Following weeks of controversy, Barghouti and Butler deliver sharp response to critics of BDS movement at Brooklyn College event

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
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Butler
Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti delivered a talk supporting the BDS movement last night at Brooklyn College (Photo: Alex Kane)

Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler delivered a powerful case in favor of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israeli human rights violations in front of a packed crowd of over 200 people at Brooklyn College last night. The event, which came and went without a hitch, took place after a week of escalating controversy over the event and the college Political Science Department’s decision to co-sponsor the talk.

A diverse crowd of Brooklyn College students and Palestinian rights advocates gathered at the school’s student center to hear Barghouti and Butler rebut their vociferous critics and argue in favor of the boycott Israel movement. There was no getting around the security set up outside and inside the event, as a heavy police presence was felt on all floors of the center. Those attending the talk had to go through a metal detector to get in. There were a few people who were removed from the event after they began to try and disrupt the proceedings, though they were uncharacteristically quiet hecklers.

Right before the talk started, Barghouti, a leading Palestinian BDS activist, held forth on the movement in a press conference outside the college. “We are witnessing the rise of a new McCarthyism,” he said, a message that was repeated at the talk. He was referring to the torrent of charges–like the claim that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic and promotes hate–hurled at the movement ever since the panel was announced. The campaign against the talk was led by a host of politicians from across the political spectrum, with some threatening the funding of the college and others pressuring the Political Science Department to rescind their co-sponsorship of the event.

Barghouti, who began his talk with a call for solidarity with indigenous peoples of the United States, celebrated the “victory” over “bullies” and “racists” that Brooklyn College’s Students for Justice in Palestine had in successfully putting on the talk in the face of calls for censorship. But he also warned that “the war waged on free speech is not over,” and referenced battles waged like what he called the Chuck Hagel “inquisition” and current efforts to tar student activists in California as anti-Semites for their work for Palestinian rights.

Barghouti
Omar Barghouti speaking at Brooklyn College (Photo: Alex Kane)

Outside the talk, there was a small group of protesters who held up signs decrying the event that said things like “don’t invite speakers who oppose dialogue.” Among them was Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the Orthodox Jewish power broker representing Borough Park who was a leading critic of the college event. Hikind, a one-time follower of the extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane and the violent Jewish Defense League, had repeatedly inveighed against the event. He claimed that the speakers supported Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda and that the BDS movement was anti-Semitic.

I interviewed Hikind and asked him what he was calling for in response to the event.

“My position has been very clear from the beginning: we do not object, you know the students have a right to invite speakers, whether I find them detestable or not, I do, but freedom of speech,” he told me. “The issue to me has been very clear from the beginning: the sponsorship of the university.” (In fact, it was not the university that was sponsoring the talk; it was merely the Political Science Department, and the college’s president made it clear that she opposed the BDS movement but supported the right of students and departments to sponsor talks that advocated for it.)

I then challenged him on the hypocrisy of his voicing opposition to Hamas and Hezbollah while being a member of the Jewish Defense League, which has been linked to a number of violent attacks against Soviet and Arab targets over the years. “Well, 40 years ago I was involved in fighting for Soviet Jewry, every moment I was involved I’m proud of, fighting for Soviet Jewry, fighting anti-Semitism, all of that were the best years of my life, so I don’t see the connection.” After I interrupted him to say that the JDL was involved in violent attacks, he said: “I don’t understand how [my past in the JDL is] relevant to the issues here tonight. I totally don’t understand how that’s relevant.” After I repeated my assertion that the question was relevant because he was railing against violence while being a past member of a violent group deemed a terrorist organization by the FBI, he said, “I really don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

Across the street from the Hikind-backed protesters were a group of religious Jews affiliated with the Neturei Karta movement, a strongly anti-Zionist, religious fundamentalist sect who were among the loudest of the demonstrators.

Inside the event, Butler, a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace advisory board, calmly delivered a presentation aimed at rebutting the critics of BDS and the discussion itself. (You can read her full remarks here, courtesy of The Nation.) She explained that the objections to the event took “several forms,” including the claim that BDS advocates are against all Jews, that it constitutes hate speech and that the event should only go forward with “balance”–and also nodded to “a certain Harvard professor” who argued that the event “ought to be presented only in a context in which the opposing viewpoint can be heard as well.” (Barghouti also said that “we have to give some credit to that professor from Harvard–we have to send him a box of chocolates,” in a reference to Alan Dershowitz’s campaign against the event which generated a lot of publicity.)

Butler’s response to the objection that BDS might bring on a “second Holocaust,” which a New York legislator raised, was to say: “One might say that all of these claims were obvious hyperbole and should be dismissed as such. But it is important to understand that they are wielded for the purpose of intimidation, animating the spectre of traumatic identification with the Nazi oppressor: if you let these people speak, you yourself will be responsible for heinous crimes or for the destruction of a state, or the Jewish people.”

Butler also addressed another of the distortions about BDS that came from progressives like the ones who signed the Rep. Jerry Nadler letter, which claimed that the movement advocates for the blacklisting of Israeli scholars. “BDS focuses on state agencies and corporations that build machinery designed to destroy homes, that build military materiel that targets populations, that profit from the occupation, that are situated illegally on Palestinian lands, to name a few,” she said. “BDS does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their national citizenship. I concede that not all versions of BDS have been consistent on this point in the past, but the present policy confirms this principle.” Barghouti affirmed this principle later on, saying that the BDS movement is not for “blacklisting” of Israeli scholars and that the academic boycott is aimed at institutions.

Additionally, Butler delivered a powerful case against the charge of anti-Semitism that is wielded against the movement. She noted that “some forms of Palestinian opposition to Israel do rely on anti-Semitic slogans, falsehoods and threats. All of these forms of anti-Semitism are to be unconditionally opposed.” But she also said:

Only if we accept the proposition that the state of Israel is the exclusive and legitimate representative of the Jewish people would a movement calling for divestment, sanctions and boycott against that state be understood as directed against the Jewish people as a whole. Israel would then be understood as co-extensive with the Jewish people. There are two major problems with this view. First, the state of Israel does not represent all Jews, and not all Jews understand themselves as represented by the state of Israel. Secondly, the state of Israel should be representing all of its population equally, regardless of whether or not they are Jewish, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.

Barghouti began his talk by making the case for why BDS is needed. The Israeli state has dehumanized the Palestinian people, he noted, ticking off various examples like the fact that an Israeli army sharpshooter made a t-shirt that shows a pregnant Palestinian with a bullseye imposed on the image and with words that read: “1 shot, 2 kills.” “It is this context that makes BDS crucial,” said Barghouti. He emphasized that the BDS movement is rooted in international law, and specifically addressed the BDS call’s advocacy for the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Barghouti said that many Palestinians live in exile, and that the right to return is a fundamental right.

The Palestinian activist celebrated some of the successes the boycott movement has had recently. Barghouti praised the decision by African National Congress in South Africa to endorse the BDS movement, for example, and credited the power of social media and the Internet with helping the movement out immensely.

And Barghouti emphasized that Americans have a special role to play in boycotting Israel. “It’s your tax money being used for oppression,” he said.

The question and answer session at the end of the event was calm as well, with most of the queries coming from supporters of the BDS movement. One student asked about Barghouti’s time as an anti-South African apartheid activist and whether that movement faced the same type of strong opposition the BDS movement targeting Israel does. Barghouti said that while there was some “stigma” attached to the movement against South Africa–largely the charge that advocates for ending apartheid were communists–it doesn’t compare to the current smears. He said that the charges of being a communist did not have the same “chilling” and “terrorizing” effect that the anti-Semitism charge has.

Barghouti ended his prepared remarks by quoting from an open letter he wrote to the West in the wake of the Arab revolutions. “After Egypt, it is our time. It is time for Palestinian freedom and justice,” he wrote. “It is time for all the people of this world, particularly the most exploited and downtrodden, to reassert our common humanity and reclaim control over our common destiny. I wish you Egypt!”

83 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    February 8, 2013, 8:07 am

    -Outside the talk, there was a small group of protesters who held up signs decrying the event that said things like “don’t invite speakers who oppose dialogue.”-

    Their lack of self-awareness is simply breathtaking.

    • hophmi
      February 8, 2013, 11:22 am

      “Their lack of self-awareness is simply breathtaking.”

      Why do you say that? Is BDS a movement that supports dialogue?

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 8, 2013, 2:16 pm

        “Why do you say that? Is BDS a movement that supports dialogue?”

        I assume she says it because the anti-BDS movement just spend a few weeks trying to strong-arm politicians and the administration to prevent this presentation.

        • seafoid
          February 8, 2013, 3:32 pm

          Does bds support dialogue is the new black. Christ. Talk about hypocrisy.

    • Cliff
      February 8, 2013, 12:29 pm

      They are the kinds of Zionists that Max Blumenthal gets on video.

      And then other Zionists who are equally cartoony decry said videos as misrepresentative of Zionists.

      But by this fake controversy, we can see that Zionists are really that crazy and self-centered.

      Max Blumenthal doesn’t have to interview Dov Hikund to get a crazy quote. Dov will say it on his own at his own press conference.

  2. ckg
    February 8, 2013, 8:14 am

    With all the specious and spiteful misrepresentations of BDS being voiced by its critics in the press this past week, it is very helpful that Prof. Butler released her prepared remarks, and even more so since media and public access to the event was limited. I hope Mr. Barghouti releases his prepared remarks too.

  3. Kathleen
    February 8, 2013, 8:56 am

    If they could have moved the talk to a larger room I am sure they could have tripled the size of people who wanted in.

    • sardelapasti
      February 8, 2013, 10:59 am

      “…they could have tripled the size… ”
      Thank you, Hikind, Dershovitz, the representatives, council members, mayoral candidates, kahanist headless chickens and all others who so efficiently helped make this a success.

  4. justicewillprevail
    February 8, 2013, 9:07 am

    So this is what the zio lobby fulminated against, wildly exaggerated as a ‘threat’, hyperbolically claimed as anti-semitic and other ludicrous hysteria – a calm, lucid and rational analysis of the usurpation of Palestinian rights by Israel, and the tactics by which that might be addressed. No threat to anybody, except those who believe that Israel can only exist through criminal behaviour, prejudice and rights for one tribe only. Losers.

    • seafoid
      February 8, 2013, 10:09 am

      The zionist modus operandi is to strangle anything that has the remotest possibility of materialising later as a threat . They have killed so many people and so many movements in this way. But they never killed Hezbollah and they are unlikely to stop BDS.

  5. talknic
    February 8, 2013, 9:31 am

    BDS similar in a way to sanctions.

    The sanctions on Iran effect the whole country and all its citizens collectively. Including some 25,000 Iranian Jews. The sanctions are imposed based on speculative accusations of Iran aspiring towards developing Nuclear arms. Accusations but no actual evidence.

    On the other hand the BDS movement targets only those companies actually involved in Israel’s actual occupation of Palestine and the actual illegal settlements and unlike the purely speculative accusations against Iran, there’s 64 years of ‘facts on the ground’ evidence against Israel.

    By comparison and given the overwhelming evidence against Israel’s illegal actions, the BDS movement is quite mild.

  6. eljay
    February 8, 2013, 9:51 am

    >> First, the state of Israel does not represent all Jews, and not all Jews understand themselves as represented by the state of Israel. Secondly, the state of Israel should be representing all of its population equally, regardless of whether or not they are Jewish, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.

    The concept is so clear, so straightforward, so just and so moral, it’s no wonder Zio-supremacists refuse to accept it.

  7. pabelmont
    February 8, 2013, 10:05 am

    The two speakers are about the best I have ever heard on any topic. Clear, motivational, and funny.

    The hall was not full, but the delay (for metal detection) was so extreme (I got there at 5:15 and got “in” about 6:00, ahead of a long trailing line of RSVP’d folks and also a long line of wait-list (non-RSVP) folks, and some in either line might have abandoned ship after a long wait in the cold.

    I didn’t hear the “S” in “BDS” discussed, and Barghouti’s mention that the anti-apartheid effort (re: South Africa) had taken decades (1950s to 1990s) was a reminder of how long it takes to move nations (either as people or as governments) to intervene in a serious way. STILL, I’d like to hear at least aspirational talk (by the BDS speaker) about what the movement meant by its use of the term: “sanctions”.

    (All this as I recall Friday AM): When the sole heckler who made it to the Q&A microphone asked (perhaps on cynical message, perhaps with real Zionist fear) whether it was not true that BDS meant to destroy Israel (or something like that), Barghouti said (at first) that he’d said (all he was going to say) what BDS was about in his talk. But later he reflected that the speaker may have been asking for a “hidden agenda” for BDS, and said he’d now give the real, the hidden, agenda of BDS, and “you heard it here first!”. And then he repeated his message of the evening, that BDS is for human rights for everybody, equality, non-discrimination, and not against anybody. So, it was finally revealed — that BDS’s hidden agenda was the same as its published agenda. Funny.

  8. piotr
    February 8, 2013, 10:47 am

    I think that Fidler, Derschowitz and others do have a point that sponsorship of the event and the defense of that sponsorship by the college has a significance. Of course it is not endorsement but merely acknowledgement that the ideas presented are legitimate points of debate, which is in itself a weak statement. And the event happened, and contrary to NY Daily News and NY Post, “Jew bashing” did not envelope Brooklyn, even if assisted by “the lefties from Slope Park, Carter and Ahmedinejad”.

    Yet this is precisely the contention of Fidler, Derschowitz and quite a few others that BDS belongs to a very narrow circle of “odious ideas” like child pornography. Odious ideas that deserve shunning do exists, and I would put here advocating the use of torture. BDS is not odious. If anything, a certain consensus developes: the Israel behavior is highly problematic, and a certain contention: should anything be done about it, or nothing?

    PS. About the box of chocolade, I recommend a shop in Brooklyn : link to sweetpoland.com
    This is very nice and very delicious stuff that you will not get in normal stores.

  9. StanleyHeller
    February 8, 2013, 10:52 am

    video of Omar Barghouti’s complete talk at Yale on 2/6/2013 is here:

    link to youtu.be

    Stan Heller
    http://www.TheStruggle.org

  10. chris_k
    February 8, 2013, 11:09 am

    The key is that Brooklyn College didn’t buckle and the bullying councilmen had to retreat, with the provision that anti-BDS speakers talk. But what about calling their bluff and opening a dialogue? Saying no to that is not wanting politicians to have power over the academy, but if every assertion at one of these events had to be met with a counter-assertion, that is, if the anti-BDS speakers had to be rebutted, that would be interesting, creating publicity and perhaps leading to something.

    What the Dershowitz crowd is also trying to do is keep other schools from wanting to touch this, just as the Finkelstein case is supposed to cause academics to self-edit their areas of human rights concerns.

  11. hophmi
    February 8, 2013, 11:11 am

    So you acknowledge, Alex, that those thrown out of the event were “uncharacteristically quiet hecklers.” Would you sign a letter to the university protesting their treatment as violating their rights under the school’s own code and under prevailing civil rights laws?

    • justicewillprevail
      February 8, 2013, 1:42 pm

      Perhaps you’d like to apply your new found interest in civil rights laws to the Palestinians.

      • hophmi
        February 8, 2013, 1:58 pm

        I defend the rights of pro-Palestinian people to hold talks on college campuses and to attend lectures that are both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. Do you?

        • justicewillprevail
          February 8, 2013, 3:42 pm

          I didn’t see you defending this talk going on from all the confected hysteria. Quite the opposite in fact.

    • Woody Tanaka
      February 8, 2013, 2:20 pm

      “Would you sign a letter to the university protesting their treatment as violating their rights under the school’s own code and under prevailing civil rights laws?”

      The real question, hopper, is whether YOU will call on the Brooklyn DA to prosecute these people for disorderly conduct. How about it?

  12. hophmi
    February 8, 2013, 11:12 am

    According to this account, there was, in fact, no attempt to disrupt the events; the students were simply summarily removed for possessing anti-BDS literature.

    link to tabletmag.com

    • justicewillprevail
      February 8, 2013, 1:50 pm

      Well the authorities probably assumed they were linked with the rabid, fundamentalist baying mob who claim to represent Israel and Jews, and intended to disrupt the meeting. Whose fault is that? Poor babies, maybe they’d like to reflect on the harassment of BDS speakers and pro-Palestinian groups who get this all the time, and their fellow-travellers who created the hysterical climate in the first place which probably led the authorities to take such precautions. It’s not like their case isn’t heard on a multitude of platforms, unlike the ceaseless attempts to censor BDS speakers. Playing the victim card when you have done everything to blame the victims isn’t a winning argument.

      • hophmi
        February 8, 2013, 1:59 pm

        “Well the authorities probably assumed they were linked with the rabid, fundamentalist baying mob who claim to represent Israel and Jews, and intended to disrupt the meeting.”

        What would your response be if pro-Palestinian students were kicked out of a pro-Israel event for possessing pro-Palestinian literature? No need to answer. I think we already know.

        And let’s cut it with the straw man censorship claims. Virtually no one has said that the BDS speakers shouldn’t have been allowed to speak at all.

        • justicewillprevail
          February 8, 2013, 3:46 pm

          Just keep on ignoring the substance of what was said, and try to whip a little confected controversy. I doubt whether anybody there was bothered by these students, least of all any questions from them. Nor would I be. You would have to ask the security why they were ejected, not fling pathetic accusations and unfounded smears at people who supported the talk going ahead. There would have no need for such security had it not been for the absurd hysteria and hatred fomented by the usual pro Israeli goon squad, so you are hoist by your own petard, and stamp your little foot in rage. Yeah, let’s cut weaselly get-out clauses, now that it went ahead.

        • Woody Tanaka
          February 8, 2013, 3:54 pm

          “Virtually no one has said that the BDS speakers shouldn’t have been allowed to speak at all.”

          No, they wished to interrupt the planning of this event in the belief that, by doing so, they would effectively cancel it, even if they didn’t explicitly state they shouldn’t be allowed to speak.

      • tree
        February 8, 2013, 2:58 pm

        And The Tablet is looking into playing the victim card bigtime, according to hophmi’s article:

        The Scroll continues to investigate, but the event may be at odds with a non-discrimination policy that states that students will not be excluded from participation in the programs of the college because of national or ethnic origin, or religion.

        “The Scroll” is The Tablet’s news section. It’s hoping to trumpet non-existent anti-Semitism. Quel surprise! Because we all know that every last Jew supports Israel and opposes BDS, right? I swear, some Zionists are the worst purveyors of stereotyping Jews.

    • Woody Tanaka
      February 8, 2013, 2:08 pm

      LMAO. Nope. According to Tabet Magazine, one Ari Ziegler made the claim that his lap full of pro-racism propaganda was there to “help [him] assess [his] decision on [his] feelings over BDS.” This is obvious nonsense. But, if he was actually innocent, then his removal should not have occurred.

  13. chinese box
    February 8, 2013, 11:15 am

    I think this whole fracas has only been a huge boon for BDS. It’s helping to push the movement into mainstream consciousness, especially since Bloomberg had to get involved. Lew Fidler et al aren’t exactly nightflowers–they have all the subtlety of a mac truck, and people are noticing. With all of these big mouth “friends” of Israel (including the Republican senators at the Hagel confirmation), AIPAC and liberal zionists risk losing control of their narrative and the PR war.

  14. Kathleen
    February 8, 2013, 12:01 pm

    the strategy of oppression and threats if anyone talks about the oppression and crimes being committed came long before McCarthyism. But now the spotlight is on these threatening strategies that have worked for decades when this issue comes up

  15. ritzl
    February 8, 2013, 1:00 pm

    The absolute reasonableness and broad appeal of Barghouti’s and Butler’s contentions and exhortations are their opponents’ worst nightmare. Particularly in contrast to how those opponents characterize[d] them in advance.

    People that weren’t already true believers, one way or the other, probably left the talk wondering what all the pre-talk hysteria was about. It raises the question of why all the hysteria, and makes one wonder what [else] is being hidden. That kind of self-induced question-raising makes this an argument the anti-BDS crowd cannot win.

    Kudos to Brooklyn College and everyone involved in making this event happen.

  16. tombishop
    February 8, 2013, 1:39 pm

    There is an excellent article in a recent New York Review of Books about the British mandate period of Palestine from 1917 to 1948. It sheds important light on the issue of right to return and what happened before and after 1948 which destroyed any hope for peace in Palestine. Both the reviewer and the author of the book he is reviewing have memories of the period which are fascinating in light of the situation today.

    Palestine: How Bad, & Good, Was British Rule?
    link to nybooks.com

  17. ckg
    February 8, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Barghouti is correct to speak of the rise of a new McCarthyism, directed at supporters of Palestinian rights. But incredibly, Dershowitz now claims victimhood and that he is the one being subjected to McCarthyite tactics: link to guardian.co.uk

    • hophmi
      February 8, 2013, 2:01 pm

      Well, I’m not a huge fan of Dershowitz, but I can’t blame him for that sentiment. It is all true. He has been false accused of plagiarism (investigated by Harvard and discredited, and obvious nonsense to begin with), advocating torture (a complete distortion of his position), and so on, repeatedly, and so on, by the usual suspects, everywhere he goes.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 8, 2013, 4:03 pm

        “It is all true.”

        Is it?

        “He has been false accused of plagiarism”

        Actually, for the claims of misattribution, looking at the the evidence, D-bag comes out looking bad. Is it absolute evidence that D-bag copied Joan Peters when Peters’s work contains the same conjoining, into one paragraph, two sections of Mark Twain’s writing that are 87 pages apart?? No, I guess it’s conceivable that D-bag just so happened to pick the exact same two pieces — that are 87 pages apart — as Peters did, and just so happened to put them into one paragrpah, just like Peters did, without D-bag plagerizing Peters. It’s possible. (Fun fact: It’s possible to flip a fair coin a hundred times in a row and having it come up heads each time.)

        “(investigated by Harvard and discredited, and obvious nonsense to begin with)”

        LMAO!!! Yeah, what are the odds that Harvard would find the zio-superstar prof guilty (and risk all that money from zionist alums and endowments)?

        “advocating torture (a complete distortion of his position), ”

        Nonsense. If you are proposing ways to obtain judicial sanction for the commission of a war crime, you’re advocating the crime.

      • justicewillprevail
        February 8, 2013, 5:57 pm

        The Harvard review was closed, and never revealed what they investigated or why they exonerated Dersh. Los Angeles attorney Dr. Frank Menetrez investigated and corresponded with both Harvard and Dershowitz and concluded that “neither Dershowitz nor Harvard, however, has identified the specific issues or arguments that Harvard allegedly investigated and rejected. In particular, neither of them has ever said whether Harvard investigated the identical errors issue.”
        Oxford academic Avi Shlaim had also been critical of Dershowitz, saying he believed that the charge of plagiarism “is proved in a manner that would stand up in court.” As did Michael Desch, political science professor at University of Notre Dame.

        See link to en.wikipedia.org

        Dershowitz published an article in The San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Want to Torture? Get a Warrant,” in which he advocated the issuance of warrants permitting the torture of terrorism suspects, one of his recommended methods being the “sterilized needle being shoved under the fingernails”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        He has also supported a terrorist group, the MEK, and advocated the re-examining of laws against the targeting of civilians in war.

        Yeah, you gotta feel sorry for the guy, he’s so misunderstood.

      • sardelapasti
        February 8, 2013, 6:21 pm

        Hopfmi – Dershovitz’ plagiarism, enthusiastic support for torture, complicity in murder and war crimes are obvious to whoever can read. If you can’t read you’d be excused for supporting him with your propaganda, but if you can write why should you get the advantage of such charitable interpretation of your activity?

      • Blank State
        February 8, 2013, 10:36 pm

        “Well, I’m not a huge fan of Dershowitz….blablahblah…..”

        Darn, Hophni, why not? Seems to me you guys are two peas in a pod.

      • Boston
        February 9, 2013, 8:39 am

        Much of Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel” was quite obviously plagiarized from Joan Peters’ “Time Immemorial”. Even down to punctuation errors. There is no doubt. It was not investigated by Harvard in any real sense. Dean Elana Kagan (yes, the Zionist now sitting on our highest bench) “cleared” the Dersh.

        And, yes, the Dersh did advocate for torture..”My basic point, though, is we should never under any circumstances allow low-level people to administer torture. If torture is going to be administered as a last resort in the ticking-bomb case, to save enormous numbers of lives, it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice”.

        • hophmi
          February 9, 2013, 10:38 am

          “Much of Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel” was quite obviously plagiarized from Joan Peters’ “Time Immemorial”. Even down to punctuation errors. There is no doubt. It was not investigated by Harvard in any real sense. Dean Elana Kagan (yes, the Zionist now sitting on our highest bench) “cleared” the Dersh.”

          Cleared by Harvard. Kagan has credibility. You don’t.

          Advocating that there be a warrant and that torture be administered only by senior personnel should authorities decide they want to use torture is not the same thing as advocating it. If you’re an opponent of the death penalty, you don’t morph into a supporter of the death penalty if you support due process in capital cases.

        • justicewillprevail
          February 9, 2013, 12:16 pm

          If Kagan had any credibility, she would have demonstrated it, by openly publishing their ‘review’ of D’s plagiarism. As it is, they kept it secret, whereas all the others who supported Finkelstein openly published their evidence… so Harvard’s ‘clearing’ of D is unsupported by any evidence, or indication of what research they undertook, other than simply asking him for his story. Clearly they didn’t want to have a tainted scholar on their payroll, so they quietly, and secretly, let him off the hook.

        • eljay
          February 9, 2013, 12:18 pm

          >> Advocating that there be a warrant and that torture be administered only by senior personnel should authorities decide they want to use torture is not the same thing as advocating it.

          Dersh advocates for torture when he feels it’s acceptable – he’s not against torture, he’s just mostly against it.

          Zio-supremacists advocate for supremacism when they feel it’s acceptable – they’re not against supremacism, they’re just mostly against it.

          If you’re against torture, you don’t advocate for it selectively. If you’re against supremacism, you don’t advocate for it selectively.

        • Woody Tanaka
          February 9, 2013, 12:46 pm

          “Cleared by Harvard. Kagan has credibility. You don’t.”

          This is the logical falacy of appeal to authority. Harvard — and everyone associated with it — are irreverisbly tainted by bias stemming from what it would lose if it’s superstar zio prof was demonstrated to be an academic fraud. That’s why only an outside, independant review of the facts would suffice.

          “Advocating that there be a warrant and that torture be administered only by senior personnel should authorities decide they want to use torture is not the same thing as advocating it. If you’re an opponent of the death penalty, you don’t morph into a supporter of the death penalty if you support due process in capital cases.”

          Wrong. Dershowitz didn’t simply call for due process for those to be tortured, he displayed hypocrisy by claiming that torture would be unacceptable under all circumstances and then stating circumstances where it would be acceptable (as there is no such thing as “less non-acceptable.”).

          Further, yours is a false analogy. Capital punishment is a governmental legal process whose legitimacy is either accepted or reasonably subject to reasonable difference (even as the world is moving away from it.) Torture is almost universally accepted as beyond the legitimate powers of a government.

          Dershowitz’s statement was not the equal of calling for due process in capital cases. Rather, it is the eqivalent of saying, “If you’re going to exterminate this minority population, be sure that the Head of State personally approves it, so we can have transparency and accountability.” That’s condoning the act, because it’s detailing a way to make an unacceptable act more acceptable. If it is wrong for a low level employee to torture, it is no less wrong if the torture is approved by the President and the Supreme Court. Yet Dershowitz’s statement implies that the latter is preferable to the former, but, in fact, they are equally wrong.

        • Donald
          February 10, 2013, 2:32 pm

          “Cleared by Harvard. Kagan has credibility. You don’t.”

          Argument by authority. I’d accept an argument from authority if we were talking about some esoteric point in quantum physics, but we’re not–as Woody pointed out, the case for plagiarism is actually pretty easy to understand and if Dersh were a student rather than a big-shot professor and lawyer, I rather suspect that most schools would have been rather tough on him.

          “Advocating that there be a warrant and that torture be administered only by senior personnel should authorities decide they want to use torture is not the same thing as advocating it.”

          This is disingenuous in the extreme, both on Dersh’s part and yours. There are no torture opponents that I know of–and, ya know, it’s been kind of a big issue in the past nine years–who oppose torture by advocating for torture warrants if the authorities decide they want to use torture. Advocating for torture warrants is a way of normalizing the idea of torture, bringing into the sphere of debatable policy choices.

          What if the authorities decide they might want to rape a three year old child? Coming up with a ticking time bomb argument for that is easy–just imagine the usual scenario and stipulate that the terrorist has a handy three year child that he or she loves. So if the authorities decide they want to use child rape, should we have due process? Gosh, yes. Child rape by the authorities should be done strictly by the book, that’s what I always say.

        • Donald
          February 10, 2013, 5:28 pm

          My reply was independent of Woody’s, but it’s interesting how we came up with virtually the same arguments. I could say it’s an example of great minds thinking alike, but unfortunately the truth is more prosaic–Dersh’s positions and hophmi’s attempt to defend them are so transparently absurd it really doesn’t take much work to point out the fallacies.

    • justicewillprevail
      February 8, 2013, 2:43 pm

      Hilarious. Now that the McCarthy charge against him and his gang is sticking, he wants to appropriate it for himself and whine for sympathy. Priceless.

    • a blah chick
      February 8, 2013, 3:03 pm

      That Guardian article by The Dersh was chock full of crazy.

      “The second charge is that I am pro-torture, despite my repeated categorical statements in my writings that I’m opposed to all torture under all circumstances. I do believe that torture will be used, not should be used, in the event we ever experience a ticking bomb situation. Accordingly, I have suggested that no torture should ever be permitted without a court approved warrant, of the type the ACLU has demanded in targeted killing cases.”

      So, he’s “opposed to all torture under all circumstances…” except when there is a warrant sanctioned by the ACLU.

      I might have to do a booze run.

      • J_38
        February 8, 2013, 8:46 pm

        Dershowitz’ claim in The Guardian that he is being unjustly maligned on the torture issue “despite my repeated categorical statements in my writings that I’m opposed to all torture under all circumstances”… isn’t borne out by what has come out of his mouth.

        In an on-air exchange with Wolf Blitzer a few years back dealing with the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Dershowitz said “he [Shaikh Mohammed] is not likely to provide information unless we use certain extreme measures.”

        He went on to say… “If torture is going to be administered as a last resort in the ticking-bomb case, to save enormous numbers of lives, it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice.”

        D’s Caveats notwithstanding… this doesn’t sound like someone opposed to all “torture under all circumstances” as he now claims.

      • piotr
        February 9, 2013, 2:20 am

        Sorry, a warrant approved by a court remotely similar to something mentioned by ACLU.

    • ToivoS
      February 8, 2013, 8:11 pm

      Poor Dershowitz is losing it. He has taken a big hit in this Brooklyn College fiasco. He gave his legal advice to the NY City Council and those fools listened to him and threatened BC’s financing. Their act was completely defensible on the grounds of academic freedom. This is without any doubt. So poor Dersho now comes out and plays the victim.

      Oh poor, poor little man — victim of antisemitism from his first day in school to today. And what a way to do it. He brings up the charge of plagiarism that he was almost certainly guilty of doing. There is no doubt that he copied the reference to Mark Twain from Joan Peter’s book and used it as a primary reference, not a secondary reference. This may seem trivial, but that act is a violation of scholarship. In any case he reminds the whole world of his shameful act, he would have been off letting that dog sleep. In any case, he is showing some really poor judgement. Like I said, he is losing something.

    • RoHa
      February 9, 2013, 12:47 am

      “Barghouti is correct to speak of the rise of a new McCarthyism, directed at supporters of Palestinian rights.”

      I don’t think it is new at all, but calling it McCarthyism is a recent – and welcome – development. Even those too young to remember McCarthy (most people, these days) have the idea that McCarthyism is a Bad Thing.

  18. MHughes976
    February 8, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Not sure Butler’s argument is valid. Well as so often it depends on what you mean by anti-S. If you mean opposition to whatever is characteristically Jewish then anti-Z might qualify on the grounds that Jewish support for Z might not be universal but is certainly massive. If you specify that anti-S must be unfsir then everything turns not on the level of Jewish support for but on the objective justice of Z.

  19. DICKERSON3870
    February 8, 2013, 3:18 pm

    RE: But he [Barghouti] also warned that “the war waged on free speech is not over,” and referenced battles waged like what he called the Chuck Hagel “inquisition” and current efforts to tar student activists in California as anti-Semites for their work for Palestinian rights. ~ Alex Kane

    ● MY COMMENT: This is yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment [like "the right of free speech"] ! ! !
    “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

    EXAMPLES OF ZIONISM’S VALUES TRUMPING (OVERRIDING) THE VALUES OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT HERE IN THE U.S.

    “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
    LINK – link to theamericanconservative.com
    “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
    LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
    From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security, By Max Blumenthal, Al-akhbar, 12/02/11
    LINK – link to english.al-akhbar.com OR link to informationclearinghouse.info
    “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009
    LINK – link to tikkun.org
    “Brooklyn College’s academic freedom increasingly threatened over Israel event”, by Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 2/02/13
    LINK – link to guardian.co.uk
    ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
    LINK – link to rawstory.com
    “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
    LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
    “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
    LINK – link to guardian.co.uk

    P.S. AND HERE’S ANOTHER THREAT TO THE VALUES OF “THE ENLIGHTENMENT” (THIS TIME IN AFRICA):
    “US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries”
    , by Common Dreams, 7/24/12
    LINK – link to commondreams.org

  20. Philip Munger
    February 8, 2013, 3:50 pm

    I read Judith Butler’s remarks last night, soon after they were posted at The Nation. Alex links to her article above, but here is the link again:

    link to thenation.com

    It is a profound address. Please take the time to read it.

  21. ckg
    February 8, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Corey Robin asks a relevant question today: “Who Really Supports Hate Speech at Brooklyn College?” link to coreyrobin.com Mondoweiss comments section is mentioned in the post replies.

  22. Klaus Bloemker
    February 8, 2013, 6:06 pm

    “the Jewish people”, “all Jews”
    ———————————————–
    Butler uses these terms 5 times in the 10 line paragraph, Alex quotes of her speech.

    - She supposes that there is such a thing as “the Jewish people”(3 times mentioned)
    and “all Jews” (2 times) – whether they all support Israel or not is not my point.

    My point is, she refers to Jews as a collective social category – is she right?
    That’s of course a rhetorical question. – Is she still part of that social collective? – That’s not a rhetorical question.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 9, 2013, 11:23 am

      she refers to Jews as a collective social category

      could you blockquote the statement of hers you are referencing please.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        February 9, 2013, 5:11 pm

        Annie,
        I refered to Butler’s statement Alex quotes (indented) in his article.
        ————-
        Butler addressed the claim that BDS advocates are against all Jews,

        In her statement to rebuke that claim she juxtaposes in opposition:
        - The Jewish people/all Jews vs. the state of Israel

        Fair enough, but enough people on MW contest the supposition that
        there is such a social collective as “the Jewish people” or ‘world Jewry’.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 9, 2013, 5:47 pm

          so ‘social collective’ is your choice of terminology, not butler’s. that’s all i wanted to know. she didn’t refer to Jews as a “collective social.” because socially they are all over the map. maybe you should ask yourself if she fits the description of your idea of a ‘jewish social collective’, since it’s your terminology. but she probably does identify as a jewish person.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 10, 2013, 2:05 pm

          klaus, why quotes around ‘people’ but not ‘social collective’? have you googled ‘people’ and ‘social collective’ lately? i didn’t think so. butler is a theorist, therefore her terminology matters. whereas your terminology? not so much. if you’re going to reference butler’s words and meanings why not just stick to her terminology?

          My point is, she refers to Jews as a collective social category – is she right?

          my point, is not to put words in her mouth. she did not, as you claim, refer to Jews as a ‘collective social’ categorically or otherwise, nor did she refer to ‘people’ as a ‘collective social’ and claiming she did is merely your claim. so then asking ‘is she right’ only compounds the miscommunication.

          why don’t you go find us a definition of ‘people’ as ‘a collective social’.

          start w/webster: link to merriam-webster.com

    • Bumblebye
      February 9, 2013, 12:11 pm

      You should read the piece in The Nation, Klaus. From a couple of paras on:

      ” Honestly, what can really be said about “the Jewish people” as a whole? Is it not a lamentable sterotype to make large generalizations about all Jews, and to presume they all share the same political commitments? They—or, rather, we—occupy a vast spectrum of political views, some of which are unconditionally supportive of the state of Israel, some of which are conditionally supportive, some are skeptical, some are exceedingly critical, and an increasing number, if we are to believe the polls in this country, are indifferent. In my view, we have to remain critical of anyone who posits a single norm that decides rights of entry into the social or cultural category determining as well who will be excluded.”

      Does that reassure you?

      • Bumblebye
        February 10, 2013, 6:57 am

        Klaus –
        You’re being way to simplistic and far too generalised.

  23. yourstruly
    February 9, 2013, 1:53 am

    until recently only the israeli narrative was heard?

    but more & more?

    the palestinian narrative’s getting out?

    justice for palestine?

    right on time?

    • yourstruly
      February 9, 2013, 2:11 am

      why did yesterday’s event at brooklyn college drive israel’s supporters crazy?

      their cover blown?

      israel’s not an outpost of freedom & democracy in a tough part of the world?

      it’s an apartheid society?

      justice for palestine?

      inevitable?

      now that the truth’s getting out?

      • hophmi
        February 9, 2013, 11:26 am

        It didn’t really drive us all that crazy. You seem to be under the impression that we tried to cancel the event. We didn’t. This came about because professors in the polisci department at BC have developed a reputation over time of publicizing their politics, and while there may be some formalistic distinction between sponsoring a student event and endorsing it, it seems to be the case that this distinction was lost on the student organizers, who presented the sponsorship as endorsement, and on some members of the department, who clearly endorsed the event, and only perpetuated the notion that this was more than routine sponsorship by effusively praising Judith Butler’s speech and linking it on their pages after the fact. Both Corey Robin and Paisley Currah linked to the printed version of Butler’s speech in the Nation.

        So, as Eric Alterman wrote this week, there’s a bit of intellectual disingenuous and dishonesty going on here. Alterman also reports that Currah attempted to get other departments to sponsor the speech, and all of them refused to do so.

        So, nobody’s cover was blown, nobody was upset about an SJP bringing Butler and Barghouti to speak on a college campus, as they have done many times. Quite simply, students on campus who were upset by PoliSci’s seeming endorsement of the event (which Karen Gould and everyone else acknowledges would have been highly improper) and called the politicians, and they ran with it as politicians tend to do.

        And people are probably going to forget all about it in a week.

        • Cliff
          February 9, 2013, 11:57 am

          The PoliSci department has sponsored a talk by David Horowitz in the past.

          There is no issue here and there never was.

          And who are you representing, hoppy? You keep saying ‘we’.

          It’s telling that you think Dov Hikund’s involvement was ‘unhelpful’ (your tepid criticism is always RSVP’ed), yet he and his cronies were leading the charge against the talk.

          Zionists aren’t doing anyone any favors. Bloomberg is ‘violently opposed’ to BDS. Whatever that means. And he slid in an underhanded jab at the talk while castigating the far-right loonies in Dov Hikund and Dershowitz’s camp.

          As for this phantom menace – there is no conflict of interest here. The PoliSci Dept. can sponsor who they want to sponsor. They shouldn’t have to be vetted by a polarized Zionist community that is routinely censoring the Palestinian perspective out of the greater American consciousness.

          This BDS semi-controversy was not generated by the BDS proponents. It was a product of Zionist hysteria.

          Zionist Jews all over this country have always made censorship their priority. The fact that a Palestinian children’s art exhibit was censored while a similar Iraqi children’s art exhibit wasn’t is testament to the absurd deference given to wing-nuts who demonize Palestinian agency as antisemitic, this/that and the other thing.

          You keep saying ‘nobody’ was upset – which is ridiculous, since you yourself were parroting ‘The Tablet’s’ lies yesterday.

          Plenty of Zionists were upset, and everyone saw that they were upset.

          This isn’t the first BDS controversy generated by the hysteria in YOUR community. And it won’t be the last.

        • justicewillprevail
          February 9, 2013, 12:18 pm

          Backpedalling so hard, you might reverse into your own prejudice. Could be nasty.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 9, 2013, 12:58 pm

          professors … formalistic distinction between sponsoring a student event and endorsing it, …. distinction was lost on the student organizers, who presented the sponsorship as endorsement

          just stop, it’s been repeated ad nauseum this is not the case, so why are you still humping this? and what’s with all the ‘formalistic distinction’ lingo. how many creative ways can you spin this bs talking pt?

  24. jayn0t
    February 9, 2013, 12:14 pm

    “Barghouti and Butler deliver sharp response to critics of BDS movement”. Maybe. But the BDS movement’s also made concessions to Dershowitz, sneakily changing the wording of its aims from ‘ending the occupation of Arab lands’ to ‘lands occupied since 1967′, which obviously legitimizes ethnic cleansing prior to that year.

    This shows that the Zionist game still works – people like Dershowitz make hysterical, inaccurate attacks on moderates like Barghouti and Butler, this makes them look more radical than they are, and they move further right. It’s also ironic that Barghouti criticizes ‘McCarthyism’, when he opposes free speech re. Atzmon.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 9, 2013, 12:42 pm

      jaynot, when you say ‘made concessions to dershowitz’ do you mean they made a change and attributed it to his criticisms? or do you mean ‘made concessions to his argument’ or what? the word ‘concession’ or ‘concede’ implies one relented or something. it could be with time their was an organic transformation that worked better for the movement.

      also, not to get too nitpicky but calling on bds activists not to provide a platform for debating atzmon, on the grounds the argument should be rejected, isn’t the same as saying atzmon shouldn’t have a right to free speech.

      • sardelapasti
        February 9, 2013, 1:28 pm

        “…calling on bds activists not to provide a platform for debating atzmon, because the argument should be reject, isn’t the same as saying atzmon shouldn’t have a right to free speech.”
        This, Annie, is no different in principle than Zios or US officials arresting and removing people who speak at their meetings, while pretending at the same time to theoretically uphold free speech.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 9, 2013, 4:32 pm

          sardelpasti, really? please explain. first of all i don’t recall anyone making an argument wrt atzmon about upholding principles of free speech. i think anyone who wants to host him should. it’s not unusual for leaders of a movement to reject having certain ideas attached to their movement.

          i’m not personally a fan of public declarations of shunning regardless of who’s doing it albeit i agree at times it becomes necessary. not sure if that’s applicable in this case as i am not familiar with all the details.

        • sardelapasti
          February 9, 2013, 7:56 pm

          Annie – Really. ‘In principle no different’ means: avoiding public confrontation and direct discussion with a person or persons whom one has slandered (or accused without the shadow of a proof, which may or may not be forthcoming), so denying them an opportunity to reply, explain (or even, as the case may be, to show to both accusers and accusers’ misled following what is foul here.) Shunning should be reserved to the enemy; avoiding to debate people you accused is a no-no.
          Even if you don’t agree with my analogy the fact remains that there is a relatively largish group in the West of ex-Zionist solidarity activists who remain tribal members while being influential in the movement; it smells.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 10, 2013, 2:31 pm

          no different in principle than Zios or US officials arresting and removing people who speak at their meetings……….‘In principle no different’ means: avoiding public confrontation and direct discussion with a person or persons whom one has slandered…. so denying them an opportunity to reply, explain

          well, kinda and kinda not. for example, code pink just made a big huge wonderful stink all over brennan’s confirmation hearing. it was exactly Zios or US officials arresting and removing people who speak at their meetings. the difference being, it was a government function; hence our government our meeting.

          we have a right to have our opinions heard and if there are no representatives at those meetings representing us then i totally support the disruptions because those disruptions become on the congressional record.

          whereas, a site like mondoweiss or EI is not a public forum, we’re private forums. therefore if we choose to cover only one sides view about something that’s our choice. and other blogs have the option of printing the other side.

          denying them an opportunity to reply

          no one has the ability to deny him his right to reply. he’s got his own blog and he can write any kind of reply he wants and others can and do republish it. the right of free speech doesn’t afford one the right to demand a public debate. and choosing not to speak with someone is a personal option just like it is BC’s personal option not to host a debate between barghouti and dersh. but i do think if students in the department request derch at a speaking engagement the college should co sponsor.

          in fact, i recall jvp trying to engage zionists on a bds debate w/palestinians and people like beinart and jstreet wouldn’t engage except if members didn’t pass some sniff test about supporting 2 states or something. i can’t recall the details.

          so no, i don’t think a private body/group (no matter how large) denying anyone a public debate is akin to having them hauled off and arrested.

          no one has gagged atzmon, he can reply and i assume he has.

        • sardelapasti
          February 16, 2013, 3:37 pm

          Annie – “… free speech doesn’t afford one the right to demand a public debate”

          Absolutely, that’s the legal aspect of it. Agreed.
          But what I, and a large number of people I know, personally think of this way of avoiding direct debate is different.
          Let’s close this.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 18, 2013, 2:39 am

          ok, we can close it…soon. but i wanted to add it’s not just a ‘legal aspect of free speech, it’s also the conceptual aspect of what it means. free speech means you are free to express yourself, but it doesn’t represent a right of confrontation.

          personally think of this way of avoiding direct debate is different.

          well, the only way it could be applied to McCarthyism is if one imagined barghouti had the power of the law behind him..which just happens to be the analogy you used (US officials hauling someone off and arresting them). no one has ever advocated anything like that. these are individuals and opinions. and as far as him representing the BDS movement, they have every right to distance themselves from his ideas from the movement if they want to. you may not like it or agree, but it’s not infringing on atzmon’s rights. free speech or otherwise.

      • jayn0t
        February 9, 2013, 2:49 pm

        Annie – I was speaking loosely in saying BDS made concessions to Dershowitz. I meant they’ve weakened their position as a result of Zionist pressure.

        I guess, technically, calling on a ‘movement’ to ‘disavow’ Gilad Atzmon isn’t saying he shouldn’t have the right to free speech. It just means trying to prevent anyone who might be interested from hearing him.

        There are constant efforts to stop us hearing Atzmon. A few days ago, Jewish voices within the Palestine solidarity movement persuaded the Lutherans not to host Atzmon by falsely telling them he is a ‘H denier’.

        • Annie Robbins
          February 9, 2013, 4:47 pm

          they’ve weakened their position

          hmm, that’s interesting. first of all i am just hearing about this now ( and have not looked into it, a link would be helpful). but it’s possible, if in fact they have changed their position, it was a tactical choice wrt certain labor groups, corporations, or support from the general public they were appealing to, and they did it because they assessed it strengthen their position. i’d have to know more about it.

          It just means trying to prevent anyone who might be interested from hearing him.

          or it may be they do not want his views representing them. atzmon is a supporter of BDS is that not correct? so by advocating in support of BDS publicly in speaking engagements it could send the impression to his audience these were the views of the BDS movement.

          Jewish voices within the Palestine solidarity movement

          they could have been representing themselves, not BDS. i know jewish voices for peace have taken a stand, but were they doing that as reps of BDS or themselves?

        • jayn0t
          February 9, 2013, 6:10 pm

          Google “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 BDS”. The BDS movement’s endorsement of ethnic cleansing up until 1967 happened, at the latest, during September 2012.

        • Donald
          February 10, 2013, 2:41 pm

          ” Palestine solidarity movement persuaded the Lutherans not to host Atzmon by falsely telling them he is a ‘H denier’.”

          Good for the Palestinian solidarity movement and good for the Lutherans for listening. Atzmon is a weasel on that subject–he denies being a denier and then questions whether the Nazis really planned to exterminate the Jews. I’m not going to post a link to his stupid blog, but it took me literally thirty seconds to find the reference. If you want to give people like hophmi a nice big fat target to use against pro-Palestinian activism, by all means keep embracing Atzmon.

  25. Cliff
    February 9, 2013, 12:40 pm

    Palestinian agency and the group mobility of Arab and Muslim Americans is what drives Zionist Jews (more than Zionist Evangelicals) up the wall.

    I recall a NYT article I found (back when I was under subscription) in their archives circa the 70s. A Jewish group was ‘worried’ that the Black community would be swayed by the ‘Arab narrative’.

    This is true up until the present day, when Palestinian advocacy is constantly under attack by Zionist Jews on college campuses and in the mainstream media.

    So the notion that this entire side-show perpetrated by Dershowitz and Dov Hikund and the loonies was simply ‘not a big deal’ is a lie.

    This will only continue to happen. Zionists know that narrative is most important in this country. Public opinion matters/ or the perception of public opinion.

  26. yourstruly
    February 9, 2013, 12:56 pm

    the bds forum at brooklyn college?

    the sky didn’t fall?

    & justice for palestine?

    once again?

    the sky held up?

  27. Emma
    February 9, 2013, 3:34 pm

    I don’t think I agree with this statement by Butler:

    “Only if we accept the proposition that the state of Israel is the exclusive and legitimate representative of the Jewish people would a movement calling for divestment, sanctions and boycott against that state be understood as directed against the Jewish people as a whole.”

    Even in that case, assuming the BDS movement targeted the racist policies and criminal actions of such a state, it still could not be considered antisemitic. Only if the state were being targeted merely because all its people were Jewish and there was no identifiable harmful behavior by the state could BDS be considered antisemitic in Butler’s example. Being a state “representing all the Jewish people” would not grant any special immunity from criticism or punishment for wrongdoing.

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