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Columbia debate on Israeli policies features 3 Zionists, no Palestinians

Israel/Palestine
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Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart

Next Monday, there’s a debate about Israel’s policies at Columbia University that features three Zionists, and no Palestinian. Hussein Ibish, the Lebanese-American author who works for a two-state Palestinian group, will join liberal Zionist Peter Beinart, in opposing two neoconservatives, in a debate at the Diana Center at Barnard.

Columbia University Debate: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?”

Join us for a powerful debate on Israel’s policies as they relate to security threats facing the country. The debate is being put on as a partnership with the Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA), Mayanot and This World: The Values Network.

America’s Rabbi and bestselling author, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, along with Wall Street Journal Foreign Affairs columnist, Bret Stephens, will debate against Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, along with author and political commentator, Peter Beinart.

This is more evidence of the complete polarization of the issue, with mainstream groups carrying on a conversation in which Israel is a model democracy and grassroots groups having a conversation in which Israel is losing legitimacy. It’s about time the mainstream reflects that powerful grassroots criticism. (Beinart will voice it by proxy, in disagreeing with it.)

Who’s sponsoring this debate? This World is the shop of Shmuley Boteach, a giant self-promoter (America’s Rabbi). Mayanot appears to be this Zionist organization. But the Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA), would seem to have a neutral mission.

CIRCA’s mission, as articulated in the preamble of the constitution, is “entrenched in its principles, and manifested in all of its activities. The central goals are of an educational nature, particularly with regards to engaging with the world, its numerous cultures, social and political systems, in hopes of fostering a deeper understanding and active cooperation among people of all backgrounds.

Why are they staging such an imbalanced debate?

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29 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    March 25, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Sure, but show Five Broken Cameras without approved zionist rebuttal and all hell breaks loose.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      March 25, 2014, 6:08 pm

      Woody you are on a fucking roll(‘scuse the French).

      Why are they staging such an imbalanced debate?

      I know this is the typical rhetorical question you already know the answer to, but I can’t contain myself(as usual): because they are downright scared.

      By the way, is it just me or is Beinart moving rightwards in the debate?
      Or maybe – and hopefully – the center of the debate has shifted and thus exposed him as less of a peacenik than he always pretended to be.

      I’m leaning towards the latter.

  2. Les
    Les
    March 25, 2014, 12:48 pm

    Keeping in mind Hitler’s plan to deport Jews to Madagascar and Bishop Desmond Tutu’s observation that South Africa’s apartheid sought to exploit blacks whereas Israel’s apartheid seeks to eliminate Palestinians, comes this Guardian headline, “Plan to transfer Arab-Israelis to new Palestinian state seeks legal approval.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/25/transfer-arab-israeli-citizens-palestinian-state

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 25, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Note that for The Guardian, a plan to deport millions of people is merely ”controversial”. Would the erstwhile Manchester Guardian be so sanguine if a high-ranking politician anywhere mused about the ‘legality’ of deporting its Jewish population?

      The Guardian is a shadow of its former self, cowed and browbeaten by Cif Watch.

    • Antidote
      Antidote
      March 25, 2014, 3:24 pm

      “Hitler’s plan to deport Jews to Madagascar”

      The Madagascar plan was given serious consideration in Poland, Japan, France, Britain and the US before the Nazis considered it. So did some Zionists. Neither Hitler nor anyone else executed the plan (reasons differ). At any rate, to call the Madagascar Plan “Hitler’s plan” is a misrepresentation (even though he did seriously consider it, as did many others)

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    March 25, 2014, 1:11 pm

    Yes, unbalanced people. But also a weird topic: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?”

    Maybe Columbia Law School (at SJP’s request? or sua sponte?) could have a conference on a slightly different topic: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of International Law?”

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      March 25, 2014, 1:23 pm

      Yes, unbalanced people. But also a weird topic: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?”

      Maybe Columbia Law School (at SJP’s request? or sua sponte?) could have a conference on a slightly different topic: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of International Law?”

      Interesting point. And, of course, Columbia Law School would never host a debate on the topic: “Are Palestinian Militants’ Policies Attacking Israeli Civilians Justified in Light of the Security Issues they Face” and certainly not one in which no Israelis or Jews are present.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 25, 2014, 3:09 pm

        But also a weird topic: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?”

        Especially since 14 of the 15 ICJ Judges agreed to take-up that particular question and they advised that Israel could NOT justify its illegal policies on the basis of security:

        In conclusion, the Court considers that Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall resulting from the considerations mentioned in paragraphs 122 and 137 above. The Court accordingly finds that the construction of the wall, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law.

        — Paragraph 142 http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

      • david sp
        david sp
        March 26, 2014, 9:42 am

        International law applies only to Jews.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 26, 2014, 12:37 pm

        International law applies only to Jews.

        The Israeli MFA just wrote a legal opinion on the subject of population transfer that cited an ICJ case involving non-Jews: “Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute (El Salvador/Honduras: Nicaragua intervening)” http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=390&code=sh&p1=3&p2=3&case=75&k=0e&p3=5

        See also “Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)” 2011; “Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)” 2010; “Dispute regarding Navigational and Related Rights (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)” 2005; and “Border and Transborder Armed Actions (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)” 1986.

        Contrary to popular belief among Zionists, most international boundaries are established, after national plebiscites, and through binding international arbitration or adjudication, not through negotiations conducted at gunpoint during a belligerent occupation.

        Here are a few of the other boundary cases that have been submitted to the Courts since Palestine declared its independence in 1988:
        *Eritrea/Yemen boundary dispute at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. link to pca-cpa.org
        *Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary
        link to pca-cpa.org
        *Guyana v. Suriname boundary link to pca-cpa.org
        *Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago economic zone/continental shelf link to pca-cpa.org
        *The Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger) link to icj-cij.org
        *Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
        link to icj-cij.org
        *Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore) link to icj-cij.org
        *Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger) link to icj-cij.org
        *Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia) link to icj-cij.org
        *Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras) link to icj-cij.org
        *Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia/Malaysia) link to icj-cij.org
        *Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nigeria) link to icj-cij.org
        *Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain (Qatar v. Bahrain) link to icj-cij.org
        *Maritime Delimitation between Guinea-Bissau and Senegal (Guinea-Bissau v. Senegal) link to icj-cij.org
        *Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad) link to icj-cij.org
        *Maritime Delimitation in the Area between Greenland and Jan Mayen (Denmark v. Norway) link to icj-cij.org

    • John Douglas
      John Douglas
      March 25, 2014, 1:40 pm

      Following pabelmont, there are many phrases that could alternately reside in the question, resulting in interesting discussions. For example,
      “… in light of …

      … the Biblical claim that Yahweh gave greater Israel to the Jewish people.”
      … the Bible’s often morally bankrupt and imaginative story telling.”
      … the fact that Israel has turned Gaza into a prison of 1.7 million inmates.”
      … the fact that the settler movement is too powerful to dislodge.”
      … the fact that that Zionist preference for Jews over Palestinians is racist.”
      … the fact that with nuclear weapons, Israel has no security threat.”
      … the fact that …

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 25, 2014, 3:09 pm

        Or maybe the arguably root question that enables all these other questions to be discussed in a vacuum of assumptions:

        Are Palestinians the blood-thirsty terrorists that they are assumed [and portrayed] to be?

        That would go to the instigating structural vs. reactive kinetic violence that Noura Erakat framed in her LAT article (https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/structural-violence-trial-bds-movement-resist-erasure , via Annie). Or maybe even more fundamentally, just a human vs. subhuman, personal, “what if this was done to you?” discussion.

        It would put a point/limit on all these academic discussions of human suffering over there. You would think such a discussion would cause someone in one of these zio-showcases to admit publicly to something meaningful.

    • talknic
      talknic
      March 25, 2014, 3:31 pm

      pabelmont ” a weird topic: “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?””

      It’s more ziononsense. All states have equal right to security and for UN Members

      UN CHARTER Article 2
      The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

      1 The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml#article2

    • March 25, 2014, 4:02 pm

      “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of Human Decency?”

  4. Marshall
    Marshall
    March 25, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Shmuley’s claim to be America’s Rabbi is complete BS. **I** am America’s Rabbi, as of now.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 25, 2014, 1:40 pm

      Shmuley is America’s fruitcake

      • tree
        tree
        March 25, 2014, 3:43 pm

        Unfortunately for the rest of us, he faces a highly competitive field in fruitcakedom.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 26, 2014, 1:51 am

        Kosher fruitcakes are a more specialized field

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      March 25, 2014, 4:36 pm

      “Shmuley’s claim to be America’s Rabbi is complete BS.”

      Actually, it’s really nice that here in America, terms such as “America’s Rabbi” (and its equivalent in the other religions) are simply marketing gimmicks by people who are basically clowns without the floppy shoes, and not actual public offices.

      #GoTeamSecularism!!!

  5. chuckcarlos
    chuckcarlos
    March 25, 2014, 1:23 pm

    nyc is a very insular society…

    if one wants to see how much so…

    go to Nathaniel Kahn’s film about his old man…Lou Kahn, “My Architect”…and then go to the part where Nathan interviews Lou Kahn’s first cousin…the guy is some kind of recluse sitting in his house speaking yiddish…of course it probably is Philadelphia but so what huh? The guy never knew about Lou’s son or much about him…said Lou died bankrupt (true)…but his cousin was so isolated he had no idea of the impact of Lou Kahn…

    actually quite humorous…

    of course if you want to he a hermit in a big city in the USA it’s covered by the Constitution as well as some guy living on a mountain Idaho…

    something obviously missed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in LA when the describe Israel as almost a US State…EXCEPT of adherence to the rule of law and certain provisions in the US CONSTITUTION

    Nathaniel Kahn ain’t jewish and Lou Kahn wasn’t much either…

  6. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 25, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Mainstream Jews are afraid of truthtelling today.

  7. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 25, 2014, 1:41 pm

    Beinart looks so smouldering in that photo, like he’s ready to triangulate your underwear off, if you are a lady

  8. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    March 25, 2014, 2:40 pm

    Why are they staging such an imbalanced debate?

    free speech, that’s their right no problem there. the problem is in Columbia University with its selective free speech.

    yet i won’t hold my breath for any pro-israeli poster to complain about this imbalanced debate.

    for future reference: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander will be my reply to any pro-israel poster that quips about imbalance debates.

  9. American
    American
    March 25, 2014, 3:14 pm

    Another week, another debate……..yawn.

  10. Talkback
    Talkback
    March 25, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Intellectual incest

  11. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    March 25, 2014, 6:53 pm

    “Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?”

    The correct question would be: WHY does Israel face “security issues”?
    Answer: Because Israel’s existence is based on injustice to Palestinians. Therefore, Palestinians and their allies justifiably engage in resistance.

  12. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    March 25, 2014, 7:01 pm

    This is more evidence of the complete polarization of the issue, with mainstream groups carrying on a conversation in which Israel is a model democracy.

    Mainstream media and organisations make it look as if the I-P conflict were between conservative Zionists and liberal Zionists, when actually it’s between Zionists and anti-Zionists.
    It’s logical that there’s no Palestinian in such a discussion. No Palestinian in his right mind would present a Zionist position.

  13. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 25, 2014, 10:30 pm

    I have not studied Ibish’s position sufficiently, but I assume that he is in favor of a 2 state solution that puts extreme limitations on the Right of Return. This is the position that the debate’s organizers are trying to pit against each other: 2 states versus status quo. Is there a major Palestinian or a minor Palestinian that this website would not mock, that favors 2 states with a severe limitation on the right of return. Maybe there is, but maybe there isn’t. and if this is the debate that the organizers want, then inviting a Palestinian who doesn’t advocate the position that the organizers want debated, would not serve the debate’s purpose.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 26, 2014, 9:25 am

      @ yonah

      Did you miss GL’s comment? It’s right above yours.

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