Good old Al Gore gave us Al Jazeera America when he sold his interest in Current TV to the Qatar-based propaganda news outlet. He also opened the way for us to read enlightened op-eds from my good friend Mark LeVine, professor at UCI, part-time rocker, and a guest researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden. (The below links describe him as a distinguished visiting professor, which I assume is a typo. I am going by the CMES website in both English and Swedish). I have also recently learned that Mark has some French background as reported by a former classmate of his at Hunter College who commented in a reader thread in response to Mark's own comments in last week's LA Jewish Journal in which Mark once again expressed his well-known love for Israel. (Mark is angry at me because I called him "anti-Israel" in front of his students at UCI.)
Below are two recent op-ed's by Mark in Al Jazeera America. In the first, Mark explains why ISIS resorts to such barbaric practices such as beheading people, burning them alive and such. Apparently, it's just a perfectly natural response to a history of Arab dictatorships, Western support for those dictators, and general interference from the West. As David Cameron would insist, it has nothing to do with Islam. According to Mark, it's just a new model of resistance.Now I understand why Mark got so mad at me a few months ago at UC Irvine when I called him "anti-Israel", thus unleashing a profanity-filled tirade from Mark in front of own own students. You see, Mark shares a love of Israel with that noted Israel-lover Omar Barghouti, who co-founded the BDS movement. Why couldn't I have seen the perfectly formed logic from this modern day Voltaire. (Mark is French I recently learned from a former classmate at Hunter College.) http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/3/isils-new-model-of-resistance.htmlII
"The Arab uprisings and the Occupy movement were responses to the incurable authoritarianism of corrupt regimes and the global neoliberal system that sustains them."
Comment: What the Hell does Occupy have to do with it?
And check out the reader thread where one reader sarcastically tells Mark he might as well blame global warming. Mark's response (@ Culture Jamming)? Yes, indeed, That is one cause especially in Syria. Al Gore would be proud.
But it is the second op-ed that Mark exhibits his French traits and Voltairean talents. Here he argues that the BDS movement against Israel is in reality pro-Israel.
I wonder if Mark has ever had the pleasure of meeting Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement. I have and would be happy to introduce them. Barghouti is also a man of mysterious background. I have tried to ask Omar about his origins but he is very sensitive about it.
But I digress. Suffice to say, the ultimate goal of the BDS crowd is the disappearance of Israel-and that includes Jewish Voice for Peace, of which LeVine is apparently a member.
LeVine's logic is obviously too complicated for this simple guy who can't grasp why Arabs beheading people is the fault of the West when the practice started a couple of centuries ago and is mentioned in the Koran ("Smite their necks"). Like Mark told me, I am not qualified to teach at UC Irvine. As for BDS, much as I have observed and listened, I have failed to see the love for Israel behind the movement.
But I am no Voltaire.