American Professor tells British audience “Israel is heading into an abyss.”

I only made it to the last 25 minutes of Joel Beinin’s talk at SOAS last night but, sadly, I still have enough material to write a blog about it.

Beinin’s talk, The New Internationalism, High-Risk Activism, and Popular Struggle against the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank, was chaired by Gilbert Achcar, who once publicly accused me of leaving insulting messages on his answering machine.

Meanwhile, Beinin is Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of him but Wikipedia has a surprisingly large page about him. According to the description he was “raised as a Zionist” and at one stage intended to make aliyah but having encountered some racist attitudes on a Kibbutz he returned to America instead.

Beinin has published a lot also. I only read one article of his when I got back last night but if I say that the article trashes Peter Beinart’s call for Israeli Jews living on the West Bank to be boycotted because this doesn’t go far enough you get the gist of Beinin’s politics.

In this article Beinin also denounces those who condone “indecent trivialisation of the Holocaust” when they compare levels of anti-Semitism today to those of the late 1930s. (That said, if anyone can explain the difference between boycotting Jewish-owned shops in the late 1930s and boycotting Jewish-owned shops, like Covent Garden’s Ahava and Brighton’s Ecostream, today then please let me know.)

But, hey, guess who is the real master of “indecent trivialisation of the Holocaust”? None other than Joel Beinin himself!

You see, last night, Beinin started discussing Israel’s Prawer Commission Plan to move the Negev’s Bedouin population into far better equipped towns in return for compensation. Beinin described this as “putting them into what would effectively be concentration camps.” (see here from 2 mins. 25 secs.)

Oh, really? So would that be concentration camps like Auschwitz or Treblinka, possibly?

But, of course, Beinin doesn’t indecently trivialise the Holocaust, remember.

Towards the end of the event Beinin said there was a “rightward drift of Israeli society”, “a degradation of whatever there ever was of the democratic process” and “Israel itself, besides the occupation, is heading into an abyss and it’s not clear at all what might stop that.” (see here from 30 secs.)

Abyss means an “An immeasurably deep chasm, depth, or void”. Alternatively, it means “The abode of evil spirits; hell.”

And all this because Beinin once encountered some racists on a Kibbutz?

45 responses to “American Professor tells British audience “Israel is heading into an abyss.”

  1. starofdavidscotland

    What a horses ass he is

    Sent from Els iPad


  2. i guess he dosen;t know that the majority of the Bedouin in the Negev already live in 7 beduoin cities built by the goverment.

  3. There’s no point trying to speculate at all on as to why someone has developed extremely anti Semitic views. It just doesnot help because their whole attitude is so totally illogical. and mad and should be seen as just that.

  4. Heading to an abyss for 65 years now: from developping country to developped one. From poor to reasonably wealthy. From agricultural to high-tech. From under-equipped to (possibly) nuclear power and world-class innovative weapons.
    Let’s hope the abyss will be even deeper than expected.

  5. You people are clueless. Joel Beinin has forgotten more about the history of Israel than all of you collectively will ever know. Try doing some research instead of spewing ill-considered, ignorant nonsense.

    • Instead of spewing ill-considered, ignorant nonsense, John Robertson, why don’t you try answering Richard point-by-point. Yours is a typical Loony Left Israel-basher’s reply – “Try doing some research”. What is your actual point?

    • John Robertson,

      She does make a good point Dr Robertson – as there was surprisingly little substance to your comment.

      Basically, you have called this entire blog “clueless” and “ignorant” for not doing “some research”, so I guess I’d have to ask you how much effort you have made to determine the extent of the research that we have or haven’t carried out. Are you sure that Joel Beinin knows (or “has forgotten”) more than we all do collectively? Or might that statement be based more on your agreement with his far Left opinions than the meticulous comparison that such a judgement would require?

      And if it transpires that another commentator on this blog also shares your radical views, would you immediately determine that he or she also has a greater understanding of Jewish history than everybody else, or would such a statement demand “some research”?

      In short, for someone who demands “some research” of others I wonder how much you did before posting that absurd and insulting comment.

      Here’s a question for you to research: There was a time when many of our critics were daft, but at least some of them were quite diligent. Whatever happened to the diligent ones?

    • Johnny, I do believe that joel beinin has forgotten alot of things.

      Both little you and joel beinin have forgotten:

      – 1988 bombing of passenger plane Pan Am 103
      – 1993 truck bombing of the WTC
      – 9/11 hijacking of four passenger planes and the kamikaze attacks on NYC, Washington DC and Shankesville PA
      – 7/7/05 bombing of London Transport
      – Boston Marathon bombing
      – beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby
      – 1972 hijackiing of the Berlin Olympics and murder of Israeli atheletes
      – Fatwa demanding murder of writer Salman Rushdie
      – Death threats against Danish cartoonists
      – Hanging of gay teen in Fascist Iran
      – Attacks on Egypts Coptic Christian community
      – hamass charter of 1988 – same year that Pan Am 103 was bombed
      – 100,000+ dead in Syria (Arabs killing Arabs) plus 1,000 dead from a poison gas (a WMD) attadk
      – 8 year Iraq/Iran war – 1,000,000 dead
      – Mumbai India massacre
      – Nairobi Kenya massacre
      – Google Images “arab nazi salute”

      How do you and joe beinin explain your intentional forgetfulness?

    • And you should know!
      Interesting how lack of knowledge on this subject is inversely proportionate to a person’s arrogance and proclivity to spewing lies.
      You fit the template perfectly.

  6. The Roman Empire, the Crusader Kingdom, the Byzantines, the Babylonians and many more were once the strongest and most advanced people in the Middle East. They’ve all gone now.

    • Spoken like a true Jewish supremacist, “chaim pesach” !

    • Exactly , Pesach.

      The Jews, minus vast oil wealth, vast numbers, and a land mass almost double the size of the USA, have prevailed against all the odds against their enemies & have returned for good.
      You’ve proven the point perfectly.

      • I told “chihuahua pesach” he had talked like a true Jewish supremacist but he would notblieve me and pretended no one undertstood that. LOL!

      • Yes, yes, all the sock puppets understood it. Yap, yap, yap.

      • “chihuahua pesach” the crypto-Jewish supremacist now gets what everyone else got. Took him a lot if time!
        Guess this guy is someone we have known for too long and making a comeback with a new virgin pseudo.

      • You are as thick as two planks of wood. No, scratch that. that’s insulting to planks of wood everywhere. Yap, yap, yappity yap.

      • “chihuahua pesach” now in full troll mode.

      • The only troll here is you, yappy, so be a good boy and fetch that stick I’ve just thrown in the raging river.

      • “chihuahua pesach”, full throttle trolling mode.

  7. Good grief! I think that Robertson really has gone off to do some research. Good on him.

  8. Just another one in a long line of self-hating Jews. Nothing New.

    • Yeah! He loves dead Jews, like many antisemites: it is the living ones he cannot stand!

    • Hi Ruth,

      Your “shooting the messenger” analogy is problematic. Here we are talking about the man who wrote the message itself, not an innocent courier asked by a third party to carry his dispatch.

      Regarding his pedigree, I wouldn’t get too excited about the fact that he’s published a book, which according to the link you posted is being flogged off by Amazon at about a quarter of its original asking price. I’m guessing that may be linked to the fact that its average customer review is 2/5 with 14 out of 17 reviewers giving it the lowest possible 1.

      Reviews include “Dishonest scholarship indeed” “Completely Skewed- Completely Inaccurate” “Author unfair to Egyptian Jews” (Farouk el Shami) “A false narrative,” “Political filtered, if not outright dishonest” (Ibrahim Ibrahim – Cairo) “Very Confusing” (Hassan – Cairo). I could go on, but it’s all there for you to read on your own link. My point is that the guy may be a genius, but you’ll need to prove it with more than one unsuccessful book.

      I’m sorry that Joel had a bad time on kibbutz, I know others who did too, but they got over it and they didn’t turn their own failings into an philosophy.

      Regarding the message itself that, “Israel is heading into an abyss.” I hardly know where to start in listing the number of “friends” and foes who have made similar predictions since the inception of Israel. In the Torah reading of this week we read of Jacob fighting with an angel of Esau who had tried to destroy the Jewish people even before its establishment. When Jacob had triumphed a voice was heard, “Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Yup, that was where it all began.

      Pretty much since that time our abyss has been predicted. Interestingly there are many who like Haman and Pharaoh who would have been long forgotten, but for the fact that they thought they’d bring about our end. I wonder whether in a few centuries time the only place where such characters as Hitler and Arafat will be remembered will be as footnotes in Jewish history books. Hopefully, by then Amazon will have been able to get rid of their last copy of Joel Beinin’s “Dishonest scholarship”.

      • ah yes, that oh so convenient voice of God coming in at the right moment to keep the agenda going. Nice plot mechanism. Only trouble is, He hasn’t been heard since. Those propagandists who wrote the Torah when they came back from Babylon at the time of Jeremiah and Ezra were brilliant dissemblers and fantasists who put the likes of Tolkein and Rowling in the shade.
        Well I’ve got news for you Daniel. Jacob never existed…though the story is quite cool. And Haman never existed either…and neither did Esther. All invented. All propaganda. The Book of Esther is another vicious little gentile hating fantasy that never occurred.

      • Fantasies exist in old and new stories, religious or not. Most of the propaganda presented here is fantasy with very loose connection to facts.

      • Go on “ruth”. Take logical next step and tell Muslims that muhammed never existed and that “allah” is a fantasy.

        Let’s see how that works out. How open minded Islamists are toward you views.

    • You’re easily impressed.

  9. Yosef: You seem to be one of those incessant addictive commenters who is always quick with a smart ass but completely redundant reply. And you’re obviously not Jewish.

  10. Hi Ruth,

    You seem angry. I’m not sure why. This discussion began by your showing your tremendous respect for Joel Beinin’s pedigree because he had published a book, which as I said is being flogged off cheap on Amazon.

    Strangely, it seems that you have no similar respect for the Book of Books, an all-time bestseller and a book considered sacred by Jews, Christians and Muslims. I detest the chauvinistic “You aren’t a Jew. I am a Jew.” bickering that you are having out with “Jose”. In your case I shall stick out my neck and guess that you are quite definitely “one of us”. I have conducted dialogue with many gentiles and have rarely encountered the kind of fear and hatred towards heritage of the Jewish People as I hear from my self-hating brothers and sisters.

    Ruth, this is probably not the best forum to discuss theology, so instead I’ll tell you about my grandfather. Moshe Mendel was born in Russia, but at the end of the 19th Century his father took him to London and then abandoned him and his mother there. He was a lifetime atheist and in the place where most Jews had Bibles he had the Origin of Species, He refused to attend synagogue, even on Yom Kippur, making rare appearances only for my Bar Mitzvah and that of my cousin. Forced to work from an early age he was only a tailor but an incredible autodidact who could hold his own in debate with any rabbi.

    The last time I saw Papa Moshe was in Edgware General Hospital back in 1975. His stomach was quite bloated and it was clear he was dying. He asked my mother to write his name and address on a piece of paper which he put in his pajama pocket. “Why?” she asked him. “I’m scared.” he replied, “I’m afraid that when I get there nobody will know who I am.”

    I don’t know you Ruth and neither do I know why you’re so angry and disrespectful towards your own heritage. I’m sure that, like Joel Beinin, you have your reasons and they don’t have to be a bad stay on a kibbutz.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you find peace of mind.

  11. Critics of Israel love to constantly say that Israel is on the brink of abyss, disaster etc etc. They hope if they keep saying it then it will become true.

    • Look, in a few billion years, the sun will become a nova and extend up to the orbit of Mars. Israel will have a problem. But the colony of New Israel of Proxima Centauri will survive.

  12. “(That said, if anyone can explain the difference between boycotting Jewish-owned shops in the late 1930s and boycotting Jewish-owned shops, like Covent Garden’s Ahava and Brighton’s Ecostream, today then please let me know.)”

    Is ‘Veolia’ a Jewish-owned shop? ‘Caterpillar’?

    If BDS’ objective was to boycott, Nazi style, Jewish shops and/or businesses how come no other British Jewish businesses are being targeted? How many of these [Jewish businesses] are there in the UK alone? I don’t know but that must run into thousands, easily. Why aren’t these being boycotted, Rich?

    Is your sole purpose now to kowtow to this idiotic coterie a la ‘Jose’ that hangs out here?

    “Oh, really? So would that be concentration camps like Auschwitz or Treblinka, possibly?”

    Again, you’re either being willfully stupid or just cynical. Concentration camps do not equate to death camps like Auschwitz or Treblinka (there’s incidentally still a fundamental difference between these two). The world over opponents of mass internment camps use the term ‘concentration camp’ because it’s quite an accurate descriptor: to concentrate one unwanted demographic in a small area.

    As regards, Israel heading into an ‘abyss’, that’s almost certainly true, if she stays on the current course. It proves the self-defeating nature of certain types of ‘patriotism’ that patriots like you prefer to be willfully blind. The band will keep playing on, of course.

    • Nazis also threatened businesses that would dare make business with Jewish-owned ones. Your argument is thus in favor of Richard’s and not disproving it. Thanks for you (unneeded and very involuntary) help.

    • During the 20th century, the arbitrary internment of civilians by the state reached a climax with Nazi concentration camps (1933–1945). As a result, the term “concentration camp” today carries many of the connotations of “extermination camp” (or “death camp”), and is sometimes used synonymously with these terms by people who are unaware of the original usage pre-1933. Not all Nazi concentration camps were “extermination camps” however. Many were used primarily to house forced labor. The inmates in these camps were held there for the purpose of exploitation, rather than extermination. However, for the many inmates of these “Arbeitslager” or “Forced Labor Camps”, the result was often the same as many did not survive them, dying from malnutrition, disease or simply as a result of the inhuman conditions under which they were kept; effectively extermination through labor.

  13. Concentration camps do not equate to death camps

    how would the world do without experts? By that definition I am sure Bergen-Belsen qualifies as a concentration cam and thus by just concentrating is quite conducive to survival.

    and what about this It consisted of Auschwitz I (the base camp); Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the extermination camp); Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps.

    how can Richard dare to tarnish all these just concentrating places under the one label that meet Gert’s elevated sense of proper word-use.

  14. starofdavidscotland


    Here are some news since we’ve met last time, just read them here

    Looking forward, Elliot