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A Tenured Extremist in Israel Leads the Campaign to Defame his Country
Posted By Carol Levine On December 6, 2012 @ 12:08 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 40 Comments
Israel has long been the target of campaigns of vilification by its own anti-Israel radical academics, enjoying their cushy salaries at Israel’s taxpayer-funded universities. Many of these individuals lead the world campaigns of economic aggression against Israel (the so-called BDS or “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” campaign). Some openly call for Israel’s annihilation or support terrorist atrocities against Jews.
A few weeks back, one of the worst campaigns to undermine Israel’s legitimacy was launched by Amiram Goldblum, a radical leftist professor in pharmaceutical studies at the country’s Hebrew University. He is also a hater of democracy and freedom of speech. He was a founder of the radical group “Peace Now,” which demands complete and unconditional capitulation by Israel to the diktats of the Arab world. Goldblum gave an address to a forum of leftists last spring in which he called for Israel sovereignty and democracy to be suppressed by means of foreign pressures to coerce the country to agree to the far-Left’s pro-Palestinian political agenda.
Goldblum’s anti-Israel activism was suddenly thrust into the spotlight when he organized and funded a tendentious pseudo-survey of Jewish public opinion in Israel, in which he claimed that Israeli Jews support “apartheid.” The “findings” of the “survey” were quickly taken at face value by the media and especially by the bash-Israel lobby.
As it turned out, the “survey” was nothing more than a shoddy manipulative pseudo-scientific exercise in distortion. It was Goldblum’s own private personal initiative, paid for and sponsored by a fund Goldblum single-handedly manages (named after his late wife). Goldblum assembled a small group of far-leftist anti-Israel activists in Israel, only one of whom is an academic (and even he is a political scientist, not a statistician). They composed survey questions that were designed to produce responses that could be twisted into making it look like Israeli Jews are racists and supporters of apartheid.
Writing in the Israel Hayom daily, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, a world-class political scientist, denounced Goldblum and his team for the manipulation. He writes:
[A] great deal of damage has been done outside Israel, where this farce was used to further the campaign of anti-Israel political warfare and demonization….The poll that generated such attention was flawed in many dimensions. In Maariv, Ben-Dror Yemini details many of the false claims and absurd statements it contains. And in Haaretz, former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Yehuda Ben-Meir emphasized that the actual conclusion to be drawn from the poll results was “exactly the opposite of what’s written in the article’s headline” and that the majority of Israelis were “unwilling to live in a country with an apartheid regime.” As a “push” poll used for crude political manipulation, and involving only 503 people, this survey was driven by clear political objectives. The pseudo-poll is another form of attack in this political war to demonize Israel. Responsibility for the attack, beyond Haaretz, lies with Amiram Goldblum, a founder of Peace Now, who runs the Yisraela Goldblum Fund (named after his late wife), which paid for costs, under the wider framework of the non-profit group known as “Signing Anew.” This funding, in turn, was provided by the New Israel Fund, and Goldblum is a member of NIF’s International Council. In addition, according to Goldblum’s press release, the “questions” used in this transparent political stunt were formulated by individuals closely connected to the NIF, the Durban Strategy and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. … Everyone connected with this travesty shares responsibility for the immense political damage that has been caused. Goldblum, in particular, owes the Israeli public an apology.
Goldblum’s “smear Israel” poll was denounced by Israelis across the board, including from the Left. The ex-editor in chief of the far-Leftist Haaretz daily denounced Goldblum and the poll, and the Haaretz newspaper distanced itself from the poll (which it was the first to report). Even the New Israel Fund, the leftist NGO to which Goldblum’s Fund is tied, repudiated the poll and its “findings.”
Here is how Ruth King from the “Americans for a Safe Israel” described Goldblum’s pseudo-poll:
As part of “surveygate,” Goldblum and his hit team insisted that if Israeli Jews favor separate roads in the West Bank for Jews and Arabs, because of the daily attempts by Arabs there to murder Jews, it shows that Jews are racists who favor an apartheid regime. The survey evidently used the term “hafrada” in Hebrew, meaning separation, a word that can also mean apartheid. So when many Israeli Jews indicated that they favor hafrada, Goldblum and his Smeartroopers had their headline: Israelis favor apartheid.
Other indicators of “Jewish support for apartheid” were found by the Goldblum team when many Israeli Jews favored affirmative action preferences in hiring in favor of Jews. Never mind that the entire Left in Israel has long lobbied for racist quotas in favor of Arabs!
Even the predominantly leftist Israeli press including Ha’aretz denounced Goldblum and his smear campaign, some comparing it to the lies and distortions of the UN’s “Goldstone Commission.” On October 26, 2012, the deputy editor of Maariv, Ben Dror Yemini, called Goldblum an anti-Israel anti-democratic fanatic.
Goldblum bragged to anyone willing to listen, including in dozens of newspaper and Internet interviews, that he was personally behind the “apartheid pseudo-poll,” which he admitted initiating to smear Israel and demonize the country. But then suddenly on December 2, 2012, Goldblum started denying that he had anything to do with the poll on the Wikipedia web site using his pseudonym Rastiniak.
On the same Wikipedia page he also denied being a founder of and long-term spokesman for “Peace Now,” in spite of the fact that for decades he has bragged about being these. His turnarounds and episodes of volte-faces have become the central features of his modus operandi. They help to put into context his continuing insistence that he had nothing to do with the hiring of the convicted Palestinian terrorist Adel Hadmi to work in his own university laboratory.
In that incident, Israel’s Channel Two TV news claimed in 2008 that Goldblum had personally intervened and arranged for a convicted Palestinian terrorist to come work in his lab and participate in a PhD program. The report claimed Goldblum did so out of political and ideological support for the terrorist based on his leadership in “Peace Now.” Goldblum then denied he was the person who made the decision to hire the terrorist, and managed to badger the spokesman’s office at Hebrew University into issuing a claim that some other, mysterious, unnamed, officials had made the decision. In Ruth King’s words, “Except we do not know of a single case in the entire world where someone gets hired to work in a professor’s university lab without that same professor’s approval and confirmation.”
This was hardly the first transgression in Goldblum’s long campaign on behalf of the Israel far Left. He was involved in criminal violations of Israel’s campaign financing laws in 1998 and a criminal indictment was handed down against him. Goldblum signed a confession of guilt at that time, the indictment was “postponed” and never went to trial. He has also been involved in organizing mutiny and insurrection among Israeli army soldiers, urging them not to serve, as part of the “SERUV” campaign of communists and other far Leftists. He has been leading a campaign of “lawfare,” based on submitting frivolous harassment lawsuits, designed to suppress the freedom of speech of critics of the far Left. And of course he continues to serve as button man for “Peace Now.”
Goldblum is currently married to Idit Amihai, head of the Museums and Public Galleries section at the Ministry of Culture and Sport in Israel. She went on leave without pay in 2011 because her minister instituted sanctions against Ministry employees who refused to take care of museums located in the West Bank. She was involved in the removal of many museum artifacts to places of safety when southern Israel was recently bathed in Hamas rockets. So here we have the spectacle of the official in charge of museums in Israel hiding away museum treasures lest they be damaged by the very same rockets that were being fired thanks to the implementation of policies promoted by her husband and his comrades from “Peace Now.”
The recent issue of “Outpost,” the monthly of Americans for a Safe Israel, issued a call for sanctions against the Hebrew University until Amiram Goldblum is dismissed.
Here is the excerpt:
But the very worst part of Goldblum’s misbehavior is his serial harassment of critics of leftist extremism. Goldblum has discovered the delights of political “lawfare,” using the courts for ideological warfare to suppress freedom of speech, a harassment tactic developed by Islamofascists and other anti-democratic extremists. He has filed endless frivolous SLAPP nuisance suits against conservative professors, NGOs, web sites, a radio personality, and others, all designed to force them into silence and bear the costs of fighting off his SLAPP suits. Israel has no penalties against SLAPP suit harassment. Goldblum never wins any of these but misuses the courts as a “lawfare” weapon to “punish” his ideological opponents, seeking to convert the courts into bludgeons of censorship.
It is tempting to dismiss Goldblum as a self-hating Jew. On the contrary, like many of his ilk, he thinks immensely highly of himself as an Olympian resting on the moral heights. No, Goldblum does not hate himself, he hates Israel.
As concerned American supporters of Israel and its many academic institutions, we must make it clear to the Mt. Scopus officials that our support for their university is contingent upon their dismissal of Amiram Goldblum for his misbehavior, and his outrageous assaults against freedom of speech.
Goldblum is fond of pointing out that his two sons have served their country in elite military units. It is indeed commendable that they defended the very same country that their own father has been seeking so long to undermine. Goldblum and his “Peace Now” comrades have converted the word “peace” into an obscenity. Goldblum also is a walking mockery of academic standards, as he strives to suppress democracy and freedom of speech. He has no proper place in any self-respecting academic institution.
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