Historians Against Isrel

Recovering leftist scholar Ron Radosh calls the new anti-Israel petition signed by hundreds of anti-Israel historians in the U.S., with an added list of “international” fellow travelers, “Historians for Hamas.” I recognized only about ten names, but I’m no longer really plugged into the organized profession, and I’m sure the signers are representative of a…

Organizations Sign Statement Against Assault on a Student at Temple University

  We are deeply troubled by the physical assault against a Jewish student at Temple University.  Daniel Vessal, a CAMERA Fellow and member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, was punched in the face and knocked down and called “baby-killer, racist, Zionist pig” by individuals at the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) table that was part…

Brandeis Center Joins AMCHA Criticism of UAW 2865’s BDS Statement

Yesterday, the Brandeis Center joined the AMCHA Initiative and ten other groups writing to University of California President Janet Napolitano to condemn a statement by the joint council of the UAW 2865 union announcing the union’s intent to support the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The UAW 2865 represents teaching assistants, tutors and readers at the nine teaching campuses of the University of California. The joint council indicates that it will seek a full membership vote on the BDS statement in the coming year.

The groups especially criticized the unions’ statement that union members have an obligation “as educators” to teach “the social issues of our time, including pressing global struggles such as the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation from settler-colonialism and apartheid.” LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus commented, “The union is effectively announcing that its members will abuse their positions by indoctrinating undergraduate students with blatantly politicized, intellectually dishonest, and extraordinarily biased propaganda. This is not what teaching assistants are paid to do, nor is it a proper function of the union. Instead of engaging in proper collective bargaining activity, the union is urging teaching assistants to misuse the classroom for political indoctrination.”

The groups’ letter cautioned that “if TA’s, tutors and readers feel free to ‘teach’ anti-Israel propaganda and promote BDS to their undergraduates, it can’t help but create a hostile, anti-Semitic environment for many Jewish students, who have already reported in the UC Jewish Student Campus Climate Report that campus-based BDS activities ‘project hostility, engender a feeling of isolation, and undermine Jewish students’ sense of belonging and engagement.'”

The letter urged President Napolitano to publicly reaffirm the university’s policy on course content, provide public assurances that she will not allow UAW 2865 members to promote anti-Semitic propaganda anti-Israel boycotts as part of their contractual teaching responsibilities, and instruct the university’s collective bargaining representatives to reject any UAW Local 2865 proposals which seek to inject their positions on Israel into the University’s dealings with the union. The groups also urged Napolitano to reject any effort by UAW Local 2865 that any pension fund provided by the University for its employees adhere to any policies of divestment or boycott of businesses that directly or indirectly have business, cultural or academic relations with Israel.

UC Santa Barbara: The Brandeis Center Helps Reverse a Hostile Environment for Jewish Students

As the University of California Santa Barbara’s student senate voted down an anti-Israel divestment measure in 2013, this campus seethed with anti-Semitic activity. The Student Advocate General – whose job is to educate students about their rights as members of the campus community – said on the floor of the student senate: “Israel is harvesting…

Updating Agathie Christie: It Was Twelve Jews on the Orient Express Who Murdered Cinderella, Presumably to Make Her Blood Into Matzah

From the “Forward”:

French Senator Nathalie Goulet of the Union of Democrats and Independents party made the endorsement on Twitter earlier this week, Europe1.fr reported, in posting on her account the images of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bludgeoning a dying Pinocchio. The picture also showed Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni stabbing Cinderella and former Israeli president Shimon Peres choking Peter Pan.

“Very powerful campaign against children mass murder,” Goulet wrote about to the pictures. . . .

As other critics chimed in, Goulet apologized on Twitter, writing: “This tweet has been misunderstood and I’m absolutely sorry for that but I persist in saying that what’s happening in Gaza is a scandal. I revolt at the sight of dead children, and at the international community’s silence. The tweet may have been inappropriate.”

But before her apology, Goulet defended her actions, writing on Twitter that she had Jewish roots and adding: “I am not a self-hating Jew, but that’s nobody’s business.”

She also wrote: “Anti-Semitism is what they come up withwhen they have nothing better to say,” and, “I find it astonishing that the community is less shocked by images of dead children than by Disney characters. This is proof the campaign is working!”

J’Accuse: The World Needs to “Impose a Solution”—on France—for it Betrayal of French Jewry and the Values of French Civilization

According to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, “the world needs to impose a solution” on Israel to achieve Mideast peace. Of course, he gave lip service to “Israel security” without any concrete suggestions for curbing Hamas’ genocidal campaign against the Jewish state. He wants a two state solution—without any expression of concern that, unless the…

Why Do Europeans Increasingly Hate Israel?

Why does European opinion increasingly hate Israel? I think some reconsiderations may be in order. One starting point is to take seriously, at least up to a point, what post-modern European elites claim about their motives.

First, anti-Semitism or Jew hatred is of course operative widely in Europe. But it is not wise to reify it. I am coming to the conclusion that European anti-Semitism is increasingly a farrago of three residual forces: first, Christian Jew hatred which is not to be dismissed as a force, especially in Catholic (and Eastern Orthodox) countries; second, the recrudescence of fascism, which ethnically is more about Muslims than Jews yet does activate some atavistic anti-Semitic memories; third, Muslim immigrant anti-Semitism with is virulent and increasingly influential, yet is still contained within a politically marginal minority community.

Second, if these sources of anti-Israel bias are not the chief motivator among European elites of hatred of Israel—which the French Ambassador to the UK a few years ago over wine and cigars called “a shitty little country”— what is?

I would say it is the confluence of two factors. The first is primarily leftist “anti-colonialism.” Influential anti-Israel zealots who say they are truly “anti-Zionists” really mean it. They disapprove of Israel as the product of a backward-looking ideology which they dislike both because it is a unfashionably “nationalistic” but even more because it allegedly represents the intrusion of a European national fragment into what should be the post-colonial Mideast including a “liberated” Palestine. Of course, this take denies Israeli and Zionist claims for deep Jewish roots in the history of the Holy Land that predate the modern colonial era by more than three thousand years.

In addition to “anti-colonialism,” I would suggest as a second ideological dynamic motivating European elites what might be called “anti-Judeo-Christianism.” European postmodern elites are now monolithically secular and often aggressively anti-religious. It is true that they give the Muslim immigrants a sort of pass, partly because they patronize their religion as an exotic cultural survival and partly because they are afraid of their violence. But their dominant animus is against their own Christian roots and any aspect of traditional culture rooted in Jewish tradition or history. This goes back to Spinoza and Voltaire both of whom used merciless debunking of Judaism—and, in Voltaire’s case, of Jews—as a pivot for their attacks on Christianity.