time of great international fragility. International law must be enforced before further, irreparable damage is caused to the Palestinians, and a dangerous precedent is set.

All the Western countries, but also the PLO, still speak about the two States solution. With the annexion that idea is dead. But when the Zionist state refuse a Palestinian State, is it serious to think that it’s possible to establish only one state even binational and full right for all the citizens?

Haim Bresheeth I think that from all I said above it should be clear to your readers that Israel has never intended to retreat from its military occupation, and has done all that is humanly possible to block Palestinian State of any description, ever since 1948, and specifically, since 1967. It could not do this on its own, of course; without the strong, unwavering support of the western « democracies » this would never have been possible.

In that sense, Israel was always against the so-called two-states solution, which is the reason why it could not and did not happen. The debate at the UN included two options – the Partition option, which people remember and which was voted upon and led to the Nakba and the expulsion of two thirds of Palestinians from their homes, and the proposal for a secular, democratic single state in the whole of Palestine – a state of all its citizens, without special racist laws. Until 1988, this option which was rejected by the UN in 1947, was the official position of the PLO.

When arguing that such a democratic solution cannot take place because of Israeli opposition, let us remember that this is also why any other solution cannot be agreed upon – Israel has rejected any solution which will offer to Palestinians a measure of autonomy on an even tiny bit of their land. There can be NO solution – any solution – in Palestine because Israel will not allow it. That is the simple truth. So, for a just solution we, the rest of the world, must force Israel to accept such a solution. The world had done so in the case of the other Apartheid State – South Africa. Only a committed internationally-coordinated campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions can dislodge Israel from its colonial project. Such a campaign, in support of equality, human rights, international law, UN Resolutions and the Geneva Conventions, and the International Criminal Court holds the hope of bringing about just and durable peace to the Middle East, and to all people residing in Palestine, as well as to the Palestinian refugees.

The BDS campaign, as opposed to Israel illegal military and aggressive actions, is a civil campaign – civic action by the citizens of the world, avoiding violence and brutality, attempting to change the situation through non-violent methods. I think the time has clearly come for such an approach, if more bloodshed and suffering is to be avoided.

(1) « An Army Like No Other. How the Israel Defense Force Made a Nation ». By Haim Bresheeth-Zabner. Verso Books Edition  

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Haim Bresheeth on Stuart Hood 1.jpg
Haim Bresheeth on Stuart Hood 2.jpg

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http://www.jfjfp.org/ London, 17/18 Nov 2007

Challenging the Boundaries: A Single State in Palestine/Israel

Weekend Conference

Venue: The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London
Fees:£30 (includes lunches, coffee, tea and biscuits)
£20 Concession (includes lunches, coffee, tea and biscuits)

Please post your cheque, payable to ONE STATE GROUP, with attached note of email address to
C/O SOAS Palestine Society, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Or book by email

Please note that seats are limited, book in advance
 
Organised by London One State Group and SOAS Palestine Society

 
Conference Program
 
Saturday, 17th of November 2007
 
9:00-9:30       Registration   SOAS Brunei Gallery, Lobby
 
9:30-9:45       Opening Statement   
Nur Masalha, Reader in Religion and Politics and Director of the Centre for Religion and History and of the Holy Land Research Project at Saint Mary’s College, University of Surrey (UK)
 
9:45-11:45       PANEL I: Why one state?
 
Chair: Ghada Karmi, University of Exeter, Author of In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story (2002) and Married to another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine (2007)
 
The historical roots of the One State idea
Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, Author of The Modern Middle East (2005) and The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006)
 
A matter of immediate urgency, not a distant utopia
Joseph Massad, Columbia University, Author of The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism an the Palestinians (2006) and Desiring Arabs (2007)
 
The state of the One-State Idea
Ali Abunimah, Co-founder of Electronic Intifada, Author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (2006)
 

11:45-12:00       Coffee Break
 
12:00-13:30       PANEL II: Mapping the geopolitical landscape: past, present and future
                                                  
Chair: Haim Bresheeth, University of East London, Chair of Media and Cultural Studies
 
Leaving the Cake Whole
Ghazi Falah, University of Akron, Ohio, Co-editor of Geographies of Muslim Women: Gender, Religion, and Space (2005) and Author of Galilee and the Judaization Plans (in Arabic, 1993)
 
Local politics: the one state and the Palestinians
As’ad Ghanem, University of Haifa, Author of The Palestinian-Arab Minority in Israel, 1948-2000: A Political Study (2001) and The Palestinian Regime: A “Partial Democracy” (2002)
 
With an eye to the future
Leila Farsakh, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Author of Palestinian Labor Migration to Israel: Labor, Land and Occupation (2005)

13:30-14:30   Lunch Break
     
14:30-16:00       PANEL III (Presentations): Land, Citizenship, and Identity: Rethinking the nation-state

Chair: Leila Farsakh
 
This panel provides a platform for the internal debate within the One State camp regarding the desired institutional and constitutional formation of the state which is commonly dichotomized into the bi-national model on one side and the multicultural democracy on the other.
 
Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Author of The Censor, the Editor, and the Text: The Catholic Church and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon in the Sixteenth Century (2007)
 
Nadim Rouhana, George Mason University, Author of Palestinian Citizens in an Ethnic Jewish State: Identities in Conflict (1997)
 
Omar Barghouti, Political Analysts, Co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
 
Tikva Honig-Parnass, Political Activist, Co-author of Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians, and the U.S. “War on Terror” (2007)
 
16:00-16:15       Coffee Break
 
16:15-18:00       PANEL III (Discussion): Land, Citizenship, and Identity: Rethinking the nation-state
                                     
 
Sunday, 17th of November 2007
 
10:30-12:30       PANEL IV: Looking at the past, rethinking the future
Panel Chair: Ali Abunimah
 
Drawing lessons from the case of South Africa
Louise Bethlehem, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Co-editor of South Africa in the Global Imaginary (2005) and Violence and Non-Violence in Africa (2007)
 
Northern Ireland: power sharing in a divided society
Kathleen O’Connell, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
 
From Lebanon
Gilbert Achcar, SOAS, Co-author of Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S . Foreign Policy (2007) and The 33-Day War: Israel’s War on Hezbollah in Lebanon and its Consequences (2007), Author of The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2006)
 
India – Pakistan: the partition
Sumantra Bose, London School of Economics, Author of Kashmir: The Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace (2003) and Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus and Sri Lanka (2007)
 
 
12:30-13:30       Lunch Break
 
13:30-16:00       PANEL V: One state from within civil society social movements, and grassroot activism
Chair: Omar Barghouti
 
The lived experience and stories of the invited activists will portray the current public mood in regard to the One-State option, and point at both the difficulties and the opportunities for promoting this line of thought among the various social movements and civil society organizations that are operating within the different communities. This mosaic of personal accounts and observations will provide the foundation for the following discussion about ‘the way forward’.
 
Haidar Eid, Al-Quds University Gaza, Co-founder of One-State Group in Gaza
 
Eitan Bronstein, Political Activist, Zochrot (“Remebering”)
 
Eyal Sivan, Goldsmith University, Film Director of The Specialist (1999) and Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2004)
 
Yousef Faker el Deen, Political Activist, Founder of Al-Jaras Al-Awda (“Bells of Return”) Syria
 
Rajaa Omari, Political Activist, Founder of Natrinkum (“We are waiting for you”), Haifa
 
16:00-16:15       Coffee Break

16:15-18:00       PANEL VI: The way forward
 
A roundtable with several participants of the conference will discuss what would be the immediate actions required for promoting the discussion about alternatives to the two-state paradigm, and for helping the ideas of One-State develop into a meaningful political agenda.

BDS Activist Stavit Sinai – Shlomo Sand’s Disciple – Convicted in German Court for Violence

03.09.2020

Editorial Note

IAM previously reported on Israeli radical activist-academics who often take upon themselves an Arab identity. Dr. Uri Davis converted to Islam, Prof. Ariella Azoulay added Aisha to her name, and Dr. Tom Pessah wears a Keffiyeh, to name a few.

In a similar vein, last month, Dr. Stavit Sinai from the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Konstanz in Germany, was convicted in Germany for using violence while interfering in an event in 2017 at Germany’s Humboldt University, hosting MK Aliza Lavie and a Holocaust survivor. She was part of a group of BDS activists who shouted and yelled during the conference, but she injured two people when she slammed the doors on them. 

Such a behavior is not surprising, as Sinai was a student of Prof. Shlomo Sand and was chosen to become his teaching assistant at Tel Aviv University. Moreover, she was his Hebrew book editor of The Invention of the Jewish People. Naturally, When Sand’s book was criticized she wrote an op-ed in Sand’s defense, in Haaretz.

Responding to her op-ed, Galil Elyashiv, former Mossad operator, criticized her writing, “it is difficult to ignore a sentence in which the author ends her article. In her efforts to characterize Prof. Sand’s virtues, she emphasizes ‘that he fought in the wars of occupation and oppression of his country.’  Is that what the Department of General History at Tel Aviv University calls the Israeli wars since the War of Independence, or did the author forget, in her anger, what she learned?”

Clearly, Sinai’s scholarship is an extension of Sand’s.

For example, Sinai argues in an academic paper that when the state of Israel was accepted into the United Nations in 1947, it was “coinciding with the beginning of the Palestinian “Nakba” – which included the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who became refugees – and culminating in the 1948 War.” 

This is, of course, a false narrative. Had the Palestinians won the war with their allied Arab states, there would have been no Israel. 

Sinai also argued, based on Sand’s theories, that Zionism’s nourished myths of the “Jewish people” claiming to have a common ancestry and a “territorial myth” which they name the “Land of Israel.” She borrows from Sand, that “Combined these two myths form the myth of exile, return, and revival, which regards the broadly defined territory known as Palestine as the biblical land from which ancient Judeans were exiled in the first or second century CE and as the place to which present-day Jews ought to return.”   She erroneously espouses Sand’s false assumption that during the late previous century, the Zionists invented the longing of Jews to their ancestral homeland.   She writes, “These political myths were cultivated by late 19th-century and early 20th century intellectuals whose secular reading of the sacred scriptures approached the Bible as a historical source… Anachronistically projecting their contemporary understanding of nationalism on the political structures that prevailed in the ancient past, this cohort of scholars has qualified ancient Judea as a modern sovereign nation and drew simultaneously a direct line from the ancient Hebrews to the Jewish communities of the present (Sand 2010).” In other words, she borrowed Sand’s claim that Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of Khazarian converts, and as such, there is no linkage to the Biblical Jews. Even if accepting this theory as true, there is enough linkage by the Sephardi Jews, as can be seen in the writings of Shlomo Iben Gabirol, Maimonides, or even the documents from the Cairo Geniza, to refute these claims.  

Sinai joins Sand in his “Jewish People denial” and takes his teaching a step further. Sinai is a longstanding BDS activist, in 2012 She was among the group of BDS activists who interfered with a performance in Berlin of the Gevatron, the Israeli Kibbutz folk singers group. The Israeli news media broadcasted this, where Sinai is seen shouting and screaming. 

In September 2019, Sinai was filmed protesting Israel’s Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff, when the Israeli Seret Film Festival was held.  She shouted at the megaphone, as described by her BDS peers, that “This whitewashing extravaganza was attended by the apartheid Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff and other supporters of Israeli crimes.” 

Evidently, Sinai is not only anti-Israel but also anti-Semitic. For example, Aish HaTorah, a Jewish Orthodox educational organization based in Jerusalem, published an article by Rabbi Ken Spiro, titled “The Bible as history.” The Rabbi presented his case, that “not only were Jews recording history well before Herodotus, but while Herodotus might record the events, the Jews were looking at the deeper meaning, and that deeper meaning can be found most importantly and most significantly within the Bible itself.” One of the comments to his article was written by Stavit Sinai, then, a student in the Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University, positing: “Not only this article, like the rest of the articles in this category, are afflicted with a blatant historical distortion and anachronism, but also, every word is saturated and replete with horrific racism. It is amazing to see how the feelings of the supremacy of Jewish religion and culture are absorbed.”

Arguably, holding such negative views of Judaism, Sinai should not be teaching Jewish History.

Now Sinai and her BDS team known as the Humboldt3, have been seeking donations from the anti-Israel crowd. They opened a fundraising account and titled their cause as “BDS Activists on Trial – Support the Humboldt3,” asking the public to “Help us in taking Israel to court!” with 118 donors who have raised 5,609 Euros.

The German court ordered Sinai to pay 450 Euros fine, but she already announced her preference for a prison term, pictured wearing a Keffiyeh. Probably to maximize her service for the Palestinian cause.

Sinai is just one of many uber-radical Israelis teaching in Western universities who devote all their energies to delegitimizing Israel.   A recent study by the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University which analyzed security threats to Israel, named international delegitimization as a severe threat.   More needs to be done to expose Sinai and other Israeli foot soldiers in the army of degetimizers.

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https://jewishjournal.com/news/worldwide/320283/bds-activist-convicted-of-assault-in-berlin-court/
  BDS Activist Convicted of Assault in Berlin Court   Bhttps://twitter.com/Stav_Si/status/1292136763872477185yAaron Bandler
August 13, 2020

A boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activist was convicted in a German court of assault that authorities said was committed while protesting a 2017 event at Humboldt University in the German capital.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the incident occurred at a speaking event featuring Israeli Knesset Member Aliza Lavie and Israeli Holocaust survivor Deborah Weinstein, who were talking about life in Israeli. The activist, Stavit Sinai, and two other BDS activists disrupted the event.

The court convicted Sinai of banging on a door at the event, which resulted in injuries to two people. Sinai has to either pay a fine of 450 euros ($530.39) or serve a 30-day prison sentence.

Sinai, who calls herself an Israeli dissident in her Twitter bio, argued in a tweet that she was punched in the face at the event; accompanying the tweet was an image containing a statement that she didn’t regret her conduct and that she won’t be paying the fine.

“There’s no punishment that can silence me from speaking about the crimes of apartheid,” the statement read. “I am confident that one day the apartheid criminals would be sitting here instead of me.”

Sinai and the two other activists also faced charges of criminal trespassing; those were dismissed.

Frankfurt Mayor Uwe Becker, who is also the Hesse commissioner to combat anti-Semitism, praised the court’s decision as “an important success against the violent character of BDS and its supporters.”

“It unmasks the violent character of the BDS movement, because it shows that even Holocaust survivors are attacked by BDS when they speak out for the Jewish state,” Becker told the Post. “So it makes clear that the aim of BDS is not about peaceful protest against political decisions in Israel but the aim is the destruction and delegitimization of the Jewish state by all means.”

He added that the decision also shows that the BDS movement aims to silence views that oppose its narrative.

“It makes clear that BDS is lying about their history when they want to present themselves as a Palestinian human rights movement,” Becker said. “They are lying about their aims, when they proclaim the borders of 1967 as their major goal, and they are lying about their means when they want to present themselves as a peaceful movement.”

Ronnie Barkan, one of the other activists who was charged with disrupting the 2017 event, argued in an Aug. 3 Medium post that Sinai was banging on the doors because she was trying “to find out the details of the person who had just punched her in the face. Thanks to one of the Zionist witnesses who inadvertently showed the judge a video that he had never published before — the punching was clearly visible — giving immense credibility to Stavit’s testimony while discrediting each and every Zionist witness that testified against us.”

He also wrote that the trespassing charges were dismissed “on the basis of formality flaws by the prosecution” and said it was a win for them to be able to promote “an unapologetic discourse of resistance to the criminal Israeli apartheid regime in Berlin — the last standing bastion for Zionism.” 

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https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/bds-jew-hater-convicted-for-violent-assault-in-germany-637527

BDS ‘Jew-hater’ convicted for violent assault in Germany

Conviction appears to be the first criminal penalty for violent BDS activity

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL

 AUGUST 5, 2020 16:27 A Berlin court convicted on Monday a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activist for assaulting people during a presentation by an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust at Humboldt University in the capital.   In a dramatic setback to the claim of the BDS campaign that it is a nonviolent initiative targeting the Jewish state, the Berlin court declared Stavit Sinai guilty for her violent conduct.The Berlin daily B.Z. titled its article about the BDS activists at the trial: “It is so shameful. Disgusting hatred of Jews in and in front of the Berlin courtroom.”  Sinai’s conviction appears to be the first criminal penalty for violent BDS activity in Germany.   The paper reported about the anti-Israel extremist: “Lecturer Stavit S. is guilty. She hit the door of the hall ‘wildly’ from the outside, injuring two people… Either she pays €450, or sits in prison for 30 days.”
The Jerusalem Post reported in 2017 that three BDS activists – Sinai, Ronnie Barkan and Majed Abusalama – stormed the Humboldt University in Berlin to disrupt a talk titled “Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chances for Peace” by Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie and Deborah Weinstein, an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust, now 85 years old. The court dismissed the criminal trespass charges against the three. Abusalama said he is a Palestinian journalist from Gaza. He lives in the United Kingdom.
The B.Z. journalist, Anne Losensky, wrote that the trial was about “trespassing and assault,” adding that “all three seem to enjoy the trial so they can use it as propaganda against Israel.”   Losensky wrote that “they wear masks made of the Palestinian scarf [keffiyeh] – a symbol of the annihilation struggle against Israel.” She continued that they showed “raised fists – as if the criminal court were a tribunal against Israel.”   According to the newspaper, Sinai declared: “I regret nothing.” Her lawyer said Israel’s policy is “apartheid.” Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency, which documents threats to the democratic order of the city-state, deemed the conduct of the BDS activists to be antisemitic in its 2018 report. Last year, the Bundestag declared BDS to be an antisemitic movement. B.Z. reported that Barkan is a 43-year-old Slovak and Sinai is a 35-year-old Romanian, both having Israeli passports. Barkan previously disrupted a Holocaust film festival in Berlin. BDS activists also protested outside of the courthouse.

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https://www.jpost.com/bds-threat/german-antisemitism-commissioner-praises-verdict-against-bds-activist-638164

German antisemitism commissioner praises verdict against BDS activist

“Monday’s court decision against an activist of the antisemitic BDS movement… is an important success against the violent character of BDS and its supporters.”   By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL AUGUST 11, 2020 19:07   The Hesse commissioner to combat antisemitism lauded a Berlin court decision convicting a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement activist for assault.   “Monday’s court decision against an activist of the antisemitic BDS movement for assaulting people during a presentation by an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust at Humboldt University in Berlin is an important success against the violent character of BDS and its supporters,” Uwe Becker told The Jerusalem Post. On Monday Stavit Sinai was found guilty of inflicting violence on people at the talk. According to reports, she hit the door of the hall “wildly” from the outside, injuring two people. She is required to pay either €450, or face a prison term of 30 days.   “In two ways, this decision is an important milestone in the fight against Israel-related antisemitism in Germany,” Becker said. “It unmasks the violent character of the BDS movement, because it shows that even Holocaust survivors are attacked by BDS when they speak out for the Jewish state. So it makes clear that the aim of BDS is not about peaceful protest against political decisions in Israel but the aim is the destruction and delegitimization of the Jewish state by all means.   “Secondly, this act of violence shows that BDS is not defending freedom of speech but BDS is trying to suppress any other opinion that is not compatible with the political agenda of BDS.   “It makes clear that BDS is lying about their history when they want to present themselves as a Palestinian human rights movement. They are lying about their aims, when they proclaim the borders of 1967 as their major goal, and they are lying about their means when they want to present themselves as a peaceful movement.”   The Post reported in 2017 that three allegedly antisemitic BDS activists – Sinai, Ronnie Barkan and Majed Abusalama – stormed the Humboldt University in Berlin to disrupt a talk titled “Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chances for Peace” by then-Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie and Deborah Weinstein, an Israeli Holocaust survivor, now 85.   Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency, which documents threats to the democratic order of the city-state, deemed the conduct of the BDS activists to be antisemitic in its 2018 report. Last year, the Bundestag declared BDS to be an antisemitic movement.   Becker said the court’s decision is an “important signal  that the fight against the antisemitic BDS movement is more and more successful. And it shows that it is important to unmask BDS and to help society to look behind the curtain of this dirty theater.   “We have to [go] from BDS to promote BIS, ‘Buy from, Invest in and Support the State of Israel.’”
================================================================= https://twitter.com/Stav_Si/status/1291176844365045764
Stav @Stav_SiAug 6 Violence = the murder of 551 children and the liquidation of 89 entire families. Violence = 7 decades of the crime of #apartheid. Violence = getting punched in the face by an organizer of a propaganda event in which you were stuttering. #Humboldt3 vs. #CrimesAgainstHumanity

עליזה לביא @aliza_lavie Aug 5 3 שנים חלפו מאז ההתפרעות הגסה באוניברסיטת הומבולדט בברלין. לשמחתי סתווית סיני שהתפרעה, האשימה בשקרים ותקפה – הורשעה. מותר להביע דעות ולהתווכח אך לאלימות, לתקיפה ולהשגת גבול – להרצאה שתואמה מראש ובה השתתפה גם ניצולת שואה – אין מקום.

twitter.com/ZvikaKlein/sta
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https://www.gofundme.com/f/humboldt3

BDS Activists on Trial – Support the Humboldt3

€5,609 raised of €9,000 goal

118 donors 823 shares 118 followers

TEAM FUNDRAISER

Ronnie Barkan and Stavit Sinai are organizing this fundraiser.
Created July 3, 2020
Help us in taking Israel to court!

We are 3 BDS activists who are facing our second trial (Aug. 3rd, 2020) on trumped up charges of trespassing and assault, for protesting  the actions of apartheid representative MK Aliza Lavie in 2017.

MK Lavie took part in overseeing the brutal assault on Gaza in 2014, which resulted in 2200 being killed, including 551 children and 89 entire families that were obliterated. She later acted as the Israeli Head of Mission to the European Council — defending the systemic mass incarceration and torture of Palestinian children and the premeditated massacre of unarmed demonstrators along the fence of the Gaza ghetto.

We confronted Lavie as she arrived at the Humboldt University in Berlin, on an explicit anti-BDS propaganda tour — doing public relations in collaboration with the Israeli foreign ministry in the attempt to justify Israeli racist and criminal policies against the Palestinians. During our protest we read out loud from Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley’s UN report, which squarely accuses Israel of practicing The Crime of Apartheid — as a form of an institutionalized regime that constitutes a crime against humanity.

After our previous trial (March 4th & 11th, 2019) was left without a verdict, we are now being taken to court for the second time. We will again reject the accusations against us — that serve as an instrument of political persecution against the BDS movement which is widely suppressed in Germany. Instead, we will challenge the court by stressing:

➊ Our obligation to confront individuals such as Lavie who are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity
➋ That we have not forgotten the universal moral duty to resist crimes against humanity
➌ Reminding the court of its responsibilities under international law and the Nuremberg principles in not acting as bystanders nor shielding the perpetrators of grave crimes
➍ We are committed to resisting Israeli apartheid and will continue to do so despite the consequences of the trial

We now ask for your support and solidarity in confronting Israel again in the German court. This is also a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and educate the public on challenging Israeli crimes.

Financials
Each one of us is being represented by a different lawyer and this is according to German requirements. We currently have no organizational backing and will be covering the legal fees, and possibly a fine should the verdict be against us, out of our own pocket.

The expected amount for all three of us may reach 9000€ and above.

Please help us in covering the mounting legal fees as well as the educational activities that lie ahead.

You can help us by contributing here, or alternatively make a direct Bitcoin deposit to the following address:
3G7Ucgnx24TNpXuQBVRMVQG4r6fUJG3EAt

THANK YOU!
Stavit, Majed and Ronnie
https://medium.com/humboldt3

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https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2364235257191563  BDS בעברית 5 September 2019  · Stavit Sinai faces off apartheid representatives @ Babylon Berlinסתוית סיני מול שגריר ישראל ג’רמי יששכרוף ובאי פסטיבל SERET בברלין – ארוע תעמולה למדינת האפרטהייד הנערך בחסות שגרירות ישראל ומשרד העלייה והקליטה. 
The Israel-sponsored Seret Film Festival held its gala event on Sep. 1st at BABYLON Berlin. This whitewashing extravaganza was attended by the apartheid Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff and other supporters of Israeli crimes. Across the street we held a #BDS demonstration, which also included some singing and speeches in English and in Hebrew. In this video: Stavit Sinai (#Humboldt3) faces off the apartheid representatives on the other side of the street, in their language.

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https://www.mako.co.il/news-world/international/Article-c3d916c08964a31004.htm

צפו: “מפוצצים” הופעה של הגבעטרון

חבורת הגבעטרון הייתה יעד למחאה של פעילי שמאל קיצוניים, ביניהם גם ישראלים, בהופעה בברלין. גדעון גוריון מהגבעטרון מספר: “עמדנו על הבמה המומים לחלוטין אבל לא זזנו מהמקום. ההרגשה שלנו הייתה נוראית, היינו חסרי אונים”

חדשות 2|חדשות
רסם 09/10/12 19:41  

פעילי שמאל קיצוני מאירופה הפסיקו הופעה של להקת הזמר העברי “הגבעטרון” בברלין בצעקות נגד מדינת ישראל. חברי הלהקה אומרים: חלק מהמפריעים היו ישראלים. לסדרנים לקח לא מעט זמן להוציא אותם, ובאותו הזמן ההופעה הופסקה.

“לא הכינו אותנו לאפשרות שיקומו מפגינים מהקהל, הכל נראה רגוע ושלו, לא הייתה שום הכנה”, מספר גדעון גוריון, חבר להקת הגבעטרון. “עלינו לבמה והתחלנו, כרגיל, עם השיר ‘ים השיבולים’, כשעברנו למחרוזת הבאה פתאום קמו מארבעת הפינות האולם אנשים עם חולצות אדומות, הוציאו דגלים ושלטים והתחילו לצעוק”.

“עמדנו על הבמה המומים לחלוטין אבל לא זזנו מהמקום”, מספר גוריון, “הקהל בעצמו סייע לסדרנים להוציא את המפריעים. היו מעט הרמות ידיים בין המתפרעים לבין הקהל. ההרגשה שלנו הייתה נוראית, היינו די חסרי אונים, אבל בסוף הכל הסתדר וההופעה המשיכה עד הסוף כרגיל”. 

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https://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1226689

סתוית סיני | נמצא אויב העם

  • 25.10.2010
  • 00:21
  • עודכן ב: 04:30

נראה כי זמן רב חלף מאז שנכתב ספר שעורר תשומת לב ציבורית כה גדולה כפי שעורר ספרו של פרופ’ שלמה זנד, “מתי ואיך הומצא העם היהודי?” (הוצאת רסלינג). ואולם, סמוך לפרסומו של הספר בפברואר 2008, לא נמצא ולו היסטוריון אחד שהסכים להתייחס לטענות שבספר. בחלוף כמה חודשים הודו רבים מהמומחים מן החוגים להיסטוריה של עם ישראל, שהטענות ההיסטוריות שהעלה זנד היו ידועות ומוכרות להם, וכי דבר לא חודש בספרו.

ובכל זאת, ההתקפות הקשות על הספר לא בוששו לבוא עם הפיכתו לרב-מכר בצרפת ובמיוחד כשנעשה “פצצה תרבותית”, שריתקה חוגים שונים ברחבי אירופה (ובאחרונה אף באסיה). אולם עם פרסום מאמרו של רונן שובל, ראש תנועת “אם תרצו” (“ההמצאה של זנד”, הארץ 19.10), נחצה הגבול שמבדיל בין ביקורת לגיטימית על טקסט ובין כתבי הסתה משתלחים, הגובלים בנאצה ודיבה.

שובל רואה בדבריו של זנד ביטוי קיצוני “להתקפה אוטו-אנטישמית נגד המדינה”, ש”מכוון להעלמת העם היהודי”. הוא מאשים אותו ב”אפליית מדינת ישראל על רקע יהדותה”, ב”רטוריקה מסיתה”, ב”ביטול היהדות של המדינה והפיכתה ל’מדינת כל אזרחיה’, ב”קבלת טענת ‘השיבה'”, בניסיון “לעקור את עצם קיומו של עם ישראל” ו”להפוך את היהדות לדת”. לפי שובל, זנד אף גרוע ממכחישי השואה, משום שהוא מתוחכם יותר ומכיוון שאין דבר שמסייע יותר לאנטישמיות מאשר “אוטו-אנטישמיות פסוודו אינטלקטואלית”. מדבריו, עולה כי זנד הוא אויבה מספר אחת של מדינת ישראל, האשם במספר עבירות על החוק שדינן מאסר: בגידה, הסתה, חתירה, אפליה וגזענות.

לו היה נוטל שובל קורה מבין עיניו, היה מבחין בכך שפרופ’ זנד הוא מבין המתנגדים הבולטים בשמאל למימוש זכות השיבה של הפלסטינים, ומהבודדים שקוראים להכרה מיידית ונחרצת בזהות הישראלית – על אפם וחמתם של המתנגדים. גם זכותם של היהודים להגדיר את עצמם כעם אינה מוטלת בספק, ממש כפי שזכותו של גבר להגדיר עצמו כאשה. ואולם, אין חובה לקבל את נכונותה ואמיתותה של הגדרה עצמית זו. לו זנד היה עושה כן הוא היה חוטא למקצועו כהיסטוריון, המחויב אך ורק לאמת. כחוקר, ביקש זנד לא יותר מאשר למתוח ביקורת על המהות וההומוגניות בתפישת “העם היהודי”, שכה מוכרת למי שהתחנך בישראל, במיוחד לאחר 1967 – דבר שאינו שונה במאום ממה שציין בכתביו מייסד המדינה, דוד בן-גוריון.

יש להישמר מלראות את דבריו של שובל כעשבים השוטים בשולי השיח הפוליטי בישראל. אלה משקפים את המגמות האנטי-ליברליות והממוקדות-אתנית, שגוברות בימים אלה, והופכות כה מקובלות בישראל. ממי שעומד בראש תנועה קיקיונית, נהפך שובל למייצג ודובר ציוני נאמן בתרבות הפוליטית בישראל. בתרבות זו ניתן אפשר לכנות”אנטישמי” כל מי שמעז למתוח ביקורת על פוליטיקת הזהויות בישראל או מבקש לשנותה, או לזהותו כמי שחבר למכחישי השואה, גם אם הוא בן לפליטי מלחמת העולם השנייה וגם אם לחם במלחמות הכיבוש והדיכוי של מדינתו.

הכותבת היא תלמידת מחקר בחוג להיסטוריה כללית באוניברסיטת תל אביב.

Book Discussing What Went Wrong in the Academic Model

26.08.2020
Editorial Note

A new thought-provoking book Academia: All the Lies, is published now in English by two academic authors from the University of Haifa, Dr. Tamar Almog and Prof. Oz Almog, a husband and wife team.  The book was first published in Hebrew last year.  

The authors have analyzed the system of higher education from various angles. They argue that the traditional university model has eroded, because, like other traditional models, it has been subjected to structural changes.   Although the crisis in academia is the focus of the academic community and has engendered endless papers, reports, and books on the issue, its actual dimensions and its dramatic consequences are hidden from most of the public, scientists, and professors. For the authors, academia is in deep denial, misleading itself and the public, and therefore finding it difficult to reach educated and courageous decisions.

According to the abstract, the book is an “X-ray of the academic ivory tower.” Since higher education has been initially a “successful method,” it has decayed over time. Instead, a “culture of lying, denial and fixation” has taken over the institutions across the globe. The book unfolds the “inflation of scientific publications,” which causes “decline in the quality, relevance and reliability of science; the degenerated and dated Quality Control of empirical research; the transformation of faculty members into submissive and worn-out employees in an outdated production line; the outrageous wasting of budgets and resources; the rankings obsession that drags governments and institutions into a whirlwind of self-deception; The cynical monopoly and unabashed greediness of scientific publishing corporations; the lack of professionalism in managing institutions; the exploitation and deception of adjunct lecturers and research students; the waning attractiveness of an academic career; the transformation of the humanities into a pile of politically correct mumbo jumbo; the devaluation of the academic degree; the stubborn adherence to antiquated teaching methods and missing out on the Internet revolution; the disconnect between the curricula and the needs of society and the job market; and the marketing and branding ploys that are used to lure young people to sign up for expired institutions and courses.” 
The book also offers solutions to the problems it raises to improve the academic system. 

More specifically, touching upon the IAM concerns, the authors argue that “The politization of social sciences has pulled the rug out from under the feet of the claim that they provide a general education. A large share of the public is of the view that for years now, humanitarian and social sciences courses have served an extreme and in-your-face pseudo-humanitarian political propaganda, which seeks to undermine the very foundations of society and should therefore not be propped up by public funds.”

Since post-modernist trends have taken over social sciences and humanities – causing the relaxation of the needs for empirical evidence – it is precisely that, according to the authors, “where there are no quantitative figures, a phenomenon can easily be exaggerated and manipulatively interpreted, especially when the researcher comes to the study with ideological agendas and motivations.” In fact, under the heading of “Rewriting History,” the authors argue that “With so much desire to correct and balance the historical narrative, reality has been ‘renovated,’ by hiding, denying, and fabricating facts as well as exaggerating them.”  

There are chapters and subchapters such as “Closed Political Club,” questioning, “Are Academics leftists?” And another, discussing “Anti-Semitism and Hatred of Israel as a Test Case,” which deals with anti-Semitism on campus and the ties to BDS. The authors argue that “Many ‘scientific’ conventions in the humanities are tainted with distinct political color, and exclude researchers who do not align themselves with the agenda… Israeli experts, Jewish and others, whose thesis does not correspond with the pro-Palestinian narrative (which is, incidentally, mostly made up of lies), are boycotted on many campuses, their lectures torpedoed, and they are greeted with hateful graffiti, threats, and occasionally even physical violence.” The chapter discusses Israeli Apartheid Week activities on US campuses. The authors noted that “Many faculty in Israel and around the world – especially in the liberal arts – have become significant activists in the industry of lies, whose goal it is to demonize Israel.”

The book has met with a barrage of criticism from academics, but most importantly, it is generating an important debate. 
The book Academia: All the Lies: What Went Wrong in the University Model and What Will Come in its Place, is free of charge on Amazon Kindle eBooks.

https://www.academia.edu/43903387/Academia_All_the_Lies_What_Went_Wrong_in_the_University_Model_and_What_Will_Come_in_Its_Place

Academia: All the Lies – What Went Wrong in the University Model and What Will Come in Its Place

Tamar Almog, Oz Almog
Published 2020
Youth Culture, Education Systems, alternative instruction

Publication Date: 2020
Academia: All the Lies is an X-ray of the academic ivory tower. It exposes the successful method, which has decayed over time, and the culture of lying, denial and fixation that has taken over institutions of higher education across the world. It unfolds the inflation of scientific publications, which results in an alarming decline in the quality, relevance and reliability of science; the degenerated and dated Quality Control of empirical research; the transformation of faculty members into submissive and worn-out employees in an outdated production line; the outrageous wasting of budgets and resources; the rankings obsession that drags governments and institutions into a whirlwind of self-deception; The cynical monopoly and unabashed greediness of scientific publishing corporations; the lack of professionalism in managing institutions; the exploitation and deception of adjunct lecturers and research students; the waning attractiveness of an academic career; the transformation of the humanities into a pile of politically correct mumbo jumbo; the devaluation of the academic degree; the stubborn adherence to antiquated teaching methods and missing out on the Internet revolution; the disconnect between the curricula and the needs of society and the job market; and the marketing and branding ploys that are used to lure young people to sign up for expired institutions and courses. But this book is not just a depressing snapshot of stagnated intellectual elite, which shuts its eyes in the face of changing times and betrays its social mission. Alongside the harsh criticism, Tamar and Oz Almog propose a course of recalculation and transition to a fresh model of research and education, tailored to the 21st century. The COVID-19 crisis, which is shaking and will continue to rattle the education and science systems, will shortly make the prophetic prediction of the Almog’s a reality – in which everything we have known to date about education and science will change dramatically. “Academia: all the Lies,” which was first published in Israel and elicited widespread public discourse, is a must-read for future students and their parents, employers, media, and policymakers. It is also a must-read for anyone who is engaged in science and education or dreams of a career in the field.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments xiii
1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
2 Survival at All Costs: The Economic Crisis ……………………………………………… 6
The Tectonic Rift of 2008 ……………………………………………………………………………6
End of the Age of Abundance …………………………………………………………………….7
Limiting the Privileges of the Aristocracy …………………………………………………..11
You’ll Approve Mine and I’ll Approve Yours ………………………………………………15
Two Are Fewer Than One …………………………………………………………………………18
Professional Mishmash ……………………………………………………………………………..21
Donors Close Their Wallets ………………………………………………………………………24
The Dubious Honor of Honorary Degrees …………………………………………………30
The Deceptive Demand for Higher Education …………………………………………..32
Higher Education for All …………………………………………………………………….32
Tuition Fees Increase More and More ………………………………………………….35
The Growing Burden of Subsidization …………………………………………………38
The Heavy Shadow of the Mountain of Debt ……………………………………………..39
A Temporary Lifeline from China ……………………………………………………………..42
The Exploited Workforce of Academia ………………………………………………………48
A Bottomless Barrel of Pension Debts ………………………………………………………..57
How Much Is Eureka Worth—And to Whom ……………………………………………..61
Clinging to the Foundation ………………………………………………………………………66
Sources of Funding for Scientific Research …………………………………………..66
The Race to the Research Budget ………………………………………………………..69
When Money Talks – Academia suffers …………………………………………………70
Flaws in the Traditional Financing Model …………………………………………….74
Out-of-the-Box Ideas …………………………………………………………………………..81
“Crowdfunding” in the Service of Science …………………………………………….83
Industry Takes the Crown …………………………………………………………………………88
Research Collaborations ……………………………………………………………………..88
Relationship Issues ……………………………………………………………………………..90
3 An Avalanche of Papers: The Crisis of Scientific Publishing …………………….. 97
A Scientist’s Workday ………………………………………………………………………………..97
The Scientific Journal ……………………………………………………………………………..102
The Industry of Science ………………………………………………………………………….105
The Hidden (and Rising) Bar ………………………………………………………………….108
Publish or Perish …………………………………………………………………………………….113
Struggling to Keep Up the Pace ………………………………………………………………121
The Poll-Itis Epidemic …………………………………………………………………………….126
Junk Science …………………………………………………………………………………………..132
Texts Without Readers ………………………………………………………………………132
More Quantity, Less Quality ………………………………………………………………133
A Leg Up from Musk …………………………………………………………………………137
Deceit in the Name of Truth ……………………………………………………………………139
A Breach of Trust ………………………………………………………………………………139
What’s Yours Is Mine …………………………………………………………………………141
Unraveling the Knot of Silence ……………………………………………………………….142
Half-Hearted Confessions ………………………………………………………………….142
You Can’t Get the Same Results Twice ………………………………………………..144
Positive Results Only …………………………………………………………………………145
Take It Back ……………………………………………………………………………………..146
And Yet—Denial ……………………………………………………………………………….148
The Black Market of Scientific Publishing ………………………………………………..151
A Mirror Up to Science …………………………………………………………………………..156
Fake Conferences, Too ……………………………………………………………………………158
It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know……………………………………….158
Too Good to Pass Up …………………………………………………………………………161
The Hypocrisy of the Rich …………………………………………………………………162
Slowing Down the Rat Race …………………………………………………………………….166
4 The Great Science Robbery: The Crisis of Access ………………………………….170
Maxwell’s Magic Formula ………………………………………………………………………..170
The Reign of the Publishers ……………………………………………………………………175
The Crisis of the Academic Libraries ……………………………………………………….177
Open Access Publishing, Ltd. ………………………………………………………………….180
The Disappointing “Academic Spring” …………………………………………………….185
“Robin Hoods” In the Name of Access ……………………………………………………..188
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em – Buy ‘Em ……………………………………………………………..191
Towards the Triumph of Fairness and Reason …………………………………………..1955 Archaic Peer Review: The Quality Assurance Crisis ………………………………..206
Is Truth Dead? ………………………………………………………………………………………..206
The Scientific Review Mechanism ……………………………………………………………207
Trial by Friends …………………………………………………………………………………207
Behind the Scenes …………………………………………………………………………….210
Who Wants to Be a Reviewer? …………………………………………………………….211
The March of Anguish ………………………………………………………………………213
Criticizing the Critics ………………………………………………………………………………218
The “Lesser of Two Evils” Trap ………………………………………………………………..238
The Solution Right Under Their Noses ……………………………………………………245
The Pre-print Path …………………………………………………………………………….245
Open Platforms for Scientific Discussion ……………………………………………247
The Convention-Shattering Encyclopedia of the Masses ………………………248
Science 2.0: End of the Reign of Journals …………………………………………..253
6 The Measurement Madness: The Rating Crisis ………………………………………261
Can we grade scientific products? Should we? ………………………………………….261
Tell Me Where You Published, and I Will Tell You What
Kind of Scientist You Are …………………………………………………………………..265
The Reference Criteria ……………………………………………………………………..265
Influence and Quality – Is That So? ……………………………………………………266
Everything for a Good Place on the Charts ………………………………………………277
Phony Protests and Reservations ……………………………………………………………..279
The Spotlight is Pointed at the Scientists ………………………………………………….281
Another Kind of Statistical Madness …………………………………………………..281
More Indices, More Problems ……………………………………………………………283
Continuing to Market a Defective Product ………………………………………….288
Which is the Best University? …………………………………………………………………..289
The American League ……………………………………………………………………….289
The Shanghai Surprise ………………………………………………………………………291
Experts at the Crown’s Service …………………………………………………………..293
A Formula Filled with Flaws, Mistakes, and Misdirections …………………….295
Flavor Enhancers for Spoiled Food …………………………………………………….307
The Trap of the Governmental Budgeting Model……………………………………..308
The Statistical Tables Have Turned ………………………………………………………….313
7 To a Lesser Degree: The Crisis of Higher Education ………………………………317
Cracks in the Myth ………………………………………………………………………………….317Depreciation of the Degree …………………………………………………………………….318
Degree Inflation ……………………………………………………………………………….318
An Expired Entrance Pass ………………………………………………………………….323
Diminishing Returns …………………………………………………………………………325
Not Ready for the Job Market …………………………………………………………….327
With Narrow Horizons ………………………………………………………………………329
The Deserted Campus Quads …………………………………………………………….336
Wasteful Subsidization …………………………………………………………………………….337
A Worn-Out Model of Instruction ……………………………………………………………341
Here but Not Hear ……………………………………………………………………………343
A Buffet-Style Learning Menu ……………………………………………………………347
Too Long, Didn’t Read It …………………………………………………………………..348
The Professor Has No Clothes …………………………………………………………..349
The Student is Always Right …………………………………………………………………….356
Re-Setting Expectations …………………………………………………………………….356
Shaming Disobedient Professors ………………………………………………………..358
Fast-Degree ………………………………………………………………………………………360
Same Old Bess in a New Dress ……………………………………………………………361
Honors Students Only ……………………………………………………………………….362
Can’t Stop the (Online) Course ………………………………………………………………370
Correspondence Learning …………………………………………………………………370
A New World of Screens …………………………………………………………………….371
Technological Improvements in the Classroom …………………………………..372
Let’s Share ……………………………………………………………………………………….374
From Dozens to Millions ……………………………………………………………………376
An “Exit” for Educational Initiatives …………………………………………………..377
The Year of the MOOC ……………………………………………………………………..378
No Longer a Marginal Phenomenon ………………………………………………….382
The Profit Dilemma ………………………………………………………………………….386
The Feedback Dilemma …………………………………………………………………….389
The Dropout Dilemma ……………………………………………………………………..390
Cut the Bullshit …………………………………………………………………………………393
The End of the Beginning …………………………………………………………………394
The Path to the Post-Academic Era ………………………………………………………….398
Studies Without Borders ……………………………………………………………………398
Fast Track to Employment …………………………………………………………………400
From Training to Job Placement ………………………………………………………..403
A Playlist of Certifications ………………………………………………………………….406
It Doesn’t Matter Where You Studied …………………………………………………407A Free Market of Education ………………………………………………………………408
Co-Learning Spaces …………………………………………………………………………..414
It’s OK Not to Go to College ……………………………………………………………..416
8 Liberating the Arts: The Crisis of the Humanities ………………………………….420
It’s Harder for the Soft Sciences ………………………………………………………………420
The Diminution of the American Mind ……………………………………………………423
A Cry of Bloody Murder Born of Denial …………………………………………………..424
Why Did Students Stop Showing Up? ………………………………………………………434
A World Without Truth …………………………………………………………………………..439
Is Everything Relative? ………………………………………………………………………441
The Critical Science Oxymoron …………………………………………………………446
The Identity Ball ……………………………………………………………………………….454
A Flawed Correctness ………………………………………………………………………..456
Closed Political Club ………………………………………………………………………………459
Are academics leftists? ……………………………………………………………………….459
Intolerance in the Temple of Pluralism ………………………………………………466
Anti-Semitism and Hatred of Israel as a Test Case ……………………………….468
The Boundaries of Academic Discussion …………………………………………….474
The Cumulative Image Damage from Radicalism ……………………………….478
Do the Humanities Have a Right to Exist in Their Current Format? ………….482
9 The Lost Paradise: The Crisis of the Academic Career ……………………………489
Falling in Love with Academia …………………………………………………………………489
The Illusion of Discovery ………………………………………………………………………..491
The Illusion of a Job ……………………………………………………………………………….492
Advanced Studies ……………………………………………………………………………..492
Between Student and Advisor …………………………………………………………….494
The Thesis and Its Review ………………………………………………………………….495
Is It Worth the Effort? ……………………………………………………………………….497
Why Are Moths Attracted to the Flame? ……………………………………………..504
The Social Price of the Surplus of Doctoral Students …………………………..505
The Illusion of Stability …………………………………………………………………………..507
All or Nothing …………………………………………………………………………………..507
Abolishing Tenure …………………………………………………………………………….511
The Illusion of Sabbatical Leave ………………………………………………………………513
The Illusion of Wages ……………………………………………………………………………..515
The Illusion of Promotion ………………………………………………………………………518Non-Hierarchical Hierarchy ………………………………………………………………518
The Bureaucracy of Rank ………………………………………………………………….520
Donning Wigs, Raising Eyebrows, and Arguing Over Nothing ……………..522
Professional Bribery, Intrigue and Shady deals ……………………………………534
The Illusion of Gender Equality ………………………………………………………………536
The Feminist Revolution Gears Down ………………………………………………..536
Hidden Gaps …………………………………………………………………………………….538
Research is Fun. Kids—Not as Much ………………………………………………….542
The Illusion of Peace of Mind …………………………………………………………………544
The Illusion of Reputation ………………………………………………………………………547
The Future of the Academic Career …………………………………………………………549
10 The End of the Age of Academia: A General Diagnosis and Prognosis ………551
The Lies and Denial ……………………………………………………………………………….551
On the Verge of Financial Bankruptcy ……………………………………………………..552
On the Verge of Moral Bankruptcy ………………………………………………………….555
On the Verge of Scientific Bankruptcy ……………………………………………………..556
On the Verge of Managerial Bankruptcy ………………………………………………….557
On the Verge of Educational Bankruptcy …………………………………………………558
Scientific Research in Academia—Trends and Recommendations …………….560
Publicly Owned, Not Privately Owned, Scientific Publications ……………..560
Mass Review, Not Judgment by the Few ………………………………………………561
Rankings Based on the Book, Not the Cover ………………………………………563
Self-Evident Greatness, Not Obsolete Status Symbols …………………………..563
Higher Education—Trends and Recommendations ………………………………….564
Zoom Out to Online Courses (Amid the Coronavirus Crisis) ………………564
Many Courses from Many Sources ……………………………………………………..570
Wallet-of-Expertise, Not Broad Academic Degree ……………………………….572
Subsidizing Learners, Not Institutions ………………………………………………..573
Autonomous Learners, Not Patronizing Teachers ……………………………….575
Getting Practical Education, Not A Symbolic Diploma ………………………..576
A Real Discussion of Core Curriculum, Not Loose and
Sloppy General Education ……………………………………………………………577
Learning Spaces Around Town, Not a Closed Campus ………………………..578
Intermediate Guide for the Perplexed ……………………………………………….578
Tearing Down the University Conglomerate …………………………………………….579
Separating the Professor from the Scientist ………………………………………..579
Separating Teaching from Evaluation …………………………………………………581
The Next Generation of Science ………………………………………………………..582A Market for Education and a Market for Research …………………………….582
An Updated Model for Science Funding …………………………………………….586
Reinforcing Basic Research ……………………………………………………………….587
The Crisis in Academia as an Expression of the Crisis in American Culture ..589
Point of No Return …………………………………………………………………………………591
Endnotes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..597

Introduction

Landscape-altering shockwaves are a feature not only of nature, but are also found in
human society. The source of the powerful energy propelling them is nearly always
the bursting on the scene of a new technology which dwarfs whatever came before. It
rapidly changes entrenched social patterns, and leads us to a crossroads characterized
by a mixture of desperation and hope, conservatism and innovation, passivity and activity
– and especially instability and uncertainty. Charles Dickens best described such
sociological circumstances in his classic historical novel “A Tale of Two Cities” (1859):
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the
age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was
the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the
winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us”.1
Bizarrely, almost mystically, the Hebrew edition of this book came out about a
week before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. While the publisher’s PR department
was distributing copies to the media, most Israeli citizens were placed under
home quarantine and bookstores, like nearly all other establishments, remained
deserted. The book could, of course, be delivered or purchased in digital versions,
but by this stage no one was thinking of buying anything other than food, medicine
or toilet paper.
But what was initially perceived as a bad case of the author’s curse quickly
turned into a blessing in disguise, or more accurately, a reinforcement of thebook’s thesis on academia. It promptly became apparent that the forced quarantine,
which kept millions in their homes and forced them to increase their use of
digital media, was about to become a particle accelerator for the accessibility and
flexibility which is revolutionizing how we are provided service, how we work, and
how we study. In fact, everything we had predicted for the future of science and
higher education now seems on the brink of fulfillment, and at a much faster pace
than we expected.
The fact that institutions of higher education were forced to turn around and
immediately make the switch to online studies turned the spotlight on our book. It
was covered extensively by Israeli media and, despite the impaired market, quickly
became a bestseller.
In mid-May, we were invited by the Council of Higher Education in Israel to give
an online lecture on the book to the directors of all organizations devoted to the
advancement of teaching in Israeli institutions. A short while later, the Universities
of Tel Aviv and Haifa held an online panel on the book and the changes expected in
academia following the coronavirus crisis. The Haifa panel included a Nobel Prize
winner in Chemistry, the president of a technological college, and one of the most
prominent authors in Israel, who is also a professor in the humanities. While we
were writing a book on the fall of academia, never in our wildest dreams would we
have expected that the book would be received by way of webinars attended by hundreds—
gatherings at which no one would need any convincing that we are entering
a new era for science and education.
Academia—named after the Athenian hero Academus—was born in ancient
Greece as a meeting point for lectures (historians unanimously agree that this is
where Plato spoke with his students), but only in the 17th century did the ancient
term turn into a common phrase among European scholars. With time, it became
a generalizing synonym for the mechanisms of science and higher education in the
modern age.
The development of academia from ancient times until today is a fascinating
evolutionary story, encompassing continents, nations and cultures. It is a relay race
of the human spirit which has launched humanity towards immense achievements.
But success is not invulnerable, and that which has worked in the past will not necessarily
work in the future—especially when a substitute is found.
Few in our day are able to imagine a world without institutions of higher education,
but remember that in the not-so-distant past, no one could imagine soldiers
without swords, farmers without horses, or mail without paper.
People are able to comprehend and digest small changes in their lives, but find
it difficult to accept the idea that even those basic and established arrangementswhich they have always taken for granted will one day disappear. Universities are
somewhat taken for granted by many of us.
We live in a time that has seen a rapid rise in the percentage of academics among
the general population, a consistent improvement in quality of life and lifespan, and
an explosion of innovations and inventions. It seems that science is more successful
than ever, and that higher education is blossoming. But this picture is misleading.
Global academia is in the throes of its broadest crisis yet. It is an economic, intellectual,
organizational, moral, and educational crisis, and it is not a malfunction or
some kind of temporary failure. The traditional university model, with roots in the
Middle Ages, is in advanced stages of erosion and is sending off distress signals because
it, like other traditional models in our times, is being subjected to structural
changes. We are in the midst of a period of immense change, in which the old is no
longer suitable and a substitute, born of dynamics of friction, is in its infancy.
Although the crisis in higher education is the focus of conversation in the academic
community, and has engendered an endless array of papers, reports and
books on the issue, its true dimensions and its dramatic consequences are hidden
from most of the public, and in truth, from most of the world’s scientists and professors
as well. Academia is still deep in denial, misleading itself and the public, and is
therefore finding it difficult to understand the true nature of things, and to reach
educated and resolute decisions.
The purpose of this book is to put the puzzle pieces together to form a panoramic
overview of the state of higher education worldwide. However, this is not
only a critical essay, meant to open eyes to the dawning of a new era, but also an optimistic
projection, and in some ways, a recommendation for a rejuvenating model
of research and education suitable for the 21st century.
The human race is fast approaching a historical turning point in which the academic
bubble will be burst wide open, institutions of higher education will lose their
monopoly, and a scientific career will look much different than it does now.
Before we get into the thick of things, we must emphasize a few points for our
readers:
 This book deals with the most common and prominent phenomena in academia
around the world, especially in leading scientific countries, and not
with the nuances which uniquely characterize each nation and institution.
 The many footnotes and endnotes woven throughout the book include not
only references for the data and insights contained in the text, but also professional
literature meant to expand the reader’s view. In this sense, thebook also serves as a collection of important sources for any discussion of
the current and future state of academia.
 Our book is fairly expansive compared to standard nonfiction (and we apologize
to our readers for that), but it’s not that, to paraphrase the great Mark
Twain, we would write you a shorter book but we didn’t have the time. In
fact, it is just the opposite. After a research and writing process which took
up three years, we tried to summarize as much as we could for our readers
the complex landscape of a complex system in a complex time. Each chapter
deals with a different aspect of the academic ecosystem, and an omission
of any one of these would have caused us to stray further from the goal.
Furthermore, because there is a sort of grave “indictment” here, we felt compelled
to anchor it in as wide a range as possible of evidence, and to present
arguments from different angles.
But there is another reason for the expansiveness of the text. Most of
the public—including a large proportion of scientists—is not familiar, or
only partially familiar, with the meandering mechanism of global academia.
The creaks in the old system cannot be comprehended, nor can the necessity
of changing the system, without first understanding its basic principles.
Therefore, we devoted more than a few pages in each chapter for an overview
of this kind. This book is thus also an ethnographic document for those
interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of academia.
 The comprehensive overview we have put together is based on thousands
of sources: papers, books, surveys, reports, informational websites, discussion
platforms, and blogs. In order to get a sense of the field and hone our
insights, we have interviewed 212 academics of various levels of seniority and
from a number of countries: Israel, the United States, England, Scotland,
Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Japan and
Taiwan. Most of those interviewed requested that they remain anonymous,
and we therefore decided not to use any names. Here we must note: the
fear held by many faculty members, including senior academics, of exposing
themselves is a symptom of the grim state of academia. We hope that
a time will come in which scientists and lecturers will feel safe to freely express
themselves regarding any and all problems and difficulties in their
workplace.
During our visits to campuses around the world, we also spoke with
many students, who added insights from the point of view of those doing
the studying. We compounded these observations with those collected a few
years earlier during our research on Generation Y in Israel. This study of theyounger generation, published in 2016, made waves and stirred a wide-ranging
debate among the general public, as well as in academia (the English
version of the book was published in 2019).2
For us, this book was a grueling and complicated journey. We made an effort to base
our diagnosis and prognosis on as wide an infrastructure as possible of data (which
was not always available or complete), but nothing is over yet. Naturally, some errors,
inaccuracies, and omissions were committed. We would be grateful for any
comments and additions by readers, and we will do our best to include these in the
next edition. Either way, we see the book as fertile ground for a debate on an issue
whose significance to society, and to all of humanity, is hard to underestimate.
A personal note in conclusion: we feel very lucky that we have gotten the opportunity
to be citizens in a democratic country which encourages critical debate, and
to work at a scientific institution which allows free research. But by the same token,
we are heartbroken that in the current state of global academia, it is highly doubtful
that younger researchers, without a tenured position and under pressure to publish
as fast as they can, would dare take such a project upon themselves. We hope our
book contributes to changing this reality.

BDS Activist in Israeli University: Tom Pessach at TAU

19.08.2020
Editorial Note 

In 2015, IAM wrote that Dr. Tom Pessah is an outlier even by the standards of radical Israeli faculty.  He is a veteran professional activist who tends to sport a Keffiyeh during public events. Pessah’s Ph.D. thesis from Berkeley University was titled “Backgrounding: The meaning of cleansing in Israel/Palestine, 1948”.  He is an ardent BDS activist and a supporter of a binational state, as he detailed in “Who’s Afraid of the Right of Return?”  

Pessah is the chairperson of Zochrot, an organization dedicated to the Palestinian right of return. Of late, Pessach is the book review editor of the Tel Aviv University academic journal Israeli Sociology and also sometimes lectures at the Sociology and Anthropology at TAU.

IAM also reported that Pessah has pursued postdoctoral positions at the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and has taught two courses: “Ethnicity and ‘Race’ – A Global Perspective” at the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Ben-Gurion University; and “Violence and Politics – Selected Topics” at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University.  Between 2017 to 2019 He was a fellow at a Van Leer Institute Jerusalem project.

Pessah often promotes his extremist political ideology. In 2016 he organized a conference for Zochrot “Third International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees,” where he wrote, “Zochrot works to promote recognition and responsibility-taking by Jewish Israeli society for its part in the ongoing Nakba and realize the return of Palestinian refugees as the necessary redress of the Nakba.”

Pessah was the recipient of the Morris Ginsberg fellowship in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for 2014-5.   The Fellowship was created through a grant of Morris Ginsberg, an eminent British-Jewish sociologist, to nurture postdoctoral students specializing in cutting edge research.  Unfortunately, it was used to finance Pessah’s activism with Zochrot.

Pessah’s endorsement of BDS is clear. In 2010, a bill in “Support of UC Divestment from War Crimes,” was co-authored by Pessah.  On October 29, 2018, in a teach-in at the University of Michigan, titled “What is BDS? And Why Does it Matter?” Pessah spoke as an expert on the BDS movement, where he said: “BDS has been a model of solidarity from my knowledge of participation in the movement… You see many Palestinians, many Jews, many Israelis working side by side, acknowledging the rights of Palestinians.”    

In an article published by Zochrot, “Imagining Return” in 2012, Pessah reveals something of his motivation.  The piece was “Dedicated to my comrades in Students for Justice in Palestine.”  He explained that “I get regularly hugged by Palestinians. Not everyone hates us …  I have Palestinian friends: they cook for me; they laugh at my jokes; we gossip; they burn discs for me; we get all mushy and cheesy with each other.” 
IAM often reported how Israeli academic-activists have been recruited by Palestinians.
Israeli universities should not tolerate BDS activists among their ranks. The Minister of Higher Education, Zeev Elkin, should look into this matter.

  The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University 

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

https://socis.tau.ac.il/index.php/en/about-us

Israeli Sociology A Journal for the Study of Society in Israel

About Us

Founded in 1998, Israeli Sociology is published in Hebrew twice yearly. The journal serves as a platform for local studies, yet in dialogue with sociological scholarship around the world. The journal encourages a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, in line with the heterogeneity of the discipline. It further offers a platform for debating the sociological research agenda in general and the sociological reality in Israel in particular. The journal also includes an extensive book-review section that allows readers a wide-range view of the Israeli social scene. Israeli Sociology was founded by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University, and is supported by the Institute for Social Research (established by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University) and by the Israeli Sociological Society.

Editor: Alexandra Kalev

Book Review Editor: Tom Pessah

Editorial Assistant: Dana Vaknin

Board Members

Adi Moreno, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Avihu Shoshana, Erica Weiss, Galit Ailon, Gil Eyal, Gili Drori, Hadas Mandel, Isaac Sasson, Nissim Leon, Nitza Berkovitch, Yariv Feniger, Yehouda Shenhav

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

https://www.hfg.org/gumtree/Display/HFGDisplay.cfm?GID=311

Title: Backgrounding: The meaning of cleansing in Israel/Palestine, 1948 

Name: Tom Pessah tompessah@gmail.com 

Year: 2012 

Type: Dissertation Fellowship

Summary: 

Political sociologist Michael Mann posits the existence of a relationship between democracy in settler states and the massive cleansing of indigenous groups. The connection, according to Mann, is that these democracies represented settlers who shared a consensual ideology that denigrated indigenous groups and justified their cleansing. Through a series of comparisons between several settler democracies: California in 1860, Colorado in 1864, Queensland (Australia) between the 1860s and the 1880s, New Zealand in the 1860s, and Israel in 1948, I show that these settler societies were more ideologically diverse than Mann and others claim, and therefore more prone to internal disagreements. To overcome this diversity, the initiators of the cleansing used indiscriminate violence towards indigenous groups but were forced to present their actions as discriminate before state officials: they used one type of classification to overshadow another. This was a crucial condition for securing state resources for large-scale operations that caused massive deaths and displacement of indigenous groups. It also served to enhance the economic resources and status of the perpetrators both in relation to these groups and in relation to rivals within the settler society. In addition, the state’s representation of the cleansing has long-reaching effects on the legal status of indigenes and their lands and on the official narration of this history. The empirical chapters describe struggles within these democratic settler societies showing that securing the representation of the cleansing was crucial to its execution. The chapters on California, Colorado, and Queensland rely upon the protocols of investigative committees set up after episodes of costly state-sponsored violence. New Zealand is described through secondary sources. The chapter on Israel discusses the army’s operational orders, as well as interviews conducted with veterans, which can help us reconstruct how official representations were interpreted by actors on the ground.

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

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

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

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

https://www.vanleer.org.il/he/node/841

מפגשים בין האנתרופולוגיה להיסטוריה במחקר המרחב הישראלי-פלסטיני

אנתרופולוגיה   |   היסטוריה   |   היסטוריה חברתית   |   ישראל-פלסטיןשנות פעילות: 2011 – 2013

סטטוס:

לא פעילהראש/י קבוצה:ד”ר דפנה הירשמשתתפים: 

ספא אבורביעה, רמי אדוט, נעמה בן זאב, נאור בן יהוידע, שני בר און, יפעת גוטמן, דפנה הירש, מנאר חסן, בועז לב טוב, ראודה מורקוס-מח’ול, בני נוריאלי, רגב נתנזון, אריז’ סבאע’-ח’ורי, יובל עברי, תום פסח, טלי פפרמן, סמדר שרוןשתף דף זה:

על אודות בשלושת העשורים האחרונים חלה בין האנתרופולוגיה להיסטוריה התקרבות שמתבטאת בכמות הולכת וגדלה של עבודות המשתמשות במקביל בכלים מחקריים של שתי הדיסציפלינות. המפגש בין ההיסטוריה לאנתרופולוגיה עשוי לבוא לידי ביטוי בשימוש במתודות פרשניות מתחום האנתרופולוגיה לניתוח תופעות היסטוריות; בחקירת קהילות מסוימות שהתקיימו בעבר, ושבאמצעותן אפשר לבחון “שאלות גדולות” (כגון היחס בין מבנה חברתי לפעולה, טיבו של הכוח הפוליטי, דפוסים של יחסים חברתיים וכיוצא באלה); ובמחקר אנתרופולוגי המעמיד במרכזו תהליך שינוי היסטורי, או המבקש להבין תהליכים חברתיים המתרחשים בהווה דרך חקר שורשיהם ההיסטוריים. על אף התפתחות זו, המפגש בין האנתרופולוגיה להיסטוריה כמעט לא נתן את אותותיו בשדה האקדמי הישראלי.  מטרת הקבוצה לפתח כלים למחקר ההיסטוריה החברתית, התרבותית והפוליטית של המרחב הישראלי-פלסטיני, הנשענים על נקודות המפגש שבין האנתרופולוגיה להיסטוריה. העמדה המחקרית שאנו מבקשים לפתח מקדמת הקשבה לסיפורי חיים, מתן תשומת לב לפרקטיקות יומיומיות וליחסים בין דמויות וקהילות, וניסיון לעמוד על האופנים השונים והמשתנים שבהם הן מבינות את המציאות ומייצרות אותה כחלק ממשא ומתן מתמשך המתנהל בינן לבין המדינה וסוכניה. באמצעות עמדה זו אנו מבקשים לנסח אלטרנטיבה ל”לאומיות המתודולוגית” הרווחת, ולתרום הן לפיתוח הכלים התיאורטיים והמתודולוגיים העומדים לרשותנו והן לדיון הציבורי.

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

https://zochrot.org/en/article/54388
Imagining Return Dedicated to my comrades in Students for Justice in Palestine By: Tom Pessah 10/2012   Tom Pessah (on the left) with Zochrot at The Human Rights March in Tel Aviv 2012  

This text was publishe first here.

I should have taken your email! People were all around us at the rally, shouting and singing, I really wanted to talk to someone but I didn’t notice how well you were listening, how you had patience to talk to me and read the flyer I was distributing. You had a red beard and skullcap, and a blue shirt with “Israeli Peace” on it. I wore the black shirt of Students for Justice in Palestine.

You read my flyer and asked me, “where it says in 1967 Israel occupied more territories populated by Palestinians, what do you mean by ‘more’? Are you saying Israel of 1948 was also conquered”?

I know what you are really asking: do “we people” recognize “your” right to exist, or… you know, want to throw you into the sea?

Dude, I’m an Israeli Jew, just like you! I don’t want to throw any Israelis into the sea, honestly. I’m a horrible swimmer and I have asthma, so although the sea in Tel Aviv is warmer than around here, I’d rather just look at the waves, maybe dip in my toes once in a while. Besides, the sea gets polluted: throwing people in could be dangerous!

But because I am Israeli, I know where you’re coming from. This question is one of our formulas, isn’t it? The ones we use when people tell us they were displaced in 1948, and we get really scared. You know them all by heart, don’t you? “These things happen in wars”; “If they had won they would have done the same”; “If they hadn’t rejected the partition plan in 1947, it wouldn’t have happened”; “the Arab states should have done more for them”, etc., etc.

I’ve tried not using those formulas and just listening to Palestinians telling me the place they are from, the place they can’t return to. I’ve tried looking at them straight in the eye when they say it, without responding. I feel so nervous it makes me sick in the stomach. I cringe. I feel like I’m going to explode.

Because when I look them in the eye, it stops being “us and “them”. For one moment, I wonder what if I was “them”. In Lydda, Yitzhak Rabin drove them out, firing shots above their heads; he tells the story in his memoirs. In Al-Majdal, which is Ashkelon today, they were loaded onto trucks after the fighting ended, and dumped on the other side of the border. In Jaffa they really were driven into the sea, under bombardment. Children were lost in the waves as their families fled to Gaza in fishing boats (did you know that? It was we who threw them into the sea, not the other way round!).  And then we took all of their property and they stayed refugees, for sixty years. For sixty years!

Now they are here, and here are their children, looking at me, straight in the eye. Do you see why we are so scared?

But they are just looking at me, actually they are smiling. You may not believe me, but I get regularly hugged by Palestinians. Not everyone hates us, Aryeh (I think you said that was your name?). I have Palestinian friends: they cook for me; they laugh at my jokes; we gossip; they burn discs for me; we get all mushy and cheesy with each other.

Yeah, don’t tell me: maybe my friends are nice, but how can I generalize? What about all the suicide bombers, all those photos of little babies dressed with weapons, don’t “they” teach their children to hate us? And then I could quote you some surveys about attitudes to Israel and willingness to compromise, and there we go, straight back to cliché-land.

Let’s go another way, and look at that fear again. A lot of it has got to do with this Right of Return thing. What do you imagine when you think of it? For a long time I was too scared to even try to picture it, but when I did, the first image that came up was from the Westerns I watched as a kid: the Indians swarming down the hills, shrieking, shooting arrows or whatever weapon people use nowadays: The attack of the barbarians.

But maybe imagine something different: a plane landing in Ben-Gurion airport with some “new immigrants” from the refugee camps in Lebanon. This really pompous politician is out to greet them, smiling from ear to ear. The first refugee comes down the steps and shakes people’s hands. The politician uses some fancy clichés, welcoming them to their homeland. These cute kids, third graders, are standing in line, with huge bouquets of flowers, too big for them to hold, pointing at the refugees who just got off the plane, looking a bit dazed by the strong sunlight and the humidity. And then some representative from the Ministry of the Interior goes up and gets their details. She’ll be calling them tomorrow about arrangements, where to go to from the hostel, when they can learn Hebrew, she’ll give them the contact information of the organizations that have volunteered to help them. And welcome back home, by the way.

There, isn’t that a nicer image than the previous one? But you think I’m totally crazy, don’t you? Don’t I realize the implications? What about the demographic balance? What about the Jewish nature of the state? What about all we have built over the last sixty years? Don’t Jews need a safe haven? And our right for self-determination?

So the options you are giving me, Aryeh, are these: we could get to keep our right for self-determination, our safe haven, my favorite bookshop-cafe in Rabin square in Tel Aviv, the songs my mother likes to hear on the radio on the holidays, our wonderful Hebrew slang, our “dugri” directness and our weather (well, maybe not our weather, at least not in August). But then I need to look my Palestinian friends in the eye and tell them: no matter how much you miss your homeland, you are never going back. Not you, not your parents, not your children, not your grandchildren, nor your grandchildren’s grandchildren. We got to miss the Holy Land for two thousand years, but you’re not Jewish, so you will never ever be allowed to return.

Or, we could completely destroy Israel, raze everything to the ground. Bring bulldozers, knock down all the beautiful buildings of Tel Aviv University, the mounds of grass, the corner outside the Arts building where students and teachers smoke weed together, the little frame-shaped sculpture that overlooks the sea, the café outside the university with the hot Moroccan shakshuka, we can knock down all of these and turn the university back into Sheikh Muwwanis, and let the refugees live in the village that was there before.

And you’re saying these are the only two possibilities. Seriously? Is that the best we Jews can come up with? We, the People of the Book? With Einstein and all our Nobel prize winners? With our Ladino love songs and marvelous Yiddish curses? With all of our films, winning prizes at every festival? Our thousands of years of poetry, from the Song of Songs to Amichai and Yonah Volach? The agricultural innovations we export to the whole world? Are you seriously suggesting that these two miserable options are the best we can think of? Why, I find that almost offensive. Aren’t we a little bit smarter than that?

Do I have a solution? I do have some ideas, but what I really want is to get people talking. I want to hear Palestinians telling us what they miss most, where they would like to live, what they would want it to be like. And we could tell them what is important to us, what we have learned over the last sixty years. It’s like two flatmates about to move in together – where shall we put the couch? What time do you get up in the morning? Oh no! Do you snore? Don’t waste all of that hot water in the shower! Those are the conversations we need to be having.

Now you really think I’m nuts, don’t you? We could be talking millions of people here, it’s a huge upheaval, where will we put them all?

The short answer is – we’ve done it before. Every time a wave of Jewish immigrants came to Israel, people said it would never work, there would be no room, everyone will starve. But we managed, somehow. This is no different. In fact, we’re stronger and more experienced now.

And the longer answer is that the reason this seems unimaginable is simply because of our fear. That fear has deep roots: Jews and Israelis have definitely been attacked and hurt, time and time again. It’s through this fear that we tend to think we are dealing with some kind of virus that must be kept in isolation. But Palestinians are human beings, and they deserve to be treated that way. We really could try and do that for a change, instead of forcing them to the other side of the border, setting up walls and checkpoints and prisons, and pretending any of that is a solution.

To truly overcome fear, reading this letter won’t be enough. What you need to do is to hang out with some of my Palestinian friends, see them celebrating Hanukka and Passover with us, stuff grapeleaves with them, all of that mushiness I was referring to earlier. You have no idea how much fun it is: let me know when you’re coming. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it! Just give it a try. 

SOAS Academic Board Manipulated by Pro-Palestinian Activists

SOAS Academic Board Manipulated by Pro-Palestinian Activists

12.08.2020

Editorial Note

A Hebrew University program teaching Hebrew to students from SOAS London University was terminated due to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups. Behind the termination is Dr. Yair Wallach, the chair of the Jewish Studies at SOAS, and Dr. Tamar Drukker, a Hebrew lector who both succumbed to Palestinian pressure.

Wallach was trying to conceal his role in the termination, but the protocols of the Academic Board meetings reveal he provided the Board with false and politically motivated information.

In a recent exchange of Tweets with Pinsker Center, a pro-Israel student group in the UK, Wallach accused the Pinsker Centre of circulating unfounded rumors. A day before, Pinsker Center Tweeted that “It has been reported that @SOAS has bowed down to student pressure, and terminated its relationship with @HebrewU. Why should pressure from a minority fringe of activists deprive other students of the opportunity to enrich themselves at a world class institution in Israel?” Wallach responded that he was “disappointed” to see such “unfounded rumors,” claiming that “SOAS’s Year Abroad agreement with the Hebrew University ended as planned. SOAS signed a new agreement with Haifa University. Decision made on academic reasons. That’s it.” He added that the “Programs in both universities are excellent. We chose what seemed to us more suitable.”

Obviously, Wallach was unaware that the Palestinian group “Apartheid Off Campus” was claiming victory for this termination.

Unfortunately, Wallach was not telling the truth. In both January and March 2019, the Academic Board of SOAS convened to discuss the ‘Hebrew Year Abroad.’ Wallach prepared the reports for the two Board meetings, along with Dr. Tamar Drukker, his colleague from Jewish studies. The report is supportive of the Year Abroad program, “The premise of the Year Abroad is to allow students to study the language in an immersive environment, where they encounter it not only in language classes. This is the pedagogical value and logic of the Year Abroad.”

However, Wallach and Drukker informed the Board that “The main objection raised in the case of the Hebrew University is that the campus is on occupied territory.” Because “the campus’s periphery extends into occupied territory (part of the dormitory as well as the sports center). The main campus is not on occupied land (neither the Rothberg institute nor any other Hebrew University teaching facility). EU policy, according to the EU embassy in Israel, is to consider Mt. Scopus Campus as within the 1967 lines, that is, within “Israel proper,” and not to see the campus as located on occupied territory.”

Surprisingly, while Wallach and Drukker announced that Hebrew University is not situated on “occupied land,” they still proposed “two alternative options,” for teaching Hebrew – at the Palestinian Territories universities of Bir Zeit and al-Quds.

The report by Wallach and Drukker stated that “In Bir Zeit, which is in the Palestinian occupied territories, Hebrew is taught as a foreign language. Otherwise, teaching is conducted in Arabic or English.” This was not sufficient because students would have limited exposure to Hebrew. “In that sense, there is no point in sending them on a year abroad in the first place.” The second option was the Al-Quds university. “Teaching in al-Quds is conducted in Arabic, and again, Hebrew would be taught as a foreign language, which defeats the purpose of the year abroad. However, given al-Quds’s location in Jerusalem, at least students would have exposure to Hebrew. Depending on the quality of the program, and how it is tailored and organized, we would have considered such an option, had it existed.” But, according to the report, “there is no Hebrew program advertised in al-Quds. There is no mention of any Hebrew tuition in al-Quds’s website. We have emailed al-Quds to express our interest and to ask if they offer Hebrew, but have not received reply.” The report concluded that “Unfortunately, these are not viable options.”

Wallach and Drukker provided the Academic Board with a misleading proposal as if it was possible to teach Hebrew at Palestinian universities, that are in fact, no-go areas for Israelis. To recall, Amira Hass, the Haaretz pro-Palestinian journalist was asked to leave a conference at Bir-Zeit University, and so was Professor Ilan Pappe, because they were Israelis.

The report states that the proposal to teach Hebrew in Palestinian universities was made by Sai Englert.  Dr. Simon (Sai) Englert is a BDS activist and an anti-Zionist Jew who currently teaches at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is a socialist-activist who completed his Ph.D. at SOAS in 2018. He researches the changing relationship between the labor movement and the state in Israel under neoliberalism. Englert was recorded on a 5 minutes video discussing how anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism and how the dispute with the Palestinians is all Israel’s fault.  In 2017 Englert was quoted by the BBC as a Jewish Ph.D. student at SOAS and a member of the university’s Palestine Society, who said: “The idea that somehow supporting BDS, supporting boycott etc is a blanket boycott on individuals I think is very dangerous. It’s not. “It’s about saying ‘we don’t want institutional links, economic links, political links with institutions, governments, companies that are complicit in attacks on rights’.” 

This is not surprising, Wallach is a long-standing political activist, he should not have taught Israel Studies at SOAS. For example, he has little appreciation for Israeli Ambassadors. When Israeli ambassador Mark Regev was invited to speak at SOAS, Wallach responded, “I was not in favor of the invitation… Ambassador Regev is not a scholar or a public intellectual. He is a PR speaker representing the viewpoint of his government… but the intellectual value of an address by an official state spokesperson is questionable. This is why I saw little merit in the event. I declined to chair the talk, and advised the organizers to reconsider it.”

Clearly, the SOAS Academic Board has been led by the nose by these pro-Palestinian activists.  This is not the first time that Palestinians recruit Israelis and Jews in their war against Israel. British Universities should not allow radical-political activists to manipulate their decision-making.

https://twitter.com/YairWallach/status/1290958596960903176
Yair Wallach @YairWallach  Aug 5  
Disappointing to see the @PinskerCentre circulate unfounded rumours.
SOAS’s Year Abroad agreement with the Hebrew University ended as planned. SOAS signed a new agreement with Haifa University. Decision made on academic reasons. That’s it.

The Pinsker Centre @PinskerCentre
  Aug 4
It has been reported that @SOAS has bowed down to student pressure, and terminated its relationship with @HebrewU.
Why should pressure from a minority fringe of activists deprive other students of the opportunity to enrich themselves at a world class institution in Israel?
1:31 PM · Aug 5, 2020·

Yair Wallach @YairWallach
Aug 5
Replying to @YairWallach
Programmes in both universities are excellent. We chose what seemed to us more suitable. Year Abroad is suspended due to COVID, will resume in 2021-22.

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

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/exchange-scheme-sends-british-students-occupied-palestinian-territory/

Oxford and other top British universities under fire for sending students to illegal Israeli settlements

Amnesty says the universities are “actively linking themselves to a whole system of illegality, discrimination and exploitation”. Adam RamsayWalid El Houri 3 August 2020  

Leading British universities have been accused of “actively linking themselves to a system of illegality, discrimination and exploitation” by participating in the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, openDemocracy can reveal.

The institutions, including the universities of Oxford, Manchester, and Leeds, run exchange schemes with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As part of the programme, students usually stay in halls of residence in a Palestinian area of Jerusalem illegally occupied by Israeli settlers.

Commenting on universities who take part in the scheme, one legal expert said “universities that believe in human rights, justice and the rule of law should refrain from being partners in projects that undermine international law and ignore the suffering of the victims”.

Munir Nuseibah, assistant professor at the faculty of law at Al Quds University, the Palestinian university in Jerusalem, added: “By participating in this exchange, the universities… disregard the international consensus that East Jerusalem is occupied and that its annexation by Israel is contrary to international law.”

The leading human rights organisation Amnesty International also criticised the universities, saying they are “actively linking themselves to a whole system of illegality, discrimination and exploitation”. 

Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty’s crisis response campaign manager, added: “We’ve been calling for all businesses to cease their operations in Israel’s settlements and the parallels here are stark – a student village is little different to a settlement in its illegality if it’s been built on stolen land.”

‘I felt betrayed’

Speaking to openDemocracy on condition of anonymity, one student who took part in a year abroad scheme arranged by his British university described his shock at discovering that the accommodation provided for him was in occupied East Jerusalem. 

“I really resented being used as a tool for the legitimisation of the occupation”, he said. 

Rob Abrams, a British Jewish graduate from a summer programme at the Rothberg International School, which is part of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: “I felt like I’d been lied to. I felt very betrayed. I was on a programme where we focussed on supposed coexistence, but there we were on land that, under international law, is an illegal occupation.”

The land in question is Al Samar, which belonged to the village of Lefta and today is referred to as the ‘French Hill’ settlement and hosts the university’s Student Village. This land, and the surroundings of the university in general, have been a site of contention between the Palestinian inhabitants and the university for decades. 

The university has expanded by dispossessing Palestinians of territory, according to experts who have studied the campus. A strategy of policing Palestinians in the surroundings while keeping a pretence of fostering “community relations” has accompanied the expansion, they say.

openDemocracy has spoken to a number of students who have stayed in the student village, who confirmed that residents at the accommodation included students from SOAS, Leeds, and the University of Birmingham, all of whom advertise exchange programmes with the Hebrew University.

The Universities of Durham and Manchester, and University College London offer exchanges with the Hebrew University, and specifically advertise its student village on their websites, despite it being on occupied territory. 

The University of Oxford, Queen Mary’s, University of London, and Trinity and University Colleges in Dublin also advertise years abroad at Hebrew University, but don’t specify on their websites what accommodation is available to students on these programmes, though students who have spent time at the Hebrew University have said that the overwhelming majority of students on years abroad from all universities stay at the student village, and therefore on occupied territory.

‘Segregation’

More than one student who had studied at the Hebrew University described the conditions on the campus as “segregation”. 

“The truth is that Israeli, Palestinian and international students barely interact. The majority of Palestinian students are there at times of the year that there really aren’t that many Israeli students around,” said Rob Abrams. 

“There’s a lot of suspicion and security in between the campus and the Palestinian villages around it. Soldiers regularly harass Palestinans near the student accommodation to keep them segregated and away from… the student village.

A Black student who had attended the university as part of her dance course at a US university also described the living conditions as “segregation”. She added that it was on a tour of the campus after she arrived that she was shown the fenced-off Palestinian area next to the campus.

Speaking to openDemocracy, she said she felt her university hadn’t properly prepared her for the highly racialised context to which it was sending her.

“My Black sisters had some experiences that were traumatic personally,” she said, describing being spat at and stoned in an Orthodox area of Jerusalem. 

Another former student we spoke to said that a far-right student group on campus harassed him after he spoke out about the situation. 

Student campaign

Palestinian SOAS student Yara Derbas, who is a member of the campaign group Apartheid Off Campus, accused the universities of “sending their students to directly take part in the maintenance of war crimes and normalise relationships with institutions which are rooted in the most brutal form of racism in our time: colonialism, apartheid and European supremacy. 

“These programmes should have never been formed in the first place, and they must end immediately.”

More than a hundred students’ union officers have signed a letter condemning the exchange programmes.

In the letter, seen by openDemocracy, they draw a contrast between statements of support for the Black Lives Matter movement from universities and their involvement with Israeli institutions. It says: “It is an undisputed fact that UK universities are actively enabling Israel’s colonial policies against the indigenous people of Palestine.”

The letter continues “eleven UK universities maintain… exchange programmes with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is not only partially built on illegally occupied land but is also openly and systematically racist against its Palestinian students and staff. Such partnerships effectively mean that many UK exchange students were housed in illegal settlements, contravening any ethical framework and International Law.”

Universities cancel programmes

When openDemocracy contacted the School of Oriental and African Studies to ask about its involvement in the scheme, a spokesperson said that the university had agreed to back out of its arrangement with the Hebrew University at the end of the 2019/20 academic year.

The spokesperson added: “As a result of concerns raised from the SOAS community, SOAS looked at the various options for Hebrew Year Abroad provision, and eventually it was agreed that we would move our provider to Haifa University after this coming academic year.”

The University of West London also responded to our inquiries by announcing that it had cancelled its partnership.

Commenting on these schemes being cancelled, Derbas added: “SOAS and UWL ceasing links with Hebrew University is a milestone in our academic boycott campaign, setting a precedent for other universities in the UK to break their links with Israel’s apartheid regime.”

However, a number of universities defended their schemes. Responding to questions from openDemocracy, a spokesperson for the University of Manchester said:

“These agreements are vital to delivering a world class learning experience to our students and to maintaining an international experience on campus. One of these agreements is with Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is an internationally widely recognised institution in Israel which in turn has agreements across 27 countries.”

The university confirmed that it didn’t have a formal agreement with any Palestinian university. 

Queen Mary, University of London, confirmed that two of its students have taken part in exchanges with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both in 2019, but added that it didn’t hold any information on the accommodation these students stayed in.

A spokesperson for the University of Birmingham said that it has “a robust due diligence process in place, which places student experience at its heart, when considering which partner institutions to work with to host study abroad students. We consider all issues in our review process for renewals and any continuation of agreements with our partners.”

A spokesperson from the University of Leeds said:

“[We have] more than 300 university partners worldwide – enabling [our] students to develop their skills and experience and enhance employability. One of these partnerships is with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Having been informed by a student, after their return to Leeds, of an issue relating to their accommodation, we are taking steps to discuss it with our partner university.”

Asked whether any of these partnerships were with Palestinian universities, Leeds confirmed that they weren’t.

Oxford University and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem did not respond to our request for comment. 

Palestinian students behind bars

Meanwhile, Palestiniain students are facing what they have labelled a campaign of arrest by Israeli forces which have targeted more than eighty university and high-school students in the West Bank alone. A letter by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America addressed to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brigadier General Rasan Alian, head of civil administration in the West Bank, describes the arrests as “a continuation of an undeclared but indisputable Israeli policy of targeting and disrupting Palestinian higher education”.

More recently, the Right to Education campaign at Birzeit University in the West Bank warned that “more than 80 detained students are exposed to an imminent danger as a result of the spread of Coronavirus inside Israeli prisons”, while the campaign of arrests of students continues.   

Krystian Benedict from Amnesty International said: “Palestinian students face numerous obstacles in accessing education – including forced displacement, demolitions, restrictions on movement, attacks and harassment from Israeli settlers. UK universities must not contribute to a system of oppression which routinely violates the right to education of Palestinians.” 

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

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/student-led-palestinian-rights-group-forces-universities-break-ties-illegal-settlement

Student-led Palestinian rights group forces universities to break ties with illegal settlement

03/08/2020

STUDENT campaigners claimed victory today after two universities pulled out of an exchange programme with a university on illegally occupied Palestinian land.

Soas and the University of West London (UWL) have both ended agreements with Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem — partially built on occupied land in the east of the city.

They had come under pressure from the Apartheid Off Campus (AOC) campaign, which has accused British universities of “actively enabling Israel’s colonial policies against the indigenous people of Palestine.”

The programme has been offered at 11 institutions including the universities of Manchester, Oxford and Leeds.

As part of the exchange, British students usually stay in halls of residence in an illegally occupied area of East Jerusalem.

Some students who signed up for the year abroad were not told by their university that they would be staying in an illegal Israeli settlement, according to a report by Open Democracy.

AOC said that the expansion of the university’s Mount Scopus campus has driven the displacement of Palestinians from their land.

Soas announced that it will end its agreement with Hebrew University this year and move the programme to Haifa after concerns were raised by students.

“We decided that Haifa University offers a better option due to the structure of the programme and issues around students’ welfare,” a Soas statement said.

UWL also told Open Democracy that it was ending its involvement in the programme.

British universities have received a letter urging them to pull out of the programme, signed by 120 student union officers.

“Such partnerships effectively mean that many UK exchange students were housed in illegal settlements, contravening any ethical framework and international law,” it says.

But a number of universities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, have refused to break ties.

The University of Manchester told Open Democracy that its relationship with the Hebrew University is “vital to delivering a world-class learning experience to our students.”

AOC, which was launched in May this year, has vowed to continue mobilising students across the country until “all complicity with Israeli apartheid has ceased.

“It is unacceptable that UK students are sent to study on stolen land while the occupied population are denied their rights and freedom. Our recent victories show that,” it said.

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

Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
The options for Hebrew Year Abroad provision
AB is asked to approve the following Report
Executive Summary
ADC requested that the matter of Hebrew Year Abroad be referred to Academic Board for discussion. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA degrees in Hebrew and NME Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students. This paper also provides a response to the counter-proposal sent in advance of the last Academic Board
Sponsored by Ben Murtagh
Recommendations & Next Steps
The paper outlines a number of options based on teaching suitability, pastoral care and cost while noting political concerns.
The Hebrew section recommends that we continue with the Hebrew University programme based on The suitability of the programme for our students and the degree of pastoral care offered. The best alternative to this is this Kibbutz Ulpan, there will be challenges in agreeing a programme that fits out students needs but there will be cost benefits. We have not yet visited Kibbutz Ulpan and if advised to seek an agreement with this provider a site visit would be necessary. The other non-university providers are seen as unsuitable for reasons explained in the paper. The Universities of Bir Zeit and al-Quds have also been considered but unfortunately these are not viable options.
Academic Board should make a recommendation as to which provider the Hebrew programme should work with for future Hebrew Year Abroad provision.
Financial Impact
The Hebrew University Programme costs $12, 235 for a full year and $8,275 for half a year. Other university providers have a similar cost.
Kibbutz Ulpan costs $1500 for half a year and $3000 for a full year.
£750 has been budgeted (from SLCL) for any necessary visits to sites if directed to establish a relationship with a new provider.
48
Academic Board 13.03.2019
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Appendix 1
Risks
As with any Year Abroad programme the provision of pastoral care by the local provider is key in minimising a variety of risks that might affect student outcomes. The quality of the provision is essential in ensuring a good student learning experience. For these reasons we have focussed on these factors in assessing the suitability of potential providers.
To choose a non-university provider other than Kibbutz Ulpan would increase risks in these two respects. In addition students there would be significant issues for students as they would be unable to apply for student visas with these providers.
Equality implications
Suitable pastoral care is only offered by the Universities and the Kibbutz Ulpan. To partner with a non-university partner which does not offer pastoral care would have implications for some students with specific learning, wellbeing and support needs.
Consultations
Providers listed in the paper have been consulted.
49
Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
1 March 19
Survey of Year Abroad providers for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies
This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students.
The main requirements from Year Abroad providers are on aspects of tuition, quality and pastoral care. At a minimum, providers should offer intensive courses of Hebrew instruction (Ulpan) of 4-6 weeks, followed by an academic term (or two) in levels suitable for our students. Some providers offer additional classes in English on non-language topics and themes, which is an advantage. Providers should provide adequate pastoral care for SOAS students, in welcoming the students and providing support and advice on a variety of issues, such as housing, mental health etc. Providers should offer assistance in obtaining student visas which would allow students one-year visa that would cover the period of study. Providers should have track record in teaching and looking after international students.
The Alternative Proposal document mentioned two alternative options – the Universities of Bir Zeit and al-Quds. Unfortunately these are not viable options.
The premise of the Year abroad is to allow students to study the language in an immersive environment, where they encounter it not only in language classes. This is the pedagogical value and logic of the Year Abroad.
In Bir Zeit, which is in the Palestinian occupied territories, Hebrew is taught as a foreign language. Otherwise, teaching is conducted in Arabic or English. Therefore students would have very limited exposure to Hebrew, and they would not hear Hebrew spoken outside class, unless they travel especially to areas in Israel proper (which would be limited to weekends at best). In that sense, there is no point in sending them on a year abroad in the first place.
The second option mentioned in the document was Al-Quds university. Teaching in a-Quds is conducted in Arabic, and again, Hebrew would be taught as a foreign language, which defeats the purpose of the year abroad. However, given al-Quds’s location in Jerusalem, at least students would have exposure to Hebrew. Depending on the quality of the programme, and how it is tailored and organised, we would have considered such an option, had it existed.
But there is no Hebrew programme advertised in al-Quds. There is no mention of any Hebrew tuition in al-Quds’s website. We have emailed al-Quds to express our interest and to ask if they offer Hebrew, but have not received reply. We also requested more details from Sai Englert, the author of the proposal, but have not heard back.
The options for the Hebrew Year Abroad are therefore outlines as below
Current provider
The Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University Jerusalem
50
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Appendix 1
Part of the Hebrew University, The Rothberg International School offers courses for overseas students since 1956. Currently has a student body of over 2000 students a year, from 90 countries.
Students who go to Israel for the full-year take a summer intensive Hebrew course, followed by two academic semesters, in which they have between 8-12 hours of Hebrew instruction a week alongside other courses taught in English for them to choose.
Students who do a Year Abroad between two countries come to Israel in January and do a four-week intensive Hebrew course before joining the other students for the spring semester.
Students can apply for accommodation at university dorms, and receive pastoral care assistance 24/7. An emergency number is available for students at all hours.
Registration for the programme entitles students to apply for a student visa.
Cost:
Full year: $12,235
Half year: $8,275
(discounted fees to SOAS students by agreement with the Rothberg International School)
Alternative University providers offering a similar programme –
1. Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Full year tuition $12,700
Half year: $8,700
Tuition Fees for all Semester or Year-Long Programs include weekly social activities, academic field trips, trips around Israel, access to the university sports center & health insurance.
2. Tel Aviv university
Full year tuition: $12,950
Half year: $8,700
Program Trips, student activities, facility fees and health insurance are all included in the tuition fees quoted above.
3. Haifa University:
Full year tuition: $12,300
Half year: $8,400
Foreign students registered for full time education in Israeli universities can get a student visa, valid for one year.
Non university providers – different programme 51
Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
The only non-University provider to meet SOAS minimum requirements, in terms of student support and pastoral care, is Kibbutz Ulpan – Ulpan Eztion Kibbutz Tzuba. This programme differs from university ones and does not easily correspond to UK academic year, and so would require special tailoring.
This programme runs for 5 months, twice a year (starting in May or October).
Students study Hebrew for 25 hours a week and work 24 hours a week, either in the kibbutz, or as interns in Jerusalem. They are not paid for their work, but are provided with free accommodation on the kibbutz, three meals a day, and there is pastoral care 24/7.
The programme is aimed at university graduates, and the same language school also trains the British diplomatic staff in Israel.
Students registered on this programme are eligible to apply for a student visa and the kibbutz movement hosting the programme can facilitate this procedure.
Cost, for a five months programme
5500 NIS (approx. $1500)
The dates for this programme do not correspond easily with our academic year. Based on a conversation with the manager, there is a possibility of making adjustments/changes, and requires further discussion.
If this option is to be considered, a site visit would be required to confirm the conditions and teaching arrangement.
Other language schools in Israel – unsuitable alternatives
There are other potential Hebrew language schools in Israel, but they do not meet the requirements in terms of tuition and pastoral care.
Most Hebrew Language teaching institutions are run by the Ministry of Education/Ministry of Absorption [of immigrants] and are mainly designated for new immigrants, not foreign students.
There are some private Hebrew language teaching providers (ulpans), such as Ulpan Milah (Jerusalem), Gordon (Tel Aviv) Etzion (Raanana). These schools provide language tuition only, are not geared to provide assistance for students, and are not interested in taking such role in an arrangement with SOAS.
They normally offer between 4-5 hours of language tuition a day, 4-5 days a week (20-25 hours).
Students registered for a full-time Hebrew language programme in a private ulpan cannot apply for a student visa and will need to enter Israel as tourist, with a three-months visa only.
Ulpan Milah, Jeursalem:
Three months term – four mornings a week, four hours a day
Cost: NIS3480 (about $950).
There are no facilities to offer dorms, no social activities, no health insurance nor pastoral care/support 24/7.
Similar provisions at Gordon Ulpan, Tel Aviv and Ulpan Etzion, Raanana
Political objections 52
Academic Board 13.03.2019
AB 18/19 4 F
Appendix 1
The main objection raised in the case of the Hebrew University is that the campus is on occupied territory. As explained in previous document, the campus’s periphery extends into occupied territory (part of the dormitory as well as the sports centre). The main campus is not on occupied land (neither the Rothberg institute nor any other Hebrew University teaching facility). EU policy, according to the EU embassy in Israel, is to consider Mt. Scopus Campus as within the 1967 lines, that is, within “Israel proper”, and not to see the campus as located on occupied territory.
All other universities and schools referred to here are within Israel proper, the 1967 lines.
Summary
University schools for international students are the most suitable providers for Hebrew Year Abroad in Israel. Of these, the Hebrew University is in our view the best option in pedagogic terms, and its fees are comparable to other universities in Israel (similar or slightly cheaper).
Private Hebrew schools do not meet the requirements for Study Abroad providers. They do not provide any pastoral care for students, are not set up to provide such assistance, whether in terms of housing and dormitories, mental health, or any other assistance.
The most obvious problem is the issue of visa. These private schools cannot offer assistance in obtaining one year student visas, which means that students would enter the country on a three months tourist visas – shorter than their programme. This is not a viable option.
The only non-University provider which meets the requirements in terms of pastoral care is the Kibbutz Ulpan. However their programme would have to be tailored, particularly for students who do a shared year abroad to ensure they can spend sufficient time in Israel for their half Year Abroad.
This report was prepared by Dr. Tamar Drukker, Senior Lector in Hebrew, and Dr. Yair Wallach, Senior Lecturer in Israeli Studies. 

Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
The options for Hebrew Year Abroad provision
AB is asked to consider the following Report
Executive Summary
ADC requested that the matter of Hebrew Year Abroad be referred to Academic Board for discussion. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA degrees in Hebrew and NME Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students.
Sponsored by Ben Murtagh
Recommendations & Next Steps
The paper outlines a number of options based on teaching suitability, pastoral care and cost while noting political concerns.
The Hebrew section recommends that we continue with the Hebrew University programme based on The suitability of the programme for our students and the degree of pastoral care offered. The best alternative to this is this Kibbutz Ulpan, there will be challenges in agreeing a programme that fits out students needs but there will be cost benefits. We have not yet visited Kibbutz Ulpan and if advised to seek an agreement with this provider a site visit would be necessary. The other non-university providers are seen as unsuitable for reasons explained in the paper.
Academic Board should make a recommendation as to which provider the Hebrew programme should work with for future Hebrew Year Abroad provision.
Financial Impact
The Hebrew University Programme costs $12, 235 for a full year and $8,275 for half a year. Other university providers have a similar cost.
Kibbutz Ulpan costs $1500 for half a year and $3000 for a full year.
£750 has been budgeted (from SLCL) for any necessary visits to sites if directed to establish a relationship with a new provider.
Risks
As with any Year Abroad programme the provision of pastoral care by the local provider is 51
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
key in minimising a variety of risks that might affect student outcomes. The quality of the provision is essential in ensuring a good student learning experience. For these reasons we have focussed on these factors in assessing the suitability of potential providers.
To choose a non-university provider other than Kibbutz Ulpan would increase risks in these two respects. In addition students there would be significant issues for students as they would be unable to apply for student visas with these providers.
Equality implications
Suitable pastoral care is only offered by the Universities and the Kibbutz Ulpan. To partner with a non-university partner which does not offer pastoral care would have implications for some students with specific learning, wellbeing and support needs.
Consultations
Providers listed in the paper have been consulted. 52
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
Survey of Year Abroad providers for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies
This document surveys the options for Year Abroad providers in Israel for the BA in Hebrew and Israeli Studies. SOAS sends a small number of students each year to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Hebrew programme was asked to examine alternatives to the current arrangements with the Hebrew University. Potential Hebrew schools were contacted by email and phone to ascertain the level of language provision and assistance they provide for students.
The main requirements from Year Abroad providers are on aspects of tuition, quality and pastoral care. At a minimum, providers should offer intensive courses of Hebrew instruction (Ulpan) of 4-6 weeks, followed by an academic term (or two) in levels suitable for our students. Some providers offer additional classes in English on non-language topics and themes, which is an advantage. Providers should provide adequate pastoral care for SOAS students, in welcoming the students and providing support and advice on a variety of issues, such as housing, mental health etc. Providers should offer assistance in obtaining student visas which would allow students one-year visa that would cover the period of study. Providers should have track record in teaching and looking after international students.
Current provider
The Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University Jerusalem
Part of the Hebrew University, The Rothberg International School offers courses for overseas students since 1956. Currently has a student body of over 2000 students a year, from 90 countries.
Students who go to Israel for the full-year take a summer intensive Hebrew course, followed by two academic semesters, in which they have between 8-12 hours of Hebrew instruction a week alongside other courses taught in English for them to choose.
Students who do a Year Abroad between two countries come to Israel in January and do a four-week intensive Hebrew course before joining the other students for the spring semester.
Students can apply for accommodation at university dorms, and receive pastoral care assistance 24/7. An emergency number is available for students at all hours.
Registration for the programme entitles students to apply for a student visa.
Cost:
Full year: $12,235
Half year: $8,275
(discounted fees to SOAS students by agreement with the Rothberg International School)
Alternative University providers offering a similar programme –
1.Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Full year tuition $12,700
Half year: $8,700
Tuition Fees for all Semester or Year-Long Programs include weekly social activities, academic field trips, trips around Israel, access to the university sports center & health insurance. 53
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
2.Tel Aviv university
Full year tuition: $12,950
Half year: $8,700
Program Trips, student activities, facility fees and health insurance are all included in the tuition fees quoted above.
3.Haifa University:
Full year tuition: $12,300
Half year: $8,400
Foreign students registered for full time education in Israeli universities can get a student visa, valid for one year.
Non university providers – different programme
The only non-University provider to meet SOAS minimum requirements, in terms of student support and pastoral care, is Kibbutz Ulpan – Ulpan Eztion Kibbutz Tzuba. This programme differs from university ones and does not easily correspond to UK academic year, and so would require special tailoring.
This programme runs for 5 months, twice a year (starting in May or October).
Students study Hebrew for 25 hours a week and work 24 hours a week, either in the kibbutz, or as interns in Jerusalem. They are not paid for their work, but are provided with free accommodation on the kibbutz, three meals a day, and there is pastoral care 24/7.
The programme is aimed at university graduates, and the same language school also trains the British diplomatic staff in Israel.
Students registered on this programme are eligible to apply for a student visa and the kibbutz movement hosting the programme can facilitate this procedure.
Cost, for a five months programme
5500 NIS (approx. $1500)
The dates for this programme do not correspond easily with our academic year. Based on a conversation with the manager, there is a possibility of making adjustments/changes, and requires further discussion.
If this option is to be considered, a site visit would be required to confirm the conditions and teaching arrangement.
Other language schools in Israel – unsuitable alternatives
There are other potential Hebrew language schools in Israel, but they do not meet the requirements in terms of tuition and pastoral care.
Most Hebrew Language teaching institutions are run by the Ministry of Education/Ministry of Absorption [of immigrants] and are mainly designated for new immigrants, not foreign students. 54
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
There are some private Hebrew language teaching providers (ulpans), such as Ulpan Milah (Jerusalem), Gordon (Tel Aviv) Etzion (Raanana). These schools provide language tuition only, are not geared to provide assistance for students, and are not interested in taking such role in an arrangement with SOAS.
They normally offer between 4-5 hours of language tuition a day, 4-5 days a week (20-25 hours).
Students registered for a full-time Hebrew language programme in a private ulpan cannot apply for a student visa and will need to enter Israel as tourist, with a three-months visa only.
Ulpan Milah, Jeursalem:
Three months term – four mornings a week, four hours a day
Cost: NIS3480 (about $950).
There are no facilities to offer dorms, no social activities, no health insurance nor pastoral care/support 24/7.
Similar provisions at Gordon Ulpan, Tel Aviv and Ulpan Etzion, Raanana
Political objections
The main objection raised in the case of the Hebrew University is that the campus is on occupied territory. As explained in previous document, the campus’s periphery extends into occupied territory (part of the dormitory as well as the sports centre). The main campus is not on occupied land (neither the Rothberg institute nor any other Hebrew University teaching facility). EU policy, according to the EU embassy in Israel, is to consider Mt. Scopus Campus as within the 1967 lines, that is, within “Israel proper”, and not to see the campus as located on occupied territory.
All other universities and schools referred to here are within Israel proper, the 1967 lines.
Summary
University schools for international students are the most suitable providers for Hebrew Year Abroad in Israel. Of these, the Hebrew University is in our view the best option in pedagogic terms, and its fees are comparable to other universities in Israel (similar or slightly cheaper).
Private Hebrew schools do not meet the requirements for Study Abroad providers. They do not provide any pastoral care for students, are not set up to provide such assistance, whether in terms of housing and dormitories, mental health, or any other assistance.
The most obvious problem is the issue of visa. These private schools cannot offer assistance in obtaining one year student visas, which means that students would enter the country on a three months tourist visas – shorter than their programme. This is not a viable option.
The only non-University provider which meets the requirements in terms of pastoral care is the Kibbutz Ulpan. However their programme would have to be tailored, particularly for students who do a shared year abroad to ensure they can spend sufficient time in Israel for their half Year Abroad. 55
Academic Board 30.01.19
AB 18/19 3E
Appendix 3
This report was prepared by Dr. Tamar Drukker, Senior Lector in Hebrew, and Dr. Yair Wallach, Senior Lecturer in Israeli Studies.

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

https://soasunion.org/liberation/priority/bds/

Free Palestine and BDS

The SOAS Students Union was the first UK students union to vote for and support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign launched in 2005 by Palestinian civil society organisations. For over 30 years, the SOAS Palestine Society has been one of the most active societies at SOAS. SOAS students have continuously supported the Palestinian struggle for liberation and decolonisation, with SOAS becoming one of the most active campuses in Britain.

In response to the 2005 call, the SOAS Students Union voted to join, support, and campaign for the boycott of Israel. At the October Union General Meeting this academic year (2014/2015), SOAS students decided to escalate their support for BDS. A school-wide referendum has been called for to decide whether SOAS, as an academic institution, should follow the BDS guidelines and join an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and companies. 

SOAS currently has links with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ), sending Hebrew language students to HUJ for their year abroad. The Hebrew University campus is located on Palestinian land, Jerusalem, which was confiscated in 1968, a practice which began in 1947 and directly contravenes International Law. Furthermore, the Hebrew University has direct links with the University of Ariel, which is based in the West Bank colony of Ariel, and recognises its degrees. Finally the Hebrew University offers preferential treatment to Israeli soldiers who are engaged in the daily human rights violations in Palestine, particularly Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.

Find HERE a video exposing the military-academic collaboration between the Hebrew University and the Israeli Defence Force.

Find HERE a video showing the response of some students from Hebrew University which explains the situation they live every day on campus.

THE REFERENDUM WILL BE TAKING PLACE AT SOAS IN THE LAST WEEK OF FEBRUARY (23rd-27th)

The referendum will be open to ALL members of the SOAS community: students, academics, cleaners, security guards, caterers, faculty and support staff and management.

The referendum will be asking all members of the SOAS community whether they think SOAS should fully join the BDS campaign and implement academic boycott following the PACBI guidelines  (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel).

– For more information on day-to-day events, discussions and more information coming up in the next weeks, access the SOAS BDS campaign Facebook page HERE

– For more information on what an Academic Boycott entails, read the guidelines on ‘Why Boycott Israeli Universities,’ issued by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) – HERE

This webpage was last updated on: 18 Jan 2015 15:46

King’s College London’s Anti-Israel Group “Action Palestine”Recruits Israelis to Besmirch Israel

05.08.2020
Editorial Note
 
The Group “Action Palestine” at King’s College London (KCLAP) has only one mission, to attack Israel.  The group has been recruiting Israeli academics to present Israel in a negative light. A recent online event was held by KCLAP, titled “Black Jewish Lives Matter.”
 
The event was reported by Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy, an associate with the CAMERA on Campus UK, a pro-Israel organization that follows campus campaigns to delegitimize Israel, titled “An academic attempt to frame Israel as a devious colonial enterprise.” The keynote speaker was Efrat Yerday, a doctoral candidate and lecturer at Tel Aviv University. She is a leading activist for Ethiopians in Israel who holds an M.A. in Politics and Government from Ben Gurion University. In her talk, Yerday was quoted as saying, “Ethiopians are sick of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘saviours’ for … barely qualifying as Jews.”    Last year, Yerday has published an article with the publisher Berghahn Journals, Visual Anthropology in the Middle East, guest edited by Profs. Esther Hertzog and Yael Katzir. Yerday’s article, “To Be Black and Beautiful in Israel,” reviews works by female artists of Ethiopian origin. She argues that “these artists are presenting their attitudes towards the ‘white gaze.’ Though constantly subjected to it by the Israeli hegemony.” Yerday draws on postcolonial theory, among others. As a former student of BGU Politics and Government, the use of post-modernist jargon to debunk Israel is not surprising.  
 

The host was Nimrod Evron, an Israeli member of KCLAP, and a master’s student of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. He, according to Leatherdale-Gilholy’s report, “was out to dismiss the reality of Israeli society so as to frame it as a devious colonial enterprise.” Evron also teaches middle school pupils at the London Acorn School for alternative schooling.  Evron is a radical activist who gave a talk in 2015, before a Quaker audience. He was described as a “Jewish Israeli activist and Educator who’s activism includes involvement in New Profile’s Refusal Support Network and Alternative Summer Camp for Youth.”  He explained his opposition to the Israeli State’s policies of “occupation and oppression.” He discussed “Direct action with Palestinians, worker immigration rights, the current situation on the Israeli left, Israel and the international community, international activist engagement with the Israeli public.” 

Evron was also recruited by KCLAP to teach a workshop “Occupation 101,” teaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the basics. This course aims to give a “comprehensive basic understanding of the conflict and occupation, both for people new to the conflict and people that already find themselves involved but feel they just need a better understanding.” Evron is presented as an activist in the anti-militarization and refusers movement, in various direct actions with Palestinians and various social justice campaigns, combining politics with critical education. In this course, he is accompanied by different Palestinian guest speakers.
 
According to KCLAP publication, this course is hosted by Babel’s Blessing, a grassroots language school.
 
The course prospectus includes a warning: “This is not a neutral course (there is no such thing). It does not aim to be “balanced” or “equal” to “both sides”. The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is far from being symmetric. There is a military occupation and a systematic disenfranchisement of Palestinian’s basic rights upheld by the state of Israel and the vast majority of Jewish-Israeli society. There is a dire need to resist this. However, the discourse promoted in this course aims to show that the clarity of having strong moral and political positions is not dimmed, but strengthened, by being supported by nuance and complexity.”
 
In June, KCLAP sent a letter to Prof. Edward Byrne, the KCL Principal, regarding partnerships with Technion. KCLAP stated, “We do not stand for any normalization of oppression. We do not want KCL to play any role in oppression worldwide. KCL must therefore listen to Archbishop Tutu and cut it’s partnership with the Technion immediately.”
 
In May, KCLAP promoted another initiative, “Apartheid Off Campus,” a new front for the Palestinian youth movement in the UK. It urges students “to get involved and find out how complicit your university is in Israeli Apartheid.”  They argue that “Despite previous successful divestment efforts, King’s College London still insists to invest over 2.2 million pounds in companies complicity with the illegal Israeli occupation although they have an ethical investment policy which includes ESG issues like human rights. They clearly need to start acknowledging the rights of Palestinians as Human Rights too!”
 
As mentioned above, Israelis from Ethiopian descent are being recruited by Palestinians to present Israel in a negative light. This, against the backdrop of Ethiopians Jews, waiting for Israel to fly them in from Ethiopia. Some are relatives of those who are already living in Israel. 
 

King’s College London, like many other universities in the West, should note that Palestinians are hacking their students’ organizations for their war against Israel.

JUL

05

Black Jewish Lives Matter – Meet Efrat Yerday (Free)

by Nimrod Evron

Date And Time Sun, 5 July 2020 21:00 – 22:30 IDT 

Location Online Event

About this Event

Sign up here: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfB6ka7zGyK6TOCMC6_9OKSRfl6k9a9dECGm_H3bdvMt_e4uw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Meet Efrat Yerday, Chair of the Association of Ethiopian Jews.

Around 2% of Israeli Jews are from Ethiopian background, but they make up 16% of the population accused of attacking police officers.

After years in Isreal of facing systematic discrimination, erasure of their identity and police violence, many Ethiopian Jews are tried of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white “savours” for just barely qualifing as Jews. They are fighting back.

You are invited to meet Efrat Yerday. Poet, journalist, activist and chair of the Association of Ethiopian Jews, the leading organization for the struggle for equality for Ethiopian Jews in Israel.

This is a unique opportunity to learn about what is perhaps the least talked about community in the most internationally talked about conflict, and hear about what is it like to be a black Jew in Israel, where does that position them within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about complicated relations between race, identity, state and struggle.

Is there a specific question or topic you want Efrata to address? You can put your suggestion in the sign up (link above).

Moderator: Nimrod Evron. An Israeli activist and educator based in London.

Zoom link to be sent just before the beginning of the event to those who signed up.

KCL Action Palestine Society

25 June

“Around 2% of Israeli Jews are from Ethiopian background, but they make up 16% of the population accused of attacking police officers.
After years in Israel of facing systematic discrimination, erasure of their identity and police violence, many Ethiopian Jews are tried of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘savours’ for just barely qualifing as Jews. They are fighting back.”

By looking at the treatment of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, our understanding of the racist discrimination experienced by Palestinians becomes clearer.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from Efrat Yerday, a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement in Israel, hosted by educator Nimrod Evron.

Nimrod Evron's photo.

SUN, 5 JULBlack Jewish Lives Matter – Meet Efrat YerdayOnline event100 people interested

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

https://twitter.com/KCLAP
KCL Action Palestine@KCLAP Student run anti-Apartheid group. Aiming to educate on the Occupation of Palestine & campaign against KCL’s complicity. FREEDOM, JUSTICE, EQUALITY 

https://twitter.com/KCLAP/status/1233853602990522369

KCL Action Palestine @KCLAP ·Feb 29 Hi everyone, this workshop on Occupation 101 will be running from 11th March led by Nimrod Evron. It’s £10-15 per session and proceeds will be going towards Babel’s Blessing’s work with refugees. Details are in the link below  
Learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the basics  
https://occupation101.business.blog/

Learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the basics

Occupation 101

Everything you wanted to know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but were too afraid to be called out to actually ask 

*Dates: Wednesdays 19:00-21:00

8.7 , 1.7 , 24.6 , 17.6 , 10.6 , 3.6 , 29.4 , 22.4 ,15.4 , 1.4 , 25.3 , 18.3 , 11.3

The course is online – with Zoom

Hoping to end closer to 20:45*

Sign up:  https://babels2019.as.me The first meeting at 11.3 is free! or contact me at occupation101course@gmail.com

Aims of this Course

To give comprehensive basic understanding of the conflict and occupation, both for people new to the conflict and people that already find themselves involved but feel they just need a better understanding.

To create a safe space to study, discuss and to inner-reflect about one of the most relevant, yet hazardous-for-discussion topics on the agenda.  

To give complicated, nuanced and helpful information and discourse on a topic which often lacks all of these in mainstream and social media. 

Each session is 1.5-2 hours. The sessions will combine discussions, and fun learning games with lectures and videos.

About the facilitator: Nimrod Evron is an Israeli activist and educator. He has been active in the anti-militarization and refusers movement, in various direct actions with Palestinians, and in various social justice campians. He specializes in combaining politics with critical education. He will be accompanied by different Palestinian guest speakers in several of the sessions.

This course is supported by the Yalla Nakba Education – a led by young Palestinians and Jews to teach about the Nakba, and is hosted by Babel’s Blessing – a grassroots organization that offers courses to raise money for English lessons to refugees.

:Fees

All fees go to fund English lessons for refugees in the UK. The facilitator does the course for free.

!Come to the first session, on 11.3.20, for free, and then decide if it’s right for you

Student cost – £120 ( £10 for each session)

Standard cost – £180 ( £15 for each session)

Warning: This is not a neutral course (there is no such thing). It does not aim to be “balanced” or “equal” to “both sides”. The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is far from being symmetric. There is a military occupation and a systematic disenfranchisement of Palestinian’s basic rights upheld by the state of Israel and the vast majority of Jewish-Israeli society. There is a dire need to resist this. However, the discourse promoted in this course aims to show that the clarity of having strong moral and political positions is not dimmed, but strengthened, by being supported by nuance and complexity.          

Course Structure

For the full course structure, scroll bellow

The course is divided into three sub-sections:

Sessions 1-3 (11.3-25.3) “The Basics” aim to “give us a footing” about the conflict, in understanding the group we are in, our personal, emotional and political positions, and having a wide (but brief) historical background (some of which will be expanded upon later).       

Sessions 4-7 (29.4-20.5) “The Issues” will dwell each time on a specific issue of the conflict, this will usually involve a guest as well.

Sessions 8-13 (3.6-8.7) “Perspectives and Solutions” should help us understand both ideas of why and how the occupation is being sustained, current trends, what acts of resistance are being attempted, and finally to allow the participants to “try and solve the conflict” or at least think what are their stands about it now.     

The course – session by session

The Basics

1. Introduction: why we are here, what is our presumptions, why can’t we usually learn properly about this, and how are we going to make it a proper space to learn and express our opinions.

2. Having basic navigational skills in the fundamentals of the conflict – Brief historical picture (19th century until 1967): The Zionist Dream, Palestine pre 1948, 48 war and the Nakkbah, The state of Israel and the Palestinians until 1967. 

3. The six day war, Occupation of 1967, establishment of occupation, First Lebanon War, First intifada, Oslo Accords, Second intifada, Separation Wall, Disengagement plan, Hamas takeover, Gaza Siege.

The Issues

4. The Nakkbah and the refugees

5. The military occupation in the West Bank and living within it (as Palestinians and as settlers, including also Palestinian violence from the West Bank and the military judicial and bureaucratic system)

6. Palestinian Israelis + the divided city of Jerusalem

7. Gaza (including also Hamas and rocket launching) + Palestinian prisoners

Perspectives and Solutions

8. The wider Arab-Israeli conflict and additional actors in the conflict (additional wars, Golan heights, Hezbollah, Iran, Egypt, Evangelicals, AIPAC, Saudi Arabia, EU, USA).

9. Zionist perspectives

10. Israeli Jewish society and the Occupation (including the politics of inner-Jewish group relations) 

11. Current trends in Palestinian society and acts of resistance

12. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK – discussion about BDS, anti-Semitism and its place in the UK left

13. Conclusion and finding a solution

Sign up to the course at  https://babels2019.as.me

!Come to the first session, on 11.3.20, for free, and then decide if it’s right for you

Contact me for questions at https://occupation101.business.blog

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

KCL Action Palestine Society

17 June

Letter from KCL Action Palestine to KCL Principal regarding partnerships with Technion.

We do not stand for any normalisation of oppression.

We do not want KCL to play any role in oppression worldwide.

KCL must therefore listen to Archbishop Tutu and cut it’s partnership with the Technion immediately.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK

Read full letter below:

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

https://www.jns.org/opinion/an-academic-attempt-to-frame-israel-as-a-devious-colonial-enterprise/

An academic attempt to frame Israel as a devious colonial enterprise

Event speakers implied that along with Ethiopians, Israeli Arabs face ceaseless, racist oppression, though provided no evidence for this claim.
By Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy

(July 22, 2020 / JNS) “Educator” Nimrod Evron and groups including King’s College London Action Palestine hosted a virtual discussion on Ethiopian Jews in Israel on July 5 to frame their experience as part of a “global struggle against racial injustice” recently publicized by the Black Lives Matter movement. The key speaker was Efrat Yerday, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and a leading figure in activism for Ethiopians in Israel.

It was evident from the outset of the meeting that Evron was out to dismiss the reality of Israeli society so as to frame it as a devious colonial enterprise. He guided the discussion with statements such as “Israel is a white, European culture” and “Israel is a white-supremacist society.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Evron is the facilitator of the “Occupation 101 Course” that boasts that it does not aim to be “balanced” or “equal” to “both sides” in its history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Yerday supported Evron’s extreme narrative by suggesting that “Ethiopians are sick of being depicted as people who should be grateful to their white ‘saviours’ for … barely qualifying as Jews.” Her rhetoric is a textbook radical attempt to generalize entire identity groups as possessing a monolithic experience and political agenda simply because they are not “white,” and reinforces the myth that non-Ethiopian Jews derive privilege from being “white.” There have been plenty of wranglings between the Ethiopian religious tradition and rabbinic Judaism, but this has generally been associated with theological qualms rather than racism. Ethiopian Jews are visible across Israeli politics, religious life and entertainment, yet Evron and Yerday deliberately presented events through a narrow lens of racial oppression so to misconstrue Israel as being uniquely evil.

As far as the question of “why is there no joint Ethiopian struggle with the Palestinians?” Yerday replied that Ethiopians were fearful of being considered saboteurs for aligning with Palestinian activism. The real answer would appear to be that for all of Israel’s flaws, the Ethiopian community overwhelmingly supports the Jewish state’s right to exist, and their enlistment rate in the Israel Defense Forces can be construed as an example: It is higher than that of the general population.

Why would the broadly Zionist Ethiopian community find common cause with the “Palestinian struggle,” which consistently seeks to dismantle Zionism and Israel violently? It was clear that the purpose of this discussion was not to identify issues with racism against Israeli Ethiopians, but to forge imaginary alliances between communities for the sake of demonizing Israel as an irredeemably racist project, whose crimes necessitate alliances of all who do not form a majority in Israeli society. It was implied continuously throughout the event that along with Ethiopians, Israeli Arabs face ceaseless, racist oppression, although no attempt to evidence this provocative claim was made.

Nevertheless, the recent history of Ethiopians in Israel is a complex one. “Operation Moses” (1984) and “Operation Solomon” (1991), in which the IDF rescued more than 20,000 Ethiopian Jews from famine and civil war in East Africa, was the precursor to today’s Ethiopian community in Israel. As Yerday outlined, discussions in the lead-up to the talk were not unanimous in their support for the Ethiopian migration. World Zionist Organization writer Malkah Raymist, for example, complained that the Ethiopians’ “mental outlook is that of children.” The Israeli government conducted the rescue missions nonetheless, and many incoming Ethiopians exited planes to the greeting of thousands of joyous Israeli onlookers. It is dishonest to define Israel by its counterfactual mistakes.

Yerday also highlighted a 2015 incident in which two Israeli police officers assaulted and arrested an Ethiopian-Israeli in IDF uniform as evidence of Israel’s deep racialized corruption. She omitted how the travesty sparked outrage, that the police involved were fired, and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally met the attacked soldier and declared that “Israel cannot accept racism.”

Another attendee who offered comment was Glyn Secker, secretary of fringe, pro-former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “Jewish Voice for Labour” group. He claimed that the “Israeli lobby makes it impossible to criticize Zionism for fear of being called anti-Semitic.” In 2017, he defended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s comments that “Hitler supported Zionism,” arguing that Livingstone’s “real mistake” was his failure to quote Adolf Eichmann in support of his point.

Yerday was right to highlight the concerns facing Israeli Ethiopians. Yet instances of discrimination and inequity are not evidence of a wholly intolerant society, nor are they reasons to destroy Zionism or Israel but to continue to improve them. Significant resources have been invested in promoting equal opportunities for all Israelis—Ethiopians included. In May 2020, Pnina Tamano-Shata became Israel’s first Ethiopian-born cabinet minister and is drafting plans to allow further Ethiopian immigration to Israel.

The anti-Semitic remarks of several attendees that went unchallenged by the panel suggest that this event was not about discussing solutions for racial harmony. To the contrary, it was an attempt to categorize Israel as an irredeemably racist society by pigeon-holing the experience of thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis into the framework of a fundamentally flawed and virulently anti-Zionist, intersectional ideology.

Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy is a CAMERA on Campus UK Associate.====================================================

KCL Action Palestine Society

14 May

Hey Everyone!

Make sure you check out Apartheid Off Campus. The new front for the Palestinian youth movement in the UK! Check out their website at www.apartheidoffcampus.org to get involved and find out how complicit your university is in Israeli Apartheid.

Despite previous successful divestment efforts, King’s College London still insists to invest over 2.2 million pounds in companies complicity with the illegal Israeli occupation although they have an ethical investment policy which includes ESG issues like human rights. They clearly need to start acknowledging the rights of Palestinians as Human Rights too!

Love from London to Palestine ✊🇵🇸

Image may contain: outdoor, text that says "WITH CONCERN HUMANITY If this wasn 't clear enough; IT'S APARTHEID F CAMRS F CKING TIME TO GET #APARTHEID OFF FCAMPUS @KCLGlobal @King g'sCollegeLon @KCLSU @Princi @PrincipalEddyBoy"

KCL Action Palestine Society30 November 2019

If it wasn’t clear enough, it’s time to get #APARTHEIDOFFCAMPUS!!!! After Wednesday’s action, we have released our statement signed by other UoL societies, calling on our universities to go #ApartheidFree 🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸 https://docs.google.com/…/1HrRfq9J2Tc4FMl9LFFcRqYmDI16DkWHQ…

London Universities  Palestinian National Day Of Action Statement

27.11.2019

On Wednesday 27th November, we mobilised to take over 2 of London’s major bridges in what became the largest collaborative student effort to nationally call for universities to end their complicity in the denial of palestinian human rights. Waterloo bridge became the national stage of a call for UK universities to get apartheid off campus which echoed across the UK as 1000s of students and university staff took part in the national day of action to demand an end to their university’s complicity in Israeli apartheid. Adjacent to the House of Commons, we gathered on Westminster Bridge to support the Labour Party’s pledge to immediately seize arms trade to Israel and all those complicit in international law violations. 

These protests aimed to draw international attention to damning investigative research gathered by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). Despite the majority of UK universities holding ethical investment and procurement policies, the research exposed over $500million of investments by UK universities in companies which finance and support Israel’s arms trade and illegal settlement economy. These investments enable Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinian people as a whole, which amounts to the crime of apartheid under international law. 

Palestinian students are joined by organisations, academics, fellow students and staff unions who are frustrated at their university’s continued dismissal of human rights. We express our discontent in the implementation  of our University’s “Ethical investment policy”, especially when it comes to the oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli Government.

We urge our universities to understand the implications of their investments in said companies on the infringment of the inalianable human rights of the Palestinian people. By not only supporting them financially, but normalizing relationships to those linked to the war crimes committed by the Israeli Government, institutions once seen as temples of progress and strongholds in the fight for human rights are knowingly surrendering to the profit-based motivations of modern higher education and hindering the Palestinian acquisition of freedom and equality.

By signing our pledge to be Apartheid Free, universities and organisations can make an official step to the right side of history by promising the international and local community to prevent their hindrance in the path to peace and relief by standing in solidarity with the palestinian people and commencing the cessation of any form of relationships with those complicit in human rights violations both in Palestine and internationally as part of this global call against any and all forms of oppression and discrimination.

Exist to resist!

KCL Action Palestine, Decolonize KCL, KCL Intersectional Feminist Society, KCL Amnesty International, KCL Iraqi Society, KCL Students 4 Syria, SOAS Palestine Society,  SOAS Afghan Society,  SOAS Feminist Society, City University Palestinian Society, City AhlulBayt Society, SOAS Syria Society, Westminster Students for Palestine Society,  UCL Friends of Palestine, St George’s Palestine Society, QMUL Friends of Palestine Society
====================================================

https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/ame/14/1/ame140105.xml

To Be Black and Beautiful in Israel

in Anthropology of the Middle EastAuthor: Efrat Yerday 1

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/ame.2019.140105Keywords: Ethiopian Jewsethnicity and raceidentitypolitical artvisible minoritywomen and gender

This article reviews works of contemporary female artists of Ethiopian origin active in the Israeli art field. I analyse the subjects in their work and argue these artists are presenting their attitudes towards the ‘white gaze’. Though constantly subjected to it by the Israeli hegemony and the Western masculine discourse, they are notably decreasing their consideration of it. They broaden the restricted field of action that seems designated for them and alter its boundaries. Drawing on theorists of gender, postcolonial theory and theory of art, I demonstrate how these artists are promoting an agenda that reflects their lives as black women in Israel. Influenced by recent socio-political changes and a decline in representations of black women on TV and in visual arts, these artworks were increasingly exhibited in solo and group exhibitions.===================================================

https://thefriend.org/article/finding-peace-and-justice

Finding peace and justice

9 Jul 2015 | by Lisa Hoyle

Lisa Hoyle writes about a talk given by Nimrod Evron on Israeli state policy

Nimrod Evron is an Israeli citizen who stands in opposition to Israeli state policy and the occupation. He has played a pivotal role in setting up organisations working with youth who oppose conscription and is currently studying for an MA at Birkbeck College, London. The Liverpool Quaker Peace Group invited Nimrod Evron to speak at a public meeting in June.
=======================================

https://www.mcnd.org.uk/2015/06/02/helping-other-voices-to-be-heard-nimrod-evron/
JUNE 2, 2015 BY ANDY MORTON

Helping Other Voices to be Heard – Nimrod Evron

Venue: Liverpool Friends’ Meeting House, 22 School Lane, L1
Time/Date: 19:00 – 21:30, Thursday 18th June 2015

This is a rare opportunity to hear a first hand account of Israeli opposition to the Israeli State’s policies of occupation and oppression. Nimrod Evron is a Jewish Israeli activist and Educator who’s activism includes involvement in New Profile’s Refusal Support Network and Alternative Summer Camp for Youth. He is not speaking as a politician but is offering to share his experiences covering topics which include: Direct action with Palestinians, worker immigration rights, the current situation on the Israeli left, Israel and the international community, international activist engagement with the Israeli public.
Liverpool Quakers are committed to peace by peaceful means – we welcome all to attend.

From TAU Prof. Avner Ben-Amos to MK Dr. Ofer Cassif in the Knesset


29.07.2020
Editorial Note

IAM reported in June that two scholars have each published an analysis of school textbooks, Israeli and Palestinian. One is by Dr. Arnon Groiss, whose study examined the content of the Palestinian Authority’s schoolbooks and teachers’ guides as far as the conflict with Israel is concerned. This study provided examples of de-legitimization of Israel’s existence and the right of Jews in the Land of Israel, a denial of the existence of Jewish holy places in the Land of Israel, and a demonization of Israel and the Jews.

The other is by Prof. Avner Ben-Amos, who explored how Israeli textbooks and exams address the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians. In his research, he finds that the occupation is rarely a topic in schools. He names this phenomenon, an “interpretive denial… the Jewish control and the Palestinians’ inferior status appear as a natural, self-evident situation that one doesn’t have to think about.”  

However, Ben-Amos is a life-long political activist which casts doubts on his scholarship. In 2011 IAM reported, that Ben-Amos was quoted in Haaretz concerning a program in schools enhancing young peoples’ awareness of Israel’s history.   Ben-Amos argued the program “tries to anchor young peoples’ identity in a cult of the dead, emphasizing bereavement and the victim.” Ben Amos claimed that “getting stuck in the past leads to self-perception as an eternal victim… We forget that since 1967, IDF soldiers are no longer victims but rather partners in turning another people into victims,” he said. In 2001, he signed a petition by “Palestinian and Israeli intellectuals and activists, view with grave concern the unbearable and inhuman situation imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a situation has been brought about by the repression, blockades, and daily humiliation exercised by the military occupation and by the daily harassment that Jewish settlers inflict on the Palestinian Population.” 

Not surprisingly, Ben-Amos’s study attracted the attention of Knesset member Dr. Ofer Cassif from the Joint List, a former Hebrew University academic and a long time political activist. IAM reported in February 2019 that Cassif was  one of the most radical academics in Israel; he was an army service refuser and was jailed during the First Intifada.  He took advantage of the lax higher education system to preach his anti-Israel politics while serving as a member of the political bureau of the Israeli Communist Party. Cassif’s courses in Political Science at the Hebrew University and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College had mirrored his politics: “Capital and Government”; “Capital, Government and Social Justice”; “Cinema and Politics”; “Fascism – Past and Present.”   Cassif’s 2006 Ph.D. thesis, “On Nationalism and Democracy: A Marxist Examination,” at the London School of Economics and Political Science, “shows that both democracy (as we commonly understand it today) and nationalism are strongly embedded in modern conditions (primarily capitalism).”  His solution: Democracy “must be a socialist one in which the means of identity production are collectively owned.” 

Following the publication of Ben-Amos textbooks research, Cassif called for a meeting of the Knesset Committee of Education, where he is a member. The Committee met on July 15, 2020, to discuss the “Concealing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in textbooks.”   Cassif said in the meeting that “The reason for the discussion I initiated is the study of Prof. Avner Ben-Amos, from Tel Aviv University… What he [Ben-Amos] says is that there is in the textbooks, mainly, in the fields of History, Civics, and Geography, the concealing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Denial of the occupation, and even of the very existence of the Palestinian people as such. Plus, as a result, a silence of criticism and of voices that do not toe the line with the government and its dictates. As Prof. Ben-Amos says, this is not what he calls – Simplistic Denial. That is, the claims that something does not exist. Rather what he calls – Interpretive Denial. In his research, he writes: ‘Denial appears in a subtle way that is difficult to pinpoint. It does not stem from the claim that the occupation does not exist, but from the way it is absent from the discourse, where it should have appeared. Alternatively, from the way it is represented in the discourse.’ What he claims, for example, is the disregard, or denial that Israel forcibly controls millions of Palestinians without rights, and against their will – there is disregard and denial of this fact.”  
Ben-Amos presented the Knesset Education Committee the main points of his research: “18-year-old students go out into life, into citizenship, into the army, to vote. What do they know about the world around them? About this space? About their recent history? One of the things I think they need to know is what happens to this thing called occupation, that is – the control of the territories after they were conquered. I examined what the Ministry of Education is supposed to provide them with, in curricula, textbooks and matriculation exams, and found there is an explanation to what happened in 1967, the Six Day War and the immediate implications.” After the war, according to Prof. Ben Amos, there is a conceal and silence of the conflict. In addition, Ben Amos says there is a normalization of the situation and there is no difference between the area East of the Green Line and the area West.

It is not clear whether the Education Committee was aware of the activist background of Ben-Amos who, like many of his radical colleagues, has used the academy to push his political agenda.   At the very least, the Committee needed to hear other scholars, more politically objective.  This may be more difficult than it sounds, because, as the IAM has pointed out, social sciences and humanities in Israel skew toward neo-Marxist, critical scholarship.  Unlike in hard sciences and engineering which privileges merit, the hiring and promotion policies in liberal arts favor leftist scholars with dubious academic records.  In one notorious case, a Committee of Evaluation appointed by the Council of Higher Education, recommended closing the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University because of its Marxist-activist leaning. 

The Knesset Education Committee would be served better by looking at the imbalances in liberal arts.

http://www.scooper.co.il/pr/1046455/
הודעה לעיתונות

ועדת החינוך של הכנסת תקיים דיון בנושא העלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני מספרי הלימוד במערכת החינוך הישראלית

ועדת החינוך של הכנסת תדון היום (רביעי, 15.7 בשעה 09:30) בהעלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני מספרי הלימוד במערכת החינוך.הדיון יתקיים לבקשתו של ח”כ עופר כסיף אשר הצעתו לדיון מהיר אושרה בנשיאות הכנסת.כותרת הדיון: “דיון מהיר בנושא: “העלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני בספרי הלימוד הישראליים”

הצעת הדיון מגיעה על רקע מחקר של פרופ’ אבנר בן עמוס (אונ’ ת”א) העוסקת בנושא, וחושף כי הכיבוש נעדר כמעט כליל מספרי הלימוד בהיסטוריה, באזרחות ובגיאוגרפיה. ח”כ עופר כסיף, יוזם הדיון, מסר:”מדינת ישראל מנהלת 53 שנים של שלטון כיבוש צבאי על העם הפלסטיני.הצבא הישראלי שולט בפועל בכל תחומי החיים הפלסטיניים, מגביית מיסים, תכנון ובניה ועד לבריאות, חינוך ורווחה.הדבר נעשה הן באמצעות שלטון ישיר בגדה המערבית והן באמצעות המצור המוטל על עזה. הכרה בדיכוי שמפעילה ישראל כנגד העם הפלסטיני היא אבן דרך חיונית לפיתרון שיאפשר שלום ושגשוג לשני העמים.על כן, אין זה מפתיע שהכיבוש נמחק מספרי הלימוד ומורים שדיברו עליו פוטרו.הימין הקיצוני השולט בישראל מזה שנים ארוכות דואג לשטוף את המוח לבני הנוער כדי למנוע הקמת מדינה פלסטינית וכל סיכוי לשלום אמת” בדברי ההסבר להצעת הדיון כתב ח”כ כסיף:”במחקר שיטתי ומקיף של פרופ’ אבנר בן-עמוס עולה תמונה מדאיגה בנוגע להעלמת קיומו של העם הערבי הפלסטיני והסכסוך על עתיד השטחים הכבושים.מסקירת ספרי הלימוד לבגרות במקצועות אזרחות, היסטוריה וגיאוגרפיה, עולה כי לרוב הקו הירוק אינו מצויין כלל, ובמקרים המעטים שבהם מופיע, הוא מטושטש.יותר מזה, העם הפלסטיני עצמו נעלם, נמחק מן התוכן. עוד עולה כי, באף אחת מבחינות הבגרות להיסטוריה שנערכו בשנים 2010-2019 לא הופיעה אפילו שאלה אחת על השינויים ארוכי הטווח שחוללה מלחמת 67′.גם בספרי האזרחות המאושרים קוצצה ההתייחסות הנוגעת לסכסוך ולשסע הפוליטי.כך, ב-20 השנים האחרונות, לא הופיעה על הסכסוך שום שאלה בבחינות הבגרות לאזרחות.במקצוע הגיאוגרפיה המפות השונות מתארות את המרחב שבין הים התיכון לנהר הירדן כמרחב ישראלי אחיד.גם בחינות הבגרות בגיאוגרפיה התעלמו מהקו הירוק ומהפלסטינים.העלמה והשתקה של המציאות הקיימת בפועל, של כיבוש ושליטה על עם אחר, מנוגדות למטרות חוק החינוך הממלכתי ולמטרות משרד החינוך בהוראת המקצועות לעיל.”

לעמוד הדיון בסדר היום של ועדת החינוך: https://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/plenum/Pages/Motion.aspx?itemID=2141411

המחקר של פרופ’ בן עמוס: https://fs.knesset.gov.il/23/Committees/23_cs_bg_575906.pdf

ההצעה לדיון מהיר כפי שהוגשה לנשיאות הכנסת: http://fs.knesset.gov.il/23/Committees/23_cs_bg_575868.docx

הדיון ישודר באתר הכנסת: https://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/committees/Education/Pages/default.aspx

לפרטים נוספים ניתן לפנות ל- מוקד הפעולה למען שלום,שוויון,צדק חברתי וזכויות אדם.

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https://m.knesset.gov.il/Activity/committees/Education/News/pages/%D7%94%D7%A2%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%94-%D7%95%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%AA%D7%A7%D7%94-%D7%A9%D7%9C-%D7%94%D7%A1%D7%9B%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%9A-%D7%94%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99-%D7%A4%D7%9C%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%99-%D7%91%D7%A1%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%99-%D7%94%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9D.aspx

חברי הכנסת של הרשימה המשותפת: יש למנות בהקדם מועצת מייעצת לחינוך הערבי

15 ביולי 2020, כ”ג בתמוז תש”פ, בשעה 15:00
לבקשת ח”כ עופר כסיף (הרשימה המשותפת) דנה הבוקר ועדת החינוך של הכנסת בהעלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך הישראלי – פלסטיני בספרי הלימוד הישראליים. לדברי ח”כ כסיף, בספרי הלימוד במערכת החינוך הישראלית יש הכחשה של הכיבוש, והשתקה של דעות שאינן מתיישבות עם דעות השלטון. “מה שקורה בספרי הלימוד הוא התעלמות מכל מה שקורה בשטחים הכבושים על בסיס יום יומי, ומתוך כך מתבצע נירמול של הכיבוש. להכחשה יש מספר בעיות. הראשונה, בעיה חברתית פוליטית – ההתעלמות הזאת לא מטאטאת את המציאות מתחת לשטיח, אלא פוגעת ביכולת שלנו להבין אותה ולהתמודד איתה;  הבעיה השנייה היא בעיה חינוכית ועיקרה הקלת ראש בחשיבות הידע וההשכלה; והבעיה השלישית היא בעיה אזרחית דמוקרטית האוסרת ספקנות וביקורת, שמטרתה יצירה של נתינים צייתנים במקום אזרחים חושבים שהם תנאי ליצירת דמוקרטיה”.

ח”כ עוזי דיין (הליכוד) אמר כי הוא מסכים שהחינוך בישראל לא עוסק מספיק בהיבטים פוליטיים. הפתרון לדעתו הוא חיזוק החינוך בלתי פורמלי, וכן יציאה מחוץ לגבולות הכיתה. “בגלל זה המכינות הצבאיות מצליחות כל כך, כי לאחר 12 שנות לימוד הן מאפשרות לחניכים לדעת ‘מי אני ולאן אני הולך’, אמר ח”כ דיין. דיין ציטט את אמירתו של הח”כ והמחנך לשעבר יעקב חזן שאמר: “רצינו לגדל דור של אפיקורסים, וגידלנו דור של עמי הארצות”, והוסיף: “עם אפיקורסים ודעות שונות נסתדר, לבורים ועמי ארצות – אין תקנה”.

פרופ’ אבנר בן עמוס הציג את עיקרי המחקר שלו: “תלמידים ותלמידות בני 18 יוצאים אל החיים, אל האזרחות, לצבא, להצביע. מה הם יודעים על העולם שסביבם? על המרחב? על ההיסטוריה הקרובה שלהם? אחד הדברים שלפי דעתי הם צריכים לדעת הוא מה קורה עם הדבר הזה שנקרא כיבוש, כלומר – השליטה בשטחים לאחר שנכבשו. בדקתי את מה שמשרד החינוך אמור לספק להם בתוכניות הלימודים, ספרי לימוד ובחינות בגרות, ומצאתי שיש התייחסות לא מעטה למה שקרה ב-67 כלומר למלחמת ששת הימים, וגם להשלכות המיידיות של המלחמה”. לאחר המלחמה, לטענת פרופ’ בן עמוס, יש העלמה והשתקה של הסכסוך. בנוסף, אומר בן עמוס יש נורמליזציה של המצב ואין הבדל בין התחום ממזרח לקו הירוק לתחום שממערבו.   

ד”ר אלירז קראוס, מנהלת אגף חברה ורווחה במשרד החינוך, הקריאה מספר שאלות לדוגמה מבחינות הבגרות בהיסטוריה, ואמרה כי במשך השנים מופיעות שאלות מעין אלה העוסקות בסכסוך הישראלי – פלסטיני:  “הסכסוך מופיע בספרי הלימוד ובבחינות הבגרות, ובעינינו זה חלק מהתשתית שתלמידים צריכים להכיר ולבסס את ידיעותיהם על ידע והבנה”. עוד אמרה כי יש התייחסות נרחבת להיווצרות בעיית הפליטים ולמלחמת ששת הימים ולסוגיה של “השטחים המשוחררים או השטחים הכבושים”.

ח”כ סמי אבו שחאדה (הרשימה המשותפת): “ישראל מיוחדת גם במערכת החינוך שלה כי כנראה שזאת המדינה היחידה בעולם, אולי כמו צפון קוריאה, שמערכת החינוך נמדדת במספר התלמידים שבית הספר מוציא ליחידות הקרביות, ולכן בית הספר צריך להכין אותם להיות חיילים. המטרה פה היא מטרה פוליטית וכל דיון שמתעלם מכך הוא פוליטי. מערכת החינוך מגדלת נערים לעתיד של המשך הכיבוש והדיכוי כל זה מוביל בעיני להרס החברה”.
ח”כ סונדוס סאלח (הרשימה המשותפת): “בני האדם הם בעלי חיים פוליטיים. ההכחשה של הסכסוך מייצרת משבר אי אמון נוסף בקרב הציבור הפלסטיני. היום המורה הוא לא מקור ידע אחד והידע קיים גם ברשתות.  כיום התלמיד הערבי והאזרח הערבי מודע להיסטוריה והוא שואל – למה מחליטים להתעלם מההיסטוריה שלי וזה מייצר אצלו משבר אמון גדול מאוד. מדובר פה בניסיון לבטל היסטוריה של עם שלם”.  היא הוסיפה כי כשעסקה בהוראה ידעה שאם מורה מחליט לדבר על הנכבה, הוא יקבל אזהרה ויכול להיות שיוזמן לשימוע.

ח”כ ניצן הורוביץ (מרצ): “אפשר ללמוד על הנכבה והכיבוש ולא חובה להשיג את המסקנה. אני למשל מתנגד לזכות השיבה, אבל חושב שצריך ללמוד על הנכבה. מה חושבים שאם לא נגיד את המילה כיבוש אין בעיה? מערכת חינוך צריכה ללמד פתיחות מחשבתית – תלמד ואז תחליט”.
מנגד שאל ח”כ אריאל קלנר (הליכוד) “האם הערבים מלמדים על קדושתו של הר הבית ליהודים? זה חשוב שכולם ילמדו הכל, אבל לא יתכן שאנחנו ננהל שיח אינטלקטואלי ומהצד השני תהיה הסתה פראית, גזענית ואנטישמית מהסוג השפל ביותר. חשוב מאוד שיהודים וערבים כאחד יכירו שאמין אל חוסייני שיתף פעולה עם הנאצים.”

ח”כ אבו שחאדה קרא בתגובה: “מדובר במיתוס שצריך להפריכו”.

ח”כ ווליד טאהא (הרשימה המשותפת) הוסיף: “יש העלמה של הצד הפלסטיני. אפילו בנושאים שמדינת ישראל לא התכחשה להם כמו טבח כפר קאסם –דיברו עליו במונחים של אירוע מצער, וכינו אותו פרשת כפר קאסם. לא ידעו להשתמש במונח הנכון שלו – טבח כפר קאסם”.
ד”ר יוסף ג’בארין (הרשימה המשותפת) ציין כי הציבור הערבי ואנשי החינוך הערביים אינם מיוצגים ברמה הניהולית והפדגוגית במשרד החינוך. לכן, לדבריו,  קבלת ההחלטות מייצגת בעיקר פשרות בתוך הציבור היהודי עצמו. בחינוך היהודי יש זרמים שונים, אבל אין רגישות דומה בכל מה שקשור לזהות הערבית הפלסטינית בתוך מערכת החינוך. “עד היום אנחנו דורשים שאנשי חינוך ערבים ישפיעו על מערכת החינוך.  יש מועצה מייעצת לחינוך הערבי. לחצתי אחרי בחירתי לכנסת שהיא תהיה מאוישת והשר בנט סירב להיענות לבקשתי, הגשתי בג”צ בנושא ועכשיו צריך למנות מועצה מייעצת”. 

את הישיבה ניהלה ח”כ תהלה פרידמן (כחול לבן).
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https://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1223743  פורסם לראשונה: 04.10.201023:52 עודכן ב: 05.10.2010אבנר בן-עמוס | לא רק נקודת המבט שלנו
משרד החינוך נוקט באחרונה מדיניות המאמצת את הפוסט-מודרניזם בגרסתו הקיצונית ביותר. לפי גרסה זו, לא רק שהמציאות מגיעה אלינו באמצעות תיווך של השפה, אלא שהשפה היא היוצרת את המציאות, ולזאת האחרונה אין זכות קיום עצמאית.
החלטת המשרד, שלא לאשר לבית הספר התיכון שער הנגב להשתמש בספר לימוד ההיסטוריה “ללמוד את הנרטיב ההיסטורי של האחר: פלסטינים וישראלים”, מצטרפת להחלטות קודמות, שנועדו לתקן את המציאות על ידי שינוי הטקסט המתאר אותה.
בשנה שעברה, למשל, החליט משרד החינוך לאסוף את עותקי ספר הלימוד “לאומיות: בונים מדינה במזרח התיכון”, משום שהוצגה בהם הגרסה הפלסטינית ליצירת בעיית הפליטים ב-1948. גם ספר לימוד האזרחות “להיות אזרחים במדינת ישראל” נפל קורבן באחרונה לאותה מדיניות. כל זאת לאחר שד”ר צבי צמרת, יו”ר המזכירות הפדגוגית, הסתייג, בין היתר, מהטענה, כי “מאז ייסודה נקטה מדינת ישראל מדיניות של אפליה כלפי אזרחיה הערבים”.
ההנחה היא כנראה, שבלא אזכור האפליה תיעלם לא רק תחושת האפליה, אלא גם האפליה עצמה.
הדבר מצער מיוחד במקרה של “ללמוד את הנרטיב ההיסטורי של האחר: פלסטינים וישראלים”, משום שמדובר בפרויקט חינוכי יוצא דופן. זהו מפעל ישראלי-פלסטיני משותף, שהעבודה עליו החלה לפני כ-12 שנה, בהנהגת הפלסטינים סאמי עדוואן ועדנאן מוסאלחה, והישראלים דן בר-און (ז”ל) ואייל נווה.
לאחר שעות רבות של דיונים ושיחות בין מורים ומחנכים משני הצדדים נוצר ספר לימוד חדשני, המציג בטורים נפרדים, משני צדי העמוד, את הגרסה הישראלית והפלסטינית להיסטוריה של התקופה שבין ראשית הציונות ועד תחילת המאה הנוכחית, ומותיר בתווך טור ריק למילוי בידי התלמידים. הספר יצא לאור בעברית ובערבית, ומורים בבתי ספר בישראל ובשטחים יכולים להשתמש בו כדי להביא לידיעת תלמידיהם את גרסת “הצד השני” לסכסוך וליצור דיון פורה בכיתה.
ספרי לימוד ההיסטוריה של עמים שנמצאו שנים רבות בקונפליקט דמים, כגון הצרפתים והגרמנים, היוונים והטורקים, הציגו בדרך כלל את הצד השני באור שחור – כתוקפן מרושע – ואת עצמם כקורבן תמים. ספרי לימוד ההיסטוריה הישראליים והפלסטיניים אינם יוצאי דופן, גם אם נעשו בשנים האחרונות מאמצים בשני הצדדים למתן את השחרת האויב.
על רקע זה בולט הספר הפלסטיני-הישראלי משום שהוא מייחד תשומת לב לאופן שבו תפישת העבר, כלומר הזיכרון הקולקטיבי, משפיעה על ההתנהגות בהווה. מציאות היסטורית אינה כוללת רק את מה שהתרחש בעבר, אלא גם את האופן שבו נחוותה המציאות בקרב אנשי התקופה ואת אופן הנחלת החוויה לדורות הבאים.
צעד ראשון, מהוסס, בכיוון הנכון נעשה בספרי הלימוד הישראליים באזכור גירוש תושבים ערבים במלחמת העצמאות. אולם המלה “נכבה” (אסון), המציינת את האופן שבו נתפש הגירוש בידי הפלסטינים, עדיין מעוררת חלחלה בקרב אנשי משרד החינוך, כפי שמעידה פסילת ספר לימוד גיאוגרפיה במגזר הערבי, שהעז להזכיר אותה.
המלה הזאת נמצאת בשפע בערכת הלימוד “איך אומרים נכבה בעברית?”, שפירסמה ב-2008 עמותת “זוכרות”. הערכה כוללת 13 יחידות לימוד, העוסקות לא רק בגירוש שהתרחש ב-1948, אלא גם באופן שבו האירועים הכואבים עברו תהליך של השכחה (על ידי הצד הישראלי) או הנצחה (על ידי הצד הפלסטיני).
הערכה כוללת אמצעי המחשה מתקדמים וגם דיון תיאורטי בשאלות של כתיבת היסטוריה ועיצוב זיכרון קולקטיבי, באופן שאינו קיים בספרי הלימוד הרגילים. אין פלא לכן, שהערכה נאסרה לשימוש על ידי משרד החינוך, ומי שמשתמש בה בבתי הספר עושה זאת במחתרת.
תנאי הכרחי להתקדמות לקראת שלום עם הפלסטינים הוא הכרה לא רק במה שהתרחש ב-1948, אלא גם בתודעת הנכבה כנקודת מבט לגיטימית. מדיניות משרד החינוך, המתכחש לקיום התודעה הזאת, תוקעת מקלות בגלגלי המשא ומתן המקרטע.
בנוסף לכך – ולא ברור מה גרוע יותר – מדיניות זו נשענת על תפישה פשטנית ומיושנת של לימוד ההיסטוריה. אם אנו רוצים בתלמידים חושבים וביקורתיים, עלינו ללמד אותם, כי נקודת המבט שלנו על האירועים ההיסטוריים אינה היחידה וכי קיימות במקביל נקודות מבט אחרות, לגיטימיות לא פחות.
פרופ’ בן-עמוס הוא ראש המגמה להיסטוריה ופילוסופיה של החינוך בבית הספר לחינוך של אוניברסיטת תל אביב  

ISRAEL ACADEMIA MONITOR

Academics’ Latest Trend: The Right to Call for BDS

 
21.07.2020
Editorial Note
 
A group of Jewish pro-Palestinian academics, among them Israelis, have recently targeted Dr. Felix Klein, the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, since May 2018, urging him to resign.     Already in April, the group sent a letter asking the German Interior Minister to replace Klein.  They complained that Klein had described philosopher Achille Mbembe’s writings as anti-Semitic. To recall, IAM also found some of Mbembe’s writing to be antisemitic. In the current assault on Klein, the group accused Klein of stating: “it is precisely the anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu that has made life, also for me personally, quite a bit harder in the last few weeks. But even if right-wing narratives currently have a higher potential for violence, we must not underestimate this area.” The group members objected to his assertion that the Liberal Left is accused of anti-Semitism.  They found it offensive and wrote him: “You fail to distinguish between legitimate criticism and real anti-Semitism.” According to them, it is “the acute danger that Jews in Germany face due to the surge in far-right anti-Semitism,” and not the left.    However, a new report by the German Government Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has found that the number of criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism has jumped up nearly 40 percent between 2018 and 2019.  The BfV recorded 6,449 criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism in 2019, up from 4,622 in 2018.  Just over 900 of these crimes were considered violent. Islamic terrorism also remains a significant threat, the report found. The danger to Jews comes from both the left and right. On the same day the letter was sent to Klein, an anonymous abusive post has targeted Klein, who reported this to the police.  The group found BDS to be a legitimate tool of criticism of Israel and, not surprisingly, attack those who work against BDS. They chastised Klein, “You have been a driving force behind attempts to undermine free speech by categorically defining and disqualifying the BDS Movement, which has a minuscule footprint in Germany, as antisemitic.” 
The group ended their letter with a plea, “We are calling on you to resign,” followed by the list of professors, including, but not limited to:
 
Prof. Gadi Algazi, Tel Aviv University; Dr. Seth Anziska, University College London; Prof. Louise Bethlehem, The Hebrew University; Prof. Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Raya Cohen, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Alon Confino, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Prof. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Amos Goldberg, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London; Prof. David Harel, The Weizmann Institute of Science; Prof. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University; Dr. Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University; Prof. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Isaac Nevo, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Prof. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Catherine Rottenberg, University of Nottingham; Prof. David Shulman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, Tel Aviv University; among others.
 
Clearly, some of these scholars are leading BDS activists, others are well-known delegitimizers of Israel, and the rest are known radical-political activists.
 
Palestinian activists have avidly followed the campaign against Klein.  The original letter in German was published by the Palästinakomitee Stuttgart alone, and the letter in English was published only by the Electronic Intifada and Institut für Palästinakunde e.V., which raises a question of possible connection.
 
The German police are yet to discover who is behind the abusive post sent to Klein.  
 Supporting the right to call for BDS against Israel is illegitimate as BDS. Given that BDS is illegal in Israel, the presence of so many Israeli academics among the signatories is concerning.  The Israeli taxpayers pay their salaries.  



https://www.wzo.org.il/antisemitism/index.php?dir=site&page=articles&op=item&cs=4906  
German antisemitism Officer receives abusive post July 11, 2020   Germany Berlin – The Federal Government’s antiaemitism Commissioner Felix Klein has received a letter of agitation for the first time. Klein has been in office since May 2018. According to SPIEGEL information, the letter that he received on June 30 is like a threatening letter that unknown persons sent to the synagogue community in Halle an der Saale in May.The letter addressed to the antisemitism officer is likely to be directly related to Klein’s efforts against racism and antisemitism. “It is precisely the challenges of the corona pandemic that fuel many crude conspiracy myths, which Mr Klein has spoken about several times in the media,” his office said. After a “security-related assessment” of the letter, a criminal complaint was filed.Source: spiegel.  

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http://www.ipk-bonn.de/downloads/Letter_of_Jewish_scholars_to_Felix_Klein.pdf  

Mr. Felix KleinFederal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany andthe Fight against AntisemitismMinistry of the Interior, Building and CommunityAlt-Moabit 14010557 BerlinGermanyCopied:Angela Merkel, Chancellor of GermanyHorst Seehofer, Federal Minister of the InteriorFranziska Giffey, Federal Minister for Family AffairsHeiko Maas, Federal Minister of Foreign AffairsConcerns: your statement regarding “antisemitism from the left-liberal milieu”10 July 2020Dear Mr. Klein,We are Jewish scholars and artists from Israel and elsewhere, many of whom specialize inanti-Semitism and in Jewish, Holocaust and Israel Studies. On April 30, wewrote to GermanInterior Minister Horst Seehofer and called for your replacement as the Federal governmentCommissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism. We did sofollowing your shameful attack on Prof. Achille Mbembe, one of the most importantintellectuals in Africa and globally.A statement has now been brought to our attention, which you made on June 30. In thepresence of Franziska Giffey, the German Minister for Family Affairs, you said: “We allknow, perhaps, ladies and gentlemen, that it is precisely the antisemitism from the left-liberalmilieu that has made life, also for me personally, quite a bit harder in the last few weeks. Buteven if right-wing narratives currently have a higher potential for violence, we must notunderestimate this area.”We strongly object. No “left-liberal anti-Semites” are bullying you, but Jews and non-Jewswho are protesting the way in which you are weaponizing the fight against antisemitism, atthe expense of free speech and basic civil rights – and the fight against antisemitism itself.Holding you accountable for statements and actions in your official capacity, Mr. Klein, is notantisemitism. It’s the essence of democracy.Your statement quoted above is deeply offensive. You basically called us and many otherscriticising you in a legitimate way anti-Semites. We demand an apology for that. It alsotestifies to your distorted understanding of the acute danger that Jews in Germany face due tothe surge in far-right antisemitism. Without hesitation, you compare “left-liberal” critiques toright-wing violence and insist that the former not be underestimated.While you do so, we observe a method you have been using before: stigmatizing andincriminating critics through undefined and unsubstantiated allegations. Instead of supportingyour charges with concrete and credible information relating to the intent and behaviour ofspecific individuals, you make do with generalizations such as “anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu”. Aside from us feeling implicated: who are you pointing at? On what grounds?Page 2We consider such a reliance on vague but highly toxic insinuations problematic anddetrimental in itself, but even more so when used and amplified by a senior official appointedby the German government to fight antisemitism.In a recentarticle in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Journalist and Jurist Stephan Detjenwrote: “Restrictions of freedom of opinion, when motivated by allegations of proximity toBDS, require a clear legal basis and are subject to an examination scheme developed by theFederal Constitutional Court.”You have been a driving force behind attempts to undermine free speech by categoricallydefining and disqualifying the BDS Movement, which has a minuscule footprint in Germany,as antisemitic. However, in itsjudgement on June 11, the European Court of Human Rightsconfirmed and clarified that activism in the context of BDS is protected by freedom ofexpression.As we have stressed before, our views about BDS differ. But all of us were hoping this rulingwould motivate you to shift your attention to the real dangers posed by antisemitism inGermany. As we were hoping the extensive criticism directed at you following your attack onProf. Mbembe would induce you to stop launching baseless and undefined accusations.However, your latest statement about “anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu” made clearour hope was unfounded.You display a lack of awareness and respect for democratic values. You fail to distinguishbetween legitimate criticism and real antisemitism. As the Israeli government is movingtowards formal annexation of parts of the West Bank and the need for loud internationalcriticism and opposition is only growing, you keep chilling the public and political debate inGermany and beyond.In his aforementioned article, Stephan Detjen emphasizes that the Federal governmentCommissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism carries “asharp sword” – for good reasons. Yet again, you have demonstrated you do not know how touse this sword.We are calling on you to resign.Prof. Gadi Algazi, Department of History, Tel Aviv University; Associate Fellow atRe:Work: International Research Center Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History atHumboldt University, BerlinDr. Seth Anziska, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College LondonProf. Louise Bethlehem, Department of English and the Program in Cultural Studies, TheHebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient European Research Council Consolidators GrantProf. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California,Berkeley; Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Von Humboldt Senior LaureateProf. (emerita) Jane Caplan, Professor of Modern European History, University of Oxford;Emeritus Fellow, St Antony’s College, OxfordPage 3Dr. Raya Cohen, formerly Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University; formerlyDepartment of Sociology, University of Naples Federico IIProf. Jean Comaroff, Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African AmericanStudies and of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, HarvardUniversityProf. John Comaroff, Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studiesand of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, Harvard UniversityProf. Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Departments of History andof Jewish and Near Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; recipient of theHumboldt-Stiftung and of the Guggenheim FellowshipsProf. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Department of General and Comparative Literature,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient of Guggenheim FellowshipProf. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv UniversityDr. Katharina Galor, Hirschfeld Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Judaic Studies,Brown UniversityProf. Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The HebrewUniversity of JerusalemProf. Neve Gordon, School of Law, Marie Curie Fellow, Queen Mary University of LondonDr. Ilana Hammerman, Writer, recipient of the Yeshayahu Leibowitz PrizeProf. David Harel, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, TheWeizmann Institute of Science; recipient of the Israel Prize and of the EMET PrizeDani Karavan, Sculptor, projects include the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims ofNational Socialism in Berlin, the Regensburg Synagogue Memorial and the Way of HumanRights in Nuremberg; recipient of the Israel PrizeMiki Kratsman, Photographer; former head of the Photography Department at BezalelAcademy of Arts and Design; recipient of the EMET PrizeAlex Levac, Photographer, recipient of the Israel PrizeProf. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University, recipient of the Israel PrizeDr. (emeritus) Mark Levene, Department of History, University of Southampton UK;Parkes Centre for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations; recipient of the Lemkin Prize of the Institutefor the Study of GenocideProf. Neil Levi, English Department (chair), Drew UniversityDr. Anat Matar, Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor Emeritus of ModernJewish History and Thought and Associate Faculty in the Department of History, TheUniversity of Chicago Divinity School; Professor Emeritus of Jewish Thought, The HebrewUniversity of JerusalemProf. Isaac Nevo, Department of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the NegevPage 4Prof. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Scienceand Ideas, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor of the Humanities, The Cogut Institute forthe Humanities and the Center for Middle East Studies, Brown UniversityProf. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, School of Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; TheDavid Yellin Academic College of Education; co-recipient of the Sakharov PrizeProf. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Departments of English Literature andComparative Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; member of the Israel Academyof Sciences and HumanitiesProf. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Head of the Talmud and Late Antiquity section, The Department ofJewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies,Department of Comparative Literature, University of CaliforniaProf. Catherine Rottenberg, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University ofNottinghamProf. David Shulman, Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, recipient of the Israel Prize andof the EMET PrizeProf. Barry Trachtenberg, Michael R. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of JewishHistory, Department of History, Wake Forest UniversityProf. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv University

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https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/german-anti-semitism-chief-must-resign-say-jewish-and-israeli-scholars    German anti-Semitism chief must resign, say Jewish and Israeli scholars Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 13 July 2020
Almost three dozen prominent Jewish and Israeli scholars are calling for the resignation of Germany’s top official responsible for combating anti-Semitism.The latest demand for the removal of Felix Klein comes following his claim at an event on 30 June that “anti-Semitism from the left-liberal milieu” had been “making life a bit harder for me personally.”Klein went on to say that “even if right-wing narratives currently have a higher potential for violence, we must not underestimate this area.”The scholars reject this entirely: “No ‘left-liberal anti-Semites’ are bullying you, but Jews and non-Jews are protesting the way in which you are weaponizing the fight against anti-Semitism at the expense of free speech and basic civil rights – and the fight against anti-Semitism itself.”The signers include Dani Karavan, Alex Levac, Yehuda Judd Ne’eman and David Shulman – all winners of the Israel Prize, the state’s highest official cultural honor.They also include Harvard University’s Jean Comaroff, writer and Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prize winner Ilana Hammerman, and Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.Among the signers are Mark Levene, retired professor at the University of Southampton and winner of the Lemkin Prize of the Institute for the Study of Genocide; Michael Rothberg, chair in Holocaust studies at the University of California; and Barry Trachtenberg, chair of Jewish history at Wake Forest University.The scholars call Klein’s latest declaration “deeply offensive.”“You basically called us and many others criticizing you in a legitimate way anti-Semites,” they write. “We demand an apology for that.”They also accuse Klein of minimizing the “acute danger that Jews in Germany face due to the surge in far-right anti-Semitism.”Smears against Achille MbembeKlein already faced calls for his sacking earlier this year following what the scholars term his “shameful attack on Professor Achille Mbembe, one of the most important intellectuals in Africa and globally.”In response to Klein’s smear campaign against Mbembe, hundreds of scholars pledged not to cooperate with institutions in Germany that censor advocates of Palestinian rights.Many of the scholars now urging Klein to resign wrote to Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer following the Mbembe episode, urging him to fire Klein.Despite the backlash, Klein refused to apologize for his false accusations of anti-Semitism against Mbembe.Asked to justify those attacks, Klein made it crystal clear to the German newspaper Die Zeit in May that his motivation for smearing Mbembe was to shield Israel from accountability and criticism.Klein claimed that Mbembe’s essay “The Society of Enmity” contained “all the features of Israel-focused anti-Semitism.”According to Klein, this included that “Israel is demonized, a double standard is established, and the legitimacy of the country as a whole is called into question.”In fact, the essay contains detailed and factually accurate descriptions of the systems of control and segregation Israel imposes on Palestinians, including walls, checkpoints, fences and watchtowers.Klein also cited how Mbembe wrote the foreward to the 2015 book Apartheid Israel “in which he argued that Israel is worse than the apartheid regime of South Africa.”Klein also complained that proceeds from the book “went to a BDS group” – a reference to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.The volume, published by Haymarket Books, is a thought-provoking and carefully considered collection of essays by 18 scholars of Africa – who can hardly be accused of making light of the term apartheid.Comparisons of Israel’s system to the crime of apartheid as it was perpetrated in South Africa have been common for years – because they are accurate – and have been advanced not least by former Israeli prime ministers including Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak.In his own defense, in an interview published in April, Mbembe has gone as far as to declare that “It would never occur to me to contest Israel’s right to exist” and to insist that “I have no relationship whatsoever with BDS.”Klein, therefore, not only seeks to silence those who oppose Israel’s claimed “right to exist” as a racist Jewish state, but even those – like Mbembe – who don’t.But facts are not important to pro-Israel zealots like Klein who are determined to smear any and all criticism of Israel as akin to anti-Jewish bigotry.“For me, the matter is unfortunately clear-cut,” Klein asserted regarding Mbembe’s work. “And I am surprised that there are readers of this composition who apparently ignore that.”“Driving force”Indeed the matter is clear-cut, but not in the way Klein thinks: What is evident is that all the examples of alleged anti-Semitism he produced against Mbembe amount to criticism of Israel’s brutal system of military occupation, settler-colonialism and violent ethno-religious segregation.The signers of the letter calling on him to resign call Klein a “driving force behind attempts to undermine free speech by categorically disqualifying the BDS movement, which has a minuscule footprint in Germany, as anti-Semitic.”They note that this logic was rejected in a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights last month, which confirmed that Israel boycott activism is protected political free speech.“You display a lack of awareness and respect for democratic values,” the scholars charge Klein. “You fail to distinguish between legitimate criticism and real anti-Semitism.”As Israel moves towards annexing large parts of the occupied West Bank, the scholars say that “the need for loud international criticism and opposition is only growing,” but Klein keeps “chilling the public and political debate in Germany and beyond.” Klein is one of several high-profile anti-Semitism officials appointed by European governments and the US who have used their positions as a cover to advance Israel’s campaign to muzzle supporters of Palestinian rights.Prominent among them is Katharina von Schnurbein, a German functionary who leads the European Union’s effort to spread smears and lies against the BDS movement.==========================================================http://www.ipk-bonn.de/downloads/Call-on-German-Minister-Seehofer.pdf

Mr. Horst Seehofer

Minister of the Interior, Building and CommunityAlt-Moabit 14010557 BerlinGermanyCopied:Angela Merkel, Chancellor of GermanyHeiko Maas, Minister of Foreign AffairsConcerns: Call to replace Felix Klein as the Federal government Commissioner for theFight against Antisemitism30 April 2020Dear Minister Seehofer,We, Jewish scholars and artists from Israel and elsewhere, many of whom specialize in anti-Semitism and in Jewish, Holocaust and Israel Studies, are calling on you to replace Felix Klein,the Federal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight againstAntisemitism, following his shameful attack on Prof. Achille Mbembe.As you know, Prof. Achille Mbembe is one of the most important intellectuals in Africa, whosehumanistic voice and scholarship is heard and admired globally. We consider Mr. Klein’s attemptto frame Prof. Mbembe as an antisemite baseless, inappropriate, offensive and harmful.We are aware that the attack on Prof. Mbembe was initiated by others, who rejected him as theopening speaker of this year’s Ruhrtriennale Festival. Given his official role and responsibility, wefind it unacceptable that Mr. Klein joined this attack, which degraded into a witch-hunt.We are perplexed that Mr. Klein did so without bothering to study Prof. Mbembe’s work. Instead,he relied for his allegations on a deeply selective reading and manipulative interpretation of Prof.Mbembe’s writings by others. Considering that accusations of antisemitism can ruin someone’sreputation, this in itself amounts to severe professional and moral misconduct.The Ruhrtriennale Festival has been cancelled by now, due to the coronavirus. This incident,however, cannot remain without consequences for Mr. Klein. Apart from the personal andprofessional harm done to Prof. Mbembe, Mr. Klein has done a disservice to the urgent fightagainst real antisemitism, casting a shadow over the integrity of his public office.By accusing Prof. Mbembe of “relativizing the Holocaust”, Mr. Klein has also harmed academicfreedom. This toxic allegation relates to Prof. Mbembe’s study in reference to the Holocaust incomparative context. We wish to be very clear: such study isn’t a trivialization of the Holocaustand certainly not antisemitism. It is legitimate, essential and in fact commonplace in Holocaust andgenocide studies. Some 600 leading Holocaust scholars recently asserted that banning analogiesfrom the debate about the Holocaust is “a radical position that is far removed from mainstreamscholarship on the Holocaust and genocide. And it makes learning from the past almostimpossible”.Mr. Klein’s attack on Prof. Mbembe fits into a pattern. He has assumed a leading role in the“weaponization” of antisemitism against critics of the Israeli government and activists exercisingtheir freedom of speech and assembly to protest Israel’s violations of basic rights of thePalestinians. As an official representative of the German government, Mr. Klein is underminingPage 2the exercise of fundamental freedoms – this should deeply alarm your government, considering itscommitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.Unjustified allegations of antisemitism are increasingly creating a climate of fear in Germany,deterring intellectuals, journalists and the public at large from exercising free speech regardingcontroversial issues that should be publicly debated. At this very hour, free and critical speech inrelation to Israel is needed more than ever. While the world is desperately fighting the coronavirus,the incoming Israeli government is moving towards annexation of vital parts of the occupiedPalestinian West Bank – a grave violation of international law, formalizing a situation of twopeoples with unequal rights inside one territory.56 former members of the Knesset, some of whom have served as ministers in various Israeligovernments, have recently warned this would establish an Apartheid state in Israel-Palestine.Does Mr. Klein consider them antisemites? And all others who will speak of inequality anddiscrimination, after annexation has been implemented? These questions arise after Mr. Klein hasaccused Prof. Mbembe of antisemitism for allegedly equating Israel with Apartheid South Africa.In addition, Mr. Klein has promoted and amplified aggressive campaigns against organizations andindividuals, some of them Jewish, due to their support for “BDS”. He is clearly obsessed by theBDS campaign, which has a miniscule footprint in Germany, and appears to devote more of histime to it than to the acute threat that the surge in far-right antisemitism poses to Jews and Jewishlife in Germany.Our views on BDS differ, but it is entirely clear: BDS as such is not antisemitic and is essentiallyprotected by freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as also confirmed by several Germancourts. It is deplorable but unsurprising that the Israeli government is waging war against BDS –but how can a German government official join this war in the frontline?In this context, we wish to add that this anti-BDS crusade is undeniably contributing to themarginalization of non-white voices and minorities in Germany, fostering racism and nationalisticsentiments. It is a shame that none other than the Federal Commissioner for the Fight againstAntisemitism is leading this trend.We also deplore that Mr. Klein has been encouraging politicized abuse of the IHRA definition,which conflates antisemitism with criticism and activism directed at Israel, to discredit and silenceopponents of Israel’s policies. Here again, we observe Mr. Klein operating in synergy with theIsraeli government.That same Israeli government is currently preparing for annexation of vital parts of Palestine. Ithas deliberately weaponized allegations of antisemitism to politically shield this dramatic step andto distract from the documented evidence about its systematic violations of the human rights of thePalestinians.On numerous occasions since his appointment in May 2018, Mr. Klein has facilitated andlegitimized this fatal instrumentalization, which – we wish to repeat – harms the fight against realanti-Semitism. The latest example is his attack on Prof. Mbembe.For all these reasons, we consider Mr. Klein unqualified and unfit for the important task assignedto him. He is a civil servant that operates and falls under your political responsibility. We call onyou to replace Mr. Klein without delay as the German government Commissioner for JewishLife and the Fight against Antisemitism.Page 3Yours sincerely,Prof. Gadi Algazi, Department of History, Tel Aviv University; Associate Fellow at Re:Work:International Research Center Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History at HumboldtUniversity, BerlinDr. Seth Anziska, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College LondonProf. Louise Bethlehem, Department of English and the Program in Cultural Studies, TheHebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient European Research Council Consolidators GrantProf. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California,Berkeley; Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Von Humboldt Senior LaureateProf. (emeritus) Jose Brunner, Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science andIdeas (former director) and Buchmann Faculty of Law; co-founder of Israel’s first legal clinic forthe rights of Holocaust survivors, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. (emerita) Jane Caplan, History Department, University of Oxford; Emeritus Fellow, St.Antony’s College, Oxford; Marjorie Walter Goodhart Professor Emeritus of European History,Bryn Mawr College; Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of LondonDr. Raya Cohen, formerly Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University; formerlyDepartment of Sociology, University of Naples Federico IIProf. Jean Comaroff, Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African AmericanStudies and of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, HarvardUniversityProf. John Comaroff, Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and ofAnthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, Harvard UniversityProf. Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Director of The Institute forHolocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, Department of History and of Jewish and Near EasternStudies, University of Massachusetts; recipient of the Humboldt-Stiftung and of the GuggenheimFellowshipsProf. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Department of General and Comparative Literature, TheHebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient of Guggenheim FellowshipProf. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv UniversityDr. Katharina Galor, Hirschfeld Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Judaic Studies, BrownUniversityProf. Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The HebrewUniversity of JerusalemProf. Neve Gordon, School of Law, Marie Curie Fellow, Queen Mary University of LondonDr. Ilana Hammerman, Writer, recipient of the Yeshayahu Leibowitz PrizeProf. David Harel, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, The WeizmannInstitute of Science; recipient of the Israel Prize and of the EMET PrizeProf. Eva Illouz, The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University ofJerusalem; The European Centre for Sociology and Political Science, Paris; recipient of theAnneliese Meier International Award for Excellence in Research from the Alexander vonHumboldt-Foundation and of the EMET PrizePage 4Dani Karavan, Sculptor, projects include the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims of NationalSocialism in Berlin, the Regensburg Synagogue Memorial and the Way of Human Rights inNuremberg; recipient of the Israel PrizeMiki Kratsman, Photographer; former head of the Photography Department at Bezalel Academyof Arts and Design; recipient of the EMET PrizeAlex Levac, Photographer, recipient of the Israel PrizeProf. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University, recipient of the Israel PrizeDr. (emeritus) Mark Levene, Department of History, University of Southampton UK; ParkesCentre for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations; recipient of the Lemkin Prize of the Institute for theStudy of GenocideProf. Neil Levi, English Department (chair), Drew UniversityDr. Anat Matar, Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor Emeritus of ModernJewish History and Thought and Associate Faculty in the Department of History, The Universityof Chicago Divinity School; Professor Emeritus of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University ofJerusalemProf. Isaac Nevo, Department of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the NegevProf. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science andIdeas, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor of the Humanities, The Cogut Institute for theHumanities and the Center for Middle East Studies, Brown UniversityProf. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, School of Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; TheDavid Yellin Academic College of Education; co-recipient of the Sakharov PrizeProf. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of theNegev, recipient of the Zalman Shazar Prize for Jewish HistoryProf. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Departments of English Literature and ComparativeLiterature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; member of the Israel Academy of Sciences andHumanitiesProf. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Head of the Talmud and Late Antiquity section, The Department ofJewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel Aviv UniversityProf. Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies, Department ofComparative Literature, University of CaliforniaProf. Catherine Rottenberg, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University ofNottinghamProf. Barry Trachtenberg, Michael R. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of JewishHistory, Department of History, Wake Forest UniversityProf. David Shulman, Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, recipient of the Israel Prize and of theEMET PrizeProf. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy ofScience and Ideas, Tel Aviv University


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https://www.dw.com/en/germany-right-wing-extremists/a-54105110  

  Number of right-wing extremists in Germany on rise, security report suggests

Right-wing extremism increased in Germany last year, the country’s domestic intelligence agency has reported, with over 32,000 extremists identified. The report also found that more suspects are prepared to use violence.

   

Right-wing extremism poses the biggest threat to security in Germany, the country’s interior minister said Thursday at the presentation of the 2019 report by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

In Berlin, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and the head of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) Thomas Haldenwang presented the organization’s most recent findings, which showed that right-wing extremism in Germany sharply increased last year.

According to the report, the BfV identified 32,080 right-wing extremists in Germany in 2019, up from 24,100 the year before.

The BfV classified 13,000 of these cases as prepared to use violence, 300 more than in 2018.

Right-wing extremism, racism, and anti-Semitism continue to increase in Germany, Seehofer said.

“These areas are the biggest threat to security in Germany,” he said.

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Former AfD faction boosts extremist numbers

Seehofer pointed to government action over the last year, saying no other government in Germany had done so much to fight far-right extremism.

In recent months, several extreme far-right organizations were banned for views or activities deemed anti-constitutional.

For the first time this year, the BfV report also reviewed the activities and member of the radical “Flügel”, or Wing, faction of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Read more: Preventing terrorism: What powers do German security forces have?

The controversial faction officially disbanded earlier this year after the BfV put the group under surveillance. But the agency estimates there remains a membership of around 7,000 individuals, some 20% of the AfD.

This accounts for a significant share of the increase in right-wing extremists recorded by the BfV in 2019.

“Racism and anti-Semitism emerge to a very considerable degree out of right-wing extremism,” Seehofer said. “Over 90% of anti-Semitic incidents can be traced back to right-wing extremism.  And therefore it is not an exaggeration to say this is the biggest security policy concern in our country.”

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Left-wing extremism also on the rise

The report also noted an uptick in left-wing extremists, logging 33,500 extremists from the far-left spectrum in 2019 compared to 32,000 the year before.

“Characteristic of the left-wing extremist scene is its pronounced heterogeneity,” the report said. “The left-wing extremist scene can be divided into two camps — violent and non-violent left-wing extremists.”

The BfV recorded 6,449 criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism in 2019, up from 4,622 in 2018, a near 40% increase.  Just over 900 of these crimes were considered violent.

Islamic terrorism also remains a significant threat, the report found.

“The danger of [Islamic] terrorism in Germany is still very high,” Seehofer said, adding that the BfV had identified nearly 650 cases of the threat of Islamic terror last year.

Attacks and planned attacks in Germany and Europe are, however, declining overall, the report said.

Breaking the trend

BfV head Haldenwang noted that the coronavirus crisis had pushed recent right-wing attacks in Germany out of the news cycle, but said the security agency continued in its work preventing such events.

Among far-right extremists there exists a “competition” as to which attack can result in the highest number of victims, Haldenwang said.

“We’re talking about breaking a ‘high score’ of number of victims,” he said. “We have to break this trend.”

To this end, Haldenwang called on the media to resist putting too much focus on the perpetrators of terrorist attacks.

kp/rs (AFP, dpa, epd)