Monday, July 16, 2012

ACADEMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN BRITAIN AND ISRAEL TO COUNTER THE ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY ON THE BRITISH CAMPUS.



ACADEMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN BRITAIN AND ISRAEL TO COUNTER THE ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY ON THE BRITISH CAMPUS.


BARRY SHAW’S KNESSET ADDRESS.   KNESSET FORUM 

“ACADEMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN BRITAIN AND ISRAEL AS AN ANSWER TO ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY IN BRITAIN.”

THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS, NOT KNOWN FOR BEING A ZIONIST ORGANISATION, IN THEIR “HATE CRIME INTERIM REPORT” ON HATE INCIDENTS IN  BRITISH UNIVERSITIES, FOUND THAT  31% OF JEWISH STUDENTS EXPERIENCED A HATE INCIDENT. THIS IS FAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUP.  IN COMPARISON, MUSLIM STUDENTS SUFFERED 17%, ALMOST HALF OF THE HATE INCIDENTS EXPERIENCED BY JEWISH STUDENTS.



THIS IS NOTHING NEW, BUT IT IS GROWING. IT REFLECTS A NEW AND VIRULENT FORM OF ANTI-SEMITISM.
THERE MUST BE THE SAME ZERO TOLERANCE APPLIED TO ANTI-SEMITIC HATE INCIDENTS ON THE BRITISH CAMPUS, AS THERE IS TO RACISM IN FOOTBALL IN BRITAIN, EVEN IF SOME OF THAT HATE IS DRESSED UP AS ANTI-ZIONIST ACTIVITY.
ONE INCIDENT IS ONE TOO MANY.  31% OF ALL HATE INCIDENTS BEING ANTI-SEMITIC IS A WORRYING PLAGUE.

THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ANTI-ISRAEL ATMOSPHERE THAT HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO FESTER ON THE BRITISH CAMPUS AND ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS. WHY SHOULDN’T IT BE? THIS DIRECTLY REFLECTS THE TONE AND LANGUAGE OF ANTI-ISRAEL INCITEMENT EMINATING FROM THE PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP, AS WELL AS FROM OTHER ARAB AND ISLAMIC COUNTRIES. IT SPREADS FROM RAMALLAH, GAZA, CAIRO, AND TEHRAN INTO THE MOSQUES AND CAMPUSES IN BRITAIN.

DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. SPEAK WITH KASIM HAFEEZ. HE IS A BRITISH MUSLIM WHO WAS RADICALISED TO THE POINT WHERE HE WAS TWO MONTHS FROM GOING TO A JIHADI TRAINING CAMP IN PAKISTAN. HE WAS RADICALISED INTO HATING ISRAEL AND BEING A RAPID ANTI-SEMITE.  I MET HIM, AMAZINGLY, IN TEL AVIV RECENTLY.  HE IS A REFORMED CHARACTER. A VISIT TO ISRAEL WAS THE CATALYST. THIS IS ONE OF THE REMEDIES WE SHOULD DISCUSS, BUT NOT THE ONLY ONE.

AS KASIM TOLD YNET,  “WHEN IT COMES TO ISRAEL, THE TRUTH IS NOT BEING HEARD. THE RANKS OF THOSE FILLED WITH BLIND HATRED CONTINUE TO SWELL IN BRITAIN, YET MANY HAVE NOT BEEN EXPOSED TO THE REALITY OF ISRAEL AND ARE SWAYED BY THE EMPTY RHETORIC AND POLITICALLY CHARGED SLOGANS.  I EXPERIENCED THE HIGH LEVELS OF ANTI-SEMITIC AND ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY TAKING PLACE ON THE CAMPUS IN BRITAIN. I KNOW BECAUSE I WAS ANTI-SEMITIC AND ANTI-ISRAEL.”

WE HEAR  THAT CLAIMS OF ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY IN BRITAIN ARE EXAGGERATED. BUT ALL OF US KNOW THAT BRITAIN IS ONE OF THE LEADING HUBS OF DELEGITIMISATION AGAINST ISRAEL.  I RECOMMEND THAT YOU READ THE REUT INSTITUTE REPORTS, ESPECIALLY THE ONE ENTITLED “THE ASSAULTS ON ISRAEL’S LEGITIMACY – LONDON AS A CASE STUDY.”

THE PHYSICAL ATTACK ON ISRAEL’S DEPUTY AMBASSADOR AT MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY,  ISRAEL’S DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, DANNY AYALON, PREVENTED FROM SPEAKING AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY WITH CRIES OF ‘KILL THE JEW!’, RON PROSOR TELLING  CHATHAM HOUSE LAST YEAR THAT ‘THE HATE AND HYPOCRISY TOWARDS ISRAEL AT BRITISH UNIVERSITIES IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH,’  ISRAEL’S FOREIGN MINISTER, AVIGDOR LIBERMAN, IN MAY THIS YEAR, ASKING WILLIAM HAGUE TO HELP STOP THE ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITIES ON UK UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES. IN MY BOOK ‘ISRAEL RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE’ BOOKER PRIZE WINNING WRITER, HOWARD JACOBSON, CALLED WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE BRITISH CAMPUS ‘THE CLOSING OF THE ACADEMIC MIND IN BRITAIN’ , AND THE ATTEMPTS TO PREVENT OR DISRUPT PERFORMANCES BY THE ISRAELI PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AND THE HABIMA THEATRE COMPANY IN LONDON.

THESE ARE TOO MANY, AND TOO IMPORTANT EVENTS, TO BE CALLED ‘ISOLATED INCIDENTS.’ THESE ARE JUST THE PROMINENT TIP OF THE ICEBERG.  THERE ARE MANY MORE ANONYMOUS INCIDENTS TAKING PLACE BELOW THE WATERLINE, WITHOUT THE SPOTLIGHT OF PUBLICITY.

ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE WRONG? THERE ARE THOSE WHO WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE THAT THE ANTI-ISRAEL, ANTI-JEWISH, ACTIVITIES IN BRITISH UNIVERSITIES ARE NOT WIDESPREAD, BUT ONLY LAST NIGHT, IN PREPARATION FOR THIS KNESSET MEETING, I DID A COMPUTER SEARCH AND CAME UP WITH THE FOLLOWING UNIVERSITIES WHERE SERIOUS ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITY HAS TAKEN PLACE WITHIN THE LAST SIX MONTHS – LSE, SOAS, LONDON, LEICESTER, EXETER, BIRMINGHAM, YORK, BRADFORD, MANCHESTER, EDINBURGH, MIDDLESEX, CAMBRIDGE, OXFORD, LEEDS, UCU. I’M SURE THERE ARE MORE. THE SUM TOTAL DOES NOT LEAD ONE TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THESE ARE NOT ISOLATED INCIDENTS, NOR CARRIED OUT BY A RANSOM FEW EXTREMISTS.

THE SPILL OVER FROM THE UNIVERSITIES IS WORRYING. STUDENTS, EDUCATED AND INFLUENCED IN SUCH AN ANTI-ISRAEL ENVIRONMENT, GO INTO POSITIONS OF POWER AND INFLUENCE INCLUDING POLITICS AND THE MEDIA, BRINGING THEIR BIAS WITH THEM. THEY BECOME TEACHERS, AND WE ARE STARTING TO SEE ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING IN THE HIGH SCHOOLS OF BRITAIN. THIS WILL WARP YOUNG MINDS AGAINST ISRAEL EVEN BEFORE THEY GET TO UNIVERSITY. 

THE INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL ELITE OF BRITAIN HAVE JOINED THE HUNT. NOBODY CAN ACCUSE EMMA THOMPSON OR ELVIS COSTELLO OF BEING ISLAMISTS OR FAR LEFT CRAZIES, BUT IT HAS BECOME TRENDY, YOU SEE, IN BRITAIN TO GO ISRAEL BASHING WHILE IGNORING THE HUMAN RIGHTS AND OCCUPATION ABUSES OF COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA, TURKEY, AND MANY OTHERS. WHEN YOU DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ISRAEL AND ISRAEL ONLY, IT’S ANTI-SEMITISM IN ANOTHER FORM. IT’S A HATE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME.

WHAT MUST BE DONE TO REMEDY THIS DANGEROUS TREND?

THE WORK BEING DONE BY BIRAX THROUGH THE BRITISH COUNCIL, AND ENCOURAGED BY THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR, IS EXCELLENT BUT THIS DOES NOT GET TO THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM WHICH IS ROOTED IN UNIVERSITY COURSES SUCH AS MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, POLITICAL SCIENCE, THE HUMANITIES, WHICH FORMULATE AND INSTITUTIONISE ANTI-ISRAEL AND EVEN ANTI-SEMITIC CONDITIONING, AND POISONS THE ATMOSPHERE NOT ONLY ON THE CAMPUS BUT INFILTRATES INTO THE MEDIA, CHURCH GROUPS, NGOS, ETC. THEY ARE FED BY LEFTIST LECTURERS TO EAGER STUDENTS AND THE SUBJECT MATTER IS FED TO THEM IN A BIASED MANNER.

MAY I SUGGEST THAT THE AMBASSADOR, THROUGH THE BRITISH COUNCIL, BIRAX, OR SOME OTHER VEHICLE, CONSIDER WORKING WITH US ON A PROGRAMME THAT INVOLVES THE EDUCATORS OF SENSITIVE SUBJECTS SUCH AS POLITICAL SCIENCE, MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, THE HUMANITIES, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. THESE ARE THE TOPICS AROUND WHICH RADICALISM IS BORN.

SEND PROFESSORS AND CHANCELLORS ON STUDY TOURS TO ISRAEL. LET THEM COME WITH THEIR CRITICAL QUESTIONS AND ADDRESS THEM TO OUR POLITICAL, MILITARY AND ACADEMIC LEADERS. HAVE THEM MEET OUR JUDGES, OUR MEDIA, AND OUR COMMUNITY LEADERS. LET THEM SEE HOW WE CONDUCT OURSELVES ON OUR CAMPUSES, AND IN OUR SOCIETY.

THE AMBASSADOR, MATTHEW GOULD, IS A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF A PERSON WHO CLEARLY KNOWS THAT THE REALITY OF ISRAEL IS FAR REMOVED FROM THE IMAGE PORTRAYED IN THE BRITISH MEDIA AND CAMPUS. WE WILL BE HAPPY TO MEET WITH HIM TO DISCUSS IN DETAIL THE WAY TO FORMULATE THIS PLAN.

A UNIVERSITY IS SURELY A PLACE TO CULTIVATE OPEN MINDS. LET THERE BE A MINI CONFERENCE TOUR OF BRITISH CAMPUSES BY LEADING ISRAELI ADVOCATES. AS I SUGGESTED RECENTLY IN SOUTH AFRICA WHERE I WAS ON A SPEAKING TOUR WHILE ‘ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK’WAS TAKING PLACE ON MANY OF THEIR CAMPUSES, LET ME LEAD PEOPLE LIKE ITAMAR MARCUS, GERALD STEINBERG, ALAN BAKER, MICHAEL DICKSON, AND YES, EVEN KASIM HAFEEZ, ON A CAMPUS TOUR OF BRITAIN AND LET US MAKE OUR PRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE REAL FACTS OF LIFE HERE. 

THIS MECHANISM IS NEEDED IN BRITAIN TO COUNTER THE HATE CAMPAIGN THAT OVERFLOWS INTO LIES AND HYPOCRISY THAT TAINTS AND SPOILS INTELLIGENT AND REASONED DEBATE.

THE PROBLEM IS NOT ISOLATED TO ISRAEL. IT IS BRITAIN ITSELF THAT HAS BECOME AN INCUBATOR OF RADICALISM.  BRITAIN, SADLY, IS A MAJOR HUB OF DELEGITIMISATION AGAINST ISRAEL. IT IS NOT BEEN CARRIED OUT BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT WHICH AS BEEN LARGELY SUPPORTIVE OF ISRAEL, BUT THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS A VESTED INTEREST, AS WE DO, TO ADDRESS THIS BURNING ISSUE.

THERE IS MUCH TO BE DONE. IT ONLY TAKES THE DESIRE, THE FUNDING, AND THE ORGANISATION, BUT WE ARE WILLING AND READY TO START.

BARRY SHAW,
SPECIAL CONSULTANT ON DELEGITIMISATION ISSUES, 
THE STRATEGIC DIALOGUE CENTRE, 
NETANYA ACADEMIC COLLEGE.


http://israeltheviewfromhere.blogspot.com/2012/07/academic-cooperation-between-britain.html