When Jewish Studies Programs Are Part of the Problem

Pages: 1 2

Some UC Jewish Studies programs seem to be part of the growing problem of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist bias on UC campuses. Consider the lecture sponsored by the UC Davis [UCD] Jewish Studies Program on October 21, 2011.

The lecturer was University of London professor Gilbert Achcar, author of the controversial book, “The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives.” He was introduced by Diane Wolf, current chair of the UCD program, Professor Susan Miller, and founding chair, David Biale. Professor Miller praised Achcar and called his scholarship “courageous.”

Achcar may have been courageous in acknowledging the Holocaust was a uniquely horrifying event directed at Jews and that Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini’s anti-Semitism and collaboration with Hitler were deplorable. But after these observations, he careened into anti-Zionist, anti-Israel charges and distortions. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, he argued that the Mufti’s Jew-hatred had little influence on Palestinian and Arab hostility to Israel. He dismissed evidence about the cross-fertilization of Muslim anti-Semitism and Nazi-inspired anti-Semitism as hyperbole and charged that Israel exploits the Holocaust and exaggerates the Mufti’s influence only for propaganda purposes.

More disturbingly, he has argued that the rise of Zionism in 1920, not prejudice, spawned Arab Jew-hatred, essentially accusing Jews of causing anti-Semitism. Indeed, in his book, he excuses the current popularity of the Czarist anti-Semitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in the Arab world, arguing it must be read from an anti-Zionist, not an anti-Semitic, perspective.

Achcar minimized pogroms against and expulsions of Jews in the Arab world after World War II and after Israel’s reestablishment, equating their expulsion with the American internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He repeated anti-Israel clichés, denying Israel’s right to exist and referring to it as a “settler colonial project” built on “Arab land,” accusing Zionists of “ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians,” and downplaying any suggestion of Pan-Arab racism toward the Jewish people.

Despite these tendentious charges, challenging questions were not welcomed during the Q & A.

I was abruptly censored while attempting to establish facts to challenge Mr. Achcar’s skewed conclusion that the Grand Mufti’s anti-Semitism had only a minimal impact on both Jews and Arabs. Professors Miller and Biale angrily told me the questions were insulting and to either stop or leave the room. So much for free speech and scholarly discourse in academia.

Pages: 1 2

  • Anamah

    As you can see with this folks, to be Jewish do not warranty goodness or quality. Mal born there are in all religions and nationalities… However some are almost the exclusivity, specially when adding ideology.

    • Anamah

      Also I would like to comment this: Maybe somebody here will help me to understand the lack of intelligent thinking and hate that made a goal, the obsessive attack to Gilad Sharon at the Ford Hall Forum, Suffolk University, Boston. He was presenting his book and talked about the military and political career of his father Ariel Sharon. The conference was presented by Wendy Ballinger and Jennifer Bonardi. I found rude and disrespectful to invite a guess to bullying him. At the end not a single interesting question was asked to Gilad Sharon…One of the rude students mentioned JStreet . I believe those are indoctrinated by the Socialist, Soros and Palestinian network. Only acussation blaming Israel of imaginary crimes. Just garbage to waste…pure fascism and Allinsky rules, that is what I find really shocking in our universities.

  • shmuel naggid

    I have heard David Biale speak and he is one true horse's patoot. Some of these leftist propaganda "departments" should be renamed Anti-Jew Studies, or at least put "Jewish" in their "Jewish Studies" title in scare quote marks

  • http://www.jewishrefugees.blogspot.com bataween

    Achcar is a propagandist, not a real academic. It is a shame that naive Jews, wishing to hear 'both sides of the story' do not see through him. There is no 'war of narratives' – there is truth and there are lies, and Achcar is among those who is rewriting history to minimise the elephant in the room and biggest embarrassment of the Palestinian cause – the Arab alliance with Nazism. This is still the main driving force behind the Arab conflict with Israel today.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Noam Chomsky is a real academic, who is as blunt in his criticism as he is accurate.

      Remember the old Arab proverb: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." The Jews went out of their way to make themselves their enemies, and you wonder why they allied with the Nazis?

      • BS77

        Please boycott this idiot Herman Caintonette….a disturbed and stupid individual with the big ego that constantly asks everyone to LOOK AT ME, LISTEN TO ME. What a jerk.

      • Yetwave

        If by "real academic", you mean a sequestered crank whose production of hypothetical gibberish at an ealry stage of his career has resulted in comfortable tenure and a lack of contribution to intellectual endeavor ever since, you are undeniably accurate.

      • Western Canadian

        Anyone who can refer to chomsky as a real academic, obviously has a gutter low opinion of academics….. He is a pathetic blowhard, which is wny you like him. A better old arab proverb is ‘me against my brother, my brother and i against our cousin’. Actually, yours was not even arab….

        • ziontruth

          "Anyone who can refer to chomsky as a real academic, obviously has a gutter low opinion of academics."

          Like it or not, there's a bitter truth here: Sane, right-thinking academics such as Victor David Hanson are a miniscule minority in that world where Marxist treason is the rule.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    “More disturbingly, he has argued that the rise of Zionism in 1920, not prejudice, spawned Arab Jew-hatred, essentially accusing Jews of causing anti-Semitism.”

    The truth is disturbing?

    • Herman Caintonette

      I have a theory about this. Jews tend to be cliquish, and easily identified. If someone named John Smith screws you over, you can't even know his race. But if you are done dirt by a Cohn or a Levy, you can bet the house that it was a Jew. And while Jews can be some of the most thoughtful, engaging, and philosophical people you will ever meet, there are the David Horowitzes of the world, who seem to work overtime to defile the brand.

      When the European Jews came to Palestine, they went out of their way to make themselves unwelcome. http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/796f8bc05ec4f30… . Instead of trying to be good neighbors as Ahad Ha'am counseled, they behaved as an invading force, and engendered a good deal of Arab resentment. History is seldom pretty, and people are seldom noble.

      But of course, to Team Horrorwitz, even their droppings smell of rose petals.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        I marvel at the fact that Gail Rubin is an active member of a harassment organization and went to a benign lecture expressly to insult and accuse the lecturer and was not thrown out, merely asked politely by level-headed Jews to stop making a scene, or please leave. Failing to create a major incident, she is getting David Horowitz to showcase her completely mendacious accusation of censorship, and to launch her venomous attack on Jewish academics.

    • NotaBene

      That’s totally crazy Flip. That’s like suggesting western expansion by the United States caused anti-white feelings among Native Americans, or that the African slave trade caused anti-white feeling among Africans.

      PS Did you know that in Israel, Palestinians are frequently reffered to as ‘Indians’ in a negative way? I wonder why…

      • Western Canadian

        Sock-puppet attack. Hi HC.

    • UCSPanther

      Charles Coughlin did exactly the same thing when news of Kristalnacht broke: Blamed a group of people for their own persecution.

      • NotaBene

        Like David Horowitz does every day to the Palestinians?

        • Western Canadian

          Hey everyone, HC is going the sock-puppet route.

      • ziontruth

        "Blamed a group of people for their own persecution."

        I wonder what Flipscum and German Kazettwachman say about the truth that ten straight years of Arab settler terrorism against the Jews in Israel throughout the 2000s decades have contributed to near-universal hatred of the Arabs by the Israeli Jewish populace. Which is it going to be: A justified reaction, according to the same standard they hold the Arabs to, or a different standard for the Jews, in which case it will be called "RAAAACISM!"?

        Inquiring minds want to know…

        • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

          You do not possess an inquisitive mind.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        Quit living in the past. Even worse: quit living in someone else’s past.

    • David Ashley

      Zionism started long before 1920, but then, so did Muslim-Arab anti-Semitism….

      Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 392:
      "Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were in the Mosque, the Prophet came out and said, 'Let us go to the Jews.' We went out till we reached Bait-ul-Midras (beit hamidrash – 'the study hall'? – NRK). He said to them, 'If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle.'"

      Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985 – to round out the picture:
      "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews."

      • David Ashley

        Oh yes, and….
        Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified on December 30, 1066 by an Arab mob, who then proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5,000 inhabitants.

        In the 8th century, whole Moroccan Jewish communities were wiped out by Muslim ruler Idris I. In 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 survivors, followed by similar massacres throughout Morocco. In Marrakesh, more than three hundred Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880.

        Throughout North Africa in the 12th century, the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several Jewish communities.

        In Libya in 1785 Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews; In Algiers, Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830.

        Decrees were issued and ordering the destruction of synagogues in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854-­859, 1344) and Yemen (1676).

        Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465, 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333, 1344).

        • Sleep is good

          One item that might be more relevant is the Arab Khazar wars, which yielded defeat for Islam. The defeat occurred after Mohammed's death, which might explain why the Hadith's have so much more anti-Jewish feeling attached to them. Now most Jews are not of Khazar origin, it has been shown. Nonetheless, the Khazars did become Jewish, which must have been quite a reason in those dark medieval days to hate Jewish in general.

  • Herman Caintonette

    GR: "Achcar may have been courageous in acknowledging the Holocaust was a uniquely horrifying event directed at Jews"

    Don't forget the Communists, homosexuals, trade unionists, and everyone else you seem to hate. That's the problem with you Jews: you think you are better than everyone else, and that we should agree that you are better than everyone else. The Armenians suffered a holocaust a mere generation beforehand — 1.5 million were systematically eradicated. And for every Jew gassed by Hitler, a Gentile met the same fate.

    Was it "uniquely horrifying?" Ask an Armenian.

    • Yetwave

      Why do you omit mention of the Romany in your tirade, Herman? You'd likely refer to them as Gypsies. What accounts for your failure to mention these historically harassed and dismissed people; some sense of entitlement on your part or is it just overt racism? The Romany were Hitler's second favorite ethnically disctinct target. But apologists for genocide such as yourself readliy overlook the efforts of the evil in the rush to villify Jews.
      Don't worry, though. You will get your chance to cheer once the rapine islamic hordes overtake Israel on their way westward where they will gladly relieve you of your head.

    • tanstaafl

      Anti-semitism has been present in Islam since the Jews of Mecca refused the prophet 1400 years ago. It is nothing new in Islam. And judging by the postings at FPM, Muslim anti-semitism is alive and well.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        I doubt Muslims read this crap.

    • NotaBene

      Tsk, HC – it was taboo to mention the Armenian genocide when Turkey and Israel were still pals. Now, the Zionistes won't shut up about it.

  • Marty

    Be assured that some of us in the academy are telling the truth to our students about the brutality, violence, and anti-semitism that defines islam as a genocidal death cult. My students know that no islamic country has ever been a democracy, that islam is theologically opposed to and desires to annihilate christianity and Judaism, and the only place in the world where arab muslims and Jews live in any degree of harmony is Israel. They also appreciate the fact that I document the contents of every lecture I deliver.

    • NotaBene

      I hope your students get their money back. Iran was a democracy until we decided to help overthrow Mossadeq. Pakistan was a democracy until our pal Musharraf took over.

      Even now, the US government classifies (just as it did under Bush) countries such as Lebanon, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Indonesia (the world's largest Muslim country) as democracies.

      • Western Canadian

        Sock-puppet attack!! So HC, tired of being thumped each time you post your drivel??

        • NotaBene

          What the %$@! are you blathering about?

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

    I suggest they name it the Julius Streicher Chair of Jewish Studies at UC Davis. How can they justify bringing in a speaker who tries to downplay anti-Semitism in the Middle East? I have read Ashcar's book. It is a whitewash.

    • NotaBene

      What about the Yitzhak Shamir Chair? He wrote fan letters to Hitler, after all.

  • Gary Aminoff

    Apparently Professor Ashcar never read my article, THE NAZI CONNECTION TO MODERN ISLAMIC JIHAD. http://nevilleawards.com/islamic_rad_history.shtm

    There is documented evidence of the Nazi influence on Islamic Jihad beginning in the 1930s. Read the article.

  • topeka

    @Gail Rubin…

    welcome to my world…. oh, wait, at least you have organizations to join and commiserate with your fellows.

    sincerely, it is sad, BUT (monkey) many of us walked these campuses alone … and uninformed during the years before the alternative media.

    Even today, I don't know a single organization I can join to whine about discrimination or to complain about it to an authority who will take action.

    So while I am sympathetic… at least you have company.

  • J..J. Surbeck

    Achcar was here at UCSD San Diego on 10/24/11 to lecture on… you guessed it, "The Arabs of the Holocaust". What struck me right away was that the usual local anti-Israel professors (Michael Provence, Fareed AbdelNoor and Jonathan Graubart) were in attendance, which by itself was a good indicator that Achcar is no friend of Israel, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to show up. Achcar started off by insisting on the importance of intellectual integrity, but when I accused him at the end of having shown none when he mentioned every war Israel was involved in and failed to explain that it was attacked each time, AbdelNoor had the audacity to "apologize on behalf of San Diego" for my remark (to which I replied so much for freedom of speech and genuine intellectual debates). Achcar was all worked up for having been challenged, but at least I think he got the message that apart from his little coterie, not everyone is fooled by his obfuscations.

  • J.J. Surbeck

    Correction: Achcar's lecture was on "The Arabs AND the Holocaust", not "of the Holocaust". Apologies for the typo.

  • europeco

    blabla blabla Zionism is cretinism, division. regardless of who attacked whom and who live on the back of this war are parasites see manipulators. Accept to share life and land that you were not there to see what happened 50 or 2000 years before. you find a real job for Peace

  • Herman Caintonette

    The propagandistic pro-Jewish narrative we were fraudulently fed in our youth does not survive even rudimentary scrutiny. Modern academicians are telling it like it is, and that does not advance your cause.

  • Bert

    Some people believe that Herman is really a secret Zionist. His rants are so absurd that he actually creates support for Israel.