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Homemade Israel-Bashers

Homemade Israel-Bashers

A secular professor exposes the dangerous lunacy of Israel's radical Left.


Shortly after I began teaching at Columbia University, I was taken aback to hear that the Iranian ruler Ahmadinejad had been invited to speak on campus. There was hardly any time to organize a protest against the event. Despite this, three kippot-wearing students from Hillel House worked day and night to distribute posters and pamphlets featuring a choice selection of the guest's hate-filled, genocidal invective. They organized a demonstration in front of the hall where the Iranian president was to speak, and all without any outside help.

I spoke at the demonstration, where I discovered that almost all the participants present were local Orthodox Jewish students. The number of secular Israeli students could be counted on the fingers of one hand -- with fingers to spare.

How can she applaud someone that wants to exterminate her?

Inside the hall sat an Israeli student who applauded Ahmadinejad. I asked another Israeli who witnessed this behavior to tell me about her. I asked: How can she applaud someone that wants to exterminate her?

His matter of fact reply: "She's known to be a leftist."

In other words, "leftists" applaud a tyrant, a Nazi, a persecutor of minorities, oppressor of women, stoner of "adulterers," and executioner of homosexuals. If he protests the oppression of the Palestinians, then he must clearly be a member of the "left" and should therefore be cheered.

Later, I encountered other Israeli academicians at Columbia who added more fuel to the fire of hatred against Israel -- all belonged to what is known as the radical Left.

When the semester ended, my wife and I were invited to a Shabbat meal on Friday night prepared by the organizers of the demonstration.

I am a professed and impassioned secular Jew. My Judaism is national and cultural. I believe that my approach is in no way inferior to the Orthodox or haredi one. It contains neither temptations of paradise, the punishment of hell, nor the revival of the dead. It is filled with a rich, multifaceted and wondrous Jewish-Hebrew culture. I also believe that secular humanism is the right answer for us as individuals and as a nation.

But if I had to choose between the kippa-wearing Jews at Columbia and the representatives of what is known in Israel as the radical Left -- I know where my heart is.

That is the entire story.

No, it is the end of the story.

It is also the end of the story of the anti-Israeli squadrons in the Israeli academia.

For some time, I have been waiting for a hysterical outburst from this direction, one that would bring their claims to such an absurd point, that they would be finished. I always believed that their "post-intelligent" anti-Israeli claptrap would eventually climax in a paroxysm of extremist mumbo-jumbo lunacy, after which there would no longer be anything to argue about. They'd be exposed.

Ben-Dror Yemini provided me with just that evidence (Ma'ariv, January 11), in an article in which he tells of a research project carried out by graduate student Tal Nizan at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research question was: How is it that, contrary to the accepted practice among other occupation armies, the Zionist occupation army does not rape?

The researcher had two explanations: First, IDF soldiers do not rape Palestinian women because for them, these women have been dehumanized, and "consequently, a sexual act cannot be carried out with someone that is perceived as less than human." Second, the soldiers refrained from raping the Palestinian women in the service of a higher, demographic goal, because the rape could cause pregnancies that would subsequently increase the numbers of our enemies. In other words, not only are there no rapes, there are no condoms either.

The significant aspect is not this surreal research project. It is not unusual. Incitement against Israel can be found on the lowest level in some of the social science departments in Israel's universities. A well-known philosopher in Tel Aviv University called Israel the dustbin of Europe -- and students, as we know, are influenced by their teachers, even when the latter are seized by a frenzy of hatred toward the state that provides their livelihood, and at the expense of which, thanks to their attacks on it, they make their names.

The interesting thing is that this "research" project won a prize from a sociology association, with a number of distinguished professors voting in favor of granting the researcher a prize.

It would be interesting to hear how these professors propose that Israel amend this serious flaw, that IDF soldiers are not serial rapists. Does that fact that female tourists are not raped mean that they too have been dehumanized?

These professors are wrong. It's not true that there is no rape. There is -- the rape of the academia, of science and of the students forced to listen to these professors' drivel.

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

March 1, 2008

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 18

(18) tova wald, March 7, 2008 5:39 AM

Lewis Loflin has written a most wise and enlightening comment--a universal message. I would like to dedicate the following to him and people like him:

A Prayer for our Time

We once stood at the foot of your holy moutain, Sinai. There You revealed Yourself as we stood in awe and trepidation to receive our most precious gift, the Ten Commandments by the hand of Moses, your chosen prophet.

We entered into a holy covenant that You are our One and True G-d forever, for all time and to keep Your laws, as the earth trembled beneath our feet.

You have performed miracles in the past and present. No act is difficult for you to accomplish. There are those who wish to weaken and diminish us, to push us over the abyss. Enter the portals of their minds to change their decisions for good. Reveal to them that there is nothing greater in the universe than love, compassion and understanding. Keep our leaders strong in their faith and true to our cause.

Bring our captive soldiers home to us so that our fears be allayed, and we can rejoice in their presence amongst us once more


(17) Lewis Loflin, March 6, 2008 5:20 AM

Chaya Miriam is right

Chaya makes a valid point. As a non-Jew I can't tell Jews what to do, or even who to consider Jewish, but my view is an atheist or Humanist is not Jew. And a Humanist or socialist is not an American in any real sense of the word.

Without a belief in G-d, they often find a new "pseudo" religion which often means socialism or some modern destructive "ism" in general. Most of these modern "isms" leave no place for Jews or any believer in G-d, or for personal choice of any kind. They promote the universal over the individual.

Jews have paid a horrific price and are often the first to get it. Then they will come for me when they are finished with them.

Prof. Rubinstein is a proud Humanist and makes it clear that's what he thinks is best for all of us. But most of us don't believe as he does. But here in America nearly all Humanists and their organizations are leftist. That is where most leftists originate from.

It's these atheists that tend to reduce everything to some vague "cultural" claptrap or philosophy, the reality is they reject who they really are. Far too many grow to hate it. But Judaism as a belief in G-d/Torah is the underpinning of Jews and a secular philosophy won't cut it. (Nor for us Unitarians. We have been heavily undermined by the same forces Jews deal with.)

America was founded by a diverse lot of enlightened Christians, Unitarians, and yes we even had Jewish officers serving under Washington. Unlike the atheistic French Revolution, ours was grounded in G-d in general, but a not a specific sect. We didn't behead people or commit mass murder in the name of some higher philosophy we invented. A belief in God moderated secular philosophy. Leftist seldom have that moderation in the end. But reason/secularism can moderate religious extremism. Either one alone can be deadly.

Unlike the Humanist, we (America) never demanded conformity other than loyalty to the nation and to get along. That's different than the Humanist view everyone must be exactly alike.

Our Constitution and individualism has been eroded by rabid Humanism and atheism, and it's no surprise that like Israel our worst enemies can be some our own people.

Israel like America has a unique underpinning and that both great nations are far better than most others. To conform to others is to destroy ourselves.

(16) Marvin Rosner, March 4, 2008 3:35 PM


It is pathetic that the "intelectual"politcally left Jews and the university environment and teachers spawn tis kind of bahavior

(15) Andy, March 4, 2008 3:04 PM

nothing new.left wingers are for a new world order where Jews have no standing asJews

I can understand the professor not buying into religion and wanting the Jews to thrive as a people with a cultural historical identity centered in the land of Israel. Unfortunately contiuing that reality does not come cheap as the Moslem world has made clear it won't stand for a Jewish State in Israel.Are secular Jews motivated enough to fight as long as it takes to maintain a Jewish State?

(14) Ruth Halligan, March 4, 2008 11:12 AM

Conflict of ...values?

Not sure how to put this. The Columbia appearance by Ahmadinajad is a "freedom of speech" issue and he got more of a confrontation there than just about anywhere.
Being on the "left" does not make me suspend balance when I address political issues. Bob Reid's assertion that "freedom of expression" is restricted in "far left" venues is equalled by the restrictions on the far right. This site vets submissions. It is a reflection of point of view. The reader knows that going in.

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