Thursday, November 10, 2011

Achcar's revisionism comes to US universities

Minimising the Palestinian Mufti's role in fermenting Jew-hatred and likening Jews in Arab countries to Japanese-Americans during World War ll, professor Gilbert Achcar's poisonous revisionism has now penetrated university Jewish Studies departments. To add insult to injury, his critics are being silenced. From Blue Truth blog, via Elder of Ziyon.

Achcar may have been courageous in acknowledging the Holocaust was a uniquely horrifying event directed at Jews and that Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini’s anti-Semitism and collaboration with Hitler were deplorable. But after these observations, he careened into anti-Zionist, anti-Israel charges and distortions. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, he argued that the Mufti’s Jew-hatred had little influence on Palestinian and Arab hostility to Israel. He dismissed evidence about the cross-fertilization of Muslim anti-Semitism and Nazi-inspired anti-Semitism as hyperbole and charged that Israel exploits the Holocaust and exaggerates the Mufti’s influence only for propaganda purposes.

More disturbingly, he has argued that the rise of Zionism in 1920, not prejudice, spawned Arab Jew-hatred, essentially accusing Jews of causing anti-Semitism. Indeed, in his book, he excuses the current popularity of the Czarist anti-Semitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in the Arab world, arguing it must be read from an anti-Zionist, not an anti-Semitic, perspective.

Achcar minimized pogroms against and expulsions of Jews in the Arab world after World War II and after Israel’s reestablishment, equating their expulsion with the American internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He repeated anti-Israel clichés, denying Israel’s right to exist and referring to it as a “settler colonial project” built on “Arab land,” accusing Zionists of "ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians", and downplaying any suggestion of Pan-Arab racism toward the Jewish people.

Despite these tendentious charges, challenging questions were not welcomed during the Q & A.

I was abruptly censored while attempting to establish facts to challenge Mr. Achcar’s skewed conclusion that the Grand Mufti’s anti-Semitism had only a minimal impact on both Jews and Arabs. Professors Miller and Biale angrily told me the questions were insulting and to either stop or leave the room. So much for free speech and scholarly discourse in academia.

Read post in full

Same article in Front Page magazine

Gilbert Achcar's Anti-Zionism of Fools (Campus Watch): with thanks Eliyahu

More articles about Gilbert Achcar on Point of No Return


Anonymous said...

I had heard of something about USA universities turning againt Jews, but I did not want to believe it!
I am soooo sorry, you can't imagine!

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

The repulsive welcome to ashcar on the campus of UC Davis flies in the face of several recent studies on Arab-Nazi collaboration, Nazi influence on Arab nationalists and Muslims, and related subjects. See recent books by Jeffrey Herf, Matthias Kuntzel [Jew and Jihad. . .; also available in German original and Hebrew translation: ג'האד ושנאת היהודים], Martin Cuppers & Klaus-Michael Mallmann [Croissant Fertile et croix gammee; also in German original and English translation], and several other recent books. These books present a less than flattering picture of the Mufti Husseini.

by the way, I ran into Prof David Biale some 40 years ago. His soft-on-the-Mufti position is not altogether surprising since he comes out of a family infected with the "bundist" ideology, which, to briefly explain it, exalted socialism and secular Jewish culture in Yiddish. He was always anti-Zionist. This is another case where ideology trumps historical reality.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

here's a report on an achcar lecture in California.