Union of Jewish Students respond to their lecturers’ decision at Congress

This piece is by Dan Sheldon, incoming Campaigns Director of the Union of Jewish Students.

Throwing the bathroom out with the bathwater

That the UCU has chosen to condemn and disassociate itself from the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism is no surprise. Infact, that’s probably one of the worst aspects of this whole saga – that such a policy position has been able to establish itself without much serious consideration or opposition. Such is the sorry state of the national lecturers’ union.

Why, then, have I found myself so shocked by this grimly inevitable turn of events? Why have so many Jewish students – and others – expressed outrage?

Perhaps it is because this decision betrays an ignorance one wouldn’t expect of a collective of academics. Ignorance of the nature of antisemitism, with its coded language and deep rooted stereotypes. Perhaps they are unaware of the prevalence of such prejudice, and precisely why it is considered racist? Or perhaps they are ignorant of the recent NUS Hate Crime Interim Report, a survey of over 9,000 students? It found that 31% of Jewish students had experienced a hate incident – far more than any other religious group.

Ignorance, too, of a basic logic – spelt out by Eve Garrad here – that it is possible to be critical (or more) of Israel whilst also engaging in antisemism.  To state that criticism of Israel is always antisemitic is wrong and devalues antisemitism. However, those who hold that criticism of Israel can never be antisemitic are either blind to basic logic or acting in bad faith.

Ignorance, also, of what the Working Definition actually is. How anybody who has read the Working Definition can maintain that it “confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with genuine antisemitism” is beyond me. In fact, it is this very confusion that the Working Definition aims to clear up.

To be sure, the Working Definition is not perfect. It never claimed to be, hence why it is known as the Working Definition. That’s why the preamble to the definition states that it is intended to be a “practical guide”, and the definition itself contains the caveat “could, taking into account the overall context” when listing potential examples of antisemitism.

In fact, any attempt to construct a perfect definition of antisemitism, or any form of prejudice, is something of a fool’s mission. No definition can capture every possible instance of prejudice, especially within something as multi-faceted and ever-evolving as antisemitism. Nor can a single definition ever take full account of the overall context and perception of the victim.

However, to afford the Working Definition the status of a definitive, water tight definition is to construct a massive, luminous straw man in this discussion.

Let me be clear – the Working Definition is not a binding hate speech code, it is not law and it should not be treated as such. Rather, it is a useful primer on antisemitism; an accessible tool for educating on and identifying antisemitism. For universities and students’ unions, it sums up in one page what Anthony Julius’ Trials of the Diaspora does in 864. It is the start of a serious conversation about antisemitism, not the last word.

Where, then, has this misplaced perception of the Working Definition’s intent and purpose come from? No doubt there are some who misunderstand and misuse the Working Definition. Instead of using it as a pedagogical resource or a tool for monitoring antisemitism, some may attempt to use the Working Definition as a means to punish those responsible for expressions similar to those potential examples of antisemitism it lists. To the contrary, this is not the position of the Union of Jewish Students, the Community Security Trust, the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism, the American Jewish Congress or anybody else who does serious work on this issue.

To pretend, as the UCU policy does, that the Working Definition “is being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus” leaves the impression that this is a widespread issue; that the Working Definition is regularly used to punish those who criticise Israel.

Where, then, is the evidence for such a claim? The example cited in the debate at UCU Congresswas that the recent ‘Freedom for Palestine’ motion adopted by NUS had been objected to on the grounds that it breached the Working Definition. In fact, this example proves that it is, in fact, perfectly possible to debate and criticise Israel without being accused of antisemitism. Despite having adopted the Working Definition (twice, after full debates at National Conference), NUS was able to debate and adopt a policy extremely critical of Israel. No claims were made at the time, or subsequently, that this policy breaches the Working Definition.

Quite simply, the claim that the Working Definition – when properly used – shuts down debate on Israel does not stand up to scrutiny.

The UCU, however, cannot claim to be in any doubt about the purpose of the Working Definition. The proposers of the motion have clearly read it very carefully and they know full well that it is intended to be a working guide. They just don’t agree with the content – that’s why they have dismissed it entirely, making “no use” of it, not even in “educating members”.

If the UCU were merely guilty of ignorance, that could be understood and – through education and dialogue – resolved. If someone had proposed that the UCU adopt the Working Definition, and Congress were to reject it, that would be the result of ignorance. Regrettable, but understandable.

However, the UCU has never used the Working Definition, and nobody proposed that it should start doing so. Instead, UCU has decided, apropos of nothing, to condemn the Working Definition whilst offering no serious alternative. In doing so, they have singled out antisemitism from other forms of prejudice as something only they, and not the victims, have the right to identify.

That’s where this goes beyond ignorance into genuine malice. One is left wondering what occupies the thoughts of those who are so keen to lecture Jews on what constitutes antisemitism. Jewish students are left wondering whether their lecturers’ commitment to “combat all forms of racial or religious discrimination” is anything other than hollow rhetoric.

This piece is by Dan Sheldon, incoming Campaigns Director of the Union of Jewish Students.

32 Responses to “Union of Jewish Students respond to their lecturers’ decision at Congress”

  1. Interested Student Says:

    “Where, then, is the evidence for such a claim?”

    I’ve seen it happen at my own University:

    http://uobfop.blogspot.com/2011/04/day-freedom-of-speech-on-campus-died.html

    Would you comment on the actions of your affiliated JSoc in pushing through this legislation:

    Author/contact: Joseph Moses, Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Officer
    Elliott Park, Open Place Guild Councillor

    Executive Summary: This motion calls for to combat racism, sexism and homophobia in
    all its forms on campus and to use the EUMC definition of Anti
    Semitism to identify instances of Anti Semitism on campus and to
    use disciplinary action on those groups and students who have
    been found to be or are promoting Anti Semitism
    It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white…

    Guild Council Notes:
    1. The EUMC Definition of Anti-Semitism Motion, renewed at NUS Conference in April
    2010 and also passed in Guild Council in May 2010
    2. That there is currently no policy in place to deal with racism, sexism or
    homophobia on our campus unless the person or group in question is covered
    under the No Platform Policy
    3. That “racism” in this instance includes, but is not limited to, Islamophobia, Anti-
    Semitism and prejudice against ethnic minorities.

    Guild Council Believes:
    1. That racism, sexism and homophobia in all and any forms are totally
    unacceptable on campus
    2. That any student group which invites a speaker (whether internal or external) on
    to campus who goes on to make a racist, sexist or homophobic statement should
    be, on receipt of a complaint, subject to the usual investigative and disciplinary
    process

    Guild Council Resolves:
    1. To combat racism, sexism and homophobia in all its forms on campus
    2. To continue to use the EUMC Definition of Anti-Semitism to identify instances of
    Anti-Semitism on campus, including in those situations where speakers with no
    history of racist remarks make an anti-Semitic statement on campus
    3. That any society which breaches the existing and above guidelines should be
    subject to the due investigative process

    Guild Council Mandates:
    1. The President and VPAD to enact this
    2. The VPAD to make all Student Groups aware of this change in policy
    Proposed: Joseph Moses, Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Officer
    Seconded: Elliott Park, Open Place Guild Councillor

  2. Brian Robinson Says:

    Reading Dan Sheldon’s piece prompted me to wonder whether it might be possible to adapt Brian Klug’s reformulation of one classic definition. In his ‘Patterns of Prejudice’ essay, Klug argued that antisemitism was the process of turning Jews into ‘Jews’. It wasn’t simply hostility towards Jews as Jews, but towards Jews as ‘Jews’, ie Jews perceived as something other than what they are (whether by processes that psychoanalysts would call projective mechanisms or otherwise).

    There is valid, evidence-based criticism of Israel (just as there is of Britain, France, the USA and so on). And then there is hostility towards Israel as ‘Israel’. Some actions by the IDF, some Israeli government policies can be criticised — and should be — legitimately, for what they are, on their own terms (they don’t have to be ‘like’ anything for them to be declared wrong).

    But much of what is said against Israel is in reality being said against ‘Israel’. It has been argued that at least some diaspora Jews have “a stake in preserving Israel’s idealized image that trumps dealing with the real country”. Parallel to such a view might the symmetrically opposing one that “has a stake” in cherishing a chimera.

    Antisemitic hostility to Israel is really hostility to ‘Israel’.

  3. Brian Robinson Says:

    PS I was referring to Jeff Halper’s article here http://bit.ly/kF8I2f but for some reason the link didn’t appear (I’d put it between )

  4. Absolute Observer Says:

    IS (is that a coincidence),
    “To pretend, as the UCU policy does, that the Working Definition “is being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus” leaves the impression that this is a widespread issue; that the Working Definition is regularly used to punish those who criticise Israel.

    Where, then, is the evidence for such a claim? ”

    Where does the motion say anything about Israel and Palestine? It is abourt “antisemitism”

    If, however, you think that a motion prohibiting antisemitism is restricting what you say about Israel, maybe you should find other ways of saying it.

    If, however, you think it is ok to frame criticism of Israel in antisemitic terms, then make that argument.

    Let me offer you a concrete example based on an actual case.
    Supposing at a SU meeting someone stands up and says that the “Israel Lobby” has its grips deep within NUS?
    Is this “criticism of Israel” or is it “antisemitism”.
    You may refer to the EUMC for your answer.

  5. Absolute Observer Says:

    Indeed, Brian, antisemitic hostility to Israel is really hostility to ‘Israel’,

    and much antisemitism hostility against “Jews” is really not because they are Jews but because “really” Judaism denies of Christ’s truth.
    Much antisemitic hostility against Jews is not because they are “Jews” but because “really” Jews are particularly rapacious capitalists.
    Much antisemitism hostility against Israel is not because it is a Jewish state but”really” because they are Zionists who have a deliberate policy of child killing and who are on a daily basis putting into practice what the nazis did to the Jews.
    Much hostility against Jews is not really against Jews, but only really only those UK Zionists who, in not supporting the boycott, are supporters of Israeli-nazi policies.

    Hostility to Israel is because of what Israel does and doesn’t do. Agreed.

    Antisemitism hostility to Israel is antisemitism (agreed)

    It expresses the normalcy of political hostility to a state (Israel) and its policies through the language and imagery of antisemitism – that what makes it antisemitic.

    And as to the claim, “a stake in preserving Israel’s idealized image that trumps dealing with the real country” seems to suit comments made by Mike Cushman yesterday – “an authoritarian state fascist state, a totalitarian state” – as much if not more than a few, or even “some diaspora Jews”.

    • Bill Says:

      What is the difference between “Jew” and Jew? “Israel” and Israel? And what does “really” mean. I know boycotteer culture is riddled with dog-whistle language but it would be nice if they could use code-words that are different than what they are really saying so we know what they are “really” talking about.

  6. Lynne T Says:

    Yes, and I’m sure that the reason UCU executive were presented with a legal opinion that the boycott of Israeli academics contravened British anti-discrimination laws was also an attempt to stiffle criticism of Israel.

    Don’t you have laws in the UK whereby a union that’s been misrun by its executive can be decertified as the representative of its members?

  7. Jeffrey Boss Says:

    I have read carefully the EUMC working definition of antisemitism. I cannot see what those who want to scrap it find objectionable. It in no way inhibits frank and radical criticism either of the policies and actions of the Israeli government or of the actions of its agents, such as the IDF. Nor does it inhibit the rational criticism of the words or actions of individual Jews or of self-defining Jewish groups anywhere. If you do not like the working definition, say how you would like to see it amended. Would you throw into the rubbish bin a parallel working definition of Islamophobia?

    • Brian Robinson Says:

      Jeffrey Boss, I can’t quite escape the feeling that ultimately it’s not really about the Working Definition at all. I haven’t seen a full account of how the motion originated or got onto the agenda, but from the outside it looks as if someone thought it was the latest handy peg on which to hang an anti-Israel hat. But if that’s what happened, they misled themselves as to the true nature of the peg (and some of them also seem to have a poor concept of the hat).

      The late Enoch Powell once said that the British Empire was an aberration, and it does look as if the supporters of the motion have a similar view of tiny Israel — which seems to have assumed for them the proportions of an empire.

      I think it’s possible, and perhaps desirable, to sit around a table and have a serious, sober, rational discussion about ways in which Israel, “conceived as a Jewish collectivity” can be, and has been, targeted by anti-Jewish rhetoric and actions.

      But in my experience of anti-Israel campaigners, which if I may say so, is quite extensive, most do not want to think about this topic at all. Occasionally one or two people in the course of a year will enter into dialogue. Some do so out of genuine goodwill, seeking to understand ideas they have found elusive, outside of their experience hitherto.

      Others do so really only to justify to themselves what they already believe. One — I believe a good man of conscience — wrote to me to say, “I have a problem with the amount of media space being given to antisemitism and I would welcome your views … Since when have Sheen, Galliano and Assange been arbiters of any particular fashion? None of them are significant opinion setters beyond a small circle. To maintain that these individuals are setting a fashionable trend seems to me plain daft”.

      Although he said he welcomed my views, he soon stopped listening, although the views and arguments I advanced for his consideration were culled from a wide range of thinkers, ie not simply “my” views.

      Another good man assured me that he understood about the sufferings of the Jews, he knew all about the Holocaust, but that “the world had now moved on”.

      Yet another, when someone suggested to him that his use of language was in effect antisemitic, simply retorted, “Absolute rubbish!” and refused to consider the accusation further.

      I’ve heard people say they don’t know what the word ‘delegitimise’ means, and when it’s explained to them, they indignantly deny they have any such intention even as they go on to support someone shouting “From the river to the sea …”

      The focused direction of venom at Israel has taken on a kind of madness and self-amplifying intensity. I’ve begun to wonder if my lifelong reverence for academics has been misplaced. But it still astonishes me that so many highly intelligent, super-educated people can be so stupid — and irrational.

      • Stephen Duke Says:

        Brian,

        I think the time has come to speak bluntly because we have to understand what we are up against.

        The problem is quite simple- we are dealing with people who cannot admit to themselves that, by any reasonable standard, they have a problem; they are prejudiced against Jews. Many have an additional psychological barrier; they cannot admit this because to do so would also involve an admission of hypocrisy (they are self-defined anti-racist). How can we expect people to be honest with us then they cannot first be honest with themselves?

        We have seen this with our own eyes; they want to punish Jews and only Jews. What more evidence do we need? This relentless desire to punish Jews and only Jews is despite calm, cogent and rational argument (what these guys are supposed to be all about) that the boycott and the surrounding discourse is antisemitic, despite legal opinion that the boycott transgresses equality laws (what these guys are supposed to be all about) and despite the reasonable standards that the EUMC.

        Sue Blackwell summed it up, the statement congress is rejecting as false is, “if you are for a boycott you are antisemitic”. That the argument rejecting this is no deeper than “I am for a boycott and I am not antisemitic” would be funny were it not being made by those who claim at the same time to be intelligent, thoughtful people.

        Antisemitism is always irrational and the behaviour of this latest antisemitic mob is no different. All thinking goes out the window so that Jews can be singled out for punishment. That this collective insanity affects those who are should be most immune to it is informative, or at least ought to be.

  8. Absolute Observer Says:

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/49591/co-op-rejects-boycott

    Some good news from a body who has not forgotten why it exists.

  9. Ignorance is bliss Says:

    Here’s something interesting.

    Yesterday, a speaker for the motion stated the following,
    “a member wrote “no compromise with Zionists or university closures”. Claimed to be antisemitic”

    Actually, it wasn’t just a claim.
    Here is the full text in which the words cited were used.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/01/29/keith-hammond-on-holocaust-memorial-day/

    Here is the complaint made by Ronnie Fraser showing in detial why he considered the comments made by Hammond racist.
    The UCU upheld Ronnie’s complaint (seriously, they did).

    http://www.academics-for-israel.org/index.php?page=v9n1

    Note that Ronnie framed his comments through reference to the EUMC.

    Perhaps we now know why the UCU NEC wanted to get rid of the EUMC working definition……………because it works!

    • conchovor Says:

      Thanks for reminding us of that, IiB. Zionism equivalent to University Closures. Just plain daft. Yet awfully like the Judaism equivalent to Capitalism that preceded it.

  10. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Dan Sheldon: “That’s where this goes beyond ignorance into genuine malice.” Actually, Dan, as far as the proposers of the Resolution and those who voted for it at Congress, they were never ignorant and have been malicious for a decade or more – I recall dubious Resolutions at Natfhe Congresses long before the AUT/Natfhe merger.

  11. Ariel H Says:

    I’m almost at the point of taking Eve’s advice and resigning from the UCU in disgust. I think the position of its Jewish members who support the existence of Israel in conjunction with a two state solution will most likely become untenable in the near future.

    I’m aware of the arguments for staying in the Union and that yet another resignation will just be ignored by those that count. But I really do need convincing that staying is on balance better than leaving. Any advice?

    • Brian Robinson Says:

      It shouldn’t be about the position of its Jewish members *only* and it shouldn’t, or needn’t depend on what kind of dispensation one supports or favours as a political solution to the conflict. The UCU position on the academic / cultural boycott of Israel is inconsistent at best and antisemitic in its consequences at worst.

      How many non-Jewish members of UCU are prepared to resign on this and related issues?

      • Bill Says:

        I admire people who are sticking this out and putting up the good fight and I recoveries that everyone has a different exit threshold, but they would have crossed mine a while ago.

        Even if you aren’t shocked by this, this is a red flag. Put it this way. If you aren’t Jewish or have personal or scholarly ties to Israel, do you really think they’ll stop here? This is a fashionable deal they are pushing here. As soon as this “victory” is scored, I’m sure there will be something another fad to beat on. GM? Energy research and exploration? Medical Research with or without animal testing? Americans (no reason I brought that up)? And meanwhile what will continue to be backburnered?

        As long as people think they’re going to more from being in the union than not, they’ll stay. Plus there are people who are there because “that’s what you do” they won’t leave the union unless there is a catastrophic event, and even then they may stick around since the leadership will surely have learned their lesson. Unless the UCU puts an class of faculty/investigators in their sites as they have with Jews-who-don’t-read-off-the-script, they likely may stay.

  12. modernityblog Says:

    Ben White, well-known “anti-Zionist”, has been given a platform on Liberal Conspiracy to have a poke at the EUMC and confuse matters completely.

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/06/01/support-for-palestinian-voices-on-campus-are-now-called-extremism/

  13. David Hirsh Says:

    Ran Greenstein again demonstrates the precise nature of the bullying which his boycott campaign directs against Jews.

    Most Jews are uncomfortable with his boycott of Israel and only Israel; his argument that Israel is the only illegitimate state on the planet; his obsession with Israeli human rights abuses at the expense of all others.

    Anybody who is against his campaign to demonize and isolate Israel is denounced as pro-apartheid or pro-racist.

    He relates to the overwhelming majority of his Jewish students and his Jewish colleagues as though they were racists. In other words, he is hostile to them and their work.

    And when they say they feel that people who treat them like that are in effect treating them in an antisemitic way, what does he reply?

    Does he stop and think? Does he look at the situation? Does he examine the rhetoric? Does he think about the sociological literature on institutional and discursive racism? No. not at all.

    He accuses them of manufacturing the claim and of hysteria.

    Just like in the old days when feminists complained of rape, and sexual abuse, and sexual harassment, the old fart men (supported by some anti-feminist women of course) turned round and accused them of making it up. The word “hysteria” comes from the Greek. It means a person whose mental processes are governed by their womb.

    Interestingly, Ran was coming out with vile misogynist invective the other day, here on Engage, against a “Zionist” woman. Strange for a man who teaches in a sociology department. But is OK when it concerns a “Zionist” woman.

    We say: there is an antisemitic atmosphere in the union, created by the boycott campaign.

    Ran Greenstein says: You’re lying and you’re mad.

    That is the form that the antisemitic bullying takes.

    Also he says: read Ben White. What does Ben white say? he screams: “You’re all supporters of apartheid”.

    Great. Thanks Ran. For your solidarity.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Furthermore, we must remember that this Ran Greenstein is a person who fails to respond to requests (okay, the third or fourth time, it’s a demand) that he produce evidence that supports – or at least _appears_ to support – his claims or assertions. This is a person who asserts that the white South Africans never attempted (unlike, he says, the Israelis) to expel black South Africans, merely (I think that’s the word he used) to economically exploit, and then ignores repeated reminders of the Bantustan system and requests to explain how this differs from his arguments about Israelis and Palestinians.

      And he expects us to take him seriously as opposed to vilifying him? Fat chance, Greenstein.

      Try presenting proper arguments, as an Associate Professor of Sociology, Witwatersrand University is supposed to do in the day job, Ran, and we might start taking you seriously. Notice, I do say _may_.

    • Ran Greenstein Says:

      Another (better and more thorough) effective refutation of the manufactured hysteria of pro-Israel-state-apologists, by Richard Kuper: http://www.opendemocracy.net/richard-kuper/hue-and-cry-over-ucu

    • Ran Greenstein Says:

      No, David, you are not lying and mad, but you let your concern over real and imaginary antisemitism to shield the Israeli state and its vile practices from criticism. In addition, you have not bothered to share with your fellows the refutation of the nonsense disseminated by that vile lying woman (whom I never referred to as a ‘Zionist’, contrary to your claim), in that rag called the SA Jewish Report, even though you were there and know that I never claimed that ‘anything we do’ is legitimate in the campaign against Israel, as she claimed. Is that a non-sexist enough language for you?

  14. David Hirsh Says:

    1. yesterday you said, in public, that we were mad and dishonest. Now you say you’ve changed your mind. But you still don’t say anything at all about the antisemitic bullying which you legitimize.

    2. You have now changed your argument entirely into: “you let your concern over real and imaginary antisemitism to shield the Israeli state and its vile practices from criticism”. But this new charge is just as wrong as the old one. I don’t shield the israeli state from criticism over its vile practices, I am at the forefront of criticisizing its vile practices:

    At the global Forum for combatting antisemitism: “… Israel, which has state power, has not done enough to end the occupation. Such an occupation cannot be sustained without racism, violence and humiliation against the people who are occupied.” http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/article.php?id=1683

    At a big Engage public meeting in 2007 in London: “The occupation is wrong in itself and it is also against any decent conception of Israeli national interest. Israel should be unambiguous about wanting to end it. ”

    But Ran, you know that what you have just said is untrue. You say I shield Israel from criticism. You know very well that in fact I do the opposite – I criticize Israel in public and regularly.

    I know that you know it because in a previous conversation, I laid it all out clearly for you here: http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/antisemitism-and-the-boycott-david-hirsh-responds-to-ran-greenstein/#comment-12526

    I know that you understood that I am critical of israel because you said so. Here. http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/antisemitism-and-the-boycott-david-hirsh-responds-to-ran-greenstein/#comment-12532

    So Ran, stop pretending not to know what you know. Stop accusing me of things which you know are not true.

    But most importantly, relate to the central point. When you denounce Jews who don’t agree with you as being “pro-apartheid” and as dishonest, and as pro-imperialist, etc. then you create a very nasty atmosphere against Jews.

    You need to stop doing it.

  15. Ran Greenstein Says:

    David, where precisely did I say ‘yesterday’ that you were ‘mad and dishonest’? I don’t know what you are talking about. If you are referring by chance to the term ‘manufactured hysteria’, then yes, it is a political criticism of a political strategy, and has nothing to do with personal accusations of madness or dishonesty.

    Do you personally seek to shield Israel from criticism by invoking anti-semitism? You do indeed criticise the occupation (though saying Israel is not doing ‘enough’ to end it is, frankly, bizarre: Israel is doing NOTHING to end it and everything to entrench it). But, you do tend – personally and through this site with like-minded colleagues – to dismiss criticism of Israeli state practices of ethnic cleansing before 1967, and criticism of the ethnic-exclusionary nature of the state of Israel (before, during and after 1967) as antisemitism. And, beyond you and your friends, there is not the slightest doubt that in the bigger scheme of things accusations of antisemitism are being used daily by the Israeli state and its agencies and apologists to dismiss any criticism of their practices.

    As for Jews I disagree with, whom did I denounce as ‘pro-apartheid’ or ‘pro-Imperialist’, where and when? I am not aware of any such instance (never uttered these expressions in relation to anyone, ever, nor have I ever referred to supporters of Israeli state policies as ‘Zionists’), but do refresh my memory, please

  16. David Hirsh Says:

    Yes Ran, you said that the opposition to antisemitism was “hysterical” and you said it was manufactured.

    You accused us of dishonestly manufacturing the arguments about antisemitism in order to try to shelter Israel from criticism and you accused us of hysteria, which is a misogynist word for madness.

    Have a look at a paper I wrote about the accusation made against jews who raise the issue of antisemitism of malicious intent:

    http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/david-hirsh-the-livingstone-formulation/

    I do not seek to shield Israel from criticism. Nor does the EUMC definition, which explicitly states that criticism cannot be characterised as antisemitic.

    If I did seek to shield Israel from criticism I wouldn’t do it by trying, in bad faith, to ‘play the antisemitism card’.

    Of course you denounce Jews who you disagree with as “pro-apartheid”. It is your life’s work, Ran.

  17. Ran Greenstein Says:

    Again, David, were did I use the expression “mad and dishonest”, or “pro-apartheid”? Can you quote these phrases from any text? And can you deny that Israeli state agencies and apologists for their practices use the antisemitism card all the time? Have you listened to Netanyahu speeches recently?

    To be clear, I have never said anything about the absence or presence of antisemitism in the UK (in general or among academics). Whatever the merits of the claim, it has nothing to do with criticism of Israel: this link, which you insist on making, is the source of the problem

  18. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Ran Greenstein: “that vile lying woman (whom I never referred to as a ‘Zionist’, contrary to your claim), in that rag called the SA Jewish Report…” Maybe not a Zionist, but you certainly called her “a hag (in a rag)…”

    And you have the iron nerve to allow yourself to be an Associate Professor of Sociology in a respectable South African university. This sexism is despicable and you have never returned to it, either to apologise for your language or to explain it.

    _That’s_ also disgraceful.

  19. Saul Says:

    Ran says,
    “To be clear, I have never said anything about the absence or presence of antisemitism in the UK (in general or among academics). ”

    Ran says,
    “Introducing some sanity into this manufactured hysteria”

    Seems to me that Ran has said a great deal about “the absence or presence of antisemitism in the UK”. That, in its “real” absence, its alleged presence is the nothing but the product of “manufactured hysteria”.

    And, on the subject of the “hysterical Jew”, see Sander Gilman’s work – it is an old 19th century antisemitic literary trope.

  20. Inna Says:

    Ran–

    Is it OK to say:

    “And can you deny that Pakistani state agencies and apologists for their practices use the racist card all the time? Have you listened to Gillani [sic] speeches recently?

    “To be clear, I have never said anything about the absence or presence of racism in the UK (in general or among academics). Whatever the merits of the claim, it has nothing to do with criticism of Pakistan: this link, which you insist on making, is the source of the problem”

    Are you OK with statements like that?

    Regards,

    Inna


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 132 other followers

%d bloggers like this: