Tagged Palestinians

The Difference Between Israelis and Terrorists

Let’s be abundantly clear about something: It is not the policy of the state of Israel to purposely send people to kill and terrorize Palestinian civilians. That kind of action is anathema to the overwhelming majority of Israelis, and to the extent that there are some crazies among the Israeli population who think otherwise, those people have never wielded power in Israel and never will. If only the Israelis were the beneficiaries of some reciprocity regarding this issue: Four Israelis were killed and eight more wounded in a frenzied assault by two Palestinian men on Jewish worshippers praying at a…

More Links on the Israel-Gaza War

1. One of the criticisms most often leveled at Israel and her supporters is the claim that Israel’s actions in Gaza are costing it potential allies in the Arab world. Um . . . no. Battling Palestinian militants in Gaza two years ago, Israel found itself pressed from all sides by unfriendly Arab neighbors to end the fighting. Not this time. After the military ouster of the Islamist government in Cairo last year, Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states — including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — that has effectively lined up with Israel…

Scarlett Johannson Schools OxFam

Well played: As if her otherworldly beauty and screen presence were not enough, here is another reason to love Scarlett Johansson: Oxfam, of which she was an ambassador, hinted that she should cut her ties with SodaStream on the basis that it maintains factories in Israeli settlements and she responded by cutting her ties with Oxfam! What’s not to love about this story? A worthy charity shakes its big head in disapproval at a celeb who has dared to do things for a company that works in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, no doubt expecting the celeb to freak out,…

Still More on the American Studies Association and Its Boycott of Israeli Universities

A fine statement against the boycott by UCLA chancellor Gene Block. And all hail Stephen Harper. (I presume that there will now be claims that AIPAC is exercising its well-known insidious influence on Canadian prime ministers.) Incidentally, the universities engaged in the boycott may be violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I would not be surprised if they were, and a lawsuit regarding this issue would be downright hilarious.

In Memoriam: Ariel Sharon

A comprehensive obituary is here. See also this profile; it is a critical one, but interesting in its way. For a favorable remembrance, see this profile. I imagine that if Sharon had not lapsed into a coma, we might have seen greater movement towards a comprehensive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians; as a realist, I am reluctant to endorse the “great leader” affect on human history, but in Sharon’s case, he had military credibility and a reputation as a fierce defender of Israel that might have allowed him to sell painful compromises to the Israeli people. Requiescat in…

Quote of the Day

For decades, the American Studies Association labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It has now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians. Given that Israel has a profoundly democratic political system, the freest press in the Middle East, a fiercely independent judiciary and astonishing religious and racial diversity within its universities, including affirmative action for Arab students, the charge is rather strange. Made more so when you consider the state of human rights in Israel’s neighborhood. As we speak, Syria’s government is dropping “barrel bombs” filled with nails, shrapnel and other…

On the Boycott of Israeli Universities, the Good Guys Are Winning

The American Studies Association certainly deserves to be on the defensive when it comes to its efforts to organize a boycott of Israeli universities. If it does not want to be on the defensive, perhaps it will reconsider its absolutely terrible and deleterious policy regarding the issue. Until then, it deserves the opprobrium it gets. The following may be my favorite passage: Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and a boycott opponent, said calls from alumni to take a stand against the boycott had played a role. “As an active member of the Jewish community, I recognize that the American Jewish…

A Strong Denunciation of the ASA Boycott of Israeli Universities

Found here. Kudos to John Garvey for bringing a sense of perspective and reality to the debate; perspective and reality being alien to the American Studies Association. I suppose that I would have drafted a much stronger and more blunt statement, but seeing as how the president of the Catholic University of America found it within himself to be able to call the ASA “a kind of inept volunteer fire department, aiming to put out the Israeli-Palestinian conflagration by throwing gasoline on the fire,” and then immediately amended to say that in fact, the ASA had “decided to pour gas not…

Good for Case Western Reserve University

Its president and provost have denounced the academic boycott of Israel. I won’t excerpt the statement; you should just go ahead and read the whole thing, which is brave, to the point, honest, and worthy of all academics who are genuinely interested in engaging in open, free and vigorous inquiry.