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Prof. Steven Plaut

Gaza Not Jewish? Speak for Yourselves!

Well, let's put aside for the moment all those stories about Jews spending time in Gaza in the Bible, from King David to Samson. Let's talk about historically unassailable evidence of Gaza being actual, documented Jewish land, long before the Gush Katif settlements were set up. , 5/19/2004, 9:55 PM

Academic Pluralism and Free Speech

<I>L'Affaire Grinberg</I> continues to make waves and arouse fury in Israel. , 5/10/2004, 5:53 PM

Sharon Threatens a Victory

The question is no longer whether or not Ariel Sharon's "Disengagement Plan" will pass the referendum on it to be held today, but rather by which gap the "plan" will be shot down by the Likud voters., 5/2/2004, 7:26 PM

What Is So Great About Israel?

Israeli Independence Day is just behind us. We spend so much time on the mindless, self-destructive, insane side of Israel that we may tend to forget the positive aspects of life in Israel. And there are ever so many of those., 4/29/2004, 11:28 PM

Israel at 56

This week is Memorial Day in Israel and right after it is Independence Day. I have believed for years that the best way to commemorate these days is by turning them into a battle against the loss of perspective., 4/25/2004, 6:26 PM

The Holocaust is Unique

Tomorrow is <I>Yom Hashoah</I>, Holocaust Commemoration Day. As usual, the Jewish Left will strive to commemorate the Holocaust by trying to promote a second one...., 4/18/2004, 5:06 PM

A Passover Story

One day the two were looking for someone from whom they could <I>schnorr</I> some food when they came upon a Jewish village, a <I>shtetl</I>, whose residents were all buzzing about, hurrying, scouring pots and pans, cleaning their homes and cooking. The Jewish beggar suddenly realized that it was but a few hours before Passover was to begin. , 4/11/2004, 4:15 PM

The PC Makeover of Passover

In recent years, Passover has undergone a make-over in the American Jewish non-Orthodox community. This make-over has converted it largely into a holiday devoted to celebrating human rights, protesting a long list of human rights abuses and promoting fashionable causes. The remake seems designed to make Passover a cosmopolitan holiday, one with a universal message in which all can join; in essence, 4/7/2004, 3:21 PM

Trashing Israel With a Grin

Lev Grinberg is an Argentina-born senior lecturer in behavioral science at BGU, who was rescued from Argentinean violence and economic crises when granted citizenship in a welcoming Israel.(3) Do not bother writing his department chair about him though, because the latter is almost as extremist as Grinberg. , 4/2/2004, 12:29 PM

It Does Not Matter

<I>"The nations have heard of it and are enraged; panic and shuddering have seized the denizens of Philistine Gaza. The leaders of Edom are frightened, while the champions of Moab tremble. And the courage of the pagan Canaanites melts away. Fear and panic have fallen upon them; for Your mighty arm crushes them like a stone, while Your people proceed ahead."</I> , 3/25/2004, 9:12 PM

Association for Civil Rights in Israel - Isn't

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is an anti-democratic extremist group that does <I>not</I> endorse free speech. , 3/21/2004, 9:21 PM

Parallel Universe

It was like a parallel universe, not the one we are familiar with. The "activists" and "militants" were suddenly referred to as "terrorists". Even CNN and the BBC discovered the "T" word., 3/14/2004, 3:01 PM

The Real Choice: Fight or Be Destroyed

It has been repeated so endlessly and so mindlessly that Palestinian terror is a supposed consequence of Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza that the most glaring and obvious fact of all is being ignored by the entire world. Palestinian terrorism these past eleven years was not caused by Israeli occupation, but by its <I>removal</I>. , 3/9/2004, 2:38 PM

[Repost] The Un-Greening of <i>Tu B'Shvat</I>

Almost everything that most people "know" about <i>Tu B'Shvat</i> is totally wrong and completely false. <i>Tu B'Shvat</i>, the 15th day of the month of Shvat in the Jewish calendar, has been deconstructed in recent years and converted into a holiday of ecology and environmentalist political agitprop. , 2/5/2004, 6:35 PM

An Open Letter to a Neturei Karta Leader

Among those I received were a series of email letters from someone associated with the wacko Neturei Karta movement, and - if I am not mistaken - he is actually the guy who runs their anti-Israel websites. He and I have carried on a correspondence of sorts all week. Below I have collected the essence of the notes I sent him and compiled them into this "Open Letter"., 2/3/2004, 5:48 PM

I Am Ashamed to Be an Israeli

I have spent most of the past 12 years being ashamed to be an Israeli. Israeli governments made me ashamed, and they did so by abasing, disgracing and humiliating me as a Jew and as an Israeli., 1/29/2004, 11:20 PM

A Concise Explanation of the Arab-Israeli War

Myth #10: The key to peace is granting Palestinians hope. Truth #10: The key to peace is taking away Palestinian hope (of destroying Israel)., 1/27/2004, 6:24 PM

The Israeli Left Defends Art

Ah, the Israeli Left! Every day brings us new wonders from it, new manifestations of anti-Semitism and treason., 1/20/2004, 6:21 PM

An Israeli Molotov-Ribbentrop Turnabout

The Israeli Left today takes its cues from the PLO the same way that the Communists in the late 1930s and 1940s took their cues from the Comintern. No sooner had Sharon and the Likud begun construction of the security wall than the Israeli Left and its amen choruses from around the world started a coordinated totalitarian campaign <i>against</I> it!, 1/15/2004, 7:09 PM

Us Beautiful People Opposed to Occupation

Who us? <i>Us?</i> But we are the beautiful people. We love peace. We pet cats. We sing Joan Baez songs. We believe in the brotherhood of peoples. So how dare you fire bullets at us?, 12/31/2003, 1:13 AM

Financial Aggression Against Israel

In the current world jihad against Israeli existence, it is usually presumed that the worst manifestation is anti-Jewish terrorism and military aggression by the Arab Islamofascists. But in the long run, it may turn out that an even more destructive form of aggression against Israel and the Jews is the financial aggression of those seeking Israel's destruction. This takes the form of pumping megab, 12/26/2003, 10:39 AM

Hannuka Among the Hellenists

Of all the Jewish holidays, the one that I think best captures the contemporary Jewish <i>zeitgeist</i>, the one that is the most relevant to the current (and, if certain trends are not reversed, the last?) chapter in Jewish history, is Hannuka. , 12/22/2003, 6:44 PM

The Derelict from Tikrit

I find myself contemplating that as I sit back and sip sangria as part of the celebrations of the downfall of Saddam Hussein. What a great day to be an American! What a great day to be an Israeli! What a great day to be a Jew!, 12/16/2003, 6:05 PM

Human Rights for a Beilinized Likud

Human rights are a strange thing, especially when they fall into the hands of the fundamentalist Left. That is because the Left has its own ideas regarding what constitutes human rights. , 12/11/2003, 7:18 PM

A Program for Israeli Self-Annihilation

The "Geneva Agreement" that Israel's Far Left has cooked up with the PLO is such a long-winded and complex manuscript that very few can really work their way through all the prose and technicalities, and even fewer can understand the implications of the intentional confusions and duplicitous obfuscation in the text. , 12/8/2003, 6:53 PM

Increasingly Selective Democracy

In a surprise development, it has just been learned that Israeli police, tipped off by the Mossad, have arrested controversial author Salman Rushdie. The exiled Iranian writer had been on a private visit to Israel. , 11/30/2003, 3:22 PM

The PC Assault on Israel

In November, 1994, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the subject of affirmative action held at Tel Aviv University, sponsored by the Department of Policy Studies. Attendance at the afternoon seminar was mandatory for students in the department. I presumed that the discussion was to be high-level and academic, and that my role - as the only economist participating - would be to , 11/25/2003, 5:53 PM

Fundamentalist Leftist Spooks

Future historians are going to have a great deal of difficulty in explaining how Israel could possibly have been overcome with mass stupidity to the extent that it has been, or how Israel could still have been pursuing accords and deals with the PLO ten years after Oslo. , 11/19/2003, 10:02 PM

Selective Free Speech

The timing could not be more amusing. On the very day when the British courts were preventing overseas papers from being distributed in the UK because they might carry a story the court censor regards as inflammatory and libelous, Israel?s Supreme Court handed down its ruling in favor of free speech absolutism for Arab fascists and leftist traitors (only)., 11/13/2003, 9:33 PM

The Day Israel Abandoned Appeasement

The new head of state in Israel took office some time after his earlier mentor was assassinated. He initiated at once a policy of appeasement. Appeasement was openly advocated and declared, especially regarding the brutal dictator in Syria. The Israeli head of state offered the Syrian dictator everything imaginable and then some. When he was criticized by people opposed to his policies, he had the, 11/11/2003, 4:57 PM

Rabin: A Bludgeon Against Free Speech

Today is the eight anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, according to the Jewish calendar. And while it is hardly Rabin's fault, that assassination will be eternally linked in my mind - and I presume in many others - with the ferocious campaign against free speech launched by Rabin's followers after the murder., 11/2/2003, 4:40 PM

"Painful" Concessions

In recent years, one of the mantras heard so often in Israel is the insistence that Israel must make painful concessions for peace. Naturally, in all cases, those demanding the painful concessions have been incapable of delivering any peace., 10/31/2003, 12:27 AM

Totalitarian Purity is Restored

Yet another nail was banged this week into the coffin of Israeli democracy. On Monday, the McCarthyist Left succeeded, at long last, in shutting down Arutz-7, the main voice of non-leftist dissidence in Israel. This under a government headed by Ariel Sharon., 10/22/2003, 5:47 PM

The Geneva Misunderstandings

The Israeli Left continues to promote the "Geneva Understandings", the document produced by Yossi Beilin, the Mother Hen of the Oslo Massacres, together with a PLO terrorist leader and two numbskull Swiss professors whose ability to tie their shoes is in doubt. , 10/19/2003, 6:26 PM

How Do You Know Until You Try?

Since the beginning of the Oslo war process, the mantra of the Oslo Left has always been, "But how do we really know until we try?", 10/13/2003, 12:54 PM

Achan's Legacy and the Yom Kippur War

It is 30 years since the Labor Party debacle of the Yom Kippur War. Ever since that horrid day in 1973, I have been unable to get through a Yom Kippur without thinking of those traumas. And ever since 1973, I have associated the Yom Kippur War with the Biblical character of Achan., 10/5/2003, 11:27 AM

Anti-Semites? Who, Us?

Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism and Israeli policies. The two have nothing to do with one another. Venus and Mars. Night and day. Trust us., 9/23/2003, 4:04 PM

The Hero

Ron ordered his troops to face down the thugs and hooligans. To keep things under control, he ordered snipers to take positions, just in case. Just in case happened. The hordes attacked his police with Molotovs and rocks, while threatening more lynchings. The snipers opened fire. They killed 12 Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian. The pogroms stopped cold. , 9/12/2003, 10:07 AM

On Jewish Self-Criticism

When Leftists call for moral self-criticism, they mean they want to criticize and condemn <i>you</i>. They never think that they themselves ought to be the focus of criticism, because they can never err. The Pope may be seen by Catholics as infallible, but only in matters of theology; Leftists are infallible in everything. , 9/7/2003, 6:17 PM

Orr for the <i>Goyim</I>

As background to all this, let us recall what actually happened in the fall of 2000. After Ehud Barak presented Yasser Arafat with Israel's program for self-annihilation at Camp David II, which Arafat rejected because it destroyed Israel too slowly, Arafat ordered his hordes to attack the Jews and murder them everywhere. Those riots began around Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. While they have s, 9/3/2003, 4:40 PM

Peres? Letter to the Indian PM

The attacks on Bombay came because you have been insufficiently sensitive in understanding the needs of Moslem fundamentalists. You took their rhetoric at face value, whereas <i>we</I> in Israel know that all this rhetoric is empty and in fact these people simply want peace. Sure, they praise Hitler and celebrate atrocities, but what is it that they <i>really</i> want? You must negotiate even whil, 8/27/2003, 6:58 PM

All the Middle East?s a Stage

Shakespeare said that ?all the world?s a stage?, but in fact it is mainly the Middle East that is a stage. It is a performance theater in which everyone is pretending and posturing and acting out parts in skits, prancing across the stage in costume and ballet tutu., 8/25/2003, 6:18 PM

The Moloch Peace Process

The Oslo Appease Process is misnamed. So is the Road Map. They are nothing new. Indeed, the correct name for them is the Cult of Moloch. Anyone with any doubts should just look at this evening?s news and the latest mass murder for peace. The Cult of Moloch has ruled Israel since 1993, under both Labor and Likud governments. , 8/20/2003, 9:26 PM

Joshua's Missing Chapters

In the coming days, the Canaanites escalate their conflict. They start sending epistle bombs, consisting of parchment wrapped around explosives, to homes of the Israelites. They invade several villages of Israelites and burn down their homes. They fire catapults randomly into Israelite civilian tents and homes. , 8/10/2003, 1:17 PM

King Sweeney Meets Bin Laden

The entire Oslo "peace process" and the "Road Map" are based on the naive American civic dogma, adopted by Israeli politicians, holding that the vast majority of Palestinians must want peace with Israel. , 7/30/2003, 11:14 PM

The Greek Way to a More Democratic Israel

This reform would act as an enormous deterrent to the advocacy of foolhardy and poorly thought-through policy to begin with. It would force Knesset members to do homework and actually think through policy problems. The more cautious might even do a bit of reading, including of policy analysis. , 7/16/2003, 10:09 PM

Israel's <i>Hudna</i> Capitulation

The New "Road Map" is, in many ways, worse than the original Oslo fiasco. Ariel Sharon is increasingly likely to go down in history as even a more destructive and foolish leader than the original Oslo junta. , 7/7/2003, 9:01 PM

July 4: Patriots, Refugees and the Right of Return

When the War of Independence began, it quickly assumed the nature of a civil war. Those opposing the declaration of statehood fought alongside the organized armies of their kinsmen that invaded the territory of the infant state from all directions. The fighting was bloody, and the opponents of independence used terrorism against the population defending statehood. The country was partitioned betwe, 7/4/2003, 12:00 AM

Blood Libel at <i>Haaretz</I>?

<i>Haaretz</i> is Israel?s most radically Far Left and Post-Zionist newspaper.... It features among its stable of Near-Solid-Pink commentators such <i>illuminati</i> as Amira Hass and Gideon Levy, people who have never heard of any Palestinian atrocities committed against Jews worth denouncing, or that were not the understandable response to ?occupation?.... Its editorials are generally more pro-A, 6/24/2003, 8:36 PM

The Oslo Ratchet

It is one of those glaring, obvious points that are so seldom mentioned in polite circles. The simple fact of the matter is that the level of violence that Israel needs to use to suppress Palestinian savagery is constantly being ratcheted up because of Israeli niceness and restraint., 6/23/2003, 6:35 PM

The Road Map of the Harlot

[S]he is best known to us as Delilah, the harlot of Gaza. It was then that Samson went to her and lay with her. Reveal to me your true vulnerability, she insisted. I will not use it against you. Trust me. We will dwell together in peace., 6/12/2003, 10:52 AM

Another Attack on Free Speech

Free speech in Israel suffered yet another defeat this week. Left-wing McCarthyism enjoyed yet another victory. , 6/4/2003, 7:00 PM

Not Harmless Posturing

For the past decade, Israel has been fundamentally anti-democratic in one crucial sense. Every single government except for that of Ehud Barak was headed by people who ran on one political platform and then did the exact opposite. Only Barak did what he stated he would do., 5/27/2003, 8:14 PM

Israel?s Caring Left

I have long believed that the one time the Left is even more dangerous than when it is pursuing "peace" is when the Left suddenly gets all caring-pooh about the underprivileged. When Leftists decide to go on a jihad against inequality, the time has come to hide your wallet and take a long sabbatical in New Zealand., 5/22/2003, 7:32 PM

Some Minor Modifications

Well, US Secretary of State Colin Powell and President George W. Bush now want Israel to sign on to the ?Road Map?, but have left open the door for Israel to add a few minor corrections and amendments to the plan. , 5/18/2003, 6:54 PM

The End of the Road Map

The morning after the Palestine Independence celebrations, the message arrived in the Israeli parliament, brought in by special messenger. The newly formed government of Palestine had only a small number of issues it would like to discuss with Israel. It proposed that peaceful relations be officially consummated as soon as Israel turned over to Palestine the Galilee and the Negev regions., 5/13/2003, 6:40 PM

Oslo Revisionism

Of all the developments in Israel over the past couple of years, I find the very scariest and most dangerous to be the emergence of a new form of historic revisionism that should be called ?Oslo Revisionism?. Like Holocaust revisionism, the fashionable term for Holocaust Denial, this is a nefarious attempt to rewrite history and invent a false narrative regarding the history of the Oslo peace proc, 5/9/2003, 12:12 PM