Independent Jewish Voices: Independent of Rationality and Truth

Read how a bunch of Hampstead luvvies embraced a fake definition of antisemitism on the basis of its endorsement by (inter alia) a corpse, a Semiotics academic and a Gender and Sexuality Studies academic …

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) are a bunch of luvvies from Hampstead et environs, best described as Finkler Jews. They are very embarrassed by the State of Israel and do all they can to distance themselves (as-a-Jew) from it. They are led by Tony Lerman and Francesca, Brian and Tony Klug. Here is Lerman (as-a-Jew) blaming Israel for antisemitism:

… by provoking outrage, which is then used to target Jews, Israel bears responsibility for that anti-Jewish hostility

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/must-jews-always-see-themselves-as-victims-1639277.html

Such statements have made Lerman into a self-imposed pariah. Lerman’s appointment in early 2006 as director (for the second time) of the think-tank The Institute of Jewish Policy Research (now JPR) precipitated the resignation of four JPR directors and of one of its honorary patrons, the Conservative peer Lord Kalms.  This was because Lerman had questioned the viability of Israel as a Jewish State and had advocated one secular state containing Jews, Palestinians and others – the proportions would not matter. After a controversial tenure lasting less than three years, Lerman was ousted from his position in late 2008, leaving him in the wilderness.

When he founded IJV in 2007, Lerman wrote:

….the creation of IJV could be the most serious challenge to the Jewish establishment since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948

The reality – of course – is that IJV has proven to be the dampest of damp squibs. But occasionally a spark still burns in the embers. Such as last Sunday when IJV expressed their support for the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA).

A word of explanation: The JDA was dreamed up to save the face of the leftist academics who reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Like Mark Abel at Brighton University. And Seth Anziska at UCL (who is one of the eight in the ‘Co-ordinating Group’ for the JDA). The reason they reject it is because they want to be able to say that Israel is a racist state and to advocate for a boycott of Israeli goods without being told (correctly) that they are antisemites. The JDA gives them this ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card.

IJV describe the 208 academics as working ‘in Jewish Studies and related fields’. So let’s take a look. Some of them do. 83 don’t:

Fields of study of the 83 not in Jewish Studies

SubjectNumber
History21
Armenian History and Genocide 1
Global and Postcolonial History1
History and Anthropology1
Microhistory1
History and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies1
History and Comparative Literature1
Modern Italian History1
History and International Affairs1
History, Music, German1
History of Law1
History of Humanitarianism1
Political Science3
Government1
International Politics1
Political Studies1
Politics and Government1
Political Theory1
Law3
International Law1
Law and social change1
Philosophy5
Philosophy of Science1
Ethics and Political Philosophy1
Sociology3
Sociology and Anthropology1
Sociology, Political Science and Communication1
Journalism and Political Science1
English1
English and Comparative Literature1
Modern Literature and Culture1
Comparative Literature2
Contemporary literature1
Comparative Literature and Gender Studies 1
German Studies and Comparative Literature1
Urban Literature1
Psychoanalysis and the Health Sciences Humanities1
Musicology1
Music1
Islamic Studies and Postcolonial Studies1
Islamic Studies1
International Studies1
Human Rights1
Bioethics1
Gender and Sexuality Studies1
Gender Studies1
Semiotics1

Plus there are four non-academics (a Museum Director, a Novelist, a Journalist and a non-Orthodox Rabbi).

One of the 83 was dead when the JDA statement was published. Michael Stolleis died on 18 March; the statement was published on 25 March. How many of the other JDS supporters are dead?

In any case what gives any of these people (dead or alive) the right to tell Jews what offends them? Do they do the same to Blacks or Muslims? It is impudently rude to try to dictate to a minority what they should or should not find offensive.

So 125 do work in the field of Jewish Studies. Er … not quite right …10 of them are Emeritus (fancy word for ‘retired’).

How about the track record of the 208? If they are inveterate Israel Bashers, then of course they will oppose IHRA. But why should we take any notice of them? Fortunately there are two useful websites to identify Academic Israel Bashers: This site (mainly for those in Israel) and this site for those in the USA.

The following 11 anti-Israel Jewish Studies JDA-supporting academics in Israel are profiled on the Im Tirtzu site: Louise Bethlehem, Daniel Blatman, Daniel Boyarin (who is in the USA), Raya Cohen (retired), Alon Confino (in USA),  David Enoch, Katharina Galor (in USA), Amos Goldberg (one of the eight in the ‘Co-ordinating Group’ for the JDA), Anat Matar, David Shulman (retired), Dmitry Shumsky.

The following anti-Israel Jewish Studies JDA-supporting academic in the USA is profiled on the Canary Mission site: Marion Kaplan.

The following 9 anti-Israel non-Jewish Studies JDA-supporting academics in Israel are profiled on the Im Tirtzu site: Gadi Algazi, Naomi Chazan, Chaim Gans, Snait Gissis, Neve Gordon (in UK), Dafna Hirsch, Eva Illouz, Avishai Margalit, Shlomith Rimmon Kenan.

The following 2 anti-Israel non-Jewish Studies JDA-supporting academics in the USA are profiled on the Canary Mission site: Marianne Hirsch, Shira Robinson.

That makes 23 of the 208 whose Israel-bashing history is bad enough to feature on Im Tirtzu or Canary Mission. But it doesn’t stop there. 44 more have Israel-bashing histories:

Seth Anziska is a ‘revisionist historian‘ who has defended the BDS boycott movement. More here.

Omer Bartov’s attack on the IHRA definition is simply ludicrous and deranged: ‘this definition and the kind of thinking it has come to embody enable Israel to justify its support for oppressive regimes that persecute minorities, suppress the opposition and even engage in antisemitic demagoguery, provided they don’t criticise Israel’s occupation policy.’

Moshe Behar was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Peter Beinart wants the demise of Israel as a Jewish State. The question I always ask such people is: How many will have to die to impose ‘One State’? Because it will never happen as a result of a democratic vote.

Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi signed a petition urging UK MPs to vote in favor of the motion that was debated on 13 October 2014, calling on the Government to recognise the State of Palestine.

Deborah Dwork signed a letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Yuval Evri  was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Richard Falk has a long history of antisemitic actions. Just one: the then Prime Minister David Cameron “strongly condemned” Falk’s 2011 publication of an antisemitic cartoon posted on his personal blog, showing a dog wearing a Jewish head-covering urinating on a depiction of justice and devouring a bloody skeleton. Falk was also condemned for this racist act by British MPs David Burrowes and Theresa Villiers. Falk later apologised. He also signed a letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

David Feldman is the Director of the UK’s leading academic Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, part funded by the Pears Foundation. But – thanks to him – the Institute is not part of the solution to antisemitism. It’s part of the problem. See here.

Victor Ginsburgh signed a letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Liora R. Halperin was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Elizabeth Heineman signed a letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Menachem Klein signed a letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Brian Klug denies that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

Francesca Klug was in denial about Corbyn’s antisemitism.

Hagar Kotef is a boycotter

Tony Kushner is an IJV signatory

Mark Levene signed a letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Lior Libman was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Ian S. Lustick was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Sergio Luzzatohas endorsed the despicable effort to revive the belief that Medieval myths of Jews carrying out ritual murders of Christian children to obtain their blood for use in Passover preparations were true, most notoriously in his sympathetic review of Ariel Toaff’s Pasque di sangue (Bloody Passovers), where he claimed that some Jews carried out human sacrifices several times (Loriga). Luzzato insisted that Jewish ‘confessions’ obtained through torture should not be routinely discounted. As a colleague suggested, Luzatto may well be the main person responsible for the revival of blood libel in the 21st century.’ See here and here.

Brendan McGeever together with his boss David Feldman (see above) was in denial about Labour antisemitism.

James Renton thinks that Britain should apologise for the Balfour Declaration.

Na’ama Rokem was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here). She also signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Michael Rothberg signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Sara Roy has a history of sympathy for Hamas and antipathy for the Jewish state.

Philippe Sands was a Board Member of London’s Tricycle Theatre when it refused to host the 2014 Jewish Film Festival unless it distanced from funding from the Israel Embassy. He defended the decision on BBC TV.

Peter Schäfer was previously Director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin. On his watch the Museum issued a pro-BDS tweet appearing to endorse an article in favour of reversing the anti-BDS resolution passed by the Bundestag in 2019.

Raz Segal thinks that the charge of antisemitism is used to silence criticism of Israel (the so-called Livingstone Formulation: of course along with other devotees he cannot provide a single example).

Marcella Simoni was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Tamir Sorek signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Adam Sutcliffe signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic. He thinks that allegations that antisemitism was rife in Labour were extremely inflated. To evidence this fallacy he linked to an article by Jamie Stern-Weiner. David Collier writes this about Stern-Weiner: ‘Stern-Weiner is linked to David Miller, JVL, Norman Finkelstein and the PSC. There is nothing Zionist about him. No true supporter of Israel should have anything to do with him.’

Anya Topolski signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Barry Trachtenberg is another believer in the Livingstone Formulation: he says of the IHRA definition: …. a definition that equates valid criticism of Israel and Zionism with antisemitism and has thus become a tool for the suppression of protected speech’.

Emanuela Trevisan Semi was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here). She also signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Peter Ullrich believes that it isn’t antisemitic to deny Israel’s right to exist.

Nadia Valman signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic.

Dominique Vidal thinks thatIsrael is a laboratory of war’

Anika Walke is another believer in the Livingstone Formulation

Yair Wallach thinks I may not be Jewish.He’s the Chair of the Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS. You might think he’s a good guy with whom to discuss SOAS’s antisemitism problem. He isn’t. He’s part of the problem. Putting him in charge of any ‘Jewish’ academic department is like appointing Dr Harold Shipman as CEO of AgeUK. In addition Wallach was one of the academics who protested about the Summer 2019 Israel Studies ‘Word Crimes’ volume which focused on the language used to delegitimise Israel (see here).

Michael Walzer states erroneously that‘The current [Israeli] government uses anti-Arab incitement as a method of rule and is aiming at a single state dominated by what will soon be a Jewish minority.

Addendum: Professor Richard Landes calls the JDA the ‘Van Leer Declaration’ (the JDA originated at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem). He notes: ‘Cary Nelson did a long and acute critique of the Van Leer Declaration, in which he cited Michael Walzer’s presence among the signers as troubling, and Walzer responded.‘ Richard’s piece is a fisking of Walzer’s response. It’s really excellent, well worth reading! As is his Fathom piece,

Dov Waxman naively wants to see a ‘confederation’ between Israel and a Palestinian State. This would mean the end of the sovereign Jewish state.

Moshe Zimmermann signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic. His views on antisemitism are ignorant and dangerous. In this video (13:40) he quotes approvingly Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg who wrote (about 20 years ago) that antisemitism has become a “force for preserving the Jewish Community: the Community needs to exaggerate the power of the enemy, even to the stage of paranoia …. That explains the addiction of Jews in the diaspora to antisemitism”. He goes on to allege “the instrumentalisation of antisemitism by the Israeli government” and to accuse it of “causing antisemitism by exaggerating it.”

Moshe Zuckermann signed the letter criticising the German Parliament for ruling that BDS is antisemitic. He writes that ‘Jews carried out the Israeli state-building process on the backs of the Palestinians’ and says that ‘Jews turned from the victims to the perpetrators’. He is another practitioner of the Livingstone Formulation: ‘Genuine criticism of Israeli policies must always expect to be categorized as anti-Semitism’.

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Remember that IJV described the 208 academics as working ‘in Jewish Studies and related fields’. If we exclude the ones who do NOT fit this description (eg Islamic Studies and Postcolonial Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Semiotics) and then exclude the ones who DO fit this description but have history of Israel-bashing or antisemitism denial or are retired – we are left with just 75, little more than one-third of the original number. In any case, why do they think they have the right to argue with the view of representative Jewish institutions as regards what is offensive?

Independent Jewish Voices? Yes – Independent of Rationality and Truth.

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