Tag Archives: Rebecca Joseph

UCSB Hillel students Rebecca Joseph, Tova Hausman highlight poor education

Charges against Professor William RobinsonToday’s university campuses have to deal with College Republicans, ACTA and NeoMcCarthyists. The latest uneducable creeps shopped their leftist-professor- horror-story to the Anti-Defamation League, to brand their teacher’s criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitic.” UCSB senior Rebecca Joseph and junior Tova Hausman both took exception to Professor William Robinson’s Sociology Listserv email comparing Israel’s mop up operation in Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. Below are the words they cut and pasted together to accuse Robinson.

The literacy level of these two students is probably on par for Twilight fans, but definitely unbecoming for the University of California system. The first letter is reputedly from a college senior. Rebecca Joseph‘s opening argument was plagiarized from the internet, but she continues to scold Professor Robinson for straying from her idea of what makes a university professor. The second complaint from UCSB junior Tova Hausman copies the first letter’s form, but adds the accusation of sexual misconduct for leaving her feeling raped.

Is it unfair to put simple college students under national scrutiny like this? From their own words they show themselves to be rather helpless. But what to do when students, or some unscrupulous backers, are taking aim at a respected tenured professor? It’s serious business. Organizations like ACTA and Hillel are out to enforce a veritable Right Wing PC rectitude. As if it’s politically incorrect to make fun of uneducated on campus!

Keeping educators silenced was easier during the Bush administration, but the dampers are still on Academic Freedom. Ward Churchill may have won his case in court against the University of Colorado, but opinionated faculty are still few and far between. The latest attack against William Robinson attempts to reinforce more of the same.

UCSB senior Rebecca JosephProbably by now Hillel is wishing they’d coaxed a better educated pair of students to face off against Robinson. The administrators who received the complaint letters should have earmarked the girls for a remedial English refresher in anticipation of their graduation. But let’s look beyond the cheap shots.

The accusations inarticulated here are scurrilous where they are not outright illogical. You be the judge.

First Student Complaint
Here’s the first complaint received by UCSB, from Rebecca Joseph, Vice-president of the Santa Barbara campus Orthodox Jewish Chabad. Interestingly, UCSB has a number of pro-Israel action groups: Hillel, Jewish Awareness Movement on Campus, American Students for Israel, Stand With Us, AIPAC and the Israeli Palestinian Film Festival (which judging by the lineup runs films only by un-self-critical Israelis and sympathetic Palestinians).

Here is Rebecca Joseph’s complaint, uncorrected.

To Whom It May Concern:

On Monday, january 19, at 1:02 pm, I received an email from Professor Robinson for the course Sociology of Globalization (Soc 130SG). The subject of the email was “Parallel images of Nazis and Israelis.” This email compared the aggression of the Nazis to the Jews in Germany, to that which is going on between Palestine and Israel today. Professor Robinson wrote the first three paragraphs including the following: “Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw…” In addition to his few words, he attached an email describing the comparison which goes on to another attachment showing pictures to prove his point.

This email shocked me; before I did anything I gave him the benefit of the doubt and emailed him back asking, “I just wanted to know what this information was for? Is it for some assignment or just information that you put out there for us?” His response was “Rebecca, just for your interest….. I should have clarified.”

At this point I felt nauseous that a professor could use his power to send this email with his views attached, to each student in his class. To me this overstepped the boundaries of a professor and his conduct in a system of higher education. Due to this horrific email I had to drop the course. being a senior and needing any classes I could get, this left me in need of more classes which added more stress.

Two weeks later I saw a friend that was in the course with me and I asked him if it was ever brought up in class or discussed even for a brief minute or two, he responded by telling me that he never even mentioned it in class and that he too would have dropped the course, but he needed it to graduate on time.

Anti Semitism is considered to be hatred toward Jews –individually and as a group– that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity. An important issue is the distinction between legitimate criticism of policies and practices of the State of Israel, and commentary that assumes an anti-Semitic character. The demonization of Israel, or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy.

I found these parallel images intimidating, disgusting, and beyond a teacher role as an educator in the university system. I feel that something must be done so other students don’t have to go through the same intimidating, disgust I went through. I was asked to speak to him and get him to apologize but I feel that it will not make a difference for future students of his.

Whatever the outcome may be, I am hoping for some apology from Robinson, for not only my self and but for my peers in the class as well. In addition I would like to see more happen then just an apology because he has breached the University’s Code of Conduct for Professors and that this issue must be dealt with immediately.

In the Faculty Code of Conduct in Part II, Professional Responsibilities, Ethical Principles, and Unacceptable Faculty conduct, in Section A, Teaching and Students, it states that “The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the faculty member, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as mentor, educator, and evaluator.”

However Professor Robinson has turned away from his professional responsibilities through his “significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course.” (Part II, Section A, Number 1, b). He has also violated the universities policy by “participating in or deliberately abetting disruption, interference, or intimidation in the classroom,” (Part II, Section A, Number 5). Robinson has done so through this intimidating email which had pushed me to withdraw from this course and take another one.

In the University System professors above all, are to be “effective teachers and scholars,” Robinson has gone against his rights as a professor at the university through his, “unauthorized use of University resources or facilities on a significant scale for personal, commercial, political, or religious purposes,” (Section II, Section C, Number 3). Robinson used his university resources, to email each student in this course to get his view across, in doing so; he became a representation of the faculty members of the University of California Santa Barbara. The code of conduct state that, “faculty members have the same rights and obligations as all citizens. They are as free as other citizens to express their views and to participate in the political process of the community. When they act or speak in their personal and private capacities, they should avoid deliberately creating the impression that they represent the University.” By Robinson using his university email account he attaches his thoughts with that of the university and they become a single entity sharing the same ideas.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration of this matter and I am hoping to here [sic] back in the near future.

Thank you,

Rebecca Joseph

Junior Tova Hausman accused UCSB professor William Robinson of being anti-SemiticSecond student complaint
The second letter, which cribs from the first obviously, was sent by UCSB junior Tova Hausman. At least she credits the US State Dept as the source of her definition of “anti-Semitism.” But Hausman adds the accusation of sexual impropriety, taking a page it seems from David Mamet’s Oleanna.

February 19, 2009

To whom it may concern,

My name is Tova Hausman, and I was enrolled in Professor William Robinson’s Sociology 130 SG course this Winter 2009. The course was called Social Globalization. Our class received an email in the second week of class, from the professor, called “Parallel images of Nazis and Israelis.” It discussed the parallel acts and images between Nazi Germany during World War II and the present day Israelis. He claims that what the Nazis did to the Jews during the war is parallel to what Israel is doing to Palestine right now. Professor Robinson clearly stated his anti Semitic political views in this email that were unjust and unsolicited. The department of states 2004 definition of anti-Semitism: Anti Semitism is considered to be hatred toward Jews –individually and as a group– that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity. An important issue is the distinction between legitimate criticism of policies and practices of the State of Israel, and commentary that assumes an anti-Semitic character. The demonization of Israel, or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy……

In all the years of schooling and higher education I have never experienced an abuse of an educator position. Taking the opportunity to disseminate personal political views through obtaining email addresses of the class roster that are only for academic use, show betrayal and complete abuse of powers by the professor. To hide behind a computer and send this provocative email shows poor judgment and perhaps a warped personality. The classroom and the forum of which higher education is presented needs to be safe and guarded so the rights of individuals are respected. handle

To express one’s political views is not necessarily wrong but here it was not relevant to the subject matter. How could one continue to participate in this professor’s class? The fact that the professor attached his views to the depiction of what my great grandparents and family experienced shows lack of sensitivity and awareness. What he did was criminal because he took my trust and invaded something that is very personal. I felt as if I have been violated by this professor. Yes I am aware of Anti-Semites, but to abuse this position in an environment of higher education where I always thought it to be safe, until now, is intimidating.

This professor should be stopped immediately from continuing to disseminate this information and be punished because his damage is irreversible. He abused his privilege to teach, to lead, and to mentor.

Bellow is a list of the faculty code of conduct in which I believe Professor Robinson violated:

Part I — Professional Rights of Faculty
2. the right to present controversial material relevant to a course of instruction.

Part II — Professional Responsibilities, Ethical Principles, and Unacceptable Faculty Conduct
A. Teaching and Student

The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the faculty member, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as mentor, educator, and evaluator. The unequal institutional power inherent in this relationship heighten the vulnerability of the student and the potential for coercion. The pedagogical relationship between faculty member and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning consistent with the goals and ideals of the University. Whenever a faculty member is responsible for academic supervision of a student, a personal relationship between them of a romantic or sexual nature, even if consensual, is inappropriate. Any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process.

1. Failure to meet the responsibilities of instruction, including:
(b) significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course;

2. Discrimination, including harassment, against a student on political grounds, or for reasons of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, national origin, ancestry, marital status, medical condition, status as a covered veteran, or, within the limits imposed by law or University regulation, because of age or citizenship or for other arbitrary or personal reasons.

5. Participating in or deliberately abetting disruption, interference, or intimidation in the classroom.

Types of unacceptable conduct:

B. Scholarship
Violation of canons of intellectual honesty, such as research misconduct and/or intentional misappropriation of the writings, research, and findings of others.

C. University
3. Unauthorized use of University resources or facilities on a significant scale for personal, commercial, political, or religious purposes.

E. The Community Ethical Principles.
“Faculty members have the same rights and obligations as all citizens. They are as free as other citizens to express their views and to participate in the political processes of the community. When they act or speak in their personal and private capacities, they should avoid deliberately creating the impression that they represent the University.” (U.C. Academic Council Statement, 1971)

I expect this matter to be looked into and wish to be contacted soon.

Thank you,

Tova Hausman

Well let’s make a point to contact this McCarthy wannabe. These are crummy students fancying themselves campus sanitizers for Israel. What contemptible innuendo and vacuous indignation! The two students reportedly approached the Simon Wiesenthal Center, where they were advised to work through the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

Abraham FoxmanLetter sent from the ADL
Pressure then came from Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman who visited the campus in a covert meeting to recommend the immediate reprimand of Professor Robinson. (Foxman even had these words for the Gaza analysis offered by Bill Moyers.)

February 9, 2009

William I. Robinson
Professor of Sociology
Global and international Studies
Latin American and Iberian Studies
University of California – Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Dear Professor Robinson:

We have received complaints that on January 19, 2009, you sent an email to a number of your student entitled “parallel images of Nazis and Israelis.” If this allegation is true, ADL strongly condemns the views expressed in your email and urges you to unequivocally repudiate them.

While your writings are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, we rely upon our own rights to say that your comparisons of Nazis and Israelis were offensive, a historical and have crossed the line well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel.

In our view, no accurate comparison can be made between the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews. Nor can Israeli actions or policies be fairly characterized as acts of ethnic cleansing or genocide. Unlike the Holocaust (and to more recent examples of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Rwanda and Kosovo), there is no Israeli ideology, policy or plan to persecute, exterminate or expel the Palestinian population — nor has there ever been. In direct contrast, the Nazis’ “final solution” to the “Jewish problem” was the deliberate, systematic and mechanized extermination of European Jewry. Hitler’s “final Solution” led to the calculated, premeditated murder of six million Jews and the destruction of thriving Jewish communities across Europe.

We also think it is important to note that the tone and extreme views presented in your email were intimidating to students and likely chilled thoughtful discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clearly, that is antithetical to the very purpose of the academy. Finally, using your university email address to send out material that appears unrelated to your Globalization of Sociology course likely violates numerous parts of the University of Santa Barbara Faculty Code of Conduct (see, for example, Part I, 2; Part II, A, 1, b; Part II, C, 3; Part II, E, 1).

Again, ADL strongly condemns the views expressed in the January 19, 2009 email and we urge you to unequivocally repudiate them.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Silverman
Santa Barbara Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League

Cc:
Department Chair, Verta Dean
Chancellor, Henry T. Yang
President, Mark G. Yudof

Martin Scharlemann, University of California at Santa BarbaraEmail from UCSB Charges Officer:
Instead of dismissing the dubious accusations, the school is convening an investigation. But not without impropriety on the part of the Charges Officer Martin Scharlemann. Prof. Scharlemann insisted that Robinson produce a written refutation BEFORE he would reveal the formal accusations leveled by the two students. Read the formidable exchanges at the website mounted by the UCSB students and faculty rallying to Robinson’s defense.

Charges Officer E-mail Re: Charges

Professor Robinson,

Responding to your memo of 3 April, here is a summary of the allegations:

* You, as professor of an academic course, sent to each student enrolled in that course a highly partisan email accompanied by lurid
photographs.

* The email was unexpected and without educational context.

* You offered no explanation of how the material related to the content of the course.

* You offered no avenue to discuss, nor encouraged any response, to the opinions and photographs included in the email.

* You directly told a student who inquired that the email was not connected to the course.

* As a result, two enrolled students were too distraught to continue with the course.

* The constellation of allegations listed above, if substantially true, may violate the Faculty Code of Conduct.

In the (”not exhaustive”) list of examples included with that Faculty Code of Conduct, the most proximate are part II, A. 1. b and A. 4.

On the other matters you raise, while my conversation with the students was confidential, I can tell you that I did not advise them to seek an “apology” from you. And yes, I did offer you an opportunity “if you wish” to provide a written response to the complaint before I met with the Charges Advisory Committee, which is solely vested with the authority to dismiss a complaint as frivolous and unfounded.

-Martin Scharlemann

Dan ChinitzAnd from the internets…
And let’s not overlook the attempts to initiate an email campaign to bring public pressure on UCSB to reprimand Professor Robinson. A commenter to this blog linked to a website advocating a form email to convey (our) universal indignation over the anti-Semitism at UCSB. The form letter is suggested by “anonymous” (possibly Alvin Black aka Dr. Mike) and he recommended signing it “Name withheld to protect privacy.” We reprint the opening and closing here:

Dear Chancellor Yang,

As I am sure you know, several months ago, Professor William I. Robinson, a self described “scholar -activist” and professor of Sociology and Global Studies at your university, forwarded an email to his students condemning Israel. The email contained images of Nazi atrocities along with images from Israel’s defensive campaign against Hamas’s terror. This comparison is considered by both the US State Dept and the European Union, in their working paper on anti-Semitism, to cross the line into anti-Semitism. This email was so disturbing to at least two students that they felt compelled to drop his class. Because of the nature of the emails, the Anti-Defamation League, as well as the UCSB Academic Senate’s Charges Committee have become involved.

[…etc…]

And thus the Arab world’s war against Israel becomes a nation-wide campus war against Jews.

Professor Robinson seems to have chosen to join the ranks of these “erstwhile defenders.”

I most sincerely urge you, therefore, to draw a line in the sand. The university should not be a promoter of Jew-hatred, nor an inciter of violence.

Sincerely yours,

Name withheld to protect privacy

Anonymity
Isn’t that what this post is about actually? We’ve aggregated the criticisms flying against Professor Robinson, but most notably this article seeks to expose the UCSB students who led the faceless attack against Professor Robinson.

Until the Los Angeles Times revealed their names today, the identities of both Joseph and Hausman had been concealed. Even the specific complaints they brought against Robinson were kept secret from the accused himself. Now, what kind of people insist on slandering others from the shadows?

At NMT, we make ourselves known, while many of our detractors do not. We could not care less, but if apologists for Israel’s crimes consider themselves in the right, why do they hide behind aliases?

If you support Israel’s “right to defend itself” by breaking international conventions and committing war crimes, stand up and say it. If you think Israel has every right to take the land of the Palestinians and keep it, Goddamn it come out from behind your creepy disguises and say it. If you’re going to impugn others for whatever false transgression, without the courage to reveal yourself, do you expect anyone to accord you credibility?

If you are going to condemn the Palestinians of Gaza for exercising their basic human right to resist an illegal foreign invasion and occupation of their land, you better have the nerve to say it publicly. Cowards.

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.