Middle East studies in the News
Harvard's Academic Pogrom [incl. Marc Ellis, Norman Finkelstein]
by Steven Plaut
Harvard University is a school of rich tradition. And in a few days it will be restoring a great Harvard tradition dating back to the 1930s: the tradition of hosting Nazis and violent anti-Semites on campus seeking the mass murder of Jews.
Harvard is to hold a pseudo-academic conference devoted to calls for Israel's extermination. This "academic conference" will be little more than a genteel campus pogrom. Misnamed the "One State Solution Conference," it will definitely not have any discussion of any "One State Solution" under which all of Western "Palestine" remains one single Jewish state, while "Palestinians" unhappy about living there as a political minority move to one of the 22 Arab states. When the conference organizers and speakers talk about a "One State Solution," what they mean is a Rwanda solution, a final one, to the "Jewish Problem" of the Middle East. They want Israel annihilated and replaced by a "bi-national" state with an Islamist Arab majority in control. And it does not take a great imagination to understand just how Jews will fare under such a "solution."
Naturally, Harvard is defending this campus atrocity with the usual protestations about academic freedom and freedom of speech. The administrators who justify such open and violent bigotry in the guise of an academic conference are the very same people who never seem to express any objections when campus hooligans disrupt and harass talks by Israeli diplomats and rallies by Jewish students. Harvard administrators would be the first ones in the Ivy League to shut down as "hate speech" any "conference" devoted to proving that black people have lower IQs than others, that called for evicting all illegal Hispanics from the nation, or that promoted the view that homosexuality is a mental disorder.
In any case, a brief review of pedigrees of the participants in this "conference" illustrates just how clearly this is to be nothing more than a Bash-the-Jews campus crusade.
The "star" of the Harvard pogrom will be Ilan Pappe, who is arguably the most thoroughly discredited pseudo-academic on the planet. Pappe is a notorious fabricator, someone who claims proudly that facts and truth are of no importance. "Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers," the French newspaper Le Soir, has cited Pappe as saying.
Pappe is an expatriate Israeli who devoted one of his "books" to his sons with the wish that they may grow up in a world without Israel. His own University of Exeter recently chastised him for his infamous habit of playing fast and loose with facts. Pappe is best known as a fulltime anti-Israel propagandist who has done more than any other anti-Israel Israeli to promote the moral equivalence of "Nakba denial" with Holocaust denial. He is a "new historian" in the sense of pseudo-historian. His mission in life is to invent an imaginary Palestinian historic "narrative." Nearly all those beating the "Nakba" drum today cite Pappe and his "books" about the supposed "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs by Israel in its war of independence. (For those who do not know, "Nakba," meaning "catastrophe," is how Arabs refer to Israel's birth.)
Pappe was a lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa, but moved to resume the position of a pseudo-academic propagandist position at the University of Exeter in the UK. Even other anti-Zionists have repudiated Pappe as a liar and fabricator. He openly calls for Israel to be exterminated and endorses Hamas terrorism. He considers Noam Chomsky insufficiently anti-Israel.
Pappe, who ran for the parliament in Israel on the slate of the Stalinist communist party and played a central role in fomenting boycotts of Israel in the UK and elsewhere, was also the central figure in the now infamous "Tantura Affair." In this incident, Pappe coached a graduate student of his into inventing a non-existent "massacre" of Arabs by the Hagana Jewish militia (Alexandroni Brigade) in Tantura, south of Haifa, a "massacre" that Pappe claims took place in 1948. Not a shred of any evidence for any such "massacre" exists. Arab and other journalists who were present at the time of the battle that took place in Tantura reported no massacre. Arabs living in the town at the time confirmed that a battle did occur, but that after the battle the Jewish militiamen aided and assisted the townspeople, not massacring anyone. The graduate student in question was sued for libel by the veterans of the Hagana militia. He later admitted in courtwith his lawyer present that the entire massacre was an invention.
No matter – Pappe roams the world and continues to spread the lie about the imaginary Tantura "massacre," a lie that has found its way into nearly every anti-Semitic web site and Neo-Nazi magazine on Earth, and even a handful of otherwise respectable mainstreamjournalists foolishly rely upon him. Pappe has lied about practically everything else, including about being "persecuted" by his own university in Israel. In fact, Pappe was never fired for his fraud and fabrication by the University of Haifa, although he should have been. (Some wags even suggested the university should be boycotted for not firing Pappe.) That did not stop Pappe from waving his stigmataas "victim of Zionism" before the European anti-Semites promoting "divestment" from Israel. His recruitment by the University of Exeter proves how indifferent that school is to scholarly standards. His coming appearance as the star of the Harvard academic pogrom shows that things are not much better there.
While Pappe may be the most notorious fabricator at Harvard's Destroy Israel Conference, he is hardly the only one. A close runner-up will be Stephen M. Walt, who – along with his sidekick John Mearsheimer – is best known for proliferating medieval "theories" about a grand Jewish cabal plotting to control the world. Walt and Mearsheimer spin yarns about the imaginary power of the "Jewish lobby" that resound very much like German propaganda from the 1930s. It would be an exaggeration to say that there is no Israel lobby whatsoever in the United States, but only a small exaggeration. The "Israel lobby" does not come up to the pinky toes in terms of the power of the farm lobby and the teachers union lobby. Walt's partner Mearsheimer has been in the news the past few weeks for endorsing andcelebrating a notoriously deranged British Israel-born Holocaust denier, Gilad Atzmon. Walt also defends Mearsheimer's choice of Nazi chums on his own personal blog.
Walt and Mearsheimer are widely seen as open anti-Semites, churning out conspiratorial tripe no better than what the "9/11 truther" nuts produce. The Anti-Defamation League dismisses them as anti-Semitic cranks, adding: "Mearsheimer and Walt start by blaming Israel for everything in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Once establishing Israel's consistent guilt, from the creation of the state to present day, they then move to asserting that the 'Israel lobby' (which is loosely and inconsistently defined) in the United States uses every device and method of pressure politics to stifle criticism of Israel and to ensure America's pro-Israel policy, against America's true interests and to serve the interests of the Jewish state."
The Harvard conference will also feature a number of obscure pseudo-academics, whose inclusion is evidently entirely due to their being Jewish anti-Semites. One of these speakers will be Marc H. Ellis, on the faculty at Baylor University. Ellis is someone considered by himself to be a Jewish theologian and thinker, and by himself alone. No one else in the world seems to consider his "philosophical" salad of Marxism and the quest for the annihilation of Israel to be Jewish theology. Well, no one besides the racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright, at least (Wright just adores Ellis). Ellis is basically a clone of Norman Finkelstein, but – unlike Finkelstein – was never dismissed by his own university for being a fraud (yet). Come to think of it, since Finkelstein has lately been renouncing the "Boycott and Divest from Israel" movement, Finkelstein these days might better be considered to be the Ellis Lite. Ellis pretends to be something of a "Holocaust theologian," but the only lesson he has managed to extract from the Holocaust is that it is necessary now to conduct a second Holocaust to rid the world of Israel.
Ellis thinks that the legacy of the Holocaust ought to instill in Jews the duty to denounce Israel unambiguously and to support the demands and agenda of the Palestinian terrorists. He denounces all Jewish denominations and all rabbinic institutions for their failures toendorse Palestinian violence unreservedly. He is as hostile to the Jews of America as he is to those of Israel: "We as Jews come after the Holocaust, but we also come after the illusory promises of Israel and America. And we cannot find our way alone, only with others who realize that the promises they have been handed are also illusory."
An even more obscure "academic" to be featured at the Harvard pogrom is one Dalit Baum, a mouth-foaming hater of Israel who teaches "gender studies" as an adjunct at my own school, the University of Haifa. She holds a degree in math, and spends her days in quest of being the planet's leading lesbian for jihad. When she is not leading "dyke marches" (her term), Baum lectures to college studentsagainst the state of Israel and its right to defend itself. She pretends to be a victim of societal oppression against homosexuals and women, although the fact that she holds a job in a sociology department without having any degree in sociology better illustrates the nature of her persecution. Baum created an organization of anti-Semitic lesbians calling itself Black Laundry, which meets in gay bars in Israel. Black Laundry members, of course, never convene in the areas controlled by the Hamas or Palestinian Authority to protest "oppression" of homosexuals. We can only wonder why.
Timothy McCarthy, an adjunct lecturer at Harvard and a self-proclaimed expert on "gender studies" and "human rights," will be joining Baum. He will be explaining why the best way to achieve gender equality and human rights in the Middle East is to annihilate the only country in which they exist.
Other speakers at the Nuremberg Rally off Harvard Square will include anti-Semitic journalists, a gaggle of anti-Israel sociologists, law professors who define human rights in such a way that Arabs have a human right to murder Jews, but Jews have no human right to defend themselves, and even one liberation-theology pseudo-rabbi. What they all have in common is their desire to see Israel exterminated. In what passes for academic pluralism and diversity these days, the Harvard conference will not have even a single speaker who thinks that Israel has the right to exist and the right to defend itself.
Harvard University has a bit of a history when it comes to coddling Nazis. In the 1930s, it was one of the American universities reluctant to hire Jewish and other refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. According to "The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower," by Stephen H. Norwood(Cambridge University Press, 2009), Harvard University stood out above the rest in its moral failure and in its collaboration with Nazism. Many of the faculty members at Harvard were openly anti-Semitic, including Harvard's president James Bryant Conant. Later, after the war, Conant served as US Ambassador to Germany and worked feverishly to get Nazi war criminals paroled and hired. He lobbied for appointments of Nazis to various public posts in Europe and at the United Nations.
Harvard's law school dean, Roscoe Pound, was openly sympathetic to Hitler, vacationed in Germany and attended anti-Semitic events there. Harvard history professor William L. Langer strongly defended Hitler's reoccupation and remilitarization of the Rhineland, which was the first step in launching World War II. More generally he served as a sort of academic apologist for the Nazis. The Nazi Professor Friedrich Schoenemann had taught at Harvard during and after World War I. During the 1930s, when he was at the University of Berlin, he went on a speaking tour of American campuses in 1933 to great acclaim, where his talks were titled "Why I Believe in the Hitler Government."
Harvard went out of its way to host and celebrate Nazi leaders during the 1930s. The high Nazi official Ernst (Putzi) Hanfstaungl was invited as the Harvard commencement speaker in 1934. The wealthy Hanfstaungel had been one of Hitler's earliest and most important backers. He was on record insisting "the Jews must be crushed," and describing Jews as "the vampire sucking German blood." Hanfstaungel was invited by a Harvard medical professor to serve as the honored speaker in the Harvard commencement ceremony and class reunion of 1934 and used the occasion for anti-Semitic incitement. He openly advocated the mass arrest or worse of German Jews. The student paper, the Harvard Crimson, defended Hanfstaungel. Harvard called in the Boston police to arrest Jews and others protesting the visit, and they were charged with "illegally displaying signs." When Hanfstaungel returned to Germany from Harvard, he was personally welcomed by Hitler.
So the Destroy Israel "Conference," AKA the Nuremberg Rally near the Charles River, is simply upholding a proud Cambridge Ivy heritage.
The "One State Solution" as promoted by the Harvard pseudo-academic pogromchiki should really be called the Final Solution.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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