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Texas University Cancels Book with Israeli Authors...An Arab protest achieves a Pyrrhic victory
FrontPage Magazine ^ | May 30, 2012 | Mark Tapson

Posted on 05/30/2012 5:22:20 AM PDT by SJackson

- FrontPage Magazine - http://frontpagemag.com -

Texas University Cancels Book with Israeli Authors

Posted By Mark Tapson On May 30, 2012 @ 12:56 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 12 Comments

A female Arab author claims a “cherished victory” by forcing the University of Texas to scrap the publication of an anthology of women’s voices from the Middle East – because two of the twenty-nine writers were Israeli.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UT Austin was planning to publish the book in honor of the late American scholar Elizabeth Fernai, a professor there whose life and work were focused on the Middle East.

At first, novelist Huzama Habayeb was delighted to contribute as one of fifteen Arab writers. But that turned to “horror,” as a Gulf News editorial put it, when she realized that the collection would also feature two Israeli women, Yehudit Hendel and Orly Castel-Bloom. Habayeb withdrew her manuscript, complaining to the Center that Israel is an “occupier” of her land “Palestine” – although she was born in Kuwait, raised in Jordan, lives in Dubai, and has never set foot in Israel.

The university accepted her withdrawal but moved forward with plans to publish. Taken aback by this, Habayeb determined to ban the book altogether. She urged other Arab contributors to withdraw their manuscripts. A friend, Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour who is married to a Palestinian poet, was the first to go along. Then others got onboard.

The Center shrugged and said the book was already at the printers and would be published as is. Habayeb wasn’t about to give up. “There are academic boycott movements around the world protesting the Israeli occupation,” she said, then incorrectly claimed that “the only two countries where they don’t exist are the United States and Israel.” She threatened to embarrass the university: “It doesn’t need a genius to figure out that the Texas center wanted to resolve the issue quickly and silently.”

According to Dr. Kamran Scot Aghaie, the Center’s director, twelve authors asked to withdraw their contributions from the volume, with one additional request from the translator of another submission. “All the Arab writers whom I managed to contact withdrew their contributions,” Habayeb exulted.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies refused to censor or discriminate against the Israelis, but the boycott led to enough withdrawals to make the book project no longer viable, so the publication was discontinued. Habayeb crowed to the Dubai-based website Gulf News,

I am so proud of having the book cancelled. I am a Palestinian and to achieve this, to be able to resist the illegal Israeli occupation of my homeland is something that I will cherish forever. It is my own victory in the struggle.

An opinion piece in the Gulf News gleefully reported that “Habayeb has a smile on her face this morning” and described her actions as “those of a resistance fighter.” It insisted that “academics the world over need to ensure that Israel is isolated for its immoral and illegal actions in occupying Palestine and repressing the Palestinian people.” (Dr. Aghaie offers another perspective on that: “The unfortunate reality is that in Middle Eastern Studies sometimes politics trumps academic ideals.”) The editorial closes by saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword” – an odd moral to draw from the censorship of nearly thirty writers.

In her own editorial to Gulf News, self-importantly titled “My ‘No’ Says More, and Matters More,” Habayeb waxed melodramatic about what she considers her courageous stand:

I started as a lone voice. In the silence of a rather vigilant night, my keyboard was my sole collaborator. Few words of protest, engulfed by anger and discontent, found their way into a yet-to-be-filled draft email.

My overly conscious heart was heavy. “I cannot accept, ethically and morally, that my voice be shared equally with writers who reflect the voice of an obnoxious occupier,” I wrote…

She denounced Israel’s presence in the book as “an allegedly legitimate literary Middle Eastern component that desperately seeks acceptance, notwithstanding its ‘genocidal’ practices against Palestinians.” Actually, Israel is not desperate, literarily or otherwise; it is flourishing and happy, as always. Thirteen Nobel Prizes for Literature have been awarded to Israeli authors; the Arab world has received one, despite its enormous population advantage.

It is the Arab world that is desperate – desperately impoverished (apart from the oil-moneyed elites), desperately ignorant, desperately backward (apart from the faux modernization of a tiny handful of places like Dubai, where Habayeb lives), and desperately humiliated by the success story that is Israel, a tiny sliver of a country that the Arab world is obsessed with (but incapable of) destroying. As for Israel’s “genocidal practices,” they are apparently very ineffective, since Palestinians have one of the highest rates of population growth in the world.

Habayeb agonized over her response to the Center’s outrageous inclusion of two Israelis, referring to her “defeated self” as “homeless”: “How can I refuse to hate a ‘killer state’ or not turn a deaf ear to voices that reflect its disgrace? I can’t. I simply cannot.”

So she kept up a “10-day unrelenting campaign, infused with persistent passion and decades-long inherited losses and accumulated pains,” until she convinced enough contributors to pull out, and her “no” was joined by other “no’s”:

In a region caught in defeat and despair, the ‘No’ turning into ‘No’s’ comes as a symbolic victory. My ‘No’ is alone no more. My ‘No’ says more, and it means even more. It is heard loud…

Actually, it is not heard at all, nor will any of the twenty-eight other voices be heard that would have been published in the book. All Habayeb has accomplished, with her hateful determination to excise a mere two Israeli essays from a book of twenty-nine, is the Pyrrhic victory of silencing everyone, including herself and fourteen of her fellow Arabs.

Habayeb and her cohorts’ chorus of “no’s” is the contrast between the moribund, nihilistic Arab world and Israel’s “yes.” “We love death more than you love life,” they proudly proclaim. Even in a matter so small as an obscure academic publication, Israel’s enemies are happy to ruin everything for everyone, even themselves, in their desperate, impotent compulsion to punish Israel.

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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/05/30/texas-university-cancels-book-with-israeli-authors/

Copyright © 2009 FrontPage Magazine. All rights reserved.


TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events; US: Texas; War on Terror
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/30/2012 5:22:23 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

A cherished victory, palestinian culture on display.

2 posted on 05/30/2012 5:24:10 AM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, M Obama)
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To: SJackson

Musn’t offend the Muzzies.


3 posted on 05/30/2012 5:37:53 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: SJackson

Publish it. Now.

This is Texas, no one tells us what to do.


4 posted on 05/30/2012 5:50:22 AM PDT by buffaloguy (uab.)
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To: SJackson

Austin is a liberal paradise ...And University of Texas is the same so they of course will side with the filthy Muslims..


5 posted on 05/30/2012 5:52:33 AM PDT by PLD (It is time the freeloaders leave the white house and go back to the hell hole where they came from..)
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To: SJackson

UT-Nuremberg


6 posted on 05/30/2012 6:06:52 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Democrats- Forgetting 9/11 since 9/12/01)
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To: SJackson

Victory: Denying 29 authors the money and respect they would have earned from being part of an anthology, to support a bunch of bigoted thugs. She might want to find out just what ‘Palestine’ is like these days..

Bah, it won’t matter, it’s coming to a country near her anyway.


7 posted on 05/30/2012 6:06:52 AM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: SJackson

The Palestinian record for turning everything they touch to sh*t remains intact.


8 posted on 05/30/2012 6:09:16 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: SJackson

Holy Hussein, Batman, it’s a scorched earth conflict against a racial minority.


9 posted on 05/30/2012 6:18:57 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: buffaloguy

Solicit 12 more Israelis to replace the withdrawn arab manuscrcipts and publish it. Preferably Israelis who were displaced from Egypt, Iraq, Iran and other “muzzie” lands


10 posted on 05/30/2012 6:19:07 AM PDT by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: SJackson
UT Austin should be ashamed of themselves. This Muslim should have been told that her request was tantamount to ethnic and religious discrimination and if that's what she's about, she's better suited back in her Muslim shathole. Instead, they embrace the Muslim hatred and shun our ally.
11 posted on 05/30/2012 6:20:50 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: Slings and Arrows

At least THOSE freaks don’t have nuclear weapons — yet — or they’d have used them by now.

This is why Hussein wants to disarm Israel, although it still amazes me that American Jews are such leftists.


12 posted on 05/30/2012 6:22:46 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: SJackson

UT is an embarrassement to the great state of Texas. Several years ago, the muzzies had set up their tents on campus and were protesting something. They were screaming and shaking their fists at everyone who passed. I must say, it was a bit frightening but that’s their MO. Then there’s the prof (Pianky) who wants to spread ebola so 90% of the population is exterminated. There is nothing of any decent worth in that hell hole, not even their football team.


13 posted on 05/30/2012 6:30:57 AM PDT by bgill
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To: SJackson

Before I even looked at the article, I knew this was UT-Austin.

Something are not too hard to figure out!


14 posted on 05/30/2012 6:38:03 AM PDT by TexanByBirth (Free Republic: where they may agree with the message, but they love to shoot the messenger!)
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To: SJackson
A cherished victory, palestinian culture on display.

A dog in the manger of civilization.

15 posted on 05/30/2012 6:43:27 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: TexanByBirth
Before I even looked at the article, I knew this was UT-Austin.

Dittos here. The most liberal university in Texas.

16 posted on 05/30/2012 6:54:34 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (It's time to take out the trash in DC.)
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To: liberalh8ter

Unless I am mistaken, UT did tell her to pound sound, and she got all the other arabs to join her boycott, resulting in no book.

The headline is misleading compared to the text.


17 posted on 05/30/2012 7:37:21 AM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: PLD

UT did not side with the muslims (surprisingly).

FTA: “The Center for Middle Eastern Studies refused to censor or discriminate against the Israelis, but the boycott led to enough withdrawals to make the book project no longer viable, so the publication was discontinued. “


18 posted on 05/30/2012 7:39:07 AM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: Jewbacca
You are correct but I feel the University should have moved forward and found other authors to continue the project.
19 posted on 05/30/2012 7:45:57 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: bgill

Another reason my children went to Texas A & M.


20 posted on 05/30/2012 7:47:24 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter (Ia)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks SJackson.
...novelist Huzama Habayeb was delighted to contribute as one of fifteen Arab writers. But that turned to "horror," as a Gulf News editorial put it, when she realized that the collection would also feature two Israeli women, Yehudit Hendel and Orly Castel-Bloom. Habayeb withdrew her manuscript, complaining to the Center that Israel is an "occupier" of her land "Palestine" -- although she was born in Kuwait, raised in Jordan, lives in Dubai, and has never set foot in Israel.

21 posted on 05/30/2012 8:23:33 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Jewbacca
UT did not side with the Muslims (surprisingly).

That is a big surprise..

I really think it is time to clean our universitys out and sent the Muslims back where they came from..I am getting tired of filth Muslims like these ruling ever thing we do in this country..It is happening and we had better do something about it before they out number all of us here..

22 posted on 05/30/2012 10:22:01 AM PDT by PLD (It is time the freeloaders leave the white house and go back to the hell hole where they came from..)
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To: buffaloguy

What are these anti-freedom throw backs doing in our country anyway? All they do is make trouble.


23 posted on 05/31/2012 12:04:57 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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