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Radicals Run Wild By: Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 01, 2008


What was left of the academic reputation of the Hebrew University was demolished altogether July 30, 08. The reason was the arrest of the leftist professor of sociology who had been one of the thesis advisors of that notorious thesis claiming that Jews are racists because Jewish soldiers do not rape Arab women.

In recent days, headlines have reported the stories of the Hebrew University president joining a call of endorsement for the activities of a far-leftist anti-Zionist group that claims Israel is an apartheid land, Arab students at the Hebrew University being arrested for membership in al-Qaeda, and a Hebrew University professor of pharmacy insisting on hiring a convicted terrorist to work in his chemistry lab. But these were relatively minor disgraces compared with that now infamous "rape thesis."

To remind you, a Hebrew University graduate student claimed in her thesis that the absence of any history of rapes of Arab women by Israeli soldiers proves that Jews are racists and oppressors, people who do not even regard Arab women as worthy of being sexually abused. The student at the Mount Scopus campus and her "research" were then awarded a university honor for these impressive "discoveries" by the "Shaine Center," a Hebrew University sociology "research" center dominated by far leftists. Nitzan had argued that abstaining from rape is just as inhumane and oppressive as "symptomatically raping" and in fact replaces it, because it just serves to reinforce the intolerance felt toward Arabs by Jewish soldiers. These racist soldiers think of Arabs as so inferior and horrid that they do not even feel a compulsion to rape them. While giving some shallow lip service to how the "question" of rape refusal is "very complex," Nitzan's own "answer" is quite simple and straightforward - it reflects Jewish racism against Arabs.

Israel, she claimed, is so racist and anti-Arab that abstaining from rape is part and parcel of its determination to enforce rigid "lines of division." She asserted that individual soldiers who refuse to rape represent an intentional policy of oppression roughly similar to when governments order mass rape, because in both cases the "policy" serves to subordinate and dehumanize the oppressed victim population. The thesis drew its "scientific" conclusions from interviews with 25 reserve soldiers, ages 23-32, who served as combat troops in the "occupied territories" during the intifada. None of the comments by any of these soldiers supports or provides any confirmation, even the most indirect, to any of the lunatic "conclusions" reached by Nitzan.

Facing a storm of public outrage, the president of Hebrew University, Prof. Menachem Magidor, and the Rector, Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch, jointly issued an announcement defending the student and dismissing those who expressed outrage over the contents of the thesis.

The "Non-Rape as Racism" thesis was co-supervised by one Eyal Ben-Ari, a Hebrew University professor of sociology, who claims to know something about the sociology of the military. Ben-Ari is a far-leftist with a track record of turning out anti-Israel propaganda, such as claims that Israel is an ultra-militarist society, and much of his propaganda is misrepresented as scholarly research. The other co-supervisor of the rape thesis was Ben-Ari's co-author in a book about Israeli "militarism." Israeli feminist groups never had a word to say about that "thesis" nor about Ben-Ari's role in inventing the "No rape as Racism" hypothesis.

From his role in the rape thesis, it was already known that Ben-Ari had goofy ideas about sexual (mis-)behavior. But now it turns out that the ultra-feminist Israel-bashing professor of sociology practices what he preaches.

The very same Professor Eyal Ben-Ari was arrested yesterday for suspected rape and sexual abuse of his students, and arraigned before the Jerusalem magistrate's court. It seems that Ben-Ari made it a habit to condition giving nice grades to and getting research grants for his female students on their sleeping with him. He was clearly not being racist though, because he is the same guy who discovered the academic finding that raping proves you are not racist. The police claim Ben-Ari had been behaving thus for the past fifteen years! This was not the first Hebrew University professor arrested for sexual misbehavior.

The Jerusalem weekly "Yediot Yerushalayim" broke the story and claimed Ben-Ari routinely attacked his female students sexually and violently. It cited two students who claimed they had been violently raped by Ben-Ari. He is also accused of using university funds to take his female students on trips for sexual trysts. He purchased for one of them a vibrator and then submitted the bill for reimbursement to the Hebrew University's Shaine Center (the very same Center that granted an award to the "Non-Rape is Racism" thesis!).

While awaiting trial Ben-Ari is subject to a restraining order preventing him from entering the Hebrew University campus, as well as an order not to leave the country. The same ultra-feminists in Israel who insisted that an (unmarried) cabinet minister be indicted because he gave a French kiss to a woman in his office have yet to say a word about the behavior of this member of the Tenured Left.

Haaretz July 31, 2008 reports that female students in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University, which claims to specialize in feminism and social justice, allege that Ben-Ari is not the only tenured lecher in the department who abuses them sexually, and that these faculty members walk about boasting of their "conquests" of the PhD students. Strangely, the university authorities never looked into their behavior.

Ben-Ari had also served as a consultant to the Israeli army over the role of women in the military.

Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.


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