1. Leftism is a form of herd behavior. Leftists sit back to see what other leftists are saying so that they will know what they themselves should think. Leftist petitions are signed by leftists who see that other leftists have signed them.
Among the most common signers of petitions in Israel supporting the radical Left's agenda are the members of Israel's Literary Left. The best known of these are A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, and David Grossman, but there are perhaps two dozen others less well known.
It took me a few minutes to realize that it was not someone who was running a spoof of the Literary Left when I saw that Haaretz on August 30. It carried a large ad containing a brand new petition signed by Israel's Literary Left. The petition itself concerns a recent leftist cause célèbre, the attempts to evict the "Cave Dwellers of South Mount Hebron." The signers support the "cave dwellers." Basically the ruckus concerns some illegal Arab squatters on land that belongs to the Israeli military south of Hebron and is used as a firing range. The squatters claim they live in caves in the area and have done so for ages. They are lying. But the Left has embraced their cause.
Allegations by Arabs constitute ironclad proof in the minds of leftists. Some of the facts about the matter, as opposed to leftist fiction, can be read here: http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_print=1&x_context=6&x_article=1892 . If I move into Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico tomorrow and claim it belongs to me, guess how long it will take for the state troopers to toss me into the klink.
The Literary Left recently decided to adopt the cause of the "cave dwellers." Basically the rationale of these people is that if Arabs want something and then do not get what they want, then a great injustice must be taking place. Strangely when Jews fail to get things that they want this never triggers literary petitions.
So the Literary Left placed an ad with their petition in Haaretz. It contains 24 names. And I am not making this up: one of the names is Yoram Kaniuk! Why is this noteworthy? BECAUSE KANIUK DIED THREE MONTHS AGO!!! His name appears on the ad as Yoram Kaniuk RIP.
So how exactly did Kaniuk arise from his grave to sign this petition? The answer is that he did not have to. He no doubt gave his herd mates permission to add his name to any petition they would sign in the future. The literary analogue of a blank check (or a pre-nup?). The Left knows that someone does not have to be ALIVE to sign a petition!
When I finally contained my laughter and brought my bladder under control upon seeing this, I started imagining other petitions the Left might consider publishing in Haaretz. I mean, why stop with just one dead signer? Why not compose entire petitions of signatures of dead leftists? They could be called the Dead Poets Society.
Here are a whole bunch of people who could be added as signers: http://www.pacbi.com/cms/alerts.php?pid=16&id=200.
If challenged, the petition sponsors can always say that the signer had texted their agreement to sign in SMS messages sent from hell.
2. Allow us to introduce you to Professor Ruth Tsoffar, who teaches comparative literature and "women's studies" at the University of Michigan. An Israeli leftist expatriate, she holds a PhD in Near East Studies from the anti-Israel department of same at Berkeley, and her thesis supervisors were radical haters of Israel including Daniel Boyarin. She is a member of radical anti-Israel pro-terror groups and has supported BDS economic warfare against Israel. She is clearly part of the tiny Mizrachi communist anti-Zionist movement headed by Yehouda Shenhav and his so-called Mizrachi Democratic Rainbow organization.
And she is an anti-democratic leftist skank. Let me explain.
Comrade Tsoffar has as Op-Ed in Haaretz from August 30, 2013 demanding that Israel pass a law making it a crime to use the word "freicha." Her call for suppression of freedom of speech appears under the heading "A Law against Ethnic Harassment." It can be read in Hebrew here: http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/.premium-1.2109717 (the Haaretz English edition does not carry it).
The word "freicha" is Israeli slang for skank. The term is used pretty much the same way "skank" is, although in some contexts or when used by some people it carries the implication of a Oriental Jewish woman skank. It does not necessarily carry such an association, and I regularly use the word to refer to women leftist academics, almost all of whom are Ashkenazi. It also does not really serve as a derogatory term for stupid uncivilized WOMEN, since there is a companion slang word "freich" that refers to stupid uncivilized men. Both of these are actually derivative from the word "freier," Israeli slang for sucker (and having German etymological roots).
Anyhow, Sister Tsoffar is all upset because Israelis use the word freicha in speech. She cites the use of the word by a Likud Knesset member against another Knesset member four years ago, which Tsoffar claims was a "crisis and cultural emergency." Huh?
Tsoffar's conclusion from this premise is that Israel needs to pass a law that criminalizes the use of the word "freicha." She compares the word to the N-word in the United States, saying it is just as bad. The word epitomizes "ethnic discrimination" in Israel she says, as well as bigotry towards lower economic classes. Moreover, its use directly causes violence against women, and her evidence for this amazing assertion is that she thinks so. She demands a legal speech code that would lead to indictments of people who use such slang terms as "freicha."
Now Tsoffar has spent so much of her adult life in the US in Michigan and Berkeley that one might suppose that she has learned a thing or three about America. One would be wrong.
Let us begin by noting that the use of the "N word" is not illegal in the United States. If it were, then every rap "singer" would be in prison, and now that I think about it that might not be such a bad eventuality. In any case, sure, civilized people in polite company do not use the word, and someone using it in a bar would likely get punched in the nose. Judges might consider the use of the word hate speech that justifies such a punch. But using the word is protected speech. It will not get you arrested. And it goes without saying that no one could ever be indicted in the US for using the word "skank." If used to refer to a leftist "women's studies" professor at a university known for its anti-Israel radicalism, I think we would all applaud.
Tsoffar is opposed to freedom of speech. She wants words and sentences that she considers to be insensitive to be prohibited by law. Of course she has emigrated to the US and would not be affected by any such censorship in Israel, should her proposal ever be adopted. Tsoffar is not just anti-Israel and goofy, she is a leftwing fascist.
And a pseudo-academic skank.
3. Now would be a good time to remind everyone of the "deal" with Syria that Israel almost signed in 2000, the deal that would have placed Bashar Asad's stormtroopers on the very beaches of the Lake of Galilee. (And if the al-Qaeda opposition in Syria takes over now, then THEY would be the ones bathing in the Sea of Galilee had that "deal" gone through.)
That almost-deal was largely the "fruits" of the efforts of Itamar Rabinovich, who had served as president of Tel Aviv University in the 1990s, and later served as Israeli Ambassador to the US. Rabinovich is a leftist who claims to be an expert on Syria. He lobbied throughout the 1990s for a "deal" with Syria that would have "returned" the entire Golan Heights to Syria, smack up to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, in exchange for some sort of murky proclamation on a worthless piece of paper. His devotion to academic freedom and democracy can be seen in the fact that as President of Tel Aviv University he once called the President of the University of Haifa to urge that punitive actions be taken against me by the University of Haifa because I had criticized the politicization at Tel Aviv University. (To its credit, the University of Haifa chiefs dismissed the demands by Rabinovich with mirth.)
Rabinovich was behind the attempt by Ehud Barak to strike a blitz-deal with Syria in 2000, when Barak was Prime Minister. Fortunately for the world, Syria was so greedy that it refused to accept the total capitulation it was being offered by Barak. It also wanted swaths of the Galilee. While Israel has been harmed by the behavior of many people at Tel Aviv University, nothing comes close to what Rabinovich nearly caused.
Rabinovich may have done more to endanger Israel's very existence than anyone since the Labor Party fiasco at the start of the Yom Kippur War, whose 40th anniversary is coming up in a few days.