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Anti-Israel Ideology Has Infected the Study of Israel

Anti-Israel Ideology Has Infected the Study of Israel

“unjust, enduring, and unsustainable systems of Jewish supremacy”

The same ideology that is behind the BDS movement on many college campuses has now worked its way into the study of Israel.

Ari Blaff writes at Sapir Journal:

Israel Studies Has an Israel Problem

At the height of the latest round of conflict between Israel and Gaza last year, some 200 Israel and Jewish Studies scholars signed an open letter condemning Israel’s conduct. The letter denounced Israel’s “ethnonationalist ideologies” as well as its “settler colonial paradigm” — fancy language for calling Israelis fascists and insisting that Israelis have no more place in “Palestine” than the British in India or the Dutch and their descendants who imposed apartheid in South Africa.

What about the other major participant in the conflict, Hamas? The letter mentions the terrorist group just once, finding fewer than 30 words in over 900 to recognize the “pain, fear, and anger of Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel who have lost loved ones and homes to unjustifiable and indiscriminate Hamas rockets” — unable even here to avoid suggesting that Palestinians are somehow as much the victims of Hamas as Israel is.

There was no recognition that the beginning, middle, and end of the conflict were all controlled by Hamas. There was no mention, either, of the conflict’s real sources — Hamas’s genocidal charter, the continuous diversion of humanitarian aid to fund the building of military assets, its Holocaust denialism, and its prolongation of the conflict via antisemitic and eliminationist education, including the publication of a glossy children’s magazine glorifying suicide bombings and terrorism. These were nonissues for these progressive scholars, more appalled by Jews who pray at our religion’s holiest site than by Hamas’s long history of murdering Jews.

To add insult to injury, the letter condemned the “unjust, enduring, and unsustainable systems of Jewish supremacy,” a term popularized by white supremacist David Duke. Bear in mind that this all came amid skyrocketing antisemitism that witnessed Jews chased and beaten, taunted and kicked, targeted and vilified, across North America and Europe.

The open letter’s signatories included faculty at Barnard, Brandeis, Cornell, Chicago, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Fordham, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, NYU, Oxford, Penn State, Princeton, Stanford, and Temple, to mention just some of the more prominent institutions. Jewish and Israel Studies programs, it is now sadly clear, have an Israel problem.


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Steven Brizel | August 8, 2022 at 9:24 am

Most so called scholars in universities of “Israel and Jewish studies” lack basic tools in classical Jewish texts .

    CellarDoor in reply to Steven Brizel. | August 9, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Legitimate criticisms of Israel are being labelled “anti semitic”. No one is allowed to criticize the most powerful lobby in US government. Half of our congressman are dual citizenship of Israel. This isn’t allowed in ANY other country. Only the foolish naive USA. Criticism isn’t anti semitic and labeling it as such shows how dishonest and unfair The Jewish people and Israel in particular is when it comes to their own affairs and being honest.

People like that used to wear masks and hide their identities, now they openly sign their names to the hateful screeds.

If you’re Jewish and have kids, it’s time to leave.