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Our eviction action at NYU created more dialogue than ever before

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Mock Eviction notice, NYU

Mock Eviction notice, NYU

Yesterday Phan Nguyen did a piece showing how mock eviction notices delivered to dorm rooms by the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at NYU were being thoroughly misrepresented in the media, out of pro-Israel bias. This piece addressing the same action first appeared on SJP’s blog.

No government is more crucial – financially or diplomatically – in enabling Israel’s crimes and shielding it from international accountability than the United States, which means no one in the global community has a greater moral stake in ending Israeli apartheid than we do as Americans.

According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 446, “the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

New York University is heavily invested in companies that profit from (and make possible) the occupation, which means we as NYU students have an obligation to demand our university divest from those companies. To name five:

  • Caterpillar sells bulldozers to the Israeli government, which are then weaponized and used to demolish Palestinian homes and uproot olive trees.
  • Northrop Grumman produces helicopters and missiles the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) use to attack Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and destroy basic infrastructure.
  • Motorola develops motion-detecting “virtual fences” used to annex parts of the West Bank and keep Palestinians out of the settlements (all of which are Jewish-only).
  • Veolia operates segregated buses exclusively for Israeli settlers, and is working on a light rail project connecting Jerusalem with the surrounding settlements.
  • Elbit Systems manufactures armed drones that target civilians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Wednesday night, New York University Students for Justice in Palestine (NYU SJP) called attention to Israel’s illegal demolitions of some 27,000 Palestinian homes by distributing over 2000 mock eviction notices at two campus residence halls. You may have heard or read that our action targeted Jewish students. This isn’t so.

The flyers, which were clearly marked as fake, were slipped under every door on every floor of the Palladium and Lafayette dormitories. The accusation that Jewish students were targeted – which made for sensationalistic headlines in the National ReviewNew York Post and other right-wing and mainstream outlets – stems from a blog post by a member of the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC’s NYU student affiliate, TorchPAC.

In that post, which calls me out by name, Laura Adkins (whom I recently debated for the Washington Square News) claims that SJP chose “to target Jewish students (or at the very least, a dorm brimming with Jewish students)”. Her only “evidence” is the existence of a Shabbat elevator in Palladium, which she attributes to the residence hall’s disproportionately large Jewish presence.

As we clarify in our statement, published Thursday the 24th, SJP distributed notices not only at Palladium, but at Lafayette as well. They are two of the largest dorms on campus, and were chosen because they were the most accessible to our membership. The charge of anti-Semitism was rebuked publicly by NYU spokesperson John Beckman, who explained in an email that,

we don’t believe there is perception of [Palladium and Lafayette] as being home to a higher percentage of Jewish students (the presence of a Sabbath elevator in one of them to serve Jewish students is the result of a stairway that empties to the street and cannot be entered through the lobby behind the security desk, not because of a particularly large presence of Jewish students in that building)….

Basically, Palladium has this elevator to allow practicing Orthodox Jews to live there. It does not reflect the demographics of the residence hall.

NYU SJP has many Jewish members, all of whom supported the action. They reject the premise that criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Jewish. They reject the Zionist project of an ethnically discriminatory state that privileges Jews at the expense of an indigenous population, and they find the equation of being Jewish and being a Zionist deeply offensive.

Adkins also claims that SJP has financial ties to Hamas, citing an article which purports to uncover SJP’s link to the organization. In fact, NYU SJP has no financial or ideological ties to any political party. As per NYU policy, NYU SJP is funded exclusively by NYU’s All-Square Student Budget Allocation Committee (ASSBAC). This charge was apparently so ludicrous that it was ignored by the same news outlets who so readily parroted her accusation that Jewish students were targeted.

That accusation, on the other hand, has served as a rhetorical bludgeon for those seeking to muzzle Palestine solidarity activism on campus. Brooklyn Assemblyperson Dov Hikind, who led the charge to censor Brooklyn College’s BDS event last year, published a statement condemning SJP’s action as “racially motivated” and “pure hate” – an ironic charge, coming from a longtime member of the Jewish Defense League, which the US government lists as a “violent extremist Jewish organization.” Shamelessly, Hikind demands that NYU “immediately and publicly take action against those who perpetrated this act of intimidation and harassment.”

Attacks like Hikind’s are, at worst, an act of political repression, and at best a distraction from the issues we raised by carrying out this action. SJP hasn’t shut down dialogue – we’ve opened up a space for it. Our intervention has led to more discussion of the Palestinian perspective on campus than ever before.

You can stand with us by signing our petition of support. NYU SJP will continue to shed light on the plight of Palestinians and help consign Israel’s archaic policies to the dustbin of history. We hope you’ll join us.

Kumars Salehi
About Kumars Salehi

Kumars Salehi is an MA student in Cinema Studies and a member of NYU SJP. You can read more of his work on his personal blog.http://theredfury.wordpress.com/

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43 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    April 26, 2014, 11:07 am

    One has to ask,why do Americans who happen to be Jewish feel the need to populate dorms as a group.

    Don,t they wish to be amongst their fellow Americans.

    What,s next—a Jewish NYU Football team or Debating team.

    Are any of the dorms principally populated by Black Americans or Chinese Americans.

    Just asking.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      April 26, 2014, 2:34 pm

      @Amigo

      When I went to college there was a dorm that was heavily Islamic women with a few women who were Christian conservative and others like Hindu thrown in. The wanted a dorm which was all female where the girls weren’t bringing guys into their room for sex. There wasn’t about Muslim separatism. In this case the reason to populate that particular dorm in the article was the elevator was designed to support Jewish shabbat practices which would be important to observant students.

      Stop assuming everything Jews do is for some evil nefarious purpose.

    • April 26, 2014, 2:56 pm

      I believe they’re called the Maccabiah Games, the honor of being the world’s third-best Jewish high jumper always having been lost on me.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        April 27, 2014, 6:52 am

        broadside- Whatever the original purpose of the Maccabiah Games (which I think stems from the desire to encourage athletic excellence in a people known for sedentary excellences like lifting books), today the purpose of the Maccabiah Games is for Jews around the world to gather and compete. Competition is the excuse, the real purpose is the social opportunity, for Jews around the world to gather and meet. Is that concept lost on you as well?

      • April 27, 2014, 10:28 am

        ” … today the purpose of the Maccabiah Games is for Jews around the world to gather and compete. ”

        Sorry, Jonah. The concept’s still lost on me. (Whatever happened to the kibbutz? Capture the Flag, maybe?)

        I repeat: what relevance is there, what honor, to being the world’s third-best Jewish pole vaulter? That’s the question you can’t answer.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        April 27, 2014, 11:31 am

        yonah, I liked your comment concerning “female’s desires” above. Personally I never enjoyed overhearing shrieks of pleasure. Call me frigid, if you like. ;) And these dorms occasionally have thin walls.

        But strictly as to the Maccabiah Games, and I didn’t even know about it. Compare who re-introduced the torch. Maybe you alert the Wikipedia troops? Some may connect the wrong points in this context. And no, I didn’t even bother to look further.

        Since: I cannot deny it reminds me of Zionist biopolitics. No doubt it is a good idea to recruit athletes worldwide that will become part of the Israeli crew at Olympic games. And one could argue that Olympic games often deteriorate to a national competition.

        But this is what it triggers for me the context. The Zionists somehow pretended that “the Jews” had to reeducated to physical, bodily work, and in this context they often embraced anti-Semitic stereotypes.

        One of the Jewish people I once researched for my mother, since he was the father of a class mate of hers, was in fact a quite successful professional foot ball player before the Nazis.

      • April 27, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Lea, that reminds me: I think it was the baseball world championships, I think it was last year, several major leaguers, among them Ike Davis (I think) competed for Israel. Very little was made of it, critically. Does Ike Davis now have dual citizenship? Did he before? Was that required? Shouldn’t it have been? (Jewish-at-large?)

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      April 26, 2014, 5:14 pm

      @ Amigo,

      Let’s ask Donald Sterling what he thinks of his fellow Americans, shall we?

    • annie
      annie
      April 26, 2014, 9:57 pm

      amigo, over 25% of the students at NYU are jewish (which is not uncommon on many american campuses today). therefore the college has a high concentration of jewish students, hence it would be usual for any dorm at NYU to have a high concentration of jewish students.

      thus far there is no evidence “Americans who happen to be Jewish feel the need to populate dorms as a group” anymore than any other american sub group.

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        April 26, 2014, 11:31 pm

        ahhh, not exactly…..

        “But what makes Katzen’s new facility noteworthy isn’t so much the lavishness as the idea behind it: to create America’s first self-sustaining Hillel. The ground floor of the seven-story building will include a 20,000-square-foot Hillel center with operations to be be funded in large part by rental income from the 600-bed dormitory.

        The Jewish philanthropists behind this unique arrangement aren’t simply giving the 15-year-old Hillel at UCF a building; they’re giving it a permanent income stream.

        Read more: http://www.jta.org/2013/05/14/life-religion/with-new-luxury-dorm-orlando-philanthropists-offer-hillel-evergreen-funding-model#ixzz303PE6LTU

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        April 27, 2014, 6:42 am

        Annie, Let us also note that — in principle — Jewish college students at NYU are likely to be Americans, and not necessarily to be Zionists. Some may be, of course, but others may be agnostic on Israel, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, etc. Many may feel or act as ardent human rights supporters.

        So to say that a dorm has a lot of Jewish students, which may be true, is not to say that it has a lot of (Jewish or other) Zionists nor to deny that its Jewish students may welcome and/or profit from the leafleting.

        And, come to that, why should Zionists not profit from the educational value of reading these fake-eviction-notices? Some people, even if true believers, can grow up when they see evidence. If people feel, even for a moment or two, “attacked” by the notices, they may, they might, and some even can feel a bit of sympathy for Palestinians who receive REAL such notices.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        April 27, 2014, 9:46 am

        Very, good point, pabelmont. Maybe someone should reflect on this strange circle dance that also leads straight to Zionisms core dilemmas (both historically and present) surfacing now in its hawkish supporters. I wouldn’t immediately have realized in this context, but you are absolutely right. Adkins basically assumes the stereotypical Jew to get her point over.

  2. Les
    Les
    April 26, 2014, 12:03 pm

    American agents of Israel are traitors.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      April 27, 2014, 6:57 am

      Les- Treachery is against the law. Please specify which law is being violated by the supporters of Israel featured in this post. If such a law is not yet on the books, please propose a specific language for such a law. Until you propose a law or cite a law being violated you sound like a mob with a pitchfork. If you don’t mind sounding like a mob with a pitchfork, keep up the good work. If you want to sound reasonable and law abiding, elucidate.

      • April 27, 2014, 7:36 am

        Yonah. You are actually unaware of the blackmail, extortion, bribery, perjury, etc. engaged in by the Lobby? Or are you unaware that those are criminal acts?

  3. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    April 26, 2014, 12:16 pm

    There is no such thing as bad publicity.
    Zionist supporters are shooting themselves in the foot over complaining of such things, because the US main street media reporting of Israel/Palestine is so one sided, events like this are good for Palestinians. Working on the assumption that Zionists will never admit the the truth, the average [fair minded] US citizen will see, many for the first time, the truth in those leaflets.

    • April 26, 2014, 3:43 pm

      harry, i hope your right, but my experience with christian ziomindnumbed brainwashed americans is that they’re so,well, mindnumbed and brainwashed from the constant “israel is so good, israel is our ally, israel is the only democracy bullshit”, that i disagree totally with your delusional belief that the average US citizen will see the truth.
      yesterday, i had a great talk with a texan from a town of 2500 people in the country about some car parts. i was assessing him while one thing slowly and delicately led to another and then i made the big move, politics.
      i mentioned ukraine/russia and he talked about his dislike of obama. we talked about the massive migration of mexicans and then he said he would rather live with the mexicans and secceed from the federal government and all the crooked politicians than keep attached to washington.
      i then talked about israel and it and its malevolent effect on america with all their dual citizen spies and bought and payed for traitorous corrupt US politicians.
      shockingly he said he was aware of some of it, to what extent i didn’t inquire but i was tremendoudly surprised and pleased.
      but, and this is the big but, he told me all the arguments he gets into with all the stupid ignorants.
      yes, they’re stupid ignorant people down in the bush belt as well as new york , also!

  4. Hostage
    Hostage
    April 26, 2014, 12:27 pm

    No government is more crucial – financially or diplomatically – in enabling Israel’s crimes and shielding it from international accountability than the United States . . . According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 446, “the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity . . .”

    If you check the voting record, you’ll see the US, UK, and Norway abstained. President Carter didn’t want to offend the Jewish voters before the mid-term elections.

    • HarryLaw
      HarryLaw
      April 26, 2014, 1:18 pm

      One would have thought the Jewish voters would still have been offended since an abstention meant the Resolution, in that case would be carried, a mistake the Soviet Union made in 1950 when they adopted an empty chair policy owing to the UN’s refusal to recognize the Peoples Republic of China as the legitimate representatives of China. The result of the Soviet Union’s absence from the Security Council was that it was not in a position to veto the UN Security Council resolutions 83 (27 June 1950) and 84 (7 July 1950) authorising the US-led military coalition in Korea which assisted South Korea in repelling the North Korean attack.[9]

  5. American
    American
    April 26, 2014, 12:49 pm

    ” No government is more crucial – financially or diplomatically – in enabling Israel’s crimes and shielding it from international accountability than the United States .”>>>.

    Totally true. Why we arent all gathering outside or inside congress and the WH with lit torches and nooses ready over this and everything else is beyond me.

    Compare the little DC lords of the flies ‘get Russia’ over the Crimea to their support for a real down and dirty occupation and decades long slo mo genocide of Palestine by Israel.

    US starts issuing ten-year visas to Ukrainians ..http://en.interfax.com.ua/news… –
    Standard & Poor’s Cuts Russia’s Credit Rating http://money.cnn.com/2014
    International Criminal Court Looking Into Alleged Ukraine Crimes http://www.reuters.com/article

    Burn them to the Ground and Start Over . They are no more reformable than Israel.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      April 26, 2014, 11:07 pm

      @ American,

      Q: Totally true. Why we arent all gathering outside or inside congress and the WH with lit torches and nooses ready over this and everything else is beyond me.

      R: I think once the APCs with heavily armed SWAT teams in them show up at those exclusive ‘Free Speech Zones’, you’ll get a better understanding of why we face so much complacency [imho].

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      April 26, 2014, 11:44 pm

      International Criminal Court Looking Into Alleged Ukraine Crimes link to reuters.com…

      I think they might and that they should, but that it’s unlikely. The Ukrainian constitutional court ruled that the government can’t delegate judicial functions to the ICC without amending the Constitution. They held that the authors didn’t contemplate such a thing.

      On the other hand, both Russia and the Ukraine are parties to the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity – and Article 9 of the Constitution left it up to the Parliament to decide if existing treaties remain in force as part of the law of the land without the need for any amendments. It was the Parliament that asked the ICC to investigate alleged crimes committed by the former President against protesters.

      So far, the ICC Prosecutors have used even flimsier pretexts than this constitutional question to avoid taking on difficult cases.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        April 27, 2014, 5:45 am

        The question of the legitimacy of any parliamentary decisions by the Rada should be examined first in an article by Stefan Soesanto http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/03/russia-in-ukraine-a-reader-responds/he argues thus.
        Ascertaining the legitimacy of the interim government in Kiev is quite tricky. According to Article 111 of the Ukrainian constitution, the President can only be impeached from office by parliament through “no less than three-quarters of its constitutional composition.” On February 22, 2014 the Ukrainian parliament voted 328-0 to impeach President Yanukovych who fled to Russia the night prior. However for an effective impeachment under constitutional rules the 449-seated parliament would have needed 337 votes to remove Yanukovych from office. Thus under the current constitution, Yanukovych is still the incumbent and legitimate President of the Ukraine.

        This constitutional oversight puts the interim government in legal limbo as the bills that are currently being signed into law by acting President Turchynov are not carrying any constitutional authorization. This problem of legitimacy also undermines Kiev’s dealings with foreign governments, as the government appointed by Turchynov does not represent the de jure official government of the Ukraine. As such, foreign governments who are willfully recognizing and thereby trying to confer international legitimacy upon the interim government in Kiev, are indeed breaking international law by violating (1) the sovereignty of the Ukraine and the law of the land (constitution), (2) the principle of non-interference, (3) and the practice of non-government recognition.
        See also David Morrisons excellent article in the Huffington Post UK. here..http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-morrison/ukraine-willliam-hague_b_4933177.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 27, 2014, 12:33 pm

        Ascertaining the legitimacy of the interim government in Kiev is quite tricky. According to Article 111 of the Ukrainian constitution, the President can only be impeached from office by parliament through “no less than three-quarters of its constitutional composition.” Thus under the current constitution, Yanukovych is still the incumbent and legitimate President of the Ukraine.

        Dealing with a provisional government that comes to power as a result of a revolution has been quite commonplace and has presented no bar to legal recognition of de facto regimes since the days of the Tinoco Arbitration or the emergence of the Estrada Doctrine.

        In any event, there are only two possible relevant factors under Article 12 of the Rome Statute: the exercise of territorial jurisdiction or nationality.

        The treaty on non-applicability of statutory limitations and Article 9 of the Ukrainian Constitution simply do not care who is serving as President:

        International treaties that are in force, agreed to be binding by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, are part of the national legislation of Ukraine.
        The conclusion of international treaties that contravene the Constitution of Ukraine is possible only after introducing relevant amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine.”

        http://www.ccu.gov.ua/doccatalog/document?id=12084

        In fact, the same opinion of the Constitution Court noted that the only issue was delegation of judicial functions by the Rada under the terms of the Constitution:

        . . . since the crimes subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC were crimes under international law recognized by customary law or provided for in international treaties binding on Ukraine. The immunities granted by the Constitution were applicable only before national jurisdictions and did not constitute obstacles to the jurisdiction of the ICC.” (.pdf) http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/issues_raised_with_regard_to_the_icc_statute.pdf

        The only question then is whether the Rada retained in force a convention which says the statutory limitations in conflicting national law, including the Constitution, regarding war crimes or crimes against humanity are irrelevant. The Constitutional Court argued that the authors of Article 124 of the Constitution did not contemplate any delegation of judicial functions, but Article 9 of the constitution and the Convention on Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations does exactly that, if they are an integral part of the law of the land.

        Likewise, Article 27 of the Rome Statute “Irrelevance of official capacity” says that arguments based upon official capacity or immunity arising from national laws or procedural rules, like the ones that might prohibit the delegation of judicial powers or functions, are simply irrelevant:

        “1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.

        2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.”

        http://web.archive.org/web/20130310172833/http://untreaty.un.org/cod/icc/statute/99_corr/cstatute.htm

        So legitimacy is simply not a question that arises at this point or one the Prosecutor is empowered to address. It took the Prosecutor three years to admit that in the case of Palestine’s Article 12(3) declaration – and he still managed to weasel his way out of taking action.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 27, 2014, 12:44 pm

        In a statement on 4 March 2014, Foreign Minister William Hague deceived the House of Commons about the legitimacy of the new regime in Ukraine.

        These sort of technicalities do not transform a criminal act into a legal one. The international criminal courts are putting individuals on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Defense lawyers would rather put governments on trial, but the ICC only has jurisdiction over natural persons (see article 25 of the Rome Statute).

        In any event, the courts have uniformly held that there is a general principle that individuals cannot invoke state sovereignty or legitimacy as a defense, e.g. Israel v. Eichmann, United States v. Noriega, and Prosecutor v. Tadic.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        April 27, 2014, 2:56 pm

        Whatever the reasons governments recognize a revolutionary government is one thing, in the Morrison article he is calling the Foreign Secretary a liar, not because he recognized the new government but because he told the House of Commons the new government came into power “by the very large majorities required under the constitution” and “so it is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities” both statements are lies which breach the Ministerial Code [1.2c.] “it is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.” see http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100263469/william-hague-has-been-cavalier-with-the-facts-in-his-support-for-the-ukraine-rebels/

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 27, 2014, 3:06 pm

        Whatever the reasons governments recognize a revolutionary government is one thing, in the Morrison article he is calling the Foreign Secretary a liar

        I agree, but I was commenting about the likelihood of the ICC taking up the Ukrainian self-referral made on the strength of a declaration of the Rada http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/Documents/997/declarationRecognitionJuristiction09-04-2014.pdf and your follow-up: “The question of the legitimacy of any parliamentary decisions by the Rada should be examined first in an article by Stefan Soesanto link to lawfareblog.com argues thus.” and “Ascertaining the legitimacy of the interim government in Kiev is quite tricky.”

  6. annie
    annie
    April 26, 2014, 1:38 pm

    the “debate” referenced in the article

  7. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    April 26, 2014, 2:27 pm

    “New York University is heavily invested in companies that profit from (and make possible) the occupation, which means we as NYU students have an obligation to demand our university divest from those companies. To name six:”…

    I count five. Who mischievously edited out the sixth, and what is it?

  8. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    April 26, 2014, 4:30 pm

    What leading everyday brands, products, vendors, etc. might individuals choose not to purchase or shop from as part of BDS? What is the best current list?

    What is the full rationale behind the campaign from the boycott (not divestment) standpoint?

    Would it be reasonable, for instance, to no longer make payments for Scarlett Johansson movies (at the theater, via streaming video, for DVDs)?

    Some names I’ve noticed mentioned:

    1. Ahava
    2. Body Shop
    3. Coca-Cola
    4. Dorot
    5. Estee Lauder
    6. HP (Hewlett-Packard)
    7. Intel
    8. L’Oreal
    9. McDonald’s
    10. Motorola
    11. Nestle
    12. Pampers
    13. Sabra
    14. Sara Lee
    15. SodaStream
    16. Tribe
    17. Victoria’s Secret
    18. Volvo

    Regarding the relentless flood of attacks by pro-Israel activists on many Americans and Europeans — might that behavior not encourage many consumers to exercise their free choice not to purchase the brands and products on this list?

    • libra
      libra
      April 27, 2014, 11:58 am

      Sean McBride: might that behavior not encourage many consumers to exercise their free choice not to purchase the brands and products on this list?

      Sean, far be it for me to critique your listing skills but I notice that Coca-Cola is at number 3. Before this has Mondoweiss cola drinkers rushing to switch to Pepsi, I think I should point out that PepsiCo through its Frito-Lay subsidiary is a 50% owner of Sabra at number 13.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 27, 2014, 12:57 pm

        libra,

        Sean, far be it for me to critique your listing skills but I notice that Coca-Cola is at number 3.

        It was at position 3 because it was part of an alphabetical, not prioritized list. I am just beginning to learn about this domain — trying to get it into focus.

        But that information you provided is precisely what I was looking for — I didn’t realize that PepsiCo was a major owner of Sabra.

        Here is the main question: are any Mondoweiss writers and commenters here boycotting any particular brands, products and vendors as part of BDS? Which ones in particular?

        How about you, libra? Have you changed your buying patterns over Israeli issues?

      • libra
        libra
        April 27, 2014, 6:55 pm

        Sean McBride: How about you, libra? Have you changed your buying patterns over Israeli issues?

        Not much Sean to be honest. I would avoid products like Ahava or Sodastream in any case on value and utility grounds. Avoiding Intel or Google because they have Israeli operations is impractical and plays into Israeli hasbara that they invent all key technologies. So it effects my buying on the margins.

        But I think BDS can be effective when targeted on specific companies who are the worst offenders and that in turn will make other companies think twice before investing in Israel. And as Israel becomes more widely recognised as an Apartheid state it will be easier to embarrass the senior management of companies such as Apple and Google, that like to portray themselves as socially progressive, for ‘investing in Apartheid’.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        April 27, 2014, 1:14 pm

        libra,

        Lists are precision tools for getting a handle on what is really going on in the world and identifying emergent strategic patterns. Essential elements of objective Big Data mining. They get you out of the realm of vague speculation and into a well-rounded view of particular and concrete facts.

        For instance, with regard to liberal Zionists, who are we really talking about?

        https://friendfeed.com/mondoweiss-on-friendfeed/18b40ee6/liberal-zionist-ops

        Let me know if you have any additions to the list.

      • libra
        libra
        April 27, 2014, 7:07 pm

        Sean McBride For instance, with regard to liberal Zionists, who are we really talking about?

        Sean, a list such as this is a useful resource – basic analytical material and supporting data but hardly analytical output. In this example, the real analysis is on the role of ‘liberal Zionism’ in the overall Zionist set-up. I know from many of your earlier posts that you clearly understand how this works. But when you sometimes publish lists of ‘right-wing’ Zionists and then at other times ‘liberal Zionists’ this crucial information gets lost. Lists are data, they need to be transformed into information with context for the average person to understand the big picture. You are much more effective when you do the latter.

  9. ckg
    ckg
    April 26, 2014, 4:30 pm

    Greta Van Susteren of Fox News interviewed Adkins at last night. (Video here: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/index.html#/v/3508157699001). Predictably, Greta Van Susteren interviews neither NYU SJP members nor university officials. This isn’t dialogue. It’s hasbara.

    Oh, then Greta spent 6 seconds condemning Clive Bundy’s comments.

  10. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    April 26, 2014, 8:42 pm

    Jews at colleges and universities (or others purporting to speak for them) seem often to say that the SJP-type activity makes them feel unsafe or intimidates them, or the like.

    I think it would be a remarkably good idea to challenge them, several of them, perhaps separated in different rooms at the time, to explain just in what way (or for what reason) they feel intimidated. Where does it happen? From what does the feeling spring? Get them to talk. If possible without coaching or cooperation in answering. Maybe a dean, or better, a post-trauma psychologist, could ask any students who claimed to feel intimidated to “come into her office at noon on Monday” to discuss it; if anyone came, the dean could separate those who came in and question them, kindly, about these matters, so they would not know what the others said.

    If all they can say is that allegations of crimes against Israel make them feel scared or intimidated, the dean can kindly tell them that people have said bad things about the USA and about other countries and that it is part of the political process, and to grow up and not feel personally attacked by it.

    If on the other hand they profess to feel personally attacked, then hear them out.

    What is unacceptable (to me) is allowing baseless assertions of harms without details, but which in our current political climate can have damaging effects on others (such as SJP).

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      April 26, 2014, 10:53 pm

      @Pabelmont

      Most political organizations on college campus don’t come anywhere close to violence against their fellow students. Let’s take a clear example of an incident

      My feeling is that there was an implied threat to Professor Alan Johnson by Joseph Loughnane is to stop speaking or he and mob he brought is going to get violent. His behavior only makes senses as a threat, but Loughnane is being careful not to make an explicit violent threat. When SJP gets investigated this is the sort of behavior that gets turned up. It is the kind of intimidation one typically sees with hate groups that are working up the nerve to get violent but haven’t done so yet. It is not the sort of behavior that is the norm for college political groups.

      The tone with regard to Israel is absolutely not part of the political process. People discuss North Korea, Somalia, Iran, Mongolia in a calm manner without any particular passion or desire to demonize. And I have to tell as someone who was in college at the height of the South Africa thing, I can think of one passionate encounter I ever had regarding South Africa. There were people who wanted divestment and people who wanted constructive engagement but there were 0 people even hinted that this disagreement should get violent, threatening or even disrespectful.

      That’s not what is going on here. Stop pretending this is about allegations of crime against Israel. When a trial witness gets a dead dog nailed to their front door as a message the proper procedure is not to have the police ask why they are so upset someone is making them wash a door. Your whole line of questioning is offensive and assumes that the threats aren’t real.

      The reason they feel threatened is because they are dealing with people who are far too emotional when discussing for them what should be a foreign policy issue of little consequence.

      • April 27, 2014, 7:40 am

        If they felt threatened they wouldn’t control the conversation. They would be cowed like the Muslims have been to a large extent until the past year of two

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        April 27, 2014, 10:38 am

        There was no threat of violence implied or otherwise. That you feel there was says far more about your biases and and lack of moral integrity than anything about the protesters. That’s not to say hey should have been swearing but still after seeing the video you just come across as whiny and frankly kind of a wimp. Your average pro athelete gets far whose things screamed at them on a daily basis. I can understand you don’t like your groups undue influence challenged but that doesn’t mean people are threatening violence.

      • lyn117
        lyn117
        April 27, 2014, 1:38 pm

        I was alive during the South Africa divestment campaign as well, and I distinctly remember having to evacuate a building because of a bomb threat, allegedly by anti-apartheid activists although I don’t think they ever found who phoned in the threat (there was no actual bomb either).

        As far as discussing Somalia or North Korea, I have heard very little discussion of those places that didn’t include demonization. Well I’m pretty much sympathetic to the demonization of the N. Korean regime, but on the other hand, I sometimes have to wonder.

        I couldn’t detect any implied threat to the pro-apartheid activist Alan Johnson in your video. To be sure, there’s a lot of passionate speech that drowns him out, but after all, when you hear a bunch of lies and distortions and demonizations of Palestinians such as he puts forth it does tend to make people angry.

        Lies & distortions put forth by Alan Johnson:
        1. Arabs have free speech in Israel. False. Neither do Jews. The military/government can censor anything – did you miss recent posts on agreement to such censorship by NY times columnist Jodi Rudoren?

        2. Israel is not an apartheid state. Rather a distortion. I suppose in recent years Israel has been trying to rebrand itself as a “multicultural” state, whether it makes up for its history of expelling non-Jews, confiscating land from non-Jews and reserving it for Jewish-only settlement and current, on-going policies of “Judaization” of e.g. the Galillee seems dubious. If they were not an apartheid state, they would allow the return of the Palestinian refugees on at least an equal basis of Jews. But they don’t, because they want Jews to dominate.

        Did you notice Alan Johnson’s advocacy of “two states for two peoples”? Perhaps it should tell you something.

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