Previous Issue’s Letter Contained Factual Errors

    As experts in Marxism and psychoanalysis, they adopted methods of recruited and drafted art to deliver hidden messages to brainwash their subjects. Let us give examples of some of these techniques:

    False imagery — the authors call Gaza “an open air-prison,” invoking associations on enforced incarceration, ignoring the fact that the restrictions on Gaza imports are primarily designed to prevent weapons smuggling that brought to thousands of missiles bombarding civilians inside Israel. But the authors conveniently omit this detail. Another tool is false causality — the authors mention Israel military action first and then say, “In response, Hamas sent multiple rockets into Israel.” This is blatant lie since Israel operation was conducted after years of Hamas bombardments targeting Israeli civilians. Similarly, the use of words like “apartheid” or “occupation,” when Israel has left Gaza many years ago, has nothing to do with reality and are used here purely as propaganda messaging. One can only wonder then about the professors’ commitment to factual truth.

    The use of superlatives like “rain death” and “murder” applied to Israel are no other than a tool for evoking extreme imagery to create repulsive gut responses that blind thought and reason. The fact that terror can be inflicted by very primitive means, not to mention advanced missiles provided to Hamas by Iran, are not mentioned. The arguments of inequality in the number of casualties on both sides conveniently omits the facts that Hamas militants hide their rockets and ammunition in the midst of civilian population, using Palestinians as human shields in a win-win situation — if Israel does not retaliate, Hamas wins in war, and if innocent Palestinians are killed during military action, Hamas wins in propaganda.

    But aren’t academic arguments supposed to be balanced, contextual and factual? Not the professors’ letter, which makes one more use of another main propaganda technique: counterfactual thinking — the final manipulation once the imagery and emotions are set in place. What if Israel is stripped of its military might? Wouldn’t the world be a better place? The authors imply this, but their argument remains hidden, while the rest of their writing leaves no space for constructive arguments.

    When does art, literature and even research cross the lines into shallow activism? Too often, according to a recent report by the National Association of Scholars that warns against the corrupting effect of political activism in the University of California. The professors’ letter is a clear example of this. It is a personal opinions that abuses academic culture by using a student-run newspaper to run blatant propaganda disguised in academic pretense. So if you do not learn it in the classroom please remember from now on — excessive imagery, false causality and counterfactuals — you are being recruited (or manipulated).

    —Shlomo Dubnov
    Department of Music

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