German University suspends Pro BDS professor/Revealing Israeli crimes is no antisemitism

vrijdag 27 januari 2017 03:49 | Astrid Essed | 919 keer bekeken | 0 reacties | 0 x aanbevolen
There is a yearlong and growing tendency to accuse anyone, who criticizes Israel
for its colonialism and occupation policy, of anti semitism. Generally one shouldn't have
to pay any attention to that nonsense, but sometimes it has severe consequences. That
happened to professor Eleonora Roldan Meldivin, who was suspended by the Freie Universitat
Berlin for her criticism of the Israeli occupation and it's system of apartheid. Time for a letter of protest.
Your cancelling of academic assignments for professor Eleonora Roldan Mendivin.
My demand:
Cancel your wrong decision about professor Mendivil, because
you violate the academic free speech, you neglect history and 
genuine human rights.
Dear Board of Directors.
Being an historian and a human rights activist, I am very disappointed
in your Institut, because your lack of respect for academic freedom, your
historical misunderstanding, as your clear lack of involvement for human rights.
Your cancelling of academic assignments for professor Eleonora Roldan Mendivin,
because of her alleged ''antisemitic activities''. [1]
Learning from the press, her ''antisemitism'' consisted of her
calling the State of Israel ''colonial'', and she should have questioned
the ''Existenzrecht'' of the State of Israel. [2]
I quote the Jerusalem Post ''She has written, “Israel is a colonial state... Period.” [3]
You are basing your decision about mrs Mendivil on the letter of the
student group called ''Gegen jeden Antisemitismus an der Freien Universität'' to the Board of directors of
the Freie Universitat Berlin:
Among else in the letter is written:
''„Sie verharmlost mit diesen Vergleichen und Bezeichnungen nicht nur die historischen Verbrechen des Kolonialismus und der Apartheid und stellt den israelischen demokratischen Rechtsstaat mit Unrechtsregimen auf eine Stufe“ [4]
Ladies and Gentlemen, that you consider this letter as a serious accusation
of anti semitism is more than ridiculous.
But before I react on that, first this:
From the press I learned, that you didn't even give mrs Mendivin the opportunity
to explain her points of view, or to defend herself. [5]
That's against rules of fair play and I condemn that.
Now I come to antisemitism, which is, it has to be remembered,
especially a Western issue. 
One need not mention the whole course of Western ;;christian''
antisemitism, from the Middle Ages and later on, culminating
in the racial superiority theories in the 19th century, with ended
in the monster of the Holocaust.
You as directors of a German university know that all too well.
And since you know that, you too are aware of the definition
of antisemitism:
Defined defined ''as hostile actions or discrimination against Jews as a religious or ethnic group''
Yes, discrimination and hostility to Jews ''AS A RELIGIOUS OR
That's a whole other story than critics of a STATE, which Israel is and
the policies of a State.
Compare it with racism against black people.
Is racism against black people the same as critics upon
the policy of a STATE where black people live, for
example Zombabwe?
Of course not.
No one will utter the idea, that critics of the policy of Zimbabwe,
is racism, because it is a country of black people.
Why is Israel so different?
Let that sink in, please
And what says more, there are enough Jewish organisations, that
are very critical of Israeli policies:
I mention the Israeli human rights organisation, Btselem.[6]
Jewish voice for Peace [7]
Boycott From Within [8]
Association for Civil Rights in the Israel [9]
HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual [10]
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel [11]
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel [12]
All those ''Jewish'' organisations are higly critical
of the human rights situation of Israel.
All of them are against the Israeli occupation
of the Palestinian territories.
Because this occupation exists, whether you want to
hear it or not.
I mention  here also some Jewish intellectuals, who are highly critical of the
Israeli politics and human rights violations.
Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Moshe Zuckermann, Norman Finkelstein.
The Israeli scholar Ilan Pappe, who wrote a famous book about
the ethnic cleansings of Palestinians during the war in 1948.
Read it!
You can learn from it. [13]
As mrs Mendivil, those people and organisations show
the true colours of the State of Israel, occupation and
What has mrs Mendivil said, that is so
''anti semitic''?
She uses her right on free speech [which you
have tried to deny her] to talk about Israeli politics, based on a
She talks about colonialism.
She talks about occupation. [14]
Whether you agree with it or not, nowhere I have read the
word: ''Jew''
Where is she stigmatizing Jews?
She does NOT accuse ''Jews'', which would have
made it anti semitic, indeed.
She talks only about zionism and the existence of a State,
based on that zionism and the consequences of that.
If you don't believe me, read the interview with her in
which she explains her points of view. [15]
When you had taken the trouble to speak with her
before taking your decision, you would have known.
By the way, did you know, that 250 Israeli scholars have
protested against your decision of the suspension
of mrs Meldivin? [16]
Of course you know, because you received the
letter. [17]
Should they act as such, were she a real anti semitic?
Think for yourself.
Since 1967 Israel occupies the Palestinian territories the Westbank, East
Jerusalem and Gaza [18], which, as by all occupations in the world,
has laid to oppression and humiliation of the occupied Palestinian
population, human rights violations and warcrimes, as Gaza
military expeditions like Cast Lead and Protective Edge, which lead
to thousands of Palestinian deaths. [19]
Another utter injustice are the illegal settlements in the occupied
Palestinian territories [20], which are extended untill now  [21], which
means pure landrobbery.
Freedom of movement and difficult access for thousands
of Palestinians to reach their fields and marketing their produce,
as difficult access to hospitals and schools,
has  further been limited by the illegal
Israeli Wall. [22]
The blockade of Gaza is a starvation operation of the Israeli
occupation regime. [23]
And last, but not least, the clear apartheid policy:
There is a different legal system for Israeli’s and settlements compared
with the Palestinian population in the occupied territories Westbank
and East Jerusalem [in Gaza there is a different legal system,
according to laws, imposed by the Hamas government]
A common legal system for Israeli’s and settlers, the military
law for occupied Palestinians, despite the fact they are civilians. [24]
Also there are other discriminatory laws in Israel. [25]
Concerning the drama, which political zionism
[which de facto means, founding a State in the land of
another people, in casu the Palestinians, first an Ottoman
colony, then a British Mandatory], violating the Palestinian
right to selfdetermination and indeed leading to
neo colonialism,  I advise you to read Professor Ilan Pappe's
the Ethnic cleansing of Palestine [26], as my article
''Disaster over Palestine, the refugee problem
and the ideology of transfer'' [27]
The message is clear:
Anti semitism is racism against Jewish people.
Not critics on the State of Israel.
Those are two wholly different things.
Professor  Mendivil mentions the Israeli SYSTEM of occupation,
the oppression, the human rights violations, the colonialism,
the system of apartheid.
You can agree with that or not [although denying it
is getting harder every day] , but it is NOT anti semitism.
Therefore I demand from you, that you stop embarrassing
yourself and end the suspension of Professor Meldivin,
who has the right on free expression and her academic freedom.
If you don''\t, you are a supporter of a system of
occupation and oppression, that is harder to defend, as
time proceeds.
You will find yourself at the wrong side of history.
Thanks for reading this letter.
Kind greetings
Astrid Essed
The Netherlands

Meer van Astrid Essed


‚??Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for‚?Ě
Hermann Goering. Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremburg Trails after WWII