Tag: judith butler

WITH PALESTINIAN “HOUSE OF CARDS” UNDER THREAT, BDS SEEKS ELIMINATION OF ISRAEL

The Speech in Which Abbas Dug His Own Grave: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 15, 2018 — Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of  the Palestine Liberation Organization, has delivered a speech triggered by his rage at the  President of the United States  Donald Trump…

Having Missed the Boat, Palestinian Authority Is Sinking: Charles Bybelezer, The Media Line, Jan. 15, 2018— Given the turbulent political climate, one wonders whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has any regrets and, if so, if he would gladly roll back time a decade.

The Anti-Israel BDS Movement Seeks the Destruction of Israel, Not a Two-State Peace with Palestinians: Patrick Dunleavy, Fox News, Jan. 18, 2018— The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement pretends to be working toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but in reality many of its supporters want to destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

Middle East Studies Association (as Usual) Singles Out Israel for Attack, Excuses Palestinian Perfidy: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Jan. 3, 2018 — The Middle East Studies Association gave up all pretense of being a scholarly organization when it was taken over by the followers of Edward Said in the 1980s…

 

On Topic Links

 

99 Percent of “Palestine Refugees” Are Fake: Daniel Pipes, Jewish Press, Jan. 17, 2018

How a U.S. Quaker Group That Won the Nobel Peace Prize Ended Up on Israel's BDS Blacklist: Allison Kaplan Sommer, Ha’aretz, Jan. 8, 2018

Professor Claims Antisemitism and ‘Islamophobia’ Are Equal Threats: Cinnamon Stillwell, Algemeiner, Jan. 11, 2018

Academic Freedom Goes on Trial: George F. Will, Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2017

 

 

 

THE SPEECH IN WHICH ABBAS DUG HIS OWN GRAVE

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Arutz Sheva, Jan. 15, 2018

 

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of  the Palestine Liberation Organization, has delivered a speech triggered by his rage at the President of the United States Donald Trump, going so far as to hurl the most bitter curse in the Arabic language at the POTUS:  "May your house be destroyed." This imprecation does not merely relate to someone's present home, but to all the members of his family being thrown into the street to lead lives of destitution, humiliation and shame. Only someone familiar with Middle Eastern culture understands the real significance of this curse.

 

The question that naturally rises is what happened that brought Abbas to the point where he is willing to burn his bridges with the US President and deliver a speech whose import is the severing of relations with the country which serves as chief funder of UNRWA, also pushing the US president towards a negative stand on the "Palestinian Issue."

 

"Jerusalem, Capital of Palestine," is an idea created after the Six Day War and further developed after the Oslo Accords were signed in September 1993. Arafat turned it into a mantra, while official Israel – Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin, Alon Liel and their cohorts – did nothing to stop him. They told us that the expression is meant for a Palestinian Arab audience, i.e. for "internal use" only. "Millions of shahids are on the march to Jerusalem!!" Arafat shouted day and night, but they told us to ignore it, that these were empty words, merely a pipe dream.

 

The world, led by Europe, went along with this Palestinian house of cards, financing it with billions of dollars over the years in the hopes of turning it into a real concrete structure, simply ignoring reality. Europe supported the establishment of a "Palestinian peace-loving state alongside Israel" while forgetting the fact that  the PLO ideology calls for destroying the  Jewish State and that its logo includes the map of that "Palestine" reaching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

 

The world perpetuated the "Palestinian refugee problem" despite the fact that not one refugee remains of all the others who existed in the 1940s. Even Germany, which absorbed and rehabilitated the Sudetenland residents expelled from Czechoslovakia, did not demand that the Arab world do the same and absorb the "Palestinian refugees," whose problem was created as a result of the Arab armies' invasion of Israel one day after the Jewish State declared its independence. Europe saw Germany as the party responsible for the Sudeten refugee problem and its solution, but did not do the same for the Arab states and the Palestinian refugees. That double standard is what perpetuated the Palestinian Arab refugee problem, turning it into a central bargaining chip in negotiations between Israel and its neighbors, reaching the point where Ehud Barak agreed (in the Taba talks of 2001) to a "symbolic return" of tens of thousands of those refugees – and he was not the only one to agree to this idea.

 

The world did not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and allowed Jerusalem to turn into another major bargaining chip in the "Peace talks" whose only purpose – at least according to the Arab side – was to weaken and shrink the State of Israel and bring it to a state of collapse that would make the Jews lose hope and leave the region for the countries they had lived in before they came to rebuild their ancient homeland.

 

Enter Donald Trump, a businessman who deals with construction – not houses built of cards, but the kind meant to last for generations.  He understood that the Palestinian structure is made of cards, left standing only because of the world's going along with European leadership, American liberal circles, the Arab states and a few Israelis suffering from burn-out. Trump understood that the Palestinian ideological structure is full of holes and decided to pull two foundational cards out of the ephemeral structure: the Jerusalem card and the refugee card.

 

From the minute Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital the Palestinians – both Hamas and the PLO – began engaging in frenzied activities, disturbances on the ground and political maneuvering in international corridors. They understood that Jerusalem as Israel's capital is an insurance policy of sorts for the Jewish state.  To the Jews, Jerusalem is real, backed up by history and the Jewish religion, while it is nothing but "fake news" for the Arab and Muslim world. Jerusalem, however, is still not the capital of a non-established "Palestine" and remains a theoretical bone of contention, so that it could be  pulled out of the Palestinian house  of cards without Abbas burning his bridges with the United States.

 

And then Trump pulled the refugee card from the house of cards by announcing that he would cease to fund, support and perpetuate it. That act is a thousand times worse than recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, because the refugee issue has been capitalized on for seventy years, with billions of dollars poured into it, all going to waste. UNRWA operates a massive system of wage-earners, schools and aid services running on American money, whose cessation is sure to limit the organizations' ability to breathe life into the "refugee problem". Without adequate funding, the "refugees" are liable to spread out and be absorbed in the areas to which they move on, within the Arab world and outside it. The "refugee problem" and its threat to Israel might even disappear…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

Contents

HAVING MISSED THE BOAT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY IS SINKING

Charles Bybelezer

The Media Line, Jan. 15, 2018

 

Given the turbulent political climate, one wonders whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has any regrets and, if so, if he would gladly roll back time a decade. In 2008, the PA boss was firmly entrenched in Ramallah despite a year earlier having been unceremoniously—that is, violently—ejected by Hamas from Gaza in an internecine war. Nevertheless, the world was seemingly at Abbas’ doorstep, his Muqata compound the address where kings, heads of state and a never-ending parade of diplomats flocked to with a view to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, considered at the time by many as the central malaise plaguing the Middle East.

 

It was within this context that then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert offered Abbas a fully comprehensive peace deal that would have created a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with only minor land swaps, and with east Jerusalem as its capital. A limited—read: symbolic—number of Palestinian refugees would have been allowed to “return” to Israel. But when Olmert, after a score of meetings, urged Abbas to sign on the dotted line, the PA leader said he needed to consult with other officials but never got back to the Israeli premier.

 

Sometime later, Abbas was the first of his colleagues to receive a phone call from newly-inaugurated U.S. President Barack Obama, who vowed to put “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem. This manifested in pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to implement an unprecedented ten-month construction freeze in Jewish communities located in the West Bank. But Abbas still refused to negotiate for the first nine months of the building suspension and, when he finally did, demanded that the policy be renewed indefinitely. It was an untenable political situation for Netanyahu precluding the possibility of talks getting off the ground. This pattern repeated itself during Obama’s second term, when a new initiative, spearheaded by then-secretary of state John Kerry, forced Netanyahu to release, in four tranches, more than 100 terrorists from Israeli jails. But once again Abbas found a pretext to walk away from the peace process.

 

By then, the Middle East had descended into total chaos in the wake of the so-called Arab Spring, while Shiite Iran was flexing its muscles throughout the region. The outbreak of wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and beyond had little to do with Israel or solving Palestinian “problem,” effectively marginalizing the conflict. This confluence of events, in turn, stimulated a rapprochement between Sunni Muslim nations and the Jewish state, which share a desire both to curb Tehran’s expansionism and potential nuclearization and counter the threat posed by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State. As the geopolitical situation slowly changed, countries that previously supported the Palestinians unconditionally no longer viewed matters in shades of black and white, but, rather, increasingly in blue and white; this, prompted by a growing acknowledgment that Israel, as opposed to the PA, has much to offer to regimes that likewise view the Islamic Republic as an existential threat.

 

Enter U.S. President Donald Trump, who is perhaps the least ideological—and unpredictable—American leader in history. While his White House has invested political capital into jump-starting the peace process, President Trump is not to be beholden to any preconceived notions nor does he appear willing to pander to Palestinian sensibilities. This was made stark by his recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, to which the Palestinians reacted with unhinged fury. Instead of accepting the new playing field and adapting, the PA adopted a scorched-earth policy, effectively boycotting Washington and threatening to withdraw recognition of Israel, thereby abrogating the Oslo Accords. This, notwithstanding the apparent tacit acceptance by Arab states of President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, and while the U.S. Congress moves to cut-off aid to the PA over its “pay-for-slay” policy of disbursing salaries to Palestinian prisoners.

 

Domestically, the situation is not much better, with a recent survey showing that some seventy percent of Palestinians want Abbas to resign. Under his rule, the PA has lost legitimacy within the eyes of its people, who near-uniformly view the leadership as a corrupt kleptocracy unable to advance their interests. Specifically, the West Bank economy is completely underdeveloped and the territory lacks almost all of the basic infrastructure of a functioning state despite the tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid that have flooded into the PA’s coffers. Moreover, the Palestinians remain divided between the West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, with the latest attempts to forge national unity, like those before them, having thus far amounted to nothing.

 

According to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilead, formerly the director of policy and political-military affairs at the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the PA leader does not believe that his positions are being adequately considered, leading to increased inflexibility as his days become numbered. “This may be the last call, as Abbas is very old and has said he may not be here next year. So it looks like there is no hope for the peace process. “Abbas may not take any concrete steps moving forward,” Gilead expounded, “but he does not have to. He is telling us what his legacy will be. As such, Israel should reconsider its positions and try to find way to forge a peace agreement with him or it may need to abandon the process entirely. Nobody knows who or what will come after Abbas and whether they will have the legitimacy to deal with Israel. It is bad news that it appears as though he will be leaving no options for peace.” Abbas has found himself stuck between a rock and a hard place, and while European nations, along with Russia and China, may agree to step in and fill part of the vacuum left by the U.S., without the firm backing of Sunni countries, who are closely aligned with Washington, there appears little chance for the PA to secure a soft landing.

 

“Abbas appears to be desperate,” Dr. Anat Kurz, Director of Research at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies and a former member of track-II Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, told The Media Line. “He is shooting in all directions and acting as if there is nothing to lose with the American administration or in terms of resuming talks with Israel. The Palestinians feel as though they have lost the ability to influence the course of developments,” she elaborated, “not only because it appears the international community is exhausted after years of failed efforts to forge a settlement, but also because of what has happened in the region, mainly the ongoing tensions between the Sunni Gulf monarchies and Shiite Iran. “There are also the wars going on throughout the Middle East,” Kurz concluded, “which has lessened the importance of the Palestinian issue. Given all of these elements, Abbas does not know who to turn to or how to proceed.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

                                                                       

Contents

THE ANTI-ISRAEL BDS MOVEMENT SEEKS THE DESTRUCTION

OF ISRAEL, NOT A TWO-STATE PEACE WITH PALESTINIANS

Patrick Dunleavy

Fox News, Jan. 18, 2018

 

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement pretends to be working toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but in reality many of its supporters want to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. For this reason, BDS has attracted support from terrorists, convicted killers and anti-Semites in the U.S. and abroad. In fact, at many of BDS demonstrations – like ones filmed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism – demonstrators make no secret of their aims. “And the people of Palestine will wipe the Zionist entity (Israel) off all the world maps” one demonstration leader shouts on the IPT-recorded video.

 

On the same video demonstrators chant: “We don’t want no two-state, we want 48,” referring to 1948, before Israel was created from the British colony of Palestine. And for good measure, they chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” meaning a new Palestinian state will go from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and swallow up all of Israel. And yet other chants: “Death to the peace accords,” “smash the settler Zionist state,” and “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

 

Law enforcement officials in the U.S. should keep a close eye on demonstrators like these, knowing that inflammatory anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric often leads to violence. The New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have investigated a number of plots directed specifically at Jewish citizens and institutions. BDS seeks to isolate Israel from world, ostensibly to protest Israel’s presence in the West Bank and to call for creation of a Palestinian state. BDS seeks: a worldwide boycott against Israeli products, universities and cultural institutions; divestment from companies that provide equipment to the Israeli military; and international economic sanctions against Israel.

 

The willingness of young leaders of many BDS-supporting groups, such as the Blacks for Palestine, to look to violent terrorists for support exposes BDS’s claim of a commitment to nonviolence as a fraud. Several U.S. domestic terrorists who are now serving life prison sentences for killing law enforcement officers have announced their support for BDS with the goal of destroying Israel. Inmates such as Herman Bell, Anthony Bottom, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Clark Edward Squire – who were members of the Black Liberation Army – as well as the Weather Underground’s David Gilbert, have posted statements calling for the end of “US/Zionist Imperialism in Palestine.” They also have encouraged the use of any means necessary – including violence – to achieve the goal of “driving the Zionist oppressors out of your land.”

 

Gilbert, incarcerated for killing two police officers and a Brinks security guard in 1981, has received visits from several advocates for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, now known as the International Solidarity Movement. While the movement states that it is nonviolent, it goes on to say: “our nonviolent approach does not mean that we have the right to dictate to Palestinians how to resist military occupation and apartheid.” In other words, we don’t condone violence. But if you use it we’re OK with it. Another of Gilbert’s prison visitors is a leader in the Syracuse Peace Council, which has advocated for the BDS movement’s campaign to isolate Israel economically and politically…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

 

Contents

MIDDLE EAST STUDIES ASSOCIATION (AS USUAL) SINGLES

OUT ISRAEL FOR ATTACK, EXCUSES PALESTINIAN PERFIDY

Mitchell Bard

Algemeiner, Jan. 3, 2018

 

The Middle East Studies Association gave up all pretense of being a scholarly organization when it was taken over by the followers of Edward Said in the 1980s, and began propagating Orwellian interpretations of Middle East history and politics to advance a political agenda that promotes or rationalizes Islamism, parrots Palestinian propaganda, and engages in unbridled attacks on Israel’s legitimacy and the West. Nowhere was this more evident than last month’s annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in Washington, DC, at the overflow panel, “Thinking Palestine Intersectionally,” featuring Sherene Seikaly, Noura Erekat, Samera Esmeir, Judith Butler and Angela Davis.

 

I don’t recall hearing the word “scholar” in the introductions and discussion, but the word “activist” was repeatedly used to describe the participants and their work. The panel was organized by Seikaly, a historian from UC Santa Barbara, who is a co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya, “an independent ezine produced by the Arab Studies Institute.” If you visit the site, you will be invited to sign up for a newsletter and will be requested to choose your country. It appears that every country in the world is listed except one — Israel. One country that does not exist — Palestine — is listed.

 

Noura Erekat, a co-editor of Jadaliyya, is a law professor who admits that she is an activist. A gifted speaker, Erekat rattled off the standard leftist clichés about Israeli occupation, militarism, racism and settler colonialism. She displayed her ignorance of basic history by claiming armed groups took control of the PLO in 1968.Erekat denounced Israeli actions in Gaza, omitting any reference to the Hamas rocket bombardment that precipitated the IDF operations, lauded convicted liar and terrorist Rasmea Odeh as a freedom fighter who empowered Arab women, and defended the virulent Israel-hater Linda Sarsour. Perhaps the best example of her extremism was repeating the big lie that Israel murdered Yasser Arafat.

 

Before getting to the predictable bashing of the Trump administration, Erekat labeled US support for Israel “emblematic of everything that is wrong with the United States.” She praised the Black Lives Matter movement for doubling down on support for Palestinians because of their shared opposition to “structural racialized violence.” The audience laughed when she ridiculed a feminist whose New York Times op-ed expressed concern that “my support for Israel will bar me from the feminist movement” because, inter alia, the International Women’s Strike platform called for the “decolonization of Palestine” as part of “the beating heart of this new feminist movement.” Erekat bragged that the Palestinian cause is rising, while support for Israel declines. As evidence, she cited a Pew survey revealing Democrats as less sympathetic to Israel and more supportive of Palestinians than Republicans. But one poll is hardly a trend and, as I’ve written elsewhere, Democratic support for Israel is actually at the same level that it was in the 1970s.

 

Panelist Judith Butler, whose field is comparative literature rather than Middle East studies, might be more aptly called a specialist in contortion studies, given her effort to redefine antisemitism to exclude BDS. Butler claimed that critics of Israel are not antisemitic, but Zionists could be antisemitic if they support Israel. Angered that people she finds abhorrent, such as Steve Bannon, would be lauded as pro-Israel, she was nostalgic for the day when the UN voted to equate Zionism with racism, and was unhappy with its 1991 repudiation.  As part of her jujitsu interpretation of BDS, Butler maintained that BDS advocates, as supporters of social justice, must oppose antisemitism, as if there is no contradiction in supporting a campaign denying Jews the right to self-determination in their homeland while condemning antisemitism. Her explanation? One should oppose racism and colonialism, but the boycott targets only Israeli “institutions,” not Jews or Israelis. Setting aside her ignorance of “colonialism,” and Zionism’s historic opposition to it, who does she imagine that BDS will harm other than the Jews and Israelis who staff these “institutions”?…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

99 Percent of “Palestine Refugees” Are Fake: Daniel Pipes, Jewish Press, Jan. 17, 2018—In the words of a veteran Washington hand, the problem of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN agency dealing with Palestinians, is always important but never urgent.

How a U.S. Quaker Group That Won the Nobel Peace Prize Ended Up on Israel's BDS Blacklist: Allison Kaplan Sommer, Ha’aretz, Jan. 8, 2018—A Quaker organization that received the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for its work assisting and rescuing victims of the Nazis is among the blacklisted groups whose senior activists have been barred from entering Israel. Peace activists in Israel who have worked with the group expressed surprise at the decision.

Professor Claims Antisemitism and ‘Islamophobia’ Are Equal Threats: Cinnamon Stillwell, Algemeiner, Jan. 11, 2018—Are “Islamophobia” and antisemitism comparable? Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, a senior lecturer in history at King’s College London, maintains that the answer is yes.

Academic Freedom Goes on Trial: George F. Will, Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2017—Wisconsin’s Supreme Court can soon right a flagrant wrong stemming from events set in motion in 2014 at Milwaukee’s Marquette University by Cheryl Abbate. Although just a graduate student, she already had a precocious aptitude for academic nastiness.

                                                              

 

 

MCGILL U. SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO CONFER PHD. ON PRO-TERRORIST, ANTI-ISRAEL RACIST BUTLER

“Understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important.” — Judith Butler, 2006

 

“The loss of demographic advantage for the Jewish population in Israel would surely improve prospects for democracy in that region,” — Judith Butler, 2012

 

Contents:                          

 

Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing.

 

McGill Students for Israel and Hillel Mcgill Statement: McGill Students for Israel, Facebook, May 22, 2013—McGill Students for Israel would like to express its deep dismay and disappointment on your decision to confer upon Judith Butler an honorary McGill degree.

 

McGill's Judith Butler Bungle: Gil Troy, The Daily Beast, May 24, 2013—When I first heard that McGill University, my university, was awarding Professor Judith Butler an honorary doctorate, I winced, quietly. Butler is a caustic critic of Israel, with a blind spot for terrorist totalitarians. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that she is a respected scholar. And, frankly, I never wanted to be one of those hair-trigger activists who bellows predictably at every anti-Israel affront.

 

McGill Awarding Honorary Doctorate to Divisive Ideologue: Barbara Kay, National Post, May 23, 2013—Universities must be careful in the awarding of honorary doctorates. What seems like a safe choice at the time can come back to haunt a university later. Sometimes even five minutes later. McGill University will be awarding philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler of the University of California at Berkeley an honorary doctorate on May 30. The choice has stirred up controversy and no small degree of dismay amongst many students and some staff at McGill.

 

Judith Butler: More Palestinian than the Palestinians: Alan Johnson, World Affairs Journal, Oct. 16, 2012—In 2006 the rock star left-wing academic Judith Butler said that “understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important.” (See 16:24 in this video.) Butler’s remark expressed all that’s wrong with the new style of “Palestinian solidarity work.”

 

On Topic Links

 

Anti-Israel Event at Brooklyn College Promotes Hate, Represses Dissent: Danielle Avel, Breibart, Feb. 19, 2013

Judith Butler Shouldn't Be Honoured by McGill University: Lauryn Oates, Huffington Post, May 27, 2013
 

 

MCGILL STUDENTS FOR ISRAEL AND HILLEL MCGILL STATEMENT

McGill Students for Israel
Facebook, May 22, 2013

 

Dear Chancellor Steinberg,

 

McGill Students for Israel would like to express its deep dismay and disappointment on your decision to confer upon Judith Butler an honorary McGill degree. An honorary degree “reflects McGill University’s highest aspirations and ideals”, and the recipient “…will serve as an inspiration and role model to our students, graduates and our community as a whole [and] to enhance the reputation of McGill University”. ” This is why we are so distressed that you have chosen to award an individual who calls for the boycott of the State of Israel and its dismantlement as a Jewish state.

 

Butler has called Hamas and Hezbollah, recognized terrorist organizations, “progressive” organizations that are part of the global left, later clarifying that “They are “left in the sense that they oppose colonialism and imperialism, but their tactics are not ones that I would ever condone.” A cursory examination of these organizations reveals the totalitarian and oppressive nature of Hamas and Hezbollah, who have their own brand of religious imperialism. In the aftermath of the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000, over 6,500 Southern Lebanese fled to Israel, rightly fearing for their lives as Hezbollah waged a merciless media campaign against citizens from the South, with Hezbollah General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah saying, “We will enter their bedrooms, pierce their stomachs, slaughter them and slice their throats.”

Hezbollah has not only launched attacks on Israeli civilians inside Israel, but has also attacked Jews outside of Israel, such as in the 1994 Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in which 87 people were killed and 100 injured, and the 2012 suicide bombing of a passenger bus carrying Israeli civilians in Bulgaria.

 

Hamas’ charter calls for the genocide of the Jewish people and borrows from the Czarist anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Its misogyny, homophobia (homosexuality is a crime in Hamas-ruled Gaza), glorification of terror and death, and lack of respect for basic human rights are well documented.  Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, more than 12, 8000 rockets and mortars have been fired indiscriminately at Israeli towns.

Are these the highest aspirations and ideals of McGill University? 

Ms. Butler is a leader in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to isolate Israel culturally, economically and academically, with the ultimate goal of eliminating Israel as a Jewish state. The BDS campaign opposes peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and rejects the internationally endorsed two state solution. BDS actively opposes any form of cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian governments.

 

Is this something that McGill believes should inspire its graduates?

 

We consider the honor McGill is about to bestow on Professor Butler astounding and deeply offensive.  We urge you to rethink this decision. Butler’s support of Hamas and Hezbollah is an affront to the values that McGill holds dear as an institution of higher learning, and is offensive to those who have suffered from the tyrannical rule and terrorist attacks of these organizations. Her leadership of the BDS campaign to de-legitimize and demonize Israel does not consist of an accomplishment that McGill should celebrate.

 

Respectfully, McGill Students for Israel & Hillel McGill

 

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MCGILL'S JUDITH BUTLER BUNGLE

Gil Troy

The Daily Beast, May 24, 2013

 

When I first heard that McGill University, my university, was awarding Professor Judith Butler an honorary doctorate, I winced, quietly. Butler is a caustic critic of Israel, with a blind spot for terrorist totalitarians. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that she is a respected scholar. And, frankly, I never wanted to be one of those hair-trigger activists who bellows predictably at every anti-Israel affront.

 

However, on reconsideration, inspired by a powerful statement by McGill Students for Israel, I have decided to challenge the McGill honorary doctorate committee’s foolish decision, aware that the university will not change its mind—and hoping no protestors will disrupt commencement or repudiate McGill overall. I am not fighting my university, whose ideals I cherish. I am, however, fighting to uphold those very ideals for which McGill stands, along with all great universities.

 

Controversy focuses on Butler’s general support for boycotting Israel and, particularly, her remarks at a “teach in” on war, when she said, “Understanding Hamas/Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements.” Her follow-up explanation was that they are “‘left’ in the sense that they oppose colonialism and imperialism, but their tactics are not ones that I would ever condone.”

 

The only thing “anti-imperialist” about these movements is that they use that label to mask their desire to destroy Israel. Her welcome telegraphs a show of solidarity with these two organizations because of that defining ideological stance.

 

Both times she failed to denounce the Hamas-Hezbollah religious zealotry, homophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism and genocidal aims. Her need to prettify these terrorist organizations as “social movements,” her reductionist insult to progressivism by suggesting that these brutal anti-democratic movements are at all progressive because they are imperialist meaning anti-Israel, reflects a moral obtuseness and intellectual sloppiness that has made many intellectuals enablers of Islamist terrorists and Palestinian rejectionism.

 

The McGill committee’s Butler blind spot reflects a broader intellectual malady today. This week, even the Wall Street Journal described the rioters in Sweden as angry youths without mentioning words like “immigrants” or Islamists. That is like covering the Watts or Rodney King Los Angeles riots without mentioning race.

 

Of course, we must not demonize any religion, race, or ethnic group. The objection to boycotting begins with its essentialist bigotry that attacks Israel as an entity rather than Israeli policy. Too many academics like Butler have been ideologically colonized by a form of totalitarianism which is intellectually imperialist—imposing a foreign regime of dos and don’ts, of likes and dislikes, that distort the truth, simplify the complex, reward the violent, and doom peace efforts.

 

Academics used to push politicians to see truth clearly—in all its messiness. Today, politicized professors like Butler push students to cloud the truth through their particular political prism. That McGill, like so many other universities, honors such academic saboteurs insults all truth seekers, left and right.

 

This is not about Butler’s right to free speech or her right to be wrong. An honorary doctorate rewards exceptional role modeling; tenure rewards good scholarship. As the McGill Students’ statement notes, an honorary degree “reflects McGill University’s highest aspirations and ideals,” celebrating the recipient as “an inspiration and role model to our students, graduates and our community as a whole to enhance the reputation of McGill University.”

 

Hmm. My McGill—our McGill—is about the noble, consistent ideals John Peters Humphrey and others from McGill Law School defined when writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Not Butler’s amoral, sloppy, politically correct identity politics.

 

My McGill—our McGill—is about the sacrifices 5568 men and women of McGill made defeating totalitarianism in World War II not the weak intellectual fig leafs Butler provides today’s totalitarians.

 

My McGill—our McGill—is about the exemplary impact of an Irwin Cotler in fighting for human rights worldwide, not the damage a Judith Butler does in rationalizing Islamists’ human wrongs by uniting in anti-Israel zeal.

 

My McGill—our McGill—is about the tremendous bridge-building efforts of a Jim Torczyner, whose McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building has been fighting poverty, ignorance, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia with creative anti-poverty programs and joint social work studies involving Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and Canadians for decades now. Not the bridge-burning efforts of Butler and her BDS comrades who polarize an already divided Middle East.

 

My McGill—our McGill—is about a scholarly tradition since 1821, which encourages complex thinking rather than the simplistic sloganeering of Butler’s boycotters, which reduces the messy Israel-Palestinian conflict to a black and white, good-guys versus bad guys fight.

 

And my McGill—our McGill—is about the courageous leadership in the fight against anti-Semitism spearheaded by our outgoing principal Heather Munroe-Blum, who said calls for McGill to boycott Hebrew University go “against everything McGill stands for. It suggests a cowardice that I, as Principal of this great university, categorically reject.” How tragic that one of her last acts as principal will reward someone who epitomizes that cowardice.

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MCGILL AWARDING HONORARY DOCTORATE TO DIVISIVE IDEOLOGUE

Barbara Kay

National Post, May 23, 2013

 

Universities must be careful in the awarding of honorary doctorates. What seems like a safe choice at the time can come back to haunt a university later. Sometimes even five minutes later. McGill University will be awarding philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler of the University of California at Berkeley an honorary doctorate on May 30. The choice has stirred up controversy and no small degree of dismay amongst many students and some staff at McGill.

 

According to McGill’s own definition, an honorary degree “reflects McGill University’s highest aspirations and ideals.” The recipient “…will serve as an inspiration and role model to our students, graduates and our community as a whole [and will] enhance the reputation of McGill University.”

 

I don’t think Judith Butler fits a single word of that description. Although a respected intellectual in the small hothouse world of radical feminists, Butler’s greater claim to fame arises from her fixation with (in her eyes) Israel’s crimes against humanity. She is a leading figure in the international campaign to delegitimate Israel.

 

Butler advocates for the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), singling Israel out from all other nations as a perpetrator of evil. The BDS campaign opposes the two-state solution to peace in the Middle East. Its ultimate goal is to replace Israel with a one-state “solution,” whereby Israel would be dissolved as a national Jewish homeland.

 

Butler has called the recognized terrorist organizations of Hamas and Hezbollah “progressive.” She has said that “understanding Hamas and Hezbollah as social movements that are on the global left is important.” Social movements? When she suffered blowback for what was widely perceived as terrorism laundering, she protested her words had been taken out of context, stating in an August, 2012 letter to the Jerusalem Post that “I do not endorse practices of violent resistance and neither do I endorse state violence.” In other words, adding insult to injury, she espouses the more pernicious, morally equivalent assignment of equal blame for terrorism to both Hezbollah and the state of Israel.

 

Although a pioneer of Queer Studies and an advocate for gay rights in the West, like many extreme leftists, Butler upholds double standards where persecution of gays is concerned. She denounced a gay organization in Germany as Islamophobic for criticizing Muslim violence against gays.

 

But quite aside from her offensive political views, Butler should not be honoured because she is a terrible writer. In 1999, The New Criterion, a highbrow cultural magazine, cited Butler for especially bad writing, one of a “triumvirate of absurd figures” .

 

In an essay, “The Professor of Parody,” renowned philosopher Martha Nussbaum raised the issue of Butler’s style, calling it “ponderous and obscure” and “dense with allusions to other theorists, drawn from a wide range of different theoretical traditions…It bullies the reader into granting that, since one cannot figure out what is going on, there must be something significant going on, some complexity of thought, where in reality there are often familiar or even shopworn notions, addressed too simply and too casually to add any new dimension of understanding.”

 

Most famously, in 1998, philosophy professor Denis Dutton’s journal Philosophy and Literature awarded Butler first prize in its “Bad Writing Competition,” which claims to “celebrate bad writing from the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles.” Butler received the award for this 94-word  sentence that was published in the journal Diacritics:

 

The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

 

So let’s tally up. We have an honoree who represents the most controversial aspect of the most toxic and divisive issue roiling campuses all over the world. We have extreme ideology that offends a wide swath of the McGill community. And we have egregiously bad writing that offends true scholars. Is Judith Butler really “an inspiration and role model” to students? The answer is no. And the question is: What was Chancellor Arnold Steinberg thinking in issuing this invitation?

 

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JUDITH BUTLER: MORE PALESTINIAN THAN THE PALESTINIANS

Alan Johnson

World Affairs Journal, Oct. 16, 2012

 

In 2006 the rock star left-wing academic Judith Butler said that “understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important.” (See 16:24 in this video.) Butler’s remark expressed all that’s wrong with the new style of “Palestinian solidarity work.”

 

Viewing the two-state solution as a sell-out, Butler attacks the PA application to the United Nations for recognition. The bid’s only value, she argues, is that it allows the left to jump up and down on the grave of the “sham of the peace negotiations” and celebrate the “break with the Oslo framework.” She wags her finger at Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas. By seeking a deal with Israel they are “abandon[ing] the right of return for diasporic Palestinians” and “potentially abandon[ing] Gaza.” If they succeed, “half of all Palestinians may well be disenfranchised.”

 

The Guardian newspaper sounded the same note when it published the leaked “Palestine Papers” from the Olmert-Abbas Annapolis talks, with distorted editorial gloss, and called Palestinian negotiators “craven” for engage seriously in final status talks. The London Review of Books routinely denounces Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, as a collaborator. “Fayyad’s critics,” wrote Adam Shatz, “call him a ‘good manager of the occupation,’ a ‘builder of apartheid roads,’ ‘the sugar daddy who got us hooked on aid,’ and it’s all true.”

 

The Palestinian national movement is being policed from the “left,” and from the coffee shops and seminar rooms of London and New York by people who consider themselves more Palestinian than the Palestinians. Butler gives an outraged “No!” to Abbas. She will not “sacrifice the right of return for millions of Palestinians outside the region.” But think about that “No!” It is a program for the dismantling of the Jewish state. “The loss of demographic advantage for the Jewish population in Israel would surely improve prospects for democracy in that region,” she writes (optimistically, shall we say) in her new book, Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism. As Leon Wieseltier wrote in the New Republic back in 2003, “the one state solution is not the alternative for Israel. It is the alternative to Israel.”

 

The new style treats negotiations as useless. Butler claims the Oslo years have seen only “the indefinite deferral of all ‘permanent status issues’—effectively establishing the occupation as a regime without foreseeable end.” Quite as if there never was Camp David at which Ehud Barak offered the shop, ’67 borders more or less, settlements uprooted; nor the Clinton-era proposals which Barak accepted and Arafat rejected; nor Annapolis at which Olmert offered all of that and more, including a shared capital in Jerusalem.

 

Another part of the new style is to pose an entirely literary “alternative” to the two-state solution. Butler talks of “Palestinian self-determination … without external interference,” “the right of return for diasporic Palestinians,” “the one-state solution.” Refusing to travel to Israel, so with no feel for Israeli society, and with a prose style that secured her first prize in the “Philosophy and Literature Bad Writing Contest” Butler’s answers are, literally, literary. More importantly, Butler gets wrong what the conflict is actually about. Two highly developed and distinct societies, Israeli and Palestinian, each based on a powerful sense of national identity, must divide the land. When there are strong desires for national self-determination, the one-state idea collapses. Brit Shalom, the bi-national Zionist movement of the 1920s, could not know this. We can’t not know it.

 

To divide the land, each people needs to feel confident and secure if it is to make excruciating compromises. For that, each people must feel itself to be understood as a permanent feature of the Middle East. Butler’s one-statism does the opposite. It proposes to resolve a national question by denying the right to national self-determination of both peoples.

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Anti-Israel Event at Brooklyn College Promotes Hate, Represses Dissent: Danielle Avel, Breibart, Feb. 19, 2013—The most disturbing part of the evening occurred early on. In the midst of Judith Butler’s soft-spoken rant, the audience was utterly silent until a voice near the door exclaimed, “This is an oppression of freedom of speech, this an oppression.” Looking over, I noticed Jewish students being removed from the room and thought to myself, “I guess kippas are not allowed.”

 

Judith Butler Shouldn't Be Honoured By McGill University: Lauryn Oates, Huffington Post, May 27, 2013—I've been ashamed here and there over some of the output that comes out of my latest alma mater, the University of British Columbia, all of it belonging deep within the dump heap that is the pseudo-scholarship of post-modernism, but my first alma mater, good ol' McGill University, seems to be clambering on board more and more with the trending Nonsense Studies disciplines, and its associated culture of victimhood, identity politics, and relativisms. 

 

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