A beautiful and important intervention in the Harvard Political Review, alleging five recent instances of bias on the part of Harvard’s newspaper of record, carefully documented by Lena Awwad, Asmaa Rimawi, Giacomo Bagarella and Hannah Schafer of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (and Schafer is the daughter of a rabbi who fought in the IDF).
This kind of pushback should be happening all over our media, but it requires brave writers who are not afraid of powerful editors. It is what Sarah Schulman did so brilliantly last year when she explained the New York Times’s efforts to censor her pinkwashing piece.
It is what we are doing here when we ask again and again, Where is Ben Ehrenreich’s piece on Nabi Saleh for the New York Times Magazine– which will explain at last why he was detained last July? Huh, Times editors: Haven’t you sat on this piece long enough to hatch it? Or has it been killed at this point as untimely? (P.S. Mr Ehrenreich, don’t you want to tell us what’s going on?)
Two paragraphs from the Harvard Political Review article (the editors of course distance themselves from the argument):
As members of the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), we are disheartened by what appears to be The Crimson’s silencing of Palestinian voices. In the past year, our experiences have been so negative that many Palestinian students and our allies feel alienated by this publication. Our five most recent episodes with the Crimson highlight this unfortunate reality….
Then, in October 2012, The Crimson put two Palestinian students through a nightmare of one week of back and forth exchanges before finally publishing an op-ed on our behalf. The amount of editing that went into an op-ed was shocking and the requests for references of each and every fact and assertion of ours was at a level that is not expected of other student groups. For instance, we were pressured to omit a reference to the Israeli occupation being illegal under international law. We pushed back by establishing that this was not a controversial claim; rather, there is a global consensus affirming this fact, and we expressed that we did not appreciate The Crimson’s attempt to censor us. As a result of our persistence, the op-ed was finally posted online, though The Crimson took it down not once, but twice, before finally letting it stand and be published for circulation.