Brighton lecturer calls Sussex Israel Studies courses “propaganda” to divert attention from “dead children”


Cross posted by London-based blogger Richard Millett

Tom Hickey, a Brighton University lecturer, speaking at the start of Sussex University’s Palestine Awareness Week on Monday night called for the abolition of Sussex University’s newly established Yossi Harel Chair in Modern Israel Studies until questions relating to its “external sources of funding” and the process that established it are “satisfactorily answered.”

He also attacked already established Israel Studies courses at SOAS, Leeds University, Manchester University and Oxford University.

Hickey is a senior member of University and College Union’s National Executive Committee and a member of BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine).

At the event, Academic Integrity or Political Propaganda: The Chair of Modern Israeli Studies, Hickey referred to Israel Studies courses as an:

“Israeli state propaganda initiative that operates under the name of Hasbara which means ‘explanation’ or, to put it more forcefully, ‘public relations’. In other words the Hasbara initiative to try to divert the world’s attention and to alter its perception of Israel as a state indelibly associated with such things as guns and warfare, dead children, demolished houses, drone led assassinations, phosphorus bombs and other similar war crimes and to shift the attention from that to the idea of the Israeli state as a centre of democracy, freedom and plurality etc.”

He complained that the newly established Sussex University Chair was named after Yossi Harel who, he said, “was open to the charge, if not guilty of the charge, of something that would today be called nefarious activities if not, literally, war crimes.”

Harel, who passed away in 2008, signed up for the RAF during World War Two and in 1947 captained illegal immigrant ship Exodus which took 4,500 Holocaust survivors to British Mandate Palestine. Its passengers defiantly resisted British attempts to turn the ship back.

But Hickey said the use of Harel’s name made the Chair “look less like a dispassionate inquiry into what is going on and more like something divorced from academic scholarship”.

Hickey then questioned why there were no Chairs in Palestine Studies or the Palestinian/Israeli conflict before outlining the “external sources of funding” with which he was concerned.

The Israel Studies courses at SOAS (and here), Manchester University and Leeds University are funded by the Pears Foundation. The Chair at Oxford University is funded by the Stanley and Zea Lewis Family Foundation and the new Chair at Sussex University was established by Lord Weidenfeld.

Meanwhile, a BRICUP briefing document outlines “key hasbara names…driving new finance in academia”. It paints a picture of immorality amongst British, or Britain based, Jewish businessmen.

For example, Trevor Pears is described as a “British billionaire…who has been in much controversy…for his seemingly ruthless treatment of small shopkeepers and individual tenants”, Gerald Ronson as a “convicted felon”, while Leonard Blavatnik “has an outstanding debt to the Royal Bank of Scotland (and thus to the UK government) of £2.5bn, which he was granted in a loan and then never repaid….he is effectively subsidised by the UK government.”

Hickey even raised concerns about who would be allowed to teach an Israel Studies course. He said:

“If I were well-known for a certain hostility to Israel and Zionism and were I to apply for the Chair would I, by dint of my political position on Israel, be debarred from it? If I was a Muslim would I be debarred from it? More sharply, if I was a Palestinian would I be debarred from it?”

He said that the lack of guarantees prohibiting such possible discrimination leads to the “legitimate suspicion” that this is a “propaganda exercise on behalf of Israel rather than a genuine academic exercise”.

Hickey suggested that students and staff should question Sussex University about the composition of the panel that appointed the Chair. He continued:

“all of the circumstantial evidence indicates the possibility of impropriety and the failure of the University of Sussex and the Vice-Chancellor to answer questions by staff and students reinforces the concern that suggests that this may be a major problem of academic impropriety…this university if it is to have any scholarly integrity should abolish this Chair until those questions can be satisfactorily answered.”

Hickey has previously claimed that Israel’s behaviour towards Palestinians is “more insidious” than the Nazis treatment of European Jewry. And on the way out of Monday night’s event a 26-year-old Sussex student, who claimed she had lived in the West Bank, screamed “there’s nothing wrong in blowing up Israeli buses”.

I really wish Professor David Tal, who will be teaching the new Chair at Sussex University, and his students a safe academic year ahead.

Here are some clips from Hickey’s talk on Monday night (note early in the first clip Hickey refers to Israel as a political name, not a geographical reference):

With great respect to Sussex Friends of Israel for their amazing work against bigotry.

39 comments on “Brighton lecturer calls Sussex Israel Studies courses “propaganda” to divert attention from “dead children”

    • Sherri

      Jews and dead children. I suppose you can’t help it. You are the spawn of an anti-Semitic culture, bred from a gene pool of cold-blooded racist killers. But, if it makes you feel better about yourself, keep counting.

    • Hi friends, you must know the real facts.
      Do you know that the largest mosque in Gaza was a synagogue less than a hundred years ago? Did you know that a hundred and fifty years ago, most of Gaza’s population was Jews and Christians? The Jewish population in Gaza ended with the pogrom of 1928. The last Christian murdered three years ago after Hamas came to power.
      To understand the present we need to learn about the past. That is why this information is for people who think and are not afraid to ask hard questions.
      I made a short presentation on two UN organizations dealing with refugees. UNHCR organization caring for refugees from around the world.
      And UNRWA organization who cares for Arab refugees who fought against the Jewish state – Israel.
      http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/15773199
      Here is also a page of the changes made to UNRWA’s refugee definition in recent years
      http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/Refugees-Definition.html
      Please read this short article and visit all the links to get more information..
      http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/demogra-eng.html

      And this article.
      https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AWXYV56qlacKZGdwYzRoYzlfMTg1aG1ndmtzZnc&hl=en
      And also the Interior Minister of Hamas indicates that the historical facts which I present are true.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbuM91PeSOs
      If so, what are the real causes of the Arab war against Israel?
      Here’s a real explanation from the mouths of imams in mosques.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIiGwGG6x_A&feature=youtu.be
      It is very important to know that Branding the Jews and their state Israel as “occupiers”, gives Arab the legitimacy to remove the occupier in any way they choose, including terrorism against civilians. Therefore they insist to preserve and to leverage this branding. But anyone who is interested in reaching a peace must be recruited for switching it off.
      And here you have a person who explains it the best way.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nEzvhvOcWEs#!
      And also Sheikh Palazzi

    • Your batshitcraziness cannot be overlooked.

      And while we’re talking about the responsibility for dead children, I’ve noticed that you and yours and the Palestinian leadership have yet to offer a counterproposal to the 2000 Camp David accords.

      That’s a lot of blood on your hands, you stupid, ignorant, pathetic KKKow.

    • You mean those who have been killed for their blood in the Passover matzo? And the number is not 1519 but 159000…

        • Yawn …
          It’s a shame – but not surprising – that so many posters here have no concept of self-deprecation. Plus an extremely low level of humour.

            • Ahem. As I was saying …
              All the above abuse from you – your sole contribution to this thread – in response to a little bit of self-deprecation on my part!

              You clearly have massive insecurity problems – likewise the sheep following you.

    • Please note your own source stating at the first side
      Mandate for Palestine (British Mandate)
      Better sources
      http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/2FCA2C68106F11AB05256BCF007BF3CB
      http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp
      “The Palestine Mandate

      The Council of the League of Nations:

      Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

      Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

      Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and

      Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; and

      Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval; and

      Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions; and

      Whereas by the afore-mentioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League Of Nations;

      confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:

      Quite rightly British Mandate.

      So, what`s your point?

  1. Maybe it’s time for the good professor to make his own exodus from lecturing altogether. Senility has set in. Then again, maybe what’s really needed is a Department for the Study of Modern anti-Semitism in Academia. Whacked out Professors 101.

  2. He also attacked already established Israel Studies courses at SOAS …

    Wot – not anti-Zionist enough for him?

    And this pathetic little man talks about “scholarly integrity”??

    • Beat me to it. On another note, David Tal is a renowned historian, whilst Tom Hickey is a hack who has written nothing since 2007.

  3. British antisemitism, eh, antizionism
    http://daphneanson.blogspot.co.at/2010/11/where-elite-meet-to-bleat-damaging-lies.html
    http://daphneanson.blogspot.co.at/2012/08/alone-frightened-struggling-jewish.html
    http://hurryupharry.org/2013/09/25/oxford-academic-blames-jewish-disinformation-campaigns/
    http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2011/06/13/anti-semitism-no-longer-a-taboo-at-the-dinner-tables-of-the-uk/
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dominic-lawson-so-who-still-thinks-israel-is-the-root-of-middle-east-problems-8794664.html
    http://anneinpt.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/a-closer-look-at-the-new-antisemitism-hint-its-the-same-as-the-old/

    The same goes with Austria despite a different history, not as liberator, but as perpetrator
    What can we learn about?
    The cultural, ‘antizionistic’ left ( from Foucault, Badiou, Butler, Zizek to different artists like Waters, Atzmon, Muniz) has to be fought and ousted from every potential and real position.it holds in intellectual life, as otherwise it is preparing and legitimising the ground for another Holocaust.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collecting_practices_of_the_Al-Thani_Family
    http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/collection/the-museum-of-islamic-art-qatar?projectId=art-project&hl=de

    Some times ago I observed how Jewish artists and galleries in New York began to sell out to Oil Money.

  4. Hi friends, you must know the real facts.
    Do you know that the largest mosque in Gaza was a synagogue less than a hundred years ago? Did you know that a hundred and fifty years ago, most of Gaza’s population was Jews and Christians? The Jewish population in Gaza ended with the pogrom of 1928. The last Christian murdered three years ago after Hamas came to power.
    To understand the present we need to learn about the past. That is why this information is for people who think and are not afraid to ask hard questions.
    I made a short presentation on two UN organizations dealing with refugees. UNHCR organization caring for refugees from around the world.
    And UNRWA organization who cares for Arab refugees who fought against the Jewish state – Israel.
    http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/15773199
    Here is also a page of the changes made to UNRWA’s refugee definition in recent years
    http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/Refugees-Definition.html
    Please read this short article and visit all the links to get more information..
    http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/demogra-eng.html

    And this article.
    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AWXYV56qlacKZGdwYzRoYzlfMTg1aG1ndmtzZnc&hl=en
    And also the Interior Minister of Hamas indicates that the historical facts which I present are true.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbuM91PeSOs
    If so, what are the real causes of the Arab war against Israel?
    Here’s a real explanation from the mouths of imams in mosques.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIiGwGG6x_A&feature=youtu.be
    It is very important to know that Branding the Jews and their state Israel as “occupiers”, gives Arab the legitimacy to remove the occupier in any way they choose, including terrorism against civilians. Therefore they insist to preserve and to leverage this branding. But anyone who is interested in reaching a peace must be recruited for switching it off.
    And here you have a person who explains it the best way.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nEzvhvOcWEs#!
    And also Sheikh Palazzi

  5. Just to give you some idea of the depth of hate filled propaganda on display at this meeting

    On the way down to Brighton , Richard an I took a look through the BRICUP info pack which accompanied the meeting which was part of the Palestine Awareness Week .
    In the booklet BRICUP referred to a number of examples of what they deem to be Hasbara
    It included Jewish Care relating to elderly Jewish residents of Care homes celebrating Yom Hatzmaut And getting pleasure out of hearing the Hatikva .

    Poison dripping from every pore of these disgusting reptiles .

    Well done to Sussex Friends of Israel who met us and who are doing amazing work in Brighton leading the fight against the bigotry and hate of the BDS brigade .

  6. This pathetic little shit of a man thinks there is some sort of official policy called Hasbara when he simply just doesn’t understand that this is a phrase. Of course, this pathetic excuse for a human being also considers incessantly bashing any defense of the Jewish state’s right to exist as such as mere criticism of that state’s policies. Meanwhile, anyone with a brain can note how little about peace this man actually stands for, and as much about sheer, unabashed hatred. If he thinks this is the way to accomplish Peace on Earth (and he most surely does) then it shall become true that none of it will ever happen; and this shit of life will eventually expire without any true gratification coming from his oh-so desired cause.

    Because the fact remains, we still do have Israel, no matter what these hate monger assholes happen to say.

  7. Josh S over at Harrys Place provides an excellent fisking of the disingenuous use of the term Hasbara which I have taken the liberty to reproduce here .

    I always respond to the ridiculous use of the word “hasbara”.

    The slur involved in using a non-English word here telling. One uses a the Hebrew word in order to hide the fact that what they’re attempting to do is delegitimize all speech that critisizes them without actually addressing it. They couldn’t get away with saying “argument” must be banned, so they borrow a word that means “explanation” and make the word itself their hated Jew. This speaks of the ultimate insecurity.

    If you have to delegitimize your critics a-priori and avoid answering their views your discourse has the same method as that of a totalitarian.

    I feel the same way about the other anti-Israelis slogans. The obscene lack of specificity to “no justice – no peace” is that it is an attempt to justify and even cheer-lead for terrorism – surely there are legitimate responses to injustice other than whatever the opposite of “peace” is. It implies that it’s appropriate to kill babies if you’re in any way unsatisfied that you’ve been given justice.

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