ASA Boycott Is Not Really A Boycott?

October 24, 2014

asa_logoThe American Studies Association’s supposed boycott of Israeli academics and institutions of education has landed it in hot water yet again.

According to Eugene Kontorovich‘s summary of the controversy, which surrounds the upcoming ASA annual meeting in Los Angeles,

So according to the ASA, scholars who are “representatives or ambassadors” (whatever that means) are barred; but according to their executive director, a “representative” would not be “turned away.” Of course, this could just mean that the ASA has decided to selectively enforce its discriminatory rules – even the notorious Arab League Boycott of Israel is porous.

JNS.org reported:

About a year after the American Studies Association’s (ASA) widely condemned vote to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, the organization’s policy on Israel is receiving renewed scrutiny over a practical application of that vote.

Editor-in-Chief of CAMERA on Campus, Samantha Rose Mandeles, said:

The recent backtracking and dishonesty by the ASA is not surprising and represents another example of the disingenuousness that characterizes BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) efforts as a whole. As is common for BDS supporters, the ASA did not honor their own boycott policy—they invited several Israelis to participate in the conference, showing that, yet again, Israel BDSers will only abide by their own injunctions when it suits their needs,” she said. “BDS proponents will claim to boycott Israel, but actually only do so halfheartedly, when it is convenient and part of symbolic, theatrical gestures that have no effect on the conflict.

In summation, Professor Konotorovich wrote,

So here is the short history of how the boycott has played out for the ASA. First, it leads them have a policy that discriminates against scholars based on their national origin. Second, it got them to engage in an embarrassing and artless spinning of their actual policy. And finally, it leads them to abandon the policy. They got the worst of both worlds: exposure to liability and embarrassment for past discrimination, without the pleasure of continued discrimination.

Max Blumenthal Caught Spreading Lies (Again)

October 23, 2014

This entry is cross-posted from our Snapshots blog.

sharon hoax quote smThis week, CAMERA analysts once again caught notorious anti-Israel blogger, Max Blumenthal, casually spreading lies on Twitter.

As we posted in our CAMERA Snapshots blog,

Blumenthal’s tweet in question was made in support of, and in elaboration of, another Twitter user’s claim that Ariel Sharon had said:

It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time.

The first is that there is no Zionism, colonialism, or Jewish state without the eviction of the Arabs or the expropriation of their land.

Ariel Sharon, Israel’s late Prime Minister, who orchestrated the disengagement of all Jews from Gaza in 2005, never wrote or spoke these words.

Read our whole post on the issue here, and for more information about Max Blumenthal, click here.

Presspectiva Analyst Speaks at Cornell

October 22, 2014

yishai_portrait

On September 30, CAMERA’s own Yishai Goldflam spoke about media bias against Israel at Cornell University!  The content of this event included discussing specific instances of bias and inaccuracy in mainstream media that occurred over the course of this past summer, especially during Operation Protective Edge.

According to our Cornell CAMERA Fellow, Reut Baer, feedback from the audience was extremely positive. Audience members commented that the lecture was extremely informative and delivered in a factual, unbiased manner; a student even commented that this lecture had convinced them to attend future CIPAC events.

Yishai’s lecture was covered by the Cornell Daily Sun. The piece is reproduced in full below:

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Speaker Talks Anti-Israel Bias in Reporting on Middle East

OCTOBER 2, 2014 12:36 AM

By JOSHUA POLLOCK

Yishai Goldflam — a member of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America — discussed media bias, specifically regarding events in the Middle East at a lecture in Anabel Taylor Hall Tuesday.

The public’s perception of political events in the Middle East and Israel is often distorted by media bias, according to Goldflam, who spoke during a lecture hosted by the Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee. Goldflam said he believes that Israel received a large share of negative bias during last summer’s conflict.

“Israel [and the Middle East] is one of the most reported on topics, and I think it’s important to get the right picture or else it distorts the public’s opinion,” he said. “We don’t want to turn people into Israel-supporters, we’re just trying to correct the wrong facts in the news.”

Throughout his presentation, Goldflam showed the audience various news headlines about events in the Middle East. Sources for the headlines included The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, American Broadcasting Company and the British Broadcasting Company.

Goldflam said he believes that only the headline from the Los Angeles Times — which read “Hamas keeps up rocket attacks after Israel agrees to cease-fire” — did not show an “inherent anti-Israel bias.” He compared this to ABC’s “Israel resumes Gaza bombing campaign,” which he said is slanted against Israel in a way that creates “a [negative] chain reaction” on public opinion of Israel.

“Most people don’t read the entire article and get their information from the headlines,” he said.

Goldflam also said he believes that Western journalists were intimidated by the Palestinian militant group Hamas over the summer, reducing the quality of reporting on Gaza and accounting for some misinformation presented by news outlets.
“The world did not get all of the information until the [conflict] was over,” Goldflam said.

To support his claim, Goldflam showed the audience a video of a reporter working for the New Delhi Television Limited outlet reporting on Hamas firing missiles out of a densely populated civilian zone in the Gaza Strip.

“This report is being aired on [New Delhi Television Limited] and [is] published on ndtv.com after our team left the Gaza Strip,” the article states. “Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired.”

Goldflam added that Israel-related bias also comes from areas outside of Palestinian territories.

“A lot of the misinformation is com[ing] from Israel itself,” he said. “Some of it is due to translation issues, some of it is due to sloppy reporting and some of it [due to reporters] with agendas.”

Goldflam also gave the example from Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper.

The original title of an article in Haaretz — “Most Israelis support an apartheid regime in Israel” — was later changed it to “Survey: Most Israeli Jews wouldn’t give Palestinians vote if West Bank was annexed,” after complaints that the title did not reflect the actual findings of the poll, he said.

Reut Baer ’17, the CAMERA fellow for Cornell, organized Goldflam’s lecture at the University.

Baer said she hoped Goldflam’s lecture would help reveal biases news organizations can have, in light of recent conflict in Israel and the Middle East.

“Especially after the events of this summer, students and faculty on campus need to be informed of the facts,” she said. “Just because it was in the news, doesn’t mean that is actually fact.”

Baer added she that had previously heard Goldflam give a talk in Boston.

“[I thought] he’d be a great addition to Cornell and [CIPAC],” she said.

Brandon Gold ’18 said he attended the event to learn about potential inaccuracies in the media.

“[I want] to see an organization that deals with bias in the media and to hear from someone who dedicated [his] time to locate inaccurate sources and to present and fix these inaccuracies,” he said. “One must be careful when reading the news.”

According to Goldflam, CAMERA promotes “accuracy and accountability” in the news about Israel and the Middle East by contacting news outlets that publish inaccurate information. CAMERA claims it does not have an official stance on the Arab-Israeli conflict, or the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East, according to the organization.

 

Eretz Yisrael: Hineni!

October 21, 2014

This piece was contributed by our 2013-2014 CAMERA Fellow at SUNY Binghamton, Justin Hayet.  Justin continues to be active in our SUNY Binghamton CCAP group, BUZO. 

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Standing to the sound of the final blow of the shofar; I hold my prayer book wide open and shut my eyes. Feeling the vibrations of a sacred Jewish tradition as it shook my siddur, I relish the sound that sends me back through thousands of years of Jewish history, and forward into our new year; a year hopefully more peaceful, hopefully more sane and hopefully more understanding of the threats faced by our beloved Israel. But then, I open my eyes to the reality.

I am unnerved. I am baffled by the utter senselessness of a world where the defensive actions of a tiny state in an inflamed region could overshadow the murder of 300 passengers aboard a commercial airline, the continual massacre of Syrians, grisly beheadings in the name of jihad, and the countless other atrocities outdoing one another everyday in the Arab and Muslim world.

Most Americans will not give much though to the atrocities of this region, and if they do, it will usually only take the form of a televised, sound-bite, PG version, followed by YouTube’s latest kitten/ baby cuddle-fest. And yet we wonder why many of today’s college students appear so naive in their perceptions of international affairs and conflict.

***

Last month, I welcomed the Jewish New Year– even knowing that this would not be the year where Jewish college students could finally safely and comfortably walk around their their campus community wearing an IDF shirt or a star of David. “What if my Sociology graduate TA who grades my papers sees me?” I overhear as a Freshman friend of mine wearing an IDF shirt shuffles by an anti-Israel protest, avoiding potential harassment by this authority figure.

I welcomed the Jewish New Year– even knowing that thousands of students, Jewish and non-Jewish, would read about that latest Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) opinion piece, espousing a mendacious narrative which yet slowly being accepted and welcomed into academic circles. “They have some valid points,” I hear, watching usually apathetic college students walk by fake-blood-splattered TAs welcoming students back on their first day of class while holding pictures of Hamas’ human shields (though, of course portrayed as Israel’s purposeful civilian targets).

I welcomed the Jewish New Year– even knowing that this year, one of my best friends– and one of the most dedicated Zionists I know– will be publicly shamed (again) by SJP members, not only because he is a Zionist, because he is a religious Jew. Being a mensch and trying to build bridges in a swamp, Joshua Seed attends Binghamton SJP meetings weekly. Not because he agrees with anything that is said within the doors of the Graduate Student Association, not because he agrees with a tenured Binghamton Professor who regularly cites the Electronic Intifada, but because he truly believes in what SJP deceptively claims to fight for– the open and free flowing exchange of ideas. Josh Seed will not let hatred stop him from seeking knowledge, from challenging himself, from strengthening his Zionism.

***

Abraham and Sarah. Moses and Miriam. Esther and Mordechai. Joshua, Hannah, Ruth. Maimonides, Rashi, Isaac Luria. Herzl, Henrietta Szold, and Channa Senesch, Ben Gurion, Chaim Herzog, and Golda Meir. Eli Wiesel, Anne Frank, Primo Levi.  Today, we Zionists are lucky enough to be able to stand on the shoulders of great men and women, all of whom faced– and, in their own ways, overcame– great challenges of their time.

With these fighters, scholars, and liberators as my examples, I can offer the following:

Wherever and whenever the existence of the Jewish State is attacked, no matter in what context or environment, so too is the existence and integrity of the Jewish People. So, in this New Year, full of challenges and bigotry, in any and every such occasion, I will yet rise to the challenge. I will say “Hineni. Here I am.”

Will you?

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CAMERA on New Campuses

October 20, 2014

This year, for the first time ever, CAMERA has a campus Fellow at Clark University in Worcester, MA.  Clark student Seth Greenwald has taken on the responsibility and is starting off by reaching out to friends and other Israel activists on campus.

At the first meeting of the Clark pro-Israel group, CHAI, Seth gave a presentation about CAMERA to the executive board of the group as well as new students who were interested in learning more about media bias.  Seth reported that the intimate group had a chance to discuss this past summer’s situation in the Middle East in a meaningful, fact-based way, and were able to sign up to receive more information about CAMERA’s work.

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Clark University CAMERA Fellow Seth Greenwald with CHAI students

CAMERA pic room

Seth’s CAMERA presentation

“Students who attended will now continuously receive updates about my work with CAMERA as well as events both on Clark and in the community that they can attend in order to continue their Israel advocacy,” said Seth.

We can’t wait to put down CAMERA roots on a new campus, and we’re proud and happy to have such an enthusiastic campus rep. Yay, Seth!

Illini CAMERA Fellow Demands Accuracy– And Gets It!

October 17, 2014

tumblr_nbqpk7ihHk1ti7d62o1_1280Remember the recent controversy involving the hateful tweets of potential UIUC Professor Steven Salaita? We do, too.  Salaita is a former Virginia Tech professor who was offered a tenure-track position at UICU. The appointment was withdrawn after Salaita’s tweets blaming Israel for anti-semitism and conflating Israel with Nazism came to light. For more information about Salaita’s bigoted rhetoric, check out this post by CAMERA branch, CiFWatch.Twitter-_-stevesalaita_-Lets-cut-to-the-chase_-If-defending-Israel-horrible-person

UIUC CAMERA Fellow Elana Zelden had already written a letter to the UIUC paper, supporting the decision made by the chancellor and demanding accurate coverage of Salaita’s misconduct.  But, after watching a biased local news broadcast of a school meeting in which Chancellor Wise spoke about the decision, Elana decided more action was necessary.

Elana reported, ”

I saw a news cast online for a meeting I went to where the Chancellor spoke about Salaita before they made the decision, and [the newscast] completely misrepresented who was at the meeting and only showed speakers from Students for Justice and Palestine rather than also showing pro-Israel groups on campus. The ISSI president and I both wrote them letters about how [the broadcast] did not represent what actually went on at the meeting, and the next day, the news station took down the written article for the video, and replaced the link with a report about how many faculty members do not support Salaita. It was really cool to see how they actually were responding to our letters!
We are so proud of Elana for taking the initiative and helping to secure more balanced coverage of her campus.  Her letter to the station is reproduced in full below.
Dear Editor,
I am writing to you after watching your news coverage of the Student Senate meeting with Chancellor Wise at University of Illinois.
I was at the meeting (and saw myself in your newscast) in support of Chancellor Wise’s decision. I saw many more people there coming to support Chancellor Wise’s decision than the small group of people who were coming to show their disagreement with the decision. Aside from this,the newscast failed to feature any speakers who were in favor of the Chancellor’s decision– unacceptable if you are trying to accurately depict what happened at this meeting.
I would encourage you to accurately depict each side at such a meeting in the future if you would like to identify as a respected and accurate news outlet.
Thank you.

Update: We Say NO to the “Blood Bucket Challenge!”

October 16, 2014

We will not give up! CAMERA follows up with the president of the University of Ohio, asking him to make a strong statement condemning the academic boycott of Israel, and a commitment to fighting lies on campus.  Our two letters to the administration are reproduced in full, below:Ohio_University

Oct. 8, 2014

Dear President McDavis:

While I await your reply to my September 24 letter (copied below), please let me update you regarding the academic petition opposed to anti-Israel boycotts like those promoted by Ohio University Senate President Megan Marzec and her supporters. The number of signers, as reported today by The Times of Israel, has doubled to 1,240. The names include many from distinguished universities in the United States and abroad.

CAMERA continues to believe, as noted in my earlier letter, that signatures by Ohio University leaders, including yourself, “would be a most opportune way to take advantage of the teachable moment presented by the unfortunate ‘blood bucket’ controversy.”

Although I did not mention it in my earlier letter, even leaders of the Palestinian Authority have opposed the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. According to an article by veteran Palestinian-Israeli reporter Khaled Abu Toameh, “Palestinians: BDS Activists Are Troublemakers, Criminals,” May 30, 2014) posted by the Gatestone Institute (link below), some PA officials say BDS promoters “make the Palestinians appear as if they are not interested in peace and coexistence with Israel.”

“The important teachable moment” you referred to, provided by the “blood bucket” controversy, offers an opportunity for substantive learning. That is especially so if properly led. CAMERA trusts that you and other leaders at Ohio will sign the online petition in support of academic freedom and freedom of inquiry in and with Israeli academic institutions and against boycotts aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish state, the Middle East’s only democracy.

Perhaps I should note, which I failed to do in my September 24 letter, that CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, takes no policy positions regarding negotiated resolutions of Arab-Israeli conflicts. It is, rather, a communications media monitor holding media to traditional journalism standards including accuracy, objectivity, context, balance and absence of conflicts of interest.

Thank you again for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Eric Rozenman

 

Sept. 24, 2014

Dear President McDavis:

Thank you for your September 19 e-mail letter responding to my September 17 letter to the editor of The Ohio University Post. My Post submission criticized Student Senate President Megan Marzec’s “blood bucket” challenge in support of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

You write that Ohio University’s “focus is where it needs to be—on the safety and security of our students and university community and in helping our students work through this important teachable moment.” You also asked for support of concerned individuals for the university’s educational mission “as we help our students hold constructive dialogues about the issues and viewpoints that are deeply meaningful to them.”

This is appropriate and important. But care must be taken to ensure that getting the process for constructive dialogue right does not obscure the substance of that dialogue. In the case of anti-Israel BDS movement, its dialogue is based on falsehoods and is meant to be destructive.

Therefore, CAMERA trusts that this teachable moment at Ohio University will examine how a movement (BDS) intended to delegitimize and ultimately help destroy the one Western-style democracy in the Middle East, the only country that guarantees religious, gender and racial equality to all its citizens, has became a “deeply meaningful viewpoint” to members of your university community.

Twelve years ago, then-president of Harvard University, Lawrence Summers, took note of the already vocal if smaller campaign to divest from Israel. As reported in the Harvard Crimson (“Summers Says Anti-Semitism Lurks Locally; Divestment Strongly Denounced in Morning Prayers Speech,” Sept. 19, 2002) Summers “warned … that Harvard’s campus has not been immune to a global upturn in anti-Semitism. Calls for the University to divest from Israel and a Harvard student group’s fundraising activities are examples of developments on campus in the last year that are ‘anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent,’ Summers said to students and faculty attending the first Morning Prayers of the term….

“ ‘Where anti-Semitism and views that are profoundly anti-Israeli have traditionally been the primary preserve of poorly educated right-wing populists, profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities,’ he said. Given recent attacks on Jews in Europe, actions against Israeli academics and profoundly anti-Israel sentiment at last summer’s U.N. conference on racism, the developments on campus are all the more worrisome, Summers said.”

If anything, the trend Summers warned of has worsened. Certainly one can criticize, and strongly, policies of the Israeli government, just as one can do so regarding policies of any government, including the U.S. But calls to treat Israel as a pariah for defending itself against terrorism, for treating Zionism—the national liberation movement of the Jewish people—as criminal when upholding the right of self-determination for all other peoples goes beyond criticism. Anti-Zionism, unreasoning hostility to the Jewish state, is as many have observed, antisemitism under the cover of anti-Zionism, substituting (initially) the Jewish state for the Jewish people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke directly to this point at a rally against antisemitism in Berlin earlier this month: “The legitimate criticism of the political actions of a government—be it ours or of the state of Israel—is fine…. But if it is only used as a cloak for one’s hatred against other people, hatred for Jewish people, then it is a misuse of our basic rights of freedom of opinion and assembly” (“The Israelization of anti-Semitism; The blunt and forthright Angela Merkel tells it like it is,” Suzanne Fields commentary, The Washington Times, Sept. 18, 2014).

Columnist Fields cited French philosopher Vladimir Jankelevitch, who in 1978 “observed that Zionism ‘democratized’ anti-Semitism, enabling it to spread among critics who would never admit they were anti-Semitic.” This may suggest why, when civil war in Syria reportedly has taken nearly 200,000 lives, mostly non-combatants, and created millions of refugees, and various jihadist movements have done likewise in Iraq—including largely destroying a millennia-old Christian community—the cry is to punish Israel for its war against Hamas, an anti-Western, anti-Jewish terrorist movement.

President McDavis, if members of the Ohio University community found anti-French, anti-Mexican, anti-Catholic, racist or misogynist views “deeply meaningful,” I doubt that the school would help them “hold constructive dialogues about such issues.”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on September 22 that “more than 620 people from scores of universities have signed an online petition opposing academic boycotts of Israel. The petition, for professionals working in academia, says the undersigned ‘vigorously support free speech and free debate but we oppose faculty or student boycotts of Israel’s academic institutions, scholars and students.” The petition “criticizes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, saying it ‘violates the very principles of academic freedom.’ It also criticizes the BDS movement for basing its ‘accusations and narratives’ on ‘overstatements, cherry-picked evidence, outright falsehood’ or ‘disputed or highly-biased data.” (The link to the petition is embedded in this news item.)

CAMERA believes that signatures by Ohio University leaders, of course beginning with yourself, would be a most opportune way to take advantage of the teachable moment presented by the unfortunate “blood bucket” controversy. No doubt such leadership by example would inspire many students, faculty, alumni and potential applicants.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you again on this crucial issue.

Sincerely,

Eric Rozenman

CAMERA—Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Prez of CCAP Group at UC Irvine Publishes Article on Israel

October 15, 2014

10005998_10202346195029290_1793948771_oAfter witnessing a summer full of media bias against Israel, Sharon Shoulian, the president of our CCAP- supported organization at UC Irvine, Anteaters for Israel, decided to set the record straight with her own piece on Israel’s summer operation in Gaza.

Sharon’s piece was recently published in the New University. Check out an excerpt from her powerful article below.

We, as Americans, are lucky to live in one of the most progressive countries. But we are not strangers to terror. On the contrary, because we are familiar it is our duty to recognize the face of evil when we see it. And this summer we did. The fact of the matter is that Hamas is ISIS. It is Al-Qaida. It is Boko Haram. Whether they are shooting their own people in the public square or launching rockets at Israeli kindergartens, whether they are beheading American journalists on camera, whether they murder 3,000 innocent people on 9/11 or whether they kidnap scores of Nigerian schoolgirls, these groups are tied together by one common thread. That is the thread of violent Islamic extremism. They are all terrorist organizations and they ALL threaten the progressive, liberal values we as Americans hold dear. They share a disdain for democracy and a hatred of modernity. They threaten freedom of religion, freedom of speech, equal rights for gays, equality for women – in short, civilized culture and our entire way of life. Israel’s daily struggle is our struggle.

Israel’s operation in Gaza this summer was an example of Israelis fighting the war to save innocent civilians and preserve democracy – a war that is ours too.

Read the full version here.

Responding to Talk-Back Haters

October 14, 2014

 

A screenshot from the Blood Bucket video

A screenshot from the Blood Bucket video

In September, our letter about the “Blood-bucket challenge” at the University of Ohio was published in the University paper.  Predictably, comments on the article included mendacious, anti-Israel accusations. Our analysts decided not to let these lies slide, and so wrote a response to the talk-backs.  if you’ve ever been stuck in a talk-back debate and wondered how to respond, here is a great example from which to take inspiration!

Sept. 18, 2014

Dear Editor:

Two commenters hiding behind screen/e-mail names have posted unhinged replies to my comments on Student Senate President Megan Marzec’s anti-Israel “blood bucket” stunt and imagined support of Palestinian Arabs. Real names and addresses would have suggested the courage of their convictions. Their fact-free accusations include:

Israel “massacred 2,500 Palestinian non-combatants” in the recent Israeli-Hamas fighting. A CAMERA analysis, “How Hamas Wields Gaza’s Casualties as Propaganda” of statistics from the Palestinian Human Rights Centre posted at the TIME magazine site after three weeks of fighting indicated disproportionately high fatalities among men 17 to 30—prime fighting age—and disproportionately low fatalities among adult women and children. This trend appears to have continued during the rest of the conflict, suggesting the ratio of combatant-to-non-combatant deaths among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip when finalized will be roughly 1:1. Similar figures from U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq have been estimated in the 3:1 to 4:1 range. There was no Israeli massacre of Palestinian non-combatants; Israeli combat casualties might have been “disproportionately high,” given the leaflet, text, phone and other warnings issued before strikes, limiting civilian deaths but depriving Israeli forces of the element of surprise.

Israel imposes “a full blockade of all Gaza’s borders.” That would be difficult, since the Gaza Strip borders Egypt as well as Israel. The Egyptian military government does tightly restrict its Gaza crossing, viewing the Strip’s Hamas rulers as collaborators with Islamic extremists killing Egyptian troops in the Sinai. Israel, even during this summer’s fighting, permits hundreds of truckloads of food, fuel, medicine and other humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. On August 21, for example, while Palestinian terrorists were firing 68 mortars and rockets into Israel—each one a war crime—the Israelis let 178 truckloads into Gaza. How much aid would Athens send Nelsonville if the latter were shelling Baker Center?

Israel has confiscated “99 percent of West Bank land.” Wrong again, wildly. Jewish communities in the West Bank—commonly known as Judea and Samaria until renamed in the 1950s by Jordan during its illegal occupation—comprise much less than 10 percent of the disputed territory. In 2008, for example, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed a “two-state solution” in which Israel would retain the major West Bank settlement blocks with the large majority of settlers—6.3 percent of the land—in exchange for compensatory land swaps from Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the proposal, in part because it would have meant recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and agreeing to an end to the conflict.

To read the ravings of “mxm123” and “markd”, one would never know that Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005 or that since then approximately 15,000 mortars and rockets have been fired from the Strip at Israel (hundreds falling short, some wounding or killing Gazans, not that the commenters seem concerned), or that Hamas had spent billions of dollars, not to construct housing in Gaza but rather tunnels into Israel to facilitate mass kidnappings and murders. One would never know that in 2000 and 2001 the Palestinian leadership rejected Israeli-U.S. offers of a West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem state in return for peace with Israel and instead launched the bloody second intifada. This included suicide bombers blowing themselves up in college cafeterias and pizza parlors.

For those who hate, no falsehood is too extreme, no crime indefensible. These are not the attributes of members of a community of scholars.

CAMERA Washington Director’s Letter to Rice University

October 13, 2014

 

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This past September, a Rice University professor of History, Ussama Makdisi, has been particularly active in spewing and publishing anti-Israel vitriol, but our Washington, D.C. area branch has been active in combating his lies!  Check out the letter CAMERA sent to the university administration, the full text of which is reproduced below.  So far, the university has not responded, despite the publication of our earlier op-ed taking Makdisi to task. Read our first piece on the issue here.

Sept. 17, 2014
Dr. Alida Metcalf
Chair
Department of History
Rice University
6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005
Dear Dr. Metcalf:
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Eric Rozenman and I am Washington director of CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
CAMERA is a non-partisan, 501(c) 3 educational organization that monitors news and other communications media coverage of and commentary on the Middle East in general, Arab-Israeli issues in particular. We take no policy position on negotiated settlements to Arab-Israeli matters but rather hold media accountable to traditional journalism standards of objectivity, accuracy, context, balance and absence of conflicts of interest.
I am forwarding to your attention the link to a CAMERA Op-Ed posted at The Hill, a newspaper focused on and serving Capitol Hill and Congress, on September 12. It rebuts an anti-Israel polemic by Ussama S. Makdisi, a Rice University professor of history.
Prof. Makdisi’s commentary was hardly fact-based. It was, as you will find at this link, erroneous and misleading. We bring this to your attention in the expectation that such revisionist propaganda is in not representative of or supported by the history department at Rice. As Lord Acton, the British historian known for his observation that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, also stressed, “truth is the only merit that gives dignity and worth to history.”
Thank you for your attention to this important matter, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Eric Rozenman
Washington Director
CAMERA—Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Copies:
David W. Leebron, President, Rice University
Bobby Tudor, Chair, Board of Trustees