OpinionSchools & Higher Education

Brandeis publishes author who claims Israel practices mass rape

The editors of the new book certainly knew what they were getting when they included Raz Segal of Stockton University in New Jersey.

Brandeis University Undergraduate Admissions Center. Credit: Leo Felici via Wikimedia Commons.
Brandeis University Undergraduate Admissions Center. Credit: Leo Felici via Wikimedia Commons.
Moshe Phillips
Moshe Phillips is a commentator on Jewish affairs whose writings appear regularly in the American and Israeli press.  

A radical historian who claims Israel practices mass rape of Palestinian Arabs is one of the contributors to a book that has just been published by Brandeis University Press. And this just as anti-Israel extremists are denying that Hamas terrorists committed rapes during the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.

The book, Antisemitism and the Politics of History, was co-edited by historians Scott Ury and Guy Miron. It consists of essays by 18 authors, almost all of whom are respected scholars.

Almost, but not all. Two of the contributors are openly hostile to Israel—and one of them earlier this month publicly accused “every Israeli government” of having a policy of carrying out mass “sexual assault” against Palestinian Arabs.

The two extremists are Raz Segal of Stockton University in New Jersey and Amos Goldberg of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Their co-authored essay in the book is titled “ ‘Antisemitism’ as a Question in Holocaust Studies.”

Segal and Goldberg have never been shy about expressing their opinions about Israel. Here’s what Segal said during a webinar sponsored by the anti-Zionist magazine Jewish Currents on Nov. 13, 2023:

“I do think absolutely that this Israeli government has a plan, and in a way, it’s a plan that all Israeli governments have always had, of creating a larger Jewish state, a ‘Greater Israel’ with as few Palestinians as possible, right? In any kind of possible way, there is, you know, short-term intense violence, like the 1948 Nakba, right? The expulsions of 750,000 Palestinians and the destruction of hundreds of villages in the 1948 war; and longer-term processes of violence, various, you know—mass incarceration, humiliation, sexual assault, all kinds of, you know, very well documented, Israeli mass violence; and what we’re seeing now is part and parcel of this, it is—I don’t think it has anything to do with revenge, it has something to do with a structural plan of how Israel should be as a Jewish state, right?”

So if “every Israeli government” has had a secret policy of undertaking mass “sexual assault” (and other offenses) against the Palestinian Arabs, that would make David Ben-Gurion a mass rapist. As well as Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yair Lapid, to name just a few others.

Of course, Segal has made plenty of extremist statements previously. For example, writing in the journal Contending Modernities in 2022, Segal accused Israel of “apartheid” and declared that Professor Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, is guilty of promoting “a segregationist political ideology authorizing state violence” (by Israel).

In other words, the editors of the new book from Brandeis University Press certainly knew what they were getting when they included him.

The same is true for Segal’s co-author, Amos Goldberg of Hebrew University. In Madar magazine in 2018, Goldberg denounced Yad Vashem as “very narcissistic and problematic” and “perhaps even chauvinistic” for focusing on the persecution of Jews. In 2019, he urged the German parliament to reject anti-BDS legislation. In “+972” magazine in 2020, Goldberg co-authored an article asserting that the State of Israel is “based on segregation and discrimination.”

It may be just a coincidence that two of the eight members of the Brandeis University Press editorial board, who would have had to have approved the inclusion of Segal and Goldberg in the new book, have themselves publicly accused Israel of apartheid and worse.

One of them, Omer Bartov, was on the same Jewish Currents webinar with Segal and joined him in accusing Israel of “genocide” in Gaza. Another editorial board member is Derek Penslar of Harvard University, who has publicly accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “Jewish supremacism.” So maybe it’s no surprise that the Brandeis University Press editorial board would be happy with having Segal and Goldberg in the book that they are about to publish.

Since critics of Israel often claim that anybody who disagrees with them is trying to suppress their free speech, let me be absolutely clear: I am not saying that Segal or Goldberg should be prevented from contributing to books or denied the right to publish, speak or teach anywhere.

But that does not mean that anybody else is required to associate with them. Therefore, I ask: Are the other contributors to the new book comfortable seeing their names alongside somebody who accuses David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir of mass sexual assault?

Moreover, Brandeis University had no obligation to grant Segal and Goldberg the honor and legitimacy that derive from the imprimatur of the Brandeis name. So I ask: What does the Brandeis University administration think about the deep embarrassment to its reputation and legacy caused by Segal’s vile accusations against Israel’s prime ministers?

And, finally, what would Louis D. Brandeis—the most famous leader in American Zionist history—have thought about his name being connected to such anti-Israel slander?

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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