H-PAD Notes 11/29/23: webinars on Israel/Palestine; links to recent articles of interest

Two Notes on Webinars:

  1. On Thursday, November 30 (7-8pm Eastern time), H-PAD and Massachusetts Peace Action will present a webinar on “Why There Will Be No Winners in the Israel-Gaza War.” The speaker is Andrew Bacevich, a retired US Army colonel and a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. Click here for details and to register.
  2. A recording of the November 21 webinar entitled “The Past, Present and Future of Israel/Palestine,” sponsored by H-PAD and Massachusetts Peace Action, is available on YouTube. The 90-minute program features historians Sherene Seikaly of UC Santa Barbara, Juan Cole of the U. of Michigan, and Zachary Lochman of NYU.

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“Mildred Rutherford’s War”

By Adam Hochschild, New York Review of Books, December 7 issue

On the “historian general” of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who led a successful campaign to shape the way in which schools and textbooks depicted slavery and the Civil War. The author is a well-known writer of popular history books, most recently American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis (1922).

“Bad History Makes for Bad Policy on Ukraine”

By Robert English, Responsible Statecraft, posted November 24

To contend with Russia the West needs a deeper understanding of its military past, and world view.” Citing examples from Tsarist times to the recent past, the author argues that Western strategists have been underestimating the resilience, and therefore the military capacity, of Russia. The author teaches Russian and Post-Soviet politics at the University of Southern California.

“On Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism”

By Lewis Siegelbaum, The Nation, posted November 24

A historical rebuttal of the contention of Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League that anti-Zionism is, by definition, antisemitism, because “Zionism is fundamental to Judaism.” The author, “a self-professed anti-Zionist Jew,” is a professor emeritus of Russian and European history at Michigan State University.

“What I Believe as a Historian of Genocide”

By Omer Bartov, New York Times, posted November 10

“We know from history that it is crucial to warn of the potential for genocide before it occurs, rather than belatedly condemn it after it has taken place. I think we still have that time.” Argues that quotes by Israeli officials show that “there is genocidal intent, which can easily tip into genocidal action.” The author is an Israeli-born historian who teaches Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Brown University.

“America’s Most Dangerous Anti-Jewish Propagandist”

By Daniel Schulman, Reader Supported News (from The Atlantic), posted November 10

On Henry Ford’s furnishing a platform for vicious antisemitism in the 1920s and the worldwide influence that he exerted, including notably in Germany. The author is a senior editor of Mother Jones and has written, among other books, Sons of Wichita (2014), a biography of the Koch family.

“Blades of Grass”

By Elizabeth Murray, Consortium News, posted November 10

Reposting of a 2012 article on the metaphor of “mowing the lawn,” often used within US foreign-policy elites to justify Israeli attacks in Gaza. The author served for 27 years as a US intelligence officer specializing in Middle Eastern political and media analysis.

“Behind Hamas’s Bloody Gambit to Create a ‘Permanent’ State of War”

By Ben Hubbard and Maria Abi-Habib, New York Times, posted November 9

A lengthy analysis of secret planning by leaders of the military wing of Hamas for the October 7 attacks. The authors are veteran New York Times journalists and Ben Hubbard is the author of MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman (2020).

“Why Israel Wants to Erase Context and History in the War on Gaza”

By Ilan Pappe, Al Jazeera, posted November 5

A brief description of “several historical contexts for what is going on now in Israel-Palestine that cannot be ignored.” The author is an Israeli-born historian who taught at the University of Haifa from 1984 to 2007 and since 2008 has been at the University of Exeter, where he is director of the European Center of Palestine Studies.

“Why Do We Let Israel and Ukraine Wag the U.S. Dog?”

By David C. Hendrickson, Responsible Statecraft, posted November 8

“The alliance system of the United States is frequently called an empire, and for good reason. But it is a peculiar form of empire, in which the metropolitan center seems directed and ruled by the periphery. In the classic idea of empire, rule flowed from the top down. Not in this one.” The author is an emeritus professor of political science at Colorado College; among his books is Republic in Peril: American Empire and the Liberal Tradition (Oxford U. Press, 2018).

“My Life Has Been Defined by Genocide of Jewish People. I Look on Gaza with Concern”

By Jason Stanley, The Guardian, posted November 6

“Dating back to Cleon’s speech in Book 3 of Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, the paradigm example of demagoguery in the ancient world, would-be genocidaires always justify their actions on the grounds that its targets pose an existential threat to their own people.” The author, many members of whose extended family died in the Holocaust, teaches philosophy at Yale University.

“A Lesson from the History of Rhodesia”

By Elizabeth Schmidt, Time – Made by History, posted October 30

On the white-minority-ruled British colony of Rhodesia, which declared unilateral independence from Britain in 1965 to forestall democratic majority rule, and the implications of its story for the present day US. The author is a professor emerita of history at Loyola University Maryland and the author of six books about Africa.

Thanks to Margaret Power, Steve Shapiro, Roger Peace, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list, and to Roger Peace for valuable comments on articles being considered for inclusion. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.