The Academic Friends of Israel


14 August 2006 

Dear Colleagues

I have included in this digest a series of recently published articles about the war in Lebanon and their effect on the academic boycott and extremism on campus.

There are also three pieces on George Galloway MP and his Respect party. The articles about extremism on campus relate to the recent arrest of the head of the Islamic Society at London Metropolitan University and extremism on campus. This of course is nothing new as I have also included two articles from last year which first brought this to our notice.

The first three articles come from Canadian newspapers and when Britain was a liberal society these were the sort of articles that used to be regularly published here, but sadly not any longer.

Ronnie Fraser

Academic Friends of Israel 

The Brink of Madness
A familiar place.
August 4, 2006
Victor Davis Hanson National Review Online

When I used to read about the 1930s — the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the appeasement in France and Britain, the murderous duplicity of the Soviet Union, and the racist Japanese murdering in China — I never could quite figure out why, during those bleak years, Western Europeans and those in the United States did not speak out and condemn the growing madness, if only to defend the millennia-long promise of Western liberalism.

Of course, the trauma of the Great War was all too fresh, and the utopian hopes for the League of Nations were not yet dashed. The Great Depression made the thought of rearmament seem absurd. The connivances of Stalin with Hitler — both satanic, yet sometimes in alliance, sometimes not — could confuse political judgments.

But nevertheless it is still surreal to reread the fantasies of Chamberlain, Daladier, and Pope Pius, or the stump speeches by Charles Lindbergh (“Their [the Jews’] greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government”) or Father Coughlin (“Many people are beginning to wonder whom they should fear most — the Roosevelt-Churchill combination or the Hitler-Mussolini combination.”) — and it is even more baffling to consider that such men ever had any influence.

Not any longer.

Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity………
 To read more:

It all begins with hatred

A Liberal MP spots the war's 'root cause': Hezbollah's genocidal ideology

Irwin Cotler, National Post August 09, 2006

If we want to prevent further tragedies in the Israel-Hamas-Hezbollah war, we have to go behind the headlines and find the war's real root causes.The trigger for the present hostilities on both Israel's southern border with Hamas and its northern border with Hezbollah was not only the kidnapping of three solders (and the killing of others), but deliberate and unprovoked attacks across internationally recognized borders since Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005……….

Two crucial questions on Israel v. its enemies

The Globe and Mail, Canada –Editorial  7th August 2006

When puzzling out the rights and wrongs of the Middle East conflict, it's helpful to pose two questions. Question one: If Israel stopped attacking Hezbollah, would Hezbollah stop attacking Israel?The clear answer is no. Hezbollah rocket attacks and cross-border guerrilla raids had been going on for years before the current hostilities broke out, and they would certainly start up again sooner or later even if Israel ceased firing and swore never to venture into Lebanon again. The last time Israel pulled back, when it ended its 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah hailed it as a great victory, rushed to rearm and started to strike across the border at Israelis.Question two turns things around. If Hezbollah stopped attacking Israel, would Israel stop attacking Hezbollah? Just as clearly, the answer is yes……..

To read more:


Boycotting Israeli Academia: In-Depth Look

A discussion has been circulating about the effectiveness of an academic boycott against Israeli institutions and academics who actively support the Israeli occupation….. By Rose Aslan

To read more: 

Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel

August 4, 2006

We call upon the International community to join us in the boycott of Israeli film festivals, Israeli public venues, and Israeli institutions supported by the government, and to end all cooperation with these cultural and artistic institutions that to date have refused to take a stand against the Occupation, the root cause for this colonial conflict.

To read more:

Israel's Racial Ideology: The Case for Boycotting Israel
by VIRGINIA TILLEY August 05, 2006

A coordinated movement of divestment, sanctions, and boycotts against Israel must convene to contain not only Israel's aggressive acts and crimes against humanitarian law but also, as in South Africa, it’s founding racist logics that inspired and still drive the entire Palestinian problem. That second goal of the boycott campaign is indeed the primary one. Calls for a boycott have long cited specific crimes...But the boycott cannot target these practices alone. It must target their ideological source. The true offence to the international community is the racist motivation for these practices, which violates fundamental values...That racial ideology isn't subtle or obscure...This open official racism and its attendant violence casts Israel into the ranks of pariah states, of which South Africa was the former banner emblem...
To read more:

Campuses ‘more a security threat than mosques’

The Financial Times Jon Boone August 11 2006

 British universities now constitute a greater security threat than radical Mosques and Islamic community centres and need to do far more to monitor on-campus extremism, a security expert has warned.The risk of higher education institutions being used as a recruitment ground for terrorists was put into focus by reports that one of the plane bomb plot suspects, Waheed Zaman, is head of the Islamic Society at London Metropolitan University.

Professor Anthony Glees, director of the Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at Brunel University, said the security services would have to do much more, including spying on students and using moderate Muslims to inform on suspicious activity.He said: “It is inevitable that academics will have to be much more aware of the problem on campuses, rather than just ignoring it as they do now.”The Association of University Chief Security Officers are to launch a counter-terrorism group early next year that will allow universities to use intelligence form Special Branch and other domestic and international security services.

Professor Glees said universities did not know enough about their students, particularly those that gain a place through the “clearing” process which starts next week. He called for all applicants to receive a face-to-face interview before gaining a place.Shiraz Maher, a former regional officer for the Yorkshire region of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the radical group the government threatened to ban last year, said vice-chancellors had been “wilfully negligent” about the growing problem. Mr Maher, who has now abandoned his own radical views, said extremist groups typically target lonely and disorientated students when they first arrive.

Non-alchoholic social and sporting events are used to offer alternatives to socialising in pubs and clubs and trust is won by being friendly and supportive.“While the media focus on radical mosques it is universities where the new Muslim middle-class is emerging and where their views are be shaped,” he said.Universities UK, the umbrella group for higher education institutions, denied they were complacent about tackling campus extremism and said universities regularly consult student groups and work with the police.“Our guidelines reflect the fact that universities have always been places where free debate and the interchange of ideas have been encouraged and this must be allowed to continue.

Nevertheless, universities are also conscious of the need to support and ensure civic safety. We all have a responsibility to be aware of these issues in the current climate, and universities are no different from the wider society in this respect.

University students at centre of terror plots

The Sunday Telegraph 13 August 2006
Roya Nikkhah, Andrew Alderson and Julie Henry;jsessionid=Q0ONYR3EDJSG1QFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2006/08/13/nplot13.xml  

No More Hate Crimes on Campus, Say NATFHE, NUS and UNISON

University Staff and Students Come Together to Welcome Guidelines on Hate Crime on Campus

09 November 2005

Islamic extremism goes underground at Britain's universities        

The Sunday Telegraph

17 July 2005 Julie Henry 

The Massacre at Qana: Was Racism and Fundamentalism a Factor?  August 1, 2006  

By Omar Barghouti

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora condemned Israel's massacre in Qana today as a "heinous crime" and called Israeli leaders "war criminals." Reacting to an earlier atrocity, he wondered: "Is the value of human life in Lebanon less than that of the citizens of other countries?"[1] The answer, at least as far as Israel is concerned, is an unambiguous "yes!" Israel's latest bloodbath, which claimed the lives of dozens of children and women hiding from the relentless bombing in what they hoped was a secure basement in Qana, betrays not only Israel's criminal disregard for the value of Arab human life, a typical colonial attitude towards natives, but also its increasingly fundamentalist perception of Gentiles in general as lesser humans……….

To read more:   

Motion passed by the National Union of Students National Executive Committee

condemns George Galloway for his comments and support for the racist, antisemitic, fascist leader of Hezbollah…….. To read the full motion  

British MP George Galloway Asks Al-Jazeera Viewers for Funds and Says: Bush-Blair Relations Resemble Clinton-Monica Relations; Arab Rulers are Fornicating with Foreign Occupiers

Respect Wipes Israel off the Map

Respect passed the following policy in 2004: "Conference believes in national self-determination for oppressed peoples, specifically for Iraqis, Palestinians, Kurds and Kashmiris."

Israelis are not an "oppressed people", so Respect does not support their "national self-determination".

In fact, Respect have produced a map, showing Lebanon and Syria. In the north of Israel are printed the words "occupied Palestine". Have a look 



 The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks 

Advisory Board: 

 Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld - Chairman of the Board of Fellows, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Henry Grunwald Q.C. - President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Amir Lev

John D A Levy - Director of the Academic Study Group on Israel and the Middle East

Andrew R. Marks, M.D. - Columbia University, USA

Dr Robin Stamler

Professor Leslie Wagner CBE

Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham 


The Academic Friends of Israel Ltd is limited by guarantee and registered in England No 5297417.