M.J. Rosenberg and Ali Abunimah have accused Martin Kramer of advocating genocide (see video) against the Palestinians in Gaza by suggesting that population growth there (and in all the Muslim world) was the primary motivator for terror and that consequently all humanitarian aid aimed at children should be stopped.
If you read quotations like these from the video it’s hard to disagree:
[Declining fertility rates] will happen among the Palestinians…if the west stops pro-natal subsidies for Palestinians with refugee status. Those subsidies are one reason why Gaza’s population grew between 1997-2007 by an astonishing 40%. Israel’s present sanctions on Gaza have a political aim…but they also break Gaza’s runaway population growth.
That might begin to crack the culture of martyrdom which demands a constant supply of superfluous young men. That is rising to the real challenge of radical Islamism and treating it at its root.
But to be on the safe side I called it anti-Muslim racism, which it certainly is. Perhaps you could even call it advocating infanticide since Gazan children are already malnourished according to multiple UN studies and withholding nutrition and other forms of support can only lead directly to child deaths. Of course, Kramer would argue that he’s merely seeking to persuade Gazan families not to have so many children and not calling for their death. But how can anyone doubt that that is what would happen? Kramer is one of the worst examples of the academic egghead who thinks in abstract terms without caring a whit how his ideas would impact real people. I guess some of my readers will reply by saying, no, Kramer understands precisely how his ideas will affect real people and that is the lethal effect he intends. He reminds me in a way of Dr. Strangelove, in love with his ideas and humanity be damned.
Ali Abunimah has kept Harvard’s feet to the fire and helped elicit this reprehensible statement defending Kramer:
“Accusations have been made that Martin Kramer’s statements are genocidal. These accusations are baseless. Kramer’s statements express dismay with the policy of agencies that provide aid to Palestinian refugees, and that tie aid entitlements to the size of refugee families. Kramer argues that this policy encourages population growth among refugee communities. While these views may be controversial, there is no way they can be regarded as genocidal.”
“Those who have called upon the Weatherhead Center to dissociate itself from Kramer’s views, or to end Kramer’s affiliation with the Center, appear not to understand the role of controversy in an academic setting. It would be inappropriate for the Weatherhead Center to pass judgement on the personal political views of any of its affiliates, or to make affiliation contingent upon some political criterion. Exception may be made for statements that go beyond the boundaries of protected speech, but there is no sense in which Kramer’s remarks could be considered to fall into this category.”
Ali absolutely correctly notes that Kramer would not be cheered on so assiduously were he to advocate reducing Jewish population by similar means:
“I wonder how long Mr. Kramer’s views would be tolerated if — all other things being equal — he were an Arab scholar who had called for Jews to be placed in a giant, sealed enclosure which virtually no one is allowed to leave and enter, and deprived of food and schooling for their children in order to reduce their birthrate?”
And need I remind the Weatherhead Center that this is precisely what the leaders of a certain European nation did to that continent’s Jewish children in the last century. If it was genocide for the Nazis to do this, then it’s hard not to apply the same term to Kramer. The only difference perhaps is that the Nazis actually killed and starved the children, while Kramer is only advocating starving them.
Here Kramer pouts that Abunimah levelled a complaint against him to his academic superiors, noting that his critic doesn’t seem to believe in freedom of speech. Hell, if I’d been at Herzliya I’d have heckled Kramer. Since when do intellectual racists have the right to advocate morally repugnant views while retaining their prestigious academic positions? If Kramer claimed that Blacks were mentally inferior to whites or that climate change was a hoax or that evolution was a theory, would he still be teaching at Harvard? We all know the answer to that. Apparently, at Harvard faculty can advocate causing suffering to Muslims with a clear conscience and no sense that there will be any consequences. That should tell you something about Harvard, also the home of that other anti-Muslim racist, Alan Dershowitz.
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- MJ Rosenberg: Harvard Prof Seems To Urge Genocide of Palestinians (huffingtonpost.com)