Boycotting Israeli Academics, Political Theater in Gaza Will Not Help
Another hard and weary year has ended. Americans have lost their jobs and their money, some have lost their homes and their minds, but few have lost their most cherished illusions, and things seem to be getting worse.
Globally, Islamist terrorists, both foreign and home-grown, continue to attack civilians wherever we live, in the West as well as in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Islamist tyrants continue to devour their own children in Teheran. Al-Qaeda is now also based in Yemen. The symbols of liberty and free speech remain under police protection. Kurt Westergaard (the 2005 Danish cartoonist) and his five-year-old granddaughter, were nearly murdered at home by a Somali Islamist who shouted “Revenge” and “Blood.” An American airliner was nearly blown up over Detroit on Christmas Day by a son of Allah out of Nigeria and Yemen — whom, three days after the event, the American president finally described as an “isolated” and “alleged” “extremist.”
And the world still hates the Jews.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has gathered steam all year. According to their website: “Today, over 500 US-based academics, authors, artists, musicians, poets, and other arts professionals have endorsed our call. Our academic endorsers include post-colonial critics and transnational feminists Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, philosopher Judith Butler, and intellectual historian Joseph Massad. ‘Cultural workers’ who have endorsed our call include well known author Barbara Ehrenreich, Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah, poets Adrienne Rich, ISM co-founder and documentary film-maker Adam Shapiro.
Among the 34 organizations supporting our mission are and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Green Party, Code Pink, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, Artists Against Apartheid, and Teachers Against the Occupation.The Advisory Board of the United States Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) has grown to include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hamid Dabashi, Marilyn Hacker, Ilan Pappe, and Adrienne Rich…Israeli academics, listed among the organization’s International Endorsers, have also joined us.”
These American, European, African, and Israeli academics and “cultural workers” have not focused on the lethal danger of jihad. Instead, they continue to sign petitions to boycott Israeli academics, many of whom share their own leftist anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-Jewish, and anti-Western world view. This latest petition has been signed by Bill Ayers (yes, the Bill Ayers), Charlotte Kates, Jody Evans (of Code Pink), and by people whom I once knew (Adrienne Rich, Marilyn Hacker, Rosalyn Baxandall, Barbara Ehrenreich), and with whom I thought I shared a common vision. Now, we each believe the “other” has betrayed that vision of justice and freedom.
My former colleagues — allright, comrades — have promoted a President who, thus far, has curried favor with Islamist tyrants, supported the “right” of Muslim women to veil, and said too little too late about the young Iranians who are demanding “liberty or death.” I have been privately told that many young Iranians who were lucky enough to be deported, not murdered, are now trying desperately to return to their country; they feel this is a “revolutionary moment” and they want to be part of it.
They have no student counterparts in the West. Here, they are all ghosts of Baader-Meinhof.
My former comrades-in-liberation are crippled, blinded, by their view that both America and Israel are existentially evil. They do not believe that the American government should intervene in world events or that it should stand for freedom and democracy. In their eyes, America is not worthy enough to do so. Only they are — and many of the anti-Israel boycotter signatories were also part of the recent attempt to deliver goods to Gaza.
According to journalist Aaron Klein,
“Weatherman terrorists Williams Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn – close associates for years of President Obama – were involved in provoking chaos on the streets of Egypt this week in an attempt to enter the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to join in solidarity with the territory’s population and leadership.The protests were led in large part by Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, a far-left activist organization formed in 2002 to protest America’s war in Iraq. The group previously met with Hamas and with leaders of the Taliban. Evans was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign.
Also protesting in Egypt was Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the anti-Israel Electronic Intifada website. WND previously reported Obama spoke at pro-Palestinian events in the 1990s alongside Abunimah. In one such event, a 1999 fundraiser for Palestinian ‘refugees,’ Abunimah recalls introducing Obama on stage.”
I wonder if these Gaza-goers know (or care) that under Hamas, violence against women has radically increased; women are being force-veiled and honor murdered. Gaza is their new Potemkin Village, their latest Venceremos Brigade: it is yet another opportunity to make common cause with totalitarianism.
These Gaza-goers and the petition-signers did not visit the non-totalitarian Israeli town of Sderot to stand in solidarity with the civilians under Hamas rocket fire for many years. They did not visit or stand with the Israeli civilians who, for years, were being blown up until Israel finally put up a Security Wall. (They have not protested the Walls being constructed by both Egypt and Saudi Arabia nor have they characterized these Walls as “Apartheid” in nature).
The Gaza-goers did not stand with the raped women of Sudan nor did they try to deliver humanitarian aid to the victims of genocide in that country. Perhaps their Bible (the New York Times) has consistently misinformed them. Yesterday, the Paper of Record actually described the Sudanese government-backed Janjaweed as merely “bandits” and not as an ethnic Arab Muslim paramilitary force which has targeted black African Muslims, Christians, and animists in a genocidal and gender-cleansing campaign of repeated public gang-rapes.
It is the twenty-first century and there is a world war (and a war of words) going on. We cannot fight it as if it were the same as a 20th century war. This is not our father’s World War Two or Korean or Vietnam War. We need targeted assassinations, Israeli-style airport security personnel, and superior intelligence more than we may need boots on the ground. Above all, we need to educate brainwashed peoples. This is a real challenge since most of our professors and their students are all on the boat to Gaza, either actually or ideologically.
The other night, at a dinner party at my home, an Israeli guest said this: “Israel is the happiest place on earth right now. People, at least in Tel Aviv, are really living in the moment. They are ready for peace. They know that the Palestinians are not. Until they are, the Israelis plan to enjoy life to the fullest as long as the government can ‘manage’ the hostilities.”
I have heard this from other people as well. Israel is always ahead of the curve, not only in terms of being attacked and therefore in strategizing methods of self-defense — but perhaps also in terms of how to philosophically withstand the siege.
In Israel’s honor, I will try to live in the moment for at least a few hours every day. Consider that my New Year’s Resolution.