April 05, 2006

ADL denounces Hebrew University's "antisemitism"

Apparently that really happened. According to Columbia University's Mark Mazower in yesterday's Financial Times the allegation flowed from the excessive vigilance of the Anti-Defamation League in monioring for antisemitism.
Vigilance can be carried too far. Having denounced American academics for supposedly making anti-semitic statements, the Anti-Defamation League last year levelled a similar charge at faculty in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. There is something peculiarly Kafkaesque about the idea of an American Jewish watchdog monitoring Israel for anti-semitism, yet once the mechanism and mindset exist, this is where the logic of vigilance leads: anti-semitism may be found anywhere. In fact, the intellectual climate in Israel is tougher-minded than in the US and the authorities at the Hebrew University simply took no notice. But brandishing the big stick of anti-semitism against all and sundry helps no one: it lumps together serious critique with crackpot ravings, does a signal disservice to those who really suffered from it in the past and stifles a badly needed debate within the US. There is no reason why the partnership between the US and Israel should not be susceptible to the same kind of cost-benefit analysis as any other area of policy. After all, no special relationship lasts forever: ask the Brits.
The whole article is on the Mearsheimer and Walt piece in the LRB and the grotesque way in which it has been dealt with in the mainstream. It's welcome change from the deliberate lies we have been treated to in certain "academic" circles.

Incidentally - while getting the link for the ADL I noticed that they have a headline FT Blames Israel, Rationalizes Palestinians. How dare anyone "rationalise" the Palestinians?

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