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Saturday, November 10th

Q&A: From Khartoum to Annapolis with self-hating Zionists

The following is inspired by the wave of anti-Annapolis meeting articles and activities being generated by so called "Zionist activists" who are acting as our own worst enemies. In particular, I was offended by a poisonous article by Steve Plaut (Jewish Press, November 7), which, among other things, recommends turning large parts of southern Lebanon into parking lots.

Anti-Zionists provide sufficient demonization of Zionists. They don't need help from Steve Plaut. In real life, as opposed to Archie Bunker fantasies, Israel is not going to turn southern Lebanon into a parking lot, so why make believe Israel is an evil and war mongering state?

The Zionist refusal front is reminiscent of the resolutions of the Arab summit conference of Khartoum, in 1967: "No peace with Israel, no recognition, no negotiations." What policy could be more self-destructive than that? What policy could lead more surely to universal condemnation and demonization of Israel and Zionism?

Question: Will the Annapolis meeting produce peace in the Middle East?
Answer: Probably not.

Question: Should Israel attend the Annapolis meeting?
Answer: Yes, absolutely.

Continued...

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Ami Isseroff on 11.10.07 @ 02:25 PM CST [link]

Friday, November 9th

The Real McCarthyism

I have here in my hand a list of 205...a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department...( Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, Wheeling, West Virginia, February 9, 1950
Source)



The above words signaled the birth of "McCarthyism." McCarthy and his sidekicks in the House Un-American Activities Committee forced investigations of just about every group and any person who ever stood for a black lady in a bus or was overheard to say that Francisco Franco was not a great friend of liberty, and any person who knew a person who had done such things. Having a Jewish sounding name was sufficient cause for being the target of suspicion, because "everyone knew" that Jews are communists. McCarthyism was discredited only when McCarthy tried to wreck the United States Army.

Continued...

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Ami Isseroff on 11.09.07 @ 06:11 PM CST [link]

Thursday, November 8th

The New McCarthyism - Cohler-Esses replies

Larry Cohler-Esses, who wrote the defense of Nadia Abu El Haj, Norman G. Finkelstein and other alleged victims of the Zionist McCarthyite plot, has responded to my articles about these issues (see Nadia Abu El Haj versus written history and the scientific method - I) and I have responded to him there. This discussion should not be about Larry Cohler-Esses or Paula Stern, but about the issues. Nonetheless, as Cohler-Esses raised some important issues, and as my response to him included materials I had planned for a later article in this series, I will present an expanded version of my response here. This article will take up issues directly related to "McCarthyism" and Larry Cohler-Esses' response. A subsequent one will deal with more of Nadia Abu El Haj's allegations that were defended by Cohler-Esses.

Continued...

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Ami Isseroff on 11.08.07 @ 07:55 PM CST [link]

Tuesday, November 6th

Nadia Abu El Haj versus written history and the scientific method - II

Previously (see Nadia Abu El Haj versus written history and the scientific method - I), I discussed the absurdity of the explicit or implicit claim of Nadia Abu El Haj and others that Israeli archaeology had the purpose of demonstrating Jewish rights to the land, as if those rights had not been amply established and accepted before the establishment of the state of Israel. El-Haj's approach tends to discard a huge body of evidence in favor of tenuous "alternative narratives." It produces the sort of theories beloved of conspiracy theorists. It could only be considered seriously in the intellectual framework of post-structuralist approaches, that have more or less abandoned the scientific approach, which they deride as "positivist facticity."

The following reasoning, from Elia Zureik's favorable review of El Haj's work, illustrates both the method and the degree to which surrealistic logic such as that of El Haj has gained prominence and acceptance in some academic circles:

Abu El-Haj questions the inference that the Roman Legion burnt the city in 70 C.E. "How does one determine that a specific historical event is causally linked to physical remnants of fire?" The story of the Roman destruction is "much more in keeping with nationalist historiography" (p. 145). Other "equally plausible accounts," for which there is ample evidence could be that the fire "was evidence of class or sectarian conflict within Jewish society" which erupted prior to the Roman entry.

Continued...

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Ami Isseroff on 11.06.07 @ 02:32 PM CST [link]

Monday, November 5th

Nadia Abu El Haj versus written history and the scientific method - I

Nadia Abu El Haj, a Barnard professor recently granted tenure, is one of a number of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian academics engaged in what appears to be a systematic attempt to erase the history of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel. As will be shown below, the intent and effect of her work is to further a claim similar to that of former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and former Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrema Sabri: the Jews did not have an ancient kingdom, and have no national rights in Jerusalem or the land of Israel.

Not surprisingly, El-Haj's work has been sharply criticized by scholars and Israel advocates. However, her presentation is sophisticated and couched in the intentionally convoluted prose of post-structural "discourse." Therefore it is sometimes difficult to pin down the errors and distortions in her work and that of others of the same school. The theme of her book, "Facts on the Ground," and of several similar articles, is that Israeli archaeology participated in falsifying the past record in order to establish a Jewish claim to the land of Israel and Jerusalem. In arguing about detailed points, many have lost sight of the main issue: Her claim Israeli archaeology sought to establish a "myth" or "narrative" of Jewish sovereignty cannot possibly be true.

Continued...

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Ami Isseroff on 11.05.07 @ 04:37 PM CST [link]


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