Infamy! Infamy! Everyone's got it in-fa-me!
Paul Gilroy and reporter Gary Younge, that is.
On April 4, 2006, in The Guardian article "Silence in Class" by Gary Younge, I found myself accused of being an enemy of academic freedom, McCarthy-style, based on a letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal in April 2003. It’s hard for an academic such as me to reply to such journalistic mediocrity with a straight face, but I shall try.
The Guardian relates:
In fact, here is what I had written on Apr 17, 2003:
title: Wall Street Journal.
Full Text (289 words) Copyright Dow Jones & Company Inc Apr 17, 2003
A telling statement by William Shawcross in his April 10 editorial-page essay "Baghdad Day" is:
"One lesson of
Another moral lesson needs to be gleaned. There is an emotional terrorism committed contemptuously by academics such as Columbia anthropology assistant professor Nicholas de Genova saying, "The state of Israel has no claim to the heritage of the Holocaust" and hoping for "a million Mogadishus" to take place in the Iraq war.
with Yale sociology professor Paul Gilroy, who was reported to have said,
"It's important to speculate about the relation between this war and the
geopolitical interests of
This manner of acid bath flung on the emotional wounds of those whose families were enslaved and exterminated on the similar paranoid pretenses of those like Adolf Hitler are examples of a moral psychosis and perhaps psychological sadism that appears to have infected leftist academia. This situation must change. Perhaps never before in American history has the expression "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" been as critical to heed.
Deliberately omitted by the Guardian author, Gary Younge, was the fact that my metaphors were also directed at de Genova and Baraka. Also omitted was my central point that emotional terrorism is a vice that harms people who have already suffered, like salt in a wound, and that such callous insensitivity has no place in academia (or in the press, I might add).
I find such media spin and deliberate omissions both inept and insulting. This omission of context is likely deliberate. I leave it to the reader to surmise the Gaurdian author’s motives. I can only surmise that the remainder of the Guardian piece is similarly factually challenged. One wonders what other “pregnant omissions” might be present.
I certainly have heard no substantive argument to cause me to dismiss those metaphors. On de Genova and Baraka, their own work speaks for itself.
Here are some of Baraka’s views: "The movement among middle-class Jews to become straightup Americans, shedding their 'Jewishness' represents a progressive trend among Jews…. But in the process of 'shedding their Jewishness' middle-class Jews have adopted the same backward ideas of American racism… The vaunted Jewish support of black civil rights organizations…was in order to use them.” In an article entitled "Confessions of a former anti-Semite”, part of a Baraka "poem" is reproduced: “So come for the rent, jewboys/or come ask me for a book, or/sit in the courts handing down your judgments still I got something for you, gonna give it to my brothers, so they'll know what your whole story is, then one day, jewboys, we all, even my wig wearing mother/gonna put it on you all at once.” From another Baraka work, "For Tom Postell, Dead Black Poet," Baraka gives these instructions: “Smile, jew. Dance, jew. Tell me you love me, jew. . . .I got the extermination blues, jewboys. I got the hitler syndrome figured.”
And Baraka is proud of his words. At least he owns up to them.
On the other hand, I was an investigator in the Yale-Saudi collaboration in clinical genetics, designed to help reduce suffering of Saudi children with birth defects (as in this New York Times article), acting -- and not just speaking -- for human rights, an activity that was well received.
Compare Baraka’s writing and
Professor Gilroy’s statement that “I thought I [
Main Entry: mealy·mouthed
If by “mealy-mouthed” the professor did not mean his statements were devious and deceptive, but rather that his comments were not ‘serious’, I would ask him to try shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre and then seek absolution by saying it was all a misunderstanding. In fact, the professor patronizes us with his ‘excuse’, which even more truly appears mealy-mouthed and disingenuous.
In effect, my words back in 2003 - driven via medical ethics and compassion and personal interactions with the suffering, against mean-spirited slander, mass murderers, anti-Semitism, and basic insensitivity towards human suffering, are being exploited by a media columnist to make it seem like I am a 'McCarthyite' silencer of academics, my own profession. Stunning - and pathetic.
The author of this Guardian article may get a brownie point for exploiting my writings in distorted form, as well may the professor in question (formerly at Yale, now sociology professor at the U. of London). Exploitation by the media, academia and others of those who not only speak truth about human suffering, but also act upon it, are quite disappointing to see.
The former Yale professor in question should perhaps review the work of one of his other former colleagues in terms of dealing with human suffering caused by the tyrants they apologize for or defend: Yale counselor helped ease grief of war-torn families in Kosovo and Iraq.
Indeed. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported similar
findings in “Exhumation
of Mass Graves in Iraq: Considerations for Forensic Investigations,
Humanitarian Needs, and the Demands of Justice.” JAMA. 2003;290:663-666.
To reporters and sociologists, perhaps human suffering is fodder for propaganda to attack those with whom they disagree, no matter what the emotional cost to the traumatized.
To medical professionals, human suffering is quite another matter.
Perhaps, however, all the above is too abstract for the professors and the Guardian author to understand. Perhaps they think espousing anti-Jewish conspiracies is just a parlor game and Jews are being too sensitive.
To them, I present this list of recent violent acts from the Simon Wiesenthal center . If the professors still don’t comprehend what they help provoke, then perhaps they should seek alternate careers, for in that case they do not belong in academe:
1 Oct. Attempt to run over worshippers during "Tashlich" ceremony outside the Synagogue in Auberviliers, a
1 Oct. Jews threatened and shoved by Arabs outside Ohalecha
Yaakov Synagogue in
1 Oct. Stoning of Creteil Synagogue by Arabs (first of two attacks at this site)
1 Oct. Arabs riot outside Creteil Synagogue
1 Oct. Spate of pro-Arab Antisemitic
2 Oct. Firebombing of Rue Gresset Synagogue
2 Oct. Bomb threat against Nice Synagogue
3 Oct. Firebombing of Villepinte Synagogue
4 Oct. Telephone threat against Tenoudji
Jewish school in
5 Oct. Yeshiva student attacked by Arabs while leaving school in
6 Oct. "Death to the Jews" painted on two Synagogues in
6 Oct. Stoning of Jewish children leaving Tenoudji school
7 Oct. Firebombing of Aubervilliers Synagogue during evening prayer service
7 Oct. Firebombing of Kosher restaurant in
7 Oct. Stoning of worshippers by Arabs outside La Duchere
Synagogue, a suburb of
7 Oct. Group of Lyons Moslems calls for the burning of Synagogues
8 Oct. Antisemitic threats daubed on Marseilles Synagogue
8 Oct. Failed attempt to set Marseilles Synagogue Sukkah on fire
8 Oct. Firebombing of the Petach Eliyahu Synagogue in
8 Oct. Three firebombs thrown at
9 Oct. Bullet shot at La Victoire Great
9 Oct. Fire bombing of a Synagogue in the town of
9 Oct. Fire bombing of Tenoudjio Jewish high school
9 Oct. Desecration of the Trappes Jewish
9 Oct. Attack on Rue Crimee Synagogue in
9 Oct. Stoning of worshippers by Arabs at Manget
Synagogue in suburban
9 Oct. Arabs curse worshippers exiting
9 Oct. Arabs stone Ohaleicha Yaakov
10 Oct. Three firebombs thrown at Les Ulis
Synagogue, south of
10 Oct. Chief Rabbi of
10 Oct. Trappes Synagogue near
11 Oct. Attack on Jewish students in
11 Oct. Arabs carrying baseball bats surround
11 Oct. Firebombing of Colombes Synagogue, in
11 Oct. Firebombing of Creil Synagogue
12 Oct. Firebombing of Seyne sur Mer Synagogue near
12 Oct. Telephone threat against Rue Copernic Synagogue, Paris on 20th anniversary of terrorist bombing of the same Synagogue which killed four in 1980
12 Oct. Stoning of Jewish children's school bus in
12 Oct. Orthodox Jew injured in attack by four Arabs in
12 Oct. Firebombing of Bondy Synagogue near
12 Oct. Firebombing of Julien Lacroix Synagogue in
12 Oct. Firebombing of St. Ouen Jewish
12 Oct. Torching of two Jewish families' private homes in
12 Oct. Antisemitic graffiti in Le Blanc Mesnil near
13 Oct. Firebombing of
13 Oct. Firebombing of Synagogue in
13 Oct. Firebombing of Longjumeau Synagogue
13 Oct. Firebombing of Garge Les Gonesses Synagogue in a suburb of
13 Oct. Stoning of La Courneuve Synagogue in
13 Oct. Firebombing of Chevilly La Rue
Synagogue in suburb of
13 Oct. Gun shots fired at Jewish car and store in
13 Oct. Stoning of Kosher restaurant in
13 Oct. Firebombing of Noisy le Sec Synagogue in suburb of
13 Oct. Firebombing of Bagnolet Synagogue in
14 Oct. Car drives into Les Minguettes Synagogue of Venissieux Rhone, destroying building facade
15 Oct. Firebombing of Meudon la Foret Synagogue in suburb of
16 Oct. Firebombing of Kosher butcher shop in
29 Sept. Stoning of Kehilat
Yaakov Synagogue in
29 Sept. Stoning of Fieldgate Great Synagogue
2 Oct. "Fatwa" issued in
7 Oct. Stoning of Edgware Synagogue in
7 Oct. Torah scrolls burned in Borehamwood Synagogue in Elstree
7 Oct. Molotov cocktail thrown at Upper Berkeley Street Synagogue in
7 Oct. Molotov cocktail thrown at
8 Oct. Stoning of
8 Oct. Stoning of
8 Oct. Elderly couple and children stoned from passing car outside Kenton United Synagogue
8 Oct. Worshippers exiting Emmanuel College Synagogue in
8 Oct. Bomb threat against Kinloss Gardens
14 Oct. Stoning of
16 Oct. Orthodox Jew stabbed by an Algerian on London Bus
* "Al Mujahiroun" leaflets
30 Sept. Palestinian stabs 50 year old Chassid in
5 Oct. "Fatwa" from jailed Imam Omar Abd Al Rahman calls for "Jihad against Jews everywhere"
5 Oct. Molotov cocktails thrown by three Muslim youths at Adath Israel Synagogue in
9 Oct. Arson attack damages Ohev Shalom
12 Oct. Adath Israel Synagogue in
12 Oct. Drive-by shooting attempt against Rabbi in
12 Oct. Orthodox Jews shot at by three Palestinians in
13 Oct. Synagogue set on fire in
15 Oct. Firebombing of Synagogue in
29 Sept. Imams of two Mosques call for "revenge against Jews"
1 Oct. Skinheads and Arabs demonstrate outside
3 Oct. Stoning of Clinic Synagogue in
9 Oct. "Maimonide" High School defaced
9 Oct. Desecration of Holocaust monument in
9 Oct. Stoning of
9 Oct. Arabs attack Orthodox Jew outside Brussels Synagogue. Victim hospitalized in serious condition
9 Oct. Stoning of Jewish bookstore in
15 Oct. Firebombing of
2 Oct. Three Molotov cocktails thrown at Dusseldorf Synagogue
3 Oct. Jewish couple attacked in
3 Oct. Desecration of
3 Oct. Desecration of monument at the
3 Oct. Desecration of Halle Synagogue monument
4 Oct. Gallows drawn at Potsdam Jewish Cemetery
4 Oct. Two letter bombs sent to heads of the German Jewish community
6 Oct. Stoning of the historic Kreuzberg
7 Oct. Demonstrators from the German-Lebanese league attack and stone
a Synagogue in
2-5 Oct. 7 separate incidents in metropolitan
8 Oct. Stoning of Beth Shalom Synagogue in
9 Oct. Moslem demonstration on Yom Kippur in
10 Oct. Individual attacked returning home from metropolitan
11 Oct. 16 year-old boy wearing a kippah attacked on the Montreal Metro.
1 Nov. Firebombing of Beth Shalom Synagogue in
1 Nov. Firebombing of Beth Israel Synagogue in
8 Oct. Stoning of Synagogue in Daghestan and antisemitic pamphlets distributed
9 Oct. Bukharan Synagogue in
15 Oct. Arab students call for "Jihad" at
15 Oct. Telephone threat to Chabad Synagogue
3 Oct. Bomb threat against Sao Paolo suburban synagogue
6 Oct. E-mail bomb threat against Sao Paolo and
6 Oct. E-mail bomb threat against Jewish Museum of Rio
3 Oct. Bomb threats in
3 Oct. Bomb threats in
4 Oct. Extreme right 'Fuorza Nuova' movement clash with Jewish activists and attack Jewish souvenir stall owner outside the Rome Coliseum
10 Oct. A Spanish Moroccan Synagogue in the North African enclave of
13 Oct. Madrid Jewish Center Synagogue stoned
2 Oct. Bomb threat to Malm Synagogue
3 Oct. Malm Mikveh and cemetery attacked
14 Oct. Molotov cocktail thrown at Jewish Center / Synagogue in
14 Oct. Molotov cocktail thrown at Rabbi's Sukkah
9 Oct. Molotov cocktails thrown at Emmen Synagogue
9 Oct. Skinheads burst into Oss Synagogue and threaten worshippers
5 Oct. Islamic "Radio 786" of Capetown declared solidarity with "Pagad" fundamentalist movement's incitement against Jews
11 Oct. ANC Capetown Conference calls for "Death to the Jews"
7 Oct. 1000 Arabs demonstrate outside UN in
7 Oct. 'Ciudad de Libre Opinion' - neo-Nazi website calls for "Jihad"
10 Oct. Stoning of Beit Yaakov school in
3 Oct. Arab demonstration against Salonika Jewish Center
6 Oct. Official Arab Community representative declares "Jews are murderers of all who oppose their will to rule the world"
10 Nov. 16th Century Jewish cemetary in