In a much publicized and criticized article, cultural anthropologist Sarah Ihmoud, who is under consideration for a faculty position at Boston University, accused Israel of the "rape and killing of Palestinian women." This was described by Ihmoud and her co-author as "a central aspect of Israeli troops' systematic massacres and evictions during the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948."
But was this article, gratuitously charging Israel with unspeakable evil, typical of Ihmoud's scholarly output?
Writing at JNS, David Gerstman, managing editor of Campus Watch, looked at some of Ihmoud's other work and found that it "confirm[ed] her as a politicized, biased scholar who consistently distorts sources and history to fit her views.
Integral to Ihmoud's thesis is the assertion that Zionism, and the resulting state of Israel, are illegitimate. Zionism is for her the effort "to create an ethnically defined nation-state for the Jewish people in Palestine, an objective 'essentially incompatible' with the continued presence of Palestine's indigenous population." Under this premise, the two-state solution is a chimera, while a one-state solution rewards the Palestinians with a state even as it destroys the world's only Jewish nation. And why not, since to Ihmoud, there are no historic ties between Jews and the land of Israel?
This premise is flawed on two levels. First, it mirrors the sins of which Ihmoud accuses Zionists by denying the indigeneity of Jews to their proven ancestral lands. This leads logically to its second defect: anti-Semitism. The widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism includes "denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination," a fault her position embraces fully.
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