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February 13, 2007

Barnard's New (Almost) Professor of Archaeology: Not An Archeologist, Barely Qualified, But Pretty Sure Evidence of Jews' Prior Existence In Judea Is A Zionist Fabrication

Up for the job, but Barnard isn't sure yet if she's quite stupid, insane, or anti-Jew enough. They've got a reputation to uphold, after all.

One only has too examine her doctoral thesis (and now a book), “Facts on the Ground: Archeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society.” to see that her analysis of “archaeological practice” has nothing to do with anthropological or archaeological analysis, and is just your run-of-the-mill anti-Israel rhetoric, masquerading as junk research.

Her analysis of Israeli society determines that it is a "settler-colonial community", and has “invented” an ancient history in the region by the use of archeology.

She attempts to demonstrate how "(social) science generates facts or phenomena, which refigure what counts as true or real,” and concludes that the "existence of the ancient Israelite and Hebrew kingdoms should be considered “a pure political fabrication.”

Historians are appalled by her junk research.

“El-Haj is not a practicing archaeologist. She hardly knows the Hebrew in which many Israeli archaeological debates are conducted. She has taken part in very few actual digs. Yet she confidently condemns Israeli archaeology as a tool of the Zionists. With only gossip to go on, she accuses one archaeologist of bulldozing non-Jewish strata to get to the levels that might offer details about ancient Israel. Bizarrely, she then concludes her book by reversing herself on such desecration, asking us to "understand" sympathetically the Palestinian mob that destroyed Joseph’s Tomb on October 8, 2000. I guess it all depends on whose narrative is being bulldozed.”

-- Jonathan Burack, The Family Security Foundation, December 28, 2006

How did her doctoral committee award her a doctorate for this lunacy?

I'm confused -- Ivy-level academics propose that irrefutable historical facts, such as Jews living in Judea (hint-- it's named Judea), are not facts at all but merely "socially constructed narratives of the dominant power group."

And yet we're also supposed to believe that the evidence for global warming is now "virtually irrefutable."

How do I know global warming isn't a socially-constructed narrative of a bunch of Hebe investment bankers who just want to sell me some carbon-neutral herring they got wholesale from their cousin Moishe?

See my problem?

Academics seem to have decided that everything is acceptable for skepticism and "vigorous and daring academic inquiry," except for, like, eight or twelve leftist shibboleths for which doubt is very nearly a capital offense.

Thanks to Litvshe.

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posted by Ace at 04:57 AM

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