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  KD MAGAZINE! 
יום שישי י"ח באייר, תשס"ה - 27 במאי, 2005
 
  A LETTER FROM MAURICE OSTROFF TO NATFHE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 
About the Author

FORTHCOMING NATFHE CONFERENCE

TO NATFHE Executive Council
Sam Allen NEC President
John Wilkin NEC Vice President
Maureen O'Mara NEC Past President
Fawzi Ibrahim HONORARY TREASURER
Paul Mackney GENERAL SECRETARY

In wishing you a successful conference may I express the hope that NATFHE will not repeat the mistakes of the AUT which brought international derision and diverted attention from the truly valuable work which organizations such as yours are doing to protect the interests of members.

In view of anti-Israel motions proposed at previous NATFHE meetings, it is encouraging to learn that your organization has been moving towards a more balanced position. I understand for example, that your national executive is backing a motion warning that anti-Semitic incidents are increasing and that prejudice against Jews is "becoming acceptable in the UK". Having said that, I emphasize that I do not equate legitimate criticism of actions of the Israeli government as anti-Semitism.

The problem is that much criticism of Israel is not legitimate and is even counterproductive. It is disturbing to observe an organization of academics making important decisions based on faulty information. Indeed it has been alarming to observe the lack of critical thinking and even ignorance exhibited by proponents of anti-Israel boycotts.

Part of the reason must be ascribed to the sophisticated multi billion dollar well oiled and plausible anti-Israel propaganda machine aimed at Israel. That many well-meaning altruistic people have fallen victim is understandable, taking into account that Israel's infinitesimal PR budget cannot possibly compete with the billions spent by Saudi Arabia and others on inciting hatred against Israel. In addition, a multiplicity of covertly pro-Palestinian sites are reinforced by many NGO's which use human rights as a cover for pro-Palestinian agendas, a phenomenon well documented by the NGO Monitor. (http://www.ngo-monitor.org/issues/ford.htm  ) 

Goebbels theory "..tell the biggest lie you can and repeat it often and eventually people will believe it" is proven daily in the mantras repeated so often by Palestinian spokespersons that even intelligent people accept them without bothering to examine their credibility. For example, the claim is frequently made that Israel has flagrantly disregarded UN resolutions, failing to distinguish between Security Council resolutions, which are meant to be peremptory and General Assembly resolutions, which are merely recommendations. A true academic reading of the text and intent of relevant SC resolutions reveals that in fact, Israel has a very good record of compliance and that when Israel is accused of non-compliance with an SC resolution, portions are taken out of context. Is it not strange that no human rights activists have pointed out that by no stretch of imagination, have the Palestinians complied with their 242 obligations to terminate their belligerency and recognize the right of Israel to live in peace in secure and recognized borders, free from threats or acts of force?

The blind application of the apartheid label to Israel, which Palestinians have so successfully promoted, indicates abysmal ignorance of the true facts. Any intelligent study of apartheid South Africa and of Israel shows this comparison to be completely fallacious. In fact none other than South Africa's ambassador to Israel, Major-General Gqiiba has been quoted in an article "Negotiation is the Way" in Johannesburg newspaper The Sowetan, as protesting the use of the apartheid analogy by detractors of Israel, "The accusations are unfounded," he said "The term apartheid is uniquely South African and devalues the struggle of the black population against one of the worst forms of oppression known to man". Which opinion should we value more, that of Ambassador Gqiba who knows apartheid from personal experience as a former commander in the armed wing of the South Africa's ANC liberation movement or ivory tower academics who do not bother to critically analyze the political propaganda to which they are exposed?

I trust that the above comments will assist in some way in evaluating emotional anti-Israel arguments to which you will no doubt be exposed and that some recognition will be given to the indisputable fact that the other side too, bears some responsibility for provoking Israel's military actions. I trust too, that as academics you will seek the facts and examine them impartially while avoiding the trap of being persuaded by emotional rhetoric

Sincerely

Maurice Ostroff


1What is NATFHE?
  From NATFHE's website:

"Welcome to NATFHE: the largest trade union and professional association for lecturers, trainers, researchers and managers working in further and higher education throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland."

 

 
     
 
 
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