This is part of a free speech protest (for, not against!). You can get more details at Blazing Cat Fur.
And just so you know I'm an equal opportunity "prophet" mocker:
I have always thought that a politician's actions speak louder than words. That's the reason why, a few months ago, I started to contact some friends in order to launch the "Friends of Israel Initiative."
For many, it's become easy to denounce the harshness of Israel's military actions. Yet these same voices disregard Hezbollah's nonstop rearming in Southern Lebanon, as well as the group's expressed intention to destroy the state of Israel. Hamas, in Gaza, has the same objective.
It's become easy for some to denounce the fence that partially separates the West Bank from Israel. Yet these same voices refuse to acknowledge that this fence has allowed Israelis to go out for pizza, to the movies, or to send their children on a school bus, without the constant fear of being blown up in a suicide attack.
|Look all that different from this?|
"Liberal Muslims like Tarek Fatah have had to endure insult and ostracism from the conservative mainstream for trying to expose the problems that Islam faces as a result of the way the religion and culture is practiced, rather than blaming the West for self-inflicted woes."
"My thesis is not a Jew-hating conspiracy"*VS
"the organized Jewish community makes claims about Jewish victimhood that are widely accepted within that community and within popular discourse in the West. I propose that these claims to victimhood are no longer based in a reality of oppression, but continue to be propagated because a victimized Jewish identity can produce certain effects that are beneficial to the organized Jewish community and the Israeli nation-state" (Abstract - pg.ii)
"the oppressive beliefs of my parents, teachers and religious leaders" (pg.2)
"I started to understand the violence that was necessary to establish the Israeli state and the violence required to maintain its existence as a Jewish-only state"** (pg.3)
"becoming an anti-Zionist Jew can be extremely painful because it requires Jewish people to stop seeing themselves as victims and to accept that by supporting Israel, they are supporting a brutally oppressive regime"(pg.3)
"As someone who had experienced violence and oppression within my own Jewish community, it was not very difficult for me to accept that Jews could be oppressors and by extension, that the so-called ‘Jewish state’ could itself be oppressive and violent" (pg.4)
"a fight against all forms of oppression, including Zionism"***(pg.5)
"Worldwide, the organized Jewish community works tirelessly to support the racist Israeli state and in doing so, aligns itself with oppressive forces in their own countries." (pg.6)
"My research is therefore aimed at answering the question of how can we explain the existence of a tremendous educational apparatus dedicated to teaching about the history of Jewish suffering within a mainstream Jewish community that is dominated by racist and Zionist ideologies?" (pg.6)
"Rather than asking the morally loaded question of why most Jewish people seem not to have learned from their history, I instead want to ask what are they learning from the history they are being taught? In other words, what are the effects of education projects that focus on Jewish victimhood? Given the privilege – and I would call this white privilege – now enjoyed by Jews of European descent, how and why has Jewish identity continued to revolve around victimhood? Who benefits from the construction of a victimized Jewish identity? " (pgs. 6-7)
"Having shown that Ashkenazi Jews are now privileged white people, I will then work to expose some of the tactics that are used to perpetuate the idea that Jews are inherently and forever victimized. There are a wide range of tactics used to (re)produce the ‘Jew as victim’, but I am going to focus on hegemonic Holocaust education because I believe that the Holocaust is central to these claims of victimhood." (pg 8)
"My work is based in the understanding that Zionism – the belief that Jewish people have a right to a nation-state built on top of the ruins of Palestine – is a racist, imperialist ideology that can only effectively be challenged through anti-racist, anti-imperialist theory and activism." (pg 10)
The other thing that seemed worth saying related to that now classic formulation - "It is not anti-Semitic to be critical of Israel." I wasn't concerned to make the no less classical rebuttal - "Of course being critical of Israel doesn't necessarily mark you out as an anti-Semite, but it doesn't necessarily mark you out as not one either." Enough already with who is or who isn't. What I wanted to address was something different - how the glamour word "anti-Semite" has transfixed both parties to this semantic tussle, when the real issue is what we mean by "critical".
Reader, only think about it: was ever a tiny word sent on such a mighty errand, or to put it another way, was ever such a massive job of demolition done by so delicate an instrument. Critical - as though those who accuse Israel of every known crime against humanity, of being more Nazi than the Nazis, more fascist than the fascists, more apartheid than apartheid South Africa, are simply exercising measured argument and fine discrimination.
I know a bit about being critical. It's my job. Being "critical" is when you say that such-and-such a book works here but doesn't work there, good plot, bad characterisation, enjoyed some parts, hated others. What being critical is not, is saying this is the most evil and odious book ever written, worse than all other evil and odious books, should never have been published in the first place, was in fact published in flagrant defiance of international law, must be banned, and in the meantime should not under any circumstances be read. For that we need another word than critical.
So try replacing it with whatever that word or words might be and have a look at how the statement bears up now. "It is not anti-Semitic to defame or curse or stigmatise or revile or execrate or anathematise or with malice aforethought misrepresent Israel." You might think that veers a touch too far in the opposite direction, but you take my point. Put back the inordinacy of reprehension hidden behind the pretend even-handedness of fair-seeming little "critical" and you see why those who oppose the boycott and other such traducements smell a rat.
"It is important because the LRB plays a key role in defining the terms of debate for the British intelligentsia, influencing beyond them the so-called thinking classes in the rest of the English-speaking world. For many years under its current editor Mary-Kay Wilmers – herself surely a prime example of Howard Jacobson’s ‘Ashamed Jews’ -- it has been helping turn that debate into a verbal pogrom against Israel through an unbroken stream of hate-fuelled articles."
Last week The Propagandist’s Editor Jonathon Narvey wrote, “In the question of whether Islam is at war with the West, The Propagandist has always taken a consistent line: No. A religion cannot be at war with anything. We are not fighting Islam.”read the rest at The Propagandist
In my first column for The Propagandist, I propose that Jonathon is incorrect.
Recently elected Congressman Allen West (R- Florida) pointed out that “The War on Terror” is a misnomer. Terror is a tactic, not an enemy. The analogy West used was that World War 2 was not a war on “Blitzkrieg,” it was a war against Nazis. West characterizes the current conflict as one with extremist Islam. I fear that Congressmen West’s characterization was too mild. Conservative Islam, which is the prevalent form of practiced Islam, is at war, not only with the west, but with liberal Muslims who seek change to their religion.
Responding to a request for an interview, the University of Toronto issued a written statement by vice-president and provost Cheryl Misak: “Due to our privacy obligations to students, I cannot discuss an individual student’s academic work or his or her performance. What I can, say, however, is that freedom of expression issues are ever-present in our society, especially on a university campus. The University of Toronto’s Statement on Freedom of Speech makes it clear that freedom of inquiry lies at the very heart of our institution: ‘all members of the University must have as a prerequisite freedom of speech and expression, which means the right to examine, question, investigate, speculate and comment on any issue without reference to prescribed doctrine, as well as the right to criticize the University and society at large.’
“Of the thousands of MA theses written at the University of Toronto in partial fulfilment of degree requirements, it is inevitable that some will have elements that offend various individuals and groups."It is commendable that the University of Toronto values free speech. But there are issues that remain unaddressed, like the perception that the culture at OISE has become so virulently anti-Israel and anti-Zionist that theses which have the appearance of anti-Semitism have become acceptable there.
"Assemble at 720 Spadina Avenue (west side of Spadina, south of Bloor) at 4:30 p.m.That address is on the same block and only about a dozen yards south of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at Bloor and Spadina. Of all the places in the many square miles of downtown Toronto, they chose the same block as the largest Jewish centre in the old city of Toronto.
Bus will depart downtown Toronto at 4:45 p.m. Bus will return to same location at 10:00 p.m."
"Broadly speaking, Jews who hate Israel fall into three categories: a) the famous, of which Noam Chomsky is about the only one; b) the well-known, like Norman Finkelstein and Tony Judt, and c) others who are not known beyond their immediate circles but who do lurk in various crevices of the Internet. Altogether, as I will explain below, it is not likely that there are more than a few thousand of these haters active worldwide, say fewer than 10,000 and probably no more than half that number. Considering that there are more than 13 million Jews in the world at the moment, the proportion of those who actively hate Israel, about 0.04 of one percent, might well be considered to be modest indeed. "In Canada, we have one or two in the locally "well-known" category, such as non-credible players like Naomi Klein and her husband, what's-his-name, and Judy Rebick.
Two years ago a young woman named Stacy Bonds was walking along an Ottawa sidewalk on her way to a friend’s house. Bonds is 27, just five feet tall, weighs barely 100 pounds. She’s not a trouble-maker, has no criminal history, no record of causing problems for police. She had — horrors — enjoyed a few drinks, though a judge ruled later that she was not drunk. Two police officers stopped her, checked her out, discovered she was harmless and told her to be on her way. She took a few steps, then stopped and asked them why they’d stopped her in the first place.
That got her handcuffed, thrown in the back of a cruiser and spirited off to the police station, where police pulled her hair, kneed her in the back a couple of times, slammed her to the ground with a riot shield, cut off her clothes and bra while a few male officers watched, and strip-searched her.
That done, they threw her in a cell, half-naked, for three hours. They charged her with public drunkenness — though she wasn’t — and with aggressive behaviour, though a video showed that wasn’t true either.
Now, how big a moron do you have to be to pull a stunt like this?The rest is here at The National Post
This paper focuses on issues of Jewish identity, whiteness and victimhood within hegemonic Holocaust education. I argue that today, Jewish people of European descent enjoy white privilege and are among the most socio-economically advantaged groups in the West. Despite this privilege, the organized Jewish community makes claims about Jewish victimhood that are widely accepted within that community and within popular discourse in the West. I propose that these claims to victimhood are no longer based in a reality of oppression, but continue to be propagated because a victimized Jewish identity can produce certain effects that are beneficial to the organized Jewish community and the Israeli nation-state. I focus on two related Holocaust education projects – the March of the Living and the March of Remembrance and Hope – to show how Jewish victimhood is instrumentalized in ways that obscure Jewish privilege, deny Jewish racism and promote the interests of the Israeli nation-state.
Can we be accountable to privilege? Can we find a space for coherent anti-racist secular Ashkenazi Jewish identity in North America, where Jews have been deeply implicated in structural violence? Can we be agents of both complicity and change? This auto-ethnography describes a haunting; focusing on the ghostly presences of my deceased uncle Larry Treiman and Bruno Bettelheim, child psychologist and director of the residential treatment facility where Larry was institutionalized as a child, it creates a deeply personal explanation for how the whitening of Ashkenazi North American Jewish identity, the shifts in discourses of madness and major sociological and economic change in Chicago and New York over the second half of the 20th century constituted my subjectivity and my privilege. This text proposes accountability through genealogy, teasing out the possibility for ethical thought and action through cultivating a deeply personal relationship to the ghosts that make us.
QALQILYAH, Palestinian Territories — A mysterious blogger who set off an uproar in the Arab world by claiming he was God and hurling insults at the Prophet Muhammad is now behind bars — caught in a sting that used Facebook to track him down.You can read the rest of the story here.
The case of the unlikely apostate, a shy barber from this backwater West Bank town, is highlighting the limits of tolerance in the Western-backed Palestinian Authority — and illustrating a new trend by authorities in the Arab world to mine social media for evidence.
Residents of Qalqiliya say they had no idea that Walid Husayin — the 26-year-old son of a Muslim scholar — was leading a double life.
Known as a quiet man who prayed with his family each Friday and spent his evenings working in his father's barbershop, Husayin was secretly his anti-religious opinions on the Internet during his free time.
The media in the Palestinian Authority, as in the Arab world in general, are largely government-controlled, driving dissenting voices to the relative freedom of the Internet. The blogger's arrest showed a willingness on the part of the Palestinian government to clamp down on freedom of speech on the Web as well. He now faces a potential life prison sentence on heresy charges for "insulting the divine essence."