Friday, August 27, 2010

Shame on Yale

I used to have this idea that Yale University was to be revered as a temple of knowledge and wisdom, but this perception has been shaken since I read that the 'Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antismetism' (YIISA) held a conference under the fancy title . 

'Global Antisemitism: a Crisis of Modernity'

The conference lasted from 23 - 25 August and is over by now. (I know I'm late with this news, but that's due to an automated machine of Google, the owner of the servers that host this blog, which took my pages for spam and temporarily deleted them). The conference should have been given more attention than it got, because of its odd character. What about a gathering that pretends to be scientific but hosts the following two keynote speakers:  
 Keynote: Professor Menahem Milson, Hebrew University and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI): Video Clips from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI

Keynote: Itamar Marcus, Director, Palestinian Media Watch: “The Central Role of Palestinian Antisemitism in Creating the Palestinian Identity

One, a former head of the Civil Administration of the Occupied territories at the time Ariel Sharon was minister of Defense, the other a settler. Both of them speaking on behalf of  organizations, MEMRI and Palestine Media Watch, which are as biased and anti-Arab as any organisation can be. But if that's not enough to put the scientific value in question, we also see the name of Anne Herzberg, of the Israeli 'NGO Monitor' watchdog which keeps relentlessly repeating that NGO's like B'tselem, Breaking the Silence, the Association for Civil Right in Israel (ACRI) and others, are out - and being funded by outside sources - with the sole purpose of causing harm to Israel. And indeed, Ms Herzberg figures in a cluster about  
  Lawfare, Human Rights Organizations and the Demonization of Israel
and yes, she talks about the new antisemitism of NGO's:
Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor “NGOs and the New Antisemitism”
 together with 
Professor Ed Morgan, University of Toronto: “The Metastasizing of Anti-Israel Lawfare”
• Elisabeth Kübler, University of Vienna: “Durban II: Antisemitism in Cosmopolitan Global Democracy”
• Michelle Sieff, YIISA: “Human Rights Criticisms of Israel and Anti-Zionism”

The colour of the conference can already be deduced from these contributions alone. There were some speakers who talked about historical aspects or christian antisemitism as well, but the emphasis laid heavily on arabic/muslim antsiemitism together with what the organizers of the conference prefered to call the 'new antisemitism' or 'deligitimization' of  Israel. And oh,  I almost forgot , there was paid attention to  "Jewish self-hatred' as well. Here we go: 

Plenary: Self Hatred and Contemporary Antisemitism
• Professor Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University: “Without Ahavath Yisrael: Thoughts on Radical Anti-Zionism at Brandeis”
• Professor Richard Landes, Boston University: “Scourges and Their Audiences: What Drives Jews to Loathe Israel Publicly and What To Do About It?”
• Professor Alvin Rosenfeld, Indiana University: “Beyond Criticism and Dissent: On Jewish Contributions to the Delegitimation of Israel”

And what to make of :

Professor Dina Porat, Tel Aviv University: “Are Events in the Middle East indeed the Source of Global New Antisemitism?”

The full programma is to be found here. 

I don't know how it works. Maybe it has to do with a certain type of sponsors who want value for their money. But one thing is for sure: This thing caused harm to the reputation of Yale. The university should be ashamed.

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