A Festival of Hatred / DR.I.Barnir

With a lot of fanfare the Hate Fest dubbed “Israeli Apartheid Week” opened in campuses worldwide. For the last six years this vile event has become a fixture on the agenda of the self styled community of “Israel’s Critics”. Like previous years, this year’s event, scheduled to take place from March 1, through March 13, 2010, features endless diatribes condemning Israel delivered by a host of “enlightened” intellectuals and academics. Among the keynote speakers in the various happenings one can find many prominent Israeli names.

It started on a low key - at the University of Toronto in Canada in 2005, where it organized as a demonstration of solidarity with the people of Palestine and other oppressed nations. The idea found a receptive audience In the academia and it spread like a wild fire - from a single campus in 2005, through 3 campuses in 2006, to more than forty campuses, scattered over several continents this year. During the six years that these festivities were held, other oppressed nations have been waiting in vain for their turn to be mentioned in any of the happenings.

The key motto of this recurring annual anti Israeli festival, is promotion of the BDS - short for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions - against the State of Israel (other oppressed nations are still waiting to be included). The goal, as stated by the organizers, is to put an end to the colonization of Arab lands, and to enable the Palestinian Right of Return. No definition is given as to which Arab lands are being “colonized” nor of the Right of Return.

The Toronto event of 2005 featured as its keynote speaker Ilan Pappe, a professor of Creative History at the Haifa University in Israel.

For the benefit of the uninformed reader, Creative History is a research discipline whereby the researcher rewrites History according to his political agenda, regardless of the facts and/or what has really happened. The term Creative History was coined by yours truly; its definition, however, was given by Ilan Pappe himself in a lecture delivered to the general public in Palo Alto, California, about 10 years ago. The new discipline, a rotten fruit of post modernism, took roots and is now an integral part of the curriculum in many academic institutions, including top rated ones like Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard. It was only natural for the Israeli academia to follow suit.

Ilan Pappe’s act did not remain alone for a long time. The fire ignited by him in 2005 was picked by the “best of the best” among Israel’s finest. Professors and doctors, academics and thinkers from all walks of life, writers, artists and god knows who else, all men of unblemished moral record, enlisted to carry the torch. To borrow from Winston Churchill - It Was Their Ugliest Hour.

A prominent Israeli presence is nowadays a permanent fixture in each and all of theses carnival like events.

These Israeli academics - professors and doctors, thinkers, writers, artists and god knows who else, purport to occupy the moral high ground. In fact their acts reflect sheer malice, and there’s no morality whatsoever in what they say or do.

Two notable figures taking part in this year’s festival are Prof. Anat Matar and Prof. Adi Ophir from Tel Aviv University. The two are booked to appear in the UK, where they are to lead the call to boycott Israel, though their contract may extend to include other venues as well. Additional Israeli academics assume similar roles in other campuses.

This academic trend, which can be best defined as an Israeli Academics Against Israel movement, has gained momentum and had some accomplishments, sometimes where least expected. Best known is the story of prof. Oren Yiftach’el from Ben Gurion University. Being one of the most vociferous among those calling to boycott Israel, the eminent professor was in for an unpleasant surprise. Unbeknownst to him, most editors of scientific journals in the world lack the intellectual wherewithal required to make the distinction between a “good” Israeli and a “bad” one. For them an Israeli is an Israeli. Period. Thus, the poor professor had to face the embarrassment of having a paper of his rejected by the major journal in his field. Rather than understand that the editors of that journal were acting in good faith, in fact heeding his call, he took it very hard and pleaded with the editors to bend the rules for him. To the best of my knowledge, the editors refused to reconsider their decision.

This year a new term was added to the vocabulary used by the Israeli “critics”. It has been enriched by a new slur. From an “apartheid” state Israel has been upgraded (downgraded?) to become an “ethnocracy” - a state which favorably discriminates one ethnic group. It is not clear why this term qualifies as a slur, since it is hard to find one state among the world’s nations that is not an ethnocracy, in particular among all the Muslim and/or Arab states. Who can fathom what goes on in the mind of the obsessive Israel critic?

Israel, after all, was established by the Jewish people for the Jewish people. Thus, it is an ehnocracy by definition. How can anyone see anything wrong with that?

George Orwell defined an anti-Semite as Someone Who Hates Jews More than Is Absolutely Necessary. In a similar fashion, the excessive preoccupation with Israel criticism/condemnation/denunciation is the hallmark of the modern era anti-Semite. Israelis are not excluded.

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