Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Joel Beinin Whines about Israeli Airport’s “Harassment” – by Steven Plaut
Being a leftist Anti-Zionist means not only never having to say you are sorry, such as when you get your facts all wrong. It also means that you have an obligation to represent yourself as a victim of harassment. Armchair martyrdom is as fundamental a part of leftist ideology as anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel. In his now-famous essay from July, 1976, “The Intelligent Co-ed’s Guide to America,” Thomas Wolfe wrote about how desperately American academics wish to feel persecuted. A pretense of being persecuted today seems to do wonders both for their ego and for their web traffic. The entire “Zionist Lobby” is largely an invention by these same people, anxious to show that they are being oppressed by an evil nefarious conspiracy. You just need to wave your stigmata and denounce the “Neo-Conservatives,” the “Rightwing McCarthyists,” and – of course the Jews. Whining about being persecuted seems to be the leading participation sport of today’s far Leftists and the radical armchair postureurs.
As documented recently on this web site, Joel Beinin, the Israel-hating pro-Hamas sometimes-Maoist professor of Middle East Studies at Stanford University is just such a persecution whiner. Here is what we wrote:
‘“McCarthyism” seems to be Beinin’s third favorite “m” word, after Marxism and Mao, and he applies it liberally to anyone who dares to criticize him. Beinin wrote a 2004 article called “The New McCarthyism: Policing Thought about the Middle East.” In it, Beinin denounced the Ford Foundation’s decision to withdraw funding from any university grantee that finances the promotion of “violence, terrorism, or bigotry or the destruction of any state.” What worried Beinin was that such restrictions could potentially hurt a “Palestinian student group [that] called for the replacement of the state of Israel with a secular, democratic state,” meaning one seeking the extermination of Israel.’
Beinin went on to declare that Bay Area Zionists silenced him and prevented him from giving a talk to a school in San Jose. The San Francisco Chronicle checked and reported that no one at all from the local Jewish Community had even spoken with anyone at that school.
Well, the good professor is back. Over the Thanksgiving weekend he widely circulated the following epistle, which we reprint for you here in full, spelling errors and all:
26 November 2009
I arrived in Israel at about 15:00 on Wednesday, 25 November afternoon to visit my mother, brother, and sister who are Israeli (and US) citizens resident in Israel since 1973. My mother has been ill, and this visit was prompted primarily for that reason. I have visited Israel dozens of times before – most recently December 2008 – and resided in the country for extended periods on several different occasions. Yesterday, for the first time since my first visit to Israel in 1965, I was detained without explanation at Ben-Gurion airport for nearly two hours and ultimately interrogated. The questioners asked questions that they surely already knew the answers to. The asked, for example, my profession and my email. My position as Donald J. McLaughlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University and my email are a matter of public record, easily obtainable from the website of Stanford’s Department of History. The questioners also asked whether I had travelled (sic) to “other countries in the region” which, since they had my passport in their hands for the better part of two hours with all the relevant visa stamps, was also not obscure information. My luggage was not searched nor was I asked any question remotely related to the security of Israel except whether I had traveled (sic) to Iran (I was there once, for two weeks, in 1970 when Israel had warm relations with the Shah’s regime).
It therefore appears that this “investigation” had no purpose other than to harass and intimidate me.
Upon leaving I was told that I would be contacted further by one “Amos” from the Ministry of Defense. For my convenience, I was given his phone number: 054-*******.
Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History
Professor of Middle East History
Contact in Israel: 054-565-2320
The main reports about the horrific suffering by Beinin at the hands of the security personnel at Israel’s airport have been on web sites run by Israel’s own predominantly-Arab Stalinist communist party and on one of its front groups named “The Left Bank.”
Now the above Beinin hysterics about being “intimidated” need a dose of deconstruction. Beinin routinely travels to countries that happen to be at war with Israel, and has visited Iran, which happens to be officially on record as calling for the annihilation of Israel and its population. By his own admission, Beinin’s passport is bristling with visas from such countries. One would expect even the sleepiest airport passport inspector at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to sit up and take notice of someone coming into the country with such visas. Most passport inspectors at Tel Aviv airport, by the way, are teenage girls. So you can imagine the terror and intimation experienced there by the poor professor.
Now Beinin’s insistence that the airport security staff must have known who he is rings a bit curious. I did a search of the Hebrew web, and – sure enough – there are some internet mentions of him in Hebrew, but almost all of those are on the web sites of communist party and its fronts, which the airport inspectors may not visit on a regular basis. There are two mentions of Beinin’s getting sued by Los Angeles journalist Rachel Neuwirth for his posting false smears about her.
What about Beinin’s claim that being questioned about his travels in belligerent countries constitutes “harassment” and “intimidation?” (We have only his word that the questioning took two hours, and no mention at all of his being offered cookies and tea; I have waited in that airport for longer just to get a guitar case out of the belly of a plane!) Well, an acquaintance of mine named Julia is an Israeli Jew born in Libya, a fact noted on her Israeli passport, and you would not believe the hassle she goes through every time she wants to come to the United States for a visit! My wife was questioned at length and searched at Tokyo airport after 9-11 because her passport says she was born in the Middle East.
More to the point, Joel Beinin is an anti-Israel hate propagandist, someone who has made a career out of rationalizing anti-Jewish terrorism and endorsing Arab demands for Israel’s annihilation. Other countries routinely bar hostile propagandists for far less provocation. Canada banned ultra-leftist and Saddam’s agent George Galloway from entering, and also banned some other radicals. Canada also banned a controversial rap group from entering. The US banned Tariq Ramadan due to his terrorist connections. It has banned others for security reasons, including Cat Stevens, the British author Sebastian Horsley, a pro-LSD Canadian psychologist, and at least one Israeli. The UK banned radio host Michael Savage (along with 15 other people) for being insensitive to Moslems, and tried to ban Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Egypt has barred Hamas members from entering. The Ukraine banned the mayor of Moscow from entering the country because of things he said.
Now as it turns out, Israel almost never prevents anti-Israel propagandists and anti-Semitic hate-mongers from entering the country. For example, it rather stupidly allows lots of “anarchists” from the “International Solidarity Movement” and similar pro-terror groups to enter the country and then to attack its policemen and soldiers as their attempt to help Palestinian terrorists. The only two anti-Israel propagandists of note who have been barred from entering Israel in recent years were: 1. Norman Finkelstein, a Neo-Nazi who was fired by DePaul University and who was barred from entering Israel due to his intimate ties with the Hezb’Allah, and 2. Richard Falk, the anti-Semitic retired professor from Princeton who was barred from entering Israel as head of an anti-Israel UN propaganda “commission.” (When Falk arrived earlier as a private person to give university lectures, he was admitted.)
Anti-Israel fanatics, like Noam Chomsky and the Swedish journalist who recently invented a medieval blood libel about Jews stealing the body parts of Palestinians, have been admitted to Israel freely, although they never would be if I had anything to say about it. Even Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose nasty diatribe, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, has become the Koran for Israel-bashers and Jew-haters around the world, were welcomed in Israel for a speaking tour.
It goes without saying that Beinin has never expressed any criticism of the fact that Israelis are prohibited altogether from entering Iran and most Arab countries. Some of those countries prohibit entry to Jews from anywhere. In Saudi Arabia you will get expelled and beaten to a pulp if you have a Hanukka Menorah or a Christmas tree.
Of course the greatest irony in all of this is that Beinin was not banned from Israel at all, in spite of being a fanatical pro-terror anti-Israel propagandist. He was simply interviewed by an alert young passport inspector, suspicious of all those visas in Beinin’s passport from countries seeking Israel’s annihilation. For Beinin, however, the incident was a priceless opportunity to wave his stigmata and show the world what a persecuted martyr and victim he is. His questioning in the airport proves he is being intimidated and harassed by them damned Zionists!