Patterico's Pontifications


Israeli Author Answers Academic’s Inquiry

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:55 am

[guest post by JVW]

Dina Rubina is an Israeli writer who was born in Uzbekistan (then part of the Soviet Union) and who writes in the Russian language. Her books have been translated into over two dozen languages.

Natalia (Natasha) Rulyova is a Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham in the UK. She describes herself as currently “working on the project entitled Contemporary Russophone Literature: Diversity and Decoloniality,” so those later two buzzwords following the colon provide a clue as to her political orientation.

The Quadrant is an Australian journal which promotes “the defence of the values, practices, and institutions of a free and open society by fostering literary and cultural activity of the highest standard.” They further describe themselves as “committed to the preservation and advancement of the cultural freedom that is the distinctive component of traditional Western culture.”

Ms. Rubina was invited by a Russian language publisher based in London to participate in a discussion of her work, with Professor Rulyova acting as moderator. The professor dashed off a breezy email message to the author to clear up an issue hanging in the air in these stupid times. Here is what she wrote:

From: Nataliya Rulyova

Hello, Dina!
The Pushkin House announced our upcoming conference on social media and immediately received critical messages regarding your position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They wanted to understand your position on this issue before responding. Could you formulate your position and send it to me as soon as possible?
— Natasha

The Quadrant published Ms. Rubina’s response to Professor Rulyova’s inquiry. I’m going to ask you to click over to their site in order to read it. I guarantee you it is worth the while. Make sure not to miss Ms. Rubina’s concluding thought.


18 Responses to “Israeli Author Answers Academic’s Inquiry”

  1. Hat-tip to Powerline, which has this story at The Quadrant as one of its featured links today.

    JVW (398f23)

  2. I had not heard of Dina Rubina before, but she sure has my attention now!

    Eliot (3b89d0)

  3. Hamas has committed atrocities that even the Bible cannot describe, atrocities that rival the crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    No, they are worse. Sodom is reported to have been against charity – against somebody else giving charity, and people sought to punish people who did. Abraham prayed that of ten good people lived in it it should not be destroyed. But there weren’t ten.

    Atrocities filmed by the way, by GoPro cameras, the murderers having taken the horror to the point of sending the images to their families or on social networks in real time.

    To make sure that Israel would attack. This was probably an Iranian plot. One possible motive was to stir things up in such a way that nobody would ever talk of a peace agreement.

    But now Hamas is denying it to most audiences, and claims to have attacked only military targets.

    Among the Hamas militants, Palestinian civilians rushed in, participating in pogroms of unprecedented scale, pillaging, killing, dragging everything they could get their hands on. Among these “Palestinian civilians” were 450 members of this highly regarded organization UNRWA (United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

    There’s not too much good information on what happened after the initial attacks till they were completely chased out.

    Judging by the utter joy of the population (also captured by thousands of mobile cameras), Hamas is supported by almost the entire population of Gaza.

    Not really true, but a common enough belief in Israel.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  4. The academic community, which was not concerned about the massacres in Syria, nor the massacre in Somalia, nor the mistreatment inflicted on the Uighurs, nor the millions of Kurds persecuted by the Turkish regime for decades,

    Or about anything.

    They may not really be aware of anything bad happening anywhere else.

    this very worried community, which wears “arafatkas” [keffiyehs], the trademark of murderers, around their necks at rallies under the slogan “Liberate Palestine from the river to the sea”, which means the total destruction of Israel (and Israelis).

    There is another version of the slogan, which is that “Palestine shall be Arab” The word “free” is for westerners.

    The people who say and do this are not for protecting human life – they are pro-Hamas and none of the protesters are not. They even rushed to blame Israel before Israel had a chance to react.

    “Academics”, as polls show, have no idea where this river is, what it is called, where certain borders are located.

    A lot do not. This is more students than their maliciously lying teachers. The survey was only done of students in general, but there is a statistic that 47% of the people who agreed with the slogan (which was 88% of the students surveyed) did not know what it was saying..

    From Which River to Which Sea?

    College students don’t know, yet they agree with the slogan.
    By Ron E. Hassner

    Dec. 5, 2023 2:16 pm ET

    …When college students who sympathize with Palestinians chant “From the river to the sea,” do they know what they’re talking about? I hired a survey firm to poll 250 students from a variety of backgrounds across the U.S. Most said they supported the chant, some enthusiastically so (32.8%) and others to a lesser extent (53.2%).

    But only 47% of the students who embrace the slogan were able to name the river and the sea. Some of the alternative answers [I think this was multiple choice] were the Nile and the Euphrates, the Caribbean, the Dead Sea (which is a lake) and the Atlantic. Less than a quarter of these students knew who Yasser Arafat was (12 of them, or more than 10%, thought he was the first prime minister of Israel). Asked in what decade Israelis and Palestinians had signed the Oslo Accords, more than a quarter of the chant’s supporters claimed that no such peace agreements had ever been signed. There’s no shame in being ignorant, unless one is screaming for the extermination of millions.

    … A Latino engineering student from a southern university reported “definitely” supporting “from the river to the sea” because “Palestinians and Israelis should live in two separate countries, side by side.” Shown on a map of the region that a Palestinian state would stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, leaving no room for Israel, he downgraded his enthusiasm for the mantra to “probably not.” Of the 80 students who saw the map, 75% similarly changed their view.

    An art student from a liberal arts college in New England “probably” supported the slogan because “Palestinians and Israelis should live together in one state.” But when informed of recent polls in which most Palestinians and Israelis rejected the one-state solution, this student lost his enthusiasm. So did 41% of students in that group.

    A third group of students claimed the chant called for a Palestine to replace Israel. Sixty percent of those students reduced their support for the slogan when they learned it would entail the subjugation, expulsion or annihilation of seven million Jewish and two million Arab Israelis. Yet another 14% of students reconsidered their stance when they read that many American Jews considered the chant to be threatening, even racist. (This argument had a weaker effect on students who self-identified as progressive, despite their alleged sensitivity to offensive speech.)

    In all, after learning a handful of basic facts about the Middle East, 67.8% of students went from supporting “from the river to sea” to rejecting the mantra. These students had never seen a map of the Mideast and knew little about the region’s geography, history or demography.

    They are mostly less than 21 years old. They are the people easiest to fool.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  5. Cut to the chase. As I have said the longer this goes on the worse it gets. The bottle deposit crook has kept this going to avoid election that would have him out of power and in a jail cell. Israel could have occupied gaza in a month if it was in netanyahu’s interest which it wasn’t. How many more Israelis and palestinians have to die so bibi can stay in power and out of jail?

    asset (109b0c)

  6. (12 of them, or more than 10%, thought he was the first prime minister of Israel).

    That would make the denominator no more than 120 – so that seems to composed of those who both supported the slogan and could NOT pick out correctly the river and the sea.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  7. asset (109b0c) — 5/28/2024 @ 2:20 pm

    As I have said the longer this goes on the worse it gets. The bottle deposit crook

    Nobody else talks about the bottle deposits (The Netanyahus redeemed bottles they had not paid for but this was settled years ago except it was claimed the calculation was too much in their favor.)

    has kept this going

    Is there somebody else who wanted to end this?

    to avoid election

    There was no election that was going to take place before October 7. An election would be likely six moths after the war ends. There are people (not Netanyahu) who want to invade Lebanon so that the people who live within 3 miles of the border can return. Netanyahu gets criticized from every point of view and his political opponents often talk nonsense.

    that would have him out of power and in a jail cell.

    If he loses power he is not very likely to be soon in a jail cell.

    Israel could have occupied gaza in a month if it was in netanyahu’s interest which it wasn’t.

    Who’s this coming from?

    How many more Israelis and palestinians have to die so bibi can stay in power and out of jail?

    This does not resemble reality.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  8. This does not resemble reality.

    Nothing asset posts resembles reality. He is not even a troll. He is a parody of a troll.

    nk (e7c56f)

  9. @7 So you agree he is a bottle deposit crook. His corrupt antics go back 30 years and is on trial for breach of trust, accepting bribes and fraud. He has been a crook since he first got elected. Point 2 likud party will go down with netanyahu so they want to avoid election. You probably have others in mind. Point 3 Being an opportunist he uses Oct. 7 which he should of taken seriously ;but was to busy trying to avoid prosecution by sacking Israel’s judicial system. Of course an opportunist like trump who stands for nothing except self preservation will be criticized by everyone. Point 4 we will see where he ends up. Point 5 smotrich and gallant and other likud members also others on the far right. Point 6 We disagree I think it does resemble reality. Thank you for going point by point I appreciate it and wish everyone would.

    asset (3456a5)

  10. JVW, thank you for posting this, even with the Usual Suspects posting as expected.


    Honestly, the academic culture is pretty toxic. On good days, I tell myself that most academics on my campus don’t believe all the predictable party line nonsense…just a vocal 10% that keep everyone else quiet (for fear of being called an “ist” of some form). Though I am eternally shocked at the lack of historical knowledge, yes.

    On not so good days…and yes, that is one reason I am retiring.

    The stories I can tell.


    Simon Jester (1171dd)

  11. Though I am eternally shocked at the lack of historical knowledge, yes.

    What upsets me is not the lack, but that some people make a career trading on that lack.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  12. Morris Starsky (one of my collage teachers fired for marching in an anti war march) at ASU football and party school. Ward Churchill and many others can tell stories too on my side.

    asset (2c6c2b)

  13. Egypt keeping food (at least free food) out of Gaza:

    Another official familiar with the negotiations said U.S. officials — including William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, who was in Cairo this week for Gaza cease-fire talks — have been trying to persuade Egypt to dispatch the trucks. But Egypt has rebuffed the pressure, saying it will not allow aid to flow to Kerem Shalom while Israel has closed the Rafah crossing, and casting the situation as a matter of sovereignty, a United Nations official said.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  14. I like this Ms. Rubina.

    Paul Montagu (1e8339)

  15. Ward Churchill and many others can tell stories too on my side.

    Ward Churchill is the perfect emblem of your “side,” asset. He’s a liar who concocted a Native American heritage in order to get a job that he was otherwise woefully unqualified for. It turned out he also lied to CU’s administration about other schools being interested in his services in order to convince them to make him a job offer. Once in place on the faculty he treated the world to garbage scholarship which fortunately passed muster in the fetid world of grievance academia because nobody other than his fellow crybully deconstructionist pinheads read the work. He also took up art forgery, which he used to sucker gullible white Boulder leftists into subsidizing his faculty pay. He was such small potatoes that he luckily (for him) managed to fly way under the radar as yet another hack scholar, totally unworthy of the post, who was also a horse’s ass and a fraud at the same time.

    Then of course he made his comments about “Little Eichmans” after the September 11 attacks and that pushed him into the public eye. Despite what you want everyone to believe, Churchill wasn’t fired because he was critical of U.S. foreign policy or because he was intemperate in the language that he used. He was fired because once he vaulted onto the front pages people started to see what a liar, phony, and fraud he was and started asking very uncomfortable questions about (1) how he ever managed to secure a tenured faculty position at a flagship state university and (2) how he spent a quarter-century getting away with being such a fraud with zero academic consequences. I know it probably harshes your mellow that Churchill’s own big mouth set into motion his academic demise, but that is the essence of the story.

    JVW (b02843)

  16. @16 Its called the old army game. Get them for what you can not for what you want to get them for. Any comment on Morris Starsky? Good time to bring this in Republicans are howling about lawfare against trump when they are the ones who demanded tough laws and procedures so ACLU 5th amendment lawyers would have a hard time putting on a defense for poor minorities. Now democrats use these same laws and court rules to go after trump and his magas. What goes around comes around!

    asset (ca59f0)

  17. JVW, I think it is always fun to watch partisans move goalposts. Most people do it, regardless of your politics. But the thing is, if something is wrong, it is wrong when someone you like does it. And hardest of all, if something is right, it is still right when someone you don’t like does it.

    Ward Churchill was a Pretendian, like Elizabeth Warren. Laughable people using real problems that others experience to advance their own careers and self esteem.

    Which of course brings us back to trolls on the internet.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

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