Middle East studies in the News
University of Michigan Professor Claims of Israel's Plot to "Starve" Palestinians [on Juan Cole]
As a past president of the Middle East Studies Association he led an educational organization that did little to promote truth where Israel was concerned. University of Michigan Middle East Studies Professor Juan Cole, if there is any way, will lambast Israel as victimizer of the civilized world, something he now writes on his blog is being continued against the Palestinians in Gaza by Israel through a "creepy" systematic [Cole's words] plan to starve the Arab population there to death.
This new revelation from Cole, written about by him on his blog last October, has not been making the rounds among mainstream media , but is making the rounds extensively on internal emails being sent out by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) through its list serves to its affiliates as current information to be dispensed at anti-Israel rallies throughout the world.
The ISM through its hundreds of affiliated campus groups across the US and the EU organizes the boycott and divestment movement and de-legitimization campaign against Israel which promotes the canard that Israel is tantamount to the worst of apartheid-era South Africa in the 80's. Cole, as an educator, knows that words can indoctrinate and he's not above using events as an historian to convince his acolytes that Israel is behind all the world's problems.
For example, Cole's animosity toward the Jewish state even extended to the attacks on 9/11. While Cole doesn't deny that Al Qaeda was behind the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, he , as usual, finds a way to link the attack to Israel's abuse.
Quoting Cole about the 9/11 attacks found on his personal blog:
In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation. In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. As soon as operation Grapes of Wrath had begun the week before, he had written out a martyrdom will, indicating his willingness to die avenging the victims, killed in that operation–with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States. His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center. (Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, p. 307: "On April 11, 1996, when Atta was twenty-seven years old, he signed a standardized will he got from the al-Quds mosque. It was the day Israel attacked Lebanon in Operation Grapes of Wrath. According to one of his friends, Atta was enraged, and by filling out his last testament during the attack he was offering his life in response."
So according to Cole, Mohammed Atta was inspired by Israel's defending itself in Southern Lebanon from Hezbollah attacks five years earlier that led to Atta's mission on 9/11/2001. This is typical Juan Cole.
But this new story begins as Cole makes reference to an alleged study by the Israeli government of the calorie intake by the civilian population in Gaza. He gleaned his post from an article that appeared in the usually anti-Israel British tabloid, the Guardian. The newspaper reported on a court case in Israel initiated by the Israeli NGO Gisha to see an internal government report that studied the calorie consumption of Gaza's civilian population. The report was never acted on, and was not going to be acted on, and was thus kept from the public for obvious reasons given past experiences like Cole's jumping on accusations of Israel starving Gaza's population like the Nazis starved Jews during the Holocaust.
Cole's reportage of the alleged plan elicited comments on his blog comparing the Gazans to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust and includes the following quotes:
"And, the Israeli army's way of trying to minimize the document must be the worst example of propaganda in history! They are saying that the plan was produced but not consulted. But this document aimed at making sure just enough trucks got in to keep people on the edge. If the government didn't consult it, does that mean it did not care if the food shipments slipped below the basic calorie allowance? Wouldn't it have been better if they had known about the 106-truck recommendation?"
Cole continues, "The food blockade had real effects. About ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition. A recent report [pdf] by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that, in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers."
Cole concludes, "I mean, don't those figures make you want to do something for those mothers and children? Wouldn't they melt anyone's heart?" At the same time, Cole dismisses rocket attacks on Israelis as not justifying "disproportionate use of force" when Israel defends itself.
What Cole doesn't tell his acolytes is that Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians both have been proven to be politically biased against Israel, including trying to claim Israel starves Palestinian children despite the fact that Gaza has one of the worst obesity rates of any place in the world.
According to NGO Monitor, "SCF runs a number of projects in Gaza and involving Palestinians that include political dimensions, including a very biased version of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. SCF has also failed to condemn the Palestinian exploitation of children for use in suicide terror attacks, and is conducting a major campaign to distort and demonize Israeli defenses against terrorism, including a presentation at the Geneva based session of the UNHCR in 2004."
On Medical Aid for Palestinians, the charity monitor site says, "MAP describes itself as "a British charity" that "works in partnership with local organizations to meet the health and medical needs of Palestinians worst affected by the occupation, the ongoing conflict with Israel and the lack of a just political solution to the crisis." It continues, MAP blames the "devastating" situation of the Palestinians on the "Israeli Separation Wall" (pg. 6). Israeli security concerns are erased since the Security Barrier has been proven to stop suicide bombings and terror attacks on Israelis by 95%. MAP accuses Israel of "indiscriminate sanctions" and "collective punishment" against the Palestinians. MAP also is the designated beneficiary of proceeds from the highly controversial play "Seven Jewish Children – a play for Gaza, " produced by ISM affiliated groups to imply that Israel is abusing the Arab population rather than protecting its own people from Hamas terror attacks.
That such aid organizations have an agenda to de-legitimize and damage Israel and even object to a security barrier not in Gaza that keeps out suicide bombers certainly leaves their statistics in doubt.
Juan Cole then praises the ISM's Gaza Flotilla boats as being the source for being a relaxation of restrictions of imports to Gaza, and claims the boats brought in food as humanitarian aid. The truth is the boats while claiming to bring in humanitarian aid in all seven cases carried almost none with them and were for propaganda purposes to reopen shipping lanes to Gaza blocked by the Israelis that were used to smuggle weapons and missiles to Hamas from Iran. Cole, as if a good jihadi, then goes on the call the nine Turkish and Arab terrorists killed on the Mavi Marmara after attacking Israeli soldiers, "martyrs, " as if he is a Hamas member reporting on Al Jazeera. Some readers might consider that pretty "creepy" if they had the truth.
Juan Cole does something called "lying by omission" in his entire article. That is, he leaves out just enough false information to convey a false impression about starvation in Gaza which is virtually non-existent. Notably, while Cole accuses Israel of restricting food to keep Gazans on the edge of starvation, he makes no mention of food provided also by UNWRA that is subsidized in large part by the US taxpayer. Cole would have his readers think that Gazans are dependent wholly on food brought in by Israel when tons of food are provided free of charge through the Palestinian aid group. Markets in Gaza are in fact teeming with food supplies brought in via the tunnels and from Egypt
Gisha, that Cole relies on for his article, is an NGO run by two former American radicals, now attorneys residing in Israel, who make it their sole aim to sue the Israeli government at every turn for any actions it takes against the Hamas regime that launches missiles into Israel. As a testament to Israeli free speech, Gisha is allowed to operate despite its questionable benefit to Israeli or even free societies. The NGO is funded in part by the Echoing Green foundation that gets funding from Saudi Arabia and is a supporting financial arm of the ISM. Gisha was involved in false testimony that led to the infamous Goldstone Report that came out after Operation Cast Lead in 2008 that got Judge Goldstone himself to repudiate his own report about "Israeli war crimes" as being replete with false information.
Few people know that as part of the Oslo Accords, Israel gave a license to the Palestinians to develop their own state, but one that required renouncing terrorism that to this day is still not done. Part of that license placed a responsibility on the Israelis to aid the population in the Palestinian territories until the nascent Palestinian state took over. The election of Hamas to power in Gaza put Israel in a position where it had to care for a population of Arabs run by a government they elected whose charter calls for the total destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the world's entire population of Jews, yet Israel still provides for them. Cole sees no nobility in this of any value, even as much as that of Flotilla "martyrs" who tried to murder Israeli soldiers.
As an academic, Cole should know enough to check his sources and certainly those from organizations like Gisha that is funded by the EU and Saudi Arabia that is less-than-responsible when it comes to dealing with Hamas. One has to wonder at the integrity of a Middle East Studies Professor who is in a position to teach students and others about the Middle East who then purposely advances Hamas-supporting propaganda and praises "martyrs" in support of a terrorist group.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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