Joel Beinin’s Love Letter to the ‘New Protest Generation’


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Stanford University history professor Joel Beinin made the latest in a series of appearances on the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center (PPJC) Palo Alto cable television program “Other Voices” on November 2, 2010. The subject of the show was “Israel-Palestine: A New Protest Generation” and, as before, it provided a platform for Beinin’s anti-Israel animus.

The show began with a brief discussion of what Beinin delightedly called the “overall decline” of the United States, evidenced by the “failure even at the crude military level in both Iraq and Afghanistan” and the resulting inability to employ the military “as an instrument of policy.”

Following these inflammatory claims, the interview turned to its focus: the recent phenomenon of young, Jewish Israelis—most of whom belong to a group called “Anarchists Against the Wall”—participating in Palestinian rallies against the “illegal settlements” and the West Bank security barrier. As Beinin put it, these Israelis stand “shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians” with the goal of preventing “some of the violence that the army might direct against them.”

Beinin pointed out that a culture has emerged in which Palestinians are willing to deem Israelis “one of us” if rubber bullets or other Israeli military actions cause them to suffer debilitating injuries during rallies. He described a recent tour of the West Bank led by an Israeli who had “lost sight in his left eye” at one of these rallies and, as a result, was considered a hero by the Palestinians. “I might as well have been going around with Yasser Arafat,” Beinin exclaimed. This Israeli, he boasted, was one of the leaders of what he called the “successful divestment [from Israel] campaign at Hampshire College” in 2009. In fact, it was not a successful divestment campaign, as was widely acknowledged at the time.

In an ominous development, Beinin noted that these young Israelis are now “following Palestinian leadership.” To be more specific, he remarked, they “help [the Palestinians] conduct the struggle as the [movement’s] popular committee has decided it should be conducted.” Beinin claimed that these young Israelis are motivated by their willingness to look at their “colonial privilege” and “[think] about it seriously,” something the older “Israeli peace movement” did not do. Members of this “militant, persistent Israeli opposition,” he later added, are willing to act repeatedly as the front line in the protests, despite the “enormous psychological and physical toll” involved.

Palestinians, Beinin contended, organize regular meetings to coordinate their activities with this new cohort of Israeli activists. He narrated a typical dialogue:

If [the Palestinians] say, ‘We would like you [the Israeli activists] to bring hundreds of Israelis on this day,’ we might tell them, ‘that’s not possible; it’s a holiday. How about that day?’

“It’s the Palestinians who are running the show,” Beinin noted approvingly.

He went on:

The Israeli young women . . . [have begun to] meet with the Palestinian women separately. Then they come to the [larger group] meetings and say, ‘This is what the Palestinian women want.’

This gender segregation is necessary because Palestinian women, as Beinin pointed out, “don’t come to meetings with men they don’t know.” The fact that the Palestinian contingent would completely ignore its female members were it not for the participation of Israeli women apparently does not bother Israeli “peace activists.”

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  • jenny

    Learn the truth about Abu Beinin and his jihadist Israel-boycotter friends here: PACBI.com

    • Andrew

      cool site, tried to contact them but my emails get rejected, kinda gay.

  • therealend

    There are those who would "Peace" Israel into oblivion. And anyone else that gets in their way.

  • Reality 101

    Too naive to imagine the reverse, 22 Jewish countries against one tiny Arab country. The ignorance of youth can be absurdly self destructive….

    • Findalis

      If there were 22 Jewish countries against one tiny Arab country there would be peace and prosperity. For the Jews wish for peace. The Arabs only for war and destruction.

  • Al Neuman

    Why was my comment deleted?

  • Al Neuman

    This guy Beinin is a caricature of the departure from reality verging on insanity which has infected the "academics" and Left in this country. Their blind support for terror-loving Islamists, and reflex condemnation of Israel, the region's only democracy and by far most tolerant government, is stunning.
    It's always amazing to me that these "Peace and Justice" types never seem to want any of either for any of the innumerable victims of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, including the many innocent Israelis murdered by the incessant terrorist attacks over the years.
    Thank goodness for the refreshing honest reporting of someone like Jon Gelbart in the face of the monumental dishonesty of the liars like Beinin–Stanford should be ashamed to have someone as biased and bigoted as he on their faculty.

  • Judy Abeles Eliasov

    The security fence is 350 miles long(not finished yet) has UNDER 5% of it in concrete which is mainly around populated urban areas. The rest is barbed wire and intrusion detectors. Of course the concrete parts of the security fence make for better news coverage but give the impression that all 350 miles is same.
    I agree that it is dificult for the Palestinians to live with the inconvenience and insult.
    However, when weighed up against dreadful damage inflicted by the suicide bombers who explod themselves and kill and maim Israeli citizens, I have to choose security over sensibilities.
    One day, when there will be peace between the Palestinians and Israelies, the fence will be removed. Inshalla.

  • aaron_truax

    Bravo to Gelbart for an insightful look into the dementia of the Jewish anti-Israel movement. Sadly, people like Professor Beinin have become mouthpieces for hatred and intolerance while carefully cultivating a pretense to the moral high-ground. Make no mistake – this is the real neo-fascism.

  • http://garyfouse.blogspot.com gary fouse

    A similar activity is going on at UC Irvine with the Olive Tree Initiative. International Solidarity Movement co-founder George Rishmawi will speak Monday at UCI courtesy of the OTI. The whole OTI program going on within the UCI system nneds a close examination. There is a firestorm going on within the OC Jewish community over this event. I hope Frontpage will look into it.

    Gary Fouse
    adj teacher UCI-Ext
    fousesquawk