Neve Gordon

Neve Gordon is a Senior Lecturer and head of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.  He has been described by Daniel Doron as “one of the rabidly post-Zionist revisionist historians” whose articles “are devoted to denouncing Israel as a fascist terrorist state”. According to Doron, “Gordon would probably claim that he is fighting for the rights of oppressed Palestinians, but tellingly he devotes most of his energy to  recycling calumnies that subvert Israel’s legitimacy”.

In the past, Gordon has lauded Norman Finkelstein, barricaded himself with Arafat during the siege of Ramallah, has been embroiled in controversy for unsuccessfully suing Steven Plaut who allegedly accused him of being a “Judenrat wannabe” and is cause celebre of the likes of Holocaust denialist Ernst Zundel. See here and here.

Alan Dershowitz described Gordon in the following terms: “[he] has gotten into bed with neo-Nazis, Holocaust justice deniers, and anti-Semites. He is a despicable example of a self-hating Jew and a self-hating Israeli.”  Even Ralph Seliger of Meretz USA stated that “he writes from a gratuitously anti-Zionist perspective”.   Perhaps most telling is his admission that “I tend to de-emphasize my more positive feelings toward Israel in my writings”.

Below is a selection of statements made by Neve Gordon “in his own words”:

“By launching an attack on Gaza, the Israeli government has once again chosen to adopt strategies of violence that are tragically akin to the ones deployed by Hamas — only the Israeli tactics are much more lethal.” Where’s the Academic Outrage Over the Bombing of a University in Gaza? Chronicle of Higher Education December 30, 2008

“The experiment in famine began on Jan. 18. Israel hermetically closed all of Gaza’s borders, preventing even food, medicine and fuel from entering the Strip.” The Iron Wall NCR February 8, 2008 [This particular article was the subject of a CAMERA report pointing out the inaccuracy in the above statement.]

“Consider Norman Finkelstein. If he had been on the faculty of an Israeli university, rather than DePaul University, he probably would be an associate professor by now.I say that because several years ago I came up for tenure at Ben Gurion University of the Negev under similarly contested circumstances. As in Finkelstein’s case, when I was recommended for tenure the president was promptly inundated with letters from outsiders seeking to influence the process. Like Finkelstein’s, my sin was criticizing Israel’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. All the calls for my dismissal emanated from America — not from Israel. In one typical letter, the president of the Zionist Organization of America used ominous threats to urge the university to fire me. Yet, unlike in the Finkelstein case, ultimately intimidation failed. Why, then, have such tactics succeeded in the United States? Why do Israeli scholars have more academic freedom than their American counterparts?The answer is rooted in the fact that many American universities are being reconstructed as corporations whose major objective is to sell products, most obviously degrees to students. The corporatization of academic life means that faculty members are perceived as both producers and products. They are expected to come up with inventions and patents that can be sold to corporations, as well as with research funds and citations that have a pseudomarket value, since they help elevate the university’s ranking. As saleable products, faculty members are valued according to a corporate calculus rather than an academic one. To put it bluntly: Finkelstein was considered a liability to the corporation; therefore he was sacked.” Why Norman Finkelstein Would Have Tenure — in Israel Chronicle of Higher Education November 30, 2007

Diskin’s words are telling. He admits not only that anyone who strives to alter the Jewish character of the state is considered an enemy and will be treated as such but that the secret service has no respect for democratic practices and procedures. It is precisely within the context of the four historic documents that one should understand the recent accusations against Bishara. More than anything else, Bishara constitutes a symbolic threat, since he personifies the recent demand of the Palestinian elite to transform Israel from a Jewish democracy to a democracy for all its citizens.Israel’s Strategic Threat The Nation April 17, 2007

Interestingly, Hamas is ready to stop launching rockets and return the captive soldier if Israel discontinues its assassination policy, releases Palestinian prisoners and returns to the negotiating table to carve out a peace agreement based on Israel’s withdrawal to its 1967 borders. This needs to be seen as an opportunity. Israel should immediately put a stop to the Gaza campaign, pick up the glove, and start talking with Hamas, since, as the cliché goes, one negotiates with one’s enemies and not with one’s friends.Talking Down  the War Boston Globe  July 24, 2006

The Jewish settlers had read about the relationship between the non-Jew Jethro and the greatest of the Hebrew prophets, Moses, and learned nothing. The image of Palestinians and Israelis planting olive trees together, and enacting, in a sense, the relationship of mutual respect described in the bible, outraged them. To keep the peace, the military and police had to create a human barrier to prevent the settlers from reaching us. The Unholy Alliance Strikes Back Znet February 20, 2006

Hamas, as Azzam Tamimi suggests, underscores Israel’s breach of the UN resolutions and is willing to embark on a peace process based on the fact that Israel give up its sole ownership over victimhood and recognize that the Palestinians are the victims and have been victims since the state of Israel was established. All of which raises serious questions regarding who, at this point in time, is undermining the possibility of reaching peace in the Middle East.Why Hamas Won Counterpunch February 7, 2006

For years this demographic “threat” was kept at bay by denying the occupied Palestinians Israeli citizenship and subjecting them to military rule. Israel, in other words, created an apartheid regime in the West Bank (and Gaza) in order to sustain the Jewish majority within its borders. It installed dual legal systems within a single territory, one for Jews, the other for Palestinians. This incongruence between Israel’s geographic aspirations and demographic reality led to a political juncture whereby it had to choose one of two options: continue maintaining a system of apartheid or, conversely, give up the idea of a Jewish state.Hamas: Sharon’s Legacy ITT January 23, 2006

The readers, however, were right about one crucial point: Israel is neither France nor Europe, since in Israel police violence toward Arabs tends to be much more lethal. Indeed, both Samir’s killing and the readers’ responses reflect some of the most disturbing and dangerous aspects of contemporary Israeli culture. Most prominent among these is the deep-seated racism that encourages violence.Murder in Jerusalem Press Action Neve Gordon and Yigal Bronner December 9, 2005

The situation in South Hebron is but a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at large, which the current Israeli government conceives as a demographic war: it wishes to grab as much land as it can without upsetting the Jewish majority within the State. In Hebrew, as mentioned, this kind of scheme is called “transfer.”Demographic Wars Counterpunch March 12, 2004

The facts on the ground lay bare that the Apartheid wall, which was ostensibly built to satisfy security needs, is in fact being used as an extremely efficient weapon of dispossession and abuse. Rhetoric aside, the Palestinians’ land is being stolen, basic rights to freedom of movement and livelihood are systematically violated, and the rights to education, health and even burial are contravened. The instruments of violation are not only guns, tanks and airplanes, but Caterpillar bulldozers and Fiat tractors.Captives Behind Sharon’s Wall Counterpunch November 6, 2003

“It is interesting to note that the Israeli Supreme Court might very well agree with this assessment. In their sentencing of the Nazi-criminal, Adolf Eichmann, the Supreme Court Judges stated that “the extent to which any one of the many criminals was close to or remote from the actual killer of the victim means nothing, as far as the measure of responsibility is concerned. On the contrary, in general the degree of responsibility increases as we draw further away from the man who uses the fatal instrument with his own hands.”” The Caterpillar Effect Znet  June 1, 2002

“For instance, in the Preface (that is posted on my site), I emphasize that one cannot solve the occupation without taking into account the “ethnic cleansing” that took place in 1948, but I explain that 1948 has been discussed at length and that I want to concentrate on how the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has ticked.” Reply posted by Neve Gordon to a review of his book “Israel’s Occupation” 

Below is a selection of statements made by Neve Gordon in ‘Comment is Free’ “in his own words”:

 “If western leaders want to be conceived as credible, they must change their policy and meet with Hamas as well. Otherwise, their decision to meet Lieberman will be rightly perceived as hypocritical and duplicitous, and the pervasive perception in the region – that the United States and Europe are biased in Israel’s favour – will only be strengthened.” Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s shame March 25, 2009

“Hatred, in other words, is the great winner of this war. It has helped mobilise racist mobs, and as the soccer chant indicates it has left absolutely no place for the other, undermining even basic empathy for innocent children. Israel’s masters of war must be happy: the seeds of the next wars have certainly been sown.” Fuelling the cycle of hate January 27, 2009 by Neve Gordon and Yigal Bronner

“Ultimately, the moral claims the Israeli government uses to support its actions during this war are empty. They actually reveal Israel’s unwillingness to confront the original source of the current violence, which is not Hamas, but rather the occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem.” How to sell ‘ethical warfare’ January 16, 2009

“Indeed, there was relative quiet during the six-months truce with Hamas, a quiet that was broken most often as a reaction to Israeli violence: that is, following the extra-judicial execution of a militant or the imposition of a total blockade which prevented basic goods, like food stuff and medicine, from entering the Gaza Strip. Rather than continuing the truce, the Israeli government has once again chosen to adopt strategies of violence that are tragically akin to the ones deployed by Hamas; only, the Israeli ones are much more lethal.” The dire cost of domestic rivalries December 29, 2008

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