Sunday, July 18, 2010
It used to be that people were ashamed to be caught in an act of hypocrisy – not anymore. Now, in some circles – like Jordan and BGU – it’s held out as a virtue.
Let’s be very clear about that word, hypocrisy: The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess.
Because she’s so much prettier than anybody at BGU, let’s start with Jordan’s Queen Rania – there she is, above, in all her royal glory.
What did she do? Taking a page out of the Protocols for American First Ladies, Queen Rania decided to write a book for children. She -- or rather Kelly DiPucchio, who’s listed as co-author -- wrote a warm, cuddly feel-good little book called, “The Sandwich Shop”, which someone described as “the kind of book that gives you goose bumps and motivates you go outside in the rain to kiss your neighbor then sing Kumbaya.” To one-up that, in the US, the book is published by Hyperion, part of the Walt Disney Company.
Even the idea is innovative: comparing a lunch sandwich of peanut butter and jelly – as contrasted to one of pita bread and hummus – the Queen uses the sandwiches to talk about the differences between two very different cultures. It’s all about how to get along with people who are different. It’s about multiculturalism. Tolerance.
Prime virtues to those of the liberal mind-set. Or to quote the US’s wife beater supreme, Rodney King, ‘Can’t we all just get along?’
Israel’s left-wing rag, Ha’aretz, just published a story about the Queen’s real level of tolerance: Despite many offers to have the book translated into Hebrew for distribution in Israel, she’s rejected all offers.
There is, after all, a limit to tolerance – and having her golden words (or those of Ms. DiPucchio) translated into the infidel language of Hebrew, where it might delight Jewish children, too? Well, that’s beyond the pale. Tolerance, certainly. But not toward the Zionist Entity.
The funny thing about this is – well, we may as well laugh, because it beats crying –BGU, the famed Beersheba University named after the Zionist Supreme, David Ben Gurion, is doing pretty much the same thing. There’s no tolerance for Zionists there, either.
We’re back to Neve Gordon again, that bad penny that keeps popping up. Neve Gordon is the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Jewish professor at BGU who keeps doing and saying dastardly things against Israel – and getting promoted by BGU every time.
Neve Gordon has made a career out of calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, the very state whose protection he enjoys and whose bounty pays his salary. Yet every time Gordon’s antics hit the front pages of newspapers around the world, BGU officials find a way to promote him.
After Gordon joined hands in solidarity with Yasser Arafat (as Arafat’s minions were blowing up Israeli cafes and buses) BGU granted him tenure.
After the Holocaust-denying Gordon denounced Israel as fascist, terrorist regime, one that “resembles Nazi Germany”, BGU President Rivka Carmi promoted him to chair the University’s Department of Politics and Government.
After Gordon called for a world-wide boycott of Israel -- a call on “foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel”, BGU promoted from ‘lecturer’ to ‘professor’.
In defense of all this, Prof. Carmi and her press agent, Faye Bitker, repeatedly resorted to heated press releases in which they insist they had no choice. It’s all about ‘academic freedom’, they declare. The standard line from BGU is: “Ben-Gurion University of the Negev supports freedom of expression, opinion and thought.” The consensus among BGU powerbrokers was best expressed by Isaac Nevo, a senior lecturer in philosophy at BGU who organized support for Gordon: “Dr. Gordon has the right to publish his views on any matter, has done nothing wrong and should not be censored or sanctioned.”
So from that, you’d figure that any professor would have the right to express his views, wouldn’t you? Whatever they are? Academic freedom must operate as a prospective cure-all. Say -- or teach – any darn thing you like, because BGU faculty members obviously enjoy absolute freedom of expression.
Well, if you thought that, you would be wrong. At BGU, academic freedom extends only to the haters of Israel. Not to anyone else.
Case in point: BGU just fired another professor for expressing his opinion on a completely different topic. Dr. Yerucham Leavitt, teaching a class in medical ethics, responded to a student’s question and in the process, expressed skepticism as to whether it was healthy for children to be raised by homosexuals. Certainly there are those who disagree with Dr. Leavitt on that point, but understand, too, there is credible scientific research that supports what he said – it wasn’t just a personal opinion.
Not that it should matter, according to BGU’s standards of ‘academic freedom’. Many professors found Neve Gordon’s remarks reprehensible – including President Carmi, who called his views “destructive”. But, in Neve Gordon’s case, even “destructive” views must be tolerated in the name of academic freedom.
But when it’s an opinion favored by a non-leftist? Ah, well. That’s different. Then the rules change.
It’s perfectly fine to call for a boycott of Israel, to denounce Israel as a ‘fascist apartheid entity’ and to call for its elimination. That’s all protected speech.
But heaven forbid you question whether it’s healthy for children to be raised by homosexual couples. That gets you fired.
So there you have it: the Queen of Jordan waxes eloquent about tolerance, multiculturalism, of loving one another – except when it comes to Jewish kids. That’s different.
At BGU, the faculty enjoys complete and absolute academic freedom to say anything at all – so long as they’re leftists and anti-Israel radicals. But it you’re not an Israel-hater, then forget it.
Hypocrisy thy name is Queen Rania -- and BGU.