First we had Cork, complete with anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theory, the suggestion that Jewish Israeli parents deprive their children of love in order to ‘breed killers’ and that Jewish Zionists are foreigners, with the Palestinians really the Jews of the Bible.
Now the hate caravan is moving the 136 miles from Cork to Dublin. Trinity College Dublin has a long association with Israel. A professorship of Hebrew was created as far back as 1658, and today Trinity is the only university in Ireland to offer research and courses in Jewish Studies, through the Herzog Centre for the study of Jewish and Near Eastern Religions. The Herzog Centre is named for Yitzhak Herzog, chief rabbi of Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s, and for his son, Chaim Herzog, who was educated in Dublin and became President of Israel in 1983.
However, recently Trinity has been struck by the same Israel Derangement Syndrome as has hit many other campuses. In February a howling mob prevented the Ambassador from speaking.
(Of course there were strong links in the 1920s between Irish Nationalism and Zionism – something that was apparently not known by many of the delegates to the Cork hatefest).
Now an extraordinary event has been announced at Trinity for Tuesday 12 September 2017. It is to be hosted by the MPhil in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict in the Department of Sociology – which makes it an ‘official’ University event. It appears to be a discussion of academic free speech with particular reference to a boycott of Israeli academics. You might have thought in a discussion of free speech and an Israel boycott, one topic might be whether Israel has done anything to DESERVE a boycott? Mightn’t you? Well you’d be mistaken, at least according to the organisers of this event (as you will see, it does not deserve the title ‘conference’ – let’s stick with ‘event’ for the time being). Because in the ‘call for papers’ it states the following: “The conference does not propose to debate the pros and cons of the academic boycott of Israel but rather to make links and draw lessons about the role of the public university in fostering academic freedom, and the freedom to express critical, even if controversial views”.
The event is an oxymoron in other words! A discussion about ‘free speech’ where free speech (about whether Israel merits a boycott) is forbidden!
It is perfectly obvious from the dramatis personae of the event that Israel’s suitability for boycotting will not even be questioned. Let’s take a closer look …
Steven Salaita is a Professor whose job offer was rescinded due to a series of foul anti-Israel tweets.
Kathleen Lynch has signed a number of boycott motions.
John Reynolds was an organiser of the Cork Israel Hatefest. Reynolds co-authored a 2013 paper ‘Apartheid, International Law, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory’. He began his career as a researcher for Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq. Al Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin, has alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization and as such has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan.
Reynolds has stated that Israel is a colonial power and that the resistance is understandable and the rockets are understandable. Reynolds supports a boycott . He recently wrote a piece in the Irish Times saying: “To criticise the state of Israel is to demonise Jewish people. This has been the default charge levelled by an Israeli government seeking to undermine dissenting voices”. (This is offensive nonsense. Israel is a vibrant democracy with a free press and media which criticise the government continually).
David Landy: Boycotter, former chair of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Sociologist, teaches in the Trinity Sociology Department which is hosting this hatefest. Author of ‘Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights’, a piece of sociobabble whose execrable quality can be seen in his description of how the Israelis apprehended the “Jewish boat” (2010): “They violently attacked the most elderly crew members.” Oh No they didn’t!
Ronit Lentin: Wiki states that Lentin “has published extensively on racism”. She is described by BDS Sydney as an ‘activist’. She has said “Israel is determined to eliminate the Palestinians”, “a logic of genocide”. She actively supports the boycott movement. She speaks of Apartheid. Here she is, justifying the murder of Israeli soldiers:
Conor McCarthy: Boycotter, founder member of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and of Academics for Palestine.
Not much room for doubt then……………
And look at where the ‘Call For Papers’ is located. It is in the website of Academics For Palestine. Strange, given that it’s an ‘official’ University event.
This event is an anti-Israel rally. It bears about as much resemblance to a serious academic conference as a goldfish does to an elephant. There is no way that it should be happening in an institution that is taxpayer-funded and no way it should be funded by the Irish taxpayer. I have emailed the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, to protest. You may wish to do likewise. His email is email@example.com
PS – It’s not all bad news at Trinity. A few days ago the student union rejected a vote for an Israel boycott. Since BDS began 13 years ago, a vote for a boycott at Trinity has been a racing certainty. Let’s hope the times they are a-changing there……..