Monday, March 26, 2007

One sided Anti-Zionism at UCSC

The anti-Israel lobby is at work again. On March 15, UCSC faculty sponsored a conference on narratives of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where speaker after speaker propounded the usual racist anti-Zionist propaganda, with nobody there to reply:

The first speaker was David Theo Goldberg, Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, who spoke on “Racial Palestinianization”. Goldberg claimed that Israel was, from its inception, a racist entity, which used its racist state policies to protect the purity of the Jewish race and exclude and oppress the Palestinians. In his talk and accompanying slide presentation, Goldberg explicitly and implicitly linked Israel’s current state policies and practices to those of the Nazis. Goldberg concluded his talk by asserting that Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians was part of a race war begun by Israel in order to rid the land of a despised racial
group, and that within such a context, suicide bombing was an understandable and
even fair response.

Judith Butler, a professor in the departments of Rhetoric and Comparative iterature at UC Berkeley, was the second speaker. Her talk was entitled “Hidden Histories of Post- Zionism”. Basing herself in part on the writings of Edward Said and in part on those of Jewish thinkers in the first half of the 20th century such as Martin Buber and Hannah Arendt, Butler claimed that Zionism was a racist and therefore illegitimate ideology, and she argued for the creation of a secular democratic bi-national state, which would replace the Jewish State...

The third speaker was Hilton Obenzinger, Associate Director for Honors and advanced Writing at the Stanford Writing Center. His talk, entitled “Jewish Opposition to the Occupation Since 1967, A Personal and Public Journey“, was... primarily a personal account of how, after growing up in a Zionist Jewish home, benzinger became an anti- Zionist activist who opposed the Jewish State and advocated Palestinian causes. Obenzinger also described and decried the opposition within the Jewish community to his anti-Israel pro-Palestinian efforts.

Terri Ginsberg, an adjunct professor at Purchase College, was the fourth speaker. In her talk, “Holocaust Film and Zionism: Exposing a Collaboration”, Ginsburg drew heavily upon the writings of Norman Finkelstein in claiming that Holocaust films have facilitated and justified the propagation of a racist Zionist ideology, which has resulted in the oppression, ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinians. She noted that her ideas were very unpopular both in the academy and in the Jewish community, and she accused those who would discredit her work of being “McCarthyites”.

The fifth and final speaker was Ryvka Bar Zohar, a graduate student at NYU, whose talk was entitled “A History of Zionism and the Politics of Divestment”. Bar Zohar presented her own ideas about the history of Zionism, arguing that the ideology grew out of the attempt of Eastern European Jews to recover from the “shame” of the Diaspora and the Holocaust by finding pride in domination. According to her analysis, Zionism was an essentially racist doctrine, which led to the creation of an apartheid state. Bar Zohar used her analysis to argue that the movement to divest from Israel was a justified and effective strategy for mounting an opposition to Zionism for all anti-Zionist and anti-apartheid activists.

Any attempt to introduce balance in such events is reviled as "McCarthyism," "Muzzling" and the works of the infamous "Israel Lobby."

A complete report is given here.

No comments: