A Norwegian university has decided to assemble a cast of Israel haters to teach a seminar on Israel. Ilan Pappe, of Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine notoriety, is involved. Pappe, a Marxist Israeli who left his native land for the UK—which is far more welcoming of people like him who support economic and academic boycotts and the destruction of Israel—will be joined by a group of similarly obscure quasi-academics whose major qualification is their hatred of Israel. As Haaretz reports,
Other speakers invited by NTNU Dean Torbjorn Digernes include Moshe Zuckermann, who in a January interview for Deutschlandradio—a widely-heard German program—said that operation Cast Lead cost hundreds of thousands of Gazan lives.
The members of the seminar’s organizing committee—Morten Levin, Ann Rudinow Saetnan and Rune Skarstein—have all signed a call for an academic boycott of Israel.
Who would feel comfortable sharing the stage with such people? Well, Stephen Walt, of course, who has joined the seminar as a lecturer. For someone who was once lauded as one of America’s greatest foreign-policy thinkers, it must be a little embarrassing to be forced to take your act to an obscure university set in a small city of a country whose major export is pacifistic moralizing. Or maybe Walt’s desire to participate in some high-octane Israel-bashing is so intense that he can only get his fix abroad, what with all the intimidation from the Israel lobby in the U.S. Who knows.
During the Chas Freeman controversy, one of Walt’s ways of defending Freeman was to compile lists of American Jews who opposed his nomination and accuse them of dual loyalties and then express puzzlement at how anyone could suspect him of animosity to Israel. After all, as he insisted, he and his co-author, John Mearsheimer,
have consistently declared our support for a Jewish state, said we “admired its many achievements,” and wrote that the United States “should come to Israel’s aid if its survival is ever in jeopardy.”
Stephen Walt is just a concerned friend, you see. Is it really possible that he is traveling all the way to Norway to appear next to Ilan Pappe so he can declare to the assembled his admiration for Israel’s many achievements and his support for the Jewish state?