Another Anti-Zionist set to teach a college course on Israel, this time in Missouri

If yesterday’s post about UC Riverside wasn’t enough, try this.

In the fall of 2015, the University of Missouri’s Honors Tutorials program will offer Tutorial No. 16: “Perspectives on Zionism” taught by a professor of … biology.

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George Smith, a Biology professor holding no degrees in Middle East Studies or any related field, will teach the class.

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George Smith

Daniel Swindell, a University of Missouri alum, is baffled by his alma mater’s employment of Smith as an expert in Zionism:

Smith’s personal perspective is that the entire history of Zionism has been “shameful” and that the Jewish State needs to be destroyed. His perspective has been well documented because Smith has protested, written, and hosted events against Israel for years. It is impossible for the administration to claim ignorance of his beliefs, because Smith has even protested at MU. It seems fair to ask: is it ethically responsible to allow a professor of biology who calls for the destruction of Zionism to teach a course on Zionism? How about a man who protested a talk given by an Israeli eyewitness of terrorist attacks with a crude joke?

Read more here.

A serious development in BDS on campus

Here’s a serious development in BDS on campus.

The University of California (UC) Riverside is under fire for offering students a new course about Israeli “apartheid” that critics describe as anti-Semitic and in violation of school policy prohibiting political indoctrination in the classroom, according to course materials and sources familiar with the situation.

A professor and BDS proponent at the University of California at Riverside, David Lloyd, is sponsoring a course, “Palestine & Israel: Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid.”  The course seeks to explore the Israeli-Palestinian issue through the lens of those who accuse the Jewish state of being an occupying force.

It’s being taught by an undergrad, Tina Matar, who is vice president of the campus branch of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas group that has taken aim at Jewish and pro-Israel students at schools across the country as it seeks to promote economic boycotts of the Jewish state.

At least 20 national pro-Israel organizations have written a letter to the school administration, petitioning it to cancel the class, calling the proposal anti-Semitic, as made apparent in the course’s downloadable syllabus.

The school says that it reviewed the class and that it meets the university’s standards. The spokesperson added that the school believes the apartheid course abides by university policy governing academic freedom.

“I’m not sure what’s worse, having a college course taught by an undergraduate student or having a course syllabus that reads like the Facebook page of a skinhead teenager,” said David Brog, executive director of Christians United For Israel, one of the organizations opposing the course.

“The course schedule is filled with egregiously one-sided, anti-Israel readings and films that falsely paint Israel as a settler-colonial and apartheid state, hold Israel to a double standard to which no other democratic country is held, vilify and demonize Israel and Israel’s supporters, and argue for an end to the Jewish state; these tropes are all considered anti-Semitic according to the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism,” the organizations write in their letter to the school.

Check out the full article here.

New York Times Accidentally Tells the Truth About the Palestinians

From the Algemeiner:

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A Palestinian critic of PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Times reporter Diaa Hadid that it’s not the Israelis who are suppressing Palestinian dissidents and protesters, but rather the PA’s security forces. Photo: World Economic Forum.

To read the New York Times, one would think that the situation in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) region in 2015 is the same as it was in 1985 or 1975. Israel is “occupying the West Bank,” Palestinians are denied the right to vote, and Palestinian violence is inevitable because Israeli control makes them feel hopeless. That was more or less the theme of the Times‘ March 31 feature story on the situation in the territories today.

But every once in a while, a Times reporter accidentally lets the cat out of the bag, and a discerning reader discovers that the truth is almost the exact opposite of what the Times is trying to convey.

Correspondent Diaa Hadid began her lengthy March 31 article on what was (for her) a hopeful note, pointing out that “the United States and Europe seem ever more ready to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank.”

Then, in the 12th paragraph, Hadid mentioned a fact that must have been confusing to Times readers. The Palestinian Authority held “a presidential election in 2005,” she noted in passing.

Wait a minute. We thought that the Palestinians have all been disenfranchised by the Israeli “occupation.” We were told – by the Times and most of the international news media – that Israel is preventing the Palestinians from exercising their democratic right to vote. Now it turns out that the Palestinian Authority did have an election in 2005 – and the only reason they haven’t held another once since then is because, as Hadid wrote, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas “has systematically snuffed out any challenges to his rule.”

In other words, it is the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, that is preventing Palestinian democracy. Interesting!

Then, another fascinating fact, this one in the 13th paragraph. A Palestinian critic of Abbas told the reporter, Ms. Hadid, that he “would only give the nickname Abu Mohammed, because he feared harassment by security forces.” She was referring, of course, to the Palestinian security forces. Remarkable! So it’s not the Israelis who are suppressing Palestinian dissidents and protesters – it’s the Palestinian Authority’s own security forces.

And if a reader managed to make it all the way down to paragraph 23, he would find Ms. Hadid mentioning that “Mr. Abbas was once praised for establishing security, cracking down on gunmen who terrorize Palestinian communities…” So it is Palestinian, not Israeli, “gunmen” who have been “terrorizing” the Palestinians. Who knew?

But the real kicker was in the 14th paragraph. “The Palestinian Authority,” Ms. Hadid reported – again, in passing – “governs Palestinian communities in the West Bank.”

How can that be? She had referred at the beginning of the article to “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.” Now she is reporting the exact opposite–namely, that it is the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, which governs “Palestinian communities” there.

And she was right. Because although the Times and other supporters of the Palestinian cause are loathe to acknowledge it, Israel (under Yitzhak Rabin) in 1995 withdrew from the areas in Judea-Samaria where more than 95 percent of the Palestinians reside. The “occupation” ended twenty years ago. You can’t blame Israel for the way the PA mismanages the areas that it occupies.

By the 31st paragraph, however, Ms. Hadid managed to come full circle and find a way to blame Israel. Even though it is the Palestinian Authority that governs the Palestinians; even though the Palestinians do indeed vote, when the PA consents to hold elections; and even though it is the PA’s security forces that “terrorize” the Palestinians – nevertheless, it’s all Israel’s fault: “While many Palestinians acknowledge their system is broken” – a generous way of describing the situation – “they worry that it is being used as an excuse by Israel and other countries to allow their statehood hopes to wither.”

The truth is that the Palestinian Authority’s self-rule regime is already a state in every major respect but two: it does not have full control of its borders, and it does not have a full-fledged army. Not surprisingly, Israel is not anxious to have terrorists pouring across a PA-controlled border, or PA tanks and jet bombers a few miles from Tel Aviv.

So if Diaa Hadid and the New York Times want to make the case for supplying tanks to the PA, let them be open about it and say so–but please, stop pretending that the problem is some mythical Israeli “occupation.” It’s not 1985 any more.

View the original NY Times article here.