By Turning against the Jews, Women’s Studies Admits Its Bankruptcy

Oct. 16 2018

In September, the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)—the most prominent academic organization in the field—gave an annual book prize to The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, published by Duke University Press. The book, written by Jasbir Puar, a professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, is a collection of scurrilous, perverse, and sometimes absurd accusations of Israeli evildoing. To Cary Nelson, the decision sounds the death knell for the entire field:

In the 1970s and 1980s the emerging field of women’s studies embodied hopes and goals for transforming humanities disciplines. . . . Of course, . . . faculty members and popular writers sometimes went to ludicrous extremes in contesting “patriarchy,” but academic training and the desire for academic respectability eventually moderated these impulses for many, [although the field] never settled its internal conflict between political and academic impulses. . . .

Now it is clear that politics has won; the NWSA’s political mission will not be qualified by objective standards. The organization is committed to criminalizing and delegitimating the state of Israel. In 2015 it passed the most far-reaching anti-Israel resolution of any major professional association, going well beyond an academic boycott to isolate, and condemn, and do as much economic and cultural damage to Israel as possible. With that, NWSA became officially intolerant of all alternative political opinions. . . .

The NWSA has now crossed a further line in self-discreditation by honoring Jasbir Puar’s December 2017 book. . . . Most anti-Israel [academic] publications focus on debatable propositions. Not Puar’s. You can debate the claim that Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens, but so long as there is evidence of racism among some Israelis you cannot wholly discredit the accusation. Puar, however, makes arguments that can be proved factually right or wrong. They are consistently false. . . .

Why does NWSA’s endorsement and its embrace of faux scholarship matter? Because NWSA members are encouraged to write and teach with a fiercely anti-Zionist bias and train their students to think and write that way. Several other humanities groups, most notably the American Studies Association, have launched themselves down the same rabbit hole.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Academia, Academic Boycotts, American Studies Association, Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia