Op-Ed: The Ward Churchill of the University of Haifa
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:55 PM
The Eichmann metaphor at Haifa University.
Prof. Steven PlautSteven Plaut teaches at the University of Haifa and is author of "The Scout" (available from Gefen Publishing House). More of his writings can be seen on the New Plaut Blog, as well as in numerous electronic and print newspapers.
Over the past few years, Ward Churchill, an instructor at the University of Colorado, has become the best-known symbol of academic lunacy in the United States. In an essay and then in a "book" authored by Churchill, both with the title On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Consequences of American Conquest and Carnage, published by the "radical and anarchist" publisher AK Press, Churchill wrote that the victims of the 9/11 Al-Qaeda attacks on New York were "the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the Twin Towers."
Instead of repudiating Churchill's lunacy, many on the fringes of the Western Left embraced and endorsed him, not only supporting his "right of free speech," but agreeing with the content of his statements.
An associate professor of theater at the University of Haifa denounces Israeli soldiers as "little Eichmanns."
Churchill has a long history of turning out anti-American hate screeds. He has long tried to pass himself off falsely as an American Indian, a victim of "white Amerika." He has a long track record of defending terrorism and playing apologist for Holocaust deniers.
Churchill teaches "ethnic studies" at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since the "little Eichmanns" incident, a movement led by the Governor of Colorado has sought to get Churchill dismissed from his university job, and those efforts are expected to be successful very shortly.
A bit less well known than Ward Churchill, the University of Haifa has its own faculty member who makes a practice out of Eichmann metaphors, whose comments denouncing Israeli soldiers closely resemble those of Churchill endorsing the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers.
In the Haifa weekly Kolbo, dated February 1, 2002, page 30, Professor Avraham Oz, a far-leftist anti-Israel associate professor of theater at the University of Haifa, denounces Israeli soldiers as "little Eichmanns."
The news clipping above cites Oz as saying in his classroom, in the middle of a lecture that was part of a university course, that "in each of these people [evidently meaning Israeli soldiers] is hiding a little Eichmann." Oz then went on to compare the actions of Israel's military in the "occupied territories" to those of Nazi Germany. Students listening to him were outraged and complained. (That is probably how the newspaper heard about the incident.)
Oz has a long history of denouncing Israel inside his classroom and utilizing his classroom for purposes of political indoctrination. He was earlier denounced for this by Limor Livnat when she served as Minister of Education, who also demanded that Haifa University officers take action regarding Oz.
Oz's credentials to issue fatwas in judgment of Israeli soldiers are that he teaches courses in theater. When contacted for a reaction by the paper, Oz admitted the comments about Eichmann and added that he even was including questions on them in his course exam. Pity the student who does not provide him with the political answers he is seeking in those exam questions.
Oz has tried to organize "Nakba Day" on his campus, together with Pappe.
Oz has long been a defender and ally of Ilan Pappe, denouncing his own dean and drumming up support for Pappe in the infamous "Tantura Affair" fabrication. (Pappe and a student invented a non-existent "massacre" of Arabs by Jews, and had their legal defense fees financed in part by the PLO.) Like Pappe, Oz has also been active in promoting international boycotts of Israel and even of his own university.
He falsely claims his own university "discriminates against Arabs" and he has tried to organize "Nakba Day" on his campus together with Pappe. On Nakba Day, Israel's catastrophic creation would be mourned.
Among Oz's extra-curricular activities is his running an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic chat list named "ALEF" ("Academic Left"), whose members include some of the worst neo-Nazis and anti-Semites on the planet, some of them Jewish. ALEF operates under the auspices of the University of Haifa and is hosted on the University of Haifa computer. A good idea of the nature of ALEF can be derived from the fact that its members engage in debates over whether or not Hitler was "guilty" of anything, and also post praise there for David Irving. Oz only intervenes in the list debates when pro-Israel material is posted there inappropriately.