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21 November 2010


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Well he said it in a nut shell. "That is how the game is played".

I do disagree with him with one regard. "The whole of Academia", being racist toward the Palestinians. I have to say its pretty much split right down the middle taht I can see.

There are universities that are internally doing there version of the "Blue and the Gray" over the Palestinian question.

Then you have those who are blatantly pro-Israel or pro-Palestine.

In my opinion, this is exactly what the pro-Israel lobby wants, division.

And division gets us, no where, real fast.


It's too bad, I suspect Mr Boyle would be first in line to defend a Jewish person's rights were they too being persecuted.

Patrick Lang


Larry Kart has been trying to post this.


"'Not to excuse the likes of Daniel Pipes et al., but Prof. Boyle is a pretty hard core pro-Palestinian activist -- i.e. someone who is playing the "game" from his vantage point with all the vigor at his command, even in this video interview:


Note this familiar "Israel equals Nazis" move from his 2009 article "US Promotes Israeli Genocide" in The Turkish Weekly (excerpted from Boyle's book "Tackling America's Toughest Questions"):

'The paradigmatic example of “crimes against humanity” is what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jewish people. This is where the concept of “crimes against humanity” came from. And this is what the U.N. Human Rights Commission determined that Israel is currently doing to the Palestinian people: crimes against humanity. Expressed in legal terms, this is just like what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews.'

And, please, as I hope the Colonel knows, I am not a Hasbara type, literally or in any other manner (or so I like to think)." Larry Kart"

Larry Kart

Thanks -- sorry for the kerfuffle.


I read the links and the Turkish Article quoted on the wikipedia link Larry Kart asked you to post. Plenty of interesting ideas and lots of legalese, but it looks like that is a correct legal interpretation of the term 'crimes against humanity':

Mr. Boyle is certainly correct in the Turkish article that Obama is unlikely to change the US position in regards to Israel.


it is certainly correct that Boyle has a point of view and is an activist in promoting it.

That doesn't mean that his description of the organised reaction to what he has to say isn't accurate.

The same has happened to others as well. It is reproduceable once you hold a sufficiently critical point of view. As far as Israel is concerned there appears to be little tolerance for criticism.

Larry Kart

confusedponderer -- You're right about the organized reaction to what Boyle and others have to say; it's real and part of the "game," regrettable though that game may be. My point is that the video shows Boyle too playing his side of the "game" as hard as can be, that his "Look at what they've done to the likes of poor me" stance is one of his hole cards, and that he plays it (I would say, plays it up) quite judiciously.


I'm surprised that anyone gives him the time of day. I'd never heard of him, so listened to a couple of his interviews and he is positively barking. He rails about the jack-booted police state which limits all of our free speech without ever figuring out that, if it existed as he describes, it would have dropped him from his tenured position at a public school. The fact that he is free to speak out destroys his own contention.

His assertion that Obama is a product of the neocons would be risible, but he believes it so strongly I can't laugh at the disabled.

I am sure he is right in saying that people who blindly support Israel would like to see him dropped from the public discourse for his blindly pro-palestinian views but, after hearing him for a few minutes, it is clear that any organization which values fact-based discourse would drop him in favor of anyone grounded in reality.

Just another guy who uses the Israel lobby as the reason no one listens to him when the reason is his own lack of scholarship or perspective.


Well, from one who has been in the Academia in different cities I would have to say Boyle's information is largely spot on. At faculty meetings people are cowed to speak of Israeli atrocities... and when they do are accused of antisemitism or, as Charles (above) attempts, "not being fact based".

Its odd, its as if the memory of these atrocities lasts about a month at most, and then it is dismissed as not true. The bombing of Gaza and the Mavi Marmara are recent examples. There are many who actually claim there is no siege, or that the Israeli forces didn't invade and imprison members of the Hamas government after its fair election. At 'learned gatherings' it is no different. The rare ones who speak out, who act to maintain public memory, are quickly branded and have to live with the added stress of it.


I would like Charles to tell me what is not fact based in Frances Boyle's very recent speech (November 18) accessible below:



OK, let me take a look at it. While I do, tell us all what is fact based about Boyle's contentions that I pointed out above. Obama a product of the neocons?

My limited experience with academia is that Israel has few friends there and that the party line is that suicide bombs are the understandable result of Israeli aggression. If Boyle was right, people like David Horowitz would not have such a hard time addressing collegiate audiences nor need personal security. I don't think it is as simple as Boyle wants to think, although it must be comforting to think there is a conspiracy against him. Makes him feel important and gives him an excuse for not being taken seriously.


I would like to point out that Charles' comment on this page at 10.41 eloquently proves the point that Professor Boyle makes in his short video, and well demonstrates a common method of character assassination. Consider the structure of the subtext in Charles's comment:

Paragraph 1, Professor Boyle is insignificant ("never heard of him") and both extreme and wrong.

Paragraph 2, because he is extreme and wrong you should pay no attention to any specific statement he might make.

Paragraph 3, he is against Israel and should lose his current position.

Paragraph 4, Professor Boyle opposes the Israel Lobby because he has neither "scholarship or perspective".

There is a cascading of personal insults, one paragraph seemingly building on the last, although there are no facts to relate, and the indulgent tone pitches itself 'above the issues'.

That is, of course, the point: the real issues disappear. All we are left with is a personal attack against his professional qualifications. The issue has become: should Professor Boyle have his job?

So I encourage you all to watch the most recent video of Professor Boyle, and to judge for yourself the relevance of his experience. It might be eye opening, and you might see why he has been, and continues to be, specifically targeted.


Charles I

Charles, you seem to barking ad hominem fact divorced rhetoric.

Boyle's a fervent pedant, but makes a legally correct, rationally tenable though rather yucky analogy, which you don't address. Guy's so risible, why waste a jackboot on him, you'll do. Jackboots are for people who can't defend themselves in any event.

I, a complete zero with a law degree and a conscience was treated to similar written rhetoric and hate mail from Q.C'ed muckety-mucks and anonymous hoi polloi haters alike upon a couple of measly letters to the editor. The derisive type, as opposed to the haters and shouters.

But never an actual factual rebuttal of a few sentences about the conduct of the State of Israel.

Back in a flash folks. Missed you guys this summer. Sorta.


Watched the video and I think it makes my point about Boyle's lack of perspective. He repeatedly asserts that the Palestinians have always negotiated in good faith while the Israelis have always slow rolled. I didn't see any recognition that the Palestinians were also waging their own violent conflict during most of this period. Their twin tracks of talking and sending suicide bombers to hit civilian targets doesn't fit the definition of good faith. If he wanted to talk about the ebb and flow of Palestinian and Israeli violence in its relationship to the peace process, at least he would be intellectually honest, but to spend an hour recounting the history of the process with only a passing reference to the violence at the end when he dismisses suicide bombs as a reasonable response to Sharon's provocation is not.

In his presentation, all the violence has been on the Israeli side. All of the Palestinian leaders have been eager and ready to sign a peace treaty even when it disadvantaged them but the Israelis refused, going so far as to poison Arafat on Bush's orders (that's what he said). All of the Arab leaders were ready to make peace and were completely trustworthy. Cast Lead killed Palestinian civilians but somehow that wasn't justified when suicide attacks on civilians is. This isn't a position with any balance or basis in fact.


Castellio: Maybe my lack of clarity has caused some impressions that I didn't intend.

I hadn't heard of him so had no preconceived notions of who he was. I paid attention to several of his interviews after hearing his charges of racism and state-sponsored persecution but wasn't impressed -- Obama is a neocon? Seriously?

Didn't say he should lose his position, I said he invalidates his police state assertion because he is employed by the state he condemns. I do question whether anyone who values intellectual honesty should listen to him very much, not because he is anti-Israel but because he is not grounded in reality -- I'll change my mind when I see anyone here defend the Obama is a neocon assertion or that Bush poisoned Arafat.

I don't think that taking his words at face value is an ad hominem attack. If I have mischaracterized them, show me where.


Charles, you characterize someone defending standards set by international law as anti-Israeli and "not grounded in reality". Can you see that?

Are you not aware that Israel regularly breaches international law? Is that okay in your book because the "other side does too"?

I suggest you read two sites regularly, and in return I will regularly read any two sites you suggest... lets say, for a month.

The two sites I recommend, both run by Jews, are http://mondoweiss.net/, and http://www.richardsilverstein.com/

You will gather more information in a month than I can possible address in this answer, and much will be relevant to your questioning of the current situation.

Your argument with Boyle seems to have reduced to two points, the cause of Arafat's death and Obama as a front for the neocons. I don't think either of those points undermines Boyle's relation to reality in the least.

Arafat was poisoned, almost surely by the Israelis; whether Sharon had to ask permission from Bush I really don't know. I doubt it, but Boyle, who knows more than I, says it was the case. You might prefer to follow David Frum, who loudly claimed he died from AIDS. You might want to set the poisoning in the context of the on-going attacks at that time on the headquarters in Ramallah. You might also want to consider the role of Abbas since then. He is not legally the representative of anyone right now, his mandate having expired, although the west treats him as such.

In terms of policy, Obama has continued all the policies sometimes grouped as "neocon" (I personally don't like the term). Givenf his massive funding from Wall Street and the Pritzer and Crowne families in Chicago, that makes perfect sense. There is a reason why Dennis Ross still runs American policy in the Middle East, you might ask yourself why.

Suggest the two sites you want me to regularly read for a month. I am a disciplined person, I will do it, and I look forward to learning from your sources.

Larry Kart

Castellio -- You mean the Pritzker and Crown families, not "Pritzer" and "Crowne."


I apologize. Larry, you're right... I should have checked but actually wrote that while pressed to catch a flight... I thought I owed it to Charles to answer as promptly as possible. I'm now at the destination.

How fitting is that to make simple spelling mistakes while boasting of one's discipline...


I don't think that anyone who upholds international law is necessarily anti-Israel, but someone who ignores the the suicide bombers on one side when condemning the attacks by the other is anti-reason. I read lots of sites, including this one, that catalogs the many abuses of the Israelis, but what Boyle ignores is the attacks by the Palestinians against civilian targets -- his world appears Manichean with a spotless good side and a irredeemable bad side. Despite the obvious lack of scholarship and balance, he claims that he is persecuted by the police state at the behest of the Jewish lobby. That's been my point all along. Not that the Israelis are always good -- Pollard should rot in jail; should AIPAC be found guilty of spying, they should join him -- but that the issue is not one-sided. This is the fourth recent charge of conspiracy and censorship by the Jewish lobby that, upon examination we find that the speaker is provably wrong. It's easy to claim persecution in our culture of victimization. Its harder to look at oneself and admit that he has been ignoring the suicide bombings while enabling the negotiations -- especially when it is so difficult to tell which was the strategy and which the tactic.

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