|From back cover, And I suppose we didn’t go to the moon, either? (2015)|
An article, “Changing Course on Anti-Semitic Remarks”, Inside Higher Education (7 March 2016), reports that Oberlin has altered its stance regarding comments made by Assistant Professor, Joy Karega, on her Facebook page, where she wrote that ISIS was the creation of US and Israeli intelligence and that they were behind the attacks on Charlie Hebdo.
She also expressed her agreement with Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam that Zionists and Israeli Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks. “In addition to those falsehoods, Karena shared an image of Jacob Rothschild with the caption, “We own your news, the media, your oil and your government”. Here are the most important paragraphs there from:
Since these beliefs are rather widely held among those who have actually studied the origins of ISIS or the events of 9/11, not to mention the immense influence exerted over the US government by AIPAC and interests related to the Rothschild banking empire, one has to speculate over how claims that appear to be true could possibly be known to be false.
When Stephen Francis and I began planning our 2nd conference on Academic Freedom: Are there limits to inquiry?, where we had intended to focus on the dismissal of Associate Professor James Tracy from Florida Atlantic University, therefore, I decided to invite Joy to speak about her experience at Oberlin, where the issues appear to be very closely related.
Freedom of Speech
In both instances, faculty members were being reprimanded for expressing their personal opinions, not in the classroom with their students, but in their outside activities: on his blog at memoryholeblog.com, in the case of James Tracy; and on her Facebook page (which may no longer exist), in the case of Joy Karega. That struck me as highly problematical.
In addition, in both instances, the journal, Forward: News that Matters to American Jews, published slashing attacks upon them, well reflected by their respective titles,“Time to Crack Down on ‘[Sandy Hook] Truthers’ who tarnish the name of Noah Pozner” (14 December 2015) and “Inside the twisted, anti-Semitic mind of Oberlin Professor Joy Karena” (3 March 2016).
A further similarity appears to me to be that, in both cases, the rationale for censoring them has no rational or moral foundation. Faculty never speak for institutions; that prerogative belongs exclusively to the administration. That a scholar has an academic position does not mean that he has thereby abandoned his rights as a citizen to exercise freedom of speech.
And the evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary School had been closed since 2008 and that there were no children there for Adam Lanza to have shot is overwhelming. We even have the FEMA manual for the two day exercise, with a rehearsal on the 13th, going LIVE on the 14th, which I would include as Appendix A in NOBODY DIED AT SANDY HOOK (2015).
But administrators have shown an aversion to actually doing the research necessary to figure out who is right and who is wrong in cases of this kind. Even when I made the book available to the public for free as a pdf, there has not been the least indication that anyone in authority at Florida Atlantic University bothered to read the book. They seem impervious to evidence.
Letter to the President of Oberlin
11:03 PM (20 hours ago)
Office of the President
Academic Freedom that I am organizing with Stephen Francis to address
the cases of your faculty member and of James Tracy, who was fired from
Florida Atlantic University. This will be our second conference on this subject,
where the first is archived at http://jamesfetzer.blogspot.com/2015/10/
I am terribly disturbed that a faculty member at Oberlin would be chastised
for unconventional thinking, when liberal arts institutions are committed to
exploring alternative thoughts, hypotheses and theories, without political
constraint. I am apprehensive that Joy’s case illustrates the extent to which
“political correctness” has undermined that ideal.
including about ISIS and the Charlie Hebdo attack. (See my article, “How
we know that ISIS was ‘Made in the USA'”, IRAN REVIEW, and at the
Left Forum earlier this year.) I have also endorsed observations by
Minister Farrakhan on 9/11, as you will find here: http://noirg.org/
to address these issues on your campus with the administration, the faculty
and your students. Surely we cannot promote the exercise of reason and
rationality if we are not open to hearing the evidence on both sides, which
is a fundamental desideratum of scientific and objective inquiry.
Board of Trustees.
Contemplating submitting an Op/Ed piece to the Oberlin student paper,
I came across an article about Joy in The Oberlin Review, to which no reply
has been posted. Since it would be most appropriate for them to publish a
rebuttal, I have submitted this in my efforts to get Oberlin back on course:
In Defense of Unconventional Thoughts
by James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
Allegations of anti-Semitism for any perceived slight against Israel have become commonplace. Anti-Semitism entails dismissing the worth or value of a person or of their opinions on the basis of their religion or ethnic origin. It is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies and actions of the government of Israel, which include the historic abuse of the Palestinian people and the systematic deprivation of their homeland.
The definition cited here, which encompasses “the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions”, begs the question by taking for granted that those views are false and indefensible. Would it be “anti-Semitic”, for example, to suggest that Jews run Hollywood? Joel Stein not only published about it in the LA TIMES but proved it.
Check it out. “Who runs Hollywood? C’mon” (19 December 2008). does that mean Joel Stein is anti-Semitic? To the best of my knowledge, not a peep of protest was raised when it was published, because everyone in Hollywood knew that it was true. He listed all the studio producers as evidence. Do a search on-line. Does truth matter? Where do we draw the line between truths about people and anti-Semitism?
Joy’s case bothers me tremendously because irrelevant considerations are being allowed to influence the determination of truth about politically significant issues. As the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, for example, I know that 9/11 was brought to us by the CIA, the Neocons in the Department of Defense and the Mossad. Does truth matter in this case? Can we conclude it must be false because we don’t like it?
I spent 35 years offering course in logic, critical thinking and scientific reasoning. I am therefore far amore aware that degrees of subjective conviction often diverge from measures of evidential support, which can be evaluated on the basis of objective criteria within the domain of deductive and inductive logic, where the basic principle of scientific reasoning is knowns as “inference to the best explanation”.
When comparing alternative hypotheses or theories, say, h1 and h2, we need to compare the probability of the available evidence, e, if they were true (not jointly, of course, but independently). The hypothesis or theory that confirms the higher probability upon the evidence is the more likely to be true, making it the preferable hypothesis. When the evidence has settled down, the preferable hypothesis is acceptable.
Acceptance-as-true in scientific contexts is both tentative and fallible, where acquiring new hypotheses or new evidence may dictate rejecting hypotheses we previously accepted, accepting hypotheses we previously rejected, and leaving others in suspense. And that standard should be applied across the board to every important historical issue, especially those that have significant political ramifications.
Suppose, for example, that there had been 236 references to 6,000,000 Jews in dire straits or fear of loss of their lives in the international press before the Nuremberg Tribunals beginning as early as 1890. That would mean that that number in relation to allegations of deaths in concentration camps during World War II was almost certainly not based on empirical data derived from records of death at those camps.
In fact, the International Committee of the Red Cross was visiting those camps and keeping meticulous records of the names, ages, sexes, religion and national origin of those who died while incarcerated. And suppose that none were recorded as having died from being put to death in gas chambers. Would it be anti-Semitic if that data turned out to be true? It contradicts the official narrative, but is it anti-Semitic?
I use the example of the Holocaust because, after I participated in a conference on Academic Freedom: Are there limits to inquiry?, in which JFK, 9/11 and the Holocaust were used as examples of subjects that might be ruled “off limits” for academic inquiry, I was dumbfounded to discover that what we are told in history books and by historical authorities cannot withstand critical scrutiny. It just isn’t true.
The conference is archived at http://jamesfetzer.blogspot.com/2015/10/academic-freedom-are-there-limits-to.html And a summary of my research can be found at “The Holocaust Narrative: Politics trumps Science”. But my conclusions are advanced in the tentative and fallible fashion of science. Even though my findings are supported by the evidence I cite, there could be more evidence of which I am unaware.
Indeed, in research I have done since publishing that piece, I have discovered that Fred Leuchter, who was an expert on gas chambers, testified during the second trial of Ernst Zundel in detail why the alleged facilities at those camps could not possibly have functioned for the purpose proclaimed. Don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself in “The Zundel Trials: 1984 and 1988” by Robert Fourisson.
I cite the Holocaust because it has assumed a status that seemingly defies investigation. My attitude, by contrast, has always been that, if the Holocaust were real, then research would confirm it; and if it was not, then the world deserves to know. The evidence supports that what we have been told is untrue, but we are supposed to believe it anyway because, to do otherwise–to deny it–would be “anti-Semitic”.
I also edited the first book from Scholars, THE 9/11 CONSPIRACY (2007), a title that fits whether 19 Islamic terrorists attacked American under the control of a guy in a cave in Afghanistan or not. Indeed, the truth appears to be far more complex and disturbing, as I have mentioned above. My second book on 9/11 is about to appear, which offers more extensive and detailed proof that the first was on the mark.
These are books that, like those I have published on JFK, bring together experts across a variety of disciplines to ascertain the truth about these complex and controversial events, where the government has an interest in promoting predetermined conclusions, the reasons for which become apparent the more you learn about them. For a summary, see, for example, “9/11: The Who, the How and the Why”.
And when it comes to ISIS and the Charlie Hebdo attack, I think Joy is also on the right track. (See my article, “How we know that ISIS was ‘Made in the USA'”, IRAN REVIEW, and my presentation at the Left Forum earlier this year.) I, like her, have also endorsed observations by Minister Farrakhan on 9/11, as you will find on-line at the following link: http://noirg.org/articles/scholar-backs-farrakhan-on-911/
As a graduate of another fine undergraduate institution, Princeton University, I am terribly disturbed that she as a faculty member at Oberlin would be chastised for unconventional thinking, when liberal arts institutions are committed to exploring alternative hypotheses and theories, without political constraint. Joy’s case, I am afraid, illustrates the extent to which “political correctness” has undermined that ideal.
Her termination would be Oberlin’s loss, alas. Those of us who have studied these questions know that her opinions are far closer to the truth than those of her critics. We cannot promote the exercise of reason and rationality if we are not open to hearing the evidence on both sides, which is a fundamental desideratum of scientific and objective inquiry. The point of a liberal education seems to have been lost.
James H. Fetzer, Ph.D. McKnight Professor Emeritus University of Minnesota Duluth http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/