February 21, 2008

Israeli troops: Racist because they refuse to rape Arabs


I received a number of e-mails from Israelis pointing out that the photo I posted was not the women responsible for the "Not rape = rape" thesis -- and that the poet Tal Nitzan is most definitely not the same Tal Nitzan responsible for that fine piece of "scholarship."

Ms. Nitzan also wrote to express her dismay at the mix-up, and I've taken the photo down and edited the post accordingly.

My apologies to Ms. Nitzan.

A shande (Yiddish, אַ שאַנדע) [shan'∙deh] — a disgrace; one who brings embarrassment through mere association (cognate with the German word Schande, meaning "disgrace", cognate with English "scandal").

If you grew up in a Jewish family of Eastern European origin, you've heard an elderly Bubbie cluck her tongue and shake her head about some outrage, saying it was "a shande."

The textbook definition gives you a sense of the meaning, but let me provide a real-world example, something so outrageous it brings shame to multiple groups and organizations, including Jews, pointy-headed academics and an institution of higher learning.

Meet our woman of the hour, Israeli graduate student, feminist deep thinker -- and leftist moonbat whackjob Tal Nitzan.

Nitzan submitted her doctoral thesis to the apparent libtards at Hebrew University.

And it was judged so insightful, so very excellent, that the faculty awarded it a prize for outstanding scholarship.

The title of her thesis?

“Controlled Occupation: The Lack of Military Rape in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.”

She claims that the failure of Israeli troops to rape Arab women achieves the same goal as actually raping them; that the reluctance of Israeli troops to force themselves on Arab women is humiliating and evidence of Israeli racism -- a rather extreme example of Jewish anti-Arab discrimination.

The Canadian National Post's Barbara Kay writes:

I really don’t know how much longer satire can expect to carry on as a genre, given what passes for “scholarship” in the topsy-turvy world of academia. This pinch-me item just crossed my desk and of course I assumed it was a spoof. But I Googled the names of the academics involved and to my astonishment they are real, and this excerpt from the Israeli Shalem Centre newsletter is not a joke:

Prize Winning Sociology Thesis at Hebrew U.: Lack of Rape Among Israeli Soldiers Achieves Same Aims as Rape

A Hebrew University Sociology department M.A. thesis entitled “Controlled Occupation: The Lack of Military Rape in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict” notes that the relative absence of instances of rape by Israeli soldiers is an alternate method of achieving the same kind of degradation of Palestinian Arabs that would be achieved through a directed policy of raping Arab women.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that "the absence of directed military rape constitutes an alternative way of realizing the same political goals [usually achieved by directed military rape]. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we can see that the rarity of military rape only strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies inter-ethnic differences, just as directed military rape would have done.” The thesis, selected for publication by the university’s Shaine Center for Research in Social Sciences, was supervised by Hebrew University sociologist Eyal Ben–Ari and a senior lecturer in education, Edna Lomsky-Feder.

I’ve heard sociologists speak of “status anxiety,” but for originality and chutzpah, I have to admit that this thesis takes the cake. (“You seem gloomy, Fatima.” “What self-respecting Palestinian woman wouldn’t, Hamid? The Israeli soldiers were here to search the house – by the way, they found those rockets you hid in the baby’s toybox, sorry about that, but they didn’t make a single move on me. No rape, not even a lubricious wink or a pinch on the buttocks. Being non-violated like that, I feel so - I don't know - degraded. What am I to tell my friends…?”).

What’s next from Alice-in-Wonderland University? “Controlled Occupation: The lack of Random Bombings of Pizza Parlours in the West Bank”? Oh, those sly and underhanded Israeli soldiers. They certainly have psychological torture down to a fine art.

Academic libtards, eager to defend this idiot from attack, deride posts like this on the grounds that we're distorting the thesis, having failed to read the whole thing in all its layered, multi-culti glory.

Gerard Van Der Leun posts a lengthy analysis of the incredible story by an Israeli named Steven Plaut; it details not only the insanity that is eating the brains of Israeli leftists, but the even more deplorable reaction of the Hebrew University administration.

And he read the whole thing, too, in Hebrew.

Guess what?

It's as bad as guys like me have been saying.

Plaut says:

It began as just another exercise in political academic wackiness at the Hebrew University.

A graduate student claimed that the absence of any history of rapes of Arab women by Israeli Jewish soldiers proves that the Jews are racists and oppressors, people who do not even regard Arab women as sexually desirable. Such silliness is commonplace these days in academia, and ordinarily no one would have taken much notice. But the student at the Mount Scopus campus and her “research” were then awarded a university honor for her impressive “discoveries.” That drew media attention.

The matter has now become the worst recent scandal in Israeli academia because of the attempt by the heads of the Hebrew University to cover it up, in a manner a bit reminiscent of the worst days of Watergate. Maybe it should be dubbed Scopusgate. The scandal now rivals the “Toaff Affair” in Israel last year, in which a now-retired professor at Bar-Ilan University published “research” in which he claimed that medieval Jews used gentile blood for ceremonial purposes.

The very highest officials of the Hebrew University are themselves now implicated in a dishonest cover-up! The President of the Hebrew University, Professor Menachem Magidor, and the Rector Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch jointly issued a deliberately false “spin” announcement regarding the MA thesis of the student, claiming that the media had incorrectly described what was in it. Instead of repudiating the student and her “academic advisors,” Magidor and Rabinowitch closed ranks with them and insisted that Nitzan’s “research” represents serious scholarship. The Nitzan Affair simply shows how completely devoid of serious academic standards and quality controls parts of Israeli academia are today.

Hebrew University apologists tried to defuse the cries of outrage over the “research” by claiming that reports about it were all part of some sort of vast right-wing conspiracy. The first two media reports appeared on web sites, one Hebrew and one English, both associated with those on the Israeli Right. The apologists suggested that these were misrepresenting the thesis for political reasons. Then Magidor and Rabinovitch proclaimed that reading the entire thesis would show that it is a serious piece of scholarship. They obviously did not read it.

Well, I have now read the entire thesis (in Hebrew). [You can also, if you read Hebrew] It is not a serious piece of research. It is a disgrace and an embarrassment for all of Israeli academia. The descriptions of it on the two “rightwing” web sites were entirely accurate, and the heads of the Hebrew University simply lied about its contents, in a pathetic attempt at cover-up. While University apologists dismissed complaints about the thesis as tendentious misrepresentation of it by a vast rightwing conspiracy, the rallying in defense of the thesis by the Hebrew University administration and some professors looks a whole lot like a leftwing conspiracy to cover up.


Nitzan’s “thesis” is largely a collection of tiresome feminist rhetoric and postmodernist gibberish, not all of it related to rape. The thesis is 206 pages long and tries to appear scholarly by including many long “citations” taken from the fever swamps of radical anthropology and leftist sociology. One has to wade through it with suppressed nausea to get to its main points, and all of the main points are exactly as they were represented in the early media reports; they are at complete odds with the cover-up attempt by the Hebrew University.

Nitzan begins by noting that one should distinguish between organized military rape directly ordered by authorities as a matter of policy, such as in the Bosnian wars, and individual acts of rape by soldiers, which she labels with the nonsensical term “symptomatic rape.” She calls it that I guess because she wants us to think it is a symptom the “racist Zionist system” that is responsible for such crimes. She asserts that the first kind of rape is a form of political policy, whereas the latter kind (the “symptomatic”) is a “direct result of the blurring of social divisions and ethnic-gender barriers” (bear with me here! — SP). She confirms that the first form of organized rape has never been the policy of the Israeli army. She then says that the second form, individual “symptomatic rape,” has replaced the former as a method of humiliation and oppression of Arabs, even when - and especially when - Israeli Jewish soldiers do not do it at all! Hence, she concludes, NOT raping Arab women shows how racist the Jews are.

Nitzan cannot conceive of any rape that is not in and itself a form of establishing political control and defining political power. “Symptomatic rape” for Nitzan is a reflection of the intolerant distancing of the “dominant” group (Jewish men) from the “oppressed” group (Arab men and women). But she then completely turns this “thought” on its head by arguing 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 intolerant attitudes towards Arabs by Jewish soldiers, who think of Arabs as so inferior and horrid that they do not even feel a drive to rape them. Really. “Absence of rape is explained by the social condition in which there is blurring of attitudes towards gender power relations while at the same time social limits… are unambiguous and solid. (page 183)” 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. And numbingly stupid.

Rape for Nitzan is not violent crime at all but rather is always a manifestation of political plotting by elites. She contradicts herself by noting that, come to think of it, Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women as individuals either. She then contradicts her own contradictions and claims that the absence of rape by Israeli soldiers is “designed” to achieve the same goals as organized mass rape in other countries and in other wars.

Her “conclusions” are that Israel is so racist and intolerably anti-Arab that abstaining from rape is part and parcel of its way to enforce rigid “lines of division.” She asserts that individual soldiers abstaining from 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 main significance of the thesis as an academic work is in the fact that it illustrates the total collapse of any semblance of academic standards at the Hebrew University. The “thesis” is not worth the disk space on which it is printed. Yet it was not only accepted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University, the department in which the late pro-terror anti-Zionist extremist Baruch Kimmerling spent his career fabricating “Palestinian history”, but was even awarded a prestigious award, one evidently financed with contributions from the Shaine family. (I doubt the Shaines have any idea how their generosity was misused by the university!) Atrociously written and constantly contradicting herself, Nitzan would have been laughed out of any university maintaining serious standards, EVEN if she had been writing about a valid and legitimate subject.


The possibility that Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women because they are simply decent and honorable people, or under effective command by decent and honorable people, is automatically dismissed by Nitzan. After all, there are acts of criminal rape in Israeli civilian society, citing a radical feminist group claiming such sexual abuse is common in Israel, so this could not possibly explain the mystery. How the incidence of such civilian crimes rules out the obvious real explanation for the absence of rape by soldiers is not even the worst logical inconsistency by Nitzan and her supervisors.

Posted by Mike Lief at February 21, 2008 08:53 PM | TrackBack


This is ridiculous and disgusting and even more appalling coming from an Israeli!

Someone needs to shove a Shofar (a horn that is used as a kind of trumpet call to spiritual awareness for Jewish religious purposes) up this wack job's rear end and blow some common sense into her! Good Lord.

Posted by: April at February 18, 2008 10:34 PM

The poet and editor Tal Nitzan has nothing to do with the doctoral candidate: Tal Nitzan is quite a common name in Israel...

So you may want to rethink your theory - and take off the poet's photo.

Posted by: Lior at February 21, 2008 08:03 AM

So, if you are a soldier and you don't rape anyone, does that make you a racial supremacist?

Posted by: SonarMan at February 24, 2008 07:18 PM

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