The Jerusalem Post recently quoted an accusation that the academic Eleonora Roldán Mendívil was an anti-Semite. The newspaper failed, however, to provide any evidence that would support that claim – made by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a pro-Israel group.
Instead, The Jerusalem Post referred to how Roldán Mendívil had described Israel as a “colonial state” and appeared in a rap video, singing “no peace with the occupation regime.” She had also signed a petition against Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza, it was reported.
Although the smears against her were baseless, they did have an impact. Berlin’s Free University (FU) has announced that it has opened an investigation into Roldán Mendívil.
The announcement was made without Roldán Mendívil being given any prior notice, she has confirmed. Roldán Mendívil teaches a course on “racism in capitalism” at the university.
The smear campaign against her appears to have been initiated by Andreas Boas, a blogger also known as Andreas Boldt.
Boas is a known admirer of Israeli war criminals.
A British court issued a warrant for Almog’s arrest during 2005 over his role in the demolition of almost 60 houses in Gaza three years earlier. Almog has so far evaded justice.
In his video (see above), Boas tells Almog “the biggest dream in my life was to meet you.” Boas also praises Almog as a hero.
The media coverage about Roldán Mendívil has been riddled with inaccuracies.
The aforementioned Jerusalem Post article reported that she had been suspended from FU Berlin.
I contacted the university, seeking clarification. An FU spokesperson told me it was “a real pity” that The Jerusalem Post published something which was “absolutely wrong.”
The university has not cancelled Roldán Mendívil’s assignment to teach her course.
On his Twitter account, Boas says that “only facts matter.” Yet his own postings on the Internet demonstrate a commitment to what Kellyanne Conway – counselor to new US President Donald Trump – last weekend described as “alternative facts.”
Most ordinary people have a simpler term for “alternative facts.” We call them lies.
The tactic of deliberately spreading lies is not new.
I learned about that tactic a few decades ago when I was active in the Holland Committee on Southern Africa.
John Stockwell, who worked as a CIA commander in Angola during the 1970s, has admitted to making up stories and feeding them to the mainstream press. Some of these stories were reported by the press agency Reuters and found their way onto the pages of British publications such as The Times and The Guardian. The intention, Stockwell has acknowledged, was to fabricate “Russian-Cuban aggression” in southern Africa.
The smears against Roldán Mendívil remind me of the CIA’s techniques in Angola.
Her denunciation of Israel as a “colonial state” is 100 percent truthful. “Colonial” is an appropriate term to use, considering the continuous expansion of Israel’s settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank.
Pro-Israel apologists like Andreas Boas often find it hard to handle the truth. For them, it is much easier to try and silence Israel’s critics with false allegations.