by Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA
In 2006, I was one of the organizers of an aborted AAUP conference on academic boycotts. The point was to open a conversation about the utility—past and present—of such political actions, to understand what was actually involved in the choice of that strategy, to conduct a conversation in a setting above the fray (in this instance at the Rockefeller Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy), and to learn what we could from the various points of view we hoped to represent at the conference. Idealistically, we imagined the conference to be an exercise in academic freedom, the fulfillment of the best of AAUP principles. In fact, our experience was anything but the fulfillment of AAUP ideals.
Read full article Scott Changing my mind.
By Max Blumenthal, 22 June 2010
If the raid of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a disaster for the Israel Defense Forces, its aftermath demonstrated an equally bewildering performance by the Israeli media. The IDF Spokesman’s Office churned out one misleading claim after another, each one more implausible than the next, seeking to implant in the public’s mind a version of events that bore little relation to reality. To a degree, this was to be expected; but it was startling to see how some of Israel’s most respected reporters lined up to serve as military stenographers, barely challenging the IDF’s rapidly changing versions of events. IDF claims about the flotilla passengers’ links to Al Qaida, anti-Semitic statements shouted at the Israeli Navy, and their terrorist intentions were eagerly broadcast by the Israeli media without a second thought. When independent reporters forced the IDF to retract or “clarify” all of these claims, Israeli news outlets refused to correct their errors, or covered them up without acknowledgment.
by Ilan Pappé, The Independent (UK), 6 June 2010
At the top of Israel’s political and military systems stand two men, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, who are behind the brutal attack on the Gaza flotilla that shocked the world but that seemed to be hailed as a pure act of self-defence by the Israeli public.
Although they come from the left (Defence minister Barak from the Labour Party) and the right (Prime Minister Netanyahu from Likkud) of Israeli politics, their thinking on Gaza in general and on the flotilla in particular is informed by the same history and identical worldview.
by Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK), 5 June 2010
I have, of course, been outraged at armed men boarding ships in international waters, killing passengers on board who attempt to resist and then forcing their ship to the hijackers’ home port. I am, of course, talking about the Somali pirates who are preying on Western ships in the Indian Ocean. How dare those terrorists dare to touch our unarmed vessels on the high seas? And how right we are to have our warships there to prevent such terrorist acts.
But whoops! At least the Israelis have not demanded ransom. They just want to get journalists to win the propaganda war for them. Scarcely had the week begun when Israel’s warrior “commandos” stormed a Turkish boat bringing aid to Gaza and shot nine of the passengers dead. Yet by week’s end, the protesters had become “armed peace activists”, vicious anti-Semites “professing pacifism, seething with hate, pounding away at another human being with a metal pole”. I liked the last bit. The fact that the person being beaten was apparently shooting another human being with a rifle didn’t quite get into this weird version of reality.
Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2010
About 10,000 Turkish demonstrators marched from Israel’s Consulate in Istanbul toward the city’s main square Monday after Israeli forces killed at least 10 pro-Palestinian activists and wounded dozens aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla.
The protesters earlier Monday tried storm the Consulate building but were blocked by police. They set Israeli flags on fire as television stations broadcast the protest live.
In Jordan, hundreds demonstrated in the capital, Amman, to protest the Israeli action and demand that their government breaks diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
The Israeli ambassadors in Sweden, Spain, Denmark and Greece were summoned for meetings, and the French foreign minister called for an investigation. Activists from all of those European countries were on board the flotilla.
The following statement was issued on 3 October 2010 by 14 leading Palestinian human rights organisations regarding the Palestinian leadership’s decision to delay discussion of the Goldstone report to the UN Human Rights Council investigating the Israeli attacks on Gaza in December 2009-March 2010.
On 2 October 2009, the Palestinian leadership – under heavy international pressure lead by the United States – deferred the draft proposal at the Human Rights Council endorsing all the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report). This deferral denies the Palestinian peoples’ right to an effective judicial remedy and the equal protection of the law. It represents the triumph of politics over human rights. It is an insult to all victims and a rejection of their rights. Continue reading
By Uri Avnery, Gush-Shalom, 9 May 2009
First of all, I want to apologize to all the good women who are engaged in the world’s oldest profession.
I recently described Shimon Peres as a political prostitute. One of my female readers has protested vigorously. Prostitutes, she pointed out, earn their money honestly. They deliver what they promise.
Our president, on the other hand, only tells the truth by accident. He is a political impostor and a political sham. To him, too, apply Winston Churchill’s words about a former Prime Minister: “The Right Honorable gentleman sometimes stumbles upon the truth, but he always hurries on as if nothing has happened.” Or the words of former minister Amnon Rubinstein about Ariel Sharon: “He blushes when he tells the truth.”
By Jeff Halper, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 April 2009
A funny thing happened to me on my way to synagogue in Sydney; my scheduled talk was cancelled.
Granted, I am very critical of Israel’s policies of occupation and doubt whether a two-state solution is still possible given the extent of Israel’s settlements. But this hardly warrants the demonisation to which I was subjected for weeks in the pages of the otherwise respectable Australian Jewish News.
The uproar caused by the prospect of my speaking to the Jewish community in Australia is truly startling to an Israeli. After all, opinions similar to mine are readily available in the mainstream Israeli media. Indeed, I write frequently for the Israeli press and appear regularly on Israeli TV and radio.
Why, then, the hysteria? Why was I banned from Temple Emanuel in Sydney, a self-proclaimed progressive synagogue. Why did I, an Israeli, have to address the Jewish community from a church? Why was I invited to speak in every university in eastern Australia, yet at Monash University I was forced to hold a secret meeting with Jewish faculty in a darkened room far from the halls of intellectual discourse?