U.S. anthropologists massively back boycott of Israel - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14623220
Good news coming from the BDS. American academic Marxists boycott the Israel no brain Marxists. Pass the popcorn.

U.S. anthropologists massively back boycott of Israel

By Or Kashti
Published 21:32 21.11.15

American Anthropological Association vote goes 1,040 for, 136 against; association’s 12,000 members worldwide will now be asked to approve or reject decision.

The American Anthropological Association overwhelmingly passed a resolution Friday to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The association’s 12,000 members worldwide will now be asked to approve or reject the decision, which delegates at the association’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado passed by a vote of 1,040 to 136.

The American Anthropological Association is the largest professional organization of anthropologists in the world. Both supporters and opponents of the decision called it “historical,” noting that it could lead other organizations to support an academic boycott of Israel.

Friday's decision calls on the association to refrain from official cooperation with Israeli academic institutions, but not with individual scholars, who may continue to take part in the association’s conferences and publications. Moreover, scholars are not obliged to abide by the resolution.

The resolution comes after three years of harsh internal debate. About six weeks ago a committee released a comprehensive report criticizing Israel’s policy in the territories and discrimination against Arabs in Israeli universities, and proposing a number of possible actions, including boycott.

Before the vote in favor of boycott, the conference resoundingly voted down a milder proposal criticizing the State of Israel but rejecting calls for a boycott; that motion was rejected, 1,173 to 196. Another attempt to soften the resolution by inserting a clause that the association supports academic freedom and opposes discrimination on the basis of race, religion, nationality, sexual preference age or disability was also rejected.

A statement by the faction of anthropologists that pushed for the boycott said, “As heirs to a long tradition of scholarship on colonialism, anthropologists affirm, through this resolution, that the core problem is Israel’s maintenance of a settler colonial regime based on Jewish supremacy and Palestinian dispossession. By supporting the boycott, anthropologists are taking a stand for justice through action in solidarity with Palestinians.”

According to the statement, Friday’s resolution was the result of “three years of organizing within the association to educate and mobilize members to stand against Israel’s widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, as well as to protest the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in these abuses.”

Tel Aviv University's Prof. Dan Rabinowitz, a member of the group that opposed the boycott said, "Such actions play into the hands of the right wing in Israel, which will see them as further proof that ‘the whole world is against us.’"

Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavi, chairman of Israel's committee of university heads, said that an academic boycott of Israel could “severely damage research, which depends on international cooperation, which will impact industry, economy and the future strength of the State of Israel.”

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium-1.687546



About the nature of Israeli sociology and anthropology departments, a case of the study about the lack of rapes by IDF


Arab propaganda for the past hundred years or so has accused Jews of raping Arab women, because of the inflammatory nature of such accusations. But despite the fact that rape in war, even mass rape as a military tactic, has characterized many recent conflicts throughout the world, there are almost zero known cases of IDF soldiers raping Palestinian women.

Now a research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers' committee prize finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose Israelis are Racists. She makes a lot about the IDF soldiers view of Arab Palestinian women as unattractive (She also presents quotes that describe some westernized Palestinian Arab women as pretty and attractive. She doesn't explain why those women are not raped). She calls it "de-womenizing", what it have to do with racism?


Heb. U. Paper Finds: IDF Has Political Motives for Not Raping

by Hillel Fendel


A research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers' committee prize finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that "the lack of organized military rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals."

The next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this manner: "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences - just as organized military rape would have done."

The paper further theorizes that Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers' eyes.

The paper was published by the Hebrew University's Shaine Center, based on the recommendation of a Hebrew University professors' committee headed by Dr. Zali Gurevitch.

"I do not have the entire text in front of me," Gurevitch said, when contacted by Arutz-7, "and I don't think we can jump to conclusions based on partial sentences, but I can say the following: This was a very serious paper that asked two important questions: Is the relative lack of IDF rapes a noteworthy phenomenon, and if so, why is it that there are so few IDF rapes when in similar situations around the world, rape is much more common?"

Observers and Academia
Arutz-7: "Can't it just be that Israeli soldiers come from a culture that very much condemns rape? And why not mention the much-touted 'purity of arms,' i.e., the high moral conduct, of the Israeli Army?"

Gurevitch said that observers do not have the right to demand a particular explanation to a given phenomenon. He said that the researcher had done a serious job, based on interviews with 25 soldiers and other accounts, and that the right-wing should not jump to the conclusion that this was simply another "secular, left-wing" generality.

Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord, who first publicized the story, wrote that not only did researcher Nitzan not consider Jewish tradition as an explanation, but neither did she "raise the possibility that her initial assumption - namely, that the situation in Judea and Samaria is just like any other situation of conquest - may be wrong."

Demographic Fears
Nitzan's paper did, however, give much space to the explanation that the Israeli soldiers refrained from rape out of demographic considerations. She explained at length how fearful the Jewish population is of the growing Arab population, and how in cases of wartime rape, the baby is generally assumed to be of the mother's nationality.

"It is noteworthy," Lord concludes, "that Palestinian propaganda around the world frequently accuses Israelis of murder and rape. Such that this situation is unique: An army is found blameworthy of rape, and is also blameworthy of not raping."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124674
http://www.zeevgalili.com/http://zeevga ... y-rape.pdf



http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archi ... 00471.html

Ami Isseroff

This is a work of 206 pages including references. It is complex, and cannot and should not be summed up in one or two sentences. In the introductory abstract, Ms Nitzan distinguishes between directed (or organized) military rape and "symptomatic" military rape. The former is the result of racist policy such as apparently occurred in the Serbian and other conflicts. The latter is done for individual motives, due to blurring of social norms and a feeling of lack of supervision.

In her introductory abstract, Nitzan wrote:
An important claim that arises from the study is that because of the obscurity of the spatial border in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ethno-national borders are internalized, in the bodies of the soldiers, and crossing of the borders is rejected physically, as a sort of auto-disciplinary mechanism that accompanies them everywhere they go.

An additional claim is that the absence of directed military rape constitutes an alternative way to achieve the same political goals. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it can be seen that the rarity of military rape only reinforces the ethnic borders and clarifies the inter-ethnic distinctions, in the same way as directed military rape would do.

The central claim is that while absence of directed military rape is an alternative road to achieving the same political goals, absence of symptomatic rape is not an alternative way of implementing the same personal goals, but is evidence of a clear policy that rejects it and works energetically to prevent it. That is, the declared absence of symptomatic military rape achieves the political goals that absence of directed rape achieves. Since military rape is harnessing of the behavior of the individual to the needs of the collective, therefore lack of symptomatic rape is an additional step in subordinating the individual to the needs of the society. This is actually the ability to enter the body of the individual and to inscribe in it abhorrence of actions he is likely to perform for himself, since they are not consistent with the needs of the collective.




In her words, it sounds like a sort of pernicious fascism. In reality, it is only the order that makes civilization possible. It is even odder that Ms Nitzan totally ignores the matter of the IDF ethic in her conclusions, but it is really there in the paper.

For example, on page 160, Tal Nizan quotes Moshe Dayan's 1953 speech, which noted that the world expects a higher moral standard from the IDF. On page 162 we find the following testimony to the role of moral values in the IDF:

Soldiers say that the IDF ethical code [see Ethical Code of the IDF] is instilled in them from the first stages and throughout their entire service. Through it, they learn to understand and interpret the army and the behavior that is expected of them as soldiers. "The IDF Morality" as soldiers call it, is transmitted to them through weekly talks and in the course of briefings, as First Sergeant Dor describes:

There is the morality of the IDF, which is a very strong morality. It is brought up all the time, always, in briefings before [an action] in weekly discussions, all the time that there is, like, free time, and in the field, before [action] all that sort of thing. (...) I am somewhat defending the army here... but this.. because I really... before I answered you I thought, like... if it is something I thing about soldiers and especially in the IDF I see all the time simply... each time morality. The emphasis is always on that (First Sergeant Dor).




Tal Nizan's thesis comes from the never-never land of post-structuralism. She informs us on page 41, "The illusion of the objective observer who can describe the culture of the research subjects in a positivist way and bring to the world the truth as it is is 'in reality' was exploded long ago." Having done the ritual obligatory dissing of empiricism and positivism, and with generous citations of Michel Foucault, likewise obligatory in such studies, Tal Nitzan believes she is now free to do anything she wants to do.


She could have interviewed 25 male Mother Theresas and still have reached the same conclusions, because she had no systematic objective experimental methodology and no predefined way of answering her hypotheses. She didn't even pose a hypothesis or a set of conditions that might confirm or refute it. The only system in her work is to turn anything that the interviewees say into something that suits her conclusions if possible, and to ignore what doesn't fit. Therefore, the above very "correct" descriptions of IDF military doctrine are twisted by degrees into an Israeli racist plot and amalgamated with other evidence to produce the conclusions offered in the abstract.


There was apparently no systematic interview protocol, or at least none was recorded, and there is no way to quantify or objectively evaluate the results. One can get from this river of words, whatever suits one's political or theoretical fancy, since there is no way to decide that the above quotes about ethics and defense are more typical or representative than other quotes where soldiers say that Arab Palestinian women are "Ichsa," unattractive, "penguins" (because of their traditional dress) and the like. Tal Nitzan makes much of these quotes, which are the result, according to her, of the soldiers having internalized the IDF ethic and having constructed mechanisms to enforce the discipline within themselves. She also presents quotes that describe some westernized Palestinian Arab women as pretty and attractive. She doesn't explain why those women are not raped. She also confuses between rape, which is generally considered an act of aggression, and sexual attraction and normal flirtation. She claims that the border between the two is somehow obscured.


Not only are the quotes of the interviewees presented as a great tohu va vohu - a primordial chaos with no way to distinguish what is significant and representative from what is not, but the conclusions of the researcher are presented in the same way. In the introductory abstract she is sure that the explanation of the lack of rapes on the part of IDF soldiers lies in an enforced political racism, ignoring all the evidence to the contrary that she presents in the body of the study. In the final summary, she makes the following observation on page 184:

"It is important to note, that no one of the explanations mentioned here, is enough to explain military rape or its rarity. In order to understand the phenomenon, one must look at the entire explanatory complex, and not base conclusions on a single interpretive scheme."

Did Tal Nitzan conclude that IDF soldiers do not rape Palestinian women because of a policy of ethnic separation encouraged by the government and the IDF? If you want to answer "Yes," then quote the abstract. If you want to answer "No," then use the quote from page 184, which says that there is no single explanation. Regardless of what Tal Nitzan claimed, the only thing that is certain is that from a non-systematic study of 25 unrepresentative soldiers who say many self-contradictory things, which are then sifted in a biased way, it is not possible to conclude anything. It is impossible to achieve objectivity, but there are certainly ways of improving the chances of approaching objectivity through structured research and systematic examination of evidence.
Last edited by Pongo on 23 Nov 2015 13:59, edited 1 time in total.
#14623250
One would expect Israeli anthropologists to show some interest in Palestinian culture and society during the half century of occupation. Yet these academics have not published one single word of criticism or reflection on the Israeli policy of massacres in Gaza and the continuing blockade of the territory with the effects on society there. Neither have Israeli anthropologists uttered a word of criticism of the Israeli destruction of Palestinian culture in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The American anthropologists are right to treat their Israeli counterparts with the contempt they deserve for bringing academia into disrepute.
#14623266
Heinie wrote:One would expect Israeli anthropologists to show some interest in Palestinian culture and society during the half century of occupation. Yet these academics have not published one single word of criticism or reflection on the Israeli policy of massacres in Gaza and the continuing blockade of the territory with the effects on society there. Neither have Israeli anthropologists uttered a word of criticism of the Israeli destruction of Palestinian culture in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The American anthropologists are right to treat their Israeli counterparts with the contempt they deserve for bringing academia into disrepute.



Did you read the opening post? There is a case about the Israeli anthropological work. The explanation of the lack of rapes on the part of IDF soldiers lies in an enforced political racism. Tal Nizan's thesis comes from the never-never land of post-structuralism. She informs us on page 41, "The illusion of the objective observer who can describe the culture of the research subjects in a positivist way and bring to the world the truth as it is is 'in reality' was exploded long ago." Having done the ritual obligatory dissing of empiricism and positivism, and with generous citations of Michel Foucault, likewise obligatory in such studies, Tal Nitzan believes she is now free to do anything she wants to do.
Last edited by Pongo on 23 Nov 2015 12:42, edited 3 times in total.
#14623267
wat0n wrote:Nonsense. The IAA routinely condemns the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, here's the last resolution on the matter.

I do not know of any routine condemnation by the Israeli Anthropological Association of the Israeli siege of Gaza and calls for the occupation to end. How could I? No one ever hears a word from them reported in the media. Israeli academia is noted for it lucrative contracts with the Israeli government and the universities there are mute when it comes to Israeli policy. I note that the Israeli Anthropological Association want universities in Europe and America to accept the respectability Israeli higher learning institutions despite their cooperation with the Israeli Defense Forces. This should not happen as their scholars have covered themselves with shame principally due to their silence.
#14623271
You got an example of a resolution criticizing Israeli policy in the resolution above. That one is noteworthy since it's in English rather than in Hebrew.

I also wonder how exactly would Israeli universities institutionally condemn the government's policies when most are owned by the state. I don't think that American universities were expected or ever emitted any institutional position on the Iraq War, for example, especially public ones. It becomes even more ridiculous to whine about universities cooperating with their countries' armed forces, considering American and European universities do it too (example)

Not that any of these matter, anyway. After all, the BDS movement itself is highly hypocritical so it cannot be expected for them to the integrity of recognizing any of the above.
#14623285
Cultural Marxism doesn't have an academic context, it's a right wing slur that tries to conflate social liberalism with the economic doctrine of Marxism.

Post structuralism is primarily found in literary criticism and doesn't have anything to do with Marxism at all.
#14623290
mikema63 wrote:In what way is BDS hypocritical?


It is hypocritical in its refusal to condemn others who act as bad as, or worse than, their allegations of Israeli behavior.

In fact, they have no qualms in even working with those who do the same things they accuse Israelis of doing - for instance American universities not only do not condemn, say, American drone attacks in Pakistan but are even contracted by the DoD to engage in the R&D necessary to improve the weapons that are being used to that effect (like in the example above), and the BDS movement not only doesn't call for an academic boycott of American universities over these contracts but even works with certain American academic organizations to engage in its usual activities (including American universities themselves, I doubt they could get to have a debate on BDS within an university's premises without asking its permission for it)
#14623291
wat0n wrote:It is hypocritical in its refusal to condemn others who act as bad as, or worse than, their allegations of Israeli behavior. ...

What other countries and their institutions do does not excuse Israeli academics for their cooperation with a government that is besieging the people in Gaza and the occupation and displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israel is not a normal country and deserves to be a pariah state worldwide.
#14623353
Pongo wrote:She calls it "de-womenizing", what it have to do with racism?

Wait, Israeli soldiers are blamed for NOT raping Palestinian women?!

But seriously... The Islamic clothes are here to make women unattractive. And you know what? It works.

Heinie wrote:Israel is not a normal country and deserves to be a pariah state worldwide.

Certainly, Israel is the last colonial country in the world, its very existence lies in blood and they put themselves in a situation where they need to perpetuate more atrocities every year.

But you know what? If Israel was weakened its opponents would ravage it and do even worse - far worse - than what Israel does. It takes two people to make peace but neither the Hamas nor Israel nor its neighbors want it. Even if peace was made many of the regional powers would still seek no less than the eradication of every Jew. At least for the decades after the peace would been signed, maybe as long as Islam will exist since it unambiguously legitimizes and orders war against those who oppose Muslims.

Israel is barbarian, the rest of the Middle East is even more barbarian, and you will still hear about this war before you go to your grave. It will last until one of the sides completely got rid of its respective aliens, by one mean or another. The less we need to deal with them, the better.
#14623368
Also to the OP, where the hell are all these marxists coming from? I've literally never met a Marxist professor, does being an anthropologist make you a Marxist? Or just being anti-Israel?
It seems you haven't taken enough humanities classes, Mike.

Post structuralism is primarily found in literary criticism and doesn't have anything to do with Marxism at all.
That's not really true. I'm not sure if it's fair to call the post structuralists Marxists (at least not most of them), but there's definitely explicit influence from Marx in their writings.
#14623370
Heinie wrote:What other countries and their institutions do does not excuse Israeli academics for their cooperation with a government that is besieging the people in Gaza and the occupation and displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israel is not a normal country and deserves to be a pariah state worldwide.


Do as I say, not as I do, huh? To be an American academic and demand boycotting Israeli universities for cooperating with their country's military when your own university does exactly the same, or to demand Israeli universities openly critize their government's foreign policy when your own don't, is pretty damn hypocritical.

Likewise, Egypt is also blockading Gaza, ostensibly for the same concerns Israel has, yet the BDS movement doesn't call for boycotting Egypt. Turkey for instance is occupying and sending settlers to northern Cyprus to an extent that far surpasses Israel in the West Bank, and unlike Israel it also cleared 99% of the hostile population when it occupied the said territory, yet there are also no calls for boycotting Turkish universities.

The only unique things about Israel, it seems, is that it is a Jewish state and that it just didn't expel everyone when it began its occupation. It seems any (or both) of those two characteristics make it stand out, particularly the first, which is the abnormal thing about it.

And so when you focus on it and choose to ignore other States, it would seem any of those two things above bothers you as they are the only ostensible differences between Israel and other States currently experiencing ethnic/religious conflicts. So, which one is it?

If it's none, then it's not too complicated - if you want to boycott Israel, be my guest, just do so. But then please boycott all NATO members, most if not all Arab states, China, Russia and just about every country currently experiencing any sort of ethnic or religious bloodshed too. After all, if you are so self-righteous then I'm sure you don't want to let others off the hook and be a hypocrite, right?
#14623374
Even in the humanities, most professors are not Marxists. In fact, in my experience most professors in general are just middle-class careerists. All they want is a nice cushy, tenured job, followed by a nice cushy retirement. They have no real interest in politics at all.
#14623388
Potemkin wrote:Even in the humanities, most professors are not Marxists. In fact, in my experience most professors in general are just middle-class careerists. All they want is a nice cushy, tenured job, followed by a nice cushy retirement. They have no real interest in politics at all.


Ummm I don't see a contradiction with both, to be honest. I'm sure there are plenty of careerist Marxists as well...

That said, most academics (regardless of contractual status) are apolitical, even if most do have their own ideological and political positions they do not participate in politics as much as actual politicians do.

And I suspect most are, ideologically, left-liberals.
#14623407
Potemkin wrote:Even in the humanities, most professors are not Marxists. In fact, in my experience most professors in general are just middle-class careerists. All they want is a nice cushy, tenured job, followed by a nice cushy retirement. They have no real interest in politics at all.
I wouldn't say most are, just that there are a sizable number. Not necessarily revolutionary Marxist-Lenninist who will actually do something beyond chanting slogans, but plenty of people who are influenced by Marx's writing and its interpretation in one way or another.
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