Is Gaza’s Islamic University an Educational Institution Academics Should Be Defending?News Abroad
Taking a cue from a similar effort by its union brethren in Britain, the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) made the smarmy announcement that, “as a protest against the December 29 bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza,” it would introduce a resolution seeking to ban Israeli academics from speaking, teaching, or conducting research at Ontario university campuses. Acceding to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, announced that the union had decided, no doubt after thoughtful and troubling deliberation, that it was “ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general.”
Apparently it has not dawned on union members that demanding loyalty oaths or proclamations of one’s political ideology as a prerequisite for scholars on campuses is usually anathema, particularly since Leftists in American and Canadian universities can barely contain themselves when bloviating about the necessity for academic freedom and free speech when they wish to rail against imperialism, the war on terror, capitalism, or conservative values. In fact, academics, many of whom have never had to defend themselves against anything more threatening than student evaluations, clearly have no problem deciding for Israel that it should continue to let their civilians be targets for Qassam rockets while Hamas jihadists randomly seek to murder Jews. Where Israel is concerned, the standard of how nationhood defines itself somehow changes.
So in the recent years during which some 6000 rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza were raining down on southern Israeli neighborhoods, there was a curious silence from the unions and academia about the safety of civilians and no talk of protecting educational institutions. Only when Israel began its defensive incursions against terrorist arms and infrastructure were union members sufficiently outraged to issue condemnations and start a body count—but only of the Left’s favorite Third-world victims, the Palestinians.
“Clearly, international pressure on Israel must increase to stop the massacre that is going on daily,” chimed in Janice Folk-Dawson, chair of the CUPE Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee, adding that since now Palestinians were dying and not Jews she wanted “to add CUPE voices to others from around the world saying enough is enough.” When Hamas thugs were murdering fellow Palestinians in their violent takeover of Gaza in 2006, slaughtering families in their homes, throwing opponents off the rooftops of buildings, nearly decapitating other terrorists with machine gun fire to their necks, or torturing and hanging perceived traitors in front of their families, neither the sanctimonious Ms. Folk-Dawson nor Sid Ryan apparently were apparently concerned enough at that point to say “enough is enough.”
Nor, apparently, have they bothered to look at the values and teaching traditions that define Palestinian institutions of higher education. In fact, Gaza’s Islamic University, which was destroyed by the IDF last week and which the CUPE has decided to champion in order to denounce Israeli scholars, is hardly a bucolic college campus, free of the perverse indoctrination and teaching of terror, either. When Hamas formed its cabinet after being voted into office, for example, 13 of its ministers had been teachers at either at the Islamic University in Gaza or at the Al-Najah National University in Nablus, and virtually every leading figure of Hamas has taught or studied at Islamic University. The research labs of the university were also being used to refine the lethality and range of the Qassam rockets that have been terrorizing southern Israeli towns. A professor there, Jameela El Shanty, was quoted in 2006 as admitting that "Hamas built this institution. The university presents the philosophy of Hamas. If you want to know what Hamas is, you can know it from the university."
Nor had Islamic U escaped an earlier assault on its facilities at the hands, not of the IDF, but of fellow Palestinians: during the 2007 internecine violence in Gaza between factions of Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian Authority forces, believing it was being used as a staging area for Hamas rocket launches, stormed the 17,000-student university, setting the entire campus ablaze, destroying books in its library, and gutting offices, classrooms, and the student center.
The moral clarity of Islamic University’s educational mission can also be evidenced by the rantings of another of its professors and former board of trustee member, the late Sheikh Dr. Nizar Rayyan, Hamas leadership's liaison with the group's military wing, who found himself one of the unlucky jihadist targets of Israel’s initial counter strikes on Gaza. A lecturer in Islamic Sharia studies, Rayyan was clearly interested in students’ extracurricular activities, as well; he madly advocated unrelenting suicide attacks against Israel, and ardently sought new shahids, martyrs, in the peculiar Palestinian cult of death, not inconsequentially including his 14 year-old son, who was killed by the IDF when he attempted to self-detonate and murder Jews in an Israeli settlement in 2001.
Nor is Islamic University alone in its role in helping to germinate radical Islam and jihadism. In fact, says Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute's Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, the 11,000-student Al-Najah is the largest university in the territories, and “the terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students for which Al-Najah is known typically take place via various student groups,” among them the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. “Of the thirteen members of Al-Najah's 2004 student council, eight,” he says—“including the chairperson—belong to Hamas's Islamic Bloc.”
The CUPE boycotters may be frustrated that Israeli academics do not denounce the actions of their leaders, but the same can be said of students at Al-Najah University, for example, who fondly remembered the outbreak of the Second Intifada by constructing a macabre attraction called "The Sbarro Cafe Exhibition," named for the location of a 2001 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem pizza parlor where 15 Jews were murdered and dozens more wounded. Created not as a memorial but as an inspiration for further terror-laden savagery, the diorama included scattered pizza slices amid Israeli body parts, splattered blood, calls to martyrdom with Koran and Kalashnikovs close by, and, beaming out of a loudspeaker behind a mannequin version of an Orthodox Jew, the inspiring take on an oft-repeated Islamic exhortation: "O believer, there is a Jewish man behind me. Come and kill him."
Nor are Palestinian students unimaginative in demonstrating their newly-found hatreds when they actively participate in student government activities. “During student elections at Bir Zeit University in 2003,” Leavitt recounts, “Hamas candidates reenacted suicide bombings by blowing up models of Israeli buses. In one Bir Zeit campus debate, a Hamas candidate taunted his Fatah challenger by boasting, ‘Hamas activists in this University killed 135 Zionists. How many did Fatah activists from Bir Zeit kill?’ ”
Insightful commentator Melanie Phillips, in speaking about the British lecturer union’s call for a boycott, lamented how those academics, with a long tradition of learning, had incredulously shamed that legacy and that their action, as she puts it, “represents a profound betrayal of the cardinal principle of intellectual endeavour, which is freedom of speech and debate.” The act of condemning Israel’s universities, of excluding them from the fellowship of the international academic community, is, Phillips thinks, a disgraceful calumny that contradicts all those values that the university should, and usually does, hold dear. By proposing that Israeli scholars be banned from Canadian universities’ “marketplace of ideas,” from vigorous inquiry and debate, the CUPE is violating what should be the core precepts of the academy: bringing in many views so that the better ones are revealed, and not suppressing dissent based on whose views and ideology are currently in favour.
“Censorship, suppression of ideas and intellectual intimidation are associated with totalitarian regimes,” Phillips says, “which attempt to coerce people into the approved way of thinking.” As Hamas shuts downs internet cafes, stifles dissent, murders its political foes, and begins introducing Islamic law in Gaza, one wonders if the CUPE, in its misguided quest to take moral sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and introduce a ban on Israeli scholars, perhaps has chosen the wrong horse to ride.
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Edmond Dantes - 1/30/2009
Excellent points, Mr. Eckstein.
Your professors sure did a number on you, Ms. Paul.
If you want to advocate violence, Ms. Paul, then by all means do it. If you think the Palestinians need to embrace even more brutal tactics to show the world how evil the Israelis are, then feel free to send them some tires and kerosene. As usual, you advocate the replacement of intolerance with greater intolerance, of barbarism with greater barbarism, of hatred with more vehement hatred, all in the name of “peace” and “humanity.” Let us all hope, with Ms. Paul, that the Palestinians push all the Israeli Jews into the sea. Then, maybe, there will finally be peace in the Levant and the peoples of the world can then concentrate on the “Jewish Problem” in other parts of the globe.
Ms. Paul seems to think none of us sympathize with the Palestinians. How can we not when individuals like her use them as pawns in their desires to wipe out an entire people? Their supporters encourage them to embrace a culture of death to help ensure the peace. No, Ms. Paul, I believe that the Palestinian civilians are among the greatest victims in this situation.
The more I read Ms. Paul’s angry comments and contortions of reality, the more I admire Mr. Eckstein’s battles with Omar. Anti-Semites have found in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a justification for the extermination of the Jews. Whatever one says in defending the Jews is quickly cast aside as Zionist propaganda. Note how Ms. Paul conveniently calls all of us a pack of mongrel dogs, since we do not ascribe to her solution. Her solution to the crisis, by the way, involves the return of all Zionist land to the Palestinians. What then would happen to the Jews? They would have to endure refugee camps, forced migration, or extermination – all three of which they have experienced countless times over the millennia. Didn’t Hitler’s Final Solution focus on taking from the Jews what rightfully belonged to the Germans?
art eckstein - 1/30/2009
1, "A few rockets", says the ineffable LP. That is, 6,000.
2. "An illigeal settlement": Sderot is within the 1967 borders of Israel. Thus LP is ignorant. But perhaps it's something else: For Hamas the fact that Sderot is within the 1967 borders of Israel the whole point of shooting at it. Is that your point to, LP--that ANY Jews constitute "an illegal settlement"?
3. The population of Sderot consists mostly of Jewish refugees who fled persecution in Morocco. Nor were they part of a war of rockets against their neighbors. Yet I note that our oh-so- humanitarian-masked LP shows not an "ounce of sympathy" (as she puts it) for them.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/30/2009
Two points, Lorraine.
1-- Gandhi was murdered by one of his own, a Hindu who was angered at his indulgence for the Muslims in India who had started a violent civil war there, inter alia.
2-- Your whole moral outlook on events in Israel is based on false history and false sociology. The truth is that the Arabs were the historical oppressors and persecutors of Jews in Israel and in the various Arab countries. This oppression goes back to the Arab conquest of the 7th century.
In the 20th century, the Arab nationalist movement, including the chief palestinian Arab leader --Haj Amin el-Husseini-- was pro-Nazi. Husseini spent most of the war years in Nazi-fascist Europe, where he was well-provided with funds and took part in the German war effort [helping recruit Muslim troops for the Germans, doing propaganda broadcasts in Arabic on Radio Berlin, etc] and urged the Germans to kill more Jews and urged Axis satellite states not to let Jews leave but to send them to Poland instead, where --he said-- they would be "under active supervision."
The Arabs were not and are not treated with an apartheid system in Israel. They ride buses, eat in restaurants, shop in shopping malls, go to the university with Jews, etc. Several Arab families live near me in my neighborhood. Because of Arab terrorism, however, everybody in Israel is checked for explosives when going into large stores, movie theaters, university campuses, some restaurants. Of course, Arab students study at the universities, and Arabs eat in restaurants with Jews, etc. There is no comparison here with apartheid.
Further, there is a wide range of skin colors among both Jews and Arabs. Many Arabs are no darker than I am [indeed, paler than my mother, her father, and my cousins on my father's side]. Many Jews are darker than many Arabs, so the skin color issue is a red herring. The whole comparison with South African apartheid is outrageous, especially when made by former US president Carter, whose family were active in the Ku Klux Klan and influenced by the Judeophobic rants of Tom Watson.
On the other hand, the traditional Arab-Muslim social system, which imposed the dhimma rules on non-Muslims has [present tense, has, because it still exists in Egypt & Saudi Arabia, for example] much in common with South African apartheid. These commonalties include the humiliation, inferior status generally, economic exploitation, and personal abuse of dhimmis, albeit the dhimma system is based basically [not entirely] on religion, not on skin color or biological race. So, Ms LP, if you're looking to do good in this world and fight oppression and exploitation, you ought to take up a struggle against the dhimma system as it is perpetuated in Arab and other Muslim countries, like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia [close to home for you], and Malaysia. If you're interested in workers' rights and welfare --not of much concern on the "Left" these days-- you might try to help the foreign workers in Saudi Arabia and the Arab emirates of the Persian Gulf.
Lorraine Paul - 1/30/2009
Edmond, yesterday I gave you a rather longish answer regarding non-violent protest by relating how the ANC found that in the end it was a useless tactic.
Just this morning it came to my mind that there was a similarity between Ghandi and King which Mandela did not share. Both Ghandi and King were assassinated, Nelson Mandela was not.
Now whether this had any bearing on violent revolution or the tactics of the ANC I do not know. It does raise room for thought though.
Regarding the ANC's tactics you have chosen to ignore the necklacing and other violent means they used. They had no choice but to take it to the next level of violence. Violence was being used against them every day by the Apartheid regime.
You ask why I keep referring to South Africa? Because every day you and your cronies, by your own words, remind me of that foul and inhumane regime who, I am sure, gloried in 'blaming the victim' just as you lot do.
As an example I remember an Afrikaaner woman being interviewed on TV. She was driving from her fortified farm to the city (probably Jo'burg) when a car containing several young black men came alongside her. Apparently they waved and called to her, so she pulled her gun out of her purse and held it to the window so they could see it. At which point the young men pulled out their weapons and showed them to her.
This 'poor' woman was absolutely shocked that she had failed to raise fear in the young men.
Another episode I heard about, and this can be verified too, is that the Apartheid regime sent black thugs and murderers, supported by white police, into one of the homelands. There they raped and murdered to frighten the people there to vote the way they(the regime) wanted them to. Fortunately, the ANC's forces put an end to the killing. After the ANC defeated the incursion, one of the leaders of the ANC shot the white officer in charge of the death squad.
The academic, who related this tale to me, said that this sent a huge shock wave through the supporters of Apartheid. Just to see a black man meting out violent justice to a WHITE man was almost beyond their comprehension.
You see, Edmond, Mr Green et al, there have to be certain conditions whereby peaceful protest will be effective. Those conditions did not exist in South Africa, and when bombs continue to drop in Gaza and illegal settlements continue to be built and injustice, prejudice and hate continue to flourish - I doubt very strongly that Ghandi's methods will be effective for Palestinians.
From the events over Gaza since late last year the world can see that the Palestinians are dealing with a brutal, violent regime who whine that they have to defend themselves when confronted with a few rockets (falling on an illegal settlement) that kill less people in so many years than die on the roads each month. Of course, that 'defence' means murdering over 1,400 civilians and injuring many more.
None of you has shown an ounce of sympathy for the population of Gaza yet you insult, taunt and villify someone who does. Like a pack of mongrel dogs you snap and snarl and never listen to the sound of your own inner voices trying to tell you to have a little humanity towards fellow human beings.
Edmond Dantes - 1/29/2009
Ms. Paul, I mistakenly assumed you knew something about the ANC, since you go to such extremes to manipulate the facts in comparing South African apartheid to Israeli actions. My point, which I tried to simplify for you, focused on tactics. Let me make it clear:
This is an excerpt from an interview with Wolfie Kadesh (ANC):
"...when we knew that we going to start on December the 16th, to blast the symbolic places of apartheid, like pass offices, native magistrates courts, and things like that ... post offices and ... the government offices. But we were to do it in such a way that nobody would be hurt, nobody would get killed. So we had to go and sus out a place to find out where there was very little traffic and people around. This we did on every occasion. We would go and have a look night after night after night, sussing out the places that we'd chosen to do. We also got a leaflet out, which ... was posted onto buildings, onto poles in the street and all over, saying that the MK were going to have this armed action against the government, and that in doing so, we were going to go for symbolic things of apartheid, and we were going to make sure, that nobody was hurt or killed. Well, you can do that up to a certain extent, I suppose, but I think that by and large we did it brilliantly. We were able to do it because we took so much trouble to sus places out before any action was taken."
Now let's compare that to explicitly stated Palestinian tactics. This is from Hamas foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar, "The Israelis have sentenced their children to death... They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world."
Amnesty International: "The attacks against civilians by Palestinian armed groups are widespread, systematic and in pursuit of an explicit policy to attack civilians. They constitute crimes against humanity."
From a Palestinian psychiatrist, Shafik Massalah on PA TV: "Shame upon he who does not educate his children in the education of jihad. Blessings upon he who dons a vest of explosives on himself or on his children and goes upon the midst of the Jews."
From May 2, 2004, "Palestinian terrorists murdered 4 young Jewish children and their pregnant mother this afternoon. The terror attack targeted the family vehicle while it was traveling on the road that leads to the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif.
After spraying the station wagen with bullets, the Palestinian terrorists walked up to the 4 terrified little girls and shot each one of them twice in the head, police said. The 8-month-old pregnant mother was shot in her belly at point blank range as she tried to cover her children." The gunmen were then portrayed as heroes on Palestinian television.
Excerpts from a speech by Hamas MP Fathi Hammad, broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV on February 29, 2008:
Fathi Hammad: "[The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.'"
The GOAL of the ANC, once peaceful protests and negotiations were no longer an option, was to strike the apartheid system in a way that minimized civilian casualties. The GOAL of Palestinian authorities is to maximize civilian casualties on both sides. Is that too black and white for you, Ms. Paul? Maybe I will try to work in some nuance next time.
Once again, I will ask the question, would not the tactics of Ghandi (and as Mr. Eckstein noted, Dr. King) and Mandela (when non-violent protest is no longer an option) do more good for Palestinians than selectively targeting Jewish children? It's a pretty simple question, Ms. Paul.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/29/2009
Ms LP, can you cite any scholarly publication that makes or supports the claim that South African apartheid was copied from Israel? If you recall, you did quote from a book that said apartheid came in with the National Party govt in South Africa in 1948. Other than that year being the same as the year of Israeli independence, when Israel was very much caught up in war with five Arab states, your quotation did not make any connection with Israel. Can you provide any support for your claim, other perhaps than scribblings of some fake "revolutionary front" group or some such?
I want to help you overcome your prejudices and pavlovian dog thinking in response to stimuli from the propaganda/indoctrination machinery that you are exposed to.
Lorraine Paul - 1/29/2009
eck, I think you mean the ubiquitous Mr Baker. Ineffable means that he is greater than words.
Edmond your quote as below -
In 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Would not the tactics employed by Ghandi and Mandela do more good for Palestinians than selectively targeting Jewish children?
I am impressed, Edmond, rarely have I seen someone write a paragraph, which they blithely assume proves their case, and yet damn themselves out of their own keyboard.
I don't want to appear too 'viscious', so I will gently explain to you that Nelson Mandela for many years was designated a terrorist by the South African apartheid regime. Many in the west agreed that he was, I think, including Ronnie Raygun and Ms Thatcher!
Nelson Mandela and the ANC tried every peaceful and legal means possible to overcome the brutal Apartheid policies of white South Africa. Inevitably when every peaceful means failed because the SA white government had, by changing the rules each time 'made peaceful revolution impossible' the ANC leadership was forced to 'violent revolution'.
Eventually South Africa become ungovernable due to the 'violent revolution' tactics of the ANC. You see, Edmond, how you have twisted the meaning of Kennedy's words.
Do you remember those protest marchers we used to see on the TV, gentleman? Strong, fit and determined black men and women lifting their knees and chanting as they moved towards the police and their attack dogs! In the last days of the Apartheid regime and violence was rampant, on both sides.
Edmond, keep living in your little world where everything is black and white and your interpretation of events is the only valid one.
art eckstein - 1/29/2009
Yes Ghandi and King tactics would be far more effective, ED. But the Palestinians are not now and never have been interested in that style of politics.
The ineffable Omar Ibrahim Baker explained this to me two years ago when I pointed out to him the many populations that had suffered on a similar or even worse scale the same fate as the Palestinians (the difference being that they were innocent populations and did not attack their neighbors first), and yet did not engage in terrorism. This included 350,000 Greeks who were ethnically and religiously cleansed by Arab or Muslim governments in the 1950s and forced to flee to Greece, and this included 850,000 Jews expelled from Muslim lands in 1948-1960: in both cases, some Muslim is enjoying their property as we speak, but this is NEVER an issue at the UN. The latter group (the Jews) is 100,000 people LARGER in number than the Palestinian Nahkba of 1948.
Omar's response to the fact that all these people have gone on with their lives following the terrible trauma they suffered, and have not instead engaged in terrorism against civilians in (say) Cairo or Tunis, was both stunning and highly illuminating: THOSE groups did not engage in terrorism, he said, because they were not as NOBLE as the Palestinians were.
That is, the terrorism against civilians that has gone on for 60 years is not a natural reaction to severe trauma (other groups have suffered and not done this) on the Palestinians' part but rather it is a Palestinian cultural CHOICE and is viewed as 'noble', and those who do NOT engage in violence are viewed as ignoble weaklings.
Food for thought.
art eckstein - 1/29/2009
"Eck" is typically childish and crude of this person. She makes a fool of herself.
LP, when a terrorist group intentionally imbeds itself in a civilian population and intentionally uses those civilians as human shields from behind which they shoot thousands of rockets at other civilians, THEY AND ONLY THEY are responsible for any casualties that result from the counterfire.
On Hamas' enthusiasm for, indeed glorying in, the use of human shields (including especially children) from behind which they shoot at Israeli civilians, google: "Fathi Hamad + human shields"; this savage is a major Hamas spokesman.
But of course, I've just presented you with a FACT. And what you've proven disgracefully on this thread is how immune you are to facts.
However, others may be interested in Fathi Hamad.
Edmond Dantes - 1/29/2009
In her cartoonish rage, Ms. Paul seems to attribute actions to the Zionists dogs that have been long instutionalized by their enemies. She expects Israeli authorities to stand by as Palestinians target busy market places, residential neighborhoods, and schools with suicide bombers and thousands of rockets over the course of one year, as the Palestinian leadership hopes and prays for maximum civilian casualties. With tactics like that, worldwide support for the Palestinians will erode as Ms. Paul's angry rants continue to fall on deaf ears. In 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Would not the tactics employed by Ghandi and Mandela do more good for Palestinians than selectively targeting Jewish children?
Lorraine Paul - 1/29/2009
When you come back at me with ridiculous arguments regarding some forgotten Arab functionary how can you expect a serious reply?
This tale has been told so often, I first came across it when I read Uris' Exodus. What has that to do with what is happening in GAZA!!!
Go and read the story of the Rats of Tobruk. Australian soldiers were the first to halt Rommel's invasion of North Africa! Australian soldiers died there, and perhaps that may have been one factor which stopped Rommel, and Hitler, from carrying out the extermination plan.
Learn a little of 'real' history instead of this piffle you have all been spouting at me!
You are all indulging in an each-way bet - either women and children are given a say in Gazan affairs or they are not! Why the hell is the IDF targetting women and children who have nothing to do with the actions of WWII??
Get into the present and stop living with the hatreds and prejudices of the past.
NONE of you have mentioned the illegal settlements or the wall dividing Arab villages. A wall which necessitates travelling through various checkpoints turning a journey of five minutes into three hours!! NONE of you has mentioned that ARAB political parties have been banned from participating in the upcoming elections. The excuse is that they 'support terrorists', although no real proof has been forthcoming to support that statement. So much for the much vaunted "only democracy" in the mid-east!
Do you think these few small things I have mentioned might have something to do with what is happening now??
Viscous, indeed! LOL At least you cannot accuse me of being vacuous!
Lorraine Paul - 1/29/2009
Mr Eckstein, please don't deny me the little pleasures in life, such as pulling Edmond's chain!! He does deserve it! Besides I think he enjoys it too. Why else would he persist when he knows full well that his argument is merely mischievous and has no real bearing on the facts.
Vicious! I think the use of this word says more about you than it does about me. Come now, surely the bombing of civilians by the IDF is something that most people throughout the world condemn. If I come back hard on someone who condones, and even appears to applaud it, does that make me vicious?
I would further like to thank you all for the little nickname you have given me - LP! I would call you art, but it is the same name as a beloved uncle of mine...may I, therefore, call you...eck?
Lorraine Paul - 1/29/2009
With the usual amount of respect I give your utterances, Edmond.
Lorraine Paul - 1/29/2009
"...return Australia to the Aborigines...."
You love living in the past, Mr Green. Whether it be 200 years ago or 3,300. The best use for the past (to paraphrase) is to stop ourselves from making the same mistakes as have gone before. Not to let it rule our lives to the exclusion of a commonsense and compassionate approach to a situation existing in the present day.
Three thousand three hundred years ago is a mere dot in time to one who has the honour to live in a country which has an indigenous people who can trace their occupation of their land back more than NINETY THOUSAND YEARS (90,000)!!
If you want to deny that there were people living on the land when the first tribe of Semitic people arrived then that's your privilege. However, I doubt even your bias could encompass such a blatant mis-truth.
As for my stance on Apartheid and its relationship to Israel, where on earth did you read that I had recanted on that? I stand by what I said and do not retract a word of it.
I had not lumped you in with the appalling Kovachev or Hamilton, however, your comment was one that I would expect from them. It surprised me!
Edmond Dantes - 1/28/2009
Ms. Paul seems very condescending, angry, and violent for someone who allegedly advocates peace. Others ask questions, provide their opinions, analyze, hypothesize, and post links or site publications (and primary sources) to back their assertions, while Ms. Paul hurls personal insults. She finds that acceptable discourse while questioning how the others hear about HNN. How will you respond to this post, Ms. Paul?
art eckstein - 1/28/2009
LP's performance on this thread, up to and including her intentional misinterpretation about Dantes' pt about genocide (that many people want the Jews subject to genocide--it's in the Hamas Charter, LP!--not that the Jews want to commit genocide): LP's performance is her worst yet, the most ignorant, the most obtuse, and the most vicious.
Edmond Dantes - 1/28/2009
Next time, Ms. Paul, try reading my post before replying.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/28/2009
Lorraine, you forget that it was precisely the Arabs who oppressed Jews in Israel over the centuries and then, in the 1930s and 1940s, were allied with the German Nazis. Don't you know that Haj Amin el-Husseini, the chief leader of the Palestinian Arabs, spent most of the war years in the Nazi-fascist domain in Europe, urging the Germans and their allies to kill more Jews? And now you come and accuse Israel of genocide!! Don't you know the history?? Husseini met Hitler after having urged the German Nazis to extend the Holocaust to Jews in the Arab lands. He was pleased when Der Fuehrer told him that that was his plan too.
The way you, Ms LP, turn aside all truth that doesn't fit your ignorant prejudices --such as what Dantes explained to you-- is truly outrageous. You even misinterpret what he said. You are rooted in prejudice and ignorance and reject all efforts to enlighten you.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/28/2009
Lorraine, where are you going to go back to after you return Australia to the Aborigines whom you stole it from?
Israel is in the ancient Land of Israel. We did not steal this land. Your comments about Kovachev, Hamilton and me are ill becoming to someone so devoid of knowledge, someone who believes in Judeophobic fantasies, such as that the apartheid system in South Africa was copied from Israel. You did sort of admit that you had been wrong about that. Good for you. Now read some real books about Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East, about the real Western policy toward Jews over the centuries, books that are not on the Edward Said list of approved reading.
Lorraine Paul - 1/28/2009
Mr Green, Australians don't mince words, therefore, my reply to you is -
Mr Green you patronising, warmongering, land-stealing, genocidal, bigoted hypocrite!
Lorraine Paul - 1/28/2009
Are you saying, Edmond that genocide is the answer to Palestinians being dispossessed of their land? That it would be much easier for all concerned if Israel continued its bombing of Gaza until the the last Palestinian was dead?
Unfortunately, for you and the Israeli ruling elite that doesn't work. You only have to look at the systematic genicidal practices of the early settlers here in Australia towards the indigenous population. So much better for all concerned, except the Aborigines, if they had just died out or been assimilated into European society. Against all odds the indigenous peoples survived.
I doubt the Palestinians will do less.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/27/2009
Lorrained, dear, why don't you look in the mirror?
Lorraine Paul - 1/27/2009
How do people like Kovachev and this clown, Hamilton get to hear about HNN?
Don't they have any pride in themselves?
Edmond Dantes - 1/26/2009
Ms. Paul, one does not have to go to a lot of trouble to point out that many throughout the globe (including the Palestinian governing authorities and their supporters) explicitly advocate the extermination of Jews. I am trying to explain to people that that is a bad thing. I am sorry you find that stance so disgusting. Maybe someday we can all be as enlightened as you and accept that sometimes genocide is the answer.
Lorraine Paul - 1/26/2009
It is getting late here and time for me to cook my dinner. LOL
Lorraine Paul - 1/26/2009
Edmond, unfortunately, seeing as you have gone to such a lot of trouble, I am not a supporter of Hamas but someone who finds the war-mongering of the Israeli Zionists objectionable and anti-humanitarian.
I am surprised, and probably a little bit disgusted, by you stance.
R.R. Hamilton - 1/26/2009
Another Marxist "professor" with the brain God gave a rock?
He says, "Rumsfeld's press conferences turned people against the occupation of Iraq." If so, that's what they were intended to do, since Rummy was the administration's foremost advocate of a quick withdrawl from Iraq. (see, for instance, The Strongest Tribe). Bush had to fire anti-occupation kooks like Rumsfeld before he could launch The Surge that finally brought Al-Qaeda to its knees in Iraq.
Mr. Kovachev, you called this man "Professor" ... Please say American academia hasn't fallen so far!!
Edmond Dantes - 1/26/2009
Ms. Paul's anti-semitism described - http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/01/07/yes_its_anti_semitism/
Edmond Dantes - 1/26/2009
Chants at recent pro-Hamas rallies:
"use Jews as Fossil Fuel"
"Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas!"
"The Jews are our dogs"
As a supporter of Hamas, Ms. Paul probably knows these all too well.
Edmond Dantes - 1/26/2009
Principles stated in Hamas Charter:
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
Ms. Paul believes that we should judge people by their actions and not by what they write. Does Hamas not actively seek these goals? Are they peacefully protesting and negotiating? Or are they launching thousands of rockets into Israeli residential neighborhoods and school districts?
Edmond Dantes - 1/26/2009
From Hamas spokesman Mahmoud Az-Zahar on January 6th:
“The Israelis have sentenced their children to death… They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world,”
Edmond Dantes - 1/26/2009
Yes Ms. Paul, by all means, ignore anything and everything that differs from your jaded worldview. Maybe someday the world will allow your fun-loving, freedom-seeking Palestinians (and their sponsors) to fulfill their goal of exterminating the Jews of Israel. You can invite your friends over to toast the grand victory.
"We find more than one condemnation and denunciation of the resistance operations and bombings [suicide attacks], carried out by Hamas and the Palestinian resistance branches...
[Eventually] everyone will know that we did this only because our Lord commanded so: 'I did it not of my own accord' [Quran] and so that people will know that the extermination of Jews is good for the inhabitants of the worlds."
[Al-Rissala, (Hamas weekly) April 23, 2007]
Lorraine Paul - 1/26/2009
Stop embarrassing yourself. If I want to find 'fascinating clips and commentary...(un)sanitized' - youtube is the last place I will look!
Next you will be referring me to wikipedia!!
Peter Kovachev - 1/25/2009
Tom Engelhardt is hardly a source worth considering here. He's an ageing Marxist hippie with a slew of predictable hate-America books. He's propped by the Nation Institute and its wealthy radical funds. In its most recent howler, the Nation Institute's website showed "shocking" videos of pro-Israel demonstrations, where one can see middle-aged folks dancing the hora politely and waving banners against Hamas. Imagine that! Of course, no videos of the pro-Hamas rallies in Western capitals, especially not the kind that show crazed trash screaming for another Holocaust and charging at counter-demonstrators.
Loraine, like many of the new crypto-fascists posing as enlightened progressives, prefers not to know about anything that counters Teheran's official propaganda. As for why the Lefties are willing to accept as brethren Nazi-saluting reactionaries who kill gays, dissidents and yes, Lefties especially...perhaps Lorraine can explain that. I certainly hope that she doesn't plan to visit her heroes soon, as she is bound to get stoned...and not the kind involving a bong either.
Edmond Dantes - 1/25/2009
The singing and dancing on the video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE. When people post a link to support their argument, I generally look at it out of common courtesy, no matter how much I may disagree with them. It's a shame youtube (among many other sources) is beneath you. One can find many fascinating clips and commentary on the real world, that have not been sanitized by established media corporations.
Lorraine Paul - 1/24/2009
When did I mention singing and dancing?
Lorraine Paul - 1/24/2009
Edmond, make sure you pay what you owe in tax. After all if you do not then you are stealing.
Further, unlike yourself I don't look to sites such as youtube as a reference to prove my point.
As for schoolyard taunts, they didn't upset me, how could they considering the source. I merely felt it would be polite to point out to you that you were dropping the standards of your own discourse. When you reduce your argument to that level and you do not feel any shame or embarrassment then....<shrug>
Edmond Dantes - 1/24/2009
So you did not write this, Ms. Paul:
"Well, Mr Green, we can look at what a group say in their documentation and, truly, is what they say what they do? Especially when it comes to religion." Well, are Hamas and other similar groups living up to what they write? It seems that way with singing and dancing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE
"What you are condemning in Muslims are the same views presented by fundamentalist Christians." Maybe fundamentalist Christians share the same attitudes on singing and dancing as Hamas and their ilk. I don't know. However, I have yet to see a video showing fundamentalist Christians beating to death the groom at a festive wedding party.
"What I do not have any ambivelance about is the bombing of the Islamic University. Only a desperate, frightened and vicious regime would do such a thing!!!" But it's o.k. for Hamas to butcher their own people in brutal fashion.
Do you have any other words for me to put in your mouth? Don't worry, I will get started on that tax return right away.
Lorraine Paul - 1/24/2009
Well, Mr Green, as unpleasant as those incidents may be, and I only have your word for it, at least they are not having DIME and phosphorus dropped on them; their children are not being starved due to blockades which are the deliberate policy of a foreign government.
Tom Engelhardt of Nation Institute summarises it thus -
more than 1,400 dead Gazans (and rising as bodies are dug out of the rubble); 5,500 wounded; hundreds of children killed; 4,000 to 5,000 homes destroyed and 20,000 damaged -- 14% of all buildings in Gaza; 50,000 or more homeless; 400,000 without water; 50 U.N. facilities, 21 medical facilities, 1,500 factories and workshops, and 20 mosques reportedly damaged or destroyed; the smashed schools and university structures; the obliterated government buildings; the estimated almost two billion dollars in damage; all taking place on a blockaded strip of land 25 miles long and 4 to 7.5 miles wide that is home to a staggering 1.4 million people.
I think the above speaks for itself.
Lorraine Paul - 1/23/2009
Edmond you have the singular talent for crediting me with words, ideas and attitudes which can be found nowhere in what I actually write.
Edmond, you might do better to start filling out that Tax Return rather than fulminating against me!
Edmond Dantes - 1/23/2009
Oh, Ms. Paul is upset with schoolyard taunts. O.K. Let's all look at the freedom-loving Hamas - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE. I forget how Israeli law deals with singing and dancing. Maybe Ms. Paul can enlighten us. She wants to ignore documents and analyze the actions of both sides. How do Israeli and Palestinian governing bodies treat freedom of speech? Who is allowed to vote? What about women’s rights or gay rights? What about enforced laws against discrimination?
Peter Kovachev - 1/23/2009
Elliott, I think you mistakenly assume that Mr Paul is amenable to facts or reasoned arguments. Her ignorance and vacuity regarding anything happening in the real world are manifested for all to see in statements like, "As for your dhimmi, Mr Green, when was the last time it was imposed on Jews living in the mid-east?"
I stand by my estimation that LP is merely one of the foot soldiers of the new antisemitism, cloaked as anti-Zionism. What gives her away is her inability to recognize for a moment the fact that her self-proclaimed concern for "Palestinians" is a sham by virtue of it being highly selective; i.e., only Israel's real or imagined interactions with the Muslims are worthy of notice. As an eager and willing tool, she plainly and openly promotes the crude agenda of Iran and its friends and clients; to make it impossible for Israel to do anything that would slow down Hamas' ability to arm and take over Arab society in Gaza and the disputed territories.
Even Mark LeVine, who may be biased and dead-wrong on many key issues, recognizes the problems radical, violent Islamism. Whether it's from a sense of respect for the lost principles of liberalism, or a pragmatic worry that radical Islamism runs counter to the "interests of the Palestinian People," to borrow an -oft-used slogan by the PA, LeVine at least seems to know that facts may be rationalized and excused, but that they can't be ignored or imagined away.
Not so with LP. Indifferent to the ideals of "enlightened" progressive thought, she is willing to assist in the rising Islamists acts of oppression of Gazans and "Palestinians" worlwide by ignoring horrors she has been instructed to ignore and by obstructing rational inquiry with massive dumping of Hamas PR.
It's hard to accept the fact that our liberal traditions have somehow given birth to monstrous mutations of low-brow neo-fascism not seen since the 30s. But so it goes, it seems. The best we can hope is to address the bias of those amenable to reason, and to give up on trying to engage the knuckle-draggers and brown-shirts, other than to remind them publicly and for the sake of others, of who they are, what their history is and whom they are drumming for.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/23/2009
the dhimma is now being imposed on Jews in Iran, perhaps not in its full medieval form but the situation is bad enough. Jews in Morocco have rights officially but are constantly subject to Islamist hatred. Jews have almost totally disappeared from Arab countries. The handful of Jews in Yemen are being severely persecuted right now. If you don't know about it, blame your own media. You can look up Jews in Yemen on the blog "Point of No Return" [jewishrefugees.blogspot.com].
The Christian Copts in Egypt are inferior by law and practice to the Muslims there. They too are persecuted as well as oppressed.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Where was Tony Karon when Hamas rockets were falling on Sderot Ashqelon? Aren't the people there civilians? Or does Tony hate them because they're Jews?
Lorraine Paul - 1/23/2009
"Keep in mind that Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups are essentially incapable of threatening Israeli planes and that the Israelis were using their airborne arsenal in heavily populated areas. Though the air war was only one part of a massively destructive assault on Gaza, as a form of warfare, barbaric as it is, it invariably gets a free pass. Yet, if you conduct an air war in cities, it matters little how "smart" your weaponry may be; it will, in effect, be a war against civilians." So says Tony Karon via Nation Institute.
You blokes should came and live near to me, because that stuff you are spreading will do my garden a world of good!!
Grow up, Edmond and stop wallowing in schoolyard taunts!
Look up "DIME" on your web browser. It is a nasty little bomb; when it explodes it flings tungstun which gets absorbed into the skin and it is hard to find where the pain is coming from. That, and phosporus, is what the IDF was dropping on Gaza. Now these things would probably effect a scantily-clad civilian child rather than a kitted up Soldier.
You lot really are into following that directive issued by the Israeli Government....black is white and white is black!
As for your dhimmi, Mr Green, when was the last time it was imposed on Jews living in the mid-east?
Edmond Dantes - 1/23/2009
I would not worry too much about Ms. Paul. You will not see her address any of the excellent points made in this thread. She's like the neighborhood lunatic, who reminds us all of the precious gift of sanity.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/22/2009
Peter, Ms LP doesn't have to take my word for anything. I wish she would do a little research into Middle Eastern history since the year 600 CE. There are books, many books, not written by me, Bernard Lewis, C Brockelmann, B Spuler, Francesco Gabrieli, etc etc. Further, I'd like her to go back into my comment and quote to me just what I said was a slander of "all Muslims." As I recall, I wrote about Hamas and about Muslim law [including dhimma]. Now, I don't believe that all Muslims follow every precept of Muslim law. Maybe they're not good Muslims by Bin Laden's standards or Hamas' standards.
So if they reject the dhimma in their treatment of non-Muslims, then all well and good. But if they accept the dhimma, an integral part of shari`ah, then they favor oppressing non-Muslims in Muslim society.
Glad you mentioned, Peter, what Hamas did to the Christian population in Gaza. Either Ms LP is unaware of these realities or cynically denies them. Does she know that Hamas favors reintroducing full Shari`ah into Gaza to the extent that they legislated the restoration of crucifixion as a punishment??
Peter Kovachev - 1/21/2009
Perhaps, Professor Cravatts should have included reference to your incomprehensible pronouncements to appear "two-sided," Mr Proyect?
Ok, we get it, Louis, you don't like what the prof wrote. I'd be surprised if you did. Any chance you might offer some specific arguments to back your judgement? What is "Zionist aggression," and what do Rumsfeld's conferences have to do with the price of tea in China?
Peter Kovachev - 1/21/2009
Ms Paul, your claim to "enlightenment" would be a tad less ludicrous if you at least made a tepid attempt at pretending that you have other principles than "anti-Zionism" (a.k.a., modernised and tarted-up Jew-hatred) fueling your disjointed diatribes.
To wit, your claim to care for the rights of your "Palestinians," does not convince. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but just where are your indignant posts when, for example, Lebanon shelled a "Palestinian" camp not too long ago? When Hamas was shooting the children of their political opponents on their way to school, or throwing people off buildings? Where is your "enlightened" voice now as the Hamas poltroons crawl out of school and hospital basement and from behind children and under women's skirts to claim victory and resume summary "trials" and executions? If you are concerned about the welfare of Gazans, why the silence on Hamas' routine confiscations of Israeli and international aid shipments? Why no concern over third and fourth generation "Palestinian refugees" in Arab countries who have been denied citizenship and civil rights? Why no comments on the rise of institutionalized "honour" killings of women and girls, the ongoing organized killings, disposessions and rapes of Christians and other non-Muslims, the violent persecution of homosexuals, etc., etc., in "Hamastan" and elsewhere in the Muslim world? I know the answer, do you? (Hint: It's not an advanced form of enlightenment, but reeks to the high heavens of intellectual offal we've seen and thought we have vanquished before)
And how does Mr Green put forward extremist views by pointing out well known facts, such as publicly-stated aims of Hamas and other Islamists? These are hardly curiosities by a loonie fringe; Hamas, Hesbollah, Iran and other Muslim regimes and mainstream organizations have enshrined the "principles" of subjugation of non-Muslims and women in legal statutes. Interesting, that you have less of a problem with that than the mention of such facts.
You can repeat over and over the "genocide of 'Palestinians'" joke, but this Goebelian propaganda strategy works only in tyrannies which forbid competing opinions, and among the crazed "anti-Zionist" trash that has been raging in the streets lately. Fortunately, we are not in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia or any of the dozens of sick tyrannies throughout the world, and most of us can still laugh at you and your kind's "enlightenment" with impudence.
Lorraine Paul - 1/21/2009
Mr Green, when you put forward these extremist views regarding Muslims it only makes me more determined to to bring forward a more enlightened view.
What you are condemning in Muslims are the same views presented by fundamentalist Christians. Just as the Christian fundamentalists present their discredited views of The Bible, so you are attempting to credit all Muslims with the views presented by fundamentalists. This is a skewed view of the Muslim world.
As for whether the Islamic University of Gaza was the site of weapons storage or not seems to me to be irrelevant. Many people died in that bombing. That is the important fact and we should not lose sight of it.
How can you equate the weapons held by Muslims in Gaza with the technological superiority of the Israelis, as supplied by the US and others, is something you will have to reconcile with your own conscience. In the meantime I will continue to condemn the IDF and its genocidal war against the Palestinians.
Elliott Aron Green - 1/21/2009
Ms Paul, you place yourself as an opponent of apartheid. Are you aware of how much the system of Islamic law, which is taught at Islamic U of Gaza and which the Hamas wants to fully institute in Gaza, assigns all non-Muslims to an inferior role in society?? The non-Muslims, called dhimmis, are subject to all sorts of special taxes, legal humiliations, denial of rights and human equality. You may look up my article, The Myth of Arab Innocence, previously published here at HNN for a listing of some of the disabilities of the dhimmis. There is in fact a large literature on this subject. In regard to the historic Muslim and Arab-Muslim treatment of Jews you can peruse document collections compiled by Norman Stillman, Bat Yeor, Andrew Bostom. In short, the laws governing non-Muslims in Islamic society [dhimma] are much like apartheid laws. And the treatment of dhimmis is similar in many ways too, although the basis of dhimma is more religion than skin color or biological race. So you ought to be consistent and oppose Muslim law [shari`ah]. It is absurd to oppose apartheid on one hand, while on the other hand, supporting the teaching of shari`ah. And Hamas is very serious to impose Shari`ah in Gaza.
Now, as to why the Islamic U of Gaza was hit, it was the site of weapons storage, workshops making rockets and improving them, a hiding place for terrrorists. These facts mean that the location is not protected by the laws of war, since it is used for warlike purposes. Read the Geneva convention IV.
Lorraine Paul - 1/21/2009
Lorraine Paul - 1/21/2009
The war being waged on the people of Gaza has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Why then do some people continue to spout this religious drivel in support of their argument?
I am not sure whether it is a good or bad thing to ban Israeli academics from the general discourse. In a related incident, the fight to bring down apartheid in South Africa, banning SA from the Olympic Games was just one more nail in the coffin of white supremacy in that country.
What I do not have any ambivelance about is the bombing of the Islamic University. Only a desperate, frightened and vicious regime would do such a thing!!!
Louis Nelson Proyect - 1/20/2009
I really appreciate his crude, one-sided, propagandistic piece so very, very much. All these sorts of AIPAC-inspired things can only help to turn Americans against Zionist aggression in the same way that Rumsfeld's press conferences turned people against the occupation of Iraq.
N. Friedman - 1/19/2009
It is not a Medieval fable.
It is a hadith that traditionalist tie to end of days theology. Hamas has altered its context, making it into a current day political program. The noted passage is presented in this context:
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after.
Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
That is a marked change from uses of the noted Hadith in Islamic tradition and it is a very troubling one.
Fahrettin Tahir - 1/18/2009
which medieval muslim tale?
Elliott Aron Green - 1/17/2009
Excellent article, Richard. I would add that the Israeli army reported that in addition to Islamic Univ of Gaza housing labs in which the Qassam rocket was improved, refined, and given a longer range, the Univ was also a storage place for rockets and other weapons. After Israeli rockets hit the Univ buildings, secondary explosions were reported which indicated the heavy presence of stored ordnance, explosives [in rockets and shells].
Further, it is always timely to point out that the Hamas charter is a genocidal document expressing the wish to murder Jews as such. You quote from a genocide-inciting exhibit at al-Najjah Univ. A similar quote is found in Article 7 of the Hamas charter:
At Judgement Day, the Muslims will kill the Jews who will hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees will cry out: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him.
[from a medieval Muslim fable in the Hadith literature]
A lot of accusations of genocidal intent are made against Israel nowadays. But those accusers do not want to acknowledge that Hamas openly and proudly advocates genocide.