Sunday, March 1, 2009

UC-Santa Cruz Anti-Israel Teach-in

Hatem Bazian

On March 5, UC-Santa Cruz, one of the most leftist universities in America (and home of Angela Davis), will be putting on an event labeled as an "informational teach-in" entitled; "Understanding Gaza". The event is specifically being organized by Colleges 9 and 10 (Cocurricular Office) of UCSC. The two principle speakers are Hatem Bazian, lecturer at UC-Berkeley and Nora Barrows-Freedman, described as an "independent investigative journalist and news correspondent", who "will offer her narrative as a Jewish-American". Also participating will be "Jewish Voice for Peace" and the "International Solidarity Movement". Below is the actual announcement:

Understanding Gaza
03/05/2009 Thursday 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

"This informational teach-in will provide some historical background on Gaza and its political/social/economic struggle to survive, as well as providing narratives from both Palestinian American and Jewish American perspectives. Hatem Bazian, Palestinian-American Lecturer at UC Berkeley, will discuss the history of Gaza and the current conflict as well as providing his narrative as a Palestinian American. Nora Barrows-Freedman, independent investigative journalist and news correspondent, will talk about her many trips and experience in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, and offer her narrative as a Jewish American."

This looks on the surface to be some sort of debate or balanced discussion of the Israel-Palestinian issue. Actually, it is anything but that. "Jewish Voice for Peace" is, like the "International Solidarity Movement", committed to activism against Israel as a Jewish state.

As for Ms Barrows-Freedman, here is a sample of her writing:

Shadows and Distortions
The Nakba in Palestine

"As the heavy shadow of the 1948 Nakba hovers and recedes over the narrow alleyways of refugee camps and Diaspora communities this week, Palestinians remain at Israel's whim to starve, die, or become displaced and divided."

"Nakba" is the Arabic term for "catastrophe" referring to the creation of the state of Israel. I think you get the message.

As for Mr Bazian, here is an excerpt from his Wikipedia entry:

"Bazian has been accused of anti-semitism. American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us quotes him at a 1999 conference of the American Muslim Alliance as saying:

'In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews. They are on the west side of the river, which is the Jordan River, and you're on the east side until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him! And that's in the Hadith about this, this is a future battle before the Day of Judgment.'

Bazian said on The O'Reilly Factor that this statement was falsely attributed to him, and that he was considering legal action as a response.[6][7]

A former SFSU student has alleged that Bazian prevented his appointment to the Student Judicial Council on the grounds that he supported the state of Israel and was therefore a racist.[8].

Conservative commentator David Horowitz lists Bazian as one of The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.[9]"

In addition, Bazian has also been quoted as calling for an intifada in the US. (He claims it was taken out of context-nothing violent, of course).

So once again, in coordination with the world-wide movement to use the first week in March as "Anti-Israeli Apartheid Week", we have a University of California campus putting its imprimatur on an event misleadingly worded but devoted to presenting a one-sided exercise in the bashing of Israel (and bet your bottom dollar, America will be bashed as well). This event will surely take its place alongside recent similar events at UCLA and UC-Irvine.

What is especially despicable is the on-going tactic of bringing in Jewish figures to bash Israel in the guise of providing Jewish perspective. In this case, it appears that the so-called "independent scholar" Norman Finklestein is booked at some other university this week. To me, this tactic is akin to having a discussion on the German occupation of France and having a Nazi represent Germany while Pierre Laval "offers the French narrative". Ditto for Norway and Vidkun Quisling.

This is what passes for scholarship at UC Santa Cruz and countless other universities across North America. Who will speak for Israel at this "teach-in"? Nobody listed on the program will that is for sure. Will it take a lone solitary voice in the audience to point out the obvious bias of the speakers and incur the wrath of the audience and panel, as Eric Golub did at UCLA and I did at UC-Irvine? At what point do our esteemed universities and radical academics come to grips with the fact that they are inciting not only passions against Israel, but against our country and our own Jewish citizens as well?

Will someone in the audience ask one of the esteemed scholars to condemn recent chants heard at pro-Hamas rallies such as, "Long Live Hitler!" and "Go back to the ovens"? If so, will they be told by the panelists that such incidents, which can be seen on YouTube, are "exaggerated", "made up" or perpetrated by "Zionists" masquerading as Arabs-and that we should "pull our heads out of our navels"-as Finklestein retorted to my written question at UC-Irvine?

Folks, this is not scholarship. This is not education. This is indoctrination.


Findalis said...

Funny how they get away with it too, isn't is Gary? I wonder what would really happen if someone called the University out and filed a lawsuit? Could there be one?

Gary Fouse said...


It's not that far off.