Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hypocrisy of Boycott Against Israel. By Cathy Young.

Hypocrisy of boycott against Israel. By Cathy Young. Newsday, November 25, 2013.


The boycott’s agenda is to make Israel a pariah state. There has been much debate on whether the blatant double standard of such ostracism is rooted in anti-Jewish bias. The bias here is anti-Western: the Israel-hating left sees Israel as an outpost of Western and American imperialism oppressing a Third World people. However, anti-Israel animus often does overlap with anti-Semitism, as the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights recently noted.
Whatever its motive, the anti-Israel boycott is an affront to the true spirit of both political and intellectual liberalism. This movement should be opposed not only by Israel’s supporters, but also by anyone concerned with the state of the American academy.

American Studies and Israel. By Elizabeth Redden. Inside Higher Ed, November 25, 2013.

The Association for Anti-Israel Studies? By Jonathan Marks. Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, November 20, 2013.

Anti-American Studies. By Alan Wolfe. The New Republic, February 10, 2003. Also here.

On Recovering the “Ur” Theory of American Studies. By Leo Marx. American Literary History, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring 2005).

The taboo on boycotting Israel has been broken. By David Lloyd. The Electronic Intifada, November 26, 2013.

“What happened there was historic”: A report from the American Studies Association boycott debate. By Lena Ibrahim. Mondoweiss, November 27, 2013.

Even in Academia, Boycotting Israel Is a Hard Sell. By Jonathan Marks. Commentary, December 1, 2013.

What Does the American Studies Association’s Israel Boycott Mean for Academic Freedom? By Michelle Goldberg. The Nation, December 6, 2013.

Academic Freedom and the ASA’s Boycott of Israel: A Response to Michelle Goldberg. By Judith Butler. The Nation, December 8, 2013.

Israel/Palestine and the paradoxes of academic freedom. By Judith Butler. Radical Philosophy, No. 135 (January/February 2006). Also here, here.

Do Palestinian-Americans get to register an opinion on academic boycott. By Philip Weiss. Mondoweiss, December 14, 2013.

The Israeli patriot’s final refuge: boycott. By Gideon Levy. Haaretz, July 14, 2013. Also here.

Defeating the Leftist Revolutionaries. By Monica Crowley.

Defeating the Leftist Revolutionaries. By Monica Crowley. FrontPage Magazine, December 3, 2014. Video at Vimeo.


Conservatives are always right about everything. We are. We are.
Sometimes it takes longer for the general public to see that come along, but we are always right, which is why the Left and the revolutionaries are constantly trying to demonize us, tarnish us, and try to marginalize us however they can.

When you are talking about Barack Obama and the far Left, the revolutionaries, you have to understand that you are dealing with very sophisticated Leftist psychology — this is something that David can talk to — very sophisticated Leftist psychology that they have been honing into an art and a science for decades.
I can give you one little example of this. Barack Obama is a master of projection. Projection is accusing somebody of what you, yourself, are guilty of doing. Yasser Arafat did this all the time, accusing the Israelis of what he, himself, was doing. Obama and Pelosi and Reid and the Democrats all the way down the line are so good at projecting onto conservatives, projecting onto Republicans what they themselves are doing right in front of everybody’s face.

When I used that phrase from Raymond’s e-mail, that “under Obamacare I will die quickly,” think about where you heard that phrase before. Congressman Alan Grayson, who lost, and unfortunately, now he’s back in Congress. Remember during the whole debate he stood on the House floor and said, “Republicans want you to die quickly.” Again, what they want.
Yesterday on the House floor, Congressman Jim McDermott was railing against the Upton bill. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” And he actually used the word socialism out loud. And I had to stop, and I said, “What did he just say?” He said this, meaning the Upton bill, this is socialism. Again, I mean that’s blatant. That’s not even dressed-up projection, right? That’s like so blatant right out there. This is what they do to try to cover up what they’re doing and to try to deflect what they’re doing.

Katy Perry’s Dance Should Remind Us to Let Artistic Expression Bloom. By Cathy Young.

Katy Perry’s dance should remind us to let artistic expression bloom. By Cathy Young. Newsday, December 2, 2013. Also here.


Singer Katy Perry’s Japanese-style performance at the American Music Awards has sparked a storm of outrage, with accusations of racism and “cultural appropriation.” While concern with racial and cultural sensitivity is admirable, this controversy cheapens real racism. Moreover, Perry’s critics miss the fact that “appropriation” is the lifeblood of culture. To attack it is to attack free expression and, perversely, to promote cultural segregation in progressive guise.
Perry’s act in a kimono costume against an Asian-themed backdrop has been likened to blackface minstrelsy or caricatures of buck-toothed Asians. But it was nothing of the sort. Granted, it was not a recreation of authentic Japanese song, dance, or costume but an adaptation of Japanese visual style (with a dash of Chinese); yet, far from being mocked, the cultural sources were treated as elegant.
Some charge that Perry’s use of the geisha image to go with her single “Unconditionally,” in which a woman assures her lover of her unconditional love, exploits stereotypes of the submissive Asian female. But Perry’s exuberant singing and bold dance movements hardly seemed submissive, and even her lyrics are not about docility: the woman tells the man to freely show his insecurities because she’ll accept him as he is.
Of course, to Perry’s detractors, any white American using material from a non-Western culture is guilty of theft and exploitation; on the Everyday Feminism blog, writer Jarune Uwujaren slings such pejoratives as “interloper” and “mooch” (except only when a person pays tribute to a culture by invitation from that culture's members).
But all culture is the product of cross-pollination and interbreeding. American culture is the ultimate mongrel. European culture is a stew of ethnic traditions mixed with borrowings from ancient Rome, Greece, Israel, and Egypt as well as later non-Western cultures.
To cast Japanese culture as a victim of Perry’s rapaciousness is ironic. Medieval Japanese culture borrowed from China. Modern Japan has adapted Western cultural material, in everything from anime films based on such sources as “The Little Mermaid” to celebrations of a secularized Christmas.
That’s different, critics say, because the West is an oppressive juggernaut. As psychiatrist Ravi Chandra puts it on his blog at the Psychology Today website, “This kind of ‘costume’ is acting out a power relationship,” since “whites have historically held power.”
This argument disregards the fact that many non-Western countries have their own history of imperialism and racism, and insultingly casts other cultures as victims of the evil West. Thus, non-Western consumption of Western and especially American popular culture is treated as an imposition.
Politically correct zealotry is leading some well-meaning Americans to worry about even respectful engagement with other cultures. Salt Lake City Tribune writer Erin Alberty wonders if it was racist to dress as China’s Empress Dowager Cixi for Halloween. Some college students fret about committing “appropriation” by studying a non-Western culture or language. If white supremacists had concocted a plot to protect European culture from “impure” influences by appealing to progressive sensibilities, they could not have done better.
Thankfully, racial or ethnic caricatures are now seen as unacceptable. But denouncing something as innocuous as Perry’s performance, which no Asian-American group has criticized, can only promote backlash and polarization. True diversity, to borrow a Chinese phrase, is about letting a hundred flowers bloom-including Perry’s artistic expression.

Cultural Appropriation 101, Featuring Geisha Katy Perry and the Great Wave of Asian Influence. By Lauren Duca. The Huffington Post, November 25, 2013.

The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation. By Jarune Uwujaren. Everyday Feminism, September 30, 2013.

Yes, Katy Perry’s Performance Was Racist, Here’s Why. By Ravi Chandra. Psychology Today, November 24, 2013. Part 2.

Katy Perry Talks John Mayer, Russell Brand and Her “Republican” Parents. The Huffington Post, December 9, 2013.

Katy Conquers All. By Claire Hoffman. Marie Claire, December 9, 2013. Cover story from January 2014 issue.

Katy Perry on the 180 That Saved Her Career. NJBR, October 31, 2013.

Katy Perry: Roar. NJBR, September 21, 2013.

Katy Perry: Unconditionally, American Music Awards 2013. Video. Katy Perry, November 24, 2013. YouTube.

Katy Perry: Unconditionally (Official). Video. KatyPerryVEVO, November 20, 2013. YouTube.

50-Year-Old Women and 25-Year-Old Guys. By Abby Rodman.

50-Year-Old Women and 25-Year-Old Guys. By Abby Rodman. The Huffington Post, November 29, 2013.

Using the Bedouin to Attack Israel. By Jonathan S. Tobin.

Using the Bedouin to Attack Israel. By Jonathan S. Tobin. Commentary, December 3, 2013.

New Blood Libel Film on Israeli Bedouin. By Ben-Dror Yemini.

The blood libel film. By Ben-Dror Yemini. The Times of Israel, November 29, 2013.

Israeli government claims 80% of Bedouin agree to resettlement; Bedouin leader: State is lying. By Shirly Seidler. Haaretz, December 2, 2013.

Prawer Plan to displace Bedouin. Articles on +972. (Israeli left-wing.)

Britons protest plan to remove 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins. By Harriet Sherwood. The Guardian, November 29, 2013. Noam Sheizaf at +972.

Why don’t Rabbis for Human Rights care about Bedouin women. By Alon Tal. Haaretz, September 2, 2013.

Study: Most Bedouin victims of domestic violence believe it’s a “decree from God.” By Jack Khoury. Haaretz, April 30, 2012.

Theodore Bikel: It Hurts That the Descendants of Anatevka Expel Israeli Bedouin. Video. Rabbis for Human Rights, May 30, 2013. YouTube.

Women’s Human Security Rights in the Arab World: On Nobody’s Agenda. By Mariz Tadros.

Women’s human security rights in the Arab world: on nobody’s agenda. By Mariz Tadros. OpenDemocracy, December 2, 2013.