Brooklyn College Political Science Dep’t to sponsor talk by Elliott Abrams

Israel/Palestine
on 21 Comments

One of the big political controversies surrounding the BDS forum co-sponsored by the Brooklyn College Political Science Department on February 7 was the issue of sponsorship–why was the Political Science Department lending its name to the event, which was organized by the student chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Well, the Brooklyn College Political Science Department is now showing “balance”: it is sponsoring a talk by neoconservative Elliott Abrams, who has a new book out called “Tested by Zion.” Good name for the talk, I’d say.

That’s all I know for now. No date. I’ll fill you in when I know…

21 Responses

  1. American
    February 15, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Good, let him talk, doesn’t matter in the big picture or long run. Can only help to hear more zionist racism expressed.

    There are 7 billion people in the world—how many of them support Israel and zionism?
    There are only 308 million people in the US—how many of them support Israel?

    It really wouldn’t matter if all 308 million in the US did, because the other 6.7 billion in the world don’t…..because this is what they see.

    link to english.al-akhbar.com

    Picture of Gaza funeral wins World Press Photo award

    Published Friday, February 15, 2013
    A photo of Gazans taking two children and their father killed in an Israeli air strike for burial has won the 2013 World Press Photo award for Swedish photographer Paul Hansen, judges said Friday.
    The picture shows a group of men marching the dead bodies through a narrow street in Gaza City. The victims, a brother and sister, are wrapped in white cloth with only their faces showing.
    “The strength of the pictures lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children,” said jury member Mayu Mohanna of Peru. “It’s a picture I will not forget.”
    The photograph can be seen on the World Press Photo website.
    World Press Photo, one of photojournalism’s most prestigious contests, issued awards in nine categories to 54 photographers of 32 nationalities.
    Hansen’s November 20 shot won top prize in both the spot news single photograph category and the overall competition. It portrays 2-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her 3-year-old brother Muhammad, who were killed when their house was destroyed by the Israeli attack. They are being carried by grieving uncles, as their father Fouad was also killed, and his body can be seen in the background of the picture.
    The children’s mother, whose name was not provided, was in intensive care after the air strike.
    “This prize is the highest honor you can get in the profession,” Hansen told The Associated Press. “I’m very happy, but also very sad. The family lost two children and the mother is unconscious in a hospital.”
    “These situations are so visually complex,” he added. “It’s difficult to convey the emotions, to translate what is happening. The light is harsh and there are a lot of people.”
    “But in the alley the light bounced off the walls, so I thought this is a place where you can see that it’s a procession. … You get the depth in the image, and the bouncing light.”
    Violence in the Middle East, and its effect upon civilians, was the dominant theme in the hard news categories, with many entries depicting war-torn Syria and eight-day Israeli raid on the Gaza Strip.
    The attack on Gaza began with the killing of Hamas military chief Ahmad Jaabari on November 14. At least 177 Palestinians were killed – including dozens of children – and more than 1,200 wounded during the conflict, compared with four Israelis.
    The contest drew entries from professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers across the world. In all, 103,481 images were submitted by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries.
    Hansen will receive a €10,000 prize at ceremonies and the opening of the year’s exhibition April 25-27th in Amsterdam.
    (AP, Al-Akhbar, AFP)

  2. HarryLaw
    February 15, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Phil, is this the same person who had a conviction in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra Affair investigation?

  3. ckg
    February 15, 2013, 12:35 pm

    I wonder if Abrams will bring his wife Rachel, who said that Palestinian children are devils’ spawn who should be thrown into the sea to be food for sharks.

    • Hostage
      February 15, 2013, 4:45 pm

      the Brooklyn College Political Science Department is now showing “balance”: it is sponsoring a talk by neoconservative Elliott Abrams

      That would only be true if Judith Butler or Omar Barghouti had used their day job or speaking engagement to incite violence against hundreds of thousands of civilians, or endorse wars of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Abrams has a record of incitement for acts of violence or making threats of imminent violence. Butler and Barghouti only endorse peacemaking and equal human rights. Those are lawful activities and objectives the last time I checked.

      I wonder if Abrams will bring his wife Rachel, who said that Palestinian children are devils’ spawn who should be thrown into the sea to be food for sharks.

      I wonder if he will repeat his own usual performance of defending all of the on-going war crimes and crimes against humanity that deliberately target Palestinians? Those crimes and full-throated public support for them from key US officials, including Abrams, have undeniably resulted in the deaths of at least six thousand Palestinians since 2001, when Bush appointed Abrams as “Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations” at the National Security Council.

      I don’t know which is worse, 1) making Abrams one of our government’s Directors for “human rights”; 2) giving Abrams a federally-subsidized pulpit at Brooklyn-CUNY to publicly defend on-going war crimes that target Palestinians or Arab Muslims; or 3) allowing him to mislead the public under the guise of academic freedom using a patently false and federally-subsidized publicity or propaganda campaign to conceal Israel’s failure to comply with international law or the Bush administration’s published policies regarding a freeze on settlement construction, including “natural growth”.

      Since he left office, Abrams has falsely claimed that the Obama administration was the first to demand a settlement freeze. See for example his article at Foreign Affairs, “The Settlement Obsession”. link to foreignaffairs.com

      In fact, it was the Bush Administration that incorporated that requirement into the Middle East Quartet’s “Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution”, based upon the legal findings contained in “The Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee Report” (aka The Mitchell report):

      Phase 1

      SETTLEMENTS
      • GOI [Government of Israel] immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.
      • Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including
      natural growth of settlements).

      link to un.org

      The so-called “obsession” is perfectly natural. The Mitchell report noted that the settlements are illegal and that it logically follows that the US can’t allow Israel to use crimes as valuable bargaining chips in future negotiations when they are the focal points for provocation and acts of terrorism likely to preclude the onset of any such talks.
      –See the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee report, April 30, 2001 link to 2001-2009.state.gov

      Abrams may see trivializing or denying those crimes against humanity as his Zionist duty to drum-up support for Israel, but “academic freedom” isn’t a license to advocate serious crimes on campus under the guise of public education or collegiality.

    • Mondowise
      February 15, 2013, 4:50 pm

      i hope someone in the audience demands Abrams to explain exactly how his wife’s comment would be perceived and acted upon if the word “Palestinian” was changed to “Jewish”

    • jimmy
      February 15, 2013, 7:48 pm

      funny aint it…how the US msm works….

      beller on about what the iranain president did not say and claim it as etched in stone

      on the other hand never was critisize jews for saying some of the most terrible things humans can say

    • piotr
      February 15, 2013, 9:04 pm

      I get it was about terrorists, although there was something about wives and children too. What kind of floored me was the they were to feed “sharks and stargazers” — stargazers fish are quite smallish, marine biologist she is not. More importantly, Rachel did not think through the implications: IDF strongly prefers to assassinate from distance, and here she proposes to perform very risky body retrieval missions. Can one produce such a rant without prior consumption of two sixpacks?

      • ckg
        February 16, 2013, 12:02 pm

        Corey Robin, if you’re reading this, please consider asking the biology department to co-sponser the event, with Rachel Abrams as an additional speaker. It would be enlightening to have an academic discussion on whether it is likely, or even possible, for stargazers to dine on Palestinian children who have been thrown into the sea.

      • Philip Weiss
        February 16, 2013, 4:17 pm

        Brilliant, thanks

  4. edwardm
    February 15, 2013, 12:56 pm

    I’m glad they chose HIM. A crook and a fraud. Anyway this myth of balance is so absurd – I get it all the time when I post. To which I say “balance’ will take about 60 years of letting only the Palestinians present their side. You ready?”

  5. hophmi
    February 15, 2013, 1:25 pm

    “Well, the Brooklyn College Political Science Department is now showing ‘balance': ”

    No, not at all. According to what they said, they will more or less sponsor anything they’re asked to by a student organization; they said that they couldn’t remember ever turning down a request. So this is not about balance. This is about them following their own policy.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 16, 2013, 10:30 am

      So this is not about balance. This is about them following their own policy.

      it’s very much about balance if their policy is balanced, which is the implication here…and the point.

  6. Henry Norr
    February 15, 2013, 1:47 pm

    The blurbs on Amazon for Abrams’ book are a hoot: Richard B. Cheney, Henry Kissinger, Joe Lieberman, Alan Dershowitz, John Lewis Gaddis (Yale professor), Wall Street Journal, and Jennifer Rubin.

  7. Les
    February 15, 2013, 2:29 pm

    He may be the person to be asked if he thinks the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is necessary for the
    State of Israel or for the Judaism that he believes in

  8. DICKERSON3870
    February 15, 2013, 5:11 pm

    RE: Well, the Brooklyn College Political Science Department is now showing “balance”: it is sponsoring a talk by neoconservative Elliott Abrams . . . ~ Weiss

    MY QUESTION: I wonder if this is the Elliott Abrams who pled guilty to two misdemeanors of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal. If so, that is quite some “balance”! ! !

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Elliott Abrams]: “. . . During investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair, Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel tasked with investigating the case, prepared multiple felony counts against Abrams but never indicted him.[22] Instead, Abrams entered into a plea agreement with Walsh. Abrams pled guilty to two misdemeanors of withholding information from Congress.[23] . . .”
    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    FROM HistoryCommons.org [Elliott Abrams]:

    “June 2001: Abrams, Other Think Tank Neoconservatives Move to Join White House”
    Hardline neoconservative Elliott Abrams (see June 2, 1987) joins the National Security Council as senior director of Near East and North African affairs. A State Department official will later recall: “Elliott embodied the hubris of the neocon perspective. His attitude was, ‘All the rest of you are pygmies. You don’t have the scope and the vision we have. We are going to remake the world.’ His appointment meant that good sense had been overcome by ideology.”

    Rush of Neoconservatives into Administration – Abrams’s entry into the White House heralds a rush of former Project for the New American Century members (PNAC—see January 26, 1998 and September 2000) into the Bush administration, almost all of whom are staunch advocates of regime change in Iraq. “I don’t think that most people in State understood what was going on,” the State Department official will say later. “I understood what this was about, that PNAC was moving from outside the government to inside. In my mind, it was an unfriendly takeover.” [UNGER, 2007, PP. 205]

    Neoconservatives Well-Organized, Contemptuous of Congress – In June 2004, former intelligence official Patrick Lang will write: “It should have been a dire warning to the US Congress when the man who had been convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-contra affair [Elliott Abrams] was put in charge of the Middle East section of the NSC staff. One underestimated talent of the neocon group in the run-up to this war was its ability to manipulate Congress. They were masters of the game , having made the team in Washington in the 1970s on the staffs of two of the most powerful senators in recent decades, New York’s Patrick Moynihan and Washington’s Henry ‘Scoop’Jackson (see Early 1970s). The old boy’s club—Abe Shulsky at OSP [the Office of Special Plans—see September 2002], Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Middle East Desk Officer at the NSC Abrams, Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle—had not only worked together in their early government years in these two Senate offices, but they had stayed together as a network through the ensuing decades, floating around a small number of businesses and think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and the openly neoimperialist Project for a New American Century. The neocons were openly contemptuous of Congress, as they were of the UN Security Council.” [MIDDLE EAST POLICY COUNCIL, 6/2004]

    SOURCE – link to historycommons.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 15, 2013, 5:56 pm

      P.S. ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [Elliott Abrams]:

      [EXCERPT]. . . On February 5, 1997, the D.C. Court of Appeals publicly censured Abrams for giving false testimony on three occasions before congressional committees. Although a majority of the court voted to impose a public censure, three judges in the majority would have imposed a suspension of six months, and a fourth judge would have followed the recommendation of the Board on Professional Responsibility that Abrams be suspended for a year. . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Bumblebye
        February 16, 2013, 11:50 am

        More keeps coming out about Iran/Contra. Including that the Reagan team were conspiring to keep the hostages in Iran until after the 1980 election:
        link to consortiumnews.com

  9. Shingo
    February 15, 2013, 5:32 pm

    I can’t wait to hear Dershowitz issue a harsh condemnation.

  10. bilal a
    February 15, 2013, 7:53 pm

    Eliot Abrams the perjury liar of Iran Contra never had a chance to explain the Israeli connection to the Iran arms deal covered in the Walsh report, I speculate that he has something to say about the modus operandus in the Ben Zygier/ Ben Allen Prisoner X affair, and what exactly required his suicide in a suicide prevention cell. Justin Raimondo knows what its not about :

    link to original.antiwar.com

    What type of Intelligence Operation would be so extreme to force a crisis of confidence in Zionism by an Australian undercover Israeli agent ?

  11. Inanna
    February 15, 2013, 8:28 pm

    C’mon Brooklyn: Justice or “Balance”?

  12. yonah fredman
    February 16, 2013, 7:36 pm

    I realize the gist of this post is regarding Elliot Abrams, who is selling a book and therefore was present on Brian Lehrer and will be talking at Brooklyn College.

    As the Brooklyn College anti BDS 4 students sue the college to eliminate SJP from the Brooklyn College campus, let me make a few comments regarding the event of 9 days ago.

    1. My criticisms of Barghouti can be found in the archives from his February 2012 appearance at NYU. Apparently he has eliminated the offending rhetoric from his presentation.

    2. This website considers Barghouti a friend of the website and therefore criticisms of him must be couched in acceptable language.

    3. BDS is an important issue and should be discussed openly.

    4. Those who oppose BDS do so for a variety of reasons, in a variety of ways. Pressing politicians to threaten the college with ending funding is a heavy handed top down (rather than grass roots) means of silencing BDS and therefore it is not worthy.
    As far as the rationales for opposing BDS, the recent back and forth between Jerry Haber and Peter Beinart at Open Zion should illuminate.

    5. The SJP performance at Brooklyn College towards me was anti free speech and unacceptable. The validity of the claims of the four students who were kicked out will be determined by the American courts. I believe them quicker than I might due to the fact that SJP did not allow me into the event for no stated reason and did so in a blatant and disrespectful fashion. Being an oldster taking one course at the college makes me a poor representative for those suing the college poli. sci. department. Maybe my left wing (two degrees to the right of Larry Derfner) positions are not in line with the arguments of those who are suing the college. In any case SJP acted like they owned the joint and thus instructed security guards employed by the university to do their work. I do not think that disallowing people into an event on campus should be allowed without ample reasons. I think the behavior of SJP of Brooklyn College towards me was not acceptable. I don’t know if this is sufficient reason to ban them from campus, but I do think some form of disciplinary action or statement from the college is in order. But my case will not come to court and only the case of the Brooklyn College anti BDS 4.

    6. SJP indulges in limiting free speech all the time. Maybe their attempts to limit free speech of Michael Oren need to be viewed in the context of Israel’s general access to the MSM and Oren’s status as a representative of a foreign government. I think not. I think SJP believes in free speech only when it suits them and not as a rule.

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