Could such cunning, nefarious people be trusted even when running the March of Remembrance and Hope — an outfit that takes non-Jewish students on tours of death-camp sites in Poland to, as its website says, “teach … about the dangers of intolerance … and to promote better relations among people of diverse cultures”? One shouldn’t be so naïve as to think so!
No, while “the MRH does not mention Israel in their literature … it is nonetheless a Zionist project” (clever indeed!). And it is in including Muslim students in the trips to Poland that the MRH’s “Zionist politics … actually becomes more visible.”
How so? The subtle aim is to produce:
… a particular “good” Muslim subject. This “good” Muslim subject engages in Holocaust education, celebrates liberal values of tolerance and even uses the teaching of the Qur’an to promote these Western, liberal ideals.
And this — in a manner that’s left unexplained:
… also produces the “bad,” intolerant Muslim subjects who do not engage in Holocaust education and by virtue of this non-involvement further prove their anti-Semitism which marks them as the enemies of civilization that must be attacked and destroyed.
So, after all, it’s a plot enabling Jews to attack and destroy more enemies of civilization!
And if the MRH is evil to such an extent, what of the March of the Living, a program that brings only Jewish students to Poland? Even worse!
In Ms. Peto’s telling, the MOL is “an entirely Eurocentric” project because it deals with Ashkenazi Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. “Herein lies [a] racist element of the MOL … the erasure of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jewish identity.”
This is tripe of the worst order, not least because many non-Ashkenazi Jews suffered in the Holocaust including the near-total destruction of communities in France, the Netherlands, and the Balkans. But for Ms. Peto:
It would be quite interesting and important to learn about how non-European Jewish youth experience this trip. Without first-hand accounts, I can only hypothesize their discomfort at being forced to identify with Ashkenazi Jewish history.
“Only hypothesize,” indeed. By this method, one can pretty much pass off any nonsense as academic work.
University of Toronto, are you listening?
And not only is the MOL a means for Ashkenazi Jews to “erase” non-Ashkenazi Jews; it enables them to do the same to the Holocaust victims themselves! These become, you see, “a racialized other to the participants on the MOL,” where:
… young, white Jewish participants encounter a Jewish Other, one who, unlike them, is excluded from whiteness and is subject to racialized violence. The MOL is structured in such a way that participants are meant to simultaneously identify with and reject the racialized Jewish Other in the degenerate spaces of Poland.
But enough of this garbage. One might ask: where was Ms. Peto’s thesis adviser, Prof. Sheryl Nestel, in all this?
Apart from the fact that the thesis is wretchedly written, with more use of the first-person singular than a therapy session, why did Nestel let her student cite only a thin gruel of crackpots like Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappé, Adi Ophir, and Marc Ellis, with no sign at all of ever having subjected herself to the challenge of a few dissenters from the Line? Why did Nestel approve such expression of blatant, subjective viciousness toward Jews and Israel?
The answer is that Nestel — herself an adherent to the regnant academic trends with publications like “Mapping Jewish Dissent: Jewish Anti-Occupation Activism in Toronto” — was most likely cheering Ms. Peto on.
And what of the University of Toronto? Does it want its name as a leading academic institution to be associated with a disgrace like Jennifer Peto’s thesis?