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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 2009

Naaman replies

Raphaël Fischler argues that the York Uni­versity conference should be seen “as part of a wider effort to deny Israel the right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.” As evidence he uses a quote included in my commentary from a letter Lord Rothschild wrote in 1902. However, he neglects to mention I provided the quote as part of my citation of former Israeli education minister Shulamit Aloni’s June 4 opinion piece in Haaretz.

In response to the Nakba Law, Aloni wrote about the “transformation of Israel into a totalitarian ethnocracy.” And I included the quote to show that a Zionist longtime Knesset member is lamenting what Israel has become, while also calling for a change. Surely Aloni would not be suspect of questioning Israel’s right to exist just because she quoted Rothschild? Nor would the many Zionist Israelis who attended the confe­rence — there to promote a two-state solution and debate the one-state option.

The claim that the conference “will showcase academic discourse that is motivated, at least in part, by prejudice” needs solid grounding and support, one that is missing from Fischler’s letter.

Dorit Naaman
Alliance Atlantis Professor of Film & Media
Queen’s University

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