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JOEL BEININ Printer Friendly Page

Collaborators In the Campus War against Israel and the Jews: Joel Beinin
By Steven Plaut
October 16, 2009

Jewish Enablers of the War Against Israel
By Steven Plaut
2011

Joel Beinin: Apologist for Terrorists
By David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin
May 19, 2006

Stanford's Islamist Threat
By Alyssa Lappen
December 21, 2004

The Return of Joel Beinin
By Cinnamon Stillwell
September 15, 2008

Target Israel
By Cinnamon Stillwell
June 15, 2010

The Professor’s Obsession
By Cinnamon Stillwell
June 2, 2009

The Outing of the Noisy Professor Beinin
By Steven Plaut
October 9, 2005

 

 


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  • Middle East history professor at Stanford University
  • Former President of Middle East Studies Association
  • Blames United States and Israel for Middle East conflict
  • Passionately anti-Israel

 

Professor Joel Beinin teaches Middle East history at Stanford University and is a former president of the Middle East Studies Association.

Born to Labor Zionist parents in 1948, Beinin became politically radicalized by time he was in his early twenties. In 1969 he was listed as a sponsor of the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee, an entity which was led by the Socialist Workers Party.

When Beinin was 22, he spent some time
living on Kibbutz Lahav, located in southern Israel. He subsequently joined the “New Left” at Hebrew University and, as he tells, he “recovered” from his early Zionism by morphing first into a Trotskyite, then a Maoist, and finally a Marxist.

Beinin earned a BA in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 1970, an MA in Middle East Studies at
Harvard University in 1974, an AMLS in Library Science at the University of Michigan in 1978, and a Ph.D. in history at the University of Michigan in 1982.

Over the course of his professional career, Beinin has held the following positions:

  • 1979-83: Assistant Librarian in the Near East Division of the University of Michigan's Graduate Library
  • 1982: Lecturer at the University of Michigan's Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies
  • 1982-83: Instructor in Henry Ford Community College's Division of Social Sciences
  • 1983-90: Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University
  • Fall 1989: Senior Associate Member at St. Antony's College (Oxford)
  • 1990-96: Associate Professor of History at Stanford University
  • 1996-Present: Professor of History at Stanford University (except during 2006-08, when he took an “extended leave”)
  • 1995-99: Director of Stanford University's Program in Modern Thought and Literature
  • Fall 2001: Sultan Visiting Professor of Middle East Studies at UC Berkeley
  • 2004-05: Visiting Research Fellow at American University in Cairo; Researcher at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies
  • 2006-08: Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at American University in Cairo
  • 2013: Visiting Scholar at Portland State University

During his years in academia, Beinin has cultivated a reputation as a harsh and relentless critic of both Israel and the United States, and as an apologist for Islamic radicalism and terrorism.

The First Palestinian Intifada (1988-92) was, in Beinin’s view, actually a “strike for peace” against Israeli oppression. Beinin praised “the first martyr of the uprising” and minimized the significance of the “small number of violent incidents” against Israelis. On the rare occasions that he did mention Palestinian terrorism, Beinin shied away from the term itself; instead he cited “violent attacks against Israeli targets by HAMAS,” and failed to point out that the targets were mostly Israeli civilians.

In his 1990 survey of the Arab-Israeli conflict titled Was the Red Flag Flying There? Beinin defended the Intifada on the grounds that it was the “Palestinians’ primary weapon of resistance” against what he called the “colonialist thrust of the Zionist project.” He argued that the Palestinians’ commitment to terrorism euphemistically termed “armed struggle” was an “understandable error for people who felt themselves otherwise powerless.”

As for U.S. involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Beinin
despite America's staggering diplomatic efforts and the vast sums of money it had given to the Palestinian Authority could see only a “consistent [U.S.] denial of independence and self-determination” for the Palestinians.

In 1991 Beinin dismissed U.S. concerns over Iraq’s invasion and attempted annexation of Kuwait as “patently ridiculous,” insisting that the American government's real goal was not to stop Saddam Hussein’s aggression, but rather to maintain weak, unstable “mini-states” in the region, thereby: (a) assuring an abundant supply of cheap oil for America, and (b) generating demand for U.S.-made weapons.

A recurrent theme in Beinin's work has been his denial of the role that Islam plays in terrorism. In 1997 Beinin and Joe Stork co-authored the
Introduction to a reader titled Political Islam. Therein, Beinin articulated his belief that organizations like Hamas, the PLO, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah groups that he avoided characterizing as terrorist entities “can be and have been meaningfully compared to politically activist, socially conservative movements mobilized by revivalist Christian, Jewish and Hindu identities.” In that same Introduction, Beinin: (a) expressed his dismay that “the label of terrorist … is now deployed against Hamas and Hizb Allah [Hezbollah], even when they target not civilians but troops and armored patrols”; (b) insisted that the number of “Palestinian Islamists” in Israel was so insignificant as to “hardly warrant” the economic and military aid that Israel was receiving from the United States; (c) suggested that the political leaders of Iran were not Islamic fundamentalists, but merely nationalists who posed no threat to the Western world; (d) insisted that the notion of an Iranian nuclear threat was nothing more than a manifestation of “threat construction” by “Israel and its U.S. partisans”; (e) scoffed at the notion that Islamic fanatics were “ranged against Western civilization”; and (f) conceded only that “[m]any Islamist movements are not unequivocally committed to democratic forms of government.”

As investigative journalist Alyssa A. Lappen writes, “It appears that Beinin delves into history only to support his own preconceived theories. He ignores facts that contradict his ideas, sweeping certain events aside as if they never occurred.” For example, in his 1998 book on the fate of the Egyptian Jewish community, The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, Beinin: (a) ignores the 1730s riots that destroyed Cairo’s Jewish quarter, killing at least half its population; (b) makes no mention of the 1901 blood libel leveled at a Cairo Jewish woman; (c) minimizes the significance of Egypt’s 1929 Nationality Law, which blocked citizenship for Jews and many Christians, thereby rendering some 40,000 Jews apatrides—stateless; (d) downplays the 1947 Company Law that made it nearly impossible for minorities to work in Egypt; (e) misrepresents Egypt’s Jews as “Arabized” nationalists who would have been happier without Israel’s existence; (f) suggests that there is virtually no anti-Semitism in Egypt; (g) neglects Egypt’s state-sponsored publication of hateful tracts like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; (h) denies the inherently anti-Semitic nature of arrests of Egyptian Jews on trumped-up charges during the 1940s and 1950s; (i) asserts that Nazi officials who once held positions in Egypt’s government had no political influence there ignoring a well-documented record of Nazis having moved to Nasser’s Egypt where they made a significant impact; (j) makes no mention of the fact that in 1956 and during 1967-70, Jewish males over the age of 19 were imprisoned in the Abu Za’bal and Tura camps, where they were tortured and humiliated; and (k) accepts at face value the obviously coerced statements of Jewish community leaders in Egypt who, though they themselves were Zionists, publicly denounced Zionism.

In 2000, Beinin and UC Santa Barbara professor Lisa Hajjar co-authored a publication titled Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, which has since undergone multiple updates and printings. The book begins with the proclamation that religion plays no role in the Arab war against Israel, and that the conflict is nothing more than a “struggle over land.” Israel-based professor Steven Plaut points out the absurdity of that claim:

“In fact, one of the few unchallengeable assumptions about the Middle East conflict is that it has virtually nothing to do with land. Arab countries already control 6,145,389 square miles of land, almost twice the area of the United States. Israel, even when including all of the 'occupied territories' retained from the 1967 war, controls less than 10,000 square miles. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip comprise about 2,300 square miles.... Beinin wants his readers to believe that with 6,145,389 square miles, the Arabs are justified in seeking genocide, but with just 2,300 more, they will want peace.”

Soon after the al Qaeda terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Beinin cited “Israel’s disproportionate use of force in attempting to suppress the Palestinian uprising” and not Osama bin Laden’s fatwas calling for global jihad against the West as a root cause of Islamic terrorism. Moreover, Beinin said that “the fury of those who attacked us on Sept. 11” had been “nurtured” by: (a) Israel's use of “extra-judicial assassinations” against Palestinian terrorist leaders; (b) the United Nations’ economic sanctions against Iraq; and (c) the Clinton administration’s retaliation against al-Qaeda in the Sudan in 1998.

In a 2002 
address to the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), of which he was president at that time, Beinin who had earlier rejected the idea that some Muslims have a “propensity for violence and terrorism” as the fantasy of “sensationalist writers” and scholars obsessed with what he derisively called “terrorology” lauded the “great wisdom” that his fellow MESA members had shown by following his lead in ignoring the role of Islam in terrorism. Asserting that terrorism was caused by “historical and social causes” rather than anything inherent in the Islamic faith, Beinin insisted that “the contention that Muslims or Middle Easterners hate the United States for what it is, rather than because they perceive, rightly or wrongly, that it has done something to harm them, must be dismissed as arrant nonsense.”

Beinin
stressed the same point in a 2003 essay in the Radical History Review titled “Is Terrorism a Useful Term for Understanding the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict?” Dismissing the notion that Islam was a causal factor in terrorism, the professor averred that terrorism was a “product of post-colonial anxieties about U.S. global supremacy, and the regional dominance of the U.S. alliance [with Israel] in the Middle East.”

In 2002 Beinin issued a
statement on behalf of MESA’s board of directors condemning the University of South Florida for dismissing Professor Sami Al-Arian the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) from its faculty, after Al-Arian's terror connections had become clear. Beinin's statement asserted that MESA's professors were “deeply disturbed” by the University's decision to dismiss Al-Arian on the strength of “old and never-proven accusations.” (In fact, the accusations were based on ten years of wire-taps and surveillance, and al-Arian eventually confessed to his involvement with PIJ). The statement further said that Al-Arian was being targeted not for his criminal activities but for his “opinions,” and argued that the “Al-Arian case is about academic freedom.”

Beinin was likewise a
defender of yet another notorious Islamic terrorist, Yasser Arafat. While addressing an anti-Israel rally at Stanford University in 2002, the professor chastised then-Secretary of State Colin Powell for pressuring Arafat to forswear terrorism. As reported by The Stanford Daily, Beinin demanded that Powell and the U.S. government stop “lecturing Yasir Arafat about the need to do more to stop terrorism.” Instead, Beinin maintained that Arafat “is the elected president of the Palestinian Authority and the symbol of Palestinian national aspirations and should be respected as such.”

Beinin took a
similarly indulgent view of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), several of whose official components including the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which were specifically created by Arafat to conduct suicide bombings against Israeli citizens is a terrorist organization. On the contrary, in one article (co-authored with Lisa Hajjar), Beinin criticized as “intransigent” Israel’s designation of the PLO as a terrorist organization.

Moreover, Beinin has referred to jihadist suicide bombers as “martyrs,” and has repeatedly portrayed Palestinian terrorists and extremists as “moderates.” In a December 2003 article, for instance, he wrote that Hamas operative Adnan Asfur who had been arrested at least 16 times and had voiced support for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians was “generally considered a moderate within Hamas.” Similarly, in a 2006 op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune, Beinin described Palestinian legislator and spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi a PLO mouthpiece and a terror apologist who has portrayed Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians as a form of “self-defense” as “one of the most moderate Palestinian political figures.”

As MESA’s president in
2002, Beinin influenced the education of middle- and high-school students through the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute (TCI), which at that time wrote textbook entries and social studies curricula to meet educational standards in 20 U.S. states. Beinin filled the ranks of TCI's Middle East Committee with such ideologues as Betsy Barlow (a U.S. coordinator for the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center), Professor Glenn Perry (of Indiana State University), and Profesors Kamran Aghaie and Abraham Marcus (both of the University of Texas). One of TCI's high-school handouts gave Hamas greater political significance than it gave to Israel’s Labor and Likud parties. TCI high-school textbooks included class “exercises” that pitted students in roles of “advantaged” Jews against others posing as “disadvantaged” Palestinian Arabs, while teachers were instructed to play the role of a world power that unfairly opposed the “Arabs.”

In 2002 Beinin initiated a
petition that charged Israel with plotting the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians under cover of the approaching war in Iraq. He predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would use that war as an opportunity “to push the Palestinians into Jordan.” When the exact opposite ultimately happened — i.e., Sharon proposed the withdrawal of Israelis from Gaza Beinin did not concede that he had predicted wrongly.

In March 2002 a Hamas terrorist entered a hotel in Netanya, Israel, and killed 30 civilians, including children, as they celebrated the Passover holiday. The following day, Beinin
addressed an anti-Israel demonstration and did not even mention this atrocity. Instead, he denied that Palestinian terrorism “posed an existential threat to Israel.”

In December 2002 Beinin
claimed, wrongly, that the exodus of Jews from Arab lands after 1948 resulted not from their forced expulsion by Arab governments but from “provocative actions by Israeli agents.” Despite the fact that Israel offered Jews a haven from mass murder in Europe, and from atrocities and mass expulsion from Muslim lands, Beinin argued that “modern Zionism is a revolution against traditional Judaism, not its fulfillment.”

In opposition to “the Zionist project,” Beinin instead favors “
Levantinism,” an Israel-replacement ideology that calls for revitalizing the “fruitful compromise” of cultures he believes existed in the past. Scholars and Jewish refugees from Muslim lands maintain that such idyllic harmony never existed, but Beinin nonetheless romanticizes and politicizes their history. He also dismisses bona fide work on Arab and Muslim attitudes toward Jews by such writers as Yehoshafat Harkabi and Bat Ye’or, calling this perspective a “neo-lachrymose interpretation” that has “distracted attention from Palestinian claims.”

In February 2003
The Stanford Review, a conservative campus newspaper, described Professor Beinin’s courses as “expensive training for the Marxist press corps.” When students in one of his classes rejected his request that they attend an anti-Iraq War protest instead of a regularly scheduled class session that coincided with the protest, Beinin held his lecture at the site of the protest itself.

Just
before the Iraq War began in March 2003, Beinin appeared on Al-Jazeera Television to condemn U.S. “imperial” policy in the Arab world, despite the fact that America had never had a Middle East colony, and that in 1956 the U.S. had famously supported Egypt’s defense of the Sinai against America's own allies, the colonial powers Britain and France. Beinin told Al-Jazeera’s Arab audience that President George W. Bush was plotting to establish “a puppet regime” in Baghdad to benefit U.S. oil interests and to force “Israeli dictates” on the Palestinians.

Once the war began, Professor Beinin
accused Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and other U.S. policymakers of colluding with “Israel’s Likud Party,” and he asserted that America and Israel had collaborated with Arab regimes to block “democracy and economic development in the Arab world.” Further, Beinin claimed that the U.S. was bent on displaying its “overwhelming military power … to make and unmake regimes and guarantee access to oil.” American conservatives, in his opinion, wanted to provoke “Islamist forces” so that they would “forsake legal political action and engage in armed struggle.”

In 2004 Beinin became an advisory board member of the newly formed
Iraq Occupation Watch, along with such notables as Leslie Cagan, Medea BenjaminRania Masri, Phyllis Bennis, Maria Luisa Mendonca (of the World Social Forum), Milan Rai (of Voices in the Wilderness), and Pratap Chatterjee (of Berkeley's Pacifica radio station KPFA).

In a 2004 article which Beinin penned for The Nation, he characterized the terrorist campaign against Israeli civilians in the Second Palestinian Intifada as an understandable response to Israel’s use of its superior military capabilities. Of Islamist terrorist groups, Beinin wrote: “As it became clear that they were hopelessly outmatched by Israel's military force, they resorted to the strategically and morally catastrophic deployment of suicide bombers, targeting civilians.” Beinin's reference to “morally catastrophic” acts contradicted his other apologetics claiming that such atrocities were fully justified.

In the early 2000s, the 
Stanford Daily photographed Beinin carrying placards on “Nakba Day,” an event commemorating the “Catastrophe” of Israel's creation in 1948. (“Nakba” is Arabic for “catastrophe.”)

In 2004 at 
AllLearn a joint online venture of Oxford, Stanford and Yale Universities Beinin taught a course on “Palestine, Zionism and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” The “Zionist lobby” in Washington, he informed his students, had the power to induce the U.S. government to adopt an “uncritically pro-Israel foreign policy.” For “serious” reading, Beinin recommended Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, which routinely features anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial, likens Israeli leaders to Nazis, and praises suicide bombings. Al-Ahram’s then-editor, Ibrahim Nafie, had once been sued in France for publishing a piece claiming that some Jewish rituals require the use of Christian children’s blood.

Also in the early 2000s, Beinin
said that the U.S. government “has given Israel nearly one trillion dollars.” In fact, total U.S. aid to Israel since 1949 was just over $90 billion, including $15 billion in loans.

In 2004 Beinin wrote an article titled “The New McCarthyism: Policing Thought about the Middle East.” In it, he denounced the Ford Foundation’s decision to withdraw funding from any university grantee that financed the promotion of “violence, terrorism, or bigotry or the destruction of any state” a decision which Ford made in the aftermath of a 2003 disclosure that the Foundation’s monies had bankrolled extremist Palestinian non governmental organizations, including those who were supportive of Hamas and advocated the destruction of Israel. Beinin called Ford's new policy a “dangerous” curtailment of academic freedom, and worried 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.” As conservative author David Horowitz wrote: “Beinin’s position, in other words, was that groups who advocated the effective destruction of Israel, and had ties with terrorist groups, deserved both support and funding.”

Beinin has routinely dismissed concerns that Israel's enemies seek to destroy the Jewish state. In August 2006, for example, he
wrote: “[U]nless Iran acquires nuclear weapons, none of Israel's enemies pose an existential threat to Israel. Furthermore, there are indications that despite their inflammatory rhetoric, this is not on the agenda of Hamas or Hezbollah.”

In a September 2008 appearance on the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center (PPJC) cable television program “Other Voices” (based in Palo Alto, California), Beinin: (a) happily predicted that the “U.S. will no longer dominate the next century,” and that “the American empire is going down”; (b) argued that a Zionist cabal was in control of U.S. foreign policy, and that Israel was “the tail that wags the American dog”; (c) claimed that the fires of the Arab-Israeli conflict were constantly being stoked by U.S. arms dealers and manufacturers, evangelical Christians trying to “hasten the Second Coming,” and Jews who were intent upon inflicting on Palestinians something akin to the “psychic trauma of the Holocaust” that the Jews of an earlier age had suffered; (d) attributed the “self-destructive behavior” of the Palestinians to the psychological trauma caused by their “dispossession”; (e) condemned Hamas's “terrorist outrages” but noted that the group enjoyed popular support and had been democratically elected; (f) exhorted Israel to negotiate with a “unified Palestinian government” led jointly by Hamas and Fatah; (g) said that “each side [Israeli and Palestinian] needs to recognize the other's pain”; and (h) maintained that “ending the [Israeli] occupation” of Palestinian lands would be essential to any peace plan.

During the taping of PPJC's February 2009 show, “
Gaza and the Future,” Beinin stated that “the United States aids and abets Israeli war crimes.” He also blamed Israel for making, with its military actions, “Hamas and Hezbollah …heroes in the Arab world.” Regarding Hamas’s deliberate use of civilians as human shields, Beinin said: “Of course Hamas hides among civilians. Gaza’s a very small, densely populated place. Where else are they going to hide?” Regarding the prospects for a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict, Beinin claimed that “successive Israeli administrations have done everything to prevent it from happening: The settlements, the wall, the roads.” Moreover, Beinin said that if President Obama were to issue a statement indicating that that “the U.S. will no longer sell Israel weapons” because the latter was “committing war crimes” and “going against UN resolutions,” “the Israel Lobby and AIPAC would crumble.”

In
March 2009, Beinin delivered a speech during the second annual Israel Apartheid Week activities at UC Berkeley.

During an April 6, 2010
appearance on PPJC television, Beinin described Israeli building policies in Jerusalem as “segregationist.” He also claimed that “visceral hatred” and “open bloodthirstiness” were “common” in Israeli society.

Beinin is an avid
supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that aims to use various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state. In 2010, he signed a petition exhorting the University of California (UC) system to divest all funds from companies that conducted any form of business with Israel. In 2014, Beinin signed a letter urging “scholars and librarians within Middle East Studies”: (a) to “boycott Israeli academic institutions”; (b) “not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions”; (c) “not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions”; and (d) not to publish in academic journals based in Israel.” In 2015, Beinin supported a BDS resolution at Stanford University.

In a
podcast that was produced in February 2014, Beinin charged that the Israeli government was composed of “fascist terrorists.”

In a 2014
interview, Beinin falsely charged that Israelis were guilty of carrying out “pogroms” against Arabs in East Jerusalem, and he referred to Israeli teenagers as “Nazis” for posting anti-Palestinian comments on social media websites during Operation Protective Edge (OPE), an Israeli military incursion that was launched in response to a dramatic escalation in rocket fire against Israel by Hamas-affiliated terrorists in Gaza.

In a
July 14, 2014 interview about Operation Protective Edge, Beinin falsely claimed that OPE was “100% a war of choice by Israel” that “didn’t have to happen at all.” He asserted that “Israel instigated a situation by intentionally provoking hysteria among its people”; that a “wave of racist sentiment is propelling the air assault on the Gaza Strip”; and that “Israel is in no way, shape, or form acting out of self-defense, even if Hamas fires rockets at civilian targets, which they do.” Further, Beinin stated that Israel had destroyed Gazan medical centers, but he chose not to mention that Hamas terrorists were using some Gaza hospitals as command centers for their terrorist operations (e.g., as bases from which rockets were launched). Moreover, Beinin refused to condemn Hamas for firing potentially deadly rockets which were deadly but inaccurate and generally landed randomly in various places into Israeli population centers “because they haven’t killed any Israelis.” In the days that followed the interview, a number of Israelis were in fact killed by Hamas mortar fire and rockets.

In a July 30, 2014 blog post for Stanford University Press (titled “Racism is the Foundation of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge”), Beinin reiterated his claim that Israeli racism was the root cause of OPE.

On January 3, 2015, Beinin 
organized a roundtable discussion convened by the Mid-Atlantic Radical Historians’ Organization, where he said that “Israel as a state and society is premised on the destruction of the history and living society of Palestinian Arab people as well as the history of the land of Palestine for most of the last 1,400 years.” At the same discussion, Beinin urged his fellow attendees to defend freedom of speech and academic freedom of all professors, specifically citing the case of some “allegedly uncivil tweets” by Professor Steven Salaita, the Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut. CanaryMission.org gives the following background information about Salaita:

One tweet Salaita posted [in the summer of 2014] shortly after a Hamas cell kidnapped and murdered three teenage Israeli students read: 'You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the f**king West Bank settlers would go missing.' A month later, Salaita tweeted, 'Zionists: transforming 'antisemitism' from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.' On July 8, 2014, he tweeted: 'There’s something profoundly sexual to the Zionist pleasure w/#Israel’s aggression. Sublimation through bloodletting, a common perversion.'”


In a January 2016 
interview, Beinin described Israel as a “settler colonial project.”

In an April 14, 2016 
interview with Democracy Now!, Beinin claimed that “Israel has been the aggressor for most of its historical existence,” and that the Jewish state had “aggressively attacked its neighbors in 1956, in 1967, in 1982.” “Every other war [that] Israel has fought,” he added, “…did not need to be fought.”

In
2016 as well, Beinin and hundreds of other college and university professors signed a letter to Vassar College president Catherine Bond Hill defending Rutgers University professor Jasbir Puar, who in February 2016 had given a lecture at Vassar College titled “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters.” In that speech, Puar advocated armed combat against Israel; said that the reason why Israeli Jews had not yet entirely exterminated the Palestinians was because “[t]hey need the Palestinians alive in order to keep the kind of rationalization for their victimhood and their militarized economy”; suggested that Israelis were in the habit of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians; and claimed that Israel was using tactics of “maiming” and “stunting” to further debase the Palestinians. (As Algemeiner.com explains: “'Maiming' means shooting to intentionally cripple, shattering knees and hitting [non-]vital organs to minimize death statistics and ensure that Palestinian workers can be profitable without threatening the occupier. 'Stunting' is used to permanently debilitate and disable the Palestinians. This is achieved through population poisoning with uranium, lead and phosphorus and 'calorie starvation' in children.”

The
letter that Beinin signed, dismissed objections to Puar's lecture as attacks on the freedom of speech to which “an invited guest” like Puar was entitled. Moreover, the letter cited an October 2015 report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal that, according to its signatories, revealed “the ways in which ‘a network of lobbying groups … funded by, working in coordination with, and/or staunchly supportive of the policies and practices of the Israeli government primarily drives efforts to silence speech on behalf of Palestinian rights.’” In addition, the letter asserted that “these groups … are supported or even initiated through many millions of dollars in donations from right-wing, hawkish Israel advocates …”

Beinin
has been highly critical of the supposedly “moderate,” non-Hamas factions of the Palestinian movement for being insufficiently strident in their anti-American and anti-Israel positions, and for allegedly acting as puppets controlled by American “imperialists.” He denies that Arab aggression has ever represented a serious threat to Israel. He opposes any act of self-defense by Israel as being, by definition, “disproportionate.” And he has repeatedly called for ending all U.S. arms sales to Israel.

Beinin is an
advisory board member of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, formerly known as the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. He is also a founding member of Jewish Voice for Peace; has appeared numerous times on Pacifica Radio; and has received Ford Foundation grants for his work.

Beinin has written a number of articles for the anti-Israel website Mondoweiss. He also promotes the radical agendas of Ta’ayush, a pro-BDS organization that condemns the “segregation, racism, and discrimination” that Israel allegedly imposes on the Palestinian Arabs.

 

 

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