Flat White

Academic doesn’t hate Israel enough shock horror fury

27 February 2018

6:01 PM

27 February 2018

6:01 PM

More tragi-comedy from the letters section of that perpetual yearbook of the Class of 1968 (Head Boy – Tariq Ali), The London Review of Books:

There, the feminist American legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon can be found angrily responding to a review of her most recent book, Butterfly Politics. The reviewer, Lorna Finlayson of the University of Essex, had taken exception to MacKinnon’s 2008 acceptance of an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University in defiance of the academic Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement against Israel. (Moreover, “one of the people honored alongside her was Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher and critic of ‘Islamic extremism.’”) Adding insult to injury, MacKinnon returned to the Zionist entity in 2014, where she “delivered a speech at the Kiryat Ono Academic College in which she praised the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as ‘the only army in the world that does not rape the women of its occupied people.’” Citing the Israeli historian Benny Morris’ work on the 1948 War of Independence and a 27-year-old Amnesty International report, Finlayson disputes that this is in fact the case.

Finlayson also takes issue with what she calls MacKinnon’s “broadly pro-American narrative when it comes to global politics.” MacKinnon, a critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and hardly a liberal interventionist, is guilty of this charge because she draws a parallel between terrorism and misogynist violence, seeing both rooted in a “masculine ideology.” This is revealing of a “pro-American narrative,” Finlayson argues, because, while women have done nothing to deserve the violence of a patriarchal society, the same can hardly be said of the terrorism directed at America and other Western imperialist states, responsible for the “destruction of entire Middle Eastern societies and their ways of life.”

In most academic circles, especially the ones inhabited by Catharine MacKinnon and Laura Finlayson, the accusation that one is acting as a useful idiot for George W. Bush is a scarlet letter, as depraved as liking child pornography or torturing animals. But the allegation that she is a handmaiden of American imperialism is not what prompted MacKinnon to write a letter to the editor. No, it was the fear that readers of the London Review of Books might mistake her for having even the slightest sympathy for the Jewish State which stirred the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at Michigan Law and James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School to action.

Understandably in woke academic circles (or wokademia, as it now self-identifies), one has to disassociate oneself from any ounce of not just sympathy but even begrudging equivocation relating to the Zionist Entity.


That MacKinnon is a nasty piece of work, responsibility in large part for current plague of man-hating, neo-Marxist third wave feminism, makes the exchange even more delightful, proving once again that no matter how solid you think you are, the far left will always eat itself – and then offer up a most malodorous burp.

Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk where this piece also appears.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below


Show comments
Close