Turning Molehills into Mountains

September 24, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 John Cheney-Lippold, told his student that he wouldn’t write a letter of recommendation for her to study in Israel.

John Cheney-Lippold, told his student that he wouldn’t write a letter of recommendation for her to study in Israel.

Earlier this month, University of Michigan professor John Cheney-Lippold, told his student, Abigail Ingber, that he would not write a letter of recommendation for her to study in Israel.  In declining to write the recommendation, he wrote in part, “As you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine.This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there.”

This incident has, predictably, led to wild accusations of anti Semitism. First, it is worth noting that it is unlikely that this refusal caused Ms Ingber any harm. Other professors can write recommendations and the publicity around this incident will not harm her application to be a visiting student at Tel Aviv University.

Without reaching any of the other issues raised, I tend to think that Professor Cheney-Lippold’s refusal was wrong. He is an employee of a public university and part of his job is writing recommendations for deserving students. However deeply the professor supports the BDS movement, this may not excuse his failure to fulfill his obligations as a professor.

The University made a similar point. “It is disappointing that a faculty member would allow their personal political beliefs to limit the support they are willing to otherwise provide for our students.”

But there is something in the psyche of Israel’s supporters that refuses to allow a simple solution (even if it is in their favor) or to miss a chance to rail against perceived anti Semitism and unfair treatment of Israel.

Club Z’, a Zionist facebook page posted Cheney-Lippold’s  explanation for not writing the recommendation and stated through its executive director, Masha Merkulova, that the refusal was anti-Semitic as it came “solely because her chosen destination is Israel.”  But Israel is neither a race nor a religion and by conflating the boycott of Israel and Jews, Ms Merkula is doing what the IHRA definition of antisemitism forbids. Or is that definition only applicable to those accused of anti Semitism and not the accusers?

Cheney-Lippold responded he did not regret his decision. “I do not regret declining to write the letter, precisely because I am boycotting injustice… Israeli universities are complicit institutions — they develop weapons systems and military training. Cheney-Lippold denied charges that his refusal was anti Semitic, stating that he is boycotting Israeli institutions, not Jewish students.

A group of 58 religious, civil rights and education advocacy groups, most of them notably Zionist, wrote to the University’s president,  “We … call on you to make a public statement specifically stating that this behavior will not be permitted, affirming your commitment to ensuring that no U-M student will be impeded from studying about or in Israel, and detailing the steps you will take to ensure that faculty do not implement an academic boycott of Israel at the University of Michigan.”  The letter’s demands go far beyond the facts of this case. It is not clear why a professor, if he or she otherwise fulfills his obligations, is not free to boycott Israel.

The histrionics were abetted by former law professor Alan Dershowitz who weighed in with wild accusations: “imagine a white university professor telling a highly qualified African-American student that he refused to recommend her for a year-abroad program to an African country because he disapproved of the way that country treated its white minority. That professor would be ostracized, boycotted, reprimanded, disciplined or fired.”

This example of a ‘white’ professor supporting a white minority is inapplicable. Cheney-Lippold is not Palestinian, his convictions are ethical, not tribal. Secondly, are African American students really in the habit of crying ‘racist’ at any criticism of Africa? And lastly, what African country locks millions of white people in open air prisons? Are there any African states that deploy snipers against unarmed white protestors?

Dershowitz continues his absurd tale. “Many who support singling out Israel will actively encourage academic contacts with Russian, Cuban, Saudi, Venezuelan, Chinese, Belarusian and Palestinian universities, despite the horrid human-rights records of these undemocratic countries and the discriminatory policies of their universities.” Where is the evidence for this bold statement?

Dershowitz adds another outrageous accusation based on no facts. “This hypocritical professor probably would not hesitate to recommend his student to universities that discriminate against gay and transgender, women, Jewish or Christian students.”

Finally, Dershowitz garners the evidence of  his imaginings to make his point. “Academic freedom may permit a professor to advocate a boycott against Israeli (or any other) universities, misguided as that may be. But it does not permit a professor to actually discriminate against one of his students based on invidious factors. A teacher must treat all of his students fairly and equally, without regard to their religious, political or ethnic views or identities…academic freedom … does not protect him from discriminating against a student who has different views.”

Professor Cheney Lippold did not discriminate against the student for her ethnicity or beliefs, rather he refused to write a  recommendation because, as he said, he believed that doing so would support Israel and violate his own commitment to BDS.

It seems that the relatively minor incident of a refusal to write a letter of recommendation based on the boycott of Israel has become the basis of hysterical accusations of anti Semitism. It may be that such extreme reactions serve to inure the public to true anti Semitism.

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Jews and Gentiles

September 10, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Early Zionism was a significant and glorious moment in Jewish history; a moment of dramatic epiphany fueled by self-loathing. The early Zionists promised to save the Jews from the Jew and to liberate the Jew from the Jews. They were disgusted by the Diaspora non-proletarian urban Jewish culture which they regarded as parasitic.  They promised to bond the new Hebrews with labour and soil. They were convinced that they could transform what they saw as a greedy capitalist into a new ‘Israelite hard working peasant.’  They believed that they could make the ‘international cosmopolitan’ into a nationalist patriot, they believed that they knew how to convert Soros into a kibbutznik: they were certain that it was within their capacity to make Alan Dershowitz into a Uri Avneri and Abe Foxman into a peacenik. They promised to make Jews into people like all other people while failing to realize that no other people really want to resemble others.

Zionism has been successful on many fronts. It managed to form a Jewish state at the expense of the indigenous people of Palestine. The Jewish state is a wealthy ghetto and one which is internationally supported. But Israel is a state like no other. It is institutionally racist and murderous.  It begs for American taxpayers’ money despite being filthy rich.  Sadly, Zionism didn’t solve the Jewish problem, it just moved it to a new location. More significantly, not only did Zionism fail to heal the Jews as it had promised to do, it actually amplified the symptoms it had vowed to obliterate.

Accordingly, the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitsm should be regarded as a Zionist admission that the task of making Jews people like all other people has been a complete failure. No other people have so intensely and institutionally engaged in the suppression of other people’s freedom of speech. Jewish and Zionist bodies work openly and in concert to silence every possible criticism of their state. The real reason for the fight to make the IHRA definition law is that the Zionist position on antisemitism is indefensible.  If the Jews need a special definition of hatred against them (as opposed to a definition of hatred that includes hatred of any people based on race or religion) it proves that, at least in the eyes of the Zionists who push for the definition, Jews are somehow different.

In addition, and for quite some time, history laws and regimes of correctness have been employed to block our access to the Jewish past. This is paradoxical given the fact that the Zionist project is a historically driven adventure: while Zionists often claim their right to self determination on their so-called ‘historical land,’ no one else is allowed to critically examine the Jewish historical past. The Jewish past is, instead, what Jews consider to be their past at a given moment, and as the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand suggests, this so called ‘narrative’ is often an ‘invention.’  No one is permitted to look into the validity of claims made about Jewish participation  in the slave trade. Gentiles are not entitled to look into the role of Jewish Bolsheviks in some colossal communist crimes. The Nakba is legally isolated by walls of Israeli legislation. And it is axiomatic that no one may freely engage in critical thinking on any topic that is even tangentially related to the holocaust. For my suggestion that Jews should self reflect and attempt to understand what it was that led to the animosity against them in the 1930s, I am castigated by some Jewish ethnic activists as a holocaust denier.

French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard taught us that history claims to tell us ‘what happened’ but in most cases it actually does the opposite: it is there to conceal our collective shame. To suppress their shame, Americans build holocaust museums in every American city rather than explore their own slave holding past. Rather than deal with their dark imperial history, the Brits allocated a large part of their Imperial Wars Museum to a Holocaust Memorial. Both American and British holocaust museums fail to address the shameful fact that both countries largely blocked their gates to European Jewish refugees fleeing the holocaust. According to Lyotard, the role of the true historian is to unveil the shame, removing layer after layer of suppression. This painful process is where history matures into ethical awareness. And then, there is no examination of responsibility for historical wrongs in the Zionist narrative, for the notion of shame, that instigated the Early Zionist ideology, is totally foreign to Zionist culture and politics.

Israel not only couldn’t be bothered to build a Nakba museum: it does not even acknowledge the Nakba. Zionists didn’t express remorse that their Jewish state deployed snipers to hunt Palestinian protestors, killing hundreds and wounding thousands of them.

Neither Zionists nor Israelis feel the need to find excuses for the fact that their laws are racist: Palestinian Israeli citizens are 7th class citizens and the rest of the Palestinians who live in Israeli controlled territories are locked up in open air prisons. Zionism doesn’t have to deal with shame because shame involves uncanny introspection, it entails humility, ordinariness.   Unlike the Americans and the Brits who made other people’s suffering into their empathy pets, the Zionists, the Israelis and Jews in general are clearly happy to celebrate the primacy of Jewish suffering while making sure everyone else adheres to this principle.  Zionism skillfully put into play the means that suppress criticism all together. But by doing so, Zionism essentially blinded its followers to its own crimes, and it put an end to the dream to become people like all other people.

Although Zionism was an apparatus invented to fix the Jews, to make them ordinary, it had the opposite effect. It made it impossible for its followers to integrate into the rest of the nations as a people amongst people. While Zionism was born to obliterate choseness, as it was practiced it was hijacked by the most problematic form of  Jewish exceptionalism. Interestingly enough, today, just ahead of the Jewish new year, Haaretzrevealed that 56% of Israeli Jews see themselves as chosen. I guess the rest see themselves as exceptional.

 56% of Israeli Jews see themselves as chosens.

56% of Israeli Jews see themselves as chosens.

If some Zionists out there are still committed to the original Zionist dream, then owning the shame that is attached to the Zionist sin is probably the way forward. Because as things stand at the moment, the only public figure who insists upon seeing Jews as people like all other people and actually act upon it is, believe it or not, Jeremy Corbyn.

Tomorrow (9-11) in Manhattan I will dig into the history of Zionism from Herzl to Bibi:

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Jews, Logic and Corbyn

August 18, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmomn

According to the Transitive Axiom if A=B and B=C then A = C (If any two items are equal to the same third item then the two are equal to each other).

I mention the Transitive Axiom because it is a straightforward way to understand that if Corbyn (A) = existential threat to Jews (B) and Hitler (C) = existential threat to Jews (B) then Corbyn (A) = Hitler (C).

Every day British Jewish community leaders tell us that it will pose an “existential threat” to British Jews if Corbyn ends up in 10 Downing Street. It seems some British Jewish leaders are either delusional or stupid enough to believe that Corbyn and Hitler are one and the same. A few weeks ago, the three main British Jewish papers joined forces to deliver this humorous message in a single voice: ‘Corbyn poses an existential threat to our community.’

Today, Jonathan Goldstein, head of the Jewish Leadership Council repeated the same message in an interview with the Times of Israel.

“We are nervous about this man (Corbyn) becoming prime minister. We see the possibility of a Labour government led by this group as an existential threat to our community. These are unprecedented times.”

Jewish religion and culture are saturated with purported ‘existential threats.’ Jews are advised to “remember Amalek” the archetypical Biblical existential threat. Purim, the most joyous Jewish holiday, is a celebration of the Jewish victory over Haman, who was another existential threat. The holiday commemorates the killing  of Haman as well as the massacre of 75.000 of his associates. Even Jesus is perceived by some rabbinical sects as not only an arch enemy but an existential threat as well. Yeshu, the Hebrew name used for Christ , is an acronym for the formula Y’mach Sh’mo V’Zichro meaning ‘may his name and memory be obliterated’– a term reserved for the bitterest enemies of the Jews (Hitler, Amalek, etc.).  A few years back, yours truly was an existential threat in the eyes of the delusional Alan Dershowitz  

I hope that the Zionist campaign against Corbyn is not going to mature into a jubilant Jewish holiday or, God forbid, a Purim spirited lethal attack on his many supporters. I point at the absurdity of the Zionist zeal because judging by the language used by British Jewish community leaders, they see Corbyn as up there with Amalek, Haman and Hitler.

This is probably the right time to remind ourselves and British Jewish leaders of another fundamental mathematical axiom, namely the Symmetric one — If a = b then b = a.

If Corbyn = Hitler then we can assume that Hitler = Corbyn.  This could be a dangerous path for British Jews, especially considering the fact that despite the relentless Zionist campaign against him, Corbyn is still leading in the polls. In other words, if Hitler = Corbyn and Corbyn is supported by a majority of Brits who see him as an anti-racist and a humanist, some Brits may begin to  entertain the possibility that maybe Hitler was only just as bad as Corbyn. I guess that this is what many Jews regard a ‘holocaust denial.’ But, as things stand, they have only themselves to blame — it is the British Jewish leadership that introduced this absurd equation and has foolishly continued to push it on a daily basis.

Is it Good for the Jews?

March 19, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Gilad Atzmon

Israeli media outlet Ynet reported last weekend that five staunch supporters of Israel, including Alan Dershowitz, sent a letter to Netanyahu “imploring him to reconsider (a) plan that will see illegal African migrants sent to Uganda or Rwanda, warning of the ‘incalculable damage’ it could have on Israel and Jews’ ‘moral standing.’

“We fear,” the letter states, “that a mass expulsion could cause incalculable damage to the moral standing of Israel and of Jews around the world.” If for one minute you thought that Dershowitz & Co care about the thousands of Black refugees and their human rights you were sadly mistaken. The letter writers clearly explain that their concern is for Jews and their reputation.

The five advocates for Israel counselled PM Netanyahu that the expulsion of African refugees will reflect badly on the Jews.

One of the authors of the cautionary letter was Rabbi Marvin Hier, who accepted an invitation by US President Donald Trump to offer a prayer at his presidential inauguration. Heir was also one of the founders of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and its Museum of Tolerance. Heir probably realised that crying about the Holocaust while being associated with another one isn’t such a clever idea.

I am left wondering, if Dershowitz, Heir, Abe Foxman and the others can see that the treatment of Africans in the Jewish State  is ‘bad for the Jews,’ how  is it that they fail to see that Israel’s brutal occupation and racist policies against Palestinians have a similar impact on ‘Jewish moral standing’?

I probably expect too much ethical thinking.

If they want to burn it , you want to read it..

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I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

Gilad Atzmon rebuts Elias Davidsson’s Hasbara rant

December 27, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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For the last several years I have repeatedly pointed out that when it comes to Palestine, the discourse of the oppressed is shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressor.  No one demonstrates this thought process better than German Jewish activist Elias Davidsson. The tribal operator ended his slanderous article about me in the German New Left Rubikon magazine:

“As a longtime anti-Zionist, I will not allow our fight for a just peace in Palestine to be disintegrated by psychopathic anti-Semites, nor will I regard people as comrades spreading the horrible theories of a Jewish world conspiracy. This theory has already resulted in millions of bodies.”

Ask yourself who comprises ‘our’ what ‘fight’ he is referring to. Indeed, I have never accused the Jews of a conspiracy. I argue, as forcefully as I can,  that there are NO Jewish conspiracies. Self–identified Jews don’t hide a thing, they act in the open.  Jewish Power, accordingly, is the power to silence criticism of Jewish power. This is exactly what Davidsson is attempting to do. And so he implements the Hasbara guidebook.

Elias Davidsson is an elder wannabe musician.  I suppose that in the last few years he has been unable to restrain his envy. His vicious attacks on yours truly have provided him his moment of fame in his waning years.

Until 2011 Davidsson regularly begged me to publish his unreadable rants. They were never up to standard and I rejected most of them. In 2011 I did publish a piece by Elias Davidsson in which the boy declared himself a “radical anti-Semite.’

A few months later, my book The Wandering Who? was published. The book was a world wide best-seller. Apparently Davidsson couldn’t take it. Although the book was endorsed by some of the greatest humanists and scholars, Davidsson declared the book a ‘neo-nazi text.’ Why? Because, like Hitler, I referred to a ‘Jewish organismus.’ If the tribal had just a few extra grey cells in his skull he would have comprehended that Hitler’s organismus was set to incriminate the Jews as a collective while my use of the term Jewish organismus was as a possible vindication of the Jews as a collective.

Here are my words,

“it is of course possible that there is no decision-making process at all. It is more than likely that ‘Jews’ do not have a centre or headquarters. It is more than likely that they aren’t aware of their particular role within the entire system, the way an organ is not aware of its role within the complexity of the organism.” (The Wandering Who pg. 21)

Basically, the concept is that the finger that pulls the trigger is not necessarily responsible for the dead body in the room.

I thought at the time that Davidsson was uniquely duplicitous, agonized with envy or just too stupid for my time. I ignored him.

I didn’t hear from Davidsson for a few years, but last week he has popped out again. In his Rubikon piece Davisson performs every Hasbara spin technique from duplicity to outright fabrication.

“Atzmon is primarily concerned with the freedom to question the Holocaust, not the general right to freedom of expression,” says the son of David. Is this true? Have I ever excluded any other intellectual domain? A week ago, at the Babylon theatre in Berlin, I spoke out against all history laws. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=48&v=-0YOJKGuNzQ

I specifically mentioned the Nakba Law and the Armenian Genocide law. However, it is the primacy of Jewish suffering embedded in the core of the Holocaust religion and the laws surrounding it that bothers me the most.

Davidsson continues:  “Atzmon is not on the side of the victims, but just trying to play down the crime.”  Is this true? Is stripping the holocaust of its religious status and treating it as a universal lesson in ethics equal to  ‘playing down the crime’? Quite the opposite. It changes the narrative from that of a Jewish/German anecdote into a vivid dynamic and universal lesson that can be applied to Palestine, Syria and Iraq.

And then we are referred yet again to that same snippet of revisionist advocacy from The Wandering Who? Davidsson calls this paragraph   “classic Holocaust Denial.”

“I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start asking questions. We should ask for historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We should strip the Holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place. The Holocaust, like every other historical narrative, must be analysed properly. 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should be able to ask – why? Why were the Jews hated?” (The Wandering Who p 175)

In the eyes of the deranged Davidsson a call for  ‘disclosure’ and openness about the past that moves beyond Jewish victimhood shows a ‘neo Nazi’ inclination.  Of course, it doesn’t. Worse, the duplicitous Davidsson cut my paragraph in the middle.

Here is the rest of the text which he chose to omit:

“65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should be able to ask – why? Why were the Jews hated?  Why did European people stand up against their neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? If they genuinely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews? We should also ask what purpose Holocaust denial laws serve? What is the Holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionist lobbies and their plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. We will maintain our complicity in Western imperialist crimes

It is clear why Davidsson omitted the rest of the paragraph. It is about him and his tribal agenda.  “As long as we fail to ask questions…We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering.” Elias Davidsson attacks me and falsifies my words because he wants to sustain the primacy of Jewish suffering.

According to this miserable man I am motivated by “personal and pathological hatred of ‘Jews’, including Jewish activists who act  for Palestinians rights,[ …] therefore, he (Atzmon) describes himself. as a ‘self-hating Jew.’

When scholars refer to a pathology they point at forensic evidence that substantiates their verdict. Davidsson fails to offer any evidence of my ‘pathology.’  I will help the elder Zionist to refine his argument. The fact that I occasionally define myself as “a self hater” suggests that I hate myself rather than others. Consistent with Otto Weininger’s brutal realisation that in art, understanding of the self is understanding of the world, I dig into myself as an act of disclosure.

Like his friend Ludwig Watzal who was caught plagiarising quotes originally fabricated by Dershowitz, Davidsson is misquoting me and even put words in my mouth in a deliberate attempt to deceive.  Davidson builds his entire zigzag narrative on a nine year old discussion on American TV.  “Asked if any Jews had died by the Nazis, Atzmon says: ‘that is a completely irrelevant question.. Because I’m not a historian,’”

What I actually say in the video is that my concern with the holocaust is not about numbers, “even if it were, 2.5 million it is quite enough”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXAwYIU9yRs&t=1m10s

…we are talking about huge numbers here. In my work, I want to move beyond numbers and to grasp why, what is it in the Jews that makes Jewish history a chain of disasters? Why is antisemitsm rising again? And the crucial question is why Elias Davisson, supposedly, a ‘truth seeker’ is so fearful of me asking these questions? Why does Davidsson feel the need to lie and to omit certain lines? What kind of people engage in such duplicitous behaviour? The answer is simple. The fear of truthfulness is a Jerusalemite symptom. Jerusalem replaces reason with a strict regime of correctness.

Then the ignoramus argues that “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from Nazi Germany is “Atzmon’s invention.”   ”On the contrary,” Davidsson says,  “German Jews had to apply for emigration in the Third Reich. Not all could emigrate.”

Maybe the German speaking Davidsson should explain to us what the notions judenrein and judenfrei meant to the Nazi regime. One may well wonder how this nonsense passed the Rubikon’s editorial standards. David Cesarani’s  Final Solution provides  an incredible account of the Nazi’s ethnic cleansing of German and Austrian Jews. You would expect Davidsson to grasp that ‘applying for immigration’ was a bureaucratic procedure. And this is exactly why we need history to be subject to revision.

The notion of ethnic cleansing wasn’t around when Raul Hilberg wrote ‘The Destruction of European Jews,’  the only source Davidsson cites.  It wasn’t until Kosovo in the late 1990s that the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ made it into our vocabulary. It was in the late 1990s and early 2000s that the new notion of ethnic cleansing helped us to re-shape our understanding of the Nakba in 1948 and of Nazi atrocities. I guess it is too much to expect Davidsson and the Rubikon editorial to grasp this nuanced intellectual evolutionary process.

In his attempt to discuss the death march, Davidsson is again out of his depth and quoting Raul Hilberg isn’t very helpful. Here is the death march dilemma as I see it: if the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich or dead, why did they march thousands of them back to the Reich at the end of the war?

This is an historical dilemma that is begging for an answer,  it juxtaposes two conflicting historical narratives. I accept that silencing me is the preferred solution for the Jerusalemite, but if I may advise the elder Davidsson, it won’t remove the dilemma. At best it will only delay the discussion.

And finally the unthinkable happens, Davidsson manages to  depart from the Holocaust.  He lands on ‘Christ killing.’ “Atzmon said that the Israeli attack on the Gaza humanitarian flotilla ‘was [ideologically] a repetition of the killing of Jesus Christ.’” According to Davidsson this is a “propagandist” attempt  to “curry favour with Christian anti-Semites.” I will help the spin merchant to grasp some elementary basics.  Christ killing is a symbol of the murder of innocence and goodness. In my eyes, and I am hardly alone in this thought, a lot of Israeli brutality falls into this category. The crude attack on the Mavi Marmara was a prototypical case of an assault on goodness. Unlike Davidsson, I operate on my own. I am not affiliated with anyone, whether Christian, Socialist or Nazi. I am searching for that which unite us as humans. I am searching for the conditions that make humanism a possibility.  I am committed to one thing; that which I believe to be true at the time I utter it. I do accept that for Davidsson and his ilk such an approach is a fatal threat. I wish I knew how to help them out.

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Watzal und Dershowitz

December 20, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Two days ago, I revealed that Ludwig Watzal, a  supposedly  pro Palestinian German  writer, attempted to defame me and my work by doctoring my words and fabricating quotes.

Some of my supporters who follow Watzal’s work approached Watzal and asked him for clarification.

Watzal’s initial response was to dismiss their questions.

“This is all trash written by a Zionist agent,” Watzal answered.

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 So again, I have been labeled a ‘Zionist agent,’ just for pointing at the depth of duplicity in the midst of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement.

But then Watzal was shown screen shots from my book The Wandering Who? that proved that he had completely invented my words. The German disinformation merchant changed his tune.

Watzal had to admit that he had lifted the quotes from no other than ethnic cleanser advocate, Prof.  Alan Dershowitz’. You may ask why a Palestinian ‘solidarity’ activist would turn to Dershowitz as an ‘authority.’ You would expect Watzal to know that Prof. Noam Chomsky described Dershowitz as ‘a remarkable liar and slanderer.’

But our story doesn’t end there. Watzal, the hapless imbecile managed  to dig an even deeper hole. Watzal wrote to a respected solidarity activist who had questioned his fraudulent accusations that:

“In Social Science, It’s legitimate to quote another author like I did.”

Watzal is correct. In social science as in all scholarly work, one may certainly quote others. But one is also required to reference the origin of any quote.  Failing to do so is generally called plagiarism.

Watzal managed to fail three times in a row.

1.    Watzal plagiarised  Dershowitz by  failing to credit  Dershowitz as the source of his quote. Instead, he presented the ‘quotes’  as if they were the product of his own research.

2.    Watzal published doctored and fabricated quotes without checking them.

3.    The cover up. Watzal obviously knew that his quotes weren’t  the product of his own study. He could easily have asked for time to check his work  and eventually retract it but Watzal decided, instead, to spin and slander in the most disgusting and fraudulent manner.

In an Athenian universe, any of the above would be enough to strip Watzal of  his academic titles.

This is not the first time I have come across a lack of integrity  within the Palestinian solidarity movement. And the question I ask myself is what is it about the Palestinians and their plight that attracts these fraudulent characters? Whether we find an answer to this or not, we can certainly see why the solidarity movement has led nowhere. It was set to lead us astray.

Alan Dershowitz Pens Tirade Against U.S. Congresswoman Over Child Protection Bill

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian children Act.”

By Richard Edmondson

Alan Dershowitz, former Harvard law professor and pro-Israel to the core, apparently thinks Rep. Betty McCollum has committed a cardinal sin–introducing a bill that calls for monitoring of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian child prisoners.

The bill, entitled “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian children Act,” or H.R. 4391, would require the U.S. State Department begin certification–on  an annual basis–that US funding to Israel is not going “to support the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment” of Palestinian children.

The bill was introduced by McCollum on November 14. Dershowitz’s hit piece, published on November 23 at the Gatestone Institute, appeared under the headline “How Ten Dem (Dumb) Members of Congress Encourage the Use of Child Terrorists.”

The former trial lawyer and now CNN regular asserts that McCollum’s bill has been co-sponsored “by nine other ‘progressive’ members of Congress,” though in reality the bill has now picked up a total of 12 co-sponsors.

Dershowitz doesn’t exactly accuse its backers of being anti-Semites–although he comes close.

He asserts that McCollum’s “hypocrisy” is “palpable,” and he accuses her and the co-sponsors of giving “terrorist leaders” (the term is used a total of 7 times) an incentive, in effect, to use children to attack Jews. The bill, he insists, “would further incentivize terrorist leaders to keep using children in pursuit of their key objective: wiping Israel off the map,” and he goes on to contend that:

“…rather than condemning the abhorrent and unlawful use of children as pawns in this deadly process, this group chose to single out only the nation-state of the Jewish people for punishment, as it tries to protect its own citizens from indiscriminate terror attacks. People of good faith on both sides of the aisle should call out this double standard for what it really is: an attack on Jewish victims of teenage terrorism and their state. For shame on this group of biased anti-Israel “progressive” Democrats…

The article seems to be a heavy-handed attempt at intimidating other members of Congress from supporting the legislation.

The Harvard legal scholar also informs his readers about the modus operandi of “Palestinian terrorist leaders,” asserting that it is “well established” that “recruiting and using young Palestinians to wage terror on Israeli civilians” is a part of this “modus operandi.”

He further asserts that these “terrorist leaders” (it’s not clear if he means Hamas or if he counts Mahmoud Abbas as a “terrorist leader” as well) “have been stirring up young people to wage war against the Jews and their nation state.” If this is the case, it would seem Israel makes their jobs easy for them. After all, how much external “stirring up” does it require when school kids see their classmates mass arrested, handcuffed, locked in cages, and blindfolded by squadrons of Israeli soldiers?

Heavily armed Israeli Occupiers kidnapping 18 Palestinian children. They were taken into one room and blindfolded, questioned with the blindfold on, and some were subjected to beatings and threats. while beating them.

Suppose the federal government had sent troops to arrest your students at Harvard in this manner, Mr. Dershowitz? How much “stirring up” do you think it would have taken to get the rest of the campus angry about it?

Rep. McCollum’s bill cites a UNICEF report released in 2013 which found that “ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the [Israeli] military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.”

Dershowitz, however, identifies what he believes is a major shortcoming in the bill, namely that it “fails to acknowledge that some of the most barbaric terrorist attacks against Jewish Israelis have been committed by Palestinian teens who have been recruited by terrorist leaders.” Actually, however, this is a bit disingenuous. While it doesn’t use the same inflammatory rhetoric seemingly favored by our Doctor of Jurisprudence (who, really, is “stirring up” whom, Mr. Dershowitz?), the bill does enumerate the problem of children being recruited by armed groups, this in section 2, paragraph 4:

Approximately 2,700,000 Palestinians live in the West Bank, of which around 47 percent are children under the age of 18, who live under military occupation, the constant fear of arrest, detention, and violence by the Israeli military, and the threat of recruitment by armed groups.

Of course, if Mr. Dershowitz insists on bringing up the subject of “barbaric terrorist attacks,” we should not omit to mention Israel’s periodic attacks upon Gaza. Take a good look at the girl in the photo below–she was killed in the Gaza attack of 2008-09 known as “Operation Cast Lead.”

Yes, she definitely looks like she’s had some lead cast at her, Mr. Dershowitz.

Or let’s look at this boy who fell victim to Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” attack of 2014 when he and some friends were playing football on a Gaza beach:

Or these kids who died in the same 2014 conflict:

By the way, Israel investigated itself on the Gaza beach bombing and found that it had acted “legally.”

Barbarism. It is defined as: “1. absence of culture and civilization; 2. extreme cruelty or brutality.”

The attacks on Gaza would seem to meet that definition. This is not to say there haven’t been cruel and brutal attacks on Israelis. In his article, Dershowitz cites two examples:

Consider the terrorists attack that took place over this past summer in Halamish (an hour outside Jerusalem) where a Palestinian in his late teens — from a nearby PA-controlled village — chose a Jewish house at random;, and fatally stabbed three members of a family as they ate Shabbat dinner. The Palestinian “child” murderer also wounded several other family members, while one mother hid her young children in an upstairs room until the terrorist left. This scene of carnage is reminiscent of a similar attack that occurred only six years earlier when two Palestinian teens armed with knives broke into the Fogel family home in Itamar as they slept on Friday night; the teens butchered the mother, father and three of their children — including a three-month-old baby as she slept in her crib.

What he doesn’t mention is that both Halamish and Itamar, where the two attacks occurred, are Israeli settlements in the West Bank and are therefore illegal under international law. This does not excuse the murder of civilians. But it does supply us with some additional context in which to evaluate Mr. Dershowitz and his disingenuous opposition to H.R. 4391.

Moreover, Halamish is designated as a “community settlement,” that is to say it was formed out of a legal construct in Israel whereby residents are organized into a cooperative that “can veto a sale of a house or a business to an undesirable buyer.” Most community settlements in Israel are entirely Jewish, according to Wikipedia: “Some community settlements openly require applicants to be Jews (e.g., by declaring themselves a religious community), while other community settlements find more indirect ways to reject non-Jewish candidates, us usually claiming ‘lack of social compatibility.’ Another problem for non-Jews is that the Jewish National Fund, the owner of the land in many community settlements, views itself as a Jewish organization whose mission is to spread the Jewishpopulation, and therefore refuses to lease to non-Jews.”

Perhaps here we get down to the core of the problem–the illegal settlements and the apartheid, or separation, policies. In his article, Dershowitz tries to apply Israeli standards to America by asking the “what if” question. He writes:

So I ask: what do these members of Congress think Israel should do? If children as young as 13 or 14 were roaming the streets of New York, Los Angeles or Boston stabbing elderly women as they shopped at the supermarket or waited at a bus stop, would they protest the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators?

But he is comparing apples to oranges. Discrimination is against the law in the US. There are no neighborhoods or communities–in Boston, New York, Los Angeles or elsewhere in America–where people can be prohibited from purchasing homes or taking up residence on the basis of their race, religion, or ethnicity.

Another thing to consider is that discriminatory policies are applied in Israel not only with regard to home sales but also in the issuance of building permits. Back in August, I put up a post about Israel’s destruction of a Palestinian kindergarten as well as its seizure of mobile classrooms that were to have served as an elementary school. The official reason given in both cases was the lack of a permit. The seizure of the mobile classrooms took place on Tuesday, August 22–one day before the new school year was set to begin. A photo was published at the time of children who showed up on the first day of school only to find their classrooms missing:

Children arrive on the first day of school only to discover that their classrooms have been taken.

It seems rather mean-spirited to come and steal the classrooms one day before school is about to start. By the way, the kindergarten is in the village of Jabal al-Baba, east of Jerusalem; the elementary school in Jubbet al-Dib, near Bethlehem. Both villages are in the West Bank–both under military occupation.Occupation tends, by its very nature, to involve “extreme cruelty or brutality.” Destroying schools would seem to denote as well a certain “absence of culture and civilization.”

In order to maintain its occupation Israel apparently also employs torture–apparently even upon children. This we find in the text of McCollum’s bill, from section 2, paragraph 11:

In 2013, the annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the Occupied Territories (“Annual Report”) published by the Department of State noted that Israeli security services continued to abuse, and in some cases torture, minors, frequently arrested on suspicion of stone-throwing, in order to coerce confessions. The torture tactics used included threats, intimidation, long-term handcuffing, beatings, and solitary confinement.”

Additionally, paragraph 12 notes that the same report discusses “signed confessions by Palestinian minors, written in Hebrew, a language most could not read,” while paragraph 13 cites a later “Annual Report”–issued in 2016–and which noted a “significant increase in dententions of minors” that year. An additional quote from the 2016 report reads: “Israeli authorities continued to use confessions signed by Palestinian minors, written in Hebrew.”

The full text of H.R. 4391 is available here in PDF. You can also go here to access a list of its co-sponsors.

Given that it maintains all of these settlements, and given that they are built illegally on Palestinian land, one must ask the question: how does Israel go on credibly maintaining to the world that it is truly interested in seeking peace with the Palestinians? Perhaps part of the answer is that it gets lots of help from people like Dershowitz.

In essence painting McCollum as a terrorist sympathizer as well as an anti-Semite, Dershowitz accuses the Minnesota Democrat of refusing to “condemn the Palestinian leadership for perpetrating acts of child abuse by recruiting children to commit terror attacks on Jewish women and children.” And he adds that the co-sponsors of her bill “give a bad name to the Democratic Party, to the Progressive Caucus and to Congress.”

Broad brush strokes. Inflammatory rhetoric. Both seem to work like charms in curtailing criticism of Israel. Of course a standard argument we hear from Israelis is that the settlements don’t pose an obstacle to peace, but this is a load of hasbara hooey.

Maybe it all comes down to history and who is on the right or the wrong side of it. As someone once said, the path to peace is by learning to love your enemies. The same person also said that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. It’s a lesson all of humanity needs to learn, and if Israel were led by truly enlightened people it would teach that lesson to humanity by setting aside its sword and making peace.

In either event, the bottom line is that if Israel wants to be a state for all its people it will build Palestinian schools. If it wants to go on being a state that gives political preference to one group of people only–the definition of apartheid–it will continue to tear them down.

What the rest of us can do in the meantime is provide our support for those truly seeking to advance the cause of peace. McCollum is such a person. She is, in other words, a peacemaker.

Peacemakers are said to be blessed, Mr. Dershhowitz. It’s a pity you chose to attack this one.

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