Sunday, January 19, 2014

College sociology textbook peddles anti-Israel lies - and excuses for Bin Laden

The University of Calgary (and maybe many others)  is using a textbook called "Culture of Prejudice: Arguments in Critical Social Science," (2003, 2008) by Judith C. Blackwell, Murray E. G. Smith, and John S. Sorenson.

Here is part of the blurb for the book:

Contesting the putative "even-handedness" of many introductory social science texts, this innovative book presents strong and provocative arguments on contemporary social issues that will stimulate readers to think critically. The principal theme of the book is that social science is at its best, and most exciting, when it confronts and refutes "cultures of prejudice"—intricate systems of beliefs and attitudes that sustain many forms of social oppression and that are, themselves, sustained byignorance and fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar. Such a critical social science, it is argued, can make an important contribution to promoting human freedom and extending human capacities.

As we will see, the book does the the exact opposite of its stated purpose.

Here are two passages:

Often, nationalist ideologues propose a mystical attachment with certain territory. Where nationalism is aligned with or defined by religious identity, it may even be asserted that the group has been given the right to this territory by the authority of a supernatural being. Thus, a Chosen People will need to inhabit its Holy Land in order to fulfill its divine covenant,with unfortunate consequences for any other populations who may inhabit the territory but who are not considered part of the nation. For example, European invaders and their descendants imagined they had a Manifest Destiny to acquire the Americas and nearly exterminated the indigenous population in the course of taking possession. More recently, supernatural sanctions have been invoked by Israelis who violently dispossessed the population of Palestine. As Israel came to be defined as a Jewish state, promised to them long ago by a supernatural being, most of the Palestinian population was expelled; approximately 4.5 million still live there as refugees. Millions of Palestinians remain under military occupation, under constant surveillance and regular attack by Israeli forces, including tanks, fighter planes, and helicopter gunships. Their houses and land have been destroyed or expropriated and given to hundreds of thousands of armed settlers. Former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir simply dismissed their suffering by asserting that “Palestinians do not exist." While international media audiences are well informed about the dreadful attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers, the far higher rate of Palestinian deaths and casualties is defended as retaliations or self-defence. The 1993 Oslo peace process simply gave an extremely constrained form of power to Yassir Arafat's corrupt regime, while allowing the occupation to continue.
How many inaccuracies and baldfaced lies are in this single paragraph? Zionists did not historically invoke the "Chosen People" phrase to justify their desire to return to their ancestral lands; indeed one has nothing to do with the other. (That part alone is borderline antisemitic.) It is  a lie to say that most of the Arabs were "expelled." There are not 4.5 million "refugees" living in the borders of British Mandate Palestine even by the bizarre UNRWA definitions. Palestinian Arabs are not under "regular attack." None of their houses have been "given" to "armed settlers." Golda Meir never said the phrase"Palestinians do not exist." (The authors quote it twice in this book.)

This is a college textbook, being used, today, where I can count at least 6 lies in a single paragraph.

Here's another passage:
One thing leads to another. Osama bin Laden and his al Qteda terrorist organization presented three conditions for ending their “holy war” against the United States both before and after the events of September 11, 2001: first, that Israel retreat from the territories that it occupied in 1967 and that an autonomous Palestinian state be recognized; second, that the trade sanctions imposed upon Iraq that have cost the lives of over one and a half million people, most of them children, over the last decade be lifted; and third, that United States military bases established in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War of 1991 be closed. An overwhelming majority of humankind would likely sympathize with these demands, even as they would condemn bin Laden's methods and reject his program of establishing repressive, fundamentalist theocratic states throughout the “Islamic world.” At the same time, most inhabitants of the Third World-and a great many people elsewhere-would consider the terrorist methods of al Qaeda no more “evil” (to use President George W. Bush's favoured term) than the methods employed by the US and other major powers in maintaining a global order that serves the interests of huge transnational corporations while perpetuating the grinding poverty of billions of people.
Did Bin Laden demand that Israel withdraw to 1967 lines? Did he demand a Palestinian state be recognized? Did he ask that trade sanctions be lifted? (For that matter, did 1.5 million Iraqis die because of these sanctions? )

No. His "letter to America" after 9/11 stated "The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased." His fatwas before 9/11 were to kill every single American and its allies: "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim."

The "letter to America" had, in fact, seven demands, not three, and they do not correspond at all with what this textbook says: 

The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.

What we call you to thirdly is to take an honest stance with yourselves - and I doubt you will do so - to discover that you are a nation without principles or manners, and that the values and principles to you are something which you merely demand from others, not that which you yourself must adhere to.

We also advise you to stop supporting Israel, and to end your support of the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the Chechens and to also cease supporting the Manila Government against the Muslims in Southern Philippines.

We also advise you to pack your luggage and get out of our lands. We desire for your goodness, guidance, and righteousness, so do not force us to send you back as cargo in coffins.

Sixthly, we call upon you to end your support of the corrupt leaders in our countries. Do not interfere in our politics and method of education. Leave us alone, or else expect us in New York and Washington.

We also call you to deal with us and interact with us on the basis of mutual interests and benefits, rather than the policies of sub dual, theft and occupation, and not to continue your policy of supporting the Jews because this will result in more disasters for you.
His second fatwa mentioned three of America's "crimes" and, again, nothing about Israeli "occupation" - he wanted Israel destroyed.

These are only two paragraphs in a book of 359 pages, looking at subjects I know something about. And the anti-Israel rhetoric doesn't end there: on page 330 we are told that while Jordan's killing of thousands of Palestinian Arabs in 1970 was "ghastly" they wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for Israel, on page 61 the same point about Jews claiming the land because of proimises by a "supernatural being" is repeated, on page 67 it says that the US has provided weapons to Israel to "kill large numbers of Palestinians," on page 90 it says that the Mossad uses torture regularly,  on page 69 Israel is explicitly called a "terrorist state."

How many hundreds of distortions and lies are in this book being given to clueless university students?  How can universities allow books that don't have a modicum of fact-checking? Why are the authors not today despised and blacklisted in the world of academia for their horrendous use of lies to push their own political agendas under the cover of "fighting prejudice"?

Isn't using lies to demonize an entire people the very definition of "prejudice"?

And how many other textbooks are being given to college students in the West that are just as filled with lies and distortions?

To say this is outrageous is an understatement.

(h/t Calgary United With Israel)
Elder of Ziyon

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