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Critiques not fit to print: Students and allies respond to ‘NYT’ coverage of Palestine activism on campus

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The New York Times has already been exposed as a key propagator of narratives on Israel/Palestine that whitewash or disappear the violence of the Israeli occupation. So, it was no surprise to find the Times coverage of campus activism on Palestine riddled with revealing silences and implicit endorsement of a right-wing “dialogue” effort that was cast as the laudable middle road. Following the article, the Times published a strategic compilation of letters to the editor that constructs the future of Israel/Palestine as an internal Jewish conversation largely concerned with dialogue. In response, I gathered letters by students and their allies. The critiques they voice, condensed below, represent a powerful critique of the politics of “dialogue” on Israel/Palestine. The collected full texts of the letters follow this summary.

The students together argue that the status quo of disproportionate Israeli violence towards Palestinians is protected by dialogue efforts, because these efforts substitute ineffectual efforts at personal reconciliation for needed political work to end the Israeli occupation. Irène Lucia Delaney wrote thunderously that “Students for Justice in Palestine and the BDS movement understand that there cannot be peace under occupation. Projects like Visions of Peace, failing to distinguish between individual prejudice and systemic oppression, ignore inequity and trauma in favor of superficial reconciliation.” While alternatives to dialogue were largely disappeared in the article, Delaney, among other critics of the NYT piece, insisted that she “echo the global call for BDS and peace through justice.”

How, then, do the article and the dialogue initiative it promotes manage to laud Visions of Peace over the work of solidarity organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine? First, the article constructed activism concerning Palestinian liberation as an internal Jewish conversation, subjugating Palestinian voices beneath Jewish ones and simultaneously ignoring Palestinian demands. As Noah Habeeb argued appropriately, “In an article that quoted seven Jewish Americans or Israeli Jews, Wertheimer only included two Palestinian voices. None were quoted speaking positively about BDS, though BDS is a peaceful resistance movement widely embraced by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups. Her reporting mirrors the power dynamic of the issue on campus she purports to cover: Palestinian voices don’t matter all that much.”

Plus, Jewish values, when they play a role in Israel/Palestine politics, can in fact be impetus to lift up Palestinian demands, not supplant them with Jewish feelings. As Sam Slate wrote, “To many of us, our Judaism teaches us to fight for justice, and the fight for justice includes standing in solidarity with Palestinians.”

Beyond silencing Palestinians, the article and its published feedback neglect the potentially insidious nature of dialogue events. I insisted that my primary criticism – repeated multiple times to the reporter, Linda Wertheimer, when she interviewed me on my Tufts SJP work but omitted from the piece – be heard: that “Visions of Peace uses dialogue to obscure the power dynamics at play” because “Policy change, not personal reconciliation, will end the daily violence and oppression Palestinians endure. Pretending otherwise hinders progress towards a just peace.” Katie Saviano, also of Tufts SJP, explains unequivocally that “Palestinian freedom is not up for debate. Dialogue is only viable when both parties are equal, and Israel and Palestine are not two equal sides with equal claims and equal suffering.” Henry Rosen explained succinctly that, “Trite and patronizing, the piece relies on tired, empty invocations of the need for more Muslim-Jewish dialogue, all the while dodging any substantial engagement with the realities of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” And as Delaney powerfully articulated, the violences of settlements, apartheid, and denial of the right of return “will not be stopped by dialogue and joined hands – unless those hands are joined for truth and justice.”

Letters penned by supporters of student Palestine solidarity work sought to reveal how the Times understated the gravity of repression facing those who speak up on campus for Palestinian rights. Professors Tithi Bhattacharya, Cynthia Franklin, Bill V. Mullen, and David Palumbo-Liu decried the Times’ decision to link to Canary Mission, which “promotes online bullying of students and academics who often have in some capacity criticized policies of the state of Israel.” They criticized the Times for “[giving] free publicity to a discredited organization whose sole purpose is to harass, intimidate and blacklist students and scholars with whom it disagrees.” Expanding on the theme of repression, Liz Jackson, a civil rights attorney at Palestine Legal who works to protect the right to free speech of these student activists, explained the Orwellian logic of pro-Israel organizations that promote self-serving dialogue while suppressing their opponents’ free speech. She explains, “Israel lobby organizations that claim to promote dialogue are often the same ones that pressure administrators to censor or punish students for their speech. We’ve seen a 22 percent increase in incidents of suppression since this time last year. This trend will continue as Israel invests more resources to target students and stop the shift in public opinion towards sympathy for Palestinians.”

Indeed, as another letter not fit to print mentioned, the tactics of the Israeli government’s stateside advocates mirror the repressive tactics of the Israeli state at home. Margaret Ringler quipped, “I found FOI’s [Tufts’ pro-Israel organization] latest complaint to judicial affairs about SJP disturbing because, much like Israel itself, FOI wanted to penalize their critic’s dissent.” Implicit in this criticism is cause for optimism, as calls for Palestinian rights echoing as far from Palestine as American university campuses have Israeli opponents to Palestinian liberation on edge.

Here are the letters the New York Times failed to publish:

To the Editor:

As former president of Bryn Mawr’s Voices for Palestine, I am acutely familiar with how dialogue initiatives derail progress towards greater awareness of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.

Dialogue can be productive only when predicated on equity. Here, this entails full acknowledgement that Israel has deprived Palestinians of basic freedoms for nearly 50 years. Unless we reject Israel’s discriminatory policies and advocate for exceptionless human rights, true dialogue cannot be achieved.

The state of Israel continues to encroach on Palestinian land with illegal settlements and maintains an apartheid system designed to isolate and disempower Palestinians. Millions are denied the right of return. These violences will not be stopped by dialogue and joined hands –– unless those hands are joined for truth and justice.

Students for Justice in Palestine and the BDS movement understand that there cannot be peace under occupation. Projects like Visions of Peace, failing to distinguish between individual prejudice and systemic oppression, ignore inequity and trauma in favor of superficial reconciliation.

I echo the global call for BDS and peace through justice.

Irène Lucia Delaney
Recent Alumna, Bryn Mawr College Voices for Palestine (SJP)

To the Editor:

Linda Wertheimer’s article “The Middle East Conflict on Campus,” frames a sociopolitical conflict through the lens of religion, incorrectly discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one between Muslims and Jews. In doing so, she failed to understand campus activism. Wertheimer never mentioned Tufts Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-BDS Jewish organization. She framed BDS as a threat to Jews on campus, rather than acknowledging the many Jews on Tufts campus and beyond, including myself, who are in solidarity with Palestinians and the BDS movement. In an article that quoted seven Jewish Americans or Israeli Jews, Wertheimer only included two Palestinian voices. None were quoted speaking positively about BDS, though BDS is a peaceful resistance movement widely embraced by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups. Her reporting mirrors the power dynamic of the issue on campus she purports to cover: Palestinian voices don’t matter all that much.

Noah Habeeb
Tufts University
I am a MA student at Tufts, a member of Tufts SJP and Tufts JVP and the Open Hillel Steering Committee.

To the Editor:

As a Tufts student and a Jew who cares deeply about human rights and who sees freedom for Palestinians as an important social justice issue, I was concerned by how “The Middle East Conflict on Campus” (8/3) depicted student activism for Palestinian rights on campus. Neither the conflict on the ground in Israel-Palestine nor the conflict on campuses is about Jews versus Muslims. This is a human rights issue about Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the policies that disenfranchise and discriminate against Palestinians. On Tufts campus, there is a large (and growing) group of Jewish students who work closely with Students for Justice in Palestine in demanding that Israel comply with international law and respect Palestinian human rights. As Jews deeply invested in a just peace in the region, we reject the notion that criticizing Israel is inherently anti-Semitic, and that students speaking up in support of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement create a hostile environment for Jews on campus. To many of us, our Judaism teaches us to fight for justice, and the fight for justice includes standing in solidarity with Palestinians.

Thank you,

Sam Slate
Tufts Jewish Voice for Peace

To the Editor:

As a Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine member interviewed for the article “Middle East Conflict on Campus,” I was concerned that my central point was omitted: Visions of Peace uses dialogue to obscure the power dynamics at play. The state of Israel illegally occupies Palestinian land and routinely commits human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. SJP works to confront that injustice.

During the Visions of Peace event, a right-wing Israeli settler told us that dialogue helped him acknowledge the humanity of Palestinians. But his statement surely rings hollow to the Palestinians whose lands he and over half a million Israeli settlers still occupy. So long as the Israeli government continues to subsidize and support settlements, dialogue won’t bring freedom or justice to the Palestinian people.

The occupation is approaching its 50th year. Policy change, not personal reconciliation, will end the daily violence and oppression Palestinians endure. Pretending otherwise hinders progress towards a just peace.    

To confront injustice I, alongside millions of others, support the BDS movement, not dialogue, to achieve justice for Palestinians.

Leah Muskin-Pierret
Recent Alumna, Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine & Tufts Jewish Voice for Peace

To the Editor:

“Middle East Conflict on Campus” champions dialogue, but  ignores reality. Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine has been made out to be  uncompromising and unwilling to work with others, and the article leaves readers wondering why SJP chooses not to engage in dialogue with groups that support Israel. The answer is simple: Palestinian freedom is not up for debate. Dialogue is only viable when both parties are equal, and Israel and Palestine are not two equal sides with equal claims and equal suffering.

Israel is an apartheid state, and has inflicted years of brutal and discriminatory policies on the Palestinian people. Until there is proper acknowledgement of Palestinian suffering, dialogue is fruitless. Groups like Visions of Peace cover up oppression and offer Israeli settlers a platform to speak. In doing so, they normalize violent Israeli policies and obstruct a just peace.

Katie Saviano
Tufts Class of 2017, Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine

To the Editor:

I write to express earnest concern and dissatisfaction with the content and aim of Linda K. Wertheimer’s article “The Middle East Conflict on Campus.” Trite and patronizing, the piece relies on tired, empty invocations of the need for more Muslim-Jewish dialogue, all the while dodging any substantial engagement with the realities of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The article insists that inter-religious engagement between Muslims and Jews—conceived globally—remains an appropriate substitute for focused, rigorous, and informed political debate on college campuses. As such, the article implies that the issues at hand in Israel-Palestine ought to be understood essentially as issues of religious strife. This is a dangerous idea inasmuch as it ignores the political, economic, and historical contexts of the broader conflict.

Even more startlingly, the piece takes on a McCarthyite tone in vilifying and maligning student activists involved with Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. As a Jewish student involved in both organizations, I find the article’s suggestion that either promotes intimidation of Jewish students infuriating.  

Sincerely,

Henry Rosen
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY

To the Editor:

An August 3 article, “Middle East Conflict on Campus,” cites and links to Canary Mission, an anonymous website that promotes online bullying of students and academics who often have in some capacity criticized policies of the state of Israel.   

We are among hundreds of University faculty who have publicly denounced the website for its unsubstantiated and unverifiable accusations of “terrorism” and anti-semitism against students, many of them Arab American or Muslim. Perhaps most concerning, Canary Mission actively works  to deny students access to graduate school enrollment and jobs, often “tweeting” out vilifying messages about them to school officials and potential employers.

Just this week, Hank Reichman, First Vice President of the American Association of University Professors, wrote that “Canary Mission is nothing but a blacklist, pure and simple.  It echoes the long-discredited and horrific blacklists of the McCarthy era.”

We hope in the future that the Times will not give free publicity to a discredited organization whose sole purpose is to harass, intimidate and blacklist students and scholars with whom it disagrees.

Sincerely,

Tithi Bhattacharya, Professor of History, Director of Global Studies, Purdue University
Cynthia Franklin,  Professor of English, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Bill V. Mullen,  Professor of American Studies, Purdue University
David Palumbo-Liu,  Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor and Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University
Dana Cloud, Professor of Communications, Syracuse University
Malini Schueller, Professor of English, University of Florida

To the Editor:

RE: The Middle East Conflict on Campus (Education Life, August 3, 2016)

As a UC Berkeley student, I was shocked to witness Israel advocacy organizations suppress debate by arguing in court that support for Palestinian equality makes Jewish students uncomfortable.

I’m Jewish, and I too am uncomfortable confronting the brutality of Israeli policies. It’s devastating. But college is where we go to have our ideas challenged.

I became a civil rights attorney at Palestine Legal to protect the free speech of students who face censorship, sanctions, and discrimination for their views favorable to Palestinians.

Israel lobby organizations that claim to promote dialogue are often the same ones that pressure administrators to censor or punish students for their speech.

We’ve seen a 22 percent increase in incidents of suppression since this time last year. This trend will continue as Israel invests more resources to target students and stop the shift in public opinion towards sympathy for Palestinians.

Heavy-handed suppression tactics inflict long-term consequences on students. Our constitutional tradition cannot tolerate an exception to the First Amendment simply because Palestinian human rights advocacy makes powerful listeners uncomfortable.

Liz Jackson
Staff Attorney, Palestine Legal
Cooperating Counsel, Center for Constitutional Rights

Dear Editor,

I am unsettled by your portrayal in the article “The Middle East Conflict on Campus” of Tufts’ pro-Israel student groups as victims of Students for Justice in Palestine. I graduated Tufts in May 2016. SJP was a much-needed voice of dissent around campus and they were not a bully.  

In particular your paragraph about SJP’s Taste of Israel protest as ‘the last straw’ is misleading. You neatly line up SJP’s actions as if they were a terrorizing crescendo, topping the list with SJP’s mock IDF checkpoints. The latest checkpoint demonstration occurred two years ago in a single spot on campus with a handful of student actors. I found the event informative, making me question IDF’s militarized surveillance and draw parallels to the USA’s prison system. I walked away informed, not intimidated.

And I found FOI’s latest complaint to judicial affairs about SJP disturbing because, much like Israel itself, FOI wanted to penalize their critic’s dissent.

Sincerely,

Margaret Ringler
Tufts Class of 2016

About Leah Muskin-Pierret

Leah Muskin-Pierret is a junior at Tufts University majoring in American Studies and International Relations as well as an advocate with Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine.

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25 Responses

  1. Stephen Shenfield
    August 29, 2016, 2:50 pm

    Behavior that makes others feel uncomfortable is rude and inconsiderate. It should be made illegal if it isn’t already.

    Unfortunately, this sort of behavior is not new. We can find numerous examples of it in American history, even at the highest levels. The United States owes its existence to such behavior, as the war for independence made people loyal to the British crown very uncomfortable, forcing many of them to take refuge in Canada.

    • inbound39
      August 29, 2016, 9:47 pm

      If someones oratory makes a person feel uncomfortable then that person needs to ask themselves why they feel uncomfortable. Do they find the statements uncomfortable because it is the truth? I would suggest many Pro Israeli’s find the truth uncomfortable. I understand also why they would wish to silence it. Words cannot harm you. If you speak the truth there is no need to defend. We are as sick as the secrets we keep. Actions of Israel cannot be silenced. Too much is in the open and Israel cannot be protected from Justice for much longer because what is happening is just plain wrong on so many levels and that is, I would suggest,Pro Israeli’s wish to silence it. They always have and do understand the gravity and illegitimacy of what they do and fully understand they face serious consequences if it ends up in the open and ends up being discussed. That honesty is likely the cause of Stephen Shenfields response here. Truth cannot be attacked and needs no defense. People see truth clearly in the photographs and video and audio files released for public view. Reams of Paperwork at the UN and ICC speak the truth clearly. Why else would Stephen want it made illegal to talk about….bit over the top if it simply makes a person uncomfortable and is simply inconsiderate. Grow a thicker skin Stephen or cease actions and stop supporting issues that are too hot for your sensibilities to handle. Burning people alive doesn’t seem to disturb Pro Israeli sensibilities…but words do eh?…..wow!!!

      • Froggy
        August 30, 2016, 5:11 pm

        @inbound

        With respect, I think Stephen was being sarcastic.

      • inbound39
        August 30, 2016, 6:06 pm

        Maybe he was Froggy…..it does not invalidate the content of my post nor its point.What Stephen is saying is how many Zionists portray their defense.

    • Froggy
      August 30, 2016, 4:49 pm

      @Stephen Shenfield

      And in France the dreyfusards made half the country ‘uncomfortable’ before France could finally see through the web of lies and free an innocent and honourable Frenchman.

  2. Stephen Shenfield
    August 29, 2016, 3:59 pm

    The principle that behavior that makes others uncomfortable is unacceptable has the consequence that the system of criminal justice must be abolished, because for most people it is very uncomfortable to be charged with and tried for a crime. It is particularly uncomfortable to be accused of behavior that makes others uncomfortable, therefore such accusations should never be made. That solves the problem.

  3. Citizen
    August 29, 2016, 11:46 pm

    University of Chicago leader came out with a statement that all views should be heard even if it makes some students uncomfortable, and that the university would not have any mandatory “triggers” cutting off any view due to potential discomfort of some students, nor any “safe spaces” where the free flow of ideas could be suspended so students can always be comfortable, etc.

    • silamcuz
      August 30, 2016, 5:03 am

      I don’t think you should be commending the actions of University of Chicago in support of the information presented within this particular article. The statement by the Uni was awful and should be objected unreservedly.

      Students have the right not be exposed to violence when they are in the confines of the university. Violence in the context of safe spaces is not just getting bashed in head with a stick but also include words, behaviors and actions that induce psychological trauma and hurt.

      For example, people openly and brashly denying holocaust to a bunch of visible or self-identified Jews on campus is a form of violence that people ought to be protected from. But this off course would be obvious to you, because it’s so in your face type of violence. But many of the violence faced by students is due to microaggressions that are subtle enough for perpetrator to plausibly deny any ill-intent but still manage to induce harm on the victim. To guard against these kind of violence, safe spaces must be provided for and students must be given autonomy over the control and management of these spaces.

      • Froggy
        August 30, 2016, 1:51 pm

        silamcuz :: Students have the right not be exposed to violence when they are in the confines of the university. Violence in the context of safe spaces is not just getting bashed in head with a stick but also include words, behaviors and actions that induce psychological trauma and hurt.

        For example, people openly and brashly denying holocaust to a bunch of visible or self-identified Jews on campus is a form of violence that people ought to be protected from.

        The brats need to grow up. These pampered babies need to experience some real problems. Then they would know what ‘psychological trauma and hurt’ really are.

        But many of the violence faced by students is due to microaggressions that are subtle enough for perpetrator to plausibly deny any ill-intent but still manage to induce harm on the victim.

        Aren’t they ashamed to let other people see that they are so weak and whingy.

        Actually, this looks like an attempt by a bunch of self-indulgent spoilt brats to shut down debate and free speech on campus by playing the victim and accusing others of causing them harm.

        I hope that Americans see through this charade.

        I have enormous regard for those Jewish kids who stand up to this manipulation to openly speak out for justice. It can’t be easy.

      • eljay
        August 30, 2016, 2:02 pm

        Froggy, I’d just like to say that I enjoy reading what you write. Thanks. :-)

      • RoHa
        August 30, 2016, 2:13 pm

        Exactly, Froggy.

        When I read this stuff about “microaggressions” and “safe spaces” and so forth, even I, as delicate a flower as ever blossomed in my generation, cannot forbear from muttering “bunch of big sooks”.

      • Jon66
        August 30, 2016, 2:37 pm

        Froggy,

        As I have said before. The antidote to toxic speech is more speech, not disruption or bans. Protest should be peaceable and allow the speakers to present their views. If I’m in a baking club, a bunch of angry vegans shouldn’t be allowed to disrupt me. However, they are certainly welcome to protest outside the kitchen.

        From the SJP chapter at Binghamton, “In the “With Regards to Tactics and Strategies Used to Counter Zionist Normalization” section, the document spells out a strategy for disrupting pro-Israel events. According to the document, “…it was decided via general consensus that, depending on the attendance levels of individual SJP members at such events, the following tactics would be most appropriate…[If more than 6 SJP members are present, these tactics include] engaging in a non-violent disruption of the event in question.”

        http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/07/05/students-for-justice-in-palestine-at-uc-irvine-under-possible-criminal-investigation-for-violence-at-anti-israel-protest/

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4788565,00.html

        http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/news/plans-to-disrupt-pro-israel-meetings-on-us-campuses-revealed

      • Annie Robbins
        August 30, 2016, 2:49 pm

        jon, frankly i find it disgusting everytime some pro israel group says jump the DA or the WH opens an investigation. the allegations in your algemeiner article have been rejected http://palestinelegal.org/news/2016/8/23/press-release-uc-irvine-dismisses-allegations-against-students-for-justice-in-palestine

        On Friday, The University of California Irvine (UCI) dismissed allegations against UCI’s student organization Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) following their participation in a campus protest in May outside what was publicized as a public screening of a controversial film. After interviewing witnesses and reviewing extensive video footage, UCI’s Office of Student Conduct released a 58 page report finding that SJP students arrived peacefully at the event but were locked out by its organizers, Anteaters for Israel / Students Supporting Israel.

        Members of SJP, joined by students from other student groups, began demonstrating outside the event when they were locked out. The report confirms SJP’s account that their protest was peaceful, and found claims made by attendees of the event that protesters blocked the exits and threatened attendees to be unsubstantiated. ….

        UCI’s findings are consistent with the reports of legal observers who were at the scene. The findings are also consistent with the Orange County District Attorney’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against members or supporters of SJP after the case was referred to them by university police. The sanctions the administration imposed against SJP for the alleged “disruption” are a warning and an educational assignment.

      • Mr.T
        August 30, 2016, 2:55 pm

        “As I have said before. The antidote to toxic speech is more speech, not disruption or bans. ”

        And when the state of Israel stops using walls, checkpoints, tear gas, rubber bullets or worse against Palestinians in Palestine, then those who are advocating on its behalf might be worthy of the kind of respect you talk about. Since it hasn’t, they aren’t.

      • Froggy
        August 30, 2016, 3:38 pm

        Why eljay. Thank you.

      • inbound39
        August 30, 2016, 4:43 pm

        Way to go Annie……best response to Zionist Hasbara is the truth! They have no defense or argument against it.

      • Jon66
        August 30, 2016, 6:25 pm

        Annie,
        From your link. “The report only found SJP to be in violation of a policy prohibiting “disruption” of university activities because the volume of the protest made it “more likely than not that the participants could not hear the screening of the movie.”

        The groups disrupted the ability of the attendees to hear the film. As I said, I believe that protest is fine as long as it allows others to hear differing views.

        Froggy,
        You know Dershowitz defended the rights of the Nazis to march through the Jewish neighborhoods in Skokie. I don’t see where I have accused anyone of anti-semitism. I do think that the student protesters are antagonistic to free speech.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 30, 2016, 7:31 pm

        “more likely than not that the participants could not hear the screening of the movie.”

        jon, please explain to us why the “participants” should be able to hear a so called “public screening” that excluded certain members of the public who arrived peacefully and were locked out?

        first they lie, flipping the circumstance of them locking out the students from the movie and the claiming the reverse, that “protesters blocked the exits and threatened attendees” which was unsubstantiated by witnesses and video footage — plus, the “volume of the public” (the protest) would likely not have been what it was had they not locked out students who arrived peacefully.

        so it sounds like a real bait n switch to me. the same people who caused the fiasco then called for police intervention, then plastered it all over press w/false allegations garnering as much attention and public sympathy as possible –and you’re still trying to squeeze more blood out of your turnip now, grasping at straws. who do you think even started the rumor “protesters blocked the exits and threatened attendees”? it was all video taped. it didn’t happen. false charges and tons of press you’re still trying to capitalize on it. same w/your 2014 link. whatever happened to that? do you even know, or are you just trying to get more mileage out of false charges? the AMCHA Initiative, author of that link, is a hate group led by a racist who is famous for making inflammatory false charges accusing students of being terrorists and more. she was the one behind the initiate to get the WH anti semitism task force to investigate UCSC which came to not after a long long time. all trumped up false charges. seriosuly, and you’re linking to that crap here?

      • silamcuz
        August 31, 2016, 4:10 am

        Froggy,

        It all boils down to respecting the will of your fellow university students. If they are demanding safe spaces, and the demand is being backed up by the popular vote from the specific community they are representing, I honestly don’t see why should people do anything but to support them.

        Wouldn’t you want a healthy environment for your own children, that is not abusive or hurtful, when you send them to universities? And if your own children claim that the university is not providing a safe enough environment for them to flourish and grow as a person, would you be doubting their cries and calling them weak and spoilt?

    • Mooser
      August 30, 2016, 3:27 pm

      Gee, “Silamcuz” that was a pretty quick turn-around on Jewish identity!

      Just a few comments ago it was a phony thing dreamed up by ‘white-supremacy Zionists’ not it is oh-so-authentic and must be protected in every manifestation, even the defense of the crimes of Zionism.

    • Froggy
      August 30, 2016, 4:34 pm

      jon66 :: Protest should be peaceable and allow the speakers to present their views.

      Like you or any other zionist apologist would have a calm discussion or debate with a real anti-Semite, the kind that would argue that Jews are inferior, or an Islamist extremist. Oh, aye…. Tell me another one.

      No. Gaza and the WB are in ruins.

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.713215

      We speak up in protest, only to be accused of being anti-Semites. Zionist lies are transparant, and hasbara’s only success lies in making the Jewish propagandists look bullshitters.

      There is nothing left to discuss. To quote that eminent Jewish philosopher, Judge Judy, don’t pee on my leg and tell ME it’s raining.

      • Froggy
        August 30, 2016, 7:40 pm

        jon66 :: Froggy,
        You know Dershowitz defended the rights of the Nazis to march through the Jewish neighborhoods in Skokie.

        Yeah… I heard that the Dersh used to be a lawyer.

        I don’t see where I have accused anyone of anti-semitism. I do think that the student protesters are antagonistic to free speech.

        Oh… please! It’s SOP. If someone gave me a dollar for every time I’ve heard or seen a perfectly reasonable commentator called an anti-Semite I’d be able to buy a waterfront condo in Boca.

  4. Elizabeth Block
    August 30, 2016, 10:45 am

    Discussion of the Occupation makes Jewish — or at any rate Zionist Jewish — students uncomfortable??? I should bloody well hope so.

  5. Doubtom
    August 30, 2016, 12:12 pm

    Neither students nor anyone else have the “right” not to be exposed to views they find unpleasant. That sort of restriction on speech might well obtain in Israel but it doesn’t fly in the United States. If you disagree with a view, you do have the right to refute that view, if you can, or to STFU if you can’t. That spirit, with a touch of vulgarity for emphasis, is the essence of America.
    There is no reason under the sun why anyone shouldn’t be able to question the Holocaust or any other historical event. Legislating against the right to do so only points to the weakness of the claim in the first place. History is replete with false claims, in fact, many see recorded history as a series of lies. Both those who write history and those who attempt to suppress its criticisms, have agendas and everyone is free to question everything, beginning with the historical evidence of a god, down to claims of self-serving events under the label of Holocaust.

  6. [email protected]
    August 30, 2016, 4:45 pm

    I do believe I was one of the only Pals who did manage to get at least a letter published in this particular NYT article. It seems that interest groups do manage to get their viewers to flood the positive feedbacks on any topic of their choosing. My letter is C Barghout, at least one post from a past participant of dialogue groups and how they have been misused was printed.

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