The University of California, Berkeley, has made a quick u-turn in its decision to block a student-led class devoted to demonizing Israel and Morton Klein doesn't like it.
Neither do I.
The ZOA tells us the following:
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the University of California (UC), Berkeley for reinstating an explicitly anti-Israel course dedicating to discussing and seeking ways in which to dismantle Israel, thereby robbing the Jewish people of national self-determination.It's important that we still have staunch pro-Israel organizations like the ZOA and this is particularly true given that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has under its new director, Jonathan Greenblatt, moved into the surrealistic J Street realm of pro-Israel / anti-Israel organizations.
Isi Leibler will tell you.
But there is also the important question of where the Jewish and pro-Israel donating Berkeley alums will come down on the issue. My guess is that UCAL, Berkeley has little to fear from the possibility of Jewish financial defections.
The Obama administration, after all, has done a terrific job demonstrating the endurance of American Jewish loyalty to both the Democratic party and progressive-left institutions, such as UCAL Berkeley.
The course, entitled, ‘Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,’ examines the history of the region from the 1880s “through the lens of settler colonialism.” The course, in short, simply presumes that Zionism is colonial movement, rather than a national liberation movement.That's the key insight.
From what I gather, the course is grounded in the false premise of perpetual Palestinian-Arab victim-hood at the hands of those terrible colonialist Ashkenazi Zionists... i.e., the Jews. As violent intruders, needless to say, the Jews are considered to have no rights to national sovereignty on what is falsely claimed as the land of the "indigenous Arab" population.
It is for this reason that the "instructor student," Hatem Bazian, will also examine “the possibilities of a decolonized Palestine.” Or, to say in more honest terms, the possibility of eliminating Israel as the national and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.
The course readings consist heavily of anti-Zionist readings from biased, ‘new historians’ like Ilan Pappé and Palestinian activists like Edward Said and so on.Ilan Pappé has a certain notoriety within the academic community for saying in a 1999 interview:
“Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what the facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth-seekers.”And we even have a photo of Edward Said throwing rocks at the IDF.
According to Morton Klein:
“This course at UC brings into the open what is often merely latent –– that courses at universities today that deal with Zionism, Arab nationalism and the history of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are inherently biased against Zionism and Jewish national rights, regarding Palestinian Arabs as the only group entitled to such things."Yes, and this has been going on for many years, now.
One lesson that we can take away from the proliferation of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism on American campuses is that Jewish alumni donors to schools like UCAL, Berkeley, do not much mind the defamation of Israel on those campuses.
Nor do they, apparently, much mind the challenges - physical, emotional, and otherwise - suffered by Jewish supporters of Israel on those campuses.
Either that or the schools are willing to alienate a few Jewish donors and subject pro-Israel Jewish students to harassent in order to support the anti-Zionist project.
It is a shame, really, because if the pro-Israel Jewish alumnus at schools like UCAL, Berkeley would stand up with strength they could make a difference.
Sadly, they don't.