Harvard professor assails ‘kill-the-Jews flotilla’
Harvard University Professor Ruth Wisse has sharply condemned ongoing attempts by international activists to set sail for Gaza on what she called a “kill-the-Jews flotilla.”
“The purpose of the flotilla is to discredit the Israeli attempt to protect itself and to give Hamas a free hand amassing weapons to use against Israeli civilians,” said Wisse, who is visiting Israel, in a wide-ranging, 30-minute audio interview with Inside Israel’s Mordechai I. Twersky. “It should be called what it is: a ‘kill-the-Jews flotilla. If it is called by its proper name, then it will be recognized for what it is.”
Wisse, author of “Jews and Power” and “If I am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews,” took issue with an article about the flotilla situation in Sunday’s New York Times titled, “Spin on All Sides.” “This is another way of trying to suggest that there is some kind of even-handedness here in the situation between Hamas and Israel, between Arab leadership on one side and Israeli leadership on the other,” said Wisse, who stressed the importance of what she called “nomenclature and clarity.”
“The spin in this case is all on the part of those who buy into the spin,” said Wisse, a professor of Yiddish and Comparative Literature at Harvard who earned a National Humanities Medal in 2007.
“The only way Israel has been able to protect itself is by placing certain restrictions on the people of Gaza,” Wisse continued. “Israel had no intention of doing this. When it withdrew from Gaza it left behind an infrastructure for the people there to use to their advantage. What it came to be used for is a launching pad against Sderot and the communities of Israel.”