Don’t get me wrong. Hail to the University Presidents and colleges that have either condemned or withdrawn for the ASA. Good move, but there are far more insidious movements in the American Universities that impact Israel.
Saudi Arabia and the oil soaked Emirates contribute billions to American Universities, influencing the curricula on Islam, the Middle East and Israel. Islam is presented as a peace loving and tolerant faith, completely blinding students to the real depredations of Sharia laws and the faith driven blood lust of Jihad. Israel is presented as a harsh occupier and oppressor of Palestinian Arabs. Nowhere is the Arab war against Israel even linked to radical Islam.Check out the Middle East Studies departments of both state and private academies. I have.
Then there is The Middle East Studies Association (MESA)- This what Hugh Fitzgerald wrote in 2008…and it is now far worse.
If we ignore history, and ignore the texts of Islam, then we can all play the game of “Let’s Pretend.” But playing the game of “Let’s Pretend” is what has gotten the countries of Western Europe in the fix they are in. Playing “Let’s Pretend” simply allows non-Muslims to continue to ignore reality, continue to turn their heads away, as people in the last century, and more than once, turned their heads away until the reality could not be denied.
In the case of Islam there will not be an invasion of Poland or a Pearl Harbor attack or a seizing of Manchuria, but rather a slow and steady conquest. That is why it is important to alert, using nothing more amazing than the most banal and obvious of truths about Islam — truths that no non-Muslim growing up under Muslim rule, and no apostate from Islam can fail to be aware of. See Wafa Sultan, see Ayaan Hirsi Ali, see Ibn Warraq, see hundreds of others, with their numbers swelling in the Western world all the time. See those great Western scholars of Islam — Schacht, Jeffery, Snouck Hurgronje, Lammens and so many others — who studied and wrote about Islam before the Great Inhibition set it. That is, they studied and wrote before Muslims, and their non-Muslim sympathizers, managed to insinuate themselves into academic positions where they have been quite good at keeping out any other viewpoints, and have steadily managed to hire and promote each other, aided of course by grants from Arab governments and institutions and individuals, until they have managed, all over the Western world, to control so much of what is taught about Islam and “Islamic studies” and “Middle Eastern studies.”
But a few holdouts never were booted out, and nowadays, many in the West, alert to the danger, have simply chosen to go around, to do without, to ignore, the sly apologists of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA Nostra), and that has had a salutary effect.
The American government should simply set up institutes to teach Americans about Islam and the Middle East, going carefully around the universities — or perhaps carefully vetting every department that would wish to get in on the money. It may not be possible to re-create an atmosphere in American universities, or in other universities of the Western world, in which disinterested study, rather than transparent apologetics, is offered to innocent students. Certainly the number of schools where such study is possible has diminished over the past 30 years. Georgetown’s lean, mean, jogging John Esposito is the rule, not the exception. But one should at least try. University administrators now have a duty to inform themselves fully, and not permit the fellow-travellers of MESA Nostra already ensconced in their institutions to manage to smuggle in one more of their number.
“Have we indeed sinned more than any other nation?”
—Chaim Kaplan, The Warsaw Diary (September 10, 1939)
“In the modern world, the Jew has perpetually been on trial; still today the Jew is on trial, in the person of the Israeli—and this modern trial of the Jew, this trial which never ends, begins with the trial of Shylock.”
—Philip Roth, Operation Shylock (1993)
If there are still many Americans who believe that college and university professors are harmless drudges obsessed with moldy futilities, people who know so much about so little that they can neither be contradicted nor are worth contradicting, they should be disabused of their illusions by the recent decisions of three (ostensibly) academic organizations to boycott the academic institutions of the state of Israel. First, the Asian American Studies Association in April, and more recently the American Studies Association, and the Council of Native Americans and Indigenous Studies Association. All have decided that they can no longer share the globe with a Jewish-majority state, any more than the academics included in Max Weinreich’s classic study of Hitler’s Professors (YIVO, 1946) could continue to share Europe with its Jewish minority.
It was these German professors who made anti-Semitism academically respectable and complicit in raw murder. They called into question—and quite successfully, of course—the Jews’ “right to live”; our homegrown anti-Semites—and let us not flinch from calling them what they are—now dispute Israel’s “right to exist,” making themselves accessories before the fact to the planned erasure of Israel by Iran and its Arab satellites. When the new, academic version of the 1933 Nazi boycotts began, ten years ago in England, it appealed to Europeans who were convinced that the Holocaust had given anti-Semitism a bad name, and that it deserved another chance. Now it has found a foothold in America’s universities.
This is an abbreviated book review of historian Jacques Barzun’s seminal 1959 critique of American culture, The House of Intellect*. However, I shall begin instead by citing one of my favorite movie scenes, from Lewis Gilbert’s 1983 film, “Educating Rita,” for it will help to amplify one of Barzun’s many concerns.
Rita, a “lower class,” ambitious hairdresser (presumably of playwright Willy Russell’s Liverpool), feeling that she is suffocating in her station and wants a “better song to sing,” enrolls in Britain’s Open University to satisfy a hunger to broaden her mind and horizons. She is assigned a literature professor, Frank Bryant, who has lost his zest for life and for his subject, and is drinking himself down the drain. Rita is asked to answer in essay form the question of how best to stage Henrik Ibsen’s play, Peer Gynt. She turns in a paper in which she says, simply, “Do it on the radio.” (Watch the scene here, between minutes 5:55 and 8:44.)
Bryant mildly upbraids her for her unintentional “flip” brevity, which, while it conveys the right answer, doesn’t begin to explain why and so wouldn’t be good enough for her to pass an exam. Rita replies that she wanted to “encapsulate” her answer in one line. But she repairs to a desk in Bryant’s office to write out her explanation, which she initially didn’t think needed elaboration or explication. Her rewrite reveals to Bryant that she has read up on Ibsen and is deadly earnest about her ambition. She writes:
In attempting to resolve the staging difficulties of a production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, I would present it on the radio, because, as Ibsen himself said, he wrote it as a play for voices, never intending it to go on in a theater. If they had had the radio in his day, that is where he would have done it.
This explanation pleases Bryant. He smiles and nods to Rita in acknowledgement.
Jacques Barzun (1907-2012), originally a French citizen, was a prolific historian and cultural critic who came to the U.S. in 1919 to join his father who was on a diplomatic mission and became a U.S. citizen in 1933. I discovered Barzun and his House of Intellect in an antiquarian bookshop in Palo Alto. What I enjoyed most about Barzun in that book and in his later works was the breadth of his knowledge and his way of approaching his subjects.
Barzun died in 2012 at the age of 104 years. He witnessed much of the 20th century and a preview of the 21st, which must have dismayed him. The London Telegraph began its October 26th, 2012 obituary of him:
The sheer scope of his knowledge was extraordinary. Barzun’s eye roamed over the full spectrum of Western music, art, literature and philosophy. A champion of the liberal arts tradition in higher education, he deplored what he called the “gangrene of specialism”.
Barzun’s intellectual ancestors were Gibbon, Burkhardt and Macaulay. The work of history, he declared, should include “the range and wildness of individuality, the pivotal force of trifles, the manifestations of greatness, the failure of unquestioned talent”.
The traditional purpose of the university — the teaching of the knowledge of the past — was, he insisted, increasingly under threat; and in a speech in the United States in 1963 he warned that “the best colleges today are being invaded, not to say dispossessed, by the advance agents of the professions, by men who want to seize upon the young recruit … and train him in a ‘tangible skill’.”
Obama’s Powers or Lawlessness? — on The Glazov Gang
A troubling look at an administration’s relationship with the Constitution.
province of the academic Lilliput called the American Studies Association has voted to boycott Israeli academics because of “the Israeli occupation of Palestine” and “the systematic discrimination against Palestinians.” The well-earned criticism of this vote is probably the most attention this organization has ever received outside the parochial precincts of the American university, where “conferences” of like-mindedness pedants regularly gather together to read papers to each other and ritualistically affirm their fossilized political and intellectual orthodoxy. Indeed, what this vote tells us about the corruption of American higher education is more worthy of comment than its impact on Israel’s intellectual life, considering that “American Studies” is a political rather than a scholarly enterprise unlikely to concern genuine Israeli scholars. Martin Kramer’s response gets it just about right: “Boycott me, please.”
The first thing revealed by this vote is the massive ignorance of history, including current events, that permeates American universities. Most obvious is the rote repetition of the phrase “Israeli occupation of Palestine.” This phrase is historically meaningless. There is no occupation in legal terms, because there has never existed a country to be occupied. The territory under question last existed formally as a province of the Ottoman Empire, which has long settled into the dustbin of history because it miscalculated badly and allied with the Central Powers in World War I. The legal disposition, through a U.N. resolution, of this territory by the mandatory powers that replaced the Ottomans after World War I was rejected and violently contested by the Arab nations that attacked Israel in 1948.
Until 1967, this territory was controlled by Jordan, whose annexation of it was never recognized internationally. It came under control of Israel as a result of the defensive Six Day War. Without that event, it is likely that despite international disapproval, the territory would have in time become part of Jordan according to the ancient wisdom that possession is nine-tenths of the law. After all, who boycotts China over its absorption of Tibet? If after their victory in 1967 Israel had behaved as most states do in such circumstances, she would have annexed the territory that by the legitimacy of history is part of Israel, and that was fairly won on the battlefield. And again following the usual practice of most states, Israel then would have expelled all the Arabs. This historically has been the common practice that no one other than the losers complained about after other wars. One and a half million Greeks, for example, were booted out of Muslim Turkey in 1923, from lands their ancestors had inhabited for nearly 3 thousand years, while half a million Muslims, descendants of invaders or Christians converted under the shadow of the sword, were sent to Turkey. Or consider the 12 million Germans kicked out of Eastern Europe after World War II. That’s what happens when a people start a war and lose.
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/boycotting-the-israel-boycotters/print/ Eighty years ago, the Nazis dispatched thousands of SA thugs to enforce their boycott of Jewish businesses. Stars of David were painted on windows. Leaflets listing the crimes of the Jews were handed out. Cameras were set up outside stores to photograph anyone violating the Nazi BDS campaign. Like modern BDS campaigns, it went […]
Meet the halal certification group whose board member calls Jews corrupt apes and swine.
Baby formula is vital to an infant’s health, as it contains the nutrients necessary for proper physical and mental development. Some baby food, though, while being healthy for babies, is associated with terrorism and bigotry.
For Orthodox Jews and others, the baby formula that their children consume needs to conform to kosher dietary laws, meaning that the food excludes ingredients that would render it religiously inedible. A hechsher or kashruth symbol is placed on a number of products to let those concerned know that they are okay to eat. The most prominent hechsher found on U.S. baby food is the “U” with an “O” around it, the symbol of the group Orthodox Union.
Recently, the Muslim community has gotten into the act, creating a market for Islamic halal (permissible) food, as they too have restrictions regarding food consumption – halal being the Muslim equivalent of kosher. This, though, seems to be more about something other than religious duty, as Jewish dietary laws are more stringent than Muslim ones, rendering kosher food perfectly acceptable to Muslims and halal food entirely unnecessary.
One reason for the existence of halal deals with money. The margin of profit can be great when it comes to the food industry, especially baby food. The other reason seems to be political motivation. Placing Muslim symbols on products is a convenient way to push Islamist culture into non-Muslim American households.
Swedish parliament removes Baroque artist’s bare breasted painting for offending feminists and Muslims
A nude painting named Juno, which was painted by baroque artist G E Schröder and has hung in the dining room of the Swedish Parliament for 30 years has been taken down for fear of offending the sensitivities of feminists and Muslim visitors, Swedish newspaper, The Local reported on Thursday.
Explaining the ban on the baroque breasts, a source from the parliament said: “You have to think of the foreign guests, especially those from Muslim countries.”
The deputy speaker of Sweden’s parliament, Susanne Eberstein, also a prominent Social Democrat, added:
“I think it is more a feminist issue. It’s tiresome (looking at) a bare-breasted woman when I sit at public dinners with foreign guests. I think it feels a little hard to sit there with men who look at us women.”
One humourist in Britain wondered why Swedish lawmakers could not have emulated the famous English comic Mr. Bean (who once posed in a movie as an art critic) and get someone to paint a bra on top of the offending mammaries in order to preserve modesty and thus prevent offence.
In Sweden, the move is being lambasted as political correctness gone mad. It is not clear whether the Swedish Parliament will now stop taking women, and guests from Muslim countries to art museums.
Sweden is known for a conflictual relationship with issues of tolerance. The country recently attracted international attention for allowing a convicted paedophile man in his 60s to adopt a young child.
http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/12/22/nelson-mandela-the-true-story/ Nelson Mandela will stay in history on two accounts. He will be remembered for acceding to his country’s presidency after more than thirty years in jail, including 27 years uninterrupted imprisonment in Robben Island, Pollsmoor, and other places. It happens quite often, of course, that rebels, dissidents, or political prisoners turn into heads of […]