Thursday, September 18, 2014

Only anti-Zionists need apply

Israelis who support Israel's right to exist are not welcome in some of Britain's leading educational institutions. Post- and anti-Zionist Israelis, on the other hand, are welcomed with open arms, writes Edgar Davidson in his excellent eponymous blog. Watch out for a forthcoming guest at the London School of Economics,  Smadar Lavie: she belongs firmly in the second camp, claiming to speak for 'downtrodden' Mizrahim (oriental Jews), although her own father is actually Ashkenazi  (with thanks: Michelle):

Smadar Lavie: 'oppressed Mizrahim'

"In the next few weeks the Centre is hosting major presentations by two of the worst of such people: Smadar Lavie (on 27 October 2014) and Joel Beinin (on 4 November 2014) who are not just classic "self-hating Jews" but also archetypal examples of the very worst kind of deranged, pompous, self-righteous academics:

Smadar Lavie describes herself as an "Arab Jew residing in Israel" (although she actually works at the University of Berkeley California). You can read about her here (on the well named "Pathetic Assholes Conspiring to Boycott Israel" website). She has managed to create her own special category of extremist ultra-leftist anti-Zionist "Mizrahi" feminism. She is a regular contributor to the anti-Israel blog Electronic Intifada and she uses her Israeli nationality to delegitimize Israel publicly claiming it is an apartheid state. Here is her own report of her presentation last week to the antisemitic Irish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The Jewish anti-Israel (and some claim antisemitic) website Mondoweiss  published a favourable review of her latest book which is the subject of her talk entitled: "Mizrahi Mothers, Wrapped in the Flag: Ultra-Nationalism, Apartheid, and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel".

To give you a feel for the academic pomposity, hatred, and downright lies of Lavie here is a letter she had published in the Guardian in 2005 supporting the academic boycott of Israel. It ends with the assertion

"...Israel's academics perpetrate and benefit from the systematic discrimination against Israel's 70% non-European majority (48% Mizrahim and 22% Palestinian). Israel's Ashkenazi "post-Zionist" professors, brandishing their progressive politics as they use Mizrahim and Palestinians for grantsmanship and as career advancement tools, are just the cynical tip of this apartheid iceberg"
Read blogpost in full 

**********
*The 'favourable review' of Smadar Lavie's new book on the Israel-bashing site Mondoweiss, parades a familiar catalogue of lies or half-truths. It amplifies the disparaging comments which Israel's Ashkenazi leaders made about Israel's new immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa in the 1950s; claims that they were forbidden from speaking Arabic or preserving their Arabic culture; were exploited as cheap labour; that families were broken up, many children taken away for adoption, and exposed to deadly doses of radiation in order to eradicate ringworm.

I can think of no better way to rebut these canards than to reproduce this excellent comment  by Mikhael, an Israeli of mixed Mizrahi/Ashkenazi ancestry, who deals, one by one, with the allegations (in italics) made by another commenter, Walid. 



Mikhael
July 8, 2014, 2:34 pm
Walid says:
July 8, 2014 at 1:49 am


....the Israeli authorities so succeeded in their de-Arabising efforts to the point of having people like Mikhael firmly believe it never existed and never will. 
To be “de-Arabized” one must first be “Arabized”. “Arabization” actually is an apt word. Long ago, the Jews of the Levant, Maghreb, Mesopotamia and Yemen/Hadhramaut, actually were Arabized at one point–that is, they either had Arabic language and culture imposed on them or were assimilated into it. But the Arab nation and culture was not their own. That’s why the traditional Jewish term for Arabic-speaking Mizrai Jews, in Eretz Yisrael and elsewhere, was “Mustarabim”–i.e.., Arabized Jews (and not Arab Jews) . 
Mikhael is evidently ashamed of his Mizrahi roots and relieved that he’s the product of a mixed marriage.
Sure, I’m so ashamed of being of partial Mizrahi-Jewish heritage that I mention it all the time. I suppose I am proud of my Mizrahi and Ashkenazi heritage (although one should really only be proud of one’s own accomplishments and not one’s ancestors), especially as I can count some of the Safed Kabbalists and a Rishon Le-Siyyon (Sephardic chief rabbi) among them. I’m equally proud of my Ashkenazi (Hungarian-Jewish) background. Walid, you seem to think that Ashkenazi descent is something to be ashamed of. I don’t agree with you. When my parents married in the mid-1960s, such unions were relatively rare, but they were already increasingly becoming more common. Today, marriages between different Israeli Jews with roots in the different parts of the Diaspora are at around 40%. 
...another into heavy denial is the “I proud of Israel” fluently Arabic-speaking Mahane, of Iraqi Kurdish Mizrahi roots that most probably lived with his parents in tent cities when they arrived in Israel, 
It’s sweet that you mention Mahane so much. I think you have a crush on him. If I was him, I’d be flattered. I don’t know the guy (maybe I’ll look for his stall next time I am in the market), but if he is of Kurdish Jewish background, the language his family spoke immediately prior to their aliya was likely neo-Aramaic (lishna didan), possibly with Arabic as a second language. If he is Israeli-raised, any Arabic he has most likely comes from school or friends or self-study. I know a lot of Ashkenazim who also speak fluent Arabic. Whether an Israeli is of Mizrahi, Sefaradi or Ashkenazi ancestry, it’s great to know Arabic. It’s always good to know any foreign language. 
Iraqi Kurdish Mizrahi roots that most probably lived with his parents in tent cities when they arrived in Israel,
Yup. Jewish refugees from Arab countries were housed in maabarot, tent cities, alongside Jewish refugees from Europe, in the impoverished Israel of the 1950s.
…the Yemeni Jewish baby kidnappings to provide children to childless Ashkenazim couples
Something that was investigated by no fewer than four government committees with no evidence of any conspiracy to kidnap Yemenite-Jewish children uncovered. Exactly two cases of Teimoni children adopted by Ashkenazi couples were discovered, and it seems this was arranged by a corrupt social worker. Post-WW2, some 2,000 Irish babies were taken from their unwed mothers by the Church in collusion with the government and sent away for adoption against their mothers’ consent, in Australia, the same thing happened with Aboriginal children. In Israel, there’s evidence of exactly two instances of such abuses.
the infamous irradiation experiments conducted on Mizrahi children by Israel for money in the early 50s
Israel was guilty, in the early 1950s, of being stuck in the scientific mindset of the early 1950s, when X-Rays were considered to a safe and effective treatment for ringworm infection. Israel treated immigrant children suspected of having ringworm with this procedure, as this was considered advanced and harmless procedure and was being used in the Americas and Europe for decades. Ashkenazi immigrant kids ( from Romania, Poland and elsewhere) who were suspected of having ringworm infections in their scalp were also subjected to this alleged “irradiation experiment”. With 21st century hindsight, modern medicine now knows that X-raying the soft tissue around a kid’s skull without lead protection is not a good idea, they were less sophisticated in the ’50s. 
It’s a fact that Mizrahim had to live their Arabic culture in secret for years to avoid being penalized in Israel. I’m guessing Mikhael parents or grandparents are of this background.
Like many old Jerusalemite families, Arabic was but one of many linguistic strands in our Mizrahi family–in my paternal grandmother’s Jerusalem home (her family had lived there for about a century, prior to Jerusalem, they lived in Galilee)–Ladino, Arabic, French and later modern Hebrew were all used interchangeably, sometimes in the same sentence. My grandfather was initially raised in more of a “pure” Arabic-speaking environment, at least in early childhood–his parents came to Jerusalem from Aram Soba (Alleppo) and Damascus in the late 19th century. Far from being ashamed and hiding his Arabic fluency, and worrying about being penalized for it, his native knowledge of the lingo was put to good use monitoring Arabic radio communications for the Etzel underground and later, the IDF. My father’s uncle taught Arabic language and literature in Israeli schools. My father understood it perfectly, but never spoke it well. Nobody kept anything a secret.

I was raised both in the States and Israel, I’ve studied it formally and informally at various stages of my life in both countries. I can read it with difficulty and have always wanted to perfect my very imperfect Arabic, as it is a useful language to know. But it certainly doesn’t “belong” to me, even if some of my ancestors once spoke it well, any more than Hungarian belongs to me, just because my mother grew up in a Hungarian-speaking home. Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews, have no national connection to the Arab people nor the Magyar people.

Mikhael
July 8, 2014, 2:34 pm
Walid says:
July 8, 2014 at 1:49 am
the Israeli authorities so succeeded in their de-Arabising efforts to the point of having people like Mikhael firmly believe it never existed and never will.
To be “de-Arabized” one must first be “Arabized”. “Arabization” actually is an apt word. Long ago, the Jews of the Levant, Maghreb, Mesopotamia and Yemen/Hadhramaut, actually were Arabized at one point–that is, they either had Arabic language and culture imposed on them or were assimilated into it. But the Arab nation and culture was not their own. That’s why the traditional Jewish term for Arabic-speaking Mizrai Jews, in Eretz Yisrael and elsewhere, was “Mustarabim”–i.e.., Arabized Jews (and not Arab Jews) .
Mikhael is evidently ashamed of his Mizrahi roots and relieved that he’s the product of a mixed marriage.
Sure, I’m so ashamed of being of partial Mizrahi-Jewish heritage that I mention it all the time. I suppose I am proud of my Mizrahi and Ashkenazi heritage (although one should really only be proud of one’s own accomplishments and not one’s ancestors), especially as I can count some of the Safed Kabbalists and a Rishon Le-Siyyon (Sephardic chief rabbi) among them. I’m equally proud of my Ashkenazi (Hungarian-Jewish) background. Walid, you seem to think that Ashkenazi descent is something to be ashamed of. I don’t agree with you. When my parents married in the mid-1960s, such unions were relatively rare, but they were already increasingly becoming more common. Today, marriages between different Israeli Jews with roots in the different parts of the Diaspora are at around 40%.
other into heavy denial is the “I proud of Israel” fluently Arabic-speaking Mahane, of Iraqi Kurdish Mizrahi roots that most probably lived with his parents in tent cities when they arrived in Israel,
It’s sweet that you mention Mahane so much. I think you have a crush on him. If I was him, I’d be flattered. I don’t know the guy (maybe I’ll look for his stall next time I am in the market), but if he is of Kurdish Jewish background, the language his family spoke immediately prior to their aliya was likely neo-Aramaic (lishna didan), possibly with Arabic as a second language. If he is Israeli-raised, any Arabic he has most likely comes from school or friends or self-study. I know a lot of Ashkenazim who also speak fluent Arabic. Whether an Israeli is of Mizrahi, Sefaradi or Ashkenazi ancestry, it’s great to know Arabic. It’s always good to know any foreign language.
Iraqi Kurdish Mizrahi roots that most probably lived with his parents in tent cities when they arrived in Israel,
Yup. Jewish refugees from Arab countries were housed in maabarot, tent cities, alongside Jewish refugees from Europe, in the impoverished Israel of the 1950s.
…the Yemeni Jewish baby kidnappings to provide children to childless Ashkenazim couples
Something that was investigated by no fewer than four government committees with no evidence of any conspiracy to kidnap Yemenite-Jewish children uncovered. Exactly two cases of Teimoni children adopted by Ashkenazi couples were discovered, and it seems this was arranged by a corrupt social worker. Post-WW2, some 2,000 Irish babies were taken from their unwed mothers by the Church in collusion with the government and sent away for adoption against their mothers’ consent, in Australia, the same thing happened with Aboriginal children. In Israel, there’s evidence of exactly two instances of such abuses.
the infamous irradiation experiments conducted on Mizrahi children by Israel for money in the early 50s
Israel was guilty, in the early 1950s, of being stuck in the scientific mindset of the early 1950s, when X-Rays were considered to a safe and effective treatment for ringworm infection. Israel treated immigrant children suspected of having ringworm with this procedure, as this was considered advanced and harmless procedure and was being used in the Americas and Europe for decades. Ashkenazi immigrant kids ( from Romania, Poland and elsewhere) who were suspected of having ringworm infections in their scalp were also subjected to this alleged “irradiation experiment”. With 21st century hindsight, modern medicine now knows that X-raying the soft tissue around a kid’s skull without lead protection is not a good idea, they were less sophisticated in the ’50s.
It’s a fact that Mizrahim had to live their Arabic culture in secret for years to avoid being penalized in Israel. I’m guessing Mikhael parents or grandparents are of this background.
Like many old Jerusalemite families, Arabic was but one of many linguistic strands in our Mizrahi family–in my paternal grandmother’s Jerusalem home (her family had lived there for about a century, prior to Jerusalem, they lived in Galilee)–Ladino, Arabic, French and later modern Hebrew were all used interchangeably, sometimes in the same sentence. My grandfather was initially raised in more of a “pure” Arabic-speaking environment, at least in early childhood–his parents came to Jerusalem from Aram Soba (Alleppo) and Damascus in the late 19th century. Far from being ashamed and hiding his Arabic fluency, and worrying about being penalized for it, his native knowledge of the lingo was put to good use monitoring Arabic radio communications for the Etzel underground and later, the IDF. My father’s uncle taught Arabic language and literature in Israeli schools. My father understood it perfectly, but never spoke it well. Nobody kept anything a secret.
I was raised both in the States and Israel, I’ve studied it formally and informally at various stages of my life in both countries. I can read it with difficulty and have always wanted to perfect my very imperfect Arabic, as it is a useful language to know. But it certainly doesn’t “belong” to me, even if some of my ancestors once spoke it well, any more than Hungarian belongs to me, just because my mother grew up in a Hungarian-speaking home. Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews, have no national connection to the Arab people nor the Magyar people.
- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/mizrahi-loyalty-smadar#sthash.44WXpkCt.dpuf
Mikhael
July 8, 2014, 2:34 pm
Walid says:
July 8, 2014 at 1:49 am
the Israeli authorities so succeeded in their de-Arabising efforts to the point of having people like Mikhael firmly believe it never existed and never will.
To be “de-Arabized” one must first be “Arabized”. “Arabization” actually is an apt word. Long ago, the Jews of the Levant, Maghreb, Mesopotamia and Yemen/Hadhramaut, actually were Arabized at one point–that is, they either had Arabic language and culture imposed on them or were assimilated into it. But the Arab nation and culture was not their own. That’s why the traditional Jewish term for Arabic-speaking Mizrai Jews, in Eretz Yisrael and elsewhere, was “Mustarabim”–i.e.., Arabized Jews (and not Arab Jews) .
Mikhael is evidently ashamed of his Mizrahi roots and relieved that he’s the product of a mixed marriage.
Sure, I’m so ashamed of being of partial Mizrahi-Jewish heritage that I mention it all the time. I suppose I am proud of my Mizrahi and Ashkenazi heritage (although one should really only be proud of one’s own accomplishments and not one’s ancestors), especially as I can count some of the Safed Kabbalists and a Rishon Le-Siyyon (Sephardic chief rabbi) among them. I’m equally proud of my Ashkenazi (Hungarian-Jewish) background. Walid, you seem to think that Ashkenazi descent is something to be ashamed of. I don’t agree with you. When my parents married in the mid-1960s, such unions were relatively rare, but they were already increasingly becoming more common. Today, marriages between different Israeli Jews with roots in the different parts of the Diaspora are at around 40%.
other into heavy denial is the “I proud of Israel” fluently Arabic-speaking Mahane, of Iraqi Kurdish Mizrahi roots that most probably lived with his parents in tent cities when they arrived in Israel,
It’s sweet that you mention Mahane so much. I think you have a crush on him. If I was him, I’d be flattered. I don’t know the guy (maybe I’ll look for his stall next time I am in the market), but if he is of Kurdish Jewish background, the language his family spoke immediately prior to their aliya was likely neo-Aramaic (lishna didan), possibly with Arabic as a second language. If he is Israeli-raised, any Arabic he has most likely comes from school or friends or self-study. I know a lot of Ashkenazim who also speak fluent Arabic. Whether an Israeli is of Mizrahi, Sefaradi or Ashkenazi ancestry, it’s great to know Arabic. It’s always good to know any foreign language.
Iraqi Kurdish Mizrahi roots that most probably lived with his parents in tent cities when they arrived in Israel,
Yup. Jewish refugees from Arab countries were housed in maabarot, tent cities, alongside Jewish refugees from Europe, in the impoverished Israel of the 1950s.
…the Yemeni Jewish baby kidnappings to provide children to childless Ashkenazim couples
Something that was investigated by no fewer than four government committees with no evidence of any conspiracy to kidnap Yemenite-Jewish children uncovered. Exactly two cases of Teimoni children adopted by Ashkenazi couples were discovered, and it seems this was arranged by a corrupt social worker. Post-WW2, some 2,000 Irish babies were taken from their unwed mothers by the Church in collusion with the government and sent away for adoption against their mothers’ consent, in Australia, the same thing happened with Aboriginal children. In Israel, there’s evidence of exactly two instances of such abuses.
the infamous irradiation experiments conducted on Mizrahi children by Israel for money in the early 50s
Israel was guilty, in the early 1950s, of being stuck in the scientific mindset of the early 1950s, when X-Rays were considered to a safe and effective treatment for ringworm infection. Israel treated immigrant children suspected of having ringworm with this procedure, as this was considered advanced and harmless procedure and was being used in the Americas and Europe for decades. Ashkenazi immigrant kids ( from Romania, Poland and elsewhere) who were suspected of having ringworm infections in their scalp were also subjected to this alleged “irradiation experiment”. With 21st century hindsight, modern medicine now knows that X-raying the soft tissue around a kid’s skull without lead protection is not a good idea, they were less sophisticated in the ’50s.
It’s a fact that Mizrahim had to live their Arabic culture in secret for years to avoid being penalized in Israel. I’m guessing Mikhael parents or grandparents are of this background.
Like many old Jerusalemite families, Arabic was but one of many linguistic strands in our Mizrahi family–in my paternal grandmother’s Jerusalem home (her family had lived there for about a century, prior to Jerusalem, they lived in Galilee)–Ladino, Arabic, French and later modern Hebrew were all used interchangeably, sometimes in the same sentence. My grandfather was initially raised in more of a “pure” Arabic-speaking environment, at least in early childhood–his parents came to Jerusalem from Aram Soba (Alleppo) and Damascus in the late 19th century. Far from being ashamed and hiding his Arabic fluency, and worrying about being penalized for it, his native knowledge of the lingo was put to good use monitoring Arabic radio communications for the Etzel underground and later, the IDF. My father’s uncle taught Arabic language and literature in Israeli schools. My father understood it perfectly, but never spoke it well. Nobody kept anything a secret.
I was raised both in the States and Israel, I’ve studied it formally and informally at various stages of my life in both countries. I can read it with difficulty and have always wanted to perfect my very imperfect Arabic, as it is a useful language to know. But it certainly doesn’t “belong” to me, even if some of my ancestors once spoke it well, any more than Hungarian belongs to me, just because my mother grew up in a Hungarian-speaking home. Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews, have no national connection to the Arab people nor the Magyar people.
- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/mizrahi-loyalty-smadar#sthash.44WXpkCt.dpuf

3 comments:

Empress Trudy said...

People like this are a silly waste of time. The only reason they attract anyone's attention at all is because they bleat and whine about their own Jewish bona fides. Which itself is quite nearly a lie. Because they are no more Jewish than I am Polish. I have Polish ancestry and that's all. These are people who for whatever reason adopt an identity that's not theirs in order to scream about how awful that ancestry is. But they're not Jews, not really. Even the literalist idiots who claim halachic law as their own "I am 'technically a Jew...etc etc" miss the point that you still have to BE Jewish to make that claim. They're not. They're people, which a certain heritage. Once you debunk their 'I am a Jew who's MORE moral than thou' claim, you can easily put them in the same bucket as every other Jew hating neo Nazi who learned some Hebrew.

Anonymous said...

"it's a fact"


Isn't it wonderful how people with little or no knowledge will deploy this little phrase?

Anonymous said...

The comments authored by Mikhael could be published as a how-to guide on how to rebut Mondoweirdos---GREAT JOB, Mikhael, wherever you are! -- Sarah