Here we go again…

Everyone should boycott Israeli Academia. Uh... except for me.

Everyone should boycott Israeli Academia. Uh... except for me.

We already brought you one excellent example of Israeli apartheid and now it is time to bring all of our readers yet another hideous example of Israeli apartheid.

Our previous example of Israeli apartheid told of a non-Jewish Arab Israeli citizen with full voting rights in Israel who was a member of the same fitness club as Israel’s IDF Chief of Staff who is Jewish. In South Africa’s apartheid regime, a black and a white couldn’t share the same bus, get married, or have the black person vote for the country’s government, and they definitely did not share fitness facilities. Obviously Israel has much to learn about apartheid.

However, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Ronnie Kasrils have all compared Israel to an apartheid regime and in light of that we at have a responsibility to update our readers with as many examples of Israeli apartheid as we can find. Today’s example is the ongoing education of Omar Barghouti.

Omar Barghouti first came to my attention as a speaker at the York University Let’s-Make-Israel-A-Single-State conference a few months ago. There he spoke about settlers and indigenous people, without differentiating whether the “settlers” were inside or outside the Green Line. I didn’t hear his talk but in the abstract of his presentation at York University, he proposed a system that works quite well in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Iran and Libya:

…Addressing the basic requirements of justice, the secular democratic state model has the best chance to ethically de-dichotomize and decolonize, or de-zionize, Palestine, thereby leading to a just and lasting peace that is anchored in international law and universal human rights and is conducive to ethical coexistence. Such a process of non-violent transformation requires a revitalized, democratized Palestinian civil resistance movement with a clear vision for a shared, just society and international support for Palestinian rights and for ending all forms of Zionist apartheid and colonial rule, mainly through boycott, divestment and sanctions, BDS, campaigns.

Just as a side note, Omar Barghouti was permitted to present at the York conference although he has no Ph.D. and isn’t an academic. His bio at the conference stated that he is:

…A founding member of the Palestinian campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel to uphold international law and universal human rights…He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.

Using those standards, it’s surprising that the York conference didn’t invite me to give a talk about Zionism and justice, but what can you expect when the conference itself was organized by another fella, Mazen Masri, who didn’t have a doctorate. Master’s degrees are apparently excellent degrees – and in fact all you need – to possess when decrying Israeli apartheid.

An interesting omission on the conference’s bio of Omar Barghouti is that he is currently studying for a doctorate at an Israeli university – Tel Aviv University. Of course, Mazen Masri, the conference’s co-organizer, earned one of his degrees, a law degree, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. APARTHEID!!

Just in case this isn’t fully clear, allow me to explain. The apartheid state of Israel funds its public universities with taxpayer funds. Needless to say, these are the taxes paid primarily, though not solely, by the apartheid-monster-like secular and modern Orthodox Jewish Israelis to the apartheid state of Israel (there are serious tax collection problems in the Haredi and Arab sectors because of poverty rates and rejection of the authority of the state). Then, these apartheid-funded apartheid universities allow non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs (or Israeli-Arabs if you prefer) to study within them at apartheid-taxpayer subsidized rates. True success is measured by the urgency and vigor of the graduate’s attacks on Israel. Mr. Masri and Mr. Barghouti are indeed poster children for how efficiently and effectively this system works.

In fact, it works so well that Mr. Barghouti decided to stick it out after his master’s and go for the doctorate.

Now, you may be thinking in your little apartheid-loving mind that somebody should try to get Barghouti out of Tel Aviv University since the tax dollars could go to another student who might decide to, you know, practice apartheid instead of decry apartheid. Well, you apartheid-junkie, you think just like a colonizing settler who is victimizing the indigenous Barghoutis! In fact, some of them wrote letters and put out a petition addressed to TAU complaining that apartheid regimes don’t subsidize their enemies.

Go and tell that to the apartheid President of Tel Aviv University:

May 3, 2009
Dear Governors and Friends,
I am writing to you to clarify the University’s standing on the recent debate regarding Omar Barghouti, a Tel Aviv University master’s student of philosophy. Mr. Barghouti is leading an international campaign to boycott Israeli universities, despite being a student at one of those universities.
A university campus should be a place that encourages and tolerates free speech, no matter how offensive the expressed opinions may be to the majority of students and faculty at that institution, or indeed to the public at large. Our university has adopted a similar policy also in previous occasions. Moreover, if legal issues are involved, a university does not have the authority to prosecute individuals. Rather, such a matter should be pursued by the State through legal channels.
In response, therefore, to the petition calling for the expulsion of Mr. Barghouti that will be submitted to us in the near future, the University cannot and will not expel this student based on his political views or actions. He will be assessed only on the basis of his academic achievements and excellence.

Yours faithfully,
Prof. Zvi Galil

It is easy to understand why the world needs a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel and its apartheid policies, isn’t it?

By the way, when a Forward reporter asked Barghouti about his subsidized Israeli education, Barghouti said that he “wouldn’t discuss his personal life.”

Of course not. Who has time when one is fighting apartheid?

About the author



  • Jews are such a bunch of freyers.

    Dear Sirs:

    Yes, I know this terrorist douchebag is getting an education at one of our taxpayer-supported universities while actively working to destroy the state and the society that makes his education possible. In that sense, he is basically a human tapeworm.

    However, a university is a place of education. There is no place for 19th century bourgeois morality and ethics in a modern university education, most especially since the tapeworm in question is going for his doctorate in Chutzpah Studies. We’re a university. Who are we to say what is right or wrong and force our students to follow the laws of basic common human decency?

    After all, do not tapeworms also have rights? It is in the nature of a tapeworm to grow fat and bloated by sucking the blood of the host organism. This what tapeworms do. Who are we to deny a tapeworm’s intrinsic nature?

    Therefore, since Mr, Barghouti has shown supreme excellence in Tapeworm Studies as evidenced by his thesis “Desiring Tapeowrms: Reclaiming the History and Culture of Tapeworms From the ‘Alien Other’ Host Organism Narrative of Oppression”, we have no intention of taking a purgative to rid ourselves of him, no matter how beneficial it would be to our health.

    Dean Doppes Luftmensch,
    Freyer University”

    Really, it’s things like this that make me believe that Hashem really is running things. What else but a nes from shamayim can explain the continued existence of a country where this kind of lunacy is possible?

  • It is good to point out when Israel is moving towards a more equal society. And thank you for giving us these positive examples.

    But your argument gives two examples of a just society and overlooks the glaring injustices that Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank continue to live through.

    Those that say Israel is an apartheid state give examples of ongoing policies and actions to back up their claims. If the government wants to remove the label of “apartheid state” the government must cease their racist policies in the Palestinian territories. A counter argument that points at a few progressive moves doesn’t mitigate ongoing injustices.

    On a separate note, and this isn’t an ad hominem attack, it is a critique so that you might improve. Usually I love the writing on this site but your sarcasm and inconsistent logic only makes you look immature.

  • When the Pseudostinians decide to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland (that would be Israel, in case you didn’t know) and stop blowing people up in an attempt to render Israel Judenrein (kind of like apartheid, that), call me. Until then, sod off.


  • Dear BMP, it’s ironic to hear you complain about what I overlook as you comment about a movement to boycott Israel that overlooks the examples of a just society that are so easy to find.

    It’s ironic to hear you complain about my supposedly inconsistent logic when all I have to do is point to the claims made by this man, Barghouti, in the public sphere about Israel when neither Palestinian society nor any of the other countries neighboring Israel offer the freedoms he enjoys – the same freedoms he would enjoy in the US or France.

    By those I refer to his freedom of expression despite blazing animosity towards his country, his ability to live like any other Israeli citizen despite not having provided a single day of national service (no, it doesn’t have to be military), and the rights enjoyed by the community from which he comes that are not enjoyed by minorities in Palestinian or other Arab communities. In fact, what you call “two examples of a just society” reflect a society that is so just that despite the inherent hostility towards the country (and I am not saying whether it is or isn’t justified) of many among its non-Jewish Arab population, it seeks to provide the opposite of apartheid: fairness, equality and peace. Oh, and they are so aware of this that in poll after poll when asked if they would prefer to stay Israelis or become Palestinians in a new state called Palestine, the vast majority votes to remain Israelis.

    I do not minimize for a second the fact that Arabs in Israel do not have equal participation in every facet of Israeli life because of discrimination. That discrimination is born of the history of enmity between Israel and its Arabs, but it is there regardless. I recognize that the Arab education system suffers, for example, or that the High Court only has one Arab jurist out of 15. And yet, that jurist exists and the court will bring in others over time. In politics, Arabs are well represented in the Knesset and the day the Arab parties decide to participate fully in accepting Israel rather than fighting it, they will play the same shenanigans that parties like Shas play today to get more education funding. And so on. In the meantime, the claim of apartheid is entirely moot, as your next visit to virtually every public swimming pool in Israel will make amply clear.

    That’s regarding Israel inside the Green Line and in Jerusalem.

    As for outside the Green Line and the parts of Jerusalem that have a majority of Arabs, not in small part because of the cleansing of all the Jews from those areas, I entirely reject your statement about “racist policies.”

    The label “apartheid state” for Israel was established by some propagandists not because it is true, but because it is a cudgel with which to hit Israel over and over. After all, apartheid was an evil movement where a minority group lorded it over a majority group on the basis of skin color. Justly and correctly the world came to understand this evil and attacked it as it should have been attacked. Of course, that is far from what is taking place in Israel or the West Bank but it is precisely the success of the world in having ended apartheid that makes the Palestinians and their supporters bring it up against Israel, using a strategy that appears to have been formulated by Fatah (at least as far as the Fatah Sixth Congress shows).

    That, however, doesn’t make it true. It also doesn’t mean that just because somebody, even somebody important, uses that term about Israel, that it is a reasonable or correct accusation. In fact, it is entirely incorrect.

    First, let’s remove Gaza from your equation. Gaza has not one Jew living in it, as per the demand by the PA upon Israel’s pullout a couple of years ago. Not a single Jew, BMP. By definition, the term “apartheid” does not apply there.

    Even if you think that control of a border means that Israel is still “occupying” Gaza, the only considerations driving Israeli policy are security considerations. There is nothing about the Gazan Palestinians that makes them the target of a racist or cultural discrimination AS BARGHOUTI’S PRESENCE AT TAU AMPLY PROVES. If there was a racist or cultural component to Israeli actions in Gaza, then the same would apply inside Israel and Barghouti would be the victim of such policies. Clearly he is not, neither was Mazen Masri affected and neither is Adalah that can go around and tell the Israeli government that it should restructure itself in such a way that negates the entire history of the creation of Israel in favor of a rewriting of that history that presents the Palestinian narrative as fact. Adalah was not affected detrimentally in any way after coming out with their demands.

    The policies in the West Bank, Israel’s remaining territory which Goldstone was careful to call “Palestinian occupied territory” although that is a term under dispute since it was never Palestinian territory, are also not racially motivated in any way. The “Israelis-only” roads, for example, are open to any Israelis of any religion, sex, race, skin-color, etc. They were built out of security needs, just like the Security Barrier. Just like the checkpoints. As I’ve written in other posts, there is a direct correlation between the independence and control achieved by Palestinians when Israel rolled back its security apparatii, and the number of attempted and successful attacks launched against Israelis, particularly civilians. There is also a direct correlation in the decline of such attacks (although it took much longer for the attempts to decline as well) and the increase of significant security measures that you call “racist.”

    So do me a small favor and stop with the misleading language and attacks on Israel. The injustices the Palestinians face – and I am not suggesting for a minute that Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza have pleasant lives – are the doing of their own society and leaderships. If Gaza had stopped bombing Israel and attempted to build itself up peacefully, it would be prospering today with a fine neighbor, Israel, by its side to help. Remember that this was what Israel tried at the beginning of the period when it departed Gaza. Attempted terror attacks through the crossings and ongoing rocket bombings quashed Israel’s attempts to play nice with the PA and subsequently with Hamas.

    It’s simple. The Palestinians and their supporters use “apartheid” because it is shorthand for demonizing Israel and because it conjures the struggle against South Africa’s true evil. That true evil of apartheid does not exist in this conflict, unless you consider what happens in Saudi Arabia or Jordan “apartheid.” What exists with Israel and the Arabs is a war.

    If the Palestinians would actually seek peace, then they would live in their own state already and enjoy the ability to govern themselves without a single Israeli soldier among them (and chances are they would ask for every Jew to leave as well, just as they did in Gaza and in 1948 West Bank and east Jerusalem, which makes your racism accusation even more offensive to anybody who knows the history of this conflict).

    I hope that the above logic and absence of sarcasm was consistent enough for you. All you have to do is read one of the many other articles I’ve been writing lately about this anti-Israel boycott movement to find plenty of instances where there is no sarcasm at all. You’ll permit me, I’m sure, to poke fun where poking fun clarifies the lies and inconsistencies of a movement that is based on lies and half-lies.

  • Do as I say, not as I do.

    But, Bar Mitzvah Photographer, in response to your comment, I would first say that Israel’s policy in Gaza is disengagement. Israel has been pretty clear they want nothing to do with Gaza. Gaza is not occupied and Israel’s policies towards the population do not extend beyond Israel’s own borders.

    As for the West Bank, I won’t totaly disagree with you and pretend that there are no injustices and that all is grand, but see in recent times the massive growth of the West Bank economy, the recent removal of more checkpoints, the longer opening hours of key border crossings and the fact that no new construction has or will be approved in ages, I think it’s difficult to call the policies of Israel in the west bank racist. Indeed, with the exception of well documented injustices that exist, and seem to be more the result of stupid, petty bureaucrats or low ranknig army officials, I would say that Israel’s policies in the West Bank are best described as concilliatory.

    As for the tone of the article, there I agree with you, sarcasm may not be the best tone to make a serious credible argument, but in this case, I think the author was walking a line between satire and argument. I imagine that if he were to write for a newspaper, he would not have employed sarcasm. Cut him some slack!

  • Charlie, thanks for the spirited defense of the sarcasm. I actually believe this discussion merits the tone with which I wrote this piece. The absurdity of the situation demands it!

  • To “TheMiddle”:
    Do you have a name? An identity? Or do you prefer to remain anonymous, because…?
    Have you ever been to Gaza, the West Bank or anywhere in Palestine?
    Do you know any Palestinians?
    Why is everything the Palestinians’ fault? Israel is to blame for nothing?
    Have you read The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine? Do you really know what really happened?

  • Ilan Pappe?

    You want to know whether I’ve read Ilan Pappe? You betcha. My opinion is that he is a very poor historian. If your knowledge of “what really happened” comes from Pappe, you really should become better read on this topic. Just a heads up, Israeli academia is very open to leftist historians and scholars who like to criticize Israel heavily. The fact that Pappe was permitted to work at Haifa University shows what an open system they have (despite his martyr letter upon his departure), and the fact he wasn’t promoted is very revealing as well.

    Yes Leslie, I have a name. There are people who know who I am in real life. One day, I assume I will stop being anonymous and then you’ll know who I am. You’ll be able to look me up. In the meantime, it will help you to know that I don’t work for or with any organization or company. I write here because it’s an outlet for me and I enjoy it.

    Anyway, knowing my name won’t change anything that you’ve read here. It won’t change the facts one whit.

    And yes, I happen to know what “really” happened. I’ve read Morris, Shlaim, Pappe, Said, Khalidi and others. I’ve also read other historians who are always ignored for some odd reason by the Palestinian advocates. It’s really quite shameful that Palestinian advocates play this game where the only true history is that which suits their political agenda. I read all sides. Do you? Based on your fondness of Ilan Pappe, I doubt it.

    Have you spoken to Israelis who were around in the 30s, the 40s, the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s and who belong to all sorts of political stripes, not just the far Left? I have. Among those were many who fought in ’48, ’56. ’67 and ’73. I’ve spoken to fewer Palestinians by far, but some from different generations as well. I’ve visited the West Bank/Judea and Samaria quite a few times. So what? Does that change anything I’ve written? Did you read the link I posted in other discussions that shows how Fatah has decided to keep refugee camps open so they can use them to make a “political” statement?

    And I am certainly glad that you know some Palestinians. I do too. Some of them are charming people. Some are not. Just like Israeli Jews. Just like Christian Americans. Knowing them has not changed my mind about the facts, or about the sympathy that I feel for their deep feelings of loss and injustice. Deep feelings of loss and injustice, however, don’t change the fact that the Yishuv was threatened and under attack for decades by the local Arabs of Ottoman and then Mandatory Palestine. Knowing them doesn’t change the fact that the Palestinian people have been offered a state of their own on 5 occasions in the past century, including 3 times in the past decade and have rejected all such overtures. In fact, there was usually fighting instigated by the Palestinians following these offers. Let’s hope Pappe writes about that soon so you can be informed about it.

    “Not everything is the Palestinians’ fault.” Who said that? Who said Israel is to blame for nothing?

    I’ll tell you what, Leslie. Why don’t you answer some questions.

    Did the number of suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians increase after the Wye Agreement was implemented by Israel? By how much. Were there or were there not 13,000 documented attacks by Palestinians against Israelis – mostly against civilian targets – in the years 2000-2004 which happen to include two years when Israel offered the Palestinians a state?

    And the best question of all, Leslie, do you find it hypocritical when a founder of a boycott movement against Israel studies at one of its universities and by doing so is educating himself using the tax dollars of the people he seeks to boycott?

  • Superb post.

    It is indeed madness for anyone to apply the slur ‘apartheid’ to Israel.

    One of the biggest absurdities is when people insist the security wall is ‘evidence of apartheid’. Utter nonsense. The wall decreased terror attacks by 90%.

    Can you imagine ANY other nation on earth being condemned for DEcreasing terrorism???