söndag, juni 17, 2007

Fler som betalar ett pris

Jag skrev för några dagar sedan om fallet med Norman Finkelsteins förvägrade anställning som professor. Finkelsteins person utsattes för en formidabel smutskastningskampanj av pro-israeliska krafter. Kampanjen – som väckt kraftiga protester inte minst från forskare runt om i världen, oroade över hoten mot den akademiska friheten – rönte alltså framgång. Finkelstein fick, trots tunga akademiska meriter och rekommendation från fakulteten, inte någon fast professur och sparkas, med ett års varsel.

Nu fortsätter den politiska nedtystningskampanjen att skörda offer. Mehrene Larudee, som undervisar i internationella relationer på samma universitet, blir nu av med sitt jobb. Dr. Larudee har beskrivits som “outstanding” av sin närmaste chef och enhälligt rekommenderats till en fast professur av sina kollegor i anställningsprocessen. Ledningens beslut har betraktats som en formalitet, och hon hade redan tillsammans med sina fakultetschefer börjat planera tillträdet. Mehrene Larudee är aktiv i Jewish Voice for Peace, och har under hetskampanjen mot Finkelstien stått upp för honom. Det är därför få som tvivlar på att det finns ett direkt samband mellan hennes politiska ställningstaganden för palestiniers rättigheter och det beslut som fattats av universitetsledningen.

Studenter på De Paul-universitetet genomför sedan några dagar tillbaka en ockupation (sit-in) på universitet, för yttrandefrihet och i protest mot besluten. Studenterna har nu hotats med avstängning. Norman Finkelstein kommer idag att besöka de protesterande studenterna. (Följ Finkelgate.com)

Det är, som jag skrev sist, uppenbart att kampanjen mot Finkelstein handlar om mycket mer än honom. Kampen mot Israels övergrepp på palestiniernas mänskliga rättigheter också handlar om vad det är för samhälle vi själva vill leva i.

Uppdatering: Läs också detta inlägg av Paul Leiter. [Tipstack till Sören H].

4 kommentarer:

alandalus sa...

Tyvärr är sådan här smutsig hasbara en realitet när mellanöstern behandlas i amerikanska universitet.

Kopierar från Walt och Mearsheimers utmärkta avhandling om Israellobbyn:

"The Lobby moved aggressively to “take back the campuses.” New groups sprang up, like the Caravan for Democracy, which brought Israeli speakers to U.S. colleges. Established groups like the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Hillel jumped into the fray, and a new group—the Israel on Campus Coalition—was formed to coordinate the many groups that now sought to make Israel’s case on campus. Finally, AIPAC more than tripled its spending for programs to monitor university activities and to train young advocates for Israel, in order to “vastly expand the number of students involved on campus . . . in the national pro-Israel effort.”

The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, for example, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neoconservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report comments or behavior that might be considered hostile to Israel. This transparent attempt to blacklist and intimidate scholars prompted a harsh reaction and Pipes and Kramer later removed he dossiers, but the website still invites students to report alleged anti-Israel behavior at U.S. colleges.

Groups in the Lobby also direct their fire at particular professors and the universities that hire them. Columbia University, which had the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said on its faculty, has been a frequent target of pro-Israel forces. Jonathan Cole, the former Columbia provost, reported that, “One can be sure that any public statement in support of the Palestinian people by the preeminent literary critic Edward Said will elicit hundreds of e-mails, letters, and journalistic accounts that call on us to denounce Said and to either sanction or fire him.” When Columbia recruited historian Rashid Khalidi from the University of Chicago, Cole says that “the complaints started flowing in from people who disagreed with the content of his political views.” Princeton faced the same problem a few years later when it considered wooing Khalidi away from Columbia.

A classic illustration of the effort to police academia occurred in late 2004, when the “David Project” produced a propaganda film alleging that faculty in Columbia University’s Middle East studies program were anti-Semitic and were intimidating Jewish students who defended Israel. Columbia was raked over the coals in pro-Israel circles, but a faculty committee assigned to investigate the charges found no evidence of anti-Semitism and the only incident worth noting was the possibility that one professor had “responded heatedly” to a student’s question. The committee also discovered that the accused professors had been the target of an overt intimidation campaign.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this campaign to eliminate criticism of Israel from college campuses is the effort by Jewsh groups to push Congress to establish mechanisms that monitor what professors say about Israel. Schools judged to have an anti-Israel bias would be denied Federal funding. This effort to get the U.S. government to police campuses have not yet succeeded, but the attempt illustrates the importance pro-Israel groups place on controlling debate on these issues.

Finally, a number of Jewish philanthropists have established Israel studies programs (in addition to the roughly 130 Jewish Studies programs that already exist) so as to increase the number of Israel-friendly scholars on campus. NYU announced the establishment of the Taub Center for Israel Studies on May 1, 2003, and similar programs have been established at other schools like Berkeley, Brandeis, and Emory. Academic administrators emphasize the pedagogical value of these programs, but the truth is that they are intended in good part to promote Israel’s image on campus. Fred Laffer, the head of the Taub Foundation, makes clear that his foundation funded the NYU center to help counter the “Arabic [sic] point of view” that he thinks is prevalent in NYU’s Middle East programs.

In sum, the Lobby has gone to considerable lengths to insulate Israel from criticism on college campuses. It has not been as successful in academia as it has been on Capitol Hill, but it has worked hard to stifle criticism of Israel by professors and students and there is much less of it on campuses today"


Israellobbyns Campus-verksamhet är dock inte bara inriktad på att försvara Israels brott. The David Project Center for Jewish Leaderships, en av de grupper Walt och Mearsheimer nämner, håller t.ex. för närvarande på att motarbeta ett moskébygge i Boston.

Anonym sa...

Ali! Mehrene Larudee är medlem i Jewish Voices for Peace men är ej själv av judisk härkomst.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1081
"Ms. Larudee is a non-Jewish member of the Chicago chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace..."

Anonym sa...

Ali Esbati, you are soooo irrelevant.

Yawn.

Anonym sa...

Det är värt att komma ihåg att amerikanska universitet och colleges är ganska väl infiltrerade av olika underrättelsetjänster. Att kontrollera det akademiska livet har varit en del av deras verksamhet under hela efterkrigstiden.

Uppmärksammade händelser som den här är bara en pytteliten topp på ett enormt isberg. Normalt sett missgynnas och utsorteras oliktänkande långt innan de når etablerade positioner.