He came with conceptions, but he made a voyage of discovery. And so he caught truths, deeper and more durable truths about himself and about us all. (The Traveler’s Luck)
So wrote Fouad Ajami, who died one year ago today, about Joseph Conrad, whose talents for capturing the clash between East and West he judged superior to V.S. Naipaul’s. He might have been writing about his own gift for interpreting the Middle East from his adopted American home. The truths he caught were gained (like Conrad’s) through an immigrant’s eyes—eyes trained not just on his adopted country, but on the land of his birth.
Ajami wrote that Naipaul, for all his “extraordinary talent,” lacked access to the “inner precincts of that universe” of Islamic civilization found in the “tiled courtyards and the private chambers that are meant to keep others out and to keep secrets in.” It is Ajami’s willingness to disclose those secrets and to subject them to ruthlessly honest critiques that gives his work a timelessness and importance attained by few writers of any genre. For expressing these truths, he earned the respect and even love of readers and colleagues who form a counterculture within a Middle East studies establishment dominated by intellectual homogeneity enforced by ethnic, religious, and political litmus tests.
On the surface, Ajami qualified as a member of the fraternal order of the professionally aggrieved: a Shiite Arab of Persian ancestry who hailed from Lebanon, he could have ridden a successful career on the same anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Western platitudes that so many lesser lights have used to ascend to positions of influence and renown. But he came to accept Israel’s existence as an historical fact and to better understand Arab history because of it, even as he wrote unflinchingly about those secrets hidden from the foreigner, and for his intellectual honesty became a pariah to scholars Michael Dorancalls “faceless drones taking refuge in smug solidarity.” Never was their smugness more viscerally displayed than in the weeks and months following his death.
Perhaps the most intellectually and morally vulgar of these by a professor of Middle East studies was by As’ad AbuKhalil of Cal State Stanislaus. Claiming that Ajami was an “Arab Zionist” who was “never really known among Arabs” as was Bernard Lewis, and that his Middle East studies colleagues “never held him in high esteem,” Ajami “gave a respectable cast to the racist discourse about Arabs and shared ‘inside views’ about their culture.” He had “deep contempt and hatred for his people and the culture in which he was born,” and “left a harmful legacy for Arabs.” Revealing the bitterness of one for whom the falsehoods that bind the strains of ethnic solidarity trump truth and a sense of shame, he wrote:
Ajami is like the one Jewish person who gets invited to anti-Semitic conferences to attest the views about Jews held by anti-Semites.
Richard Falk, far more prominent than AbuKhalil, after recalling their once-warm friendship and his role in bringing Ajami to Princeton in 1973, wonderedin the weeks after Ajami’s death whether he failed to detect “character flaws” that emerged later in life, and concluded his remembrance-as-hit-piece on this damning note:
For me Fouad Ajami’s legacy is that of “sleeping with the enemy.” And it is an enemy that is politically, morally, and legally responsible for millions of deaths, displacements, and devastating losses. In a just world such a responsibility would lead to criminal accountability, but such a prospect is for now situated in what Derrida called the “democracy to come,” a polity in which there would be no impunity for crimes against humanity.
Non-academics joined the attack, with the infamous New York Times obituary reflecting acceptable elite opinion when it quoted Ajami’s nemesis Edward Said’s quip that he had “unmistakably racist prescriptions.” Worse, it relied heavily upon Adam Shatz’s vitriolic 2003 profile of Ajami in The Nation, “The Native Informant.” For Shatz in 2003, as for Ajami’s academic detractors, he was “entirely a creature of the American establishment,” a man “almost entirely deserted by his people.”
These calumnies continued in post-mortem attacks by non-academics: Ajami’s “view of the Arab world was narrow, lacking an understanding of its societies and myriad cultures; the flourishing of arts and culture, science and literature in the region had no interest for him”; he “changed his political colors as per convenience”; and he “succeeded because he pandered to the pro-Israel, anti-Arab causes with his conservative criticism that always seemed to blame the Arabs for everything that went wrong in the Middle East, ignoring the fundamental corruption of Middle East politics which was set in place by self-serving Western government policies.”
Such vitriol reveals the moral bankruptcy and intellectual parochialism of contemporary Middle East studies both on campus and beyond, where it infects journalists, policy experts, and opinion makers around the world. If such a milieu is hostile to detractors in general, it is utterly unforgiving to the “native informant” whose ethnicity and religion should, by the iron rules of academic opinion, determine every aspect of his thought and action. For his unblinking depiction of Arab culture and society, his embrace of America, and his acceptance of Israel, Ajami was declared a traitor to his people. In their condemnation of his writings and his virtues, however, his detractors condemn only themselves.
(Via Campus Watch, May 21, 2015)
On July 22, 2011, the Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik killed seventy-seven people in and near Oslo. Not long before he attacked, he emailed a 1,500-page document titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” which included conservative critics of radical Islam among his sources. Immediately, some in the media, academic, and think tank worlds declared these persons guilty by association and charged them with shaping Breivik’s thought, even though the manifesto cited about the same number of liberals and conservatives.
Yesterday we were given a look inside the mind of another mass killer when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released Bin Ladin’s Bookshelf, a “sizable tranche of documents recovered during the raid on the compound used to hide Usama bin Ladin.” The 409 items range from publicly available U.S. government documents to personal letters from bin Laden to family and fellow terrorists.
They also include a fawning January 2005 Washingtonian magazine profile of Georgetown University Wahhabi apologist John Esposito (he doubts bin Laden read it), who has made a lucrative career of blaming the West for the Middle East’s troubles. Two volumes by the radical anti-American, anti-Israel MIT linguist Noam Chomsky make the list: Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, and Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, which argues that America’s natural trajectory is world domination by force.
Seasoned America-hater William Blum also scored with two volumes: Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, and Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Upon learning in 2006 that bin Laden had mentioned him in an audio tape, Blum said, “If he shares with me a deep dislike for certain aspects of U.S. foreign policy, then I’m not going to spurn any endorsement of the book by him. I think it’s good that he shares those views.”
Whereas the pundits and journalists who heaped scorn on the anti-Islamist writers Breivik cited could do so only by willfully distorting their views and equating reasoned criticism with hate-mongering and bigotry, the radical authors whose books lined bin Laden’s shelves lent genuine support to his views, if not his actions. They shared with him an incorrigible antipathy towards America and the West even as their elite reputations lent a veneer of legitimacy to their hate-filled rhetoric. That the man behind the deaths of so many innocents could turn to them for intellectual support should permanently discredit their ideas and their work.
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s claim that President Obama does not love America, while perhaps unartfully phrased, is defensible. Surely the president’s intention, stated publicly when he was running for president, “to fundamentally transform America” suggests a strong aversion to America as it now exists. Moreover, he has condemned the American people for “clinging to their guns and their religion,” and by citing “their antipathy to people who aren’t like them,” slyly insinuated that they are collectively racist. When asked if he believed in American Exceptionalism, he replied that he believed in it the way Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism and the British in British Exceptionalism. His wife Michelle famously opined that American was “a downright mean country” and that until her husband ran for president, she had no reason to be proud of it.
Still, President Obama has his defenders, and in a country that is more or less evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, this is to be expected. Indeed, the whole issue of the president’s true feelings about America is one on which reasonable people may disagree.
But that was not the case among the faculty at Central Connecticut State University after Mayor Giuliani delivered his broadside. On the campus email list-serve, one professor vowed that she would refuse to attend any lecture the mayor might give here. Another, recently retired, pronounced him a racist. Yet another, while conceding that the mayor was not a racist, argued that his derogation of the president nevertheless harmed the generic struggle against racism – which seems to imply that President Obama should not be criticized for anything and that anyone who does so is morally deficient.
As it happens, Mayor Giuliani spoke at CCSU two years ago under the auspices of the Vance Foundation, which over the years has brought to campus speakers on both sides of the political spectrum, such as George McGovern and Jimmy Carter on the left and George H. W. Bush and Jeane Kirkpatrick on the right. Could Giuliani’s statement about Obama cause the Foundation to bring him here again? Judging from the comments above, it seems safe to predict that should it do so, the response from faculty would be volcanic. Some have even suggested that in the future the Vance Foundation should either sponsor speakers the faculty agrees with or should be barred from using the university as the venue for the lectures it pays for. In November 2013 a committee selected by the Faculty Senate sent the foundation a list of seven nominees to speak at CCSU in 2014. One was Melissa Harris-Perry, who, in a recent interview on MSNBC with Attorney General Eric Holder, asked him to quack like a duck. Another, Alice Walker, has compared Israel to Nazi Germany. Maya Angelou, also on the list, has praised the barbaric and oppressive regime of the Castro brothers in Cuba. Three of the remaining four were similarly situated on the far left of the political spectrum. The last, Valerie Strauss, opposes school vouchers benefitting students from poor families while sending her children to expensive private schools.
College faculties across America are overwhelmingly liberal, and their political contributions show this vividly. In 2012 96% of donations from Ivy League faculty went to President Obama, the remaining 4% to Governor Romney. This imbalance is most apparent in humanities departments, where the temptation to indoctrinate students politically is especially pronounced; when President Bush was in office, students of mine regularly complained about professors denouncing him instead of teaching what they were contractually obligated to teach.
The CCSU administration and faculty loudly proclaim their devotion to “diversity.” But their commitment is more rhetorical than real. What they really seek is the opposite: a faculty and student body that are racially and ethnically heterogeneous but that politically think the same things. I hope that the good people of Connecticut, who through their taxes largely subsidize higher education in the state, make clear to their elected representatives that instead of indoctrinating students, our universities should educate them, which means, in part, practicing genuine intellectual diversity. At CCSU a good start towards this objective would be allowing the Vance Foundation to sponsor speakers with whom the faculty will occasionally disagree.
Jay Bergman is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Scholars, an association of academics and others committed to reasoned discourse and disinterested scholarship in American higher education.
The article above appeared as an op-ed in newspapers in Bristol, Manchester, Middletown, New Haven, Torrington, Waterbury, and West Hartford, Connecticut at the end of February and the beginning of March 2015.
Readers of the Justice should consider the following facts relevant to the issue of police “racism” and to the controversy involving Khadijah Lynch and Daniel Mael:
*The forensic evidence in the Ferguson matter showed incontrovertibly — and was corroborated by witnesses, several of them black — that Brown’s hands were down, not up, and that he was charging Officer Wilson when he was shot.
*Eric Garner’s daughter ascribed her father’s death to “pride,” not racism, and the officers who restrained Garner when he was resisting arrest were supervised by a black police sergeant who did not consider “racism” a factor in his death.
*It has been estimated that police nationally have approximately forty million contacts with people every year. (1)
*From 1976 to 2011 there were annually, on average, 7, 982 black homicide victims nationally. Over the same time period, police killed annually, on average, 227 blacks, many of them armed and dangerous, The latter figure is less than 3% of the former. (2)
*Almost all black murder victims are killed by other blacks. In 2012, for example, 2,648 blacks were murdered nationally; 2,412 were killed by other blacks. The latter figure is more than 95% of the former. (3)
The claim that police are conducting a war against blacks is preposterous and has no basis in realty.
Moreover, Khadijah Lynch’s statements that she has no sympathy for the two murdered NYC policemen — indeed that she is “laughing her ass off” because of it; that America is a “fucking racist society” and could benefit from an intifada; and that she needs to get her gun license are vulgar, infantile, imbecilic, vicious, and callous to an extreme.
She and her enablers among the students — who clearly have learned nothing at Brandeis about the necessity of tolerating views they disagree with — are a disgrace to my alma mater.
Daniel Mael — who has received death threats for simply exercising his constitutional right to free expression — should be applauded, not condemned, for having the courage to post her despicable statements.
In the words of Justice Louis Brandeis, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
B.A. Brandeis, Class of 1970
Professor of History
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain CT
Office of the President
Dear President Lawrence:
I have read Sohrab Ahmari’s article in the Wall Street Journal on recent controversies at Brandeis concerning Daniel Mael.
I have also read your “rebuttal.” It is, to put it charitably, unpersuasive. You claim that “[d]uring my tenure, no student has been sanctioned for exercising their free-speech rights, regardless of the topic or perspective.”
But according to Ahmari’s article, “officials” at Brandeis told Mr. Mael “not to use social media, including by publishing articles and circulating petitions.” Since you don’t deny they did this, one can only infer that they did — which means that contrary to what you wrote, Mr. Mael’s right of free expression WAS violated during your tenure as president of Brandeis.
In addition, you imply strongly in your “rebuttal” that because students, not faculty, control the process under which complaints like that of Eli Philip against Mr. Mael are adjudicated, you bear no responsibility for any violations of individual’s rights that may occur — such as Mr. Mael’s right to be provided reasonably quickly with the content of Mr. Philip’s charges against him. In fact, according to Ahmari’s article, Mr. Philp’s charges were lodged in December 2013, but Mr. Mael was not informed of them until October 2014, ten months later.
As a lawyer, you are surely aware of the rights defendants possess in legal proceedings against them. And as a lawyer you cannot possibly believe that the rights defendants possess in legal proceedings should not exist in judicial matters involving Brandeis students.
And yet you did nothing to rectify the clear violation of Mr. Mael’s right to know the charges against him in a timely fashion.
This is just further proof — following your revocation of the honorary degree previously promised to Ayaan Hirsi Ali — that in circumstances requiring courage, or at the very least, a modicum of simple decency, you act in ways that can only be considered evidence of cowardice.
Once again you have disgraced my alma mater. If you possess a shred of decency, you will resign.
B. A. Class of 1970
Professor of History
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain CT 06050
Email to Columbia Law School on its Allowing Students Traumatized by Non-Indictments to Postpone Final Examinations
Columbia Law School
New York, New York
Dear Dean Scott:
Your law school’s policy of allowing students traumatized by the recent decisions of grand juries in Missouri and New York to postpone their final examinations would be laughable if it wasn’t so indicative of the moral bankruptcy of American high education today, with its reverse racial discrimination (euphemistically referred to as affirmative action), mindless anti-Israel movements (e.g. BDS), and pervasive presumption that white males as a collective entity are racist and sexist and homophobic (an example of which is the recent fraud perpetrated by a supposed rape victim at the University of Virginia).
Students at your law school who avail themselves of your idiotic dispensation are clearly not mature enough to enroll in law school, much less to serve as attorneys.
I urge you in the strongest possible terms to revoke this dispensation and thereby show your law school to be something more advanced than a kindergarten for coddled, immature adolescents.
Professor of History
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain CT 06050
Asked recently if Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) receives federal Title VI funds, director Osama Abi-Mershed answered, “we are not tax supported.”
His dean, James Reardon-Anderson, begs to differ.
Following the revelation that the directors of six federally-funded Middle East studies centers signed a letter pledging ”not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions” in spite of “assurances” each gave to “maintain linkages with overseas institutions of higher education,” Foreign Policy Research Institute president Alan Luxenberg emailed each director and asked if their pledges were personal or apply to the centers they lead.
In response to an inquiry, Reardon-Anderson, acting dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, of which CCAS is a part, replied without commenting on Abi-Mershed’s claim that:
Yes, we are very proud that the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies has been, and we hope will remain, a recipient of Title VI designation and support.
Reardon-Anderson stated that, “Of course, as an institution of higher learning, we respect the right of each member of our faculty, students or staff to exercise his or her freedom of speech.” He also noted Georgetown president John DeGioia’s official statement last December after the American Studies Association vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions, which he said “undermines the academic freedom that is essential to the mission of the Academy.” Still, DeGioia affirmed, “While the position of our University remains opposed to any boycott, we will certainly defend the rights of those who disagree.”
But will he defend the “rights” of those who, like Abi-Mershed, try to hide their federal support when faced with possible violations of federal policies? Does freedom of speech extend to freedom to one’s own facts?
Reardon-Anderson’s confirmation that CCAS receives taxpayer dollars exposes Abi-Mershed’s dodgy answer, but information confirming the center’s Title VI support is easily found on many Georgetown web pages.
Since 1997, CCAS has served as the core of Georgetown University’s National Resource Center on the Middle East, funded by a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Center’s Newsletter stated in 2010 that:
CCAS is pleased announce that the National Resource Center on the Middle East (NRC) at Georgetown, of which CCAS is an integral part, has received $2 million in funding for the next four years from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program.
CCAS’s K-14 Outreach page states:
The program is supported by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, private sector grants, and the U.S. Department of Education.
And CCAS’s 2013-2014 Student Handbook for the M.A. in Arab studies states “major components” of CCAS include “a Title VI grant from the Department of Education.”
Abi-Mershed’s claim that CCAS is “not tax supported” is clearly false. Why should taxpayers trust him to use their dollars wisely and in accord with federal policies?
The following appeared originally at Campus Watch, which I direct.
Will the taxpayer-supported Middle East studies centers at five American universities join a boycott of Israeli academic institutions? Or were their directors, who signed a recent letter pledging “not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions,” engaged in personal protests that won’t affect their schools’ official relations with Israeli universities, as Middle East scholar Martin Kramer asks of the director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute?
The letter, “Middle East Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions,” was published at Jadaliyya on August 6, 2014 “in the name of the below signatories,” which an update on the site says totals 550. University of Toronto professor of Arab civilization Jens Hanssen is listed as the media contact.
As heads of U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers, the directors are administrators of bodies required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act to give “assurances” that they will “maintain linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research of the Center.”
If their pledges aren’t simply personal but apply to the centers they lead, they stand in conflict with the assurances they gave in exchange for federal funds.
The six directors (Georgetown boasts two) and their respective centers are:
- Lila Abu-Lughod, Middle East Institute, Columbia.
- mirian cooke (no relation to e.e. cummings), Middle East Studies Center, Duke.
- Osama Abi-Mershed, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown.
- John Esposito, Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown.
- Helga Tawil-Souri, Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University.
- Gabriel Piterberg, Center for Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.
American taxpayers deserve to know the intentions of these six directors: Are their public pledges against Israel merely personal, so that the centers they lead may cooperate with Israeli academic institutions and scholars? Or are they declaring the intention of their centers to engage in an official boycott of Israeli academic institutions despite federal policy?
From: Bergman, Jay (History)
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 9:06 AM
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx; Listserv-campusforum
Subject: RE: 10 killed at UN school: moral outrage and criminal act – UN Secretary General; disgraceful shelling, no justification – US State Department
I’ve read your posting carefully.
There is evidence — suggestive if not conclusive — that Israel did not target a school and that the victims were carried from where they were hit into the courtyard of the school so that Israel could, yet again, be accused of crimes it did not commit. (1)
But that is not the point I wish to make.
While reading the postings on the campus list-serve these past few weeks, I have been struck by how seemingly detached from reality are those on the faculty who have focused their moral microscopes on Israel, condemning what they see as Israel’s crimes for the purpose of denying its moral legitimacy, forgetting that Israel is reacting to the assaults by an enemy, Hamas, that has since 2006 fired some 10,000 rockets into Israel and continues to seek its destruction and the murder of all Jews. Indeed, Hamas exists for that very purpose; killing Jews is its raison d’etre. I’m sure you’ll agree that should Hamas be able to kill all Jews, it will kill Israel’s Jewish critics just as happily as it will Israel’s Jewish supporters.
You did, to your credit, condemn Hamas’s launching, in one day, 60 missiles against Israel. But your condemnation, to me, seemed perfunctory, a way of minimizing an unpleasant fact before launching into an attack on Israel — a propos of which, the UN can hardly be considered an unbiased observer and adjudicator. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights actually condemned Israel for not sharing its Iron Dome ABM system with Hamas, which, as you know, seeks Israel’s destruction. I’m not aware of such a demand being placed on a combatant in any war in human history.
There is so much that you and other critics of Israel ignore:
*Hamas planned a mega-terror attack, through the tunnels it had dug into Israel, to coincide with the Jewish New Year next month, in which hundreds, maybe thousands of Israelis, all of them civilians, would have been slaughtered. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing. (2)
*The unending calls for the destruction of Israel from Iran and Sunni Muslims. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing. (3)
*Hamas has repeatedly used civilians as human shields. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing. (4)
*Hamas claims that Jews use the blood of Christians in making matzos. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing. (5)
*The new “Caliphate” in Iraq is forcing Christians in Mosul either to convert to Islam or to leave the country or to be killed. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing.
*Anywhere from 160,000 to 200,000 innocent Muslim civilians have been slaughtered in the Syrian Civil War. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing.
*Coptic Christians in Egypt have been murdered and their churches destroyed. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing.
* A wave of genocidal anti-semitism is sweeping across Europe — demonstrators are beating up Jews and calling for Jews to once again be slaughtered in ovens. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing. (6)
* Turkey has degenerated into a one-party, one-man dictatorship that has imprisoned more journalists than any other country in the world. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing (7)
*Homosexuals are regularly stoned to death in the Middle East, especially in Iran. About this you and other critics of Israel have written nothing. (8)
These are all, obviously, horrific evils, many of them far worse than anything Israel has been accused of doing, all but one of them in the Middle East. And yet you and other critics of Israel have written nothing about them.
(3) http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/23/iran-supreme-leader-the-only-solution-for-crisis-is-israels-destruction/#! & http://pjmedia.com/blog/5-new-muslim-calls-for-genocide-of-the-jews/?print=1 & http://freebeacon.com/national-security/rouhani-this-festering-zionist-tumor-has-opened-once-again/
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2014 3:38 PM
Subject: 10 killed at UN school: moral outrage and criminal act – UN Secretary General; disgraceful shelling, no justification – US State Department
As the international law doctrine of “excessive force” applies to individual cases, and cannot be excused on the grounds that the other side is also committing criminal acts (e.g.: the launch of 60 missiles over Israel today), here are some preliminary judgments on such an instance, the IDF shelling today (Sunday) of a UN school in Raffa, Gaza Strip in which 15 civilians seeking refuge were killed. According to CNN, Israeli military spokesmen said that 3 militants on a motorcycle were “in the area”. UN Chief Ban Ki-moon condemned the killings as a “criminal act” and a “breach of international law”. The US state department spokesperson called the shelling “disgraceful” and noted that “the suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.” I reproduce below the report on these statements provided by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemns shelling of Gaza school as ‘criminal act’
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demands those responsible for the ‘gross violation of international humanitarian law’ be held accountable.
By Michelle Nichols Aug. 3, 2014 | 7:09 PM |
REUTERS – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned a deadly attack on a Gaza school on Sunday as a “moral outrage and a criminal act” and demanded those responsible for the “gross violation of international humanitarian law” be held accountable.
The shelling of the UN school in Rafah in southern Gaza killed at least 10 civilians, the United Nations said. It was the third deadly attack on a UN school sheltering Palestinians during the 27-day conflict between Israel and Hamas militants.
All three incidents are being investigated, but the United Nations has initially blamed Israel for Sunday’s attack and another strike last Wednesday on a UN- run school in Jabalya refugee camp that killed at least 15 civilians.
“The Israel Defence Forces have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites,” Ban’s spokesman said in a statement.
“This attack, along with other breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act,” the statement said.
Israel began its offensive against Gaza on July 8 after a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and other guerrillas.
The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,772, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian rockets have also killed three civilians in Israel.
Ban again demanded an end to the fighting and for the parties to begin negotiations in Cairo to address the underlying issues of the conflict.
“The resurgence in fighting has only exacerbated the man-made humanitarian and health crisis wreaking havoc in Gaza,” the statement said. “This madness must stop.”
U.S. slams ‘disgraceful shelling’ of UN school in Gaza Recent attacks on UN school in Gaza Strip must be investigated, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says.
By Doina Chiacu Aug. 3, 2014 | 9:34 PM
REUTERS – The United States criticized the “disgraceful shelling” at a UN school in Gaza on Sunday and urged Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its war against Hamas militants.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also called for an investigation into attacks on UN schools in densely populated Gaza.
“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” Psaki said in a statement.
Psaki urged Israel again to live up to its own standards of avoiding civilian casualties as the conflict in the Hamas-controlled Gaza stretched into its 27th day.
On Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a UN-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed during fighting, and the United Nations said Israeli artillery had apparently hit the building. The Israeli military said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near the school and it shot back in response.
Psaki said UN facilities should not be used as bases from which to launch attacks.
“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” she added.
The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,775, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian rockets have killed three civilians in Israel.
The CNN article ‘Vicinity’ of U.N. school in Gaza struck by shelling, officials say is at:
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The following appeared in the Providence Journal (RI), the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, and the Journal Inquirer in Manchester CT:
President Obama’s demand for an unconditional and immediate cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, which would leave the latter with the wherewithal to murder Israeli civilians in the future, is just the most recent example of what can only be considered a conscious and deliberate policy to weaken and to undermine the security of the only Jewish state in the world.
From denying Israel the “bunker-buster” bombs it needs to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities, to infantile snubs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the president of the United States has shown an unswerving, consistent and relentless hostility to Israel that is not only harmful to Israel but to America as well.
Theological fanatics like Hamas will not be kindly disposed to the United States, much less deterred from continuing their genocidal war against Israel, by Obama’s ongoing appeasement, which has been justified and explained away by the president’s ridiculous claim, first made in his speech in Cairo in 2009, to understand Islam because he lived as a youth in a Muslim country, Indonesia.
Every public and semi-public admonishment of Israel, whether by President Obama or by his loquacious secretary of state, John Kerry, only encourages those who seek Israel’s destruction to persist in their evil design: Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and, by seeking to flood Israel with “refugees” too young to have been alive when Israel was created in 1948, the Palestinian Authority.
One may disagree about the reason for the president’s attitude. The most plausible is not that he is secretly Muslim, but rather that he loathes Israel because he loathes America, that for Obama the former is an integral appendage of the latter, no less racist and discriminatory at home and just as imperialist and expansionist abroad. Ironically, the Iranians show they also believe in this connection by building intercontinental missiles to fire at “The Big Satan” (the United States) once “The Little Satan” (Israel) is destroyed.
In light of the multiple dangers Israel faces, even as it is currently dealing, at great cost in human life, with an enemy that seeks the destruction not only of Israel but, as its founding charter makes clear, of all Jews, it is time for American Jews to recognize that the current occupant of the White House means real and lasting harm to the state of the Jewish people and thus to the Jewish people themselves.
If American Jews who support Obama’s positions on domestic issues such as abortion and immigration consider these issues more important than Israel’s survival, then they should continue to support his presidency. But for American Jews who both as Jews and as Americans consider Israel’s survival the foremost moral imperative of our time, and who believe that without Israel Judaism itself will suffer demographic extinction and that America would be even more tempting a target for Muslim terrorists than it was before 9/11, their obligation is clear and inescapable: to do everything they can to pressure President Obama to cease his relentless hostility to Israel and, if that does not work, to seek his removal from office. Impeachment and conviction do not require the commission of crimes. Dereliction of duty is sufficient.
The foreign policy Obama has pursued, of punishing America’s allies, not just Israel but other pro-Western democracies such as Poland and the Czech Republic, and of appeasing America’s enemies, not just Muslim theocracies but also thuggish dictatorships such as Putin’s Russia, is clear evidence of presidential negligence, of failing to do everything necessary to protect the American people. If this is not an impeachable offense, one is hard pressed to say what is.
Jay Bergman is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University.
JOSEPH J. SHATTAN, 1950 – 2014
For 7 months, I worked alongside Joseph J. Shattan as one of the Heritage Foundation’s 3 Major Gifts Writers. Perhaps because he was Brooklyn & I was South Yonkers and we were close in age, we hit it off right away – same sense of humor, same love of crafting language ourselves and of reading others’ well wrought prose – same challenge of making a living doing work we loved.
Joe was utterly unpretentious, a quality seemingly outlawed in D.C. While others power-lunched at restaurants, we’d go to the Subway’s next door to Heritage, get the sandwich/chips/drink special, and head up to Heritage’s typically deserted roof, a finished area where functions are held in nice weather. We’d grab some chairs, plunk ourselves down, and as we gazed across the city, we’d trade stories about the strange directions our writing lives had taken.
Our last lunch was on an unusually chilly day. In the cold drizzle, we ate our sandwiches and kibitzed, until the drizzle turned to rain and drove us in. But it was, as always, a wonderful lunch: Joe’s wisdom and humor always put the minor, irksome aspects of a writer’s life in perspective.
After I left Heritage, we stayed in touch. I’m a former English professor married to a nonfiction book author. With over 10,000 lbs. of books, we finally decided it was time to purge (just how many copies of the Nicomachean Ethics does one household need?) I mentioned this to Joe and reassured him we weren’t letting go of his book. I wrote:
One of the books that is permanently on my shelf is ARCHITECTS OF VICTORY. . . It may amuse you that your place on my shelf is between my Roman missal and the Book of Common Prayer. If you find yourself with a sudden desire to stock up on rosary beads and incense, well, now you know why.
Here’s Joe’s response:
Jaine and I enjoy the mixed blessing of living next to a library that has a used book room. Over the years, I have bought a great many books at bargain prices, but I never seem to get around to reading them. Even on weekends, if the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, the last thing I feel like doing is sitting at home reading Robert Caro’s Master of the Senate, or Leon Edel’s Henry James. Somebody once said, “I try to be a philosopher, but laughter keeps breaking through.” In my case, I try to be a serious intellectual, but the sunlight is far too distracting.
That Architects of Victory survived your purge pleases me more than I can say. For all I know, future scholars may discover that everything I wrote is wrong, but it still occupies a warm spot in my heart. I suppose Indian warriors must have felt the same way about their first scalp.
Thank you for writing, for saving my book, and for placing it in such a strategic position.
God bless you, my friend. Here’s to sandwiches and chips some future day in Heaven