New Article: Koren et al, Jewish Life on Campus

Koren, Annette, Leonard Saxe, and Eric Fleisch. “Jewish Life on Campus: From Backwater to Battleground.” American Jewish Year Book 115 (2015):45-88.

 

URL: dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24505-8_2

 

Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic shift in the extent and focus of concerns about Jewish life on campus. The Jewish community is increasingly occupied with the education of the next generation and the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on campus. Outreach to Jewish students—from the expansion of Hillel and Chabad to the flourishing of Birthright Israel, as well as the growth of Jewish and Israel Studies—have engaged formerly uninvolved students with Jewish education and Jewish life. This article describes the situation on campus: the proportion of Jewish students, Israel-related activity, and perceptions of anti-Semitism. It discusses academic programs such as Jewish and Israel Studies and informal programs, such as Hillel and Chabad, that engage students in Jewish life. It also describes organizations and programs, both experiential and advocacy-oriented, that help students identify and combat attempts to delegitimize Israel and intimidate Jewish expression.

 

 

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New Article: McCarthy, Academic Freedom and the Boycott of Israeli Universities

McCarthy, Conor. “Academic Freedom and the Boycott of Israeli Universities: On the Necessity of Angry Knowledge.” College Literature 43.1 (2016): 264-74.

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URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/college_literature/v043/43.1.mccarthy.html

 

Extract

I should begin this essay by declaring my own background in the discussion. I am a long-time activist in Palestine solidarity, having been a founding member of both the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2001 and of Academics for Palestine, an Irish group working for the academic boycott, in 2014. I have moved from a position of doubt and unease in regard to the academic boycott to one of commitment to it.

What is the history or background of the boycott movement? It is a subset of the wider campaign for “BDS” or “boycott, divestment and sanctions”—that is, in favor of boycotting Israeli institutions, divesting from Israeli companies, and sanctioning the state until it ceases the Occupation, accepts its obligations to the Palestinian people, and acknowledges its responsibilities vis-à-vis the refugees of 1948 and 1967.

Various ineffective and controversial attempts were made in the United Kingdom as far back as 2002 to instigate boycott of Israeli scholars or institutions. However, the modern BDS campaign has its origin in the call issued in 2005 by a wide array of organizations in Palestinian civil society. The broader context of the call was the collapse of the Oslo peace process of the 1990s and the second intifada, which began in September 2000. The recognition of Oslo’s flaws, and the awareness that these flaws stemmed in part from the corruption and failure of the Palestinian leadership (embodied in such senior figures in Fatah as Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas), was matched by the realization that violent action by guerrilla groups, secular or Islamist, was neither militarily effective nor politically sustainable in the face of Israeli civilian casualties. More specifically, the BDS call was deliberately issued exactly a year after the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the West Bank Wall, or “separation barrier.” The Advisory Opinion placed obligations on the governments of third countries, but as soon as it became apparent that these governments were not going to take any action regarding the wall, the necessity of civil society action was clear.

In other words, the BDS campaign derives from the realization that politics traditionally conceived had failed Palestinian society and indeed— insofar as the Oslo process installed security apparatuses while not adding to the security of the Palestinian population, and insofar as it did not prevent the expansion of settlement activity and other iniquitous elements of the Occupation—that the “peace process” was actually functioning (as it does to this day) as a fig leaf for further Israeli conquest.

 

 

 

New Book: Rosenfeld, Deciphering the New Antisemitism

Rosenfeld, Alvin H., ed. Deciphering the New Antisemitism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

new antisemitism

Deciphering the New Antisemitism addresses the increasing prevalence of antisemitism on a global scale. Antisemitism takes on various forms in all parts of the world, and the essays in this wide-ranging volume deal with many of them: European antisemitism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel. Contributors are an international group of scholars who clarify the cultural, intellectual, political, and religious conditions that give rise to antisemitic words and deeds. These landmark essays are noteworthy for their timeliness and ability to grapple effectively with the serious issues at hand.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction Alvin H. Rosenfeld

Part I. Defining and Assessing Antisemitism
1. Antisemitism and Islamophobia: The Inversion of the Debt – Pascal Bruckner
2. The Ideology of the New Antisemitism – Kenneth L. Marcus
3. A Framework for Assessing Antisemitism: Three Case Studies (Dieudonné, Erdoğan, and Hamas) – Günther Jikeli
4. Virtuous Antisemitism – Elhanan Yakira


Part II. Intellectual and Ideological Contexts
5. Historicizing the Transhistorical: Apostasy and the Dialectic of Jew-Hatred – Doron Ben-Atar
6. Literary Theory and the Delegitimization of Israel – Jean Axelrad Cahan
7. Good News from France: There Is No New Antisemitism – Bruno Chaouat
8. Anti-Zionism and the Anarchist Tradition – Eirik Eiglad
9. Antisemitism and the Radical Catholic Traditionalist Movement – Mark Weitzman

Part III. Holocaust Denial, Evasion, Minimization
10. The Uniqueness Debate Revisited – Bernard Harrison
11. Denial, Evasion, and Anti-Historical Antisemitism: The Continuing Assault on Memory – David Patterson
12. Generational Changes in the Holocaust Denial Movement in the United States – Aryeh Tuchman


Part IV. Regional Manifestations
13. From Occupation to Occupy: Antisemitism and the Contemporary Left in the United States – Sina Arnold
14. The EU’s Responses to Contemporary Antisemitism: A Shell Game – R. Amy Elman
15. Anti-Israeli Boycotts: European and International Human Rights Law Perspectives – Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias
16. Delegitimizing Israel in Germany and Austria: Past Politics, the Iranian Threat, and Post-national Anti-Zionism – Stephan Grigat
17. Antisemitism and Antiurbanism, Past and Present: Empirical and Theoretical Approaches – Bodo Kahmann
18. Tehran’s Efforts to Mobilize Antisemitism: The Global Impact – Matthias Küntzel

List of Contributors
Index

ALVIN H. ROSENFELD holds the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and is Professor of English and Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at Indiana University Bloomington. He is editor of Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives (IUP, 2013) and author of The End of the Holocaust (IUP, 2011), among other books.

 

New Article: Palumbo-Liu, Not so Much Anti-Boycott as Pro-Israel

Palumbo-Liu, David. “Not so Much Anti-Boycott as Pro-Israel.” symploke 23.1-2 (2015): 425-57. [Review essay of Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm, eds. The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel (Chicago: MLA Members for Scholars Rights, 2015)].

 
URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/symploke/v023/23.1-2.palumbo-liu.html
 
Extract

Nelson-Brahm’s attack on the boycott stems largely from their characterization of it as anti-Semitic and anti-academic freedom. They feel that the boycott is therefore excessive, especially in the light of what they claim is a much better situation in Israel-Palestine than we imagine, one which must be preserved. They feel that the cost of a boycott includes disrupting a delicate and meaningful relation between Israeli and American academics. But most important is their belief that the boycott aims for the destruction of the State of Israel, and that, above all, warrants a condemnation of the boycott.

Conversely, I will argue, first, that the anti-Semitic charge is weak, even by the authors’ own standards; second, that their advocacy of academic freedom is inconsistent and serves mostly as a pretext to fend off criticism of Israel; third, that their claims regarding the situation of academics in Israel and the Occupied Territories is contradicted by the facts of the present day. I argue that their implacable defense of Israel as a Jewish supremacist state is at the heart of this volume, and that the issues of the boycott’s supposed anti-Semitism and denial of academic freedom are at best ancillary.

The absolute commitment of these authors to the preservation of that specific vision of a Jewish state accounts for their inability to see beyond that aim. They are profoundly unconcerned with precisely what the academic boycott of Israel seeks to help achieve—equal rights for Palestinians. Not only are they unconcerned with those rights, so long as they feel that those rights might lead to the “destruction” of the state of Israel, they are emphatically opposed to them.

 

 

 

ToC: American Quarterly 67.4 (2015): special issue on Palestine and American Studies

Forum

Introduction: Shifting Geographies of Knowledge and Power: Palestine and American Studies

pp. 993-1006

Rabab Abdulhadi, Dana M. Olwan

Solidarity with Palestine from Diné Bikéyah

pp. 1007-1015

Melanie K. Yazzie

Black–Palestinian Solidarity in the Ferguson–Gaza Era

pp. 1017-1026

Kristian Davis Bailey

Taking Risks, or The Question of Palestine Solidarity and Asian American Studies

pp. 1027-1037

Junaid Rana, Diane C. Fujino

Borders Are Obsolete: Relations beyond the “Borderlands” of Palestine and US–Mexico

pp. 1039-1046

Leslie Quintanilla, Jennifer Mogannam

Labor for Palestine: Challenging US Labor Zionism

pp. 1047-1055

Michael Letwin, Suzanne Adely, Jaime Veve

The Islamophobia Industry and the Demonization of Palestine: Implications for American Studies

pp. 1057-1066

Hatem Bazian

Zionism and Anti-Zionism: A Necessary Detour, Not a Final Destination

pp. 1067-1073

Keith P. Feldman

Throwing Stones in Glass Houses: The ASA and the Road to Academic Boycott

pp. 1075-1083

Bill V. Mullen

Lecture: Becke, Israel Studies in the Arab World (SOAS, London, Nov 18, 2015)

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies

EVENING LECTURE PROGRAMME

Lecture: “Israel Studies in the Arab World.”

BY
Dr. Johannes Becke (Heidelberg University)

November 18 2015 – 5.30pm
Brunei Gallery, Room B104, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG.

In Western academia, Israel Studies could be differentiated into four main paradigms – Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, settler-colonial studies and postcolonial studies. This lecture discusses the research agenda of exploring an additional paradigm – Israel Studies as enemy studies and post-enemy studies; a literature with a long, yet under-researched tradition in the Arab World. In fact, the small academic field is split into two epistemic communities which rarely interact, often enough for legal reasons prohibiting any formal contact: While Israel Studies in Western academia is struggling with the accusation of ‘hasbara’ (propaganda) studies, in wide parts of Arab academia the discipline was established with the explicit research interest of ‘knowing your enemy’. The lecture provides an overview of the institutions and paradigmatic shifts that characterize Israel Studies in the Arab world – stretching from the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut to the al-Ahram Center in Cairo and from the newly-established Center for Israel Studies in Amman back to the Land of Israel/Palestine, namely the Ramallah-based MADAR, the Palestinian Forum for Israel Studies.

Bio: Johannes Becke serves as assistant professor at the Ben Gurion Chair for Israel and Middle East Studies, Centre for Jewish Studies Heidelberg. After graduating from Freie Universität Berlin with a PhD in Political Science, he received a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford.

 

All Welcome

This event is free and there is no need to book

Convenor: Dr. Yonatan Sagiv (js108@soas.ac.uk)

New Book: Burla and Lawrence, eds. Australia and Israel

Burla, Shahar, and Dashiel Lawrence. Australia and Israel. A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

 

Shahar

 

Australia and the State of Israel have maintained a cordial if at times ambiguous relationship. The two countries are geographically isolated: strategic, economic and cultural interests lie increasingly with Asia for one, and with the US and the EU for the other. But for all that divides the two states, there is also much they share. Australia played an important role in the Jewish state’s establishment in 1948, and is home to the most Zionist centered Jewish diaspora globally. Jewishness for most Australian Jews has been shaped and defined by engagement with and support for Israel. At the heart of this engagement is a small but thriving Israeli community within the larger multicultural Australia.

Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship draws attention to the important historical and contemporary nexus between this diaspora and its imagined homeland. The collection also considers the ways in which these two states mobilise national myths and share environmental challenges. In recent time relations between the two states have been tested by the illegal use of Australian passports in 2010, the mysterious death of dual national Ben Zygier, and growing disquiet within the ranks of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens over Israel’s handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One prominent world-wide issue is the Palestinian BDS (Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions) movement, which has attracted sympathy and support that has brought about substantive differences of opinion regarding its legitimacy within the Jewish Australian community. These issues demonstrate the multifaceted and complex picture of two very different nations, that nevertheless share an abiding connection.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Why the Book?
Shahar Burla and Dashiel Lawrence

Part One Australia and Israel – Diasporic Relationship

1 Rewriting the Rules of Engagement: New Australian Jewish
Connections with Israel
Dashiel Lawrence

2 The Personal, the Political and the Religious: Bnei Akiva
Australia and its Relationship with Israel
Ari Lander

3 Israeli Government and Diaspora Mobilisation: The Flotilla
to Gaza and the Australian Jewry as a Case Study
Shahar Burla

4 The Place of Hebrew and Israel Education in Australian
Jewish Schools
Suzanne Rutland and Zehavit Gross

5 The Ausraeli Approach: the Diasporic Identity of Israelis
in Australia
Ran Porat

Part Two Australia and Israel – Political and Cultural Relationship

6 Overcoming Water Scarcity and Inequity in Arid Lands:
Comparing Water Management in Australia and Israel
Dominic Skinner and Stephanie Galaitsi

7 Ben Zygier’s Story and Australia–Israel Relations
Ingrid Matthews

8 A Fight Worth Having: Rudd, Gillard, Israel and the
Australian Labor Party
Alex Benjamin Burston-Chorowicz

9 An Alliance of Forgetting: National Narratives of Legitimacy
on the Occasion of Israel–Australia’s Joint Stamp Issue
Commemorating the Battle of Beersheba
Micaela Sahhar

Part Three Australia, Israel and the Boycott Divestment and
Sanction Scheme

10 The Australian Greens and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
Philip Mendes

11 Academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: Implications
for Australian–Israeli Relations
Ingrid Matthews and James Arvanitakis

Conclusion: First Cousinhood, Political Unease, and the Limits
of Comparison
Fania Oz-Salzberger

The Editors and Contributors
Index

 

Shahar Burla is a research Associate at the Sydney Jewish Museum. He is the author of Political Imagination in the Diaspora: The Construction of a Pro-Israeli Narrative (2013). He has received several awards, including a President’s Fellowship for outstanding PhD student, Bar-Ilan University and the Menahem Begin Foundation academic award.

Dashiel Lawrence is a doctoral candidate at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. His research interests include Jewish diaspora–Israel contemporary relations, and Jewish critics of Israel.

 

 

New Article: Garasic & Keinan, Boycotting Israeli Academia

Garasic, Mirko D., and Shay Keinan. “Boycotting Israeli Academia: Is Its Implementation Anti-Semitic?” International Journal of Discrimination and the Law (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1358229115571814

 

Abstract

In recent years, a campaign run by the BDS movement to boycott and silence Israeli academics has gained some support worldwide. Academics choosing to take part in the boycott are often accused to be moved by a new form of anti-Semitism – an allegation they fervently deny. A recent case in Australia saw Jake Lynch, a professor at the University of Sydney, taken to court and accused of breaching Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act for rejecting an application from an Israeli academic for a visiting professor position. In this paper, we want to analyse such situations from a philosophical and legal perspective. We will argue that apart from being anti-scientific and counterproductive, such boycotts are also unlawful and – indeed – anti-Semitic. Boycott supporters often replace a person’s nationality with a person’s “institutional affiliation” to avoid being accused of racism and discrimination. We argue that this terminological disguise does not succeed in hiding the fact that often such boycotts illegitimately discriminate against individual Jews.

Opinions: Braiterman on Middle East Scholars & Librarians Now Boycotting Israel

Zachary Braiterman (Department of Religion, Syracuse University) writes in his blog on questions about Middle East Scholars and Librarians boycotting Israel.

 

URL: http://jewishphilosophyplace.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/jewish-studies-israel-studies-questions-about-middle-east-scholars-librarians-now-boycotting-Israel/

 

 

Excerpt

As an organization, it would seem that MESA understands in sharper perspective than do the individual signatories to the boycott the purpose of its association, which would be the study of the Middle East in all its varied ramifications. With or without too much hope, my own view is that professors of Jewish Studies and Israel Studies should continue to seek common cause with those colleagues amenable to professional and personal contact and exchange. Especially given the fact that MESA as an organizational body opposes BDS, the best course of action would seem to me to be ones that isolate the phenomenon and contain the damage, to listen carefully to and when possible to heed colleagues, morally and politically. Certainly one should also push back where one thinks one should, while avoiding direct confrontation and the appearance of confrontation. Any act carries its own consequence. More often than not, the best course of action is not to act at all in an obviously hostile way. On the ground, Israel and Hamas prove again and again that each are their own worst enemies. Armed resistance against Israeli civilians has turned out to be a self-destructive act that only further isolates the Palestinian people. For its part, with the ongoing and deepening occupation of the 1967 territories, Israel does more to undercut its own moral, political, social, and national standing than any act of BDS by individual scholars who, by every measure, appear to hate the country with what can be shown to be an extreme prejudice.