The logic of the left

From Arutz Sheva:

Hebrew University Paper Finds: IDF Has Political Motives for Not Raping
Hebrew University committee prize-winning paper finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.
By Hillel Fendel | First Publish: 12/23/2007, 5:01 PM

A research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers’ committee prizefinds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that “the lack of organized military rape is analternate way of realizing [particular] political goals.”

The next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this manner: “In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences – just as organized military rape would have done.”

The paper further theorizes that Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers’ eyes.

The paper was published by the Hebrew University’s Shaine Center, based on the recommendation of a Hebrew University professors’ committee headed by Dr. Zali Gurevitch.

More at the link; hat tip to Phineas Fahrquar.

Both Mr Fahrquar and professor William Jacobson focused on the inanity of the claim that Israeli soldiers not raping Palestinian women is evidence of racism, but another point caught my eye; the paper also claimed that organized military rape would be the same thing, and be intended to accomplish the same goals. It’s kind of like the logic of our environmentalist friends telling us that increased temperatures prove the theory of global warming and temperatures not increasing also prove the theory of global warming; the theory is always right — and settled science! — regardless of the evidence, because, well because they say so! Tal Nitzan’s logic, should we distinguish it with that name, is pretty simple: it doesn’t matter if IDF soldiers raping Palestinian women is more common or less common; it’s all a nefarious plot.

I am reminded of a management team meeting back in 1999. Some of us were responsible for the safety program, and there was a numerical goal set for accidents. Obviously, in an corporation, the real goal for accidents is zero, but a numerical goal greater than zero, but lower than what the norm had been previously, was seen as measurable progress. It was jokingly asked whether, if we were under our goal for accidents whether we needed to make some occur. Perhaps, I thought, Miss Nitzan was somehow setting a “normal” rape rate, and was investigating whether an significant deviance from the normal rape rate was somehow a manipulation by the IDF leadership. However, :

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.

Tal Nitzan was a graduate student in anthropology at the Hebrew University. Her thesis was supervised by anthropology Professor Eyal Ben Ari and by Dr. Edna Lomsky-Feder, from the Hebrew University’s school of education, a leftist with a history of denouncing Israel for its supposed “militarism.” The thesis was evidently also supported by anthropology , the head of the Shaine Center (and himself an anti-Israel leftist radical), who defended it to the media and made the decision to award it a prize of honors.

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.

More at the link.

Every Western military tries to educate its soldiers that rape is wrong and a crime. Those rape prevention programs are not always successful, and here in the United States, President Obama has ordered an increased stress on prosecutions for rape allegations in the military, ordered that such things never be somehow swept under the rug. But Miss Nitzan seems to believe that the Israel Defense Forces telling its soldiers not to commit rape is somehow evidence of a bad thing, rather than a positive accomplishment. This is, one supposes, what happens when a predetermined goal outweighs consideration of the facts.

Apparently, there is a need for x number if Israeli soldiers to go out and “symptomatically rape,” some specified range of Palestinian women — and men, too, just to prove that they aren’t homophobic — to prove that the Israelis don’t hate the Palestinians. One hopes that Miss Nitzan can provide that number to the IDF leadership, so they can know just how many rapes are necessary to prove that they are good guys.

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