Modern academia has become a welcome place for full-time anti-Israel propagandists. They churn out diatribes bashing Israel and misrepresent this as scholarship and research. Jennifer Loewenstein, an associate director of the Middle East Studies program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is just such a fulltime professional Israel basher – and an archetypal example of the erosion of academic standards.
Loewenstein's professional field is actually supposed to be "business communications." She came to the University of Wisconsin originally as a lecturer in business administration. Yet, she has never published a single academic article about "business communications" or business administration. Indeed, Lowenstein has no PhD at all, (which does not stop her from listing herself regularly as "Professor" and "Doctor").
No less significant is that she has no training at all in Middle East studies. On the other hand, Loewenstein has published scores of anti-Israel articles in the radical Counterpunch web magazine. It is a reflection of the magazine's political inclinations that it endorses anti-Semitic conspiracy "theories" and increasingly publishes Holocaust Denier columnists. Some of its columnists moonlight as writers for Neo-Nazi web sites and organizations.
Counterpunch is Loewenstein's main forum for her political venting. She also publishes regularly in other extremist venues. These include "Global Research," a web site run by Canadian Neo-Nazi Michel Chussudovsky, which claims that a Jewish cabal was really behind the 9/11 attacks on the US. Loewenstein is active in several anti-Israel organizations, and has promoted the pro-terror "International Solidarity Movement."
That Loewenstein can often be found sharing editorial real estate with cranks and conspiracy theorists is no coincidence. Loewenstein herself rants about the Zionist bogeyman in "control" of the US. For instance, she has written that:
"Powerful pro-Israel organizations within the United States, including but not limited to the organized mainstream American Jewish community are allowed to prevail over our opinions with their increasingly vicious and racist propaganda against Arabs and Muslims."
To underscore the point, Lowenstein embellishes one of her blog entries with a large Nazi swastika with Jewish stars carried on each of its arms. The Nazi analogy is a running theme of Loewenstein's attacks on the Jewish state. To Loewenstein, Israel is a Nazi-like entity that perpetrates a genocidal "Holocaust" in Gaza. She cannot look at a passing Israeli soldier without seeing a Nazi storm trooper, someone she says "looks like the stereotype of a Nazi soldier." In a quote that could easily have been printed by the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer in the 1930s, she adds:
"The Neo-Jewish Masters and their allies in the United States… have no intention of making a just peace with the lower forms of life in their midst."
In Loewenstein's take on reality, Israel engages in state terror while operating a cabal that enslaves the American government and dictates its policies.
Loewenstein is Jewish-born, but she seems interested in her Jewish roots only to the extent that they can be used as a bludgeon against Israel and its supporters in the Jewish community. Even Yom Kippur for her is nothing more than an excuse to attack her two favorite targets.
John Perazzo has described her thus:
"Though Jewish, Loewenstein harbors a caustic hatred for Israel, a nation she views as an illegitimate entity with no right to exist. At the same time, she sees Palestinians as innocents, relentlessly oppressed and brutalized by violent, sadistic Jews."
Loewenstein harbors a similarly bitter animus against America. Frequently denouncing what she calls American "imperialism," she describes the war in Iraq in typically conspiratorial fashion:
"100,000 dead Iraqis so that we can control Iraqi oil….So that a few wealthy businessmen and women in the United States can continue to gain huge profits at the expense of the American people."
Elsewhere, she describes the campaign in Iraq thus:
"Our war-mongering, rapacious actions have turned a chaotic, suffering region into an even greater hell."
On what scholarly authority does Loewenstein render these judgments in the Middle East? Loewenstein claims to have "worked" in Beirut, Gaza and Jerusalem. She did spend a few months once at the al-Mezan Center "for human rights" in Gaza. But this is little more than a Hamas front group that churns out anti-Israel propaganda.
Loewenstein also claims to have spent some time as a "visiting research fellow" at the Oxford University Refugee Studies Center. The center's claim to fame is that it publishes a magazine called Forced Migration Review. Representative of the magazine's editorial perspective is its claim that there is a Jewish cabal to "police thought" about the Middle East on American campuses.
The one thing Loewenstein insists is beyond questioning or challenge is her insistence that Hamas has nothing at all to do with "terror," a word Loewenstein invariably writes with scare-quotation marks. These same terrorists are labeled the resistance by her, a word she never writes with quotation marks. Hamas' behavior also has nothing at all to do with provoking Israeli anti-terror reprisals, she insists. Indeed there is no such thing as Arab terrorism in Loewenstein's universe. Every mass murder by Arab terrorists is resistance. When the Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, some of which killed Israeli Arabs, that too was resistance, she insists.
Loewenstein insists that Hamas rockets do not "count" because they are "technologically primitive." Writing in Counterpunch, Loewenstein insists that the Hamas is a harmless amusement, certainly nothing that could excuse Israel defending itself. In her words,
"Meticulously and clinically thought through even before the first rocket from Gaza claimed a life inside Israel, the slaughter in Gaza today has nothing to do with rockets or with Hamas."
Indeed, Loewenstein insists that the Hamas is actually nothing more than a peace movement, embracing a "two-state solution" in which Israel will survive – a solution which incidentally she opposes – and is simply working to nudge Israel back to its pre-1967 "Green Line" borders. Here she is, in Counterpunch, explaining why Palestinian terrorism is dandy, the most justified act since Lincoln freed the slaves:
"While they are being stomped, shot, beaten, demolished, assassinated, intimidated, robbed, despoiled, starved, uprooted, dispossessed, harassed, insulted and killed with bullets, missiles, armored bulldozers, tanks, helicopter gun-ships, cluster-bombs, fleshettes (sic), fighter-bombers, semi-automatic submachine guns, sonic booms, tear gas, electrified fences, blockades, closures and walls, they must renounce violence so that the hoodlums won't get hurt. If they defend themselves they lose."
When Israel builds a security fence to keep the terrorists from mass murdering its children, here is Loewenstein's conclusion:
"This neo-fascist, Stalinist, gulag Guantanamo is there to keep you out, to keep you from even trying, from even wanting, to go in."
Loewenstein cannot type more than a few words without accusing Israel of perpetrating "genocide" of Palestinians. Since the number of Palestinians has actually grown rapidly under Israeli "occupation," John Perazzo has commented caustically, "Genocide does not typically lead to the tripling of a population." Loewenstein also regularly insist that Israeli leaders take great pleasure in the murder of Jews by terrorists, since this allows Israel to pursue its inhuman policies.
That Loewenstein has joined the growing ranks of professional Jew baiters and Israel bashers in academia is perhaps unsurprising. That an otherwise serious institution like the University of Wisconsin should keep such a person employed on its Middle East Studies staff is nothing short of bewildering.