It is alarming enough to witness the outright libel against Israel so prevalent in American media and academia. It is even more appalling when tenured academics in Israel are the genesis of these canards. Hebrew University is considered one of the world’s great institutions. How is it then that its administration and its thousands of generous supporters throughout the world sanction tenured professors who libel Israel and abet the goals of its enemies?
Exhibit A: Amiram Goldblum, tenured professor of pharmaceutical studies at Hebrew University.
It would be better to say his sub-specialty is pharmaceutical studies, since his primary agenda is demonizing Israel as an “apartheid regime” and filing “lawfare” harassment suits against those who criticize him and the far Left.
Goldblum set up and leads Peace Now’s “Tattletale” SWAT team, which feeds “information” to hostile foreign groups about Israel’s settlement activities, in order to trigger international pressures against Israel. He claims to have been present on the day in 1983 that Emil Grunzweig became a martyr, when a lone lunatic tossed a grenade into a Peace Now demonstration. Goldblum today claims that Grunzweig was in fact murdered by Likud leaders. This smear comes from the loudest whiner in the Israeli Left about how he himself is supposedly being targeted by a “smear” campaign.
Goldblum was behind the recent “Apartheid Survey” campaign against Israel. He himself had commissioned a blatantly manipulative “survey” of attitudes among Israeli Jews towards Arabs. It was financed by the “Yisraela Goldblum Foundation,” a far-leftist fund set up by Goldblum in memory of his dead wife, who had been a senior apparatchik in the New Israel Fund (on whose board Amiram continues to serve.) The “Foundation” commissioned a handful of far-leftists, including Alon Liel (a radical ex-diplomat who calls for boycotts against Israel) and Michael Sfard (an ultra-leftist lawyer-agitator) to write “survey questions” designed to elicit responses that Goldblum and his friends could misrepresent as indications that Israelis favor “apartheid.” (Naturally Goldblum and his cadre never bothered to solicit measures of Israeli Arab hatred towards Jews.)
As part of “surveygate”, Goldblum and his hit team insisted that if Israeli Jews favor separate roads in the West Bank for Jews and Arabs, because of the daily attempts by Arabs there to murder Jews, it shows that Jews are racists who favor an apartheid regime. The survey evidently used the term “hafrada” in Hebrew, meaning separation, a word that can also mean apartheid. So when many Israeli Jews indicated that they favor hafrada, Goldblum and his Smeartroopers had their headline: Israelis favor apartheid.
Other indicators of “Jewish support for apartheid” were found by the Goldblum team when many Israeli Jews favored affirmative action preferences in hiring in favor of Jews. Never mind that the entire Left in Israel has long lobbied for racist quotas in favor of Arabs!
Even the predominantly leftist Israeli press including Ha’aretz denounced Goldblum and his smear campaign, some comparing it to the lies and distortions of the UN’s “Goldstone Commission.” On October 26, 2012, the deputy editor of Maariv, Ben Dror Yemini, called Goldblum an anti-Israel anti-democratic fanatic. The pseudo-survey was so ridiculous that even the New Israel Fund, with which the Yisraela Goldblum Foundation is tied, repudiated the entire “survey” and its “findings.”
But Goldblum also has another rap. He was involved in violations of Israeli campaign financing laws in the election of 1998, when he surreptitiously placed illegal media ads in favor of leftist contender Ehud Barak. When Goldblum got nailed for this, a criminal indictment was filed against him. But in Israel, far-leftists are never really prosecuted by the politically-biased Attorney General’s office. So after Goldblum signed a statement in which he confessed his guilt, criminal prosecution against him was “postponed,” meaning it was indefinitely frozen. Goldblum likes to tell people that this “postponement” means he was cleared of his legal woes. It does not but The Hebrew University Friends offices in New York ignores the fact that this scoundrel remains in the faculty and donations keep pouring in.
Goldblum was also involved in another disgrace, when it turned out that a convicted PLO terrorist was being employed in Goldblum’s own laboratory at the Hebrew University, a lab in which dangerous chemicals are kept. An Israeli Channel Two TV news broadcast accused Goldblum of personally intervening on behalf of the terrorist and hiring him out of ideological solidarity with terrorists. Goldblum denies he himself made the decision to hire the terrorist, and then badgered Hebrew University spokespeople into issuing a statement saying that some other mysterious nameless campus officials were in fact the ones who had made the decision to hire the terrorist, not Goldblum himself. Channel Two then issued a partial retraction of that part of its story. Except we do not know of a single case in the entire world where someone gets hired to work in a professor’s university lab without that same professor’s approval and confirmation. But again, these inconvenient truths are airbrushed by the administrators of the university and those who solicit funds.
Goldblum’s anti-Israel agitation did not start yesterday. He has proclaimed that “messianic” Judaism is a worse threat to Israel than Iran or Hamas.
As far back as October 23, 1990 the Los Angeles Times reported that outraged residents of Jerusalem protested his support for Palestinian terrorism and Iraqi missile aggression against Israel. What is new is his open hostility toward democracy, freedom of speech, and the rule of law. At a convocation of Israel’s far Left this past spring, Goldblum called for Israeli democracy and sovereignty to be suppressed and for the world to impose upon Israel the Left’s (Palestinian) agenda by force. Never mind that 95% of Israelis reject that agenda. Goldblum, who loves to whine that the Right “smears” him, is active in the “Stop Moscowitz” smear campaign directed at vilifying industrialist Irving Moscowitz, run by anti-Israel pseudo-rabbi Haim Dov Beliak (known in the Jewish community as “Rabbi Bellyache”). The same Goldblum, whose delicate sensitivities are so injured whenever anyone dares to disagree with his political opinions likes to libel critics of the radical Left as “Kahanists” and “Fascists.” He published on Wikipedia a subliterate attack against his critics in English, calling them “nose pickers.”
But the very worst part of Goldblum’s misbehavior is his serial harassment of critics of leftist extremism. Goldblum has discovered the delights of political “lawfare,” using the courts for ideological warfare to suppress freedom of speech, a harassment tactic developed by Islamofascists and other anti-democratic extremists. He has filed endless frivolous SLAPP nuisance suits against conservative professors, NGOs, web sites, a radio personality, and others, all designed to force them into silence and bear the costs of fighting off his SLAPP suits. Israel has no penalties against SLAPP suit harassment. Goldblum never wins any of these but misuses the courts as a “lawfare” weapon to “punish” his ideological opponents, seeking to convert the courts into bludgeons of censorship.
It is tempting to dismiss Goldblum as a self-hating Jew. On the contrary, like many of his ilk, he thinks immensely highly of himself as an Olympian resting on the moral heights. No, Goldblum does not hate himself, he hates Israel.
As concerned American supporters of Israel and its many academic institutions, we must make it clear to the Mt. Scopus officials that our support for their university is contingent upon their dismissal of Amiram Goldblum for his misbehavior, and his outrageous assaults against freedom of speech.