Ben Gurion University
Special Isracampus Report:
Rivka Carmi's new "Diversity" in the Department of Politics at Ben
Carmi is telling the whole world that she has introduced "diversity"
into the Department of Politics at BGU in response to the calls from
the Council on Higher Education to shut down the anti-Israel
department. Carmi is proud that there are three new "recruits" in
this department. But who are these recruits? Every single one of the
new recruits is a Far Leftist! That is correct. Rivka Carmi is
diversifying the worst anti-Israel propaganda department in Israeli
academia by adding three NEW leftist radicals to it!
The first and the worst of the three is a radical anti-Israel
historian, who is not even a political scientist at all. She is
Michal Givoni, and she was a "researcher" at
University until offered a position in the Carmi cosmetics fix-up.
Givoni may be even more anti-Israel than the existing members of the
Department. You can read all about
her here (or posted in
She will be joined by Gad Arieli, who evidently is also a far
leftist, this based on the fact that he has been on the staff of the
leftwing Israel Democracy Institute and also that he is an author of
these (and other similar) articles:
• Zemlinskaya, Y. (2009) "Cultural Context and
Social Movement Outcomes: Conscientious Objection and
Draft-Resistance in Israel." Mobilization: An International Journal,
• Zemlinskaya, Y. (2010) 'Gendered Protest:
Social Movements through the Gender Lens',
Sociology Compass 4(8):628-641
• Zemlinskaya, Y. (forthcoming) 'Political Conscience in Israel:
Draft – Resistance and Conscientious Objection',
His PhD is from the
The third new "recruit" is actually now doing a Post-Doc at UCLA and
has not yet joined the department. She is Ayelet Harel-Shalev, and
she is also a far-leftist. She works with and turns out propaganda
for the extremist anti-Israel Arab nationalist Adalah group (see
this report on it -
She claims to be an expert on
oppressed Arab minority (she calls them "Israeli Palestinians").
She was singled out for criticism for the anti-Zionist content of
her courses in a report by the Im Tirtzu student group. Her PhD is
from the very same department of politics at BGU. So she is a
product of Neve Gordon, Dan Filc, and David Newman.
http://isracampus.org.il/third level pages/Editorial - Lee Kaplan -
TAU - Michal Givoni - New Polysyllables to Eliminate Israel.htm
Tel Aviv University (Dept of History) and UC Berkeley (Townsend
Humanities Lab): Michal Givoni Strives for New Polysyllables that
Can help Eliminate Israel
By Lee Kaplan
Michal Givoni is a mistress of one-sided anti-Israel
propaganda disguised as academic work.
She completed her Ph.D. at the
Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas
Tel Aviv University in 2008. Her work purportedly deals with
transnational humanitarianism, contemporary practices of
"witnessing," and "testimony" and "governmentality" (a nonsense
polysyllable she likes to use). Givoni was a researcher at the
fiercely anti-Israel semi-Marxist
Van Leer Jerusalem Institute,
where she co-directed (together with Adi Ophir and Sari Hanafi "a
research project on the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian
territories." She was one of the editors (again together with Ophir
and Hanafi) of a volume on the subject, entitled
The Power of Inclusive
Exclusion: Anatomy of Israeli Rule in the Palestinian Territories
(Zone Books, 2009).
She and her colleagues' editing
churn out one- sided propaganda against
Israel and its control over the "Palestinian territories." She loves
to rely on Arab "witnessing" and "testimony" about alleged abuses of
the Arab population by Israel. These should be better termed
"bearing false witness" and simply "lying." She speaks of the "Governmentality
of emergencies," a pompous way of describing how government
intervenes in cases of such "witnessing" and "testimony" that
something injurious has happened. Her interest in witnessing is
restricted to accusations against Israel by Arabs.
Givoni has a new book on the
"contemporary ethics of testimony" with the Van Leer Institute /
Hakibutz Hame'uchad Press. Givoni's "research" at The Minerva
Humanities Center concerns "ethical practices in the political
sphere" and "focuses on a genealogical investigation of the concepts
of testimony and of indifference."
She developed her skills at
Israel bashing while teaching in the uniformaly anti-Israel
department of politics at Ben Gurion University, the home to such
objective academics as arch-anti-Semite Neve Gordon. These days she
is a visiting fellow at the
of California at Berkeley, where anti-Israel activism long ago
replaced frat partying as the main campus recreation activity.
My fellow IsraCampus contributor
has done an excellent review
of Michal Givoni's first edited book. Ms. Givoni is one of those
"scholars" who substitute politics and advocacy for hard research.
She is particularly fond of mind numbing silliness in rhetoric and
nonsense polysyllables. In Star Wars movies, Yoda always reversed
what he had to say to sound like a wise inscrutable guru ("Going to
visit Luke Skywalker, today, we are"). But Yoda had it over Givoni
because at least we could figure out what Yoda was saying. Someone
should give Givoni a good language checker as a Nakba Day gift.
Here's an example of her
writing. In an
she wrote, in which she argues
is a violator of human rights because it controls the Arabs in the
"Palestinian territories" she wrote:
"This article seeks to analyze contemporary humanitarianism as an
advanced-liberal formation of global governance. It tracks the
emergence in the 1970s of the French humanitarian organization Mיdecins
and shows that its care for and control of distant victims has been
commingled with and dependent upon care for Western selves. The
article contends that humanitarianism 'without borders' was the
outgrowth of the legitimacy crisis of the medical profession, and
that its practice of witnessing has ultimately been a mode of
ethical self-cultivation by means of which physicians could fashion
themselves as more enlightened personae. It further shows that the
recent concern with the detrimental side effects of humanitarian
action should be deciphered as the culmination of the practices of
the self in which global humanitarianism has been embedded since the
Huh? Ok, so we had to read it
three times. And THAT was one of her clearer paragraphs.
It should be noted that "Doctors
Without Borders" is not pro-Palestinian enough for her. Ms. Givoni
finds fault with them for being self-serving and egotistical
("practices of the self") even though the NGO routinely sides
Israel. Alas, a la Michal, they are in it solely for Western ego
gratification. Givoni, who loves to identify with dead Marxist
killer Michel Foucault, despises the democratic West. Medecins sans
frontieres has a long track record of attacking pro-Israel voices.
In July 2010, MSF
"closely with an Israeli team of burn specialists" to treat
victims of a fuel tanker crash in the Democratic Republic of
According to a Haaretz report, one of Israeli doctors described negative
interactions with the MSF volunteers, who "did not want to be
around him or the other team members." In response,
that "cooperation was difficult due to alleged anti-Israel
sentiment from MSF staff," or that it "places politics above the
best interests of our patients."
for civilians during the 2009 Gaza war, alleging that
conducted "indiscriminate bombings" during the fighting.
In 2007, an MSF employee from Gaza
for allegedly plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The NGO responded that "We are very sad for Bashir, but we want to
make it very clear that we make a distinction between his
professional work and what he does on his personal time. I don't
think our organization can be held liable for every aspect of its
Medecins sans Frontiers also
frequently recounts other ISM propaganda on their blog.
Givoni likes to use the term
"witnessing" but sees no reason why witnessing has to involve truth.
To this end, she relies in some
of her work on the Goldstone Report, repudiated even by Goldstone
himself. She treats it as fact. She also relies on the discredited
extremists from the tiny Israeli treasonous "Breaking the Silence,"
an ISM group that lied to the Media about Operation Cast Lead.
Givoni praises their "witnessing" even though it rarely if ever has
any evidence to back things up..
NGO Monitor has said about
Breaking the Silence (which is funded by the EU): "Breaking the
of soldiers who served in the
Territories during the Second Intifadah." It continues: "The NGO was
active in promoting "war
after the Gaza fighting in January 2009. These charges were based on
anonymous and unverifiable hearsay 'testimonies.'"
Just the way Michal Givoni likes
a paper in which she compared the treatment of the Arabs in Gaza
with that of Jews during the Holocaust,
citing Breaking the Silence and the Goldstone report. Several of the
soldiers who supposedly revealed "war crimes" had not actually
witnessed any of the events they described, and in at least one
case, had not been in Gaza at all at the time the alleged events
were said to have taken place. Even Haaretz, the Pravda of
the radical anti-Zionist Left, has seen fit to condemn the
"witnessing" by Breaking the Silence. For Givoni, all the proof
needed that Israel is evil is for an Arab fascist or a Jewish
communist to allege so.
Givoni cut her teeth at the
anti-Israel Van Leer Institute, where she started as a researcher. A
description of an abstract by her about the Biafra tragedy reveals
how she started her bash Israel academic "research" titled "Who
Cares [What's to be Done?]?
Responds to Biafra.":
"The first reports on the Biafran outrages, which appeared in the
Israeli press in July 1968, prompted an outcry. From the outset, the
Biafrans were viewed as an extension of the Jewish-Israeli self;
their distress and armed struggle against the Nigerian forces were
seen in analogy to the Jewish holocaust and the Jewish people's
fight for independence. The forms of moral-political discourse
manifested in the Israeli public debate about the appropriate
responses to the Biafra crisis are examined. It is juxtaposed to the
sans-frontieres humanitarian discourse that emerged in
during the same crisis. The distant suffering of the Biafrans was
understood as falling under the jurisdiction of the Israeli
sovereign, hindering the establishment of a civil-society force to
deal with similar crises. The structural equivalence between
humanitarian sovereignty and the Israeli form of political
sovereignty, which is also maintained as a paradoxical authority to
protect an endangered population, is stressed."
What? You don't understand what she is saying?
Well, it's all pretty simple.
Israel back in 1968 (a year after the Six Day War, in which the
Arabs sought to wipe out the Jewish state) was concerned about the
who were suffering, even despite its own problems. But Ms. Givoni
can only find things to complain about
so she faults the Jewish state's government for controlling whatever
aid it gave the Biafrans because this somehow in her mind hindered
the ability of non-governmental groups to render aid in similar
back then by the American Jewish Congress showed that giving aid to
the people of Biafra had international security considerations.
Those darned Israelis, they can't do anything right
and they mix politics into everything, with ulterior motives that
prevent the proper protection of "an endangered population" (guess
who she is really alluding to? The Palestinians!!!!).
Givoni is among faculty teaching a program at
Bard College in New York,
part of a consortium of colleges teaching about "international human
rights." We suspect the leading human right they defend is the right
of Arabs to murder Jews. Bard has the only officially sponsored and
campus funded chapter of human shields for terrorists (better known
as the ISM) in the United States that actually trains ISM human
shields to go to the West Bank and who were involved with the
Flotillas. That chapter will be part of a
to "take back Jerusalem" led by the PFLP on March 30th
this year. Perhaps Michal Givoni will help the marchers with their
propaganda about Israeli
"human rights violations."
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