Thursday, December 2, 2010

Alice Bach Plays the Victim

We have a new addition to the Huffington Post's Whiners Brigade: Alice Bach of Case Western University, whose debut article was already mentioned by Matt the other day but I thought I would take a closer look. The article takes two forms: The first is talking about her new course that she is teaching called "Whose Land Is It Anyway," in which it appears she attempts to undermine Israeli claims to its land, though she will claim this is just "criticism." The second, and more interesting point, is that she is claiming that her and other "pro-Palestinian" professors are being silenced by "right-wing, pro-Israel groups."

Yes, you heard that right. A college professor wrote an article for the Huffington Post, an internet newspaper that gets millions of hits every day. And what did she choose to write about? How she is being "silenced." Vegeta, can we get a read on the Irony Level of this article?

At least.
A couple of things before we get into the article: Ms. Bach likes to claim that she is a mere critic of Israel who is doing nothing more than defending Palestinian rights. Yet in this very article she writes that her course includes "important voices arguing the case that the Israeli Occupation is in reality an ongoing Palestinian genocide, which evoked Holocaust comparisons." So first of all: What does that have to do with claims to the land? Answer: It doesn't. She also talks about the speakers that she brings in specifically for this class (if I understand the article correctly), which include Norman Finkelstein, Ali Abunimah, Alison Weir and Professors Walt and Meirsheimer. The latter two have nothing to do with her course material, and the first three are clearly anti-Israel extremists who (at the very least) lack academic credentials.

The second point is that even though Ms. Bach is a professor at Case Western University, the name of her university is never mentioned in the article itself or in her bio at the bottom. This would not be considered unusual except that she often references personal anecdotes about her experiences at "the University," which include making attacks at on campus groups. She uses the term "the University" nine times in the article. I cannot help but wonder why she would not put in the name of Case Western. Maybe it's nothing. But maybe it is something.

Let's start off with the observation that in the middle of the the article Ms. Bach proves herself to have completely tossed away any kind of academic objectivity, and makes it clear that people who disagree with her not only have no right to be heard but have no legitimacy. Think I'm exaggerating? Read her words:
"While the administration acknowledged that I have academic freedom, they insisted that I must present "both sides" in future events...I, of course, have no problem with presenting compelling and powerful Jewish voices addressing the subjugation of Palestinians under Israeli rule. But I have no desire to use my time and energy to bring defenders of the domination of another people to campus. Certainly, I would not have worked two decades ago to bring defenders of apartheid to campus to provide "balance." It is unreasonable to ask for such balance on Israel and Palestine."
And then she wonders why she is being labeled as "anti-Israel." If the label fits, Ms. Bach, wear it. Still, this is important to keep in mind when going through the rest of the article.

The rest of the article is complaining about she is being harassed by unknown and unnamed villains, with not a link or a shred of proof in sight. This harassment includes "false charges of anti-Semitism merely for presenting Palestinian voice," (sure) "anonymous threats delivered by late-night phone calls," "falsified and misleading accounts and negative comments about pro-Palestinian classes and lectures," (how can a class be "pro-Palestinian?") "outraged emails," "ZOA half-truths," and so forth. By the way, here's an example of that "intimidation." I have no way of knowing how many of these are true, and it is not like Ms. Bach backs up her words, but it is quite ironic because then she declares:
 "It is hard not to be astonished at the melodrama of the ZOA and other organizations supporting them. They persist in their undocumented claims that Jewish students are frightened, indeed persecuted, whenever faculty members expose the realities of the Israeli Occupation...I have not seen any evidence of persecution of Jewish students on my campus or the campuses of my colleagues."
 Right, okay. So when you claim that you are persecuted, we are just supposed to believe you. But when the Jews say they are being persecuted, they are damn dirty liars. Sure, okay.

A lot of the rest of the article are other hypocritical statements like this one. Take, for instance, when Ms. Bach tries to declare herself to be in favor of controversy:
"For most of my academic career, I have believed that controversy in the classroom eventually leads to a stronger community. Silencing conflict through a bland insistence upon political correctness confirms the fear that controversy is both uncomfortable and to be avoided at all costs."
How does this jive with her belief that people who defend Israel are "defenders of the domination" and therefore should not be included in the discussion? Ms. Bach's idea of controversial discussion is a Muslim pro-Palestinian speaker and a Jewish pro-Palestinian speaker. She wants herself to be allowed to speak, protected under academic freedom, and anyone who disagrees with her should be ignored. The only one who is interested in silencing people here is you, Ms. Bach.

But here is the best part. Truly, it is golden:
"Tired of protesting the paltry support pro-Palestinian students received from the administration and faculty on campus, while the pro-Israel group had the finances of the University and the Jewish Federation behind them, the small Students for Justice in Palestine group dissolved."
Boo freakin' hoo, Ms. Bach. Do you have any idea how much Norman Finkelstein, Ali Abunimah, Alison Weir, and Walt & Mearsheimer cost? Neither do I but I have a feeling that you didn't pay for it out of your own pocket. You taught a course and got the University to foot the bill to bring all the anti-Israel extremists you could find specifically for that course, and then you complain about "paltry support?" Talk about chutzpah!

At the end of the day this article is a fascinating look into the behavior of anti-Israel (and that's what Ms. Bach is) academics and the way they behave both on campus and off. Ms. Bach demands that everyone listen to the extremists that she plays smiling host towards, but then complains when people who disagree with her stand up for themselves, to the point where she wants them not to be included in the discussion. She then whines and cries about "intimidation" on the part of "the other side," and yet cavalierly dismisses any kind of intimidation that people on "her side" might be dolling to the Jews and their friends. It truly is the anti-Zionist at work: Feel sympathy for me, and feel hate for my enemy. Oh, but I just want peace and civil discourse. Sure.


  1. Its not like the anti-Zios believe the other side has a case. Kind of hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, eh?

    Alice Bach should deal with it!

  2. While I'm not sure of the particulars concerning the person Alice Bach, there is no way possible to obscure what she is trying to say.

  3. "While I'm not sure of the particulars concerning the person Alice Bach, there is no way possible to obscure what she is trying to say".
    Translation: I know nothing about this person except that the HP loves her, but on that basis alone her idiotic ramblings are the purest truth known to man.
    Quentin Baggg, you're an idiot.


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