No, they don’t call themselves that. But that’s pretty much who they are.
No doubt the crocodile will eat them last.
Many of them are members of the hard left. Even I recognized that fact from some of the names, and Ron Radosh—who was once a member of that august group—recognized many more:
As a historian who has studied the American far Left for many years, and decades ago was part of, I immediately noticed that many on the initial list of signers are veterans of the already old New Left and either supporters of or fellow-travelers of the defunct Soviet Union and the Communist movement. Indeed, I know many of them personally, and are aware of their old affiliations and political allegiances.
They are not only Historians for Hamas, but Historians Who Ignore History. They also ignore recent history—i.e. current events.
Forget for a moment their petition, Israel, Hamas, and all the issues involved. Just contemplate the fact that there are that many members (and probably tons more) of the hard left who are teaching—and apparently teaching history?*—in American universities, and writing books that are assigned to many more students than they can reach individually. This is what we are up against.
The other day, after reading and writing about the summary public execution by Hamas of the 18 supposed Israeli “collaborators,” I wondered how the left can continue to justify and defend this sort of evil. Almost immediately I realized how incredibly stupid I was being. The left, which defended Stalin? Dummy me.
Nor should we wonder what all those feminists are doing on the pro-Hamas list. For the true believer, two and two makes five, or even six or seven or eight, if the left so wills it.
Alan Dershowitz compares Hamas to ISIS: “Everything we rightly fear and despise from ISIS we should fear and despise from Hamas. Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.” He is correct.
Of course, there are differences. Unlike ISIS, Hamas is not striving to use the most flamboyantly savage forms of death and dismemberment in order to outrage the sensibilities of the west although, like ISIS, it seeks to inspire other jihadis to join its ranks through its passionate devotion to violence. But Hamas probably would prefer that its killing sprees against its own not get all that much publicity in the west; its main aim in that regard is to dissuade any of its own people who might even think of acting against Hamas. And unlike ISIS, it would like the west to think it only has designs on Israel. But HAMAS is every bit as much a vile terrorist group as ISIS.
Claudia Rossett also has a post on how, despite many similarities between Hamas and ISIS, there is comparatively little outrage at Hamas’ actions as compared to the widespread furor over ISIS.
[* NOTE: But are the signers even really historians? Ought we to take their word for it?
For example, see the Wiki entry for leftist Bettina Aptheker. A PhD in the “history of consciousness”? Excuse me?
I looked up the first eight or so people on the list, and it was an interesting exercise. As expected, there’s a heavy representation from the various special interest “studies” departments that began to be inserted into universities as a result of Sixties leftist activism, especially (as with Aptheker) women’s studies. Others are specialists in the Middle East, or in something like the specialty of Paul Buhle, whose field seems to be the history of radicalism (and, as an activist leftist from the 60s on, he certainly knows that terrain).
The majority are quite far from what most people would think of as historians, and certainly not objective ones. Granted, it’s hard if not impossible to be completely objective. But this group isn’t even trying. They most definitely have a huge agenda.]