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And the Schmegegge of the Year Award Goes to… OMER BARTOV!

Omer Bartov - Schmegegge of the Year!

And the 2023 Schmegegge of the Year Award Goes to… OMER BARTOV!


The Jewish Studies Zionist Network has an annual tradition of selecting a prominent Jewish figure to receive the “Schmegegge of the Year Award.”  The award is given to one leading individual who most exhibits intellectual foolishness and a betrayal of scholarly standards to make outlandish pronouncements of issues related to Israel and anti-Semitism. We conducted a poll to determine this year’s winner and Professor Omer Bartov of Brown University won by a landslide. The poll was not exactly scientific, but neither is Omer Bartov.

 

We recognize Bartov as one of the most significant Holocaust historians alive today. For that reason, we are astounded by the utter nonsense he has spouted since the events of October 7.

 

After Hamas’s atrocities, Bartov led hundreds of other scholars in the “Response to October 7” statement, which condemned Israel’s war to eradicate the Hamas menace from Gaza. While the statement rebuked the “heinous crimes against humanity” committed by Hamas and asserted that Israel has “every right to defend itself,” Bartov and his colleagues contradicted themselves in the same statement by censuring the Jewish state for doing just that.

 

Later, on November 10, Bartov penned an opinion-editorial in the New York Times titled, “What I Believe as a Historian of Genocide.”  In the piece, he accused Israel of waging war on Gaza with “genocidal intent.” Given the enormous lengths Israel has gone to avoid harming non-combatants, it is ludicrous to suggest there is any genocidal intent behind Israel’s very targeted mission against Hamas. Israel understands that the Palestinian people are just as much the victims of Hamas’s long reign of terror as Jews are.

 

Meanwhile, in the same piece, Bartov neglects to acknowledge Hamas’s genocidal intent. Their objective “to kill every Jew behind every rock and tree” is etched in ink in their 1988 Covenant, which for all intents and purposes is the constitution of the elected leaders of the autonomous territory of Gaza. Hamas has through the massacre of civilians tried to put their genocide into practice twice: the Second Intifada, and Oct 7, 2023. Their mission of genocide is against global Jewry, not just Israelis.

 

In the same piece, Bartov engages in the now standard practice of apologetics for Hamas, by attempting to “contextualize” their acts of brutality. He writes, "It is clear that the daily violence being unleashed on Gaza is both unbearable and untenable.” By this, Bartov ignores that it is the danger posed by Hamas itself that forces Israel (and Egypt) to treat the Gazan government as an aggressor.

 

What makes Bartov’s positions so dangerous is that he is a distinguished historian of genocide. He has authored groundbreaking books on the Holocaust, which makes him an intellectual taken very seriously by academics and the wider public. We consider him to be engaged in academic malfeasance by spreading these distortions of truth that ignore hard realities. For whatever reason, he has chosen to neglect his usual scholarly standards to inappropriately paint Israel as the antagonist in the conflict.

 

For that reason, JSZN names Omer Bartov the 2023 “Schmegegge of the Year.”


Please watch our special video podcast announcing the award:


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