Sunday, January 10, 2021

kansasNot in Kansas Anymore: Academic Freedom in Palestinian Universities, by Cary Nelson, is a book-length research paper that exposes the true threats to academic freedom in Palestinian territories.

Unlike what BDS activists claim, the problem is not Israel.

For this book, Nelson has expanded one chapter of his masterful Israel Denial book into this comprehensive treatment of the subject of how Palestinian students have no academic freedom at all, at least when it comes to political speech about Israel and Palestinian leaders.

He describes how the (very) few Palestinian scholars who are moderate in wanting dialogue with Israel have been threatened and nearly killed, noting that pro-Hamas academics are also threatened in the West Bank.

Palestinians like to claim that the annual elections of student bodies at their universities are proxies for regular elections that haven’t been held for 17 years and show how important democratic processes are to them. In fact, these elections are accompanied with intimidation, threats, violence and even armed interference by the Palestinian Authority (and, by proxy, Hamas) to push their own student groups to lead the campus. 

Palestinian academia is a fun-house mirror of American liberal campuses. If a professor says something that makes students uncomfortable, he or she can be threatened by students much more directly and physically than today’s cancel culture.

In Gaza, the idea of academic freedom is a sad joke. All students at Islamic University of Gaza must take one full year of Islamist indoctrination courses.

One amazing section of the book shows an IUG literature  class dissecting a humorous children’s poem by British poet Roger McGough called The Cat’s Protection League about a feline protection racket.  The students are prompted and encouraged to interpret the poem in the most outrageous antisemitic ways, such as assuming that the cats represent Jewish gangsters. Antisemitism pervades academia in Gaza, and no one can oppose that without facing real world consequences.

That is only the tip of the iceberg. West Bank universities compete as to which of them have had students kill the most Jews. Universities are the ideological homes of terrorism, and often the physical homes as well –weapons labs have been built in Gaza universities and one of them held kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for a time. Many terrorists during the second intifada came from West Bank universities, including Ahlam Tamimi who helped bomb the Sbarro pizza shop.

The universities also often praise terrorism. The most infamous case was the exhibit, complete with bloody body parts,  of the same Sbarro attack at An Najah University: The same university more recently displayed mock-ups of a man stabbing a religious Jew and a bloody model of a car running over Jews.

Nelson does point out times that Israel interfered with campus curricula, but that all ended at the end of the first intifada. Palestinian government control and intimidation continues on campus today, to the point that students and professors are self-censoring to stay out of trouble. (He does talk about Israel’s relatively rare raids on campus since then, which are understandable when there is an imminent terror threat but often could be more effective by detaining students at home.)

Nelson also shows how other claims by BDS, that Israel blocks students from going abroad or foreign instructors to come to teach, are exaggerated – Israel does not have any more strict restrictions on those movements than most Western democracies.

Small details in the book are illuminating. For example, Nelson points out that while Israel is roundly castigated for administrative detention, the Palestinian Authority detains hundreds of  people without charge as well, although they are not as forthcoming with the statistics as Israel is. (I follow Palestinian media closely and have never seen any mention of this.)

Another section has a footnote that mentions that Norman Finkelstein actually defended Hamas’ policy of murdering “collaborators” with Israel.

This is the sort of hypocrisy exposed in Not in Kansas Anymore.  The boycotters’ pretense of caring about Palestinian academic freedom is clearly just an excuse to attack Israel as they ignore the far worse crimes that Palestinian students and professors are subject to every day from their own leaders and peers.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



Follow by Email



For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive