Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Intellectual Atrocities

The defendant in Gordon's libel suit is the professor, columnist and writer, Professor Steven Plaut. He is on the faculty of the University of Haifa.

Neve Gordon is a member of a department that is nearly wall-to-wall leftist. He holds a Ph.D. from Notre Dame University, a Catholic school in Indiana. Most of the articles he has published are politicized and/or devoted to attacking Israeli policies and/or denounce Israel as a terrorist country. The Middle East Quarterly has declared him to be one of Israel's academic extremists.

Gordon goes beyond the chic support for the PLO and its positions so common today among Israeli academic leftists. Gordon has allied himself and collaborated with a wide variety of anti-Semites and anti-Semitic organizations. He used to lead the Physicians for Human Rights in Israel (despite not being an MD himself), a pro-Arab organization so extreme that it has been publicly denounced by the Israel Medical Association. It was condemned as an openly anti-Semitic organization by Professor Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University, who, together with 200 other people, signed a petition to that effect.

Gordon also maintains a long-term ongoing collaboration with Alexander Cockburn, the anti-Israel far-leftist American columnist and publisher of Counterpunch magazine. Cockburn has been repeatedly denounced as an anti-Semite by the New Republic and by a variety of other journals, organizations and columnists, including the Seattle Times, the Declaration Foundation, Professor Edward Alexander, LewRockwell.com, LeftWatch, and Christian Action for Israel. Cockburn has openly given credence to reports that Jews spread anthrax in the U.S. and that Israel was part of a conspiracy to topple the World Trade Center. Cockburn insists Jews conspire to control the media. Gordon has published a large number of articles attacking Israel in Counterpunch.

Gordon is active in a far-Left Israeli organization with the Arabic name Taayush, which, in Gordon's own words (cited in an interview), is a seditious organization that "opposes Arab-Jewish coexistence."

But Gordon's screeds appeal to an audience that goes beyond the mere vocal critics of Israel. Gordon's articles have been published and cited on a wide variety of neo-Nazi, Holocaust Denial and Islamist fundamentalist newspapers and web sites. On several neo-Nazi web sites, a work by Gordon is cited right after a citation from Hitler himself, making for curious footnote bedfellows.

I know of Gordon, several of my friends took his class last year, and from what I've heard, all of this is 100% believable. I would seriously consider one of the following:

Meanwhile, readers who would like to tell the authorities at Ben Gurion University what they think of Gordon's writings and behavior should write to Professor Avishay Braverman, President of Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheba 84105 Israel. Letters to the American Associates of Ben Gurion University (AABGU) should be sent to 1430 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10018. Zvi Alon is President of AABGU and Vivien Marion is the Executive Vice-President. (phone: 212-687-7721; fax: 212-302-6443; email: info@aabgu.org)

Anyone interested in defending free speech through helping defray Prof. Plaut's legal costs (he is represented by attorney Dr. Haim Misgav) is invited to contact him directly. His email address is steven_plaut@yahoo.com.

Its high time intellectual bullies like Gordon were forced to answer for their atrocities. I hope he loses and has to pay court costs. Then I hope Plaut countersues.


Post a Comment

<< Home