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Penn’s president condemns article likening BDS conference to Nazism as ‘counter to her personal values and civility’

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Amy Gutmann
Amy Gutmann

Organizers of the BDS conference (boycott, divestment and sanctions) at the University of Pennsylvania this weekend are facing mounting incitement against the conference and rising security costs. Today they called on Penn president Amy Gutmann to condemn an article in the school newspaper that called their work “genocidal” and likened them to Nazis. Tonight Gutmann’s office issued a statement condemning the article.

Their letter deploring the “atmosphere of fear”– and Penn’s president’s response: 

Dear President Gutmann,

We are the organizers of the upcoming BDS conference. First, we want to thank you for upholding our freedom of expression on campus. We would expect no less from such a prestigious university.

The purpose of this letter is to express our deep and serious dismay at the opinion piece published in yesterday’s Daily Pennsylvanian by Professor Ruben Gur of Penn’s Department of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology. With no evidence whatsoever, and in complete contradiction to every statement we’ve ever issued, Professor Gur designates our student group “genocidal” and equates our upcoming conference with Nazi anti-Semitism. He compares our Jewish participants and student organizers to “Capos”–that is, Jews who policed other Jews in German concentration camps–and accuses us of attempting to bring a second Holocaust to Penn. 

Statements like these by a tenured professor in a school newspaper are not only outrageous, deplorable, and frankly unprecedented, but they also incite against and endanger both the speakers and organizers of this weekend’s conference. This is not only our opinion: in response to this op-ed, Officer Leddy of the Penn police has called an emergency meeting to consider increasing the security at the conference, at significant cost to our group.

Tenure does not, on our understanding of it, permit professors to incite hostility and aggression against students with whose political positions they disagree. Professor Gur has created an atmosphere of fear for PennBDS members and our guests. We hope you will publicly condemn his article and seek whatever administrative redress might be available to ensure nothing like this happens in the future.

It is the University’s responsibility and burden to protect its students. This includes both safeguarding our physical security at events like our conference and taking all appropriate action against language with the potential to incite.

And the response to Penn BDS from Gutmann’s office:

 
Thank you for your note concerning the letter to the editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian by Professor Gur, a faculty member who does not represent the University in this matter.  President Gutmann asked that I respond on her behalf.
 
Much of Dr. Gutmann’s academic career has been devoted to the importance of civil discourse to a democratic society.  It is always unfortunate when people make personal or ad hominem attacks against others in the course of that discourse.  This kind of attack is counter to her personal values and the goal of civility on campus.
 
It is, however, neither possible, nor consistent with the value of free expression, for me or the Administration to intervene in the exchange of words that will inevitably occur in the context of highly controversial and deeply emotional issues.   It is not an appropriate role (nor that of the University’s), to be the referee of individual’s comments, regardless of how overheated or ill-advised they may be.
 
We certainly appreciate the concern that you feel over this matter.  We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of all participants in this debate.
 
Sincerely,
 
Steve MacCarthy

Stephen J. MacCarthy
Vice President for University Communications
University of Pennsylvania

Here is Ali Abunimah condemning the incitement and reporting that he has also challenged Gutmann:

Whenever you think that smears against the Palestinian solidarity movement cannot get more inflammatory or sickening, something new appears. In the latest shot against the upcoming boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) conference at the University of Pennsylvania next weekend, the movement is being openly compared to Nazism by a University of Pennsylvania professor.

I have written to University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann asking her to speak out against these smears and noting that I wish to quote her response in my conference speech.

Ruben Gur, a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Radiology & Neurology at UPenn, writes in The Daily Pennsylvanian:

‘The purpose of BDS as presented seems similar to what was apparently stated in their version of “Mein Kampf” (I am referring to Omar Barghouti’s book titled “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions”) and base my understanding of it on the article in the Harvard Crimson….

‘The aim of the hateful and discriminatory BDS rhetoric is to delegitimize Israel in preparation for the ultimate goal of its destruction. A relevant precedent for such a movement is the groups organized by the Nazis in the 1930’s to boycott, divest and sanction Jews and their businesses. Sadly, now as then, there are Jews among the posse in the assault on their own people. The macabre sight of the likes of Stella Kübler, (arguably Hannah Arendt) and the Capos in the extermination camps is about to be replayed here at Penn.’

Gur is apparently a former Israeli soldier and served as an expert witness in the defense of Ramzi bin al Shibh, a Guantanamo detainee whom the US accuses of involvement in the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Meantime, speaking to the Jewish Federations in Philadelphia tonight, Alan Dershowitz has described the BDS conference as a gathering of bigots. He attacked the “misguided students” who support BDS and congratulated Penn for “the remarkable letter written by your president in support of Israel.” Look yourself in the mirror, he challenges students who support BDS, and ask why you’re singling Israel out for human rights violations.

Name a country that in 63-and-a-half years has contributed more to the welfare of the world [than Israel]… It has probably saved more Arab and Muslim lives than all the Arab and Muslim countries together…. It has taught the world how to fight terrorism without compromising human rights…

Here is Max Blumenthal’s takedown of Dershowitz’s record in the Daily Pennsylvanian.

Indeed, Dershowitz is an open advocate of torture who has urged Israel to destroy entire Palestinian villages, attack civilians and bulldoze their homes. Despite Dershowitz’s professed concern for political dissidents living under autocratic regimes, he has called for personal retaliation against Israeli academics who speak out in favor of BDS. Meanwhile, Dershowitz routinely smears high-profile critics of Israel’s 45-year-long occupation as evil anti-Semites — and worse.

And remember this too: Gutmann signed a letter on behalf of Marty Peretz at Harvard a couple of years back.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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63 Responses

  1. patm on February 2, 2012, 8:53 pm

    It is, however, neither possible, nor consistent with the value of free expression, for me or the Administration to intervene in the exchange of words that will inevitably occur in the context of highly controversial and deeply emotional issues. It is not an appropriate role (nor that of the University’s), to be the referee of individual’s comments, regardless of how overheated or ill-advised they may be.

    Weasel words, all of them. Disgusting.

    ****

    Here are the contact addresses for Dr. Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania. I urge everyone to write in support of the conference organizers.

    Email: [email protected]
    Snail Mail: President’s Office, 1 College Hall – Room 100,
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6380

    Website: link to upenn.edu
    Work tel: 215-898-7221

    • Erasmus on February 3, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Thank you, patm, for the dr. Gutmann’s address! Good idea.
      The following email i have written:

      Dear Dr. A. Gutmann, President of Pennsylvania University,

      i refer to Mr. Stephen J. McCarthy reply to the organizers of the BDS Conference who had expressed in their letter directly addressed to you their expectation, that you would clearly and publicly dissociate yourself and the University from Prof. Ruben Gur’s malicious diatribe against the BDS Conference organizers and invited guests, which can only be considered a wreckless, ugly AS-smear and fear mongering invective.

      Unfortunately you missed your chance and let yourself be deputized by Mr.McCarthy whose reply letter of weasel words is nothing else but wanting. Grossly wanting, evasive and without backbone in the matter of substance here.

      It is indeed deeply disturbing that you have imho grossly failed to live up to your duty as the key-representative of Penn-University and take an unambiguous stance and thereby protect the reputation of the University and all its staff who do not concur with the
      views uttered by Prof. Ruben Gur.

      I wonder whether you will be able to muster the courage to make up for the damage caused by your silence.

      Yours Sincerely,

      • patm on February 4, 2012, 12:01 pm

        Nice job, Erasmus. You put me to shame! I was far too soft on Gutmann.

  2. annie on February 2, 2012, 9:18 pm

    i don’t know the east coast. i really don’t know the east coast. but i do know if this were happening in berkeley it would likely triple the attendance of the conference.

    it really makes me curious how many people take this rampage of emotion thrown on the conference seriously. i guess at this pt nothing is unfathomable but it amazes me how this kind of rhetoric is allowed to pass as rational in this day and age. nothing like this was thrown at the anti war movement. it’s really not that complicated. it makes me wonder what ordinary citizens of philadelphia think about all this and how much it is spilling into the community.

    it’s outrageous.

    • patm on February 2, 2012, 9:36 pm

      It sure is outrageous, annie. I’ve just sent off the following sentences to Dr. Gutmann, the first of which I hate to say was pretty weasely:

      “Thank you for your condemnation of the despicable article by Ruben Gur that appeared in The Daily Pennsylvanian. I urge you to review the propriety of having such a man on the tenured staff of the University of Pennsylvania.

      I am concerned about the students who organized this BDS conference, and the students who will attend it. Please see to it that Gur’s ignorant and inflammatory letter does not end up costing the organizers money they can ill afford for extra security measures.

      Thank you.”

    • NickJOCW on February 3, 2012, 6:41 am

      I don’t believe any thinking person would allow this to pass as rational since it plainly isn’t. I note, however, that Gur is in a department that encompasses the medical speciality devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. Now, that is scary.

      • patm on February 3, 2012, 8:56 am

        Now, that is scary.

        Yes. What’s that old adage? “Physician, heal thyself.”

        ****

        Nick, everyone. “Pile On” as Kathleen often tells us to do. Write to Dr. Gutmann and express your views. Email address above.

      • LanceThruster on February 3, 2012, 8:01 pm

        Agreed.

        Sounds like someone needs a”check-up from the neck up.”

        (Heard that line ths morning on the radio).

  3. thetumta on February 2, 2012, 9:21 pm

    Well, I guess there’s nothing left to talk about? We were bound to come to this point sooner or later.
    Hej!

  4. Shunra on February 2, 2012, 9:24 pm

    I don’t see a condemnation from her. In fact, she doesn’t even sign her own name to the letter – perhaps because even her milquetoast ” [t]his kind of attack is counter to her personal values and the goal of civility on campus” will be deemed detrimental to fundraising.

    University presidents are a money-grubbing lot. I ascribe her apparent moral cowardice to a fear of possible donor response. Shame on her for letting that “Kapo” slur stand in her back yard.

  5. mudder on February 2, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Phil–Ali Abunimah doesn’t agree with you. We love you, Phil. But you tend to see the half-empty glass as approaching full.

  6. mhuizenga on February 2, 2012, 9:52 pm

    So I guess if the situation were reversed,and the BDS movement called out the people trying to stifle their free expression and maybe even referred to those people as “nazis” it would be “neither possible, nor consistent with the value of free expression, for me or the Administration to intervene in the exchange of words that will inevitably occur in the context of highly controversial and deeply emotional issues” Not. There would be bloody hell to pay for even using that word.

    I understand the emotional resonance of the use of that word by the opposition to BDS, but still they should be more careful with such charged name calling. Besides it reeks of desperation. Gimme a break. Even as a person with mixed feelings about this issue (with deep sympathy and empathy for the Palestinians), I still realize there’s a blatant bias going on here.

    BTW, as one of the Paul supporters on this blog, I should point out that he strongly endorses boycott and divestment as a peaceful form of expression and as a means for change. The issue is covered extensively in his books as part of our first amendment rights and desire for peace. I’ve not heard President Obama’s view on this issue, even in the abstract.

    • LanceThruster on February 3, 2012, 8:06 pm

      When Walid Shoebat compared Palestinians to Nazis at a talk at our campus, Israel-firsters decried it, but at the same time distanced themselves from Shoebat (or at least the statement) though Hillel and the Young Repubs were co-sponsors of his talk (if I recall correctly).

  7. ritzl on February 2, 2012, 9:54 pm

    @ Shunra

    Yup.

  8. ToivoS on February 2, 2012, 10:02 pm

    I have to agree with the sentiment in phill’s headline here — Gutman (0r her spokesman) has made a very positive statement. Having spent most of my career in one university or another, I have learned that college administrations do not take strong stands but this statement is positive. They are saying that the BDS movement activists are a legitimate voice in the IP debate. They are saying let the debate continue. We really cannot expect more from any college administration. This represents an explicit rejection that we, who support BDS, are not antisemites, neoNazis or whatever term the Dershkowitzs and other Zionists are trying to label us with.

  9. john h on February 2, 2012, 10:16 pm

    It is quite incredible the hypocrisy and garbage emanating from the Dersh:

    Alan Dershowitz has described the BDS conference as a gathering of bigots. [He said,]

    Name a country that in 63-and-a-half years has contributed more to the welfare of the world [than Israel]… It has probably saved more Arab and Muslim lives than all the Arab and Muslim countries together….It has taught the world how to fight terrorism without compromising human rights…

    The mind boggles, is this bigot so far gone that he actually believes this nonsense?

  10. Sin Nombre on February 2, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Seems to me the BDS people here come off very poorly indeed. At a time when their viewpoint in particular is hard to get into print they essentially condemn the printing of Professor Gur’s piece. At a time when they in particular ought to be welcoming Professors using tenure to fearlessly to say what they think, they’re calling on a University President to take action against a Professor for a simple opinion piece.

    Is this then what the BDS people are like? Just the mirror-opposites of those who seek to block their points of view and exact retribution on anyone publicly agreeing with them? Just viewers of words as weapons so trying to stifle Gur’s opinions by the pathetic game-playing calling of same an “incitement” and blah blah blah?

    Good one, BDS: At the precise point at which you have the opportunity to gain respect amongst the sober and the reasonable via reacting that in a sober and reasonable way to a patently hysterical attack what do you do but engage in agit-prop antics showing your own cheap view of free speech and academic freedom.

    Thanks then; given the choice apparently being between one bunch of Stalinist-minded intellectual totalitarians and another think I’ll chose to be associated with neither….

    • patm on February 3, 2012, 9:04 am

      Sin Nombre, this is irony, right?

      • ToivoS on February 3, 2012, 8:54 pm

        No that is Sin. He marches to his own drummer. Often he comes up with some pretty original and insightful observations and other times he comes up with an original but off-putting observation. I think he works too hard at being original but I always read his comments — even when I find some of them quite appalling. One thing about him is that he always engages in ideas and avoids ad hominem attacks. What’s not to like about that.

      • patm on February 4, 2012, 10:41 am

        One thing about him is that he always engages in ideas and avoids ad hominem attacks. What’s not to like about that.

        Thanks, ToivoS. I didn’t know what to think about Sin’s comment. I admire him for not indulging in ad hominem attacks. I’m not good at that. When it comes to the trolls, my emotions often take over.

        Self-awareness training and regular meditation practice help but alas don’t always work.

    • NickJOCW on February 3, 2012, 9:05 am

      You are, perhaps, a shade unkind. It’s not that easy to turn the other cheek when provoked by those who know exactly what they are doing and are good at it. The BDS might better invite Gur to give their assembly a short address and listen in mature silence.

      • patm on February 3, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Chemi Shalev’s last paragraph, to my mind, strikes all the wrong notes.

        “It’s true that times have changed, that much water has flowed in the Jordan River and that Israel and Israelis of 40 years ago are significantly different than the Israelis of today. Still, there is something profoundly post-Zionist and even “unJewish,” if you will, in the demand that Israel be held to the same standards as Syria or Egypt or Sudan or France or Britain or even the United States for that matter. Israelis used to have higher expectations and to demand better of themselves but are now becoming increasingly resigned to being just like everyone else, no worse, perhaps, but not much better either. Israel wants to be treated as “a nation like all other nations,” which, Jews know better than most, is nothing to be proud of.” (my bold)

        Fatuous, arrogant, dishonest.

    • brenda on February 3, 2012, 1:39 pm

      “… Stalinist-minded… ”

      you know, this seems so dated somehow

      going to wikipedia: Journalist Michelle Goldberg writes that “One of the curses of left-wing politics is the perennial presence of International ANSWER, a front group for the Stalinist Workers World Party… ”

      you two wouldn’t possibly be related would you?

  11. Graber on February 2, 2012, 10:44 pm

    President Gutmann’s statement in the Daily Pennsylvanian today (http://thedp.com/index.php/article/2012/02/your_voice_protecting_speech_we_may_not_like) was co-signed with David Cohen, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UPenn and the Executive Vice President of the Comcast Corporation.

    Mondoweiss readers may remember Cohen, as he was the dinner chairman of the Friends of the IDF fundraiser back in November, and will be the honoree of the March 29 fundraiser here in Philadelphia.

    Annie, this is the climate that Penn BDS is working with. It is a wonder that the students at Penn were able to put this conference together. But the Penn administration is making it evident to the Philadelphia community where they stand. Cohen introduced Dershowitz this evening.

    (Will anybody be reporting on that Dershowitz speech??? He said that he spoke with Netanyahu AND Obama over the phone??? And he seems completely prepared to bomb Iran.)

    • annie on February 3, 2012, 1:32 am

      matthew, i watched part of derks speech here:

      http://www.livestream.com/jewishphilly/video?clipId=pla_411c3de6-4086-40c3-b0a9-1cb6745d7c95&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

      not sure if anyone will be covering it. i am supposed to leave for the airport in a few hrs and i can’t seem to fall asleep early. i won’t be covering it. i’m starting to think how an alarm clock would come in handy right about now but i have survived this long without one.

      Annie, this is the climate that Penn BDS is working with. It is a wonder that the students at Penn were able to put this conference together.

      brave awesome souls is all i can say. this is history in the making. we’re expanding..and they’re apartheid old school. and that’s the truth.

      looking forward to meeting you matthew

      • LeaNder on February 3, 2012, 8:31 am

        but i have survived this long without one.

        I use my phone, it has an alarm option, maybe yours has one too.

      • eGuard on February 3, 2012, 9:25 am

        I’ve taken the task to see the speech. Some notes:
        Moderator is Robert Traynham from MSNBC.
        28:30. D. enters.
        35:45. On BDS (or “DBS” as he calls it): “Why not against Syria, Iran, China, Cuba”. That is about the only remark he does on the topic of BDS.
        41:10. “I was one of Nelson Mandela’s legal team. I know what Apartheid is”.
        53:50. He reacts to Max Blumenthal’s piece “A.D.: torture and violence advocate” in The DP. “I am against torture, but if you do it all I ask is be sure you have a legal paper for it”. He needs two minutes for all this – well done, Max.
        58:00. Q&A begins
        1:21:25. Final Q: “If an Arab student comes up to me and says: ‘you took my land’, and I respond back, ‘yeah, but we support gay rights’, how does that add up?”.

    • chrisjj on February 5, 2012, 9:59 pm

      That link doesn’t work – I’m trying to find the co-signed letter – time to complain to and ditch Comcast if their Executive Vice President is such an extremist.

  12. yourstruly on February 2, 2012, 10:50 pm

    have these israel firsters ever gone beserk like this before?

    significance?

    they realize what lies ahead for the zionist entity and they’re beginning to feel helpless

    with their worst fear, delegitimization?

    haunting them

    and our victory celebration?

    the day palestine is liberated

  13. jayn0t on February 2, 2012, 10:54 pm

    Contrary to the headline of this post, Penn’s president doesn’t ‘condemn’ the Gur article comparing the boycott movement to the Nazis. Nor should she. She should defend freedom of speech. You can’t use p.c. university speech codes to defend Palestinian rights – dishonestly claiming that this Gur guy’s ideas “incite against and endanger” attendees at the conference is an attempt to use the ‘safety’ argument to undermine freedom. Anti-fascists do it. Zionists do it. It won’t work for supporters of Palestinian rights.

  14. Daniel Rich on February 2, 2012, 10:58 pm

    A straightforward discussion about BDS, you say?

    I’ll need some solid talking points then:

    Genocidal – check
    Nazi – check
    Anti-Semitism – check
    Capos – check
    Holocaust – check

    Keep it up Gur, not before long and being an anti-semite will be a badge of honor meaning nothing more than being critical of the Israeli government and its policies.

  15. American on February 2, 2012, 11:00 pm

    O.K……..so I guess free expression also means we can them nazis too.
    This gets more and more hysterical…..how dare you call Israel nazi you nazis! lol

    • James on February 3, 2012, 12:35 am

      lol – that about sums it up…

    • Egbert on February 3, 2012, 1:35 pm

      I think Israel government may pass a bill that would make it a criminal offense to criticize someone by calling them a ‘nazi’.

      Their irony meter really does go to 11.

  16. ToivoS on February 2, 2012, 11:54 pm

    EI says: It is not only deeply defamatory against its targets but I consider it a form of Holocaust denial. Comparing a student conference at UPenn to a Nazi death camp says effectively that Nazi death camps were nothing more harmful than a student conference.

    This is a good point. The Zionists are into holocaust denial. This has been obvious for ages but I missed the obvious rebuttal. This should apply across the board — when Dersh speaks of Auswitz borders, when Bibi equates Ahmadinijad with Hitler, when Bush Jr equated Sadam Hussein with Hitler — in every comparison they are trivializing the crimes of Nazi Germany. Shame on the holocaust deniers. German courts should willing to indict, given that is a crime there.

  17. piotr on February 3, 2012, 12:23 am

    “have these israel firsters ever gone beserk like this before?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CedslHmXE6w

    To me most astounding were talkbacks in JPost.com in a news item that tsadik of Satmar called Jews to vote for Obama. Just for that he was called capo, Nazi etc. although substantial minority was of the opinion that he is stupid, senile etc.

    In Poland the least coin is called grosz, from Latin “grossus”, and the first coins with that name contained something like an ounce of silver, say 50 dollars worth but the lowly descendant is worth about 0.4c. Similarly, “Nazi” and “capo” circulate in vast quantities so I would not see murderous incitement in Prof. Gur’s words.

    Now, if he called the conference an auxilliary chapter of al-Qaeda…

    By the way, does he suggest that Hannah Arendt was a traitor?

    • Shmuel on February 3, 2012, 3:24 am

      By the way, does he suggest that Hannah Arendt was a traitor?

      Believe it or not, that is exactly what he does.

      Sadly, now as then, there are Jews among the posse in the assault on their own people. The macabre sight of the likes of Stella Kübler, (arguably Hannah Arendt) and the Capos in the extermination camps is about to be replayed here at Penn.’

      It’s called “race treason”, Professor (if you must use Nazi analogies).

      • LeaNder on February 3, 2012, 9:32 am

        Shmuel, I met many with a strong Anti-Arendt attitude.

        What I would like to know more about is the conflict between Raul Hilberg and Hannah Arendt.

        The Destruction of the European Jews provided, in Hannah Arendt’s words, ‘the first clear description of (the) incredibly complicated machinery of destruction’ set up under Nazism.[33] For Hilberg there was deep irony in the judgment since Arendt, asked to give an opinion of his manuscript in 1959, had advised against publication,[4] arguing that it dealt with things one no longer spoke about. Her judgement influenced the rejection slip he received from Princeton University Press following its submission, thus effectively denying him the prestigious auspices of a mainstream academic publishing house.

        In his slim autobiography he writes about it, but I guess a closer look would need research at the the Raul Hilberg papers at University of Vermont. If I remember correctly, it’s quite some time since I read it, Arendt is one of two female arch-enemies of his. I really would like to take a closer look, since I respect them both. But Hilberg suggests that she used his book extensively in her own book on the Eichman trials without giving him credit.

      • Shmuel on February 3, 2012, 11:50 am

        I met many with a strong Anti-Arendt attitude.

        Me too. It’s no coincidence that Eichmann in Jerusalem was only published in Hebrew in 2000, and The Origins of Totalitarianism in 2010! Of course, even in that context, Gur’s association of Arendt with Stella Kübler and death camp Kapos is beneath contempt – especially in light of Arendt’s personal history and her own writings on the subject of Jewish collaboration.

        I had never heard about the friction between Arendt and Hilberg, but from your description it strikes me as being of an entirely different nature.

      • LeaNder on February 3, 2012, 12:54 pm

        the friction between Arendt and Hilberg, but from your description it strikes me as being of an entirely different nature.

        It’s of a different nature no doubt. But still Arendt at the time seems to have conformed with a general taboo around the Holocaust Remembering Raul Hilberg:

        It is hard now to remember that the Nazi holocaust was once a taboo subject. During the early years of the Cold War, mention of the Nazi holocaust was seen as undermining the critical U.S.-West German alliance. It was airing the dirty laundry of the barely de-Nazified West German elites and thereby playing into the hands of the Soviet Union, which didn’t tire of remembering the crimes of the West German “revanchists.” The major American Jewish organizations rushed to make their peace with Konrad Adenauer’s government (the Anti-Defamation League took the lead) while those holding commemorations for the Jewish dead were tagged as Communists, which as a rule they were.

        If I may add, Adenauer allowed e.g. former Nazi police officers to built up the German equivalent of the American FBI (BKA – Federal criminal bureau). I am pretty sure the American services knew. As one of the rare German post war films on the topic put it in it’s title: The murderers are still among us.

        But to be fair RH complained about archival gatekeepers in Israel too, again if I remember well.

  18. James on February 3, 2012, 12:32 am

    “”‘The aim of the hateful and discriminatory BDS rhetoric is to delegitimize Israel in preparation for the ultimate goal of its destruction.””

    isn’t this what israel is presently doing to the palestinians?

    “”Dershowitz has described the BDS conference as a gathering of bigots. “”

    what if someone referred to the present israel gov’t in a similar manner? how would that go over?

  19. Cliff on February 3, 2012, 1:30 am

    Can we make sure someone is getting the BDS conference on tape? I looked at the participants page and saw that Phil will be there (unless I read incorrectly).

    I’d love to see the Zionist students/teachers try to hijack the event in action.

    • Chaos4700 on February 3, 2012, 1:50 am

      Sooner or later those hijackers are going to bring weapons to BDS events and use them, you know.

      • dahoit on February 3, 2012, 10:43 am

        What,and go to jails filled with Muslim prisoners?Nah,it aint in them to put themselves at such risk,they only like the strength of overwhelming military superiority,like Israels IDF, backing their wacko racist spiels and actions.

  20. Shmuel on February 3, 2012, 2:32 am

    From the book Ruben Gur ignorantly, hysterically and maliciously compares to Mein Kampf:

    While I firmly advocate nonviolent forms of struggle such as boycott, divestment, and sanctions to attain Palestinian goals, I just as decisively, though on a separate track, support a unitary state based on freedom, justice, and comprehensive equality as the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli colonial conflict. To my mind, in a struggle for equal humanity and emancipation from oppression, a correlation between means and ends, and the decisive effect of the former on the outcome and durability of the latter, is indisputable. If Israel is an exclusivist, ethnocentric, settler-colonial state, then its ethical, just, and sustainable alternative must be a secular, democratic state, ending injustice and offering unequivocal equality in citizenship and individual and communal rights both to Palestinians (refugees included) and to Israeli Jews. Only such a state can ethically reconcile the ostensibly irreconcilable: the inalienable, UN-sanctioned rights of the indigenous people of Palestine to self-determination, repatriation, and equality in accordance with international law and the acquired and internationally recognized rights of Israeli Jews to coexist—as equals, not colonial masters—in the land of Palestine.

    Omar Barghouti, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011), p. 51.

  21. piotr on February 3, 2012, 3:23 am

    Radovan Karadžić inspired my to modify a well known adage: psychiatrist, heal thyself.

  22. seafoid on February 3, 2012, 5:48 am

    It’s hysterical.

    Imagine what they’ll be like in 5 years’ time.

  23. Justice Please on February 3, 2012, 5:58 am

    ” It is not an appropriate role (nor that of the University’s), to be the referee of individual’s comments, regardless of how overheated or ill-advised they may be.”

    Explain that to the Muslim students who got sanctioned for peacefully protested Israels ambassador. It seems that when “comments” are against Israeli policy, some Universities after all think its their role to be the referee.

    Go Penn U students! Go BDS!

    • Justice Please on February 3, 2012, 2:11 pm

      Oh and folks, beware of the agents provocateurs. If anyone starts anti-Jewish or anti-Police violence or incitement, its probably a guy paid by the enemy.

  24. notatall on February 3, 2012, 6:06 am

    In The Brass Check, a study of who controlled major universities, Upton Sinclair called Penn the University of the United Gas Improvement (the utility company). Follow the money.

    U. Penn Board of Trustees
    as of January 1, 2011

    David L. Cohen, Esq., Chair
    Mr. David M. Silfen, Vice Chair
    Mr. George A. Weiss, Vice Chair

    Scott L. Bok, Esq.
    Mrs. Judith Bollinger
    Mr. David Brush
    Gilbert F. Casellas, Esq.
    Mrs. Susan W. Catherwood
    Dr. Raymond K. F. Ch’ien
    William W.M. Cheung, DMD
    Hon. Thomas Corbett, ex officio
    Pamela Daley, Esq.
    Susan F. Danilow, Esq.
    Mrs. Lee Spelman Doty
    Mr. William P. Egan II
    Mr. David Ertel
    Mr. Jay S. Fishman
    Mrs. Sarah Fuller
    Mr. Robert A. Gleason, Jr.
    Perry Golkin, Esq.
    Mr. Joel M. Greenblatt
    Mr. James H. Greene, Jr.
    Mr. Vahan H. Gureghian
    Dr. Amy Gutmann, ex officio
    Dr. Janet F. Haas
    Mr. Andrew R. Heyer
    Osagie O. Imasogie, Esq.
    Mr. Robert S. Kapito
    Mr. Michael J. Kowalski
    Mrs. Andrea Berry Laporte

    Mr. William P. Lauder
    Mr. Charles B. Leitner III
    Mr. Robert M. Levy
    M. Claire Lomax, Esq.
    Mr. Howard S. Marks
    Dr. Deborah Marrow
    Mr. Edward J. Mathias
    Mr. Marc F. McMorris
    Ms. Andrea Mitchell
    Mr. Marshall H. Mitchell
    Mr. Daniel S. Och
    Mr. Simon D. Palley
    Mr. Ronald O. Perelman
    Mr. Egbert L. J. Perry
    Mr. Richard C. Perry
    Mrs. Julie Beren Platt
    Mr. Andrew S. Rachleff
    Mrs. Ann Nolan Reese
    Mr. James S. Riepe
    Mrs. Katherine Stein Sachs
    Marie A. Savard, M.D.
    Mr. John P. Shoemaker
    Dr. Krishna P. Singh
    Ms. Carol Elizabeth Ware
    Mr. Mark O. Winkelman
    Mrs. Ehsan El-Tahry Zayan

    • dahoit on February 3, 2012, 10:45 am

      Nothing to see here,move along,irrelevant info.Hah.

      • patm on February 3, 2012, 11:34 am

        irrelevant info.Hah.

        I was dumbfounded by the “Esq.” after six of the names. Pretentious twits, I thought to myself. Then I googled and discovered they were lawyers. Pretentious twits, I thought again. More irrelevant info, dahoit. :-)

  25. Justice Please on February 3, 2012, 6:34 am

    Not totally on topic, but it shows who the people are BDS wants to help:

    “According to the report, shortly after the operation ended and the unit departed, a lone soldier was left standing at the gate of the village.

    Some of the local Arabs say they feared the soldier would be lynched and aided him in reaching an area under IDF control where another unit picked him up and returned him to the base.”

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/152364#.TysZRoHF9Bk

    Notice also how its totally okay for Israeli media to talk about “Arabs” instead of “Palestinians”, but whenever Palestinians or other neighbours refer to Israelis as “Jews”, it’s racist and we have to correct them.

    • seafoid on February 3, 2012, 11:39 am

      Haaretz reported the soldier was scared. All that propaganda ingested from birth. Zionism is without compassion and expects no compassion. It is a form of autism

    • piotr on February 3, 2012, 1:28 pm

      Indeed, and when this “Israeli” wants to be identified in his identity papers as “Israeli” he has to spend years in courts. It seems that there are about 10 Israelis in Israel, the rest of the population is differently classified.

  26. notatall on February 3, 2012, 12:18 pm

    It was The Goose Step, not The Brass Check. Sorry. “You could not tell a chart of the University of Pennsylvania from a chart of the United Gas Improvement Company.”

  27. kma on February 3, 2012, 2:10 pm

    this article headline is misleading. Gutmann’s office just gives the best excuse it can without Gutmann committing a CLM on the zio-mafia career ladder.
    what’s noteworthy is that the office felt cornered to respond at least, that the discourse is crystal clear on what BDS is, and that the goals of the well-heeled esquires and other board members are the OPPOSITE of human rights which are supported by students everywhere – and is the point of the conference.
    I like it.

  28. brenda on February 3, 2012, 2:42 pm

    best of luck to everyone at work on this issue.

    I echo the Justice Please warning — beware of agents provocateurs. That Gur piece was so over the top it almost qualifies.

    Also as a reminder — I’m sure this was covered on MW back when it happened but doesn’t hurt to be reminded — in Israel this kind of boycott organizing is now illegal according to Israeli law. So things aren’t as bad here in that regard. Although for sure Israel has a more open press…
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/why-israelis-must-fight-against-the-boycott-law-1.373135

  29. chris o on February 3, 2012, 10:27 pm

    I think the headline is dead wrong and the President’s spokesman’s statement is totally lame. The Penn President (I mean, her spokesman) perfectly reprises the role of Pontius Pilate here.

    “It is always unfortunate when people make personal or ad hominem attacks against others in the course of that discourse… It is, however, neither possible, nor consistent with the value of free expression, for me or the Administration to intervene in the exchange of words that will inevitably occur…”

    Gur is NOT accused of personal or ad hominem attacks (“when PEOPLE…”), it is just a generic sentence referring to no one. For all I know reading the statement, she is talking about BDS supporters.They she talks of the EXCHANGE of words that will INEVITABLY occur. So it is just BOTH sides misbehaving and this stuff always happens. That is my reading. I think she, I mean he, deliberately chose these words carefully to allow for my interpretation.

    Imagine if Netanyahu or Michael Oren was coming to town and a Professor likened them to Hitler, and to the Hillel groups and other pro-Israeli students as Capos there to enforce pro-Israeli orthodoxy. I am pretty certain she would have had a much clearer statement. SHE would have, and not her spokesman.

  30. Pixel on February 5, 2012, 12:07 pm

    .
    Professor Gur is owed a huge debt of gratitude.

    Terrified and hysterical Zionists are their own worst enemy.

  31. friendofpalestine on February 5, 2012, 4:22 pm

    I trust that this Ruben Gur rogue character will be prosecuted for his hate crime?

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