My Judaism is national and cultural. I believe that my approach is in no way inferior to the Orthodox or haredi one. It contains neither temptations of paradise, the punishment of hell, nor the revival of the dead. It is filled with a rich, multifaceted and wondrous Jewish-Hebrew culture. I also believe that secular humanism is the right answer for us as individuals and as a nation."
Last year Rubenstein was a guest professor of law at Columbia University, when Columbia shamefully invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at the University. Invited to speak at a demonstration against the Ahmadinejad invitation, Rubenstein was shocked to find that nearly all of the students who attended the protest were local Orthodox Jewish students. He writes, "The number of secular Israeli students could be counted on the fingers of one hand - with fingers to spare."
Worse still, he learned of a secular Israeli Columbia student who was inside the lecture hall, applauding Ahmadinejad's rabid anti-Israeli rhetoric. Rubenstein recounts:
I asked another Israeli who witnessed this behavior to tell me about her. I asked: How can she applaud someone that wants to exterminate her?
His matter of fact reply: "She's known to be a leftist."
In other words, "leftists" applaud a tyrant, a Nazi, a persecutor of minorities, oppressor of women, stoner of "adulterers," and executioner of homosexuals. If he protests the oppression of the Palestinians, then he must clearly be a member of the "left" and should therefore be cheered.
Later, I encountered other Israeli academicians at Columbia who added more fuel to the fire of hatred against Israel - all belonged to what is known as the radical Left.
After describing his secular bona fides, Rubenstein notes, "But if I had to choose between the kipa-wearing Jews at Columbia and the representatives of what is known in Israel as the radical Left - I know where my heart is."
Rubenstein writes that he waits in astonishment for the radical anti-Zionist Left of Israel, which there as here is firmly entrenched on university campuses, to go so absurdly far in their attacks on their country that they are disgraced in the eyes of the academic community. But, he concedes, he waits in vain. He recounts the case, previously noted on this blog, of Hebrew University graduate student Tal Nitzan, whose thesis asked the question, "How is it that, contrary to the accepted practice among other occupation armies, the Zionist occupation army does not rape [Arab women]?" Her answers, incredibly, were that Israeli soldiers bear such racial hatred against Arabs that (1) they dehumanize the Arab women and therefore do not find them sexually attractive, and (2) they do not want to augment the Arab population by risking impregnating the Arab women. Hence the refusal to rape Arab women is presented as further evidence of Zionist racism. Rubenstein comments:
The significant aspect is not this surreal research project. It is not unusual. Incitement against Israel can be found on the lowest level in some of the social science departments in Israel's universities. A well-known philosopher in Tel Aviv University called Israel the dustbin of Europe - and students, as we know, are influenced by their teachers, even when the latter are seized by a frenzy of hatred toward the state that provides their livelihood, and at the expense of which, thanks to their attacks on it, they make their names.
The interesting thing is that this "research" project won a prize from a sociology association, with a number of distinguished professors voting in favor of granting the researcher a prize.
Isn't it nice to know that should a radical Leftist scholar from an elite American university find himself, despite his desire to boycott Israel, on an Israeli university campus, he will feel right at home?