Readers of this website will know that I am a fierce critic of Islam, determined to do as much damage as I can to that religion precisely because it commands those still in it to come after me and kill me for daring to leave. There is no exemption for those who prefer to go quietly and lie low for the rest of their lives. Readers will also know that I am a staunch supporter of Israel, and that I regard such a stance as the ultimate escape from the damage that a childhood in madrassa has done to my mind.
Hatred of Jews and Israel “in support of the Palestinians” is now elevated to high morals, while it has become unassailable ethics for the wanton murder of Jews to “leave one cold”, as Jimmy Kruger, Minister of Justice, Police and Prisons in apartheid South Africa, famously said of the murder of black leader Steve Biko under police torture. What this means is that anyone who supports the wholesale murder of Jews, even when it is dressed up as “anti-Zionism,” has the morality of a Muslim and the ethics of an apartheid Police Minister. Supporting Israel is not just one in the eye for Islam, it is a civilisational matter and the most ethical thing that an ex-Muslim can do.
If you are a Muslim, then it is virtuous to be ignorant of Jews, Judaism and Israel, and suspect if you know anything that is actually true. It is beneath Muslims to know anything about Israel. As Palestinian role model and Hitler buddy Amin Al-Husseini put it, “For us Muslims, it is unworthy to utter the word Islam in the same breath with Judaism, since Islam stands high over its perfidious adversary.” This immense sacred ignorance that I inherited from Islam necessitated that I immerse myself in the study of Judaism, the Jewish people and their homeland, if I was ever to recover from having been Muslim. Initially this was to repair the damage left by Islam, but later it became to appreciate the Jewish contribution to civilisation in its own right.
Almost every Jew with whom I have had occasion to share deep thoughts, is deluded when it comes to Muslims, Palestinians and Islam. The depth and tenacity of that delusion amongst Israeli Jews was both disappointing and disturbing to discover. Here and there I came across figures who appeared to be free of these delusions. Those, all in Israel, I made an effort to meet. Learning about Professors for a Strong Israel came as a breath of fresh air.
Two characteristics of Professors for a Strong Israel quickly became clear. Firstly, these are not idle pontificators, but people of action. They do have views to express and they express them without restraint. Since they are not deluded about what is to be done, their views make many uncomfortable. Making people uncomfortable, more often than not, means trafficking in taboos. It means telling truths that may not be told, the kind of defiance that gets you stamped “Far-Right,” along with every denizen of sub-polite society who has anything to say. I am proud of the intellectual honesty that others see in me. Professors for a Strong Israel is my kind of people. I look forward to many heated exchanges.
Secondly, the demise of the academy over the last quarter century, its subjugation by conformity and mediocrity, has meant the banishing of debate, the impoverishing of scholarship and the enfeeblement of scholars. It is close to its final descent into fascist control, with Säuberung already well underway. Wait till students set their university libraries ablaze. It is not far off. Perhaps some part of me hopes that by my joining Professors for a Strong Israel, Albert Einstein's library at the Hebrew University (which I had the immense honour to visit) and the Ze'ev Jabotinsky Archive in Tel Aviv (another great honour to look forward to) are from now on just that little bit more secure. Like the last light in a darkening forest, Professors for a Strong Israel stands as a reminder to academics and students everywhere of what it means to be in control of your own mind, and of just how precarious a privilege that is. Professors for a Strong Israel is a metaphor for academic freedom, not only in Israel, but globally, and could just as easily be called Professors for Strong Professors. That is why I joined Professors for a Strong Israel.