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Monday, October 29, 2007

Fighting Jihad is McCarthyism According to "Nation Magazine"

Whenever you point out that the statements or writings from the Islamics or Dhimmis are false and twisted you are practicing McCarthyism. At least that what Jewish Week Editor-at-Large Larry Choler-(not Emmes) Esses says in the latest issue of the Nation. Please take a look at this copy of his article annotated with some referenced corrections I added. By the way there is lots more where this proof came from but it is almost dinnertime

The New McCarthyism

by LARRY COHLER-ESSES [from the November 12, 2007 issue of the Nation]

Meet Professor Nadia Abu El-Haj, a notorious Barnard College professor now up for tenure who: claims the ancient Israelite kingdoms are a "pure political fabrication," denies the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE and instead blames its destruction on the Jews, does not speak or read Hebrew yet had the temerity to publish a book on Israeli archaeology that demanded such expertise, is so ignorant of her topic that she quotes one archaeologist on how a dig might have damaged the ancient palaces of Solomon--oblivious to the fact that those palaces, if they existed, were far from the site in question.

None of these charges are true. You could look it up. I did, in El-Haj's book Facts on the Ground, about which these charges are made. The statements for which a network of right-wing critics assail her book are not there....

Look Harder Larry, Mr. No-Emmes--the charge is that she doesn't read Hebrew and has never been to an archaeological dig in Israel...its kind of like If I wrote a book called "Pork tastes wonderful" even though I don't eat Pork or you writing a book about thorough research even though you don't. You need to do a little better research or read one of these Jewish Origins In Israel PURE FICTION Says Barnard College Professor or Barnard College teaches Jewish History Was Made up and when you do --check to see which part of that article has quotes--those are the ones that are exactly what she said--the other once are paraphrases so you have to READ the entire book to find them---- did you read the ENTIRE Book to find what the statements in article were talked about-- or were the worlds too big --so you just skimmed through the book to find the text you were looking for?

Here I will help you skim--these examples are from Abu El-Haj’s Barnard colleague, professor Alan Segal who literally recites some of her errors and slurs by page number:

“the colonial dimension of Jewish settlement in Palestine cannot be sidelined if one is to understand the significance and consequences of archaeological practice...” (p. 4). I am only quoting a small portion of her discussion there, which goes on for some pages with further arguments about the added and uniquely colonial nature of Israeli archaeology, among other things.

Professor Abu El-Haj makes major judgments about the Jewish character of Jerusalem in New Testament times, including that Herodian Jerusalem was not a Jewish city, a most extreme opinion (p. 175-176). She also says that Jerusalem was not a Jewish city after the destruction of the Jewish state because Jews were in the minority during much of its recent history. Would she then consider that the old city of Jerusalem is not now an Arab city because Arabs are now a minority there? These are not casual observations but critical ones, logically necessary to her analysis of the errors of Israeli archaeological museums. By rights, to come to these conclusions she should also be familiar with ancient classical historians, Syriac and Greek, Josephus, Philo, and New Testament scholarship, to say nothing about early rabbinic literature and possibly Latin language and literature. Other than the odd quotation from Josephus, there is little evidence of this either. Without engaging these bodies of knowledge she has no grounds for siding with a bare logical possibility about the events which produced “The Burnt House,” for example, against the consensus of international, not just Israeli, scholarship (p. 145).

Without many of these tools, she could not make a judgment about even a footnote or a textual reading in a biblical minimalist article, to say nothing of one of their many conflicting histories of biblical times, Old Testament or New. She merely takes only those statements which most agree with her own tenuous contentions, and that is something that no Bible scholar, no anthropologist, and no archaeologist should ever do. But she has no choice: pretty much every other one of the virtually countless theories about Israelite settlement in First Temple times would disprove her hypothesis about Israeli archaeology. Not only does she not know these fields, but she does not tell her readers about them, or why they are necessary, or how decisions are actually made in biblical studies. So, it is no wonder that anthropologists, who cannot be expected to know these disciplines either, so easily go along with her. Nor can they be expected to know that her Palestinian claims to the lands of Jebusites (Jerusalem) and other Canaanites, for example, depend solely on the very Bible whose historicity she has just impugned and that all known records of these people list them as separate ethnicities (pp. 258-272).

Most pointedly, professor Abu El-Haj feels that there was no good evidence of Israelite occupation of the area before Israeli archaeologists did their work. She characterizes Israeli archaeologists as disguising myth as history: “the mythical character of the biblical narratives is effaced” (p. 127), as an example or “a tale best understood as the modern nation’s origin myth was transported into the realm of history” (p. 104) as another. She ignores the possibility that the archaeologists may have been trying in good faith to ascertain what was historical, given their data and historical context. As she makes these claims she footnotes specific scholars from a particular school of biblical scholarship—“the biblical minimalists” (e.g., see reference to Thomas Thompson on p. 127). A person unfamiliar with biblical scholarship might miss the import of these references but the implication is clear. Professor Abu El-Haj has necessarily made some radical assumptions about what biblical history actually tells us.

She does make some simple mistakes in Hebrew at several important places in her book, especially in the chapters on Hebrew place names, but also including one that affects her conclusions about Israelis secularizing ancient concepts. Contrary to her opinion, “bayyit” does mean “temple” in ancient Hebrew: “the Hebrew terms secularizing in their effect insofar as the word ‘temple’ is absent” (p. 132)

A statement supported by one, anonymous, oral report is an unsupported statement, and several of such statements are crucial to professor Abu El-Haj’s conclusions: that Israelis deliberately mislabel Christian sites as Jewish and tear down churches (p. 233, among others); that they use bull-dozers to level sites and wipe out evidence of Palestinian habitation (pp. 148, 153, 157). No respectable journalist would publish on the basis of one anonymous report and, if these were actually supportable, they would not have escaped notice for long in field reports or archaeological discussions, which can be quite vituperative in Israel. Israeli archaeologists have no fear of criticizing each other and are extremely talented writers, being literate in several languages. It’s hard to believe any secret that could be bandied about to a hostile stranger reporter would avoid disclosure somewhere in their very argumentative journals and books.

Her most outrageous charge—that bulldozers are being used in contemporary archaeology (p. 148)—has been proven false by the field reports and the testimony of David Usshishkin, the person in charge of the Jezreel dig during the time in question and a very well known archaeologist with an impeccable reputation. What was used was a power arm, a much smaller and more refined instrument, perfectly acceptable in salvage digs as this sector was. (Incidentally, there was no Arab evidence at all in the sector in question.)

There is a huge difference between a giant leveling blade and a manipulatable, very small, power digging instrument but it is professor Abu El-Haj who emphasizes the importance of the use of bulldozers (p. 148-9).

And when you are all done reading finding those page numbers -- maybe you can read Abu El-Haj's article on Genetics:

In a recent paper, "Rethinking Genetic Genealogy: A Response to Stephan Palmié," American Ethnologist 2007, 34:2:223-227, Abu El Haj states that one of the “instances in which widely accepted forms of knowledge have been disproved” by genetic research is “the ‘fact’ that the Jewish maternal line originated in ancient Palestine.”

The leading study of the subject actually comes to exactly the opposite conclusion. The authors of “The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event,” conclude that evidence “supports a common Levantine ancestry” for Jewish women. “Close to one-half of Ashkenazi Jews, estimated at 8,000,000 people, can be traced back to only 4 women carrying distinct mtDNAs that are virtually absent in other populations, with the important exception of low frequencies among non-Ashkenazi Jews. We conclude that four founding mtDNAs, likely of Near Eastern ancestry, underwent major expansions in Europe within the past millennium.”

See Barnard's Nadia Abu El-Haj Fails Genetics Too

Larry Choler-(not Emmes) Esses continues:

I asked Paula Stern, the Barnard alum who has organized an online petition demanding that El-Haj be denied tenure, how she squared her petition's charges with El-Haj's book. "The petition takes pieces of criticisms from experts. It may not be quoted 100 percent accurate," [what did she say after that--but it is paraphrased correctly? Why do you stop in the middle of an answer?] she admitted. Still, more than 2,500 people, including many Barnard and Columbia alumni, have signed on to its claims. Tellingly, Stern, who now lives in the West Bank, voiced astonishment at being asked to justify her charges in terms of what El-Haj's book actually says. "I've spoken to many newspapers," she said. "No one has done what you've done."

I guess I am one of those right wing website you talk about--did you ask her if they are truthful? Whether her paraphrases were right? Did she say she lied--or did she say simply no one has done what you have done? Have you twisted what you have said to get a story to lean YOUR way?

Under pressure from these assaults, some academic institutions buckle and a professor's career is derailed; in other cases it is permanently stained. More insidious, even when tenure puts an academic beyond the reach of his or her assailants, more vulnerable junior faculty and grad students take note. "There certainly is a sense among faculty and grad students that they're being watched, monitored," said Zachary Lockman, president of the Middle East Studies Association. "People are always looking over their shoulder, feeling that whatever they say--in accurate or, more likely, distorted form--can end up on a website. It definitely has a chilling effect."

This is the modus operandi of the New McCarthyism. It targets a new enemy for our era: Muslims, Arabs and others in the Middle East field who are identified as stepping over an unstated line in criticizing Israel, as radical Islamists, as just plain radical or as in some way sympathetic to terrorists. Its purveyors include Campus Watch, run by Arab studies scholar Daniel Pipes; the David Project, supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation; and David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine (in October Horowitz organized an "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" on campuses across the nation).

The difference between what we do is McCarthy MADE UP lies--we expose them.

Their efforts often appear to be linked. As first noted by blogger Richard Silverstein the earliest web attack on El-Haj's book was posted simultaneously by Campus Watch and FrontPage, in October 2005. Alexander Joffe, identified as a professor at SUNY, Purchase, published a harshly negative review of the book in The Journal of Near Eastern Studies that same month. The prestigious journal did not note--and was not informed--that he was then director of Campus Watch. Soon after, he became research director for the David Project. Less prominent researchers like Stern, the online PipeLine News and writers such as Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer provide raw material to the more well-known portals, such as Pipes and Horowitz. Pipes's and Horowitz's material is, in turn, picked up by key conservative papers like the New York Post and New York Sun.

Richard Silverstein??? You are using Richard Silverstein as your Example????? Give me a break? The same Richard Silverstein who is Muzzlewatch's favorite blog?---Talk about McCarthyites. This guy makes up slander about Israel on a daily basis. Using Richard Silverstein to critique bloggers or the anti-Islamofacism movement is like using David Duke to write a review of Porgy and Bess. Does your family know you go to sites like that?

There is an undeniable security threat, but as in the 1950s the New McCarthyites use it as a base for demagogy. Their distinguishing feature is not concern about this threat but cynical indifference to the truth or decency of their charges. Take the case of Debbie Almontaser, the New York City public high school principal forced to resign in August as head of a new Arabic/English secondary school. The furor revolved around her attempt in an interview with the Post to explain the meaning of, rather than simply condemn, T-shirts bearing the words Intifada NYC. This provoked a firestorm. United Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten, a key supporter of Almontaser's school, condemned her in a letter to the Post. The next day Almontaser resigned--a move publicly welcomed by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Almontaser has since stated she was told to resign or the school, which she founded, would be closed.

In its obscuring, anodyne postmortem on the affair, the New York Times vaguely described Almontaser as a victim of the city's "treacherous ethnic and ideological political currents" rather than of specific charges that were demonstrably false--like Pipes's widely publicized claim, based on a truncated quotation, that she denied Muslims or Arabs were involved in the 9/11 attacks. The Times report on El-Haj adopted a similar hands-off stance, simply quoting supporters and attackers. It did not once compare the activists' charges with what El-Haj actually said in her book.

I don't want to burden you with all of the Almontaser facts--since I wrote about it on my blog just a week ago ---but if you missed it you can go to Khalil Gibran International Academy's Ex-Principal Almontaser's New Tin Foil Hat

As it happens, Almontaser's forced resignation was the city Education Department's second dive in the face of pressure from the New McCarthyites. Three years ago it dismissed Professor Rashid Khalidi, the esteemed director of Columbia's Middle East Institute, from lecturing teachers enrolled in professional development courses. The dismissal came in response to a Sun article claiming Khalidi had denounced Israel as "a 'racist' state with an 'apartheid system.'" Khalidi denied the quote fragments as they were used in the story. "I do not think Zionism is racist," he told the Forward. "When we talk about some of the contemporary laws, there are policies that I consider racist and discriminatory." Asked if the department had verified Khalidi's purported remarks before dismissing him, a department spokesman avoided answering Times columnist Joyce Purnick.

Lets examine some Khalidi's statements using the NY Sun but other sources also please note you can't read the full text of the speech because it has mysteriously disappeared:

Khalidi's critics have pointed to various of his statements which they dispute. In an interview on PBS, Khalidi described Palestine as under "occupation" since 1948, saying "about half of it was occupied by Israel (which under UNGA 181 was supposed to obtain roughly 55% of Mandate Palestine, and which by the time of the armistice had taken control of about 78%, including half of what was to have been the Arab state)... the remainder was, as you say, under Egyptian and Jordanian control from 1948-1967.("President Declares Failed Mideast States Threat to U.S.". The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. PBS (August 21, 2006) Such a reference to "occupation" since 1948 implies a denial of Israel's right to exist.

Khalidi has further been criticized for stating that there is a legal right under international law for Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation. This is from the Sun (Right of Resistance?. Editorial. New York Sun (March 14, 2005). For example, in a speech given to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Khalidi said that “[k]illing civilians is a war crime. Its a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They're civilians, they're unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that's different. That's resistance. ”Now I would like to use the transcript of the speech to prove his exact quote but for some reason ADC transcript of Khalidi's speech has been edited, and has sections missing. Thus, it cannot be used for verification.

The New York Sun, correctly argued that by failing to distinguish between combatants and noncombatants, Khalidi implies that all Palestinians have this right to resist, which it argued was incorrect under international law.

Martin Kramer, an American scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, criticized Khalidi for his characterization of WINEP. When Hafiz al-Mirazi pointed out that that the Washington Institute "had provided a podium for Nabil Amr, Palestinian information minister, as well as Egyptian presidential adviser Osama al-Baz" and "a joint op-ed with an Egyptian writer from Al-Ahram, Khalidi denounced the Arabs who have contributed to the institute. Kramer said Khalidi used "intimidating language ... aimed against an institution with entirely American credentials... The Washington Institute is run by Americans, and accepts funds only from American sources. (Contrast with the donors of Khalidi's chair, whose precise identities Columbia still refuses to reveal.)" Kramer wrote a short detailed criticism on his Blog. Martin Kramer. Rashid Khalidi : Columbia's Combative Middle East Professor, History News Network

Mr. No-Emmes goes on to defend Stormin' Norman Finkelstein:

Khalidi still has his day job, as does--so far--a nontenured Columbia colleague, Joseph Massad, who according to a special school investigative committee was falsely accused several years ago of discriminating against Jewish and Israeli students. The same cannot be said for Norman Finkelstein, who was terminated at Chicago's DePaul University in September after the school's president--in a rare departure from standard procedure--rejected the overwhelming tenure approval Finkelstein had received at both the departmental and college levels. Finkelstein's scholarly work has accused Jewish groups of exploiting the Holocaust and Israel of egregious human rights violations. He had incurred the special wrath of Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, whose book defending Israel Finkelstein had devoted an entire book to savaging. Dershowitz, in turn, tried unsuccessfully to prevent the University of California Press from publishing Finkelstein's book, and sent Finkelstein's tenure committees a dossier that he said documented his "most egregious academic sins, and especially his outright lies, misquotations, and distortions." Clearly, the tenure committees were not impressed by Dershowitz's claims. DePaul president Dennis Holtschneider, for his part, denied that Dershowitz's intervention affected his decision.

Ah Yes, the poor oppressed Professor Finkelstein. Have you ever taken the time to read Professor Dershowitz's dossier? I doubt it. It is quite impressive I posted it a few months ago you can find it here Dershowitz Was ASKED to Comment on Finkestein Oh yes that's the other part---the reason for Dershowitz's dossier--Finkelstein's boss the chairman of the Dept. ASKED Dershowitz to write it. If you don't believe me try reading the Jewish Week once in a while that's where I first read about it.

Beshara Doumani, a University of California history professor, has mapped the systemic strategy of the New McCarthyism, highlighting that more than just its targets are new. First and foremost, private advocacy groups, not Congressional committees, are by and large today's means of pressuring academic administrations--at least, so far. These groups often retain important ties to government figures. But they are most focused on organizing alumni and students, with an eye toward generating public outrage and eventually government and donor pressure.

"I'm worried about untenured professors trying to get tenure," said Doumani, co-chair of the Middle East Studies Association's Committee on Academic Freedom. "I'm worried about entire departments saying, 'We need people in Middle East positions, but we're not going to hire certain kinds of people. It involves too much headache, too much risk.' How do you quantify that? You can't. But it's going around. I can tell you, it's a real issue."

Yes Ms Doumani, that is the entire point "We need people in Middle East positions, but we're not going to hire certain kinds of people" --the certain people you hire can be vehemently anti-Israel--but pro or anti-Israel they should not be people who lie and twist the facts like kinda like Larry Choler-(not Emmes) Esses does in his piece published in the Nation.

Larry Choler Esses replied to my post which I put up along with a response from me click here to read it The New-McCarthyism:Larry Cohler-Esses Replies

By the way before there was McCarthy there was a LEGITIMATE House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)---Robert Stripling served ten years as Chief Investigator of the bipartisan HUAC its a part of history that people should read about..but never do. Jeremayakovka has an excellent post about Stripling called "The Red Plot Against America" And A Case for Striplingism" it is worth a read.


Avi said...

Jews have no history in Israel? What a load of garbage! Even the Qur'an speaks of Jewish presence in Israel and so do loads of ancient historians.

Batya said...

Related to the same mindset at when Ben Gurion and followers, the same great liberals who gave us the sezon and shot at the Jews on the Altalena, would call the Revisionists fascists.

therapydoc said...

Thanks for doing our homework for us Yid.