27 thoughts on “MESA Rallies to Gordon’s Defense – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. One of the fascinating things about the TAU President’s letter (which I agree is a far more appropriate response than Carmi’s) essentially asks MESA to issue a similar declaration of support vis-a-vis Israeli academics who are targeted by a boycott. Yet the MESA reply doesn’t give an inch, and only narrowly endorses his defence of Barghouti. In this vein, it would be interesting to ask Shirin et al if it’s right to not allow Israeli academics to have articles published in journal because they don’t oppose the occupation, for example.

    1. I’m not seeing whatever you are referring to as the MESA reply , but the the TAU President’s letter is in defense of “upholding the democratic values of liberal tolerance”, and that involves opposing the occupation. Hence, his letter didn’t rightly merit any response.

          1. Sure, I’ll quote the whole thing:

            Dear Professor Galil:

            On behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, I am writing to you to express our strong support for your letter of May 3, 2009 regarding Omar Barghouti, a Tel Aviv University master’s student of philosophy.

            MESA was founded in 1966 to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa. The preeminent organization in the field, the Association publishes the International Journal of Middle East Studies and has more than 3000 members worldwide. MESA is committed to ensuring academic freedom and freedom of expression, both within the region and in connection with the study of the region in North America and elsewhere.

            Generally, the Committee’s work consists of highlighting threats and infringements on academic freedom. When we write to university or government officials in North America or the Middle East, it is usually to express concern or dismay. It is a pleasure in this case to write expressing commendation. Your letter regarding Mr. Barghouti, a student leading a campaign to boycott Israeli universities, is an admirably succinct and eloquent statement of the principle of academic freedom. We are happy to endorse it, all the more because you took this position even though the campaign in question would target your university among others.

          2. That is the initial contact, to which Galil replied with an illogical argument that did not merit any response, as I explained above.

  2. Israeli academic figures should make a scientific test of the level of the present opinion freedom by making articles in foreign press using different “peace” solution strategies.

    One could suggest that Israel keeps all the land and kicks out or kills all the Palestinians including the citizens.
    One could suggest a really secular secular one state solution, where the occupied Palestinians will be citizens.
    One 1967 border without settlements.

    Naturally these test opinions should be published in foreign media, because Israel seems to react especially fiercely to those opinions.

    I suppose that those opinions where Israel keeps all with the price of massive ethnic cleansing and apartheid would not create any equal (if any) reaction among Israeli university leaders and US support groups as this boycott opinion created.

    Israel is becoming more and more a fascistic state where peoples not liked opinions are increasingly sanctioned and the state begins a massive ideological teaching in schools. This new education ministry’s plan to teach Judaism, Zionism and Israeli History (obviously from Jewish perspective) in the 5 to 9 grade. Surely the Israeli Arab children will love that school subject. As much as Jewish children around the world would like to learn for five years other religions (not theirs) traditions, ultra nationalistic movements doctrines (not very friendly towards the Jews) and a one-sided history interpretation.

  3. Simohurtta-
    You are assuming that Israeli Arab students are taught the same curriculum as the Jewish kids. I don’t know if that is true or not. I suspect that it is not.
    Another thing-does the Palestinian curriculum give proper weight to the Jewish history in the country? Since the Chief Palestinian Muslim Judge a few days ago say that anyone who says Jews lived in Jerusalem in ancient times or that there was a Jewish Holy Temple on the Temple Mount is lying, I tend to think they do not teach this in their schools.

    1. Well bar_kochba132 probably they are demanded, because the Israeli Arab schools are starting a “mutiny”. And the ministry demand is done for all Israeli schools (not Palestinian).

      In any case that school subject is completely fascistic in modern times. I understand that children are taught in impartial real history and given the basic facts of other religions, but I do not approve force-feeding others religion and nationalistic cults doctrines. Would Israeli Jewish children like to learn for 5 years Islamic traditions, Muslim brotherhoods doctrines and a very bias history interpretation? When and where was the last time when in western countries was given equal political/religious ideological force-feeding. Well we know the answer and to what it did lead.

      The Chief Palestinian Muslim Judge said stupid things, but so daily say Israeli politicians, religious figures and public. How many times have we read comments that Palestine was empty when Jews re-colonized it and the “Palestinians” came to work for Israeli Jews.

      Denying the use of the word Nabka was obviously only the start. “Interesting” to see where this all ends. Will we soon see “Lieberman youth” and the “Schutzstaffel of Zion”? The ingredients are already there.

    2. All school curricula in Israel are determined by the Israeli Educaton Ministry, which is of course an overwhelmingly Jewish run institution so I would find it extremely hard to believe that the curriculum in the Israeli Arab school didn’t give more than proper weight to Jewish history. What’s much more likely is that they don’t give proper weight to non-Jewish Palestinian history.

  4. Neve Gordon traitor ? Yes ! All people who express denunciation of the incredible apartheid in Palestine is a traitor to Israel !

    Also Modechai Vanunu is a traitor for Israel ( revelation of the Nuclear Weapons in Dimona ).

    However Jonathan Pollard is an hero : the spy in the heart of US Navy received the citizenship of Israel and the official visit of an israeli Minister in his jail !

    1. First, this is an article by JPost’s security correspondent who is known as a stenographer for Israeli intelligence. Though the reporter does put forward the family’s denial of the charges, he essentially does no reporting research whatsoever to discover whether there is any validity to the charges. He merely presents the Shin Bet’s case on a silver platter.

      As soon as the term “Balad” is mentioned my ears pricked up as it is the sworn duty (as they see it) for the Shin Bet to destroy any Israeli Palestinian Arab nationalist political threat to Israeli Jewish dominance of Israeli society. The agency has already publicly acknowledged it is at war with all Israeli Palestinian Arab political parties. This is part of that war-campaign.

      Frankly, I don’t know whether there is merit to any of these charges. But this article provides no basis to judge whether this is hasbara or a real serious plot against the IDF chief of staff.

    2. Well I must agree with the comment of mister Richard Silverstein. I might add that always when Israeli Jews do something in the articles is always mentioned the world “alleged” if there is no final court decision. Hardly ever when with Palestinians, citizens and the occupied ones, are told to have done something.

      It is amusing how these equal “breakthroughs” are constantly reported in USA, GB and Israel. The services very openly tell/leack good selling arguments of the “horrible” planned acts. Later in the court asthonishing many of these cases are more or less “laught out”. Usually the court decision gets a minimal publicity compared to the information when the detention is publicized.

      By the way Adam Wilson the man who managed to murder the Russian General-Governor Nikolay Bobrikov during the Years of Oppression when Finland was part Russian empire was/is a national hero here. The interpretations of history always depends from whose angle you watch it.


      Back to the topic. It would be interesting to know what are Bar Ilan University’s leaders acts against professor Hillel Weiss.

      Nobody seems to demand his resignation or “voluntary moving” out of the country even his views have been becoming more and more extreme. Academic freedom indeed. All universities around the world should invite this professor to lecture and establish joint projects. And give a doctor honoris causa title for this man of democracy, compassion and peace.

  5. I think we need to echo Professor Neve’s sentiments to rebuff those of “president” Carmi. Richard, I think an explicit note of your own for support of the BDS movement would carry great weight

    1. Why are you such a twit. I was on a camping trip with my 8 yr old son & just returned today. Get down off yr high horse would you?

      The next stupid comment like this you write & you’ll lose yr comment privileges entirely.

  6. Richard
    Professor Neve has expressed great courage in calling for a boycott of his country, essentially making himself a pariah in ziostan. When are you formally going to join the BDS movement. The consequences of you joining the movement and calling for a complete academic, cultural, and financial boycott of ziostan are much less than that of Professor Neve

    1. You’re the 2nd reader who has acted as if I owed it to BDS and you to endorse the campaign. My views as I wish them to be known are here in this blog. If they don’t satisfy you then so be it.

      If you use the offensive, snarky, meaningless term “Zionstan” again yr comment privileges will be modified.

    1. First, it’s not a word. It’s more akin to a propaganda slogan. Second, because it’s not a word it’s an insulting reference to something that is real and has a real name. Use that name when you wish to refer to it. I don’t let people refer disparagingly to Arabs, Muslims or Palestinians here. And I don’t let anyone refer disparagingly to Israel or Israelis either. If that’s what you must do then you’ll do it somewhere else. I have very specific comment rules here because discourse is often hot & heavy & quite abusive coming fr. both sides. I urge you to read those rules.

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