Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh So Notable - Not

"HAA Travels" has invited Alumni, Family, Friends, and Guests of the Harvard Alumni Association to travel to the Middle East with the HAA.


Here is the blurb for one of the tours, entitled "The Holy Land: Views on Israeli-Palestinian Relations" to take place between Oct 6-16, 2010 with Everett Mendelsohn:-

Explore the archaeological and cultural heritage of Israel and Palestine, and engage in the political issues that they face. Visit Jerusalem with its unique interplay of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures and Ramallah, the political center of the Palestinian Authority. Then travel through the Jordan Valley to Tiberias, base for visits to ancient Capernaum and Beit She’an, a well preserved Roman and Byzantine city. Conclude in sophisticated and vibrant Tel Aviv. Meetings with distinguished Israeli and Palestinian notables in the political and diplomatic worlds will enhance this unique journey.

Here's an appreciation:

“Depth of information and contacts was beyond my expectations…It is hard to single out highlights as there were several each day. Personal contact and exposure were very meaningful.” – HAA Traveler from Hingham, Mass. reflecting on the trip to Israel in 2008

See here for more info.

By the way, this is a 'rich' tour: it "starts" from $7,795 per person. For 10 days (actually almost 9). Are they leaving big tips for Arab refugees?

But let's get back to basics.

Everett Mendelsohn is...Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Harvard University, where he has been on the faculty since 1960. Among his recent publications are “Religious Fundamentalism and the Sciences” and “Grasping the Elusive Peace in the Middle East.” He coauthored the report, “Israeli-Palestinian Security – Issues in the Permanent Status Negotiations” for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences where he chaired the Middle East Security subcommittee. He has visited widely in the Middle East on a regular basis since 1968. He is committed to using his personal contacts to ensure we receive a balanced perspective on the history and current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

He happens to be on the FFIPP-USA Advisory Board. FFIPP is

an international network of academics and students that support a complete end to the illegal Israeli occupation of lands seized in the 1967 war and removal of all the settlements and the separation wall built on occupied land.

We call on Israeli, Palestinian and international academics everywhere to take a stand in support of ending the occupation, as well as against the extreme violence to which it has subjected both Palestinians and Israelis. Academics worldwide must also stand firm in support of the basic human right for free education in both Palestine and Israel, a right that has been compromised, continually in Palestine, due to the continued occupation.

1. We call upon international academics visiting Israeli institutions of higher education, and Israeli academics visiting foreign institutions, to make clear their support of ending the Israeli occupation and the removal of the separation wall built on occupied land.
2. Academics invited to speak at Israeli educational institutions should try to visit and speak at equivalent Palestinian institutions.
3. FFIPPI supports the call to sanction faculty and institutions, which clearly support the occupation.
4. FFIPPI calls on professional associations of academics, in Israel and internationally, to take a stand against the occupation and to issue guidelines regarding the use of academic connections to promote the end of Israeli occupation.
5. FFIPPI expresses its strong support for and encouragement of individuals in the Israeli and Palestinian academy whose actions against the occupation and in support of peace and justice have resulted in personal hardship. Notable cases include Israelis refusing IDF military service in the occupied territories; those publicly condemning the violation of civil and human rights in the occupied territories; and those Palestinians who have called for an end to suicide bombing and the use of arms against Civilian targets. FFIPPI will act to publicize their actions.
6. FFIPPI views the College of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank as a part of the machinery of Israeli occupation and calls upon academics worldwide to refuse to collaborate with it in any way...

Well, I just love the liberal progressive approach to academic freedom.

Those poor (actually quite rich) tourists. This is a political tour of pro-Pal. character.

But one more thing.

I love the use of "notables" up there.

"Notables" is a key term in what is claimed to be "Palestinian nationalism" which at the most was a clash of competing elite families who sought (and bought) favors from the central power authority - Ottoman or British, or Jordanian for that matter.

See here and also here. And this:

...the Muslim-Christian Association (MCA) first appeared in Jaffa early in November 1918, and in Jerusalem later the same month; subsequently it set up branches in various Palestinian towns. The purpose behind creating the MCA was to organize a Palestinian national struggle against the threat of Zionism.

The top leadership of the MCA was drawn largely from the older generation of urban notables who had social standing in Ottoman times. Initially, the MCA, under former Jerusalem mayor Musa Kazim al-Husayni, did not have much political power, and its significance derived from the fact that it embodied the concept of political cooperation between Muslims and Christians in Palestine. Gradually, however, it became a group of leaders and activists who were able to mobilize important segments of Palestinian society around a program of independence and opposition to Zionism...

More sympathetic background here.

The tour doesn't seem balanced.

I would suggest a meeting with a revenant Jew residing in the area of his historic national homeland to present his view and narrative.

Want to suggest me?

Write them at


Juniper in the Desert said...

Dr Frankenstein has clearly drunk the Kool Aid!

renard said...

At Harvard's CMES, When Stephen P. Cohen dropped the bomb that identified himself as the chief author of Obama's Cairo speech, Everett Mendelsohn was sitting next to me, nodding approvingly when Cohen admitted that it was he who put the words in Obama's mouth that Israel's sole reason for existence was the experience of the Holocaust.