Monday, October 31, 2005

Joseph Massad on academic freedom

Via Lenin's Tomb, an excellent article by Joseph Massad on why the Zionists have decided to attack American academic freedom:

"What makes these anti-scholarship attacks possible and popular is the existence of a major discrepancy, even a radical disconnect, between popular knowledge and media coverage about the Palestine/Israel conundrum and established scholarly knowledge about the topic. It is this disconnect that the witch hunters mobilise against scholarship as proof that it is not media and popular knowledge, which defends Israeli policy and Zionism's axioms, that is ideological, but rather academic scholarship which has largely uncovered unsavory facts about both. Thus when young American students who come from ideologically charged homes, schools, and environments, attend university classes about the subject, they mistake established scholarship as pro-Palestinian propaganda, a conclusion that is propped up by the likes of Campus Watch, the David Project, and the Anti-Defamation League, all three organisations who make it part or all their business to attack scholarly criticisms of Israeli policy."

I've noticed that people over the age of twenty-five or thirty accept the full package of Zionist lies about Israel, while younger people are much better informed. This fact has to terrify the Zionists. Massad gives some examples of what scholars have found out that conflicts with the mythology of Israel:

"All respected scholars in the field agree that most or all Palestinians who became refugees in 1948 were expelled directly or indirectly by Israel. The debate that exists is about whether all Palestinian refugees were physically expelled by the Israeli army or that the Israeli army expelled the majority while a minority of refugees fled, not as a direct result of physical force but as an indirect consequence of actions taken by the Israeli army and government which might, or might not, have been deliberately intended to expel them. In contrast, media and popular ideological knowledge in the US still insists that the Palestinians fled on their own, or worse, were called upon to do so by Arab leaders (despite Israeli false claims that Arab leaders called on Palestinians to flee, research has shown that they called upon them to remain steadfast in their homeland) while the Zionists begged them to stay!

Established scholarship enumerates all the racist laws and institutional racist practices in operation in Israel which discriminate between Jews and non-Jews, granting Jews differential rights and privileges over non-Jews, and rendering Israel a racist state by law. Popular and media knowledge, in contrast, depict Israel as a democratic liberal state that treats all its citizens equally. It is also established in scholarship that Israel discriminates against non-European Jews (the majority of the country's Jewish population) and also against recent Russian Jewish immigrants, and has engaged and continues to engage in a racist discourse about them and in unofficial institutional discrimination against them (witness the most recent case of discrimination against Ethiopian Jews in admissions to Israeli universities). In contrast, popular and media knowledge depicts Israel as a place where all Jews are equal. Scholarly knowledge addresses the question of Israel as a quasi-theological state, where religious law governs major aspects of Jewish life and that only Orthodox Judaism is allowed to have religious authority over Jewish citizens to the exclusion of Reform and Conservative Judaism, let alone other Jewish denominations. In contrast, media and popular knowledge depict Israel as a secular state. These are only a few examples of how scholarly knowledge is drastically different from and contradicts media and popular knowledge about key issues regarding Israeli society and history."

Massad goes on to point out that the trick employed by so-called 'liberal' Zionists like Nat Hentoff is to contrast 'good' Arab scholars, who accept some of the American liberal consensus on Israel, with 'bad' Arab scholars, who don't accept any of these lies. Hentoff makes this kind of distinction so he can feel comfortably liberal in enforcing book burning. Unfortunately for the Zionists, 'liberal' or not, the truth is gradually working its way into the consciousness of younger people who will eventually constitute the majority of the voting population. The current fascination of Zionists with book burning represents their realization that they have already lost and the truth has escaped their grasp.