Yom Kippur has come and gone. We have asked for forgiveness and forgave those who asked it of us. For some it is cathartic. For others, it is just an annual routine. However, given the recent sin committed against the Jewish people, compounded by a prestigious women’s organization presenting an award to the author, a noted supporter of the inherently antisemitic BDS (she admitted that BDS supports the armed resistance, so much for a non-violent movement), as well as having accused Israel (at an event wherein the organizers begged attendees not to record the speech) of using Palestinian Arab “bodies for research and experimentation, (1)” can we forgive those who sin against the Jewish people? Can we forgive those who foment antisemitism? Can we forgive those organizations who laud those who sin so?
Jasbir Puar is just another in a long line of virulent academic Israel haters who unsuccessfully try to skirt the almost non-existent line between antisemitism and anti-Zionism such as Ilan Pappe, Steven Salita, Francis Boyle, and John Docker among others.
While their own rantings and ravings in their published works have some influence in the non-academic world, they do the greatest damage in the classroom when they poison fertile but naïve and ignorant minds. One such corrupted mind belongs to Kiri Leigh Baker.
Not much is known about Baker. An internet search shows her to be a “citation” on a Wikipedia page dealing with genocide that was deemed unreliable (2). It seems her total claim to fame is her MA thesis for political science wherein she attempted to prove that Israel’s continuing genocide of the Palestinian Arabs has the root purpose of improving the Israeli economy, that “Israel has continued to commit acts of Genocide and Politicide against Palestine for its own economic gains (Baker, Pg. 2) and “Israel’s economy is very positively affected by the levels of violence and conflict between Israel and Palestine (Baker, Pg. 4.)” This is a particularly evil blood libel accusation.
What makes Baker’s paper more damning is her “history” of the conflict. Baker writes that “Conflict between Palestinian and Israel has raged literally since the early 20th Century when Palestine was divided by United Nations General Assembly 181. (Baker, Pg. 4)” Of course, November 1947 is mid, not early, 20th century and the resolution was a recommendation, not an enforceable order. Baker continues with, “Today Palestinians see Deir Yassin as the beginning cause for tension between themselves and the Israelis. (Baker, Pg. 5)” Is Baker totally ignorant of the 1936-39 Arab revolt? The 1929 massacre? The 1921 Massacre? No massive amount of tension between the Arabs and Jews before April of 1947?
Not content with spreading just this disinformation, Baker relays that “Deir Yassin… was partitioned into the Jewish territories… which gave the Jews the desire to claim the land” (Baker Pg. 11) despite the fact that anyone looking at the partition map knows that Deir Yassin is on the Arab side of the partition if not part of the international Jerusalem border. Deir Yassin was attacked because the irregular Jewish force considered it an easy target.
Baker adds insult to injury by claiming “between 250 and 275 Arab villagers had been killed. (Baker, Pg. 14)” Bakers cites Ami Isseroff as her source of information. However, Isseroff states in no uncertain terms that the 254 casualty figure stated by the attacking forces (Lehi and Etzel) is a gross exaggeration meant to glorify the victors. Isseroff goes further and calculates a figure of 110 based on eye witness testimony (3).
Finally, Baker cites Barbara Harff’s 2003 paper defining Genocide and Politicide (Baker, Pg. 64). However, Harff, in the same paper, indicates in no uncertain terms that Israel has never committed Genocide or Politicide (4).
Baker’s Master’s thesis, with all of the factual errors so easily exposed was accepted at Midwestern State University and Baker was awarded an MA in Political Science. It is obvious that she knew that any paper demonizing Israel would pass with flying colors. And this is the issue; bigoted professors passing on disinformation in the quest to foment antisemitism to the degree that it will cause the destruction of Israel.
Baker, Kiri Leigh. 2008. “The Effects Of The Israeli Led Palestinian Genocide And Politicide On The Israeli Economy” Master’s Thesis. Midwestern State University.