The Academic Engagement Network….

Mark Yudof, Chair of AEN’s Advisory Board, states that AEN’s narrative

“should emphasize democratic participation and civil rights; tolerance; equality for people of all races, ethnicities and sexual orientations; human rights; freedom of expression and academic freedom. If Israel or its neighbors fall short of these expectations, criticism is quite warranted and legitimate and should be a part of the narrative. No hypocrisy, no double standards.”[2]

Israeli linguistics professor Tanya Reinhart wrote in 2002:

“What we are witnessing in the occupied territories—Israel’s penal colonies—is the invisible and daily killing of the sick and wounded who are deprived of medical care, of the weak who cannot survive in the new poverty conditions, and of those who are approaching starvation.”[19]

Background

John Wear was a student of Mark Yudof’s during the summer of 1975 in a five-hour Contracts class at the University of Texas Law School. Yudof was born to parents of Ukrainian Jewish descent.

John observed Mark Yudof’s meteoric success in the academic world. Yudof was the Dean of the University of Texas Law School from 1984-1994. Yudof served as executive vice president and provost of the University of Texas at Austin from 1994-1997. Yudof later became president of the University of Minnesota from 1997-2002. Yudof served as Chancellor of the University of Texas System from 2002-2008. Finally, Yudof served as president of the University of California from 2008-2013.

Mark Yudof has received numerous awards and recognitions. For example, he and his wife Judy were the co-recipients of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award in 1993. In 2012 The Jewish Daily Forward named Mark Yudof  to its “Forward 50” list of influential Jewish Americans.

Mark Yudof has now become the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Academic Engagement Network (AEN). According to its website, the AEN is an active organization of American college and university faculty opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

John Wear observes that Mark Yudof talks a good game. Yudof emphasizes that AEN’s narrative

“should emphasize democratic participation and civil rights; tolerance; equality for people of all races, ethnicities and sexual orientations; human rights; freedom of expression and academic freedom. If Israel or its neighbors fall short of these expectations, criticism is quite warranted and legitimate and should be a part of the narrative. No hypocrisy, no double standards.”

However, John Wear is skeptical of Mark Yudof’s motives. Since Yudof is a Zionist Jew, Mr. Wear suspects that Yudof will never say anything critical of Israel. Instead, Yudof will probably speak and act solely in Israel’s interest. The following article discusses why criticism of Israel should be a part of AEN’s narrative.

Top Image  Israeli Soldier Palestinian Boy  Bottom Image AEN Happy on Facebook A Democratic Student Vote Is Overridden Unilaterally In A USA College, Some Votes Are More Equal

 

The Academic Engagement Network

The Academic Engagement Network (AEN) website states that it is an active organization of American college and university faculty opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.[1]

Mark Yudof, Chair of AEN’s Advisory Board, states that AEN’s narrative

“should emphasize democratic participation and civil rights; tolerance; equality for people of all races, ethnicities and sexual orientations; human rights; freedom of expression and academic freedom. If Israel or its neighbors fall short of these expectations, criticism is quite warranted and legitimate and should be a part of the narrative. No hypocrisy, no double standards.”[2]

This article will discuss why criticism of Israel should be a part of AEN’s narrative.

Mark-Yudof-Protest
Protesting Mr Yudof’s Excessive Salary Meanwhile Mr Yudof Wants More Tax Funding For Colleges 1.

Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

 

There were 600,000 Jews and 1.3 million Palestinians in Palestine in December 1947. Jews owned less than 7% of the land, and almost all of the cultivated land was owned by Palestinians. Because of this demographic and geographical balance, the Palestinians regarded any plan which did not allow them to decide their future as being unacceptable and immoral.[3]

The United Nations decided to appease Jewish leader David Ben-Gurion by allowing an unlimited immigration of Jews and granting 55% of Palestine’s land to the Jewish state. The Jewish community knew that the Palestinians would reject such an unfair agreement when it agreed to this U.N. plan. Israeli propaganda, however, has repeatedly used its acceptance of the U.N. plan and the Palestinian rejection to indicate Israel’s peaceful intentions towards the Palestinians.[4]

The Arab world did not have the military means to stop Zionist military aggression. Three months before Arab armies entered Palestine in May 1948, the Zionist military forces began to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their houses, fields and land. In the process, Zionist military forces added another 23% of Palestine’s land to the 55% granted to them by the U.N. Israel as a state covered almost 80% of Palestine by January 1950.[5]

New documents released in 1998 from the archives of the Israel Defense Forces prove the planned massive, intentional expulsions of Palestinians.[6] The Zionist takeover of Palestine was aided by detailed files of every Palestinian village prepared by Haganah, the main Zionist underground militia in Palestine. These files, which included aerial photographs indicating the best access and entry points to each village as well as the number of weapons held in each home, enabled the Zionists to know how to best attack Palestinian villages.[7]

      There were at least 33 massacres of Palestinian villages during Israel’s “War of Independence.” Zionist forces were larger and better equipped than their opponents, and by the end of the war over 750,000 Palestinians were ruthlessly expelled from their homes.[8] Israeli historian Tom Segev writes,

“Israel was born of terror, war, and revolution, and its creation required a measure of fanaticism and of cruelty.”[9]

Entire cities and hundreds of villages in Israel were left empty and repopulated with new Jewish immigrants. The Jewish immigrants numbered 100,000 in April 1949, most of them survivors of the war in Europe. The Palestinians lost everything they had and became destitute refugees, while the Jewish immigrants stole the Palestinians’ property and confiscated everything they needed.[10]

Israeli historian Ilan Pappé writes that the Zionist takeover of Palestine

“was a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.”[11]

Norman Finkelstein writes:

“The injustice inflicted on Palestinians by Zionism was manifest and, except on racist grounds, unanswerable: their right to self-determination, and perhaps even to their homeland, was being denied.”[12]

Finkelstein concludes that

“the scholarly consensus is that Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948.”[13]

Israel claimed that the majority of Palestinian refugees fled voluntarily and were not expelled. However, Israel refused to allow Palestinians to return to their homes as demanded by a U.N. resolution shortly after the 1948 war. The State of Israel was thus clearly founded through the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants.[14]

israeli_wall

Injustice Continues

 

Israel’s creation has been justified by claiming that Jews have a right of return to their homeland. However, since most Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi Jews whose ancestors never lived in Palestine, this claim is not valid. Geneticist Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh writes:

“The Zionist concept of ‘return’ is flawed, at least with respect to Ashkenazi Jews…Return implies that one’s ancestors originated from the area in question.”[15]

Israeli leaders established a racist nation set up exclusively for Jews. A Palestinian who was born within the boundaries of what is now Israel cannot return to his homeland and become a citizen of Israel. By contrast, a Jew born outside of Israel can immigrate to Israel and be granted instant citizenship with numerous benefits. Israel has segregated housing areas, schools and recreational facilities where Palestinians are not allowed. The legality of marriage between Jews and Palestinians is also not recognized by Israeli law.[16]

The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians continued in June 1967 after the Six-Day War. Israel conquered and occupied the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. These territories are still occupied by Israel today.[17]

Approximately 300,000 Palestinians fled or were driven into exile as Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza. Hundreds of villages were systematically razed, and over 2,000 Palestinian homes were demolished or sealed without charges or trial. The Israeli government confiscated fully 50% of the land and 80% of the water reserves in these territories. Approximately 100,000 Jews settled in the West Bank and Gaza to replace the exiled Palestinians.[18]

Palestinian Gaza has been turned into a massive prison ghetto. Surrounded by electronic fences and military posts, tightly sealed from the outside world, Palestinians in Gaza are forced to live in extreme poverty. Israeli linguistics professor Tanya Reinhart wrote in 2002:

“What we are witnessing in the occupied territories—Israel’s penal colonies—is the invisible and daily killing of the sick and wounded who are deprived of medical care, of the weak who cannot survive in the new poverty conditions, and of those who are approaching starvation.”[19]

Israeli leaders proceeded to implement throughout the West Bank their model of control perfected in Gaza. Since May 2002, Israel has been constructing a wall in the West Bank which will make this system of control a reality when completed. Along the route under construction, Israel is dispossessing Palestinian farmers of their land and pushing them into small enclaves between fences and walls. Eventually the Palestinians will be surrounded on all sides, as is currently the case in Gaza.[20]

The Israeli Knesset has also enacted numerous laws in recent years that discriminate against Palestinians. The Nakba Law of 2009, for example, stipulated that whoever would commemorate Israel’s day of independence as a day of mourning would be arrested. This law was slightly revised under international pressure: arrest was replaced by the denial of public funding to any entity that commemorates the Nakba. Since virtually all Palestinian institutions and homes remember and commemorate the Nakba, this law is highly discriminatory against Palestinians.[21]

israel-palestine-map

Israel’s Human Rights Record

 

      Palestinians have faced ongoing terrorism from Israel in times of both peace and war. A partial list of the massacres committed by Israel against Palestinians include: Sharafat Massacre, Kiby Massacre, Kafr Qasem Massacre, Al-Sammou Massacre, the Sabra and Chatila Massacre, Oyon Qara Massacre, Al-Aqsa Mosque Massacre, the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, the Qana Massacre, and the Jabalia Massacre. Israel also bombed and invaded Lebanon in the 1980s, with estimates of civilian casualties exceeding 15,000.[22]

Israel has assassinated hundreds of Palestinian leaders. Many of these Palestinian leaders had never been associated with violence or terror of any kind; they were simply writers or clerics who by their words inspired their countrymen to seek freedom. The assassinations of Palestinian leaders have often killed innocent bystanders.[23]

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have also been tortured in Israeli jails. A Jewish human rights group in Israel confirmed in a 60-page report that 85% of Palestinian prisoners undergo torture while in custody. Many thousands of these prisoners have died while in Israeli custody.[24]

The U.N. Committee Against Torture last year cited continued complaints of torture by the Israeli Security Agency and Israel’s refusal to implement the U.N. Convention Against Torture in occupied Palestinian territories.[25]

Tanya Reinhart wrote in 2002 that Israel’s “separation” can no longer be compared to the apartheid of South Africa. Reinhart quotes Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa’s minister of water affairs:

      The South Africa apartheid regime never engaged in the sort of repression Israel is inflicting on the Palestinians. For all the evils and atrocities of apartheid, the government never sent tanks into black towns. It never used gunships, bombers, or missiles against the black towns or Bantustans. The apartheid regime used to impose sieges on black towns, but these sieges were lifted within days.

Reinhart adds that unlike Israel, South Africa never applied a systematic policy of bringing the black population to starvation.[26]

The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly recently passed a resolution condemning Israel’s unlawful killings of Palestinians in the so-called buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The resolution was based on a report compiled by Swedish Assembly member Eva-Lena Jansson. Jansson’s report states:

      Cases of the deliberate fatal shooting of individuals who posed no imminent danger to life amounts to an appalling pattern of apparently systematic unlawful killings…It is estimated that over 12,620 houses were totally destroyed [in Gaza] and 6,455 severely damaged. 17,650 families or about 100,000 persons were displaced.”[27]

The report states that Gaza has become so uninhabitable that many of its residents have joined the influx of refugees into Europe. The resolution called for an end to Israel’s blockade on Gaza, voicing alarm over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the impoverished area.[28]

      Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote that Israel’s record on human rights is “generally superb.”[29] However, Israel’s human rights record has been monitored by a multitude of independent organizations with autonomous research and field staff. Contrary to Dershowitz’s claim, all of these human rights organizations consistently document egregious human rights violations on the part of Israel.[30]

Norman Finkelstein writes:

“Either mainstream human rights organizations and independent experts have engaged in a vast anti-Semitic conspiracy to defame Israel, or Dershowitz has egregiously misrepresented the factual record. No third possibility exists.”[31]

 

BDS Movement   

 

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a nonviolent way for the international community to educate others and put pressure on Israel in a manner similar to that used against South Africa’s apartheid system. According to Jewish Israeli BDS activist Jeff Halper, Israel’s Occupation and Wall classify as apartheid because they meet precisely the definition of the word: separation of populations in a regime in which one population permanently dominates another.[32]

Jewish American BDS activist Anna Baltzer explains why BDS is needed:

      When a country violating human rights does not respond to decades of pressure through diplomatic efforts, international law, or rulings by the International Court of Justice, another level of pressure is needed. For example, when member states repeatedly violate resolutions, the United Nations often imposes sanctions like those currently being imposed on Sudan for occupation in Darfur.

Israel has now violated more U.N. resolutions than any other country in the U.N. Nevertheless, any U.N. proposal to remove international complicity in Israel’s transgressions has been systematically opposed by the United States through its veto in the U.N. Security Council. The question is not whether Israel should be singled out for BDS, but whether it should be immune to the standard to which other countries are held.[33]

 

The world cannot wait for Israel to begin to treat Palestinians fairly. Israel will not change unless it has to. Norman Finkelstein wrote in 2003:

“…Israel will withdraw from the Occupied Territories only if Palestinians (and their supporters) can summon sufficient force to change the calculus of costs for Israel: that is, making the price of occupation too high. The historical record sustains this hypothesis.”[34]

israelarrestkids

Conclusion            

 

The historical record indicates that Israel is a racist, apartheid nation formed through the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. Israel has engaged in numerous acts of violence, terror, discrimination and repression against its Palestinian citizens. Israel has violated more U.N. resolutions than any other country in the U.N., and has not responded to decades of diplomatic efforts to change its policies toward the Palestinians.

The AEN has the opportunity to make these facts known to university students. However, with pro-Zionist Advisory Board members such as Mark Yudof, Lawrence Summers and Deborah Lipstadt, these facts will probably not be a part of AEN’s narrative. Yudof’s statement that no hypocrisy or double standards will apply to Israel will almost certainly be empty rhetoric.

israelichildrendeaths
If Americans Knew

 

ussliberty

ENDNOTES

[1] http://www.academicengagement.org/en.

[2] https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2015/12/14/colleges-should-commit-robust-debate-about-middle-east-conflicts-essay.

[3] Pappé, Ilan, The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011, pp. 16-17.

[4] Ibid., p. 17.

[5] Ibid., pp. 17-18.

[6] Pappé, Ilan, The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge, London: Verso, 2014, p. 277.

[7] Pappé, Ilan, The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011, p. 15.

[8] Weir, Alison, Against Our Better Judgement: The Hidden History of How the U.S. was Used to Create Israel, 2014, p. 58.

[9] Segev, Tom, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust, New York: Hill and Wang, p. 63.

[10] Ibid., pp. 161-162.

[11] Pappé, Ilan, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oxford: Oneworld, 2007, p. xiii.

[12] Finkelstein, Norman G., Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005, p. 8.

[13] Ibid. p. 5.

[14] Reinhart, Tanya, The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003, London: Verso, 2006, pp. 1-2.

[15] Qumsiyeh, Mazin B., Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle, London: Pluto Press, 2004, pp. 20-29.

[16] Duke, David, Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening to the Jewish Question, 2nd edition, Mandeville, LA: Free Speech Press, 2007, pp. 213-214.

[17] Reinhart, Tanya, Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002, p. 8.

[18] Finkelstein, Norman G., The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996, p. 52.

[19] Reinhart, Tanya, Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002, pp. 18, 175-176.

[20] Reinhart, Tanya, The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003, London: Verso, 2006, pp. 157-160.

[21] Pappé, Ilan, The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge, London: Verso, 2014, pp. 272-273.

[22] Duke, David, Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening to the Jewish Question, 2nd edition, Mandeville, LA: Free Speech Press, 2007, pp. 219, 222-223.

[23] Ibid., p. 225.

[24] Ibid., p. 226.

[25] https://www.rt.com/news/374923-israel-torture-methods-interrogation/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome.

[26] Reinhart, Tanya, Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002, p. 175.

[27] http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/01/25/507659/Israel-Gaza-Council-of-Europe-Parliamentary-Assembly.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Dershowitz, Alan, The Case for Israel, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003, p. 204.

[30] Finkelstein, Norman G., Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005, pp. 91-92.

[31] Ibid., p. 223.

[32] Baltzer, Anna, Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007, p. 364.

[33] http://www.annainthemiddleeast.com/whatcanyou/boycott/index.html.

[34] Finkelstein, Norman G., Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, 2nd ed., New York: Verso, 2003, p. xxxiv.

 

 

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