Sebastian Milbank has written an excellent piece in the Critic charting the descent of the University of Edinburgh into woke madness and how that spilled over in antisemitic bile under the guise of ‘decolonisation’ in the past week. Here’s an excerpt.
Dr. Kate Davison, a “Queer historian of sexuality, psy-sciences & Cold War”, a lecturer at the Edinburgh history faculty and a vocal advocate of trans rights (who recently approvingly tweeted about calls to suppress a gender critical book launch), took the events of the past few days as an opportunity to express her solidarity with Palestine, retweeting a UCU tweet doing just that, and tweeted that “Palestine and trans human rights are the litmus test and most of you are failing half of it”. She also retweeted a post arguing that Palestinian violence must be understood in the context of Israeli occupation and that “Eventually people will snap”. Most shocking of all was her her support for a statement by academics of Berzeit University (a Palestinian institution in the West Bank) which unequivocally celebrated the Hamas attacks, speaking of the “blood of our martyrs”, arguing that Israel has “no right to self-defence”, denouncing the global reach of the “Zionist media coverage” and defending attacks on civilians as “guerilla war tactics” undertaken by “resistance fighters”.
Nor was she alone, another Edinburgh academic, Dr. İdil Akıncı-Pérez, a lecturer in social policy, also liked the Berzeit statement, as well as a post celebrating the toppling of the border wall and another quoting a statement that “calls Hamas’s attack a ‘legitimate right’ of the Palestinian people resisting settler occupation and says ‘we pray for victory, oh heroes of the resistance’”. One PhD student, whom I have chosen not to name, on the assumption that graduate students are below the age of reason, simply has a ‘Free Palestine’ poster as his or her departmental bio photo.
Julie Gibbings, a history lecturer at Edinburgh and the director of EDI in the faculty, appeared to denounce the violence, retweeting a piece by Naomi Klein in the Guardian attacking those who celebrated the massacres by Hamas. Granted Klein speaks out of both sides of her mouth, saying that “we can recognise that when Israeli Jews are killed in their homes and it is celebrated by people who claim to be anti-racists and anti-fascists, that is experienced as antisemitism by a great many Jews”. It’s mealy mouthed stuff (experienced as antisemitism!), but at least it does denounce murder as murder, even if it absurdly pretends that Jew hatred is a matter of appearance rather than fact. But dig into what has Dr. Gibbings pounding the like button, and you discover that days before she was playing at being even-handed, she was liking tweets by Dr. Fúnez-Flores, specifically ones in which he writes (on the day of Hamas’s massacres of Israeli civilians): “Academia loves to decolonise everything besides occupied land. Its silence on Palestine is enough to know how decolonisation has become a metaphor signifying everything besides material change and collective resistance.” And another in which he disputes the civilian status of Israeli settlers, writing: “Decolonisation isn’t ‘social justice’. That’s why Tuck and Yang wrote that, ‘The absorption of decolonisation by settler social justice frameworks is one way the settler, disturbed by her own settler status, tries to escape or contain the unbearable searchlight of complicity’.”
Another Edinburgh academic, Dr. Sarah Liu, a Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics at Edinburgh, and the Chair of the Staff BAME Network, chose the occasion of Hamas’s mass murder to retweet (only one day after Hamas’s bloody border crossing) the quote: “The oppressor makes his violence part of the functioning society. But the violence of the oppressed becomes disruptive… because it is disruptive it’s easy to recognise, and therefore it becomes the target of all those who in fact do not want to change the society.” And she retweeted a post (written on the day of the attacks) that read: “Academics, largely, as a class, aren’t in favour of revolutionary action, but many revolutionaries are also scholars so they offer academics an opportunity to associate themselves with revolutionaries under the guise of study, with no real intention of extending it into practice.” She also liked a tweet (likewise posted on the day that Hamas stormed across the border to murder civilians) which reads: “Did some people just think Palestine had to like file paperwork or something to be freed. this is what oppressed fighting the oppressor looks like.”
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Lloyds Bank’s Human Resources Director has written to the bank’s 30,000 employees offering them counselling if they were traumatised by the ‘hate’ on display at the Conservative Party Conference. The Mail has more.