Israel is the subject, not just of irrational worldwide hatred, but of a campaign of mass misinformation of which Hitler’s propaganda chief Goebbels would have been proud. Thus the one truly free state in the Middle East, the one place where Arabs and people of all religions have full democratic rights and freedom to worship, is labeled “an apartheid state.”
The fact that university students in Edinburgh believe this, together with students throughout the world, is a sad commentary on the pitiful state of the British education“system”, in which students are seemingly no longer able to analyze and think objectively. Here a distinguished writer and former Edinburgh student, Dr. Denis MacEoin, sets the record straight. The world needs to know these facts! ALAN FRANKLIN.
Letter from Dr. Denis MacEoin on Saturday, March 19, 2011, to The Committee of Edinburgh University Student Association:
May I be permitted to say a few words to members of the EUSA? I am an
Edinburgh graduate (MA 1975) who studied Persian, Arabic and Islamic
History in Buccleuch Place under William Montgomery Watt and Laurence
Elwell Sutton, two of Britain's great Middle East experts in their day.
I later went on to do a PhD at Cambridge and to teach Arabic and
Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. Naturally, I am the author of
several books and hundreds of articles in this field.
I say all that to show that I am well informed in Middle Eastern
affairs and that, for that reason, I am shocked and disheartened by the
EUSA motion and vote. I am shocked for a simple reason: there is not
and has never been a system of apartheid in Israel. That is not my
opinion, that is fact that can be tested against reality by any
Edinburgh student, should he or she choose to visit Israel to see for
Let me spell this out, since I have the impression that those member of
EUSA who voted for this motion are absolutely clueless in matters
concerning Israel, and that they are, in all likelihood, the victims of
extremely biased propaganda coming from the anti-Israel lobby. Being
anti-Israel is not in itself objectionable. But I'm not talking about ordinary criticism of Israel. I'm speaking of a hatred that permits itself no boundaries in the lies and myths it pours out. Thus, Israel is repeatedly referred to as a 'Nazi' state. In what sense is this
true, even as a metaphor?
Where are the Israeli concentration camps?
The einzatsgruppen? The SS? The Nüremberg Laws? The Final Solution?
None of these things nor anything remotely resembling them exists in
Israel, precisely because the Jews, more than anyone on earth,
understand what Nazism stood for. It is claimed that there has been an Israeli Holocaust in Gaza (or elsewhere). Where? When? No honest historian would treat that claim with anything but the contempt it deserves. But calling Jews Nazis and saying they have committed a holocaust is as basic a way to subvert historical fact as anything I
can think of.
Likewise apartheid. For apartheid to exist, there would have to be a
situation that closely resembled things in South Africa under the
apartheid regime. Unfortunately for those who believe this, a weekend
in any part of Israel would be enough to show how ridiculous the claim
is. That a body of university students actually fell for this and voted
on it is a sad comment on the state of modern education. The most obvious focus for apartheid would be the country's 20% Arab population.
Under Israeli law, Arab Israelis have exactly the same rights as Jews or anyone else; Muslims have the same rights as Jews or Christians;
Baha'is, severely persecuted in Iran, flourish in Israel, where they
have their world centre; Ahmadi Muslims, severely persecuted in
Pakistan and elsewhere, are kept safe by Israel; the holy places of all
religions are protected under a specific Israeli law. Arabs form 20% of the university population (an exact echo of their percentage in the general population). In Iran, the Baha'is (the largestreligious minority) are forbidden to study in any university or to run their own universities: why aren't your members boycotting Iran?
Arabs in Israel can go anywhere they want, unlike blacks in apartheid
South Africa. They use public transport, they eat in restaurants, they
go to swimming pools, they use libraries, they go to cinemas alongside
Jews - something no blacks could do in South Africa. Israeli hospitals
not only treat Jews and Arabs, they also treat Palestinians from Gaza
or the West Bank. On the same wards, in the same operating theatres.
In Israel, women have the same rights as men: there is no gender
apartheid. Gay men and women face no restrictions, and Palestinian gays
often escape into Israel, knowing they may be killed at home. It seems
bizarre to me that LGBT groups call for a boycott of Israel and say
nothing about countries like Iran, where gay men are hanged or stoned
to death. That illustrates a mindset that beggars belief. Intelligent
students thinking it's better to be silent about regimes that kill gay
people, but good to condemn the only country in the Middle East that
rescues and protects gay people. Is that supposed to be a sick joke?
University is supposed to be about learning to use your brain, to think
rationally, to examine evidence, to reach conclusions based on solid
evidence, to compare sources, to weigh up one view against one or more
others. If the best Edinburgh can now produce are students who have no
idea how to do any of these things, then the future is bleak. I do not
object to well documented criticism of Israel.
I do object when supposedly intelligent people single the Jewish state out above states that are horrific in their treatment of their populations. We are going through the biggest upheaval in the Middle East since the 7th and 8th centuries, and it's clear that Arabs and Iranians are rebelling Against terrifying regimes that fight back by killing their own citizens. Background and educationMacEoin studied English Language and Literature at the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and Persian, Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He carried out research for his PhD degree at King's College, Cambridge. His PhD dissertation dealt with two heterodox movements in 19th-century Iranian Shi‘ism: Shaykhism and Bábism.From 1979-80, he taught English, Islamic Civilization, and Arabic-English translation at Mohammed V University in Fez, Morocco, before taking up a post as lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. In 1986, he was made Honorary Fellow in the Centre for Islamic and Middle East Studies at Durham University. He was the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University from 2005-2008.He has been married to homoeopath and health writer Beth MacEoin since 1975. She is the author of around 20 books on natural health, including the Natural Medicines Society book, Natural Medicine: A practical guide to family Health, which was published by Bloomsbury at the end of 1999, and Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (Kyle Cathie, 2006).An advocate of alternative medicine since the 1960s, he has in more recent years taken a serious interest in the sociology and politics of medicine, and in the relations between CAM and conventional therapy. He has lectured to medical students on these topics. For many years, until its demise in 2003, he was chairman, then president of the Natural Medicines Society, a UK charity for the general public.He continues to work on Islamic issues, particularly the development of radical Islam. He has written three reports for British think tanks, dealing with Islamic issues. The first was The Hijacking of British Islam, written for Policy Exchange. It is a study of hate literature found in British mosques and other institutions. He later wrote a report on British Muslim schools, published online by Civitas, entitled Music, Chess and other Sins. In 2009, Civitas also published in hard copy Shari'a Law or One Law for All. PublicationsHe has published extensively on Islamic topics, contributing to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Islam in the Modern World, the Encyclopædia Iranica, the Penguin Handbook of Religions, journals, festschrifts, and books, and has himself written a number of academic books.He was a member of the Bahá'í Faith from 1965–1980, but left the movement over differences with the administration, disagreements about Baha'i scholarship, and a basic loss of religious faith. For several years he published books and articles critical of Bahá'í practices, and their level of scholarship.Since 1986 he has pursued his principal career as a novelist, having so far written twenty-three novels, several of them best-sellers. He uses the pen-names Daniel Easterman  (international thrillers) and Jonathan Aycliffe  (classic ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James). Among the best-known Easterman titles are: The Seventh Sanctuary, The Ninth Buddha, The Judas Testament,Incarnation, Brotherhood of the Tomb, K, The Final Judgement, Midnight Comes at Noon, Night of the Seventh Darkness, Maroc. Some Aycliffe titles include Naomi's Room, Whispers in the Dark, The Matrix, The Lost and A Garden Lost in Time. A collection of his journalism was published under the Easterman name by HarperCollins in 1992 under the title New Jerusalems: Islam, the Rushdie Affair, and Religious Fundamentalism. Representative works  External links  References1. ^ a b c "Biography of Denis MacEoin". Middle East Forum. http://www.meforum.org/staff/Denis+MacEoin. 2. ^ "Denis MacEoin". The Royal Literary Fund. http://www.rlf.org.uk/fellowshipscheme/profile.cfm?fellow=141. 3. ^ a b The Writers Directory 2008, Volume 2 Edited by Michelle Kazensky. Thomson Gale, 2007 (pg. 1238).
Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, do not rebel (though they are
free to protest). Yet Edinburgh students mount no demonstrations and
call for no boycotts against Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and
Iran. They prefer to make false accusations against one of the world's
freest countries, the only country in the Middle East that has taken in
Darfur refugees, the only country in the Middle East that gives refuge
to gay men and women, the only country in the Middle East that protects
the Baha'is.... Need I go on? The imbalance is perceptible, and it
sheds no credit on anyone who voted for this boycott.
I ask you to show some common sense. Get information from the Israeli
embassy. As for some speakers. Listen to more than one side. Do not
make your minds up until you have given a fair hearing to both parties.
You have a duty to your students, and that is to protect them from
one-sided argument. They are not at university to be propagandized. And
they are certainly not there to be tricked into anti-Semitism by
punishing one country among all the countries of the world, which
happens to be the only Jewish state. If there had been a single Jewish state in the 1930s (which, sadly, there was not), don't you think Adolf Hitler would have decided to boycott it? Of course he would, and he would not have stopped there. Your generation has a duty to ensure that the perennial racism of anti-Semitism never sets down roots among you.
Today, however, there are clear signs that it has done so and is
putting down more. You have a chance to avert a very great evil, simply
by using reason and a sense of fair play. Please tell me that this
makes sense to me. I have given you some of the evidence. It's up to
you to find out more.
Dr. Denis MacEoinFrom Wikileaks Denis M. MacEoin (b. Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1949) is a novelist and a former lecturer in Islamic studies. His academic specializations are Shi‘ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá'í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. His novels are written under the pen names Daniel Easterman and Jonathan Aycliffe. He and his wife live in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom.