Mordechai Kedar: On Academia, Politics and Survival in the Middle East

By Dr. Mordechai Kedar, JEWISH PRESS

I will begin with a disclosure: I am the head of The Israeli Academic Monitor, an organization whose goal is to expose publicly the political activities of those Israeli academics who engage in activities against the state of Israel and against its ability to stand up to the political and security pressures that it faces.

These academicians call on institutions and individuals to boycott Israel, to impose sanctions upon it and to withdraw investments from it, while camouflaging and disguising these activities as if they are done in “the academic spirit.” It must be noted that there are, among Israeli academicians, some “righteous” people who call on states and academic institutions of the world to boycott Israeli academic institutions and to impose punishments on those same institutions in which they themselves are employed, and from where they receive their salaries, the source of which is the government of Israel.

We, members of The Israeli Academic Monitor, out of concern for Israeli academia in particular and for the state of Israel in general, act within the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression, and publish widely the despicable deeds of these Israeli academicians.

Today I dedicate my article to a matter that has been with us for years, which is the status of the academic institution that was established 30 years ago in the city of Ariel, in Samaria; whether to have it remain as a college or “University Center” (a concept which is not clear to me), or perhaps to raise it to the level of a university. Those who are faithful to the land of Israel support promoting it to become a university, while those who object to Israeli rule in Judea and Samaria – they call it “occupation” – oppose it. Each side of the argument brings economic, budgetary and academic justifications to support its view, but it is clear that the basis for one’s position is primarily political, and that this position dictates which of the justifications are emphasized.

The fact that there is a political argument engenders the perception among the Israeli public that all of the other seven universities are “not political,” and only the institution in Ariel is “political” because it is “in the territories” and therefore its establishment in Ariel has a “political” meaning. My claim is that all of the universities in Israel are political, and moreover, all of the colleges, schools, yeshivas, hospitals, prisons, factories, places of residence, roads, trees – everything that we have established, built, and planted in Israel – everything, but everything, is political. The whole Zionist enterprise is a political project because it is the political and nationalistic manifestation of the desire of the Jewish people to return to its land and to renew within it its national life, its independence and its sovereignty. Everything that we have done here since the students of the Gaon of Vilna arrived in Israel two hundred years ago until today, everything is aimed at renewing our political life as of old, indeed, the whole Zionist enterprise – including universities – has a political, as well as national connotation, and there are also those who see a religious component in this matter, connected in some way to the final redemption.

Jews the world over have joined this great political enterprise of the Jewish people, whether with their bodies or with their wealth. Those who joined bodily came, fought, built, paved, planted, seeded, reaped, learned, taught and did research, all in order to establish the political enterprise of the Jewish people – the State of Israel. Those who joined with their wealth remained in the Diaspora and donated their money to the establishment of schools, hospitals, yeshivas for men, yeshivas for women, colleges and universities, all in order to take part in the political, national and collective endeavor of the people of Israel.

The cornerstone of the first academic institution in Israel was laid exactly 100 years ago. This was the Technion in Haifa. Dr. Paul Natan, was behind the idea to establish “the Technikum” (the original name), enlisted the aid of David Wissotzky (the Tea producer) to donate the required funds, and they established the institution specifically in Israel, and not in the Diaspora, for the same nationalistic and political reason that influenced others to establish other institutions in Israel. Their motivation was to promote the “return to Zion” and the fact that the government of the land was then in the hands of the Muslim Ottoman Empire didn’t bother them. When they founded the first academic institution, their connection was to the Land, not the state, and to establish the life of the people in its land was their top priority.

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About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.

July 20, 2012 | 9 Comments »

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  1. Opensoc,

    You work with what you have in hand. Diaspora Jews mainly have come to Israel because they were being chased out of their homes and because no other country wanted them. But as Israel grows into a much more substantial worldwide economic power and regional military power, chances are that young and adventurous Jews from around all the diaspora communities and cast their lot with Israel. Expanding economies attract the best people. Professor Yoram Ettinger’s Jewish demographics studies have shown a consistent Jewish population increase of about 2% per year over the past 60 years or so. Recent big aliya waves from Russia steepened the graph somewhat.

    But a steady 2% increase per year, if sustained, means a Israeli population doubling every 36 years or so. The near-term future in most situations is typically an extrapolation of the recent past. So If these trends hold steadyToday’s 6+ million Jews could increase to more than 12 million by 2048 — modern Israel’s first centennial — and would grow to a population approaching 25 million Jews in-country by about 2084.

    All that is needed is continued economic expansion in Israel, coupled with pushing Israel’s borders outward to incorporate new territory. The sudden growth of a vast domestic supply of fossil energy. This will greatly help in making Israel a much more important economic power.

    As for the Arabs of the neighboring states, perpetually at war among themselves and with Israel as well, can almost absolutely be counted upon to provide Israel the solid provocations that the Jewish state — with all its damnable wannabe international lawyers — seem to find necessary in order to wage wars of self-defense against those Arabs. I think future conditions in Israel, the Middle East, and among countries Israel traditionally counted upon for diplomatic cover, will all combine to roil up the Arabs again and again, so that Israel could pick off selected parts of these enemy territories and make them permanently Jewish. That will serve both the national defense interests, with outer borders far more defensivle than what Israel has today, and as developable lands for new Jewish cities and towns.

    All these considerations, as described above, are the building blocks of national power. Israel’s opportunites will come.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  2. Arnols Harris writes : ;”All that I want as an outcome of that war is total victory for the Jewish nation. No compromises. No bullshit. No holding hands with any lying non-Jewish government. Just victory”.

    Sadly, victory would have been achieved,with less blood spent, if only one more million Jews got off their comfy chairs and made aliyah.

  3. Yamit,

    You would know more about the details of Dr Goldstein’s action than I could ever be acquainted with. But one thing you ought to know: I would never, ever apologize to anybody whomever for what he did. Sometimes I think to myself that if there in fact is a heaven, then there are perhaps unfathomable numbers of souls of the Jews degraded, enslaved, cheated, robbed, expelled, and murdered outright since the destruction of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians some 27 centuries ago. I want vengeance for all of them. And that vengeance can only be accomplished by the complete reconquest and resettlement of by the Jewish nation of the lands of the Jewish nation.

    The Jewish nation is in a protracted conflict with much if not all the Arab nation for possession of Aretz Yisrael. All that I want as an outcome of that war is total victory for the Jewish nation. No compromises. No bullshit. No holding hands with any lying non-Jewish government. Just victory.

    War itself is pitiless and implacable, and there is no answer for any of that except to win it.

    When I was a kid of 14, back in Senn High School on Chicago’s north side in October 1948, on what I always will remember as the Day of the Hammer, I remember that while sitting around the table in a local student-infested cola and ice cream shop across the street from the school, a guy I knew asked me how I felt about that incident. I told him I felt just fine. My only regret is that when I got him with the edge of the hammer, I was too pumped up with adrenalin to think straight. So that instead of me backing away, the guy was close enough to me to knock me on my ass.

    I know a lot about guns and ammunition now, having been an active shooter action pistol and rifle matches. You are right about the bullets. They mainly smack their way around inside the body they hit, and stay there until someone pulls them out. I’m not much on conspiracy theory. So I cannot know if there were other shooters in the cave with Dr Goldstein. If I live long enough ever to see Israel again, his grave site will be one of my stops. He was a brave Jewish fighter and a brave Jewish hero. And as far as I’m concerned, the craven politically correct both of Israel and the USA can sit there and cringe about all this.

    The day will surely come when there will be a renewed and powerful Jewish nation. It will be a nation that knows the certainty of pride and a nation that has discarded into history’s dustbin the quavering fears of all the ages since our ancient heroes were defeated by the Romans at Masada. There will be a lot more Jewish heroes, living in a state that will take pride in them, and never apologize for them, to themselves or to the Jew-haters of the world.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  4. @ Arnold Harris:

    Dr. Goldtein saved many Jewish lives as he had foreknowledge of a terrorist pogrom about to be unleashed by those same now long dead vermin he killed. They were all or mostly all armed with knives axes and guns hidden beneath their garb which they used with fatal effect on Dr. Goldstein. Some claim it was a joint production between the Arabs and the pro Oslo Shin Bet. Goldstein was set up to be a patsy so that pubic opinion would swing in favor of the Traitors and against the settlers the real victims of Oslo.

    The investigation reported the the number of dead and wounded Arabs exceeded the number of bullets in Goldstein’s possession by a substantial number. Unless a single bullet hits 2-3-4 targets with one shot nobody has yet to explain this vital but interesting anomaly. This lent fuel to conspiracy buffs who till today maintain that there were other Jewish shooters that could only be of the Shin Bet or the IDF


  5. I agree with Yamit82 about Baruch Goldstein. How many Arabs ever have apologized to our Jewish nation about massacres they have perpetrated against Jews and are still doing so? That being the case, why in hell should I apologize to any none-Jew, or to anybody in the quasi-Jewish establishment or Israel’s own ongoing judenrat for the actions of a Jewish terrorist? One thing for sure: Keep up the terrorism against Jews, and maybe you will all live to see squads of trained Jewish killers taking out enemy civilians. If that’s the case, my only concern is that our trained killers should be smarter and more effective than theirs.

    As I have written before, I knew Rav Meir Kahane real well during the last four years of his life when he was visiting in the USA. I wasn’t then and I’m not now a particularly observant Jew in the religious sense. But he stirred my sense of Jewish nationalism in some fundamental way that no other man has done since I spent most of my Friday afternoons in Jerusalem in Summer 1974, in the Rechavia apartment of Dr Israel Eldad, learning about the Lehi hero fighters of the late 1940s. Dr Eldad, along with the recently-deceased former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir — the best of the best. The two of them were among the best killers in the service of the Jewish nation and coming State of Israel. Go ask the souls of the British occupation soldiers whom they hanged in retaliation for British killing of some of the Jews they caught during the occupation years.

    Do I approve of “terrorism”? It depends on who is doing the terrorizing and to whom they are doing it. Nobody accused my countrymen here of terrorism when they purposely burned to death more than a million Japanese and German civilians from 1943-1945, the latter in the company of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command, under the leadership of the incomparable and implacable Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Travers Harris. (No relative of mine, but I wouldn’t mind if he were.)

    We Americans know how to practice terrorism on the grandest scale of all, then piously proclaim that we are doing it in the name of democracy. I sort of get a chuckle or two out of that.

    Anyway, not being a Christian, I know nothing about sin. But I do know about retaliation, and that works just fine for me.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  6. @ E.M.:

    I guess Arnold Harris considers Jesus Christ, Spinoza, and (Albert Einstein???) all critical of their own counity for its immorality and evil to be treasonous freaks


    Speaking for myself I would answer in the affirmative.

    And Baruch Goldstein and child molesting Hasid to be real mensches.

    Baruch Ha-Gever was more than a mensch he was a Hero and a SAINT!

  7. @ E.M.:

    Jesus probably never existed, Spinoza might have criticised his country Portugal, and Einstein, far from blaming Israel for anything, did his outmost to promote its success.
    What transpires from such -at best- silly accusations is that the treasonous freak evidently ,is E.M.

  8. E.M.,

    I’m just an ordinary member of the Jewish nation. I criticize my own nation solely for acting weak, indecisive, and pusillanimous in the face of our ubiquitous enemies. That’s the kind of temperament that has gotten more Jews robbed or killed than anything else I can think of.

    I am not, nor ever been, nor ever shall be a devotee of this “Yeshua” whom the Christians claim to worship but whose purported birthday they use mainly as a holiday of mass marketing. And all I know about Spinoza was that he was a notable polisher of lenses and of Einstein his work in theoretical astrophysics.

    As for the Hasidim, if any one of them were to be convicted of the crime of child molestation, and I were sitting as a member of the jury, I would imprison him without hesitation; and if the molestation were sufficiently serious or repeated, I would vote to put him to death.

    Right from the start, life taught me to be hard-edged. I grew up in a tough neighborhood in the mean, cold streets of Chicago, where I had to fight my way through some of the classrooms, or just to get to school and back. One bad day, in a high school shop class when I was 14, I got cornered by three such guys at once, and I had to go upside the head of one of them with the business end of a hammer. Fortunately for me and for him, the damage I did to his face was repairable with a couple of stitches. But after that, nobody in that school ever came within an arm’s length of me in the halls or in any classroom. I learned then and there that a reputation of never backing down works like a protective shield.

    I pulled myself up and out of all that the hard way. I worked doing all kinds of labor from about the time I was 11 years old. And I was working in factories part-time when I was in high school. But I wound up with two university degrees; one of them a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. And still later, I got into data processing and went into business for myself.

    Nobody ever gave me any kind of break, and I learned not to ask anybody for anything for which I wasn’t prepared to pay. Now in my elder years, I little sympathy for any weakness whatsoever. and I have no patience for the fairy tales and philosophical bullshit that constitutes such a major percentage of the discourse of most people.

    Chances are that you don’t understand people like me. But that’s okay. I’m not an altruist and I don’t live through others.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  9. Small wonder that so much of the world hates or at least distrusts Jews.

    Let’s look at all this in terms of objective reality. If we were not Jews, and did not know much about Jews, how do you imagine any of us would think of such a nation that all but enshrines and protects the kinds of people who hate their own nation and state so much as put themselves in a permanent state of treason, more or less against themselves?

    Frankly, I sincerely wish all such people as described by Dr Kadar would just crawl off into a cave somewhere and die off. All that they day makes them more than mere picaresque freaks. The sum of their activities threaten the health of the Jewish nation and the future of the Jewish state. I don’t want any dialogue with them. I don’t want us to waste time debating with them. I want them removed from their relatively exalted positions in this or that university. And it they persist in anti-Jewish activities, I would want them expelled from the State of Israel. I hate to compare them, but at least the Arabs are psychologically normal.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI