Spring is here. And just as it portends the melting of snow and the budding of flowers, on campuses worldwide for the last few years spring has also brought a flurry of absurd anti-Israel activities inaccurately comparing Israel to the old South Africa with its reprehensible racist apartheid regime. We need to fight this modern blood libel passionately and intelligently, what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called this “Big Red Lie,” noting its Soviet and Palestinian origins as a propaganda play in the United Nations, not a serious intellectual analysis on universities.
In my first Blog post, I described Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s heroic fight against the UN’s infamous Zionism is racism resolution in 1975 – and how Americans responded, joining a chorus of righteous indignation. This post, with material directly excerpted from Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, published by Oxford University Press, 2013, all rights reserved, explains the evil overlap between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Reminder for Anti-Semitism Scholars: This Friday is the deadline for response to the Call for Papers for Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld‘s 2014 international conference on “Deciphering the ‘New’ Antisemitism” at Indiana University. Rosenfeld serves on the Louis D. Brandeis Center‘s academic advisory board as well as heading IU’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (ISCA’s). ISCA’s first two conferences were first-class scholarly events, so we strongly recommend that serious anti-Semitism scholars, regardless of discipline, consider submitting a proposal to Prof. Rosenfeld by the end of the week. The official Call for Papers follows below (read more).
Whoever you are, wherever you stand politically, we are all affected by living in an age when Israel is traumatized – and anyone who is Jewish or cares about the Jewish state is traumatized, to one extent or another. You can see this trauma in the defensiveness of Israel’s defenders and the viciousness of Israel’s detractors. And we are now seeing a dangerous escalation. Bad enough that, back in the 1970s, it became politically acceptable to call Zionism racism. Today, we have a Turkish premier calling Zionism a crime against humanity. Bad enough that, even in the 1990s, as the Israelis and Palestinians were negotiating through the Oslo framework, whatever its flaws, many progressives and intellectuals were questioning Israel’s right to exist. Today, mainstream publications like the New York Times casually runs blog posts, like the recent one from Joseph Levine, saying Israel as a Jewish State lacks legitimacy.
Earlier today, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) issued an excellent “Statement Condemning Current Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel.” LDB has just issued a press release applauding the SPME statement for “taking a courageous stand against anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bigotry.” By way of disclosure, I am a former member of SPME’s board of directors and a former chair of the SPME Legal Task Force. The SPME Statement is as follows:
A Statement Condemning Current Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel
March 11, 2013
Pronouncements attempting to appeal to the conscience of academics supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement often depict Israel as a Nazi-like state. These views—once labeled extreme—have become increasingly mainstream as academics call for Israel’s destruction, not by might or power but by bad analogies and misguided ideas.
WASHINGTON, DC, — The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, an American civil rights organization, today commended the Honourable Jason Kenney for his forceful statement condemning international Hate Week. search engine optimize . The Brandeis Center observed that Kenney, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, had once again set an excellent leadership example in his statement against Hate Week, which is also known as “Israel Apartheid Week,” and which is observed this week on North American university campuses. International Hate Week has often been associated with anti-Semitism and discrimination against Israeli Americans.