Monday, July 6, 2015

Steven Salaita Winds up in Lebanon

Hat tip Campus Watch and Arutz Sheva

Good riddance

Move over Norman Finkelstein. Steven Salaita, the discredited professor who was offered a job to teach at the University of Illinois (an offer that was rescinded), has now given up the ghost and accepted a job at the American University of Lebanon.

Salaita may have become the darling of the academic left and anti-Israel crowd, but he became a joke as he launched a lawsuit against the University of Illinois. The university stood firm having learned of Salaita's disturbing messages on social media in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens who were later found murdered. Salaita expressed a wish that all settlers would go missing. (The teens lived in one of those Israeli settlements that everybody complains about. When the settlers are occasionally murdered, the academic left sheds no tears.)

So now Salaita has followed in the footsteps of another academic joke, Finkelstein, who finally took a position teaching in Turkey since no American university would hire him after being sacked at DePaul. He was reduced to appearing as a side show attraction speaking at various universities trashing Israel on behalf of the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. Since he had no position, he was advertised as an "Independent Scholar with a PhD from Princeton". I suspect he got tired of being mocked and shown up for the fool he is when he spoke at places like UC Irvine.  Possibly, Salaita and Finkelstein will run into each other in some event in the region-if they can find a place safe enough to speak.

In closing, I sincerely hope nobody will kidnap Salaita as often happens to Westerners in Beirut. If, God forbid, it happens, I would never follow his example and wish that all his ilk would go missing.

We don't talk like that in civilized society.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

The teens lived in one of those Israeli settlements that everybody complains about. When the settlers are occasionally murdered, the academic left sheds no tears.

While I do not advocate or support random kidnapping and killing of teen-agers, comments of this nature always remind me of the partisan attacks against German agricultural settlements in occupied Poland. Resistance forces, when they could, attacked such settlements, burned down the houses and barns, and killed any "settlers" they could get their hands on.

No doubt among the dead were relatively innocent German civilians, people who didn't really have a hand in planning these things, may not have known the stories of the equally innocent civilians who were brutally removed (some killed, some not) to make room for these bucolic lebensraum settlements.

Of course the Polish resistance failed to support the Warsaw ghetto uprising, just as the Red Army failed to support the Polish Home Army uprising in Warsaw... because frankly, nobody comes out of these conflicts with clean hands.

Israeli policy of settling civilians in territory that is militarily occupied rather than within internationally recognized borders of Israel should be stopped -- I hesitate to say 'by any means necessary.' But then, my life and livelihood are not directly impacted.

Jerusalem is a separate question, but while Israel has a legitimate claim on safe access to the Wailing Wall, removal of civilians from east Jerusalem to make room for Jewish settlement does conjure up the word... lebensraum.

Gary Fouse said...

People can disagree on the settlements, but to compare that with German-occupied Poland is silly. The West Bank (and previously Gaza) are and have never been part of a country called Palestine. They are in disputed territory to be be eventually determined by a treaty between the parties.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Gary, civilians who had lived on that land for generations were displaced. Whether they were or were not citizens or subjects of any given state is irrelevant. It may be that some of the settled land was in fact unoccupied, but it is well documented that the settlers then proceeded to encroach on neighboring occupied land, block movement by their presence and by active harassment, etc. That's why the comparison with German-occupied Poland is relevant. That, and the fact that the individual civilian families planted on the occupied land after the military had removed the previous occupants were subjected to reprisals for being there. I find it easier to accept that being done to Germans than to Israelis, partly because I grew up on WW II movies about the glorious Allies defeating the evil Nazis, and partly because the Germans were more ruthlessly thorough at genocide. But its still a point worth making.

I don't support murdering teens because their parents are thugs, even if they are being raised with a thuggish ideology themselves. I also don't support dismembering Israel because some Israelis are thugs, or because the current government enables the thugs. But its not a pretty picture.

As for "eventually determined by a treaty between the parties," if its not yet yours by treaty, you don't build permanent settlements. Aside from east Jerusalem, it is disputed because (a) its is militarily occupied, (b) there is a legitimate question of defensible borders. Aside from those who claim everything to the Jordan River as "liberated Israel," its not disputed that the land eventually has to be given up.

Gary Fouse said...

Many of the Palestinian refugees of 1948 left at the urging of the Arab states who promised them a safe return once Israel was eradicated.

In addition, it was Jordan from whom the land was conquered in 1967. Jordan isn't even asking for it back.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Kicking up a cloud of dust when you run out of relevant facts, Gary?

I know about the Palestinian refugees of 1948. They were straight-up lied to by their "Arab brothers" and lost big time. That's about "the right of return" to land within the borders of Israel, and frankly, I don't think that's either right or realistic.

But that has nothing to do with Israeli settlements on land that came under military occupation after 1967, where Palestinians who didn't go anywhere in 1948 were living on, farming, growing olive groves, grazing sheep, etc.

No matter who took it from whom, or who wants it back, no matter what sovereignty it is under, the individual rights of civilians to their private property is, according to international law, to be respected by the occupying power in possession. (Although it was honored in the breach, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo yielding about half the territory of Mexico to the United States specified that the title to land of Mexican nationals in the transferred territory would be respected, and that all such persons were eligible for American citizenship if they wanted it).

Finally, Israel's existence as a nation draws its legitimacy from a United Nations resolution adopted in 1947 which also specified that the portion of the Former British Mandate of Palestinian which was not within the boundaries of Israel would be formed into an Arabic nation. Jordan was illegally in occupation of that Arab Palestinian nation. Israel could have done itself a big favor in 1967 by announcing that, having liberated Palestine from illegal Jordanian and Egyptian occupation, it was going to implement the UN resolution and provide protection to the Palestinians in forming their own state.