Monday, January 4, 2010

This is Not Our Father’s War

Boycotting Israeli Academics, Political Theater in Gaza Will Not Help

Another hard and weary year has ended. Americans have lost their jobs and their money, some have lost their homes and their minds, but few have lost their most cherished illusions, and things seem to be getting worse.

Globally, Islamist terrorists, both foreign and home-grown, continue to attack civilians wherever we live, in the West as well as in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Islamist tyrants continue to devour their own children in Teheran.

Al-Qaeda is now also based in Yemen. The symbols of liberty and free speech remain under police protection. Kurt Westergaard (the 2005 Danish cartoonist) and his five-year-old granddaughter, were nearly murdered at home by a Somali Islamist who shouted “Revenge” and “Blood.” An American airliner was nearly blown up over Detroit on Christmas Day by a son of Allah out of Nigeria and Yemen — whom, three days after the event, the American president finally described as an “isolated” and “alleged” “extremist.”

And the world still hates the Jews.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has gathered steam all year. According to their website: “Today, over 500 US-based academics, authors, artists, musicians, poets, and other arts professionals have endorsed our call. Our academic endorsers include post-colonial critics and transnational feminists Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, philosopher Judith Butler, and intellectual historian Joseph Massad. ‘Cultural workers’ who have endorsed our call include well known author Barbara Ehrenreich, Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah, poets Adrienne Rich, ISM co-founder and documentary film-maker Adam Shapiro.

Among the 34 organizations supporting our mission are and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Green Party, Code Pink, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, Artists Against Apartheid, and Teachers Against the Occupation.The Advisory Board of the United States Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) has grown to include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hamid Dabashi, Marilyn Hacker, Ilan Pappe, and Adrienne Rich…Israeli academics, listed among the organization’s International Endorsers, have also joined us.”

These American, European, African, and Israeli academics and “cultural workers” have not focused on the lethal danger of jihad.

Instead, they continue to sign petitions to boycott Israeli academics, many of whom share their own leftist anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-Jewish, and anti-Western world view.

This latest petition has been signed by Bill Ayers (yes, the Bill Ayers), Charlotte Kates, Jody Evans (of Code Pink), and by people whom I once knew (Adrienne Rich, Marilyn Hacker, Rosalyn Baxandall, Barbara Ehrenreich), and with whom I thought I shared a common vision. Now, we each believe the “other” has betrayed that vision of justice and freedom.

My former colleagues — allright, comrades — have promoted a President who, thus far, has curried favor with Islamist tyrants, supported the “right” of Muslim women to veil, and said too little too late about the young Iranians who are demanding “liberty or death.”

I have been privately told that many young Iranians who were lucky enough to be deported, not murdered, are now trying desperately to return to their country; they feel this is a “revolutionary moment” and they want to be part of it.

They have no student counterparts in the West. Here, they are all ghosts of Baader-Meinhof.

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