Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Anti-Israel Movement in American Academia

Gary Fouse

I would like to add a postscript to the two articles I have put up in the past 24 hours about the appearance of Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti's appearance at the University of California at Riverside yesterday. This is the second time I have heard Barghouti speak. Today he is making two appearances at UCLA, both under the sponsorship of activist anti-Israel professors just as at Riverside.

I have written so many articles about the anti-Israel speakers who come to speak on university campuses, so I run the risk of repeating myself here. Omar Barghouti is a professional activist who travels the world giving lectures condemning Israel for being a "racist, apartheid state that is violating the human rights of Palestinians". As one of the other members of the audience so eloquently pointed out during the q and a yesterday, Barghouti is an expert in using emotionally-charged terms throughout his speech that are designed to inflame passions.

In addition, and arguably worse, Barghouti is sponsored from university to university by radical leftist faculty members who consider themselves to be fighters for justice and human rights, themselves two terms that have been hijacked by the left in academia. We heard it yesterday with English professor David Lloyd, the man who invited Barghouti to speak at UCR.

Justice. Human rights.

But when you hear Barghouti and his adoring sponsors in academia speak of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, here are some things they don't talk about as they drone on about justice and human rights.

They will not talk about the 600-700,000 Jews who were driven out of Arab lands in 1948 as a result of the first Israeli-Arab war. They will only talk about the Palestinians who became refugees-many of whom left of their own accord upon the urging of the Arab armies who promised them  quick return once "Palestine" was conquered.

They will not dwell on the countless acts of Palestinian terrorism against innocent Israeli civilians. In my lifetime, I can recall the hijackings of airplanes by Palestinians, many of which resulted in loss of innocent life-of various nationalities. I also vividly recall the murder of the entire Israeli Olympic team in the 1972 Olympics by Palestinian terrorists. I also recall the Achille Lauro ship incident in the 1980s when Palestinian terrorists commandeered an Italian ship and murdered an American Jew named Leon Klinghofer, who was thrown overboard in his wheelchair. That has been followed by suicide bombings including buses in Israel blown up by bombers. To be sure, Barghouti said yesterday that he condemns killing of civilians though he thinks that attacks against Israeli soldiers are a form of "legitimate resistance" against what he calls "occupation".

In that vein, if you go to one of these university events on Israel, don't expect for anyone to mention the infamous massacre of the Fogel family a couple of years ago, in which Palestinians crept into a Jewish family's home in the settlement of Itamar and murdered practically the entire family by slitting their throats including a months-old baby asleep in a crib. That was greeted by dancing in the streets by the noble Palestinians.

Where were the great American academic human rights activists and fighters for "justice" when that happened? Forget about Palestinian activists like Barghouti. Where were the American academics who profess to be defenders of justice and human rights? I will tell you. They ignored it and ignore it to this day.

Let's take this a step further. Look at what is happening in Egypt to the Christians. Look at what is happening in Syria to the Christians while Sunnis fight against the forces of Assad and the Alawites (Shia). Look at what is happening in Sudan. Look at what is happening to gays and Baha'i in Iran. Look at what is happening to Christians and animists in Sudan. Look at what is happening to Christians in Pakistan. Look at what is happening to European Jews in the streets of European cities at the hands of Muslim immigrants. In fact, look at what is happening to religious minorities in virtually every Muslim nation on the planet. Persecution.

Where are the fighters for justice and human rights in American academia?

I will tell you. They are busy bringing in speakers like Omar Barghouti to condemn Israel for what they term "apartheid" against the Palestinian people. Never mind that Arabs, Muslims, and Christians, as well as gays, enjoy more freedom and human rights in Israel than in any of the surrounding countries.

It matters not. In fact, the Palestinian lobby, aided by American academics like Judith Butler, call the latter, "pink-washing" using the tolerance of homosexuality in Israel as unfair propaganda against its neighbors because in those lands, gays are likely to be killed.

"It's just not fair", say these learned academics who are teaching our children in our universities.

And what happens when someone is invited by a Jewish group on campus or the College Republicans to speak in favor of Israel? They are jeered, disrupted, and have to be escorted by security for their own safety. I was present at UC Irvine in 2010 when the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Michael Oren, came to speak. He was repeatedly disrupted by the Muslim Student Union, and it was only after they marched chanting out of the hall, that Oren was able to finish his speech. Yet, this English professor, David Lloyd, implied yesterday at UC Riverside that the Israeli side pretty much controls the dialogue. Not on a university campus, Dr Lloyd. He also said that when Oren came to UCI, nobody asked him to debate the Palestinian side. Considering that Oren was loudly disrupted and his own freedom of speech was attacked, I consider that a preposterous statement. The fact is that speakers like Barghouti, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others are a dime-a-dozen on any university campus. It is the pro-Israel people who are subject to intimidation within academia. This intimidation and yes-anti-Semitism could not exist without the collusion of these bozo professors and the cowardice of our university administrators.

Which leads me to my final point. No matter how much the Barghoutis of the world will deny it, the central point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about who owned what land back in 1948. It is about religion. The Arab states and the people who since the 1960s have called themselves "Palestinians", as if such a nation ever existed, will never except a Jewish state in the region. The Palestinian leadership both in the West Bank (Palestinian Authority) and Gaza are very clear that in a future Palestinian nation, there will be no Jews. The ultimate goal is the total elimination of the Jewish state of Israel and the elimination of Jews from the entire region.

If you are a college student attending these events, this is what they will never tell you because if they did, they know they would not gain the support of young American people. They are liars. They are propagandists. They could care less about human rights because they don't observe them in their own societies, and because if Israel is ever overrun, these same forces will slaughter every Jew they can get their hands on.

And shame on these bozo professors in our universities who use their positions in academia to indoctrinate our young people to support. Not only are they supporting the wrong side, they are enabling a resurgence in anti-Semitism.

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