Tag Archives: Joel Kovel

Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!

gaza-protest-children1   By the rivers of Babylon—
        there we sat down
        and there we wept
        when we remembered Zion.

 
Psalm 137, writes Joel Kovel, is “a virtual anthem of the Zionist cause.” The passage is subtitled in the New Revised Standard Edition Bible as Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem. You probably recognize the phrases from gospel music:
 
4   How could we sing the Lord’s song
        in a foreign land?

 
But omitted from the musical versions, and popular discourse at least outside of Israel, is the longing for revenge, expressed in verses 7-9:

7   Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
        the day of Jerusalem’s fall,
    how they said, ‘Tear it down! Tear it down!
        Down to its foundations!’
8   O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
        Happy shall they be who pay you back
        what you have done to us!
9   Happy shall they be who take your little ones
        and dash them against the rock!

Does this bear any relation to the 437 children killed in Israel’s last incursion into Gaza? Note, Kovel wrote Overcoming Zionism in the wake of the IDF’s atrocities in Lebanon, the ferocity of which their Gaza operation could only be said to have exceeded. Kovel did find counterparts to Psalm 137 in contemporary Israeli rhetoric. He quotes Rafi Ginat, editor-in-chief of Yediot Ahronot, July 28, 2006.

“wipe out villages that host Hezbollah terrorists […] wash with burning fire the Hezbollah terrorists, their helpers, their collaborators, and those who look the other way, and everyone who smells like Hezbollah, and let their innocent people die instead of ours.”

And Kovel quotes Israeli poet Ilan Shenfeld, published in Ynet, July 30, 2006, who throws the fate of Gaza’s children in with those of Lebanon:

“March on Lebanon and also on Gaza with ploughs and salt. Destroy them to the last inhabitant. Turn them into an arid desert, an uninhabited, turbid valley. Because we yearned for peace and wanted it, and our houses we destroyed first, But they were a wasted gift for those murderers, with beard and Jihad bands, Who shout: ‘Massacre now!,’ and who have neither love nor peace, Neither god nor father. […]

“Save your people and make bombs, and rain them on villages and towns and houses till they collapse. Kill them, shed their blood, terrify their lives, lest they try again To destroy us, until we hear from tops of exploding mountains, Ridden down by your heels, sounds of supplication and lamentation. And your pits will cover them. Whoever scorns a day of bloodshed, He should be scorned. Save your people, and make war.”

Ran HaCohen wrote in Antiwar.com, quoting Israeli peace activist A. B. Yehoshua from Ha’aretz, March 19, 2004, who justified the plan for Gaza.

“After we take out the settlements … we would use force against an entire population, use force in a total manner. … We would cut off the electricity in Gaza. We would cut off communications in Gaza. We would stop fuel supply to Gaza…. It won’t be a desirable war, but definitely a purifying one.”

gaza-protest-end-killing

Zionists fire another Left American university professor, Joel Kovel

Joel Kovel - Overcoming ZionismNobody in the United States is safe when they speak out the Israeli killing machine. The Israeli Zionist Machine has just succeeded in firing yet another US Left professor, Joel Kovel, from his university position, this time at Bard College. The following is taken from the STATEMENT OF JOEL KOVEL REGARDING HIS TERMINATION BY BARD COLLEGE

Irregularities in the Evaluation Process

The evaluation committee included Professor Bruce Chilton, along with Professors Mark Lambert and Kyle Gann. Professor Chilton is a member of the Social Studies division, a distinguished theologian, and the campus’ Protestant chaplain. He is also active in Zionist circles, as chair of the Episcopal–Jewish Relations Committee in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and a member of the Executive Committee of Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East. In this capacity he campaigns vigorously against Protestant efforts to promote divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel.

Professor Chilton is particularly antagonistic to the Palestinian liberation theology movement, Sabeel, and its leader, Rev. Naim Ateek, also an Episcopal. This places him on the other side of the divide from myself, who attended a Sabeel Conference in Birmingham, MI, in October, 2008, as an invited speaker, where I met Rev. Ateek, and expressed admiration for his position. It should also be observed that Professor Chilton was active this past January in supporting Israeli aggression in Gaza. He may be heard on a national radio program on WABC, “Religion on the Line,” (January 11, 2009) arguing from the Doctrine of Just War and claiming that it is anti-Semitic to criticize Israel for human rights violations—this despite the fact that large numbers of Jews have been in the forefront of protesting Israeli crimes in Gaza.

Of course, Professor Chilton has the right to his opinion as an academic and a citizen. Nonetheless, the presence of such a voice on the committee whose conclusion was instrumental in the decision to remove me from the Bard faculty is highly dubious. Most definitely, Professor Chilton should have recused himself from this position. His failure to do so, combined with the fact that the decision as a whole was made in context of adversity between myself and the Bard administration, renders the process of my termination invalid as an instance of what the College’s Faculty Handbook calls a procedure “designed to evaluate each faculty member fairly and in good faith.”

Help Overcome Zionism and its negative influence in American politics. Support Joel Kovel and buy his book, Overcoming Zionism. Bard College should be ashamed of its anti-intellectual behavior and its policies of censorship.