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January 25, 2012

Ha'aretz Launders BDSers

In a page two article this week, Ha'aretz whitewashes two Israeli personalities who have promoted BDS efforts, turning them into victims of an alleged "McCarthyist" campaign while ignoring their own calls to boycott Israel. Talila Nesher reports:

Three self-proclaimed watchdog organizations have labeled about 10 percent of Israeli academics as anti-Zionist, according to a recent study by a group of academics, artists and university students who aim to counter the categorizations. The organizations, which are open about their activities, are Im Tirtzu, IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor.

The group's survey came up with the names of more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics but also including authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and past and present cabinet ministers, that appear on a list maintained by the trio of organizations.

Members of the group include political scientist Prof. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Israeli Film Directors Guild chairman Rani Blair; and the chairman of the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum, Uri Rosenwaks. They recently created the Blacklist website (, which invites visitors to check whether they themselves appear on the lists.

"There is a real concern for the future of Israeli democracy and about McCarthyism against anyone who criticizes the government's policies in the occupied territories or social aspects," Gordon said. "Every week new names appear on these sites, and we wanted to examine the extent of the phenomenon. The people who will be hurt most are junior faculty members who are trying for university positions and are wary of being 'marked out,'" Gordon said. . . .

The article is accompanied by a screen grab from Gordon's "blacklist" site which says (in Hebrew): "Did you demand social justice? Join the blacklist today."

haaretz p 2 jan 22 2012.jpg

But Gordon and Blair have not been called "anti-Zionist" because they fought for social justice or "criticize[d] the government's policies in the occupied territories." Rather, the "anti-Israel" label linked to Gordon and Blair is more likely related to the fact that both called for an international boycott of Israel, including academia and culture.

Ha'aretz's cover up the two's BDS activities is itself justification for watchdog groups which call attention to extremists' statements and actions.

Posted by TS at January 25, 2012 07:00 AM


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