UCSB Prof William Robinson pro-Semite

Putting down the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
Wouldn’t you think it bad form for Israeli militants to behave like Nazis, while immunizing themselves with the self-righteous indignation that any criticism of their actions can simply be dismissed as “anti-Semitic?” Photographs and confessions emerging from the IDF’s atrocities in Gaza just beg comparison the German Einsatzgruppen in Poland. Earlier this year UC Santa Barbara professor William Robinson forwarded an email photo essay to a UCSB listserv, the already much-circulated side by side comparison to the WWII atrocities. Two students complained, plagiarizing stock IDF lingo. Now the Anti-Defamation League wants Robinson to recant. With IDF propagandists pouring on the bullshit, let’s revisit the documents.

As has already been noted, Professor Robinson is a harsh critic of US foreign policy, and already a likely target for the goon squad enforcers of Western Capitalism. Not many of America’s actions are defensible, so Robinson has to be attacked by desperate means. Lucky for the lackey-jackals, Robinson chose to criticize Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians of Gaza. Bingo!

The Israeli propaganda machine has armed aspiring Israel-defenders with a blanket rebuttal: just yell “ANTI-SEMITISM!” And what a load of crap that is. Much turns on the definition of “anti-Semitism.” It packs the punch of meaning someone who hates Jews, but the advocates of Zionism have expanded the definition into 3-D! Zionist apologist Nathan Sharansky has coined the 3D definition of ant-Semitism: demonization of Israel, double standards, and delegitimization. You don’t have to look closely to note that those points outline all the rebuttals of criticisms of Israel and any question of the legitimacy of the Zionist usurpation of Palestine.

The criticisms posed by those concerned for the fate of Gaza are the same expressed by a large portion of the Israeli Jewish population as well. But the US Israeli lobby, militantly Zionist, has the complicity of the US war-mongering corporate media, thus the IDF Megaphone protestations get traction. These are the same cheap shots leveled against Ward Churchill. By flooding the internet to create the sensation that the indignation was shared, the IDF spammers have been successful in slandering these dissenting academics.

Since we’re seeing this technique being slopped unto our comment forums, let’s examine the statement for which Robinson is being attacked. First we’ll present Robinson’s email. The next post will feature the ensuing letters of complaint, two from UCSB students, and third from the ADL.

Original Email
Here is Professor Robinson’s original email, including his attachment of the Judith Stone article. This accompanied the aforementioned photo essay he forwarded.

Subject: [socforum] parallel images of Nazis and Israelis
From: “William I. Robinson” …
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:00:05

If Martin Luther King were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with U.S. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.

Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw – a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.

The Israeli army is the fifth most potent military machine in the world and one that is backed by a propaganda machine that rivals and may well surpass that of the U.S., a machine that dares to make the ludicrous and obnoxious claim that opposition to the policies and practices of the Israeli state is anti-Semitism. It should be no surprise that a state founded on the negation of a people was one of the principal backers of the apartheid South African state not to mention of the Latin American military dictatorships until those regimes collapsed under mass protest, and today arms, trains, and advises military and paramilitary forces in Colombia, one of the world’s worst human rights violators.

Below is an article written by a U.S. Jew and sent to a Jewish newspaper. The editor of the paper was fired for publishing it.

Quest for Justice

By Judith Stone

I am a Jew. I was a participant in the Rally for the Right of Return to Palestine. It was the right thing to do.

I’ve heard about the European holocaust against the Jews since I was a small child. I’ve visited the memorials in Washington, DC and Jerusalem dedicated to Jewish lives lost and I’ve cried at the recognition to what level of atrocity mankind is capable of sinking.

Where are the Jews of conscience? No righteous malice can be held against the survivors of Hitler’s holocaust. These fragments of humanity were in no position to make choices beyond that of personal survival. We must not forget that being a survivor or a co-religionist of the victims of the European Holocaust does not grant dispensation from abiding by the rules of humanity.

“Never again” as a motto, rings hollow when it means “never again to us alone.” My generation was raised being led to believe that the biblical land was a vast desert inhabited by a handful of impoverished Palestinians living with their camels and eking out a living in the sand. The arrival of the Jews was touted as a tremendous benefit to these desert dwellers. Golda Mier even assured us that there “is no Palestinian problem.”

We know now this picture wasn’t as it was painted. Palestine was a land filled with people who called it home. There were thriving towns and villages, schools and hospitals. There were Jews, Christians and Muslims. In fact, prior to the occupation, Jews represented a mere 7 percent of the population and owned 3 percent of the land.

Taking the blinders off for a moment, I see a second atrocity perpetuated by the very people who should be exquisitely sensitive to the suffering of others. These people knew what it felt like to be ordered out of your home at gun point and forced to march into the night to unknown destinations or face execution on the spot. The people who displaced the Palestinians knew first hand what it means to watch your home in flames, to surrender everything dear to your heart at a moment’s notice. Bulldozers leveled hundreds of villages, along with the remains of the village inhabitants, the old and the young. This was nothing new to the world.

Poland is a vast graveyard of the Jews of Europe. Israel is the final resting place of the massacred Palestinian people. A short distance from the memorial to the Jewish children lost to the holocaust in Europe there is a leveled parking lot. Under this parking lot is what’s left of a once flourishing village and the bodies of men, women and children whose only crime was taking up needed space and not leaving graciously. This particular burial marker reads: “Public Parking”.

I’ve talked with Palestinians. I have yet to meet a Palestinian who hasn’t lost a member of their family to the Israeli Shoah, nor a Palestinian who cannot name a relative or friend languishing under inhumane conditions in an Israeli prison. Time and time again, Israel is cited for human rights violations to no avail. On a recent trip to Israel, I visited the refugee camps inhabited by a people who have waited 52 years in these ‘temporary’ camps to go home. Every Palestinian grandparent can tell you the name of their village, their street, and where the olive trees were planted. Their grandchildren may never have been home, but they can tell you where their great-grandfather lies buried and where the village well stood. The press has fostered the portrait of the Palestinian terrorist. But, the victims who rose up against human indignity in the Warsaw Ghetto are called heroes. Those who lost their lives are called martyrs. The Palestinian who tosses a rock in desperation is a terrorist.

Two years ago I drove through Palestine and watched intricate sprinkler systems watering lush green lawns of Zionist settlers in their new condominium complexes, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire in the midst of a Palestinian community where there was not adequate water to drink and the surrounding fields were sandy and dry. University professor Moshe Zimmerman reported in the Jerusalem Post (April 30, 1995), “The Jewish children of Hebron are just like Hitler’s youth.”

We Jews are suing for restitution, lost wages, compensation for homes, land, slave labor and back wages in Europe. Am I a traitor of a Jew for supporting the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their birthplace and compensation for what was taken that cannot be returned?

The Jewish dead cannot be brought back to life and neither can the Palestinian massacred be resurrected. David Ben Gurion said, “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves…politically, we are the aggressors and they defend themselves…The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country…”

Palestine is a land that has been occupied and emptied of its people. It’s cultural and physical landmarks have been obliterated and replaced by tidy Hebrew signs. The history of a people was the first thing eradicated by the occupiers. The history of the indigenous people has been all but eradicated as though they never existed. And all this has been hailed by the world as a miraculous act of G-d. We must recognize that Israel’s existence is not even a question of legality so much as it is an illegal fait accompli realized through the use of force while supported by the Western powers. The UN missions directed at Israel in attempting to correct its violations of have thus far been futile.

In Hertzl’s “The Jewish State,” the father of Zionism said, “…We must investigate and take possession of the new Jewish country by means of every modern expedient.” I guess I agree with Ehud Barak (3 June 1998) when he said, “If I were a Palestinian, I’d also join a terror group.” I’d go a step further perhaps. Rather than throwing little stones in desperation, I’d hurtle a boulder.

Hopefully, somewhere deep inside, every Jew of conscience knows that this was no war; that this was not G-d’s restitution of the holy land to it’s rightful owners. We know that a human atrocity was and continues to be perpetuated against an innocent people who couldn’t come up with the arms and money to defend themselves against the western powers bent upon their demise as a people.

We cannot continue to say, “But what were we to do?” Zionism is not synonymous with Judaism. I wholly support the rally of the right of return of the Palestinian people.

14 thoughts on “UCSB Prof William Robinson pro-Semite

  1. “Wouldn’t you think it bad form for Israeli militants to behave like Nazis, while immunizing themselves with the self-righteous indignation that anyone who criticizes their actions must merely be “anti-Semitic?”

    Self-defense is a basic right of every person and of every nation. Singling out a people for demonization is the very definition of racism. Isolating Israel for defending itself against terrorist attacks, while Russia carpet bombs Chechnya and Sudan massacres hundreds of thousands in Darfur, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are denied healthcare and employment in Lebanon, is the very definition of antiSemitism.

  2. Sorry Dude, YOU don’t get to REDEFINE “anti-Semitism.”

    And because other nations commit crimes, does not mean Israel gets a pass to do it too.

    The acts of Russia and Sudan are reprehensible. But why do you single out only US-Israel’s ENEMIES for criticism?! What about US actions in Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc!

  3. “And because other nations commit crimes, does not mean Israel gets a pass to do it too. ”

    When have you posted about Russian atrocities in Chechnya and Sudan’s massacre in Darfur? When have you cited Lebanon for its oppression of Palestinians? When have you posted about persecution of the Kurds in Turkey and Syria? When have you posted about the repression of Coptic Christians in Egypt? When have you posted about the plight of the Assyrians? When have you posted about the persecution of Christians in Gaza? When have you posted about the plight of the Turkmen? Did you post about Egypt slaughtering 27 Sudanese merely for protesting? Did you post about Hamas giving a Palestinian the death sentence for the crime of selling land to a Jew? The answer is you have ignored all such atrocities, while fixating on Israel. That is antiSemitism.

  4. Half your examples are US-Israeli smear campaigns, and the other half we have reported. Search our site before you try to defame us.

    But I reject your anti-Specialization logic. YOU certainly appear to be stuck on a singular topic, and I do not fault you for it.

    You sound like a schoolyard bully who’s got his boot an a frail schoolmate’s neck, but insists that everybody else’s infractions be policed before his shakedown operation is interrupted.

  5. I used to have a lot of sympathy for the Jewish people who were brutalized by the Nazis during WWII, but now I wonder how could these same people treat the Palestinian people in the same way. I had only to look at our own ancestors to realize how we treated the American Indians and the African slaves. We must speak up and stop these atrocities wherever they exist. I was totally shocked when I realized a Jewish organization stopped the reading of the diary of Rachel Corrie in New York. How could one group bring so much censorship to our country? As I read more, I found that they viciously go after any entity that criticizes Israel no matter how warranted the criticism. I think the U.S. should take a more objective stand in dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I totally support Prof. William Robinson’s statements and his right to say it, because over the years, I’ve come to the same conclusions. The German people who knew what was happening were afraid to speak up and now we must ask ourselves if we too are afraid to speak up in support of the oppressed.

  6. “Half your examples are US-Israeli smear campaigns, and the other half we have reported.”

    I have searched, and have found nothing. Why don’t you re-post the articles you say have been posted previously and also explain how “the other half” of the persecutions I have cited are “smear campaigns”

  7. “I used to have a lot of sympathy for the Jewish people who were brutalized by the Nazis during WWII, but now I wonder how could these same people treat the Palestinian people in the same way”

    If the Palestinians made the choice of focusing on creating a viable society instead of dedicating themselves to killing Jews, they would be “treated” better. Jews in the Holocaust did not strap bomb belts on themselves and their childen to blow up Germans. Israel has made concession after concession to the Palestinians to live in peace, and Israel receives rockets and missiles and death threats in return.

  8. How many Jews have the Palestinians killed, Dan? Thanks to people like you, I’m well on my way to becoming a complete anti-Semite.

  9. “How many Jews have the Palestinians killed, Dan? Thanks to people like you, I’m well on my way to becoming a complete anti-Semite.”

    How many Jews have the Palestinians killed? Many. Difference is, Palestinians have died as a consequence of Palestinian aggression against Jews, suicide bombing, car bombing, rockets and acts of war. Palestinians have murdered Jews offensively. Jews have killed Palestinians defensively. By the way, King Hussein of Jordan killed more Palestinians in a few weeks than Palestinians who have died in conflict with Israel over the course of 60 years. I recommend you read a history book, Marie, with all due respect.

  10. Rupert Murdoch recently stole ideas from Benjermin Disraeli when he spoke in front of English Parliment, 19th cAD.*
    That “God helps those that help the Jews.”
    Topic of Murdoch choice: can the USA survive without Israel.

    (See ‘Churchills Promised Land’ google books)*

  11. Evidently Dan is unaware of the Warsaw ghetto intifada. Let us remind the world that Jews didn’t die in Warsaw without a fight. There was Jewish resistance in Germany, just like there is a Arab resistance in Palestine To be sure, the Jew were, as the Palestinians are, hopelessly outgunned, but they resisted.

  12. Andrew, you’re certainly correct that the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto fought back against the Nazis. However, where the Jews of Warsaw fought battles against armored military forces, the militants of Hamas and like-minded groups blow up cafes full of civilians and lob rockets and civilian towns.

  13. And Israel does the same but with heavier weaponry and chemical weapons like White Phosphorus and DIME and they prefer schools and hospitals instead of cafes. And they do it with the terrorist US government’s full aid and backing, too.

  14. Yes, there have been deaths on both sides, Dan. That’s what happens in violent colonial situations. The American Indians raided white settler villages and killed European Christians colonizing their lands. It wasn’t pretty. But the European Christians killed many more American Indians, and typically justified the killings on the grounds that the Indians attacked them first. Since the European Christians had already declared the land belonged to them, the actual inhabitants, those who were defending themselves and their lands, were the “savage” attackers. Today, we would call them “terrorists” and bomb them.

    Between September 29, 2000 and December 26, 2008, before the Gaza invasion, the numbers clearly showed that the violence was overwhelmingly Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the name of annexation and occupation. In the occupied territories, a total of 4792 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces during that period, 3000 of those killed died in Gaza. Of the Palestinian deaths, 953 were minors. During this same period, Palestinians killed 245 Israeli security forces in the occupied territories, and 90 in Israel. Palestinians killed 237 Israeli civilians in the occupied territories and 490 in Israel. Palestinians killed 39 Israeli minors in the occupied territories and 84 minors in Israel.

    Comparatively, during this period, 4.5 Palestinians died for every Israeli, with a much greater proportion of Palestinian deaths being civilians and minors than the Israeli deaths. In fact, more than 10 times more Palestinian minors have been killed as Israeli minors (953 versus 93). Israelis have to kill children to defend themselves, Dan? Is this why Israeli soldiers wear T-shirts with the image of a young Arab boy with a bulls-eye focused on his head? Or the T-shirts with a pregnant Arab woman with the bulls-eye on her belly? “Two with one shot,” reads the caption.

    In the Gaza invasion, Israel flew 3000 combat missions, dropping all manner of wicked ordinance on defenseless Palestinians. All the planes returned unharmed because the Palestinians have no anti-aircraft defenses. Five Israeli soldiers were killed on the ground by Palestinians defending their homes, such is the pitiful state of the Gazan defenses. In Gaza, 313 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli force. Almost 1500 Gazans were killed, 83 percent of them civilians. Gazans walled and fenced in a giant ghetto designed by Israel, nowhere to run. “It was like hunting season” one Israeli soldier remarked. A turkey shoot. Shooting fish in a barrel. DIME ordinance blew particles tungsten into human bodies, microscopic shrapnel that slices off limbs at close range and causes slow agonizing death at long range. White phosphorus burned people alive. We would call this war of aggression, but it wasn’t a war. It was a massacre.

    Dan, Israeli deaths at the hands of Palestinians come largely as a consequence of resistance to occupation. Palestinians are using the means of desperate people, because, as the colonized, their means are few. Asymmetrical warfare is standard in colonial situations. Suicide bombers were used in Vietnam and other places where the resistance has little to use against the imperialist invaders. Desperate, they make weapons of their bodies. They can’t engage troops on a battlefield because there is no battlefield. The colonizers make civilians targets. The colonizer is always the primary cause of violence on both sides. People have a right to resist colonization, dispossession, ghettoization, ethnic cleansing. The Jews had that right in the Warsaw ghetto. The Arabs have that right in Gaza.

    I don’t like this anymore than you do. I want the violence to stop. I love Arabs and Jews. But the power to make it stop is in Israel’s hands. They can honor international law, stop the settlements, tear down the checkpoints, the fences and walls, stop the bombings and the targeted assassinations, return to the 1967 borders, recognize the existence of the Palestinian people and allow them to establish a Palestinian state and the freedom to elect their own government and write their own laws. This is when peace will come.

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