Yesterday I reported about Israelis not being eligible for scholarships at the LSE's Middle East Centre. This does not mean that Israelis and Jews have no place there. In fact, I can report that there are some Israelis and Jews who ARE welcome .... just those who happen to be anti-Zionists who also support the academic boycott of Israel. Indeed, in the next few weeks the Centre is hosting major presentations by two of the worst of such people: Smadar Lavi (on 27 October 2014) and Joel Beinin (on 4 November 2014) who are not just classic "self-hating Jews" but also archetypal examples of the very worst kind of deranged, pompous, self-righteous academics:
Smadar Lavie describes herself as an "Arab Jew residing in Israel" (although she actually works at the University of Berkeley California). You can read about her here (on the well named "Pathetic Assholes Conspiring to Boycott Israel" website). She has managed to create her own special category of extremist ultra-leftist anti-Zionist "Mizrahi" feminism. She is a regular contributor to the anti-Israel blog Electronic Intifada and she uses her Israeli nationality to deligitimize Israel publicly claiming it is an apartheid state. Here is her own report of her presentation last week to the antisemitic Irish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The Jewish anti-Israel (and some claim antisemitic) website Mondoweiss published a favourable review of her latest book which is the subject of her talk entitled: "Mizrahi Mothers, Wrapped in the Flag: Ultra-Nationalism, Apartheid, and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel".
To give you a feel for the academic pomposity, hatred, and downright lies of Lavie here is a letter she had published in the Guardian in 2005 supporting the academic boycott of Israel. It ends with the assertion
"...Israel's academics perpetrate and benefit from the systematic discrimination against Israel's 70% non-European majority (48% Mizrahim and 22% Palestinian). Israel's Ashkenazi "post-Zionist" professors, brandishing their progressive politics as they use Mizrahim and Palestinians for grantsmanship and as career advancement tools, are just the cynical tip of this apartheid iceberg"
Joel Beinin (a Professor at Stanford University) is a leading figure in the Israel boycott campaign. Here is his recent article on the Mondoweiss blog criticising those who argued against a boycott, but even more revealing is this video interview conducted with him during the recent Gaza conflict where his support for Hamas and contempt for Israel are overwhelming (at 27:37 he calls Israeli teenagers "Nazis"). Richard Millett wrote about a previous talk by Beinin in which he said (of Israel's attempt to improve accommodation for Bedouins in the Negev) that this was “putting them into what would effectively be concentration camps.” His talk at the LSE is entitled "High-Risk Activism and Popular Struggle against the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank".
Update 8 Nov 2014: Richard Millett reports on the Joel Beinin talk: “Palestinians are the victims of the victims of the Holocaust."