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Thread: Boycotting Zionism

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    The University and College Union, one of Britain's largest unions representing 120,000 college and university teachers voted yesterday to endorse a Palestinian trades’ union call for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. Approved at the inaugural congress of the UCU , the resolution called on British college lecturers to “consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions.” The resolution goes on to condemn “the complicity of Israeli academia” in the occupation of Palestinian lands and states that “passivity or neutrality is unacceptable, and criticism of Israel cannot be construed as anti-Semitic.” On what side are you neutral, eh?

    It is having an immediate effect ...

    On the same day the resolution was approved, however, the presidents of four Israeli universities — Ben-Gurion University, Hebrew University, Haifa University and the Technion — joined with authors including Amos Oz and David Grossman in urging the Israeli defense establishment to end a ban that prevents Palestinian students from traveling from Gaza to the West Bank to study. Their announcement made reference to the consideration of a boycott by the British union.

    ... albeit smug and complacent tokenism that's simply too little too late.

    British Lecturers back boycott of Israel, James Meikle, Education correspondent, The Guardian, Wednesday May 30, 2007:

    University lecturers today threatened to provoke international condemnation over academic freedom by forcing their union into a year-long debate over boycotting work with Israeli universities.

    Delegates at the first conference of the new University and College Union in Bournemouth voted by more than three to two to recommend boycotts in protest at Israel's "40-year occupation" of Palestinian land and to condemn the "complicity" of Israeli academics.

    The conference motion said there should be "a comprehensive and consistent boycott" of all Israeli academic institutions, as called for by Palestinian trade unions.

    UCU's Website


    So the international campaign to boycott relations with the Zionist, Apartheid state of Israel continues, a campaign - it should be said - that was initiated by the victims of oppression themselves: The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), established in 2004. which is supported by 60 Palestinian trade unions, NGOs, and political and religious organisations, as well as by numerous informed Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

    And the UCU motion is likely to be shortly joined by a similar one from Britain's largest trade union (Largest Labor Union in Britain Joins Call for a Boycott of Israel , By ALAN COWELL), where a resolution calling for a boycott of Israel is now on the agenda for the union’s annual national conference next month.

    Of course, the usual suspects and Zionist apologists were quick to respond with their hysterical outpourings. Anyone who points to the fact that Israel is a terrorist, apartheid state which occupies Palestinian land against the will of the indigenous people, ignores UN resolutions, flouts international law, persecutes minorities, stockpiles huge arsenals of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, systematically tortures political prisoners, disregards the Geneva conventions, invades neighboring countries killing thousands of innocent men, women and children, along with reporting its more recent attacks on Gaza and the open kidnapping of Palestinian ministers, and the US-Israeli financed and armed 'civil war', is immediately accused of being anti-Semitic (this is so tiresome that by now it is as dispicable and as comparable as Nazis accusing those who were critical of German fascism of being "anti-Aryan racists"). The Guardian piece goes on to report: "The decision was greeted with outrage among Jewish groups and activists. Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: 'The UCU boycott motion is an assault on academic freedom'." Its a defence of academic freedom, a freedom ruthlessly denied to countless Palestinians by Israel's academic institutions.

    Despite all of these twisted ravings by pro-Zionist groups, the boycott campaign is gaining momentum and should eventually lead to greater pressures for the introduction of sanctions against Israel.

    British Academics’ Union Endorses Israel Boycott :

    The pro-boycott ballot, on a count of 158 to 99, according to a rough tabulation by boycott opponents present at the voting, was the first since the merger of two leading associations of higher education teachers last year.

    Under union procedures, the resolution approved Wednesday will be circulated among ordinary members. The rules also lay down a series of criteria to be met before any action is taken to enforce a boycott. Delegates at the gathering in Bournemouth, a southern seaside town, seemed to have ignored an appeal by union leaders to take a softer line.


    Memo From London: Should British Academics, or Rock Bands, Boycott Israel? :

    To press their case, supporters of a boycott frequently liken Israel to South Africa in the apartheid era, a comparison rejected by most Israelis but made vocally by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. The organization recently urged the Rolling Stones not to play in Israel.

    Those sentiments found an echo in April when the National Union of Journalists, with 40,000 members, voted to boycott Israeli goods to protest what it called Israel’s military adventures. It called the action “similar to those boycotts in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.”

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    ...moronic

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    ...moronic
    explain?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    explain?
    American-Israeli Zionism is moronic?




    Israel to ready public for 'all-out war':

    With Iran racing toward nuclear power and IDF preparations for the possibility of a conflict with Syria and Hizbullah in high gear, the Home Front Command plans to launch a publicity campaign to prepare the public for war.
    ================================


    UN envoy says Israel attacks on Gaza excessive:

    A U.N. human rights investigator criticised Israel on Tuesday for violating international law in the Gaza Strip through a "disproportionate" use of force and killing of civilians.
    ===========================



    Israel Gets OK to Expand Gaza Attacks:

    The Israeli campaign - which has relied primarily on intensified airstrikes in the past two weeks - has forced Hamas leaders to lie low in recent days. On Monday, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas stayed away from a weekly Cabinet meeting in Gaza City.

    ===========================

    Israelis seize Fatah legislator :

    In the past year Israel has held dozens of sitting MPs from the militant winner of the 2006 elections, Hamas, but he is the first from the rival Fatah group.
    ==========================



    Report: Israel has no barrier to torture:

    A new report published Wednesday by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel reported that their findings show there is no effective barrier to torture in the state.

    =================

    Defiant Hamas leader says attacks on Israel will continue: :

    Khaled Mashal, the influential political leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, insists attacks on Israel will continue despite overwhelming Israeli retaliation that has cost scores of lives in the Gaza Strip in the past two weeks.

    =================



    Secret memo shows Israel knew Six Day War was illegal :

    The declaration by Theodor Meron, the Israeli Foreign Ministry's legal adviser at the time and today one of the world's leading international jurists, is a serious blow to Israel's persistent argument that the settlements do not violate international law, particularly as Israel prepares to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the war in June 1967.


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    YES THANKYOU HMLT WE ARE AWARE THAT ISRAEL DOES BAD STUFF TO PEOPLE.

    I expect vimothy's reaction to this thread (and please correct me if I'm wrong, vim) is a result of the fact that Israel is an extremely visible 'baddy' to people who are interested in activism against states that commit crimes and acts of inhumanity. Now I'm certainly not defending Israel at all (it seems to do a pretty good job of that itself, ahem), I'm just saying that it probably gets a disproportionately greater share of blame and opprobrium than other countries which engage in equal or worse crimes, while many people who should know better wilfully ignore crimes committed by Arab militants against Israelis, or Arafat's stubbornness that wrecked the Camp David agreement. Where's the "Boycott China" thread? Or the "Boycott Burma/Uzbekistan/Iran/Saudi Arabia/Turkey/Algeria/Brazil" thread?

    A while ago I used to make a conscious effort not to buy Israeli goods, but then it struck me as totally hypocritical that I was buying wine and other things from America. In fact, to be completely consistent, I ought to have boycotted goods from the UK, given the government's support, both implicit and explicit, both for America's postion on Israel and for Israel itself. If you refuse to buy goods from any country with a tendency towards shady dealings or human rights abuses, or support of other countries that carry them out, then you'd better start growing your own food in order not to starve to death.

    Having said all that, the mere fact that many other countries' governments behave appallingly does not, in any way, excuse Israel's military and other excesses in the name of 'security', and if this boycott successfully puts pressure on the Knesset to come to an equitable agreement with the Palestinians, and stop blasting the shite out of Lebanon because a few Hezbollah guerillas are holed up there, it can only be a good thing.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 02-06-2007 at 06:44 PM.
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    well put Mr. T. i wonder if a boycott of israeli academia would have more impact than of israeli goods... probably, huh?

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    From the Independent Thursday leader.
    A bad idea has made an unwelcome return to the spotlight. Two years ago, the Association of University Teachers proposed a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in protest at the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli state. This resulted in protests from writers and academics around the world, including 21 Nobel prize-winners. The union eventually overturned the resolution.

    But yesterday, at the annual conference of the successor to the AUT, the University and College Union, lecturers once again found themselves debating a motion calling on UK academics to "consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions". Despite the appeal made by the new general secretary of the UCU to reject the motion, it was passed by 158 votes to 99. The motion will now be put to the wider union membership to bring it into force.

    Let us be clear why a boycott is a deplorable idea. The purpose of the embargo is fatally unclear. The motion condemned Israel for its "denial of educational rights for Palestinians by invasions, closures, checkpoints, curfews, and shootings and arrests of teachers, lecturers and students". But what has this to do with Israeli universities who would be the target of this boycott? Some Israeli academics have worked hard to oppose the excesses of their Government in the West Bank and Gaza. What good does it do to punish them in this manner?

    On a philosophical level, boycotts do not sit easily with the principles of universities, which are built upon the foundation of the free exchange of ideas. But it is on a pragmatic level, as we report today, that this idea could do the most damage. A boycott could actually hurt those that it purports to support. Many Palestinian students are eager to study in Israeli universities, but are thwarted by the draconian travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli army. An international boycott would do nothing to help such students fulfil their ambitions. And if it caused Israeli academia to recede into resentful isolation it could do them positive harm.

    We also need to examine the motivation of those who voted in favour of this motion yesterday. There is a strong whiff of gesture politics. Although this motion might have made those who backed it feel virtuous, a boycott will not discomfort the Israeli government. On the contrary, it will offer Israeli propagandists a convenient excuse to accuse British academics of bias whenever they produce work that reflects the Israeli state in a negative light.

    An academic boycott would be a self-indulgent distraction from the real issues. The rank-and-file members of the UCU should demonstrate the good sense that their delegates lacked and vote down this proposal.

    From Ken Livingstone

    http://www.ejpress.org/article/17200

    He said: “Now is not the time for boycotts. Boycotts should only be used as a last resort, when there is no other alternative, such as was the case with South Africa but is not the case here.”
    When even these two - neither of them ever slow to voice anti-Israeili opinions - are telling you it's a bad idea, then it's time for a long lie down and a re-think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    well put Mr. T. i wonder if a boycott of israeli academia would have more impact than of israeli goods... probably, huh?
    (Edit: where are my manners? Thankyou, zhao!) Well I know Israel's universities and institutions have a very high reputation and general global profile, so they're presumably as important a part of the country's economy, culture and overall self-image as those of any other developed country. Thus an international boycott of them would hit very hard indeed, especially in these times of unprecedented international networking and collaboration in academia.

    On the other hand, I have no idea as to the real extent of "the complicity of Israeli academia" in the maltreatment of Palestinians - academics are (in my experience) generally more aware of, and sympathetic towards, the plight of people being denied their human rights than the average member of the public. Of course, you may well find that attitudes vary between, say, a military analyst and a professor of international human rights law! Hell, for all I know, maybe 90% of Israeli university fellows are diehard Zionists, but somehow I doubt it. In any case, I'm rather disturbed by this line from hmlt's original post:
    The resolution goes on to condemn “the complicity of Israeli academia” in the occupation of Palestinian lands and states that “passivity or neutrality is unacceptable..."
    The bit I've highlighted sounds suspiciously like "you're either with us or against us", an inexcusable position that seems to be taken up by the hard left almost as frequently as it is spouted by Bush & Co.

    Edit: from crackerjack's post:
    But what has this to do with Israeli universities who would be the target of this boycott? Some Israeli academics have worked hard to oppose the excesses of their Government in the West Bank and Gaza. What good does it do to punish them in this manner?
    Exactly. It seems to be tarring all Israeli academics with the brush of wilfully participating in the mistreatment of Palestinians, whereas in fact many of them are bound to be amongst the most vocal pro-Palestinian activists in Israel.

    I'm reminded of the calls for boycotting Coca-Cola (not that there might not be other good reasons for doing this, but anyway) from anti-Zionist campagners, seemingly unaware of (or apathic towards) the fact that Coca-Cola is one of the biggest employers of Palestinians in the region.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 02-06-2007 at 06:11 PM.
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    On the other hand, I have no idea as to the real extent of "the complicity of Israeli academia" in the maltreatment of Palestinians - academics are (in my experience) generally more aware of, and sympathetic towards, the plight of people being denied their human rights. Of course, you may well find that attitudes vary between, say, a military analyst and a professor of international human rights law! Hell, for all I know, maybe 90% of Israeli university fellows are diehard Zionists, but somehow I doubt it. In any case, I'm rather disturbed by this line from hmlt's original post:
    I believe the catalyst for this latest vote is that Palestinian pupils aren't being allowed to take up places in Israeil universities. This is in the name of security, and (I believe) has been opposed by the relevant institutions.

    I'm reminded of the calls for boycotting Coca-Cola (not that there might not be other good reasons for doing this, but anyway) from anti-Zionist campagners, seemingly unaware (or apathic towards) the fact that Coca-Cola is one of the biggest employers of Palestinians in the region.
    Well exactly. Btw, is it a coincidence that the UK unions leading the boycott call are, at present, this lot and the NUJ? What is it about middle class professionals and futile gesture politics? Discuss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
    Well exactly. Btw, is it a coincidence that the UK unions leading the boycott call are, at present, this lot and the NUJ? What is it about middle class professionals and futile gesture politics? Discuss.
    The crippling guilt and self-hatred that afflicts a certain kind of middle-class white person?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    YES THANKYOU HMLT WE ARE AWARE THAT ISRAEL DOES BAD STUFF TO PEOPLE.
    YOU MOST CERTAINLY ARE NOT. And enough of your contemptible condescenion. You are an apologist for Zionism ... as your scribblings below and elsewhere confirm. The Israeli-Palestinian war is for you nothing more than an entertaining TV show, of no more consequence than the latest Big Brother distraction.

    Tea, revealing his true agenda, then proceeds to defend this forum's most far-right "Muslims are Evil" nutter:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I expect vimothy's reaction to this thread (and please correct me if I'm wrong, vim) is a result of the fact that Israel is an extremely visible 'baddy' to people who are interested in activism against states that commit crimes and acts of inhumanity.
    Whereas the war crimes being committed by the US and UK in Iraq every day for the past 4 years are - conveniently - invisible? Your post here, as if it even needs to be stated at this point, once again reveals your interest in shutting down, ridiculing, and demonising "people who are interested in activism against states that commit crimes and acts of inhumanity." [As if people could do something about an invisible conflict, a conflict that they are not even aware of; yes, ignore those conflicts of which we are aware and concentrate instead on those of which we have little or no awareness, and then, when we finally do develop an acute awareness of such obscure conflicts, ignore them by virtue of their sudden visibility!!].


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Now I'm certainly not defending Israel at all (it seems to do a pretty good job of that itself, ahem)
    That is precisely what you are doing, here as elsewhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I'm just saying that it probably gets a disproportionately greater share of blame and opprobrium than other countries which engage in equal or worse crimes
    No, you're not "just saying", you are saying. Just another dumb, pathetic apologist for the murderous status quo.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    while many people who should know better wilfully ignore crimes committed by Arab militants against Israelis, or Arafat's stubbornness that wrecked the Camp David agreement. Where's the "Boycott China" thread? Or the "Boycott Burma/Uzbekistan/Iran/Saudi Arabia/Turkey/Algeria/Brazil" thread?
    What a sickly "argument". I can imagine you "reasoning" with a rape victim: "But loads of other people are raped, loads of them all over the world, so what are you complaining about, why the focus on this one?" ie don't focus on any conflict, just shut up and put up and Get With The Programme ... Well then, why haven't you started such other threads? Its because your only reason for mentioning other conflicts here is to purposely distract all attention away from the conflict under discussion, to trivialise it, to render it as "just another conflict", to defend it. The typical gliberal mindset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    A while ago I used to make a conscious effort not to buy Israeli goods,
    Oh tell us another one; your aptitude for constructing fairy tale fantasies has already been widely noted here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    but then it struck me as totally hypocritical
    Of course its hypocritical, but not in the way you so lazily fantasize: what is hypocritical is your faked "concern" for Israeli atrocities, while all the while in actual practice defending them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    that I was buying wine and other things from America. In fact, to be completely consistent, I ought to have boycotted goods from the UK, given the government's support, both implicit and explicit, both for America's postion on Israel and for Israel itself. If you refuse to buy goods from any country with a tendency towards shady dealings or human rights abuses, or support of other countries that carry them out, then you'd better start growing your own food in order not to starve to death.
    "So let's all instead condemn, abuse, and demonise all those who are engaging in and committed to a principled boycotting of Israel. So much easier 'innit, and - FUN! HaHaHaHaHaHaaa!"

    So run along now and go play with your little atoms.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
    I believe the catalyst for this latest vote is that Palestinian pupils aren't being allowed to take up places in Israeil universities.
    You'd be wrong. Don't be trying to locally trivialise and deflect from the much larger, wider issue: the vote is about the institutionalised racism, abuse, and routine mass-murder inherent in the present Israeli state's criminally Zionist policies and practices. Clearly, you don't even know what Zionism is ...


    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
    quoting from The Independent article, "Although this motion might have made those who backed it feel virtuous, a boycott will not discomfort the Israeli government. On the contrary, it will offer Israeli propagandists a convenient excuse to accuse British academics of bias whenever they produce work that reflects the Israeli state in a negative light."
    This is totally untrue, if not perverse. Israeli propagandists (especially the AIPAC lobby group in the U.S.) have been doing just that for decades, and successfully. You only have to consider the harassment that Palestinian-Americans like the late Edward Said had to contend with, or alternatively and more recently, the insane mistreatment of Norman Finkelstein [The Fate of an Honest Intellectual, by Noam Chomsky] by deranged pro-Zionist Harvard nutter, Alan Dershowitz, who specialises in justifying Israeli atrocities: "It Takes an Enormous Amount of Courage to Speak the Truth When No One Else is Out There" -- World-Renowned Holocaust, Israel Scholars Defend DePaul Professor Norman Finkelstein as He Fights for Tenure..

    And then yet more misleading idiocy from The Independent:

    "Some Israeli academics have worked hard to oppose the excesses of their Government in the West Bank and Gaza. What good does it do to punish them in this manner?"


    Most serious Israeli academics support the boycott..

    This is an even worse re-run of all those racist pro-Apartheid-in-South-Africa defenders who disgustingly argued along similar lines: "But sanctions will hurt poor blacks, the very people we're trying to, uh, help. Let's not do anything hasty, but instead - as Crackerjack is arguing here - have a long lie down and a re-think" ... except that here its not even the "poor Palestinians" being defended, who of course don't matter, but a bunch of privileged Israeli academics who might get their hair mussed ...

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    I can imagine you "reasoning" with a rape victim: "But loads of other people are raped, loads of them all over the world, so what are you complaining about, why the focus on this one?"
    I can imagine you reasoning with a rape victim - "
    "porn is rape/sexual violence at its purest"
    and at least that didn't happen to you so what are you complaining about, why the focus on this impure one?"

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    "I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." : Elie Weisel

    "I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression. My oath of office is to protect and defend America's laws and its people. By refusing unlawful orders for an illegal war, I fulfill that oath today." - U.S. Army First Lt. Ehren Watada



    You're not making any sense whatsoever, Idlerich - this is just yet another bizarre non-sequitur introduced as a desperate attempt to sabotage this discussion, returning to which, below is a summary example of the kind of Zionist madness and intimidation that - routinely - threatens those of us committed to exposing Zionism's routine horrors (and which posters here - alarmingly, sadly - are only to happy to defend, if not encourage, the teafuckers, the crackerwhacks, and the idlewanks being the all-too-obvious latest manifestations):

    AMY GOODMAN: I asked Noam Chomsky about political science professor Norman Finkelstein, one of the country's foremost critics of Israel policy, and his battle to receive tenure at DePaul University, where he has taught for six years. Professor Finkelstein's tenure has been approved at the departmental and college level, but the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul has opposed it. A final decision is expected to be made in May. Finkelstein has accused Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz of being responsible for leading the effort to deny him tenure. In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Dershowitz admitted he had sent a letter to DePaul faculty members lobbying against Finkelstein's tenure. I asked Noam Chomsky about the dispute.

    NOAM CHOMSKY: The whole thing is outrageous. I mean, he's an outstanding scholar. He has produced book after book. He's got recommendations from some of the leading scholars in the many areas in which he has worked. The faculty -- the departmental committee unanimously recommended him for tenure. It's amazing that he hasn't had full professorship a long time ago.

    And, as you were saying, there was a huge campaign led by a Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, to try in a desperate effort to defame him and vilify him, so as to prevent him from getting tenure. The details of it are utterly shocking, and, as you said, it got to the point where the DePaul administration called on Harvard to put an end to this.

    AMY GOODMAN: That's very significant, for one university to call on the leadership of another university to stop one of its professors.

    NOAM CHOMSKY: To stop this maniac, yeah. What's behind it? It's very simple and straightforward. Norman Finkelstein wrote a book, which is in fact the best compendium that now exists of human rights violations in Israel and the blocking of diplomacy by Israel and the United States, which I mentioned -- very careful scholarly book, as all of his work is, impeccable -- also about the uses of anti-Semitism to try to silence a critical discussion.

    And the framework of his book was a critique of a book of apologetics for atrocities and violence by Alan Dershowitz. That was the framework. So he went through Dershowitz's shark claims, showed in great detail that they are completely false and outrageous, that he's lying about the facts, that he's an apologist for violence, that he's a passionate opponent of civil liberties -- which he is -- and he documented it in detail.

    Dershowitz is intelligent enough to know that he can't respond, so he does what any tenth-rate lawyer does when you have a rotten case: you try to change the subject, maybe by vilifying opposing counsel. That changes the subject. Now we talk about whether, you know, opposing counsel did or did not commit this iniquity. And the tactic is a very good one, because you win, even if you lose. Suppose your charges against are all refuted. You've still won. You've changed the subject. The subject is no longer the real topic: the crucial facts about Israel, Dershowitz's vulgar apologetics for them, which sort of are reminiscent of the worst days of Stalinism. We've forgotten all of that. We're now talking about whether Finkelstein did this, that and the other thing. And even if the charges are false, the topic's been changed. That's the basis of it.

    Dershowitz has been desperate to prevent this book from being -- first of all, he tried to stop it from being published, in an outlandish effort, which I've never seen anything like it, hiring a major law firm to threaten libel suits, writing to the governor of California -- it was published by the University of California Press. When he couldn't stop the publication, he launched a jihad against Norman Finkelstein, simply to try to vilify and defame him, in the hope that maybe what he's writing will disappear. That's the background.

    It's not, incidentally, the first time. I mean, actually, I happen to be very high on Dershowitz's hit list, hate list. And he has also produced outlandish lies about me for years: you know, I told him I was an agnostic about the Holocaust and I wouldn't tell him the time of day, you know, and so on and so forth.

    AMY GOODMAN: You mean that he made that charge against you?

    NOAM CHOMSKY: Of course, and on and on. I won't even talk about it. What's the reason? It's in print. In fact, you can look at it in the internet. In 1973, I guess it was, the leading Israeli human rights activist, Israel Shahak, who incidentally is a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Bergen-Belsen and headed a small human rights group in Israel, which was the only real one at the time, came to Boston, had an interview with the Boston Globe, in which he identified himself correctly as the chair of the Israeli League of Human Rights. Dershowitz wrote a vitriolic letter to the Globe, condemning him, claiming he's lying about Israel, he's even lying about being the chair, he was voted out by the membership.

    I knew the facts. In fact, he's an old friend, Shahak. So I wrote a letter to the Globe, explaining it wasn't true. In fact, the government did try to get rid of him. They called on their membership to flood the meeting of this small human rights group and vote him out. But they brought it to the courts, and the courts said, yeah, we'd like to get rid of this human rights group, but find a way to do it that's not so blatantly illegal. So I sort of wrote that.

    But Dershowitz thought he could brazen it out -- you know, Harvard law professor -- so he wrote another letter saying Shahak's lying, I'm lying, and he challenged me to quote from this early court decision. It never occurred to him for a minute that I'd actually have the transcript. But I did. So I wrote another letter in which I quoted from the court decision, demonstrating that -- as polite, but that Dershowitz is a liar, he's even falsifying Israeli court decisions, he's a supporter of atrocities, and he even is a passionate opponent of civil rights. And this is like the Russian government destroying an Amnesty International chapter by flooding it with Communist Party members to vote out the membership.

    Well, he went berserk, and ever since then I have been one of his targets. In fact, anyone who exposes him as what he is is going to be subjected to this technique, because he knows he can't respond, so must return to vilification.

    And in the case of Norman Finkelstein, he sort of went off into outer space. But it's an outrageous case. And the fact that it's even being debated is outrageous. Just read his letters of recommendation from literally the leading figures in the many fields in which he works, most respected people.

    AMY GOODMAN: Most interesting, the letters of support from the leading Holocaust scholars like Raul Hilberg.

    NOAM CHOMSKY: Raul Hilberg is the founder of Holocaust studies, you know, the most distinguished figure in the field. In fact, he says Norman didn't go far enough. And it's the same -- Avi Shlaim is one of the -- maybe the leading Israeli historian, has strongly supported him, and the same with others. I can't refer to the private correspondence, but it's very strong letters from leading figures in these fields. And it's not surprising that the faculty committee unanimously supported him. I mean, there was, in fact -- they did -- the faculty committee did, in fact, run through in detail the deluge of vilification from Dershowitz and went through it point by point and essentially dismissed it as frivolous.

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