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Amid ‘climate of fear’ at Vassar, president comes out against ‘action and protest’ re Israel

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Vassar President Catharine Hill, at this site

Vassar President Catharine Hill, at this site

Three weeks ago I did a piece on tensions at Vassar College over a class trip to Israel and Palestine whose itinerary struck many as oblivious of the occupation. The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter picketed the class in February, and a month later the college held an angry forum over that protest. People on both sides said they felt bullied. Days after that, the students left on their trip.

My piece got wide circulation because it said that the conflict was coming to the U.S. And truly, the issue continues to roil the campus.

In the last few days two pieces have been published at Vassar that suggest to me that the pro-Israel side of the discussion is winning: Vassar officials are characterizing angry protest of the trip and Israel as illegitimate.

One is a piece in the college paper by the two professors who led the trip, reporting on it and openly identifying themselves as supportive of Israel. They say that “a climate of fear has descended on campus.”

But before I get to that, more important is a statement by Vassar President Catharine Hill yesterday that takes the professors’ side. Hill seems fearful about the issue upending the campus. She celebrates the student trip to “Israel and the West Bank” and urges students to have civilized disagreement over Israel and Palestine, and not resort to “action and protest,” but “discussion.”

I have heard from many of you, on campus as well as alumnae/i and parents, who are concerned, as am I, about campus tensions stemming from different viewpoints about Israel and Palestine. I know that people have very deep feelings about these issues and emotions can be raw….

Some people will argue that action and protest are the only way to effect change at a particular moment in time at a particular place, that discussion will have little impact. At times that has and certainly will be true. But at Vassar our greatest strength is in the power of argument and reason….

We need to treat each other civilly and with respect.  If we don’t, we shut down and shut out important voices. People may then withdraw from the discussion. This is a loss of ideas and perspectives.

In offering “model” discussions of the conflict, Hill pointedly leaves out the tense March 3 meeting I attended and reported on. So a heated meeting about an important issue in which people say they feel intimidated should not take place at Vassar. Hill urges polite debate:

There also have been campus lectures on various sides of the issues related to Israel and Palestine in the past few weeks that happened with respectful disagreement but without disruptive conflict.

This is the part where Hill embraces the trip. No reference to Palestine.

Our International Studies course, the Jordan River Watershed, that included a recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, provided an opportunity for deep engagement and learning around some of the most contentious issues of our time. While there were and continue to be discussions on campus about what kinds of trips take place, I have been moved by comments from the students and faculty who made this trip. Instead of the monolithic opinions some expected to encounter among many in both areas, they found instead a range of viewpoints. Our students and faculty witnessed diverse groups working through intense, difficult discussions to find some understanding and even common ground. There can be no better learning experience. I hope that difficult conversations on campus can have the same impact on our students’ lives.

As I said, the two professors who led the trip have published a report on it, in the college paper. Rachel Friedman and Jill Schneiderman decry the protest against their class for casting them as privileged and allegedly racializing the issue. They also accuse the critics of sexism without explanation (I believe the reason is that the forum I attended was led by two men, and Schneiderman and Friedman felt they were its targets).

Interestingly, the professors say they come out of Jewish communities that are supportive of Israel (if also critical).

Excerpts of their article in The Miscellany News:

 We have, of course, followed the maelstrom of reactions to the trip. We, as the instructors of the trip, have personally been attacked from both left and right. In one account, we are “white settler colonialists” oppressing the Palestinians; in the other, we are “self-hating Jews” pursuing an “anti-Israel agenda.” In fact, people who made little, if any effort to examine the details of our course subject and itinerary have reduced us to stereotypical caricatures. If their narrative is that the two of us are bent on destroying Israel, it is because our support for many of the goals of Students for Justice In Palestine (SJP) and the Open Hillel movement seems irreconcilable with our involvement in our Jewish communities and support (albeit critical) of Israel. If their narrative is that we support a white colonialist regime in Israel, then perhaps they refuse to look at the ways in which we are committed to fighting injustice against Palestinians. Though unsurprised by these reactions, they sadden us, particularly as educators….

One especially vexing aspect of the criticism leveled at us is that it has been racialized. In early February, SJP students picketed our course causing some of our students to express feelings of harassment and intimidation upon entering the space of the classroom. We objected to the picket because of its negative effect on those who already felt beleaguered by ill-informed criticisms across campus for enrolling in the course.Discussing the picket during class, our students asked us to relay to administrators in the Dean of the College office and the International Studies program the request for a facilitated discussion between them and SJP members. Despite our repeated requests for such an intervention, none transpired.

Since then, our objection to the picket has been characterized by some members of the Vassar community as our use of white privilege to target students of color. If we and our students had been consulted before this conclusion was drawn, listeners would have learned that our students—many of whom belong to racial and ethnic minority groups—were as surprised as we were that the group of SJP protesters were characterized as being “of color.” Furthermore, it would have become clear that we supported the right of SJP students to protest in any number of ways, including ongoing tabling in the College Center, but not inside an academic building at our classroom door….

Many Vassar students and faculty have expressed their concern that over the last several years, a climate of fear has descended on campus. This fear was confirmed for them during the spectacle at the Open Forum that was held on March 3.

In our opinion, the rage unleashed disrespectfully at us at the forum has a gendered as well as a racial dimension.

I return to my original piece: the conflict is coming to the United States, and as it heats up, Catharine Hill’s hope for civil disagreement will be beside the point. Katie Miranda addressed that argument in a cartoon at our site, “Both Sides.” It compares the demands for civil dialogue on U.S. campuses with the oppression of Palestinians in our name. That’s why I think rage is inevitable, and maybe necessary. As Hill states herself sometimes action and protest are necessary. Why not in this case? We are talking about an intractable conflict that is intractable in some large measure because the U.S. government and liberal institutions and the official Jewish community are standing with an occupier that has created Jim Crow conditions for nearly 50 years (as countless northern institutions sided with the slave power in the 1850s). We have seen again and again that dialogue doesn’t affect the power arrangements one iota; it only allows supporters of the occupier to feel that they have atoned (we are critical too!) without doing a thing to address the structural inequity.

Thanks to Annie Robbins. 

Philip Weiss

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

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104 Responses

  1. American on April 12, 2014, 2:42 pm

    ”That’s why I think rage is inevitable, and maybe necessary. We are talking about an intractable conflict that is intractable in some large measure because the U.S. government and countless liberal institutions and the official Jewish community are standing with an occupier that has created Jim Crow conditions for nearly 50 years. We have seen again and again that dialogue doesn’t affect the power arrangements one iota; it only allows supporters of the occupier to feel that they have atoned (we are critical too!) without doing a thing to address the structural inequity.”….PW

    Amen.
    I dont remember who said… doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of stupid.
    But continuing the ‘farce’ of politely debating I/P is the perfect example of that.

    • CloakAndDagger on April 12, 2014, 4:05 pm

      @ American

      I dont remember who said… doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of stupid.

      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
      Albert Einstein

      • ToivoS on April 13, 2014, 12:55 am

        That quote is not from Einstein. Its earliest use was found in a narcotics anonymous handbook written in 1980.

      • ToivoS on April 14, 2014, 5:32 am

        cloak and dagger. Thanks for that. I think I know where this miss attribution comes from. Sorry, no link, but I remember reading something he once said that might be the reason for this erroneous quote. It was in an essay he once wrote. His words were a self criticism. It had to do with trying to solve a very difficult problem. He noted that when attacking a problem he often repeated the same approach that failed before. In order to rise above the problem, it was necessary to consider new approaches. There was nothing in his essay that could be captured in a pithy phrase nor did he call it insanity.

        The quote came from the NA handbook where I first heard it.

      • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 9:49 am

        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Emerson?

    • on April 13, 2014, 3:04 pm

      phil, you now,quite indeed, are entering the belly of the beast, and i’m glad your here leading us all.
      i stated myself weeks ago that i want to see mass protests and demonstrations in american universities all across the country ala the vietnam war era.
      the fake traitorous US politicians aren’t gonna do anything, they love all the bribes, free perks, trips, and whatever.its up to the people.
      i don’t remember the exact quote from physics but its as appropriate to human beings as well, about how to move a force it takes another force of equal or greater force.
      so LET IT HAPPEN!

  2. RudyM on April 12, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Maybe the climate of fear can be lifted with a musical interlude?

    • W.Jones on April 12, 2014, 3:55 pm

      What are you talking about? The deep guttural chanting in some weird foreign tongue, beating drums in strange rythms, wearing this nationalist headscarf, “haya haya”? Dancing around wildly. This is wildness, Rudy. Then there is spray painting? People jumping around? Wildness! And strange oriental clothes and barbed wire. It is no wonder the good people of Vassar express their concern.

      (joke)

      This is what I mean about perceptions. A person can observe something a make a perception that is factually valid on each part, and yet it has an effect of creating a perception that may be much different than the one those who were portrayed intended. Of course, that perception may not be wrong either.

      • Ellen on April 12, 2014, 11:55 pm

        Ignorance = fear. Fear X ignorance = irrationality.

        Irrationality = some really bad decisions.

        So we have American university presidents driven by ignorance and fear.

        No wonder the country is in a down slide.

        P.S. As I’ve learned through bitter experience: most all people (and especially those in powerful positions) are simply cowards.

      • W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 12:32 am

        Ellen,

        I heard that statistically people in power are more often sociopaths on power trips. Also, it sounds like you picked up on what I meant about perceptions when i made my satire.

    • annie on April 12, 2014, 7:12 pm

      needless to say, i loooove his new video.

  3. W.Jones on April 12, 2014, 3:14 pm

    Phil,

    As you know, the words one uses have a big effect on portraying an issue. If the activists are seen as “angry”, having “rage”, making “fear”, this is a different portrayal than being seen as “indignant”, “passionate”, articulate, zealous, etc. If we were talking about the civil rights era, the abolitionist era, or passionate activism during the time of opposing South Africa’s system, how would we wish to portray those activists?

    Some of the same kinds of debates are in play, as rights of an oppressed group are weighed and advocated against other interests, values, and belief systems.

    • philweiss on April 12, 2014, 3:27 pm

      I feel that this is the way of propaganda: when I begin to use nice words for the side I agree with and dismissive words for the other side. My best value here is as a reporter. These folks said they felt fear. Katie Miranda has astutely compared their fears to other people’s fears– people who have night raids. But that doesn’t mean I should ignore their words.

      • W.Jones on April 12, 2014, 6:11 pm

        You are right that your value is as a reporter, and you don’t need to ignore other people’s words. I think you are reporting what you felt and I notice that you felt rage was OK, so you are not unsympathetic. It is helpful and good writing that you describe how you feel.

        When someone goes to a meeting of people who are very involved in a human rights issue, whether it is the NLG or civil rights era NAACP or student rights organizations there is energy in the room. Arab and African American culture also has an unruly or turbulent side. I do think that white Americans and Europeans partly have a natural tendency to identify with Israelis because they can fit them better into models of European culture. Very many Israelis prefer the European style of culture too over others. Ironically, Palestinian culture should be much more naturally aligned to ancient Israelite culture than to almost all other cultures on the planet.

        Let me give an example. One time I attended a cultural event and there were many Middle Easterners. I felt out of place because they were dancing a middle eastern dance. A young lady near me, when I asked her, said she was not going to participate, because she was white. In my words to her, I also gave a hint of the differences between our culture and theirs. Her response actually made me react by joining in one of the dances myself, which I was able to fit into, although clumsily. She and I both had biases and predispositions that we were not aware of and thought were normal or neutral.

        The other thing, as you pointed out, is that your blog’s article about this topic was circulated. I believe this is something neat about your blog- it has a noteworthy readership, and an impact. Some people might get hesitant about that, but for you, there is still open speech about how you feel. This is also positive.

        Reporters are also like me and the girl in many ways, although some sources like Itar-Tass can be pretty dry. They do color their writing. The US news can refer to pro-EU indignant “protestors” in Kiev and an “angry mob” in eastern Ukraine. They have a choice of words that are synonyms yet have different connotations.

        You are free and should report how you feel, however the perceptions, impressions, and standpoint of the observer color one’s writing, and then affect a readership.

        Thank you for your writing.

        Regards.

      • annie on April 12, 2014, 7:16 pm

        Arab and African American culture also has an unruly or turbulent side. I do think that white Americans and Europeans partly have a natural tendency to identify with Israelis because they can fit them better into models of European culture.

        omg, there’s so much wrong with your comment i wouldn’t know where to begin.

      • W.Jones on April 12, 2014, 7:34 pm

        I think that when the professor shakes her head around and goes lalalala she is making fun of Arabs and is not reflecting a deep “climate of fear”. If she was actually scared of them, she would not be making fun of them in their faces. There is alot of cultural bias that people can have when it comes to third world cultures. Was there an “angry black man” portrayal that some people were trying to use to paint Rev. J. Wright onto Obama? Rev. Wright could have been portrayed as someone passionate about inequality instead.

        I am not saying to stifle one’s reactions, but it’s worth thinking about perceptions. I tend to think that if Edward Said were at Vassar he might have a different perception. Maybe I am being too harsh, which is not my intention. If so, forgive me.

      • W.Jones on April 13, 2014, 11:55 pm

        Annie,

        I have been to Middle Eastern cultural events and SJP events and they remind me of eachother, even when one takes out the politics. I like Middle East culture and I imagine ancient Israelite culture was like it. Actually, by definition it was a part of it.

        An outside observer coming to these events brings his/her own cultural standpoint. I think that this bias is reflected in the professor’s ridiculing of the students with “lalalalala”. However I think even a more sympathetic person, including myself, has his or her own biases that he/she brings. And I know Phil has sympathy for the students.

        I am sure you would have made a different report, Annie, than some other people would have, especially based on your comments throughout this thread. Everyone has his/her unique lens, and that is a good thing by itself.

        All the best.

      • Daniel Rich on April 12, 2014, 8:51 pm

        @ W.Jones,

        Q: There is a lot of cultural bias that people can have when it comes to third world cultures.

        R: Although I agree with your assessment of cultural differences [the ones that become clear in all its facets when you actually live/work in foreign countries], the thought of ‘3rd World’ doesn’t reflect the notion of ‘one planet.’

        That’s really a western expression and, imho, a very ugly one. It eludes from underneath a cloak of false superiority, where the king is as naked as anyone else. After 30 years of trotting around the globe, I’ve lost the pride I grew up with, because of the devastation I saw [mostly] everywhere.

      • Krauss on April 12, 2014, 8:05 pm

        Phil, side note, but do you follow Max’s Twitter feed? He tweeted a link to Caroline Glick’s crazed “campus brownshirts” column in Jpost. I didn’t see it until a few days ago. She heavily referenced your report from Vassar.

        Kind of interesting that this site is now being viewed as the center of anti-Zionism, which in many it is, but its profile has grown tremendously in the past few years to the point where Likudniks like Glick is now reading it, apparently.

        P.S. The latest interview with Remnick, someone I used to respect, with Greenfield at 92nd Y was a disaster. On domestic politics he is as sound as sound can be, but he kept retreating into the same old “liberal” Zionist alibi for neocons on foreign policy. Slamming Rand Paul as a “isolationist”, mere minutes after admitting he was wrong on Iraq(hilarious cognitive dissonance there), praising the neocon-ordered purge of the conservative movement (which was more or less related to foreign policy and their tendency to be even-handed to the Palestinians) etc etc.

        It’s easy to see him as a genius, if he is talking to Ari Shavit.

      • annie on April 12, 2014, 8:24 pm

        Kind of interesting that this site is now being viewed as the center of anti-Zionism, which in many it is, but its profile has grown tremendously in the past few years to the point where Likudniks like Glick is now reading it, apparently.

        this is from early 2012
        http://nymag.com/news/features/peter-beinart-2012-6/index4.html

        At Bard, I saw two female students literally clutching The Crisis of Zionism to their chests after Beinart had signed their copies. But while Beinart’s Army still exists, its future recruits may be more likely to come from the anti-Zionist wing of the American Jewish intellectual world.

        The hub of that world is the website Mondoweiss, which is run by Philip Weiss, a veteran journalist (and occasional New York contributor) who has largely put aside his career as a generalist writer to become an intellectual godfather to a coterie of younger anti-Zionist Jewish intellectuals, who don’t believe Israel must remain a Jewish state. In some ways, Weiss admires Beinart. “There’s a kind of nobility, or a romance anyway, in what he’s doing,” Weiss says. Though their current projects are of course incompatible—“My belief is we have to save Jews from Zionism,” Weiss says; “he thinks you can save Zionism”—Weiss holds out hope that one day they might not be. “The interesting question to me is, What is the crisis of Peter Beinart? Those of us in the anti-Zionist camp wonder if this rude reception, this bum’s rush he’s getting, is going to send him into our arms.”

      • seanmcbride on April 12, 2014, 8:46 pm

        Annie,

        Mondoweiss articles often rank among the top 10 hits for Twitter searches on Mideast topics these days. It has acquired considerable influence among the global cool crowd — vanguard thought leaders. I’ve noticed this trend increasingly in recent months.

        Most other sites/bloggers seem quite stodgy by comparison — bobbling in the wake. Phil’s writings are easily in the same select class with, say, Glenn Greenwald or Juan Cole. I actually prefer Phil’s essays to theirs much of the time. He’s definitely a spark plug.

      • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 9:58 am

        Glick is a heavy duty Zionist. She declares by fiat that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. That any criticism of Israel conduct or policy is ispo facto jew hatred.

      • W.Jones on April 12, 2014, 9:11 pm

        Black rage is all the rage again; you can’t turn on your television without hearing media moderators and their mirror-image experts – our ubiquitous fin de siecle experts – babbling on about the rage in the hearts of the black poor. Politicians echo the message, amplifying it and broadcasting it to an anxious nation.

        When these TV types speak of fear at all, it’s always white fear. Black rage, white fear: That’s the monochrome message, coming at us from our color TV sets, the stereotype of two communities, us and them.

        Some of the TV types are white, some black; it makes no difference. They all live outside the inner-city, and their message is the same: We’re afraid; they’re enraged, violent and vengeful, full of just fury, out to punish us for our sins and the sins of our fathers. The few inner-city voices we do hear, the strutting young men who pose for the cameras, embody the menace and reinforce the message. We are the community, they tell us; watch out.

        http://articles.philly.com/1992-05-06/news/26015505_1_rage-violent-minority-black

        The article goes on to say that actually it’s blacks who often fear crime.

      • John Douglas on April 13, 2014, 8:23 am

        What is this “climate of fear” fear of? It’s not violence. There have been no threats of that. Threats of loss of later jobs? Only the pro-Palestinian rights protesters have that potential to look forward to. Of expulsion? Ditto, only the protestors – see Northeastern U. No, it is none other than a fear of ideas. Or perhaps a fear of not being able to counter the ideas. A fear of having one’s mind changed by superior reasoning. So we have a college president objecting to speech (protests are protected speech) that might require her students to confront new ideas. Wonderful!! Of course what she is actually protecting is her donor base. Shameful.

        There is one other object of the fear in “climate of fear”. It is a terrifying fear of loss of the privilege of oppressing a people different from one’s own.

      • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 9:03 am

        Nonsense. Jewish students at Vassar are not oppressing anyone, and you have no basis upon which to conclude that they’re any more or less privileged than any other group of students at Vassar.

      • John Douglas on April 14, 2014, 8:28 am

        Every active Zionist, whether in Israel or some evangelical church or a student at Vassar is complicit in the oppression of a people.

  4. Jackdaw on April 12, 2014, 3:52 pm

    Phil has no kids of his own, so he has to glom on others.

    Sad.

    • chuckcarlos on April 12, 2014, 6:19 pm

      I am sorry your root canal didn’t go too well but am sure the second time will be better…

      either that or Mondoweiss has struck gold…the Motherlode….Eureka!

    • Daniel Rich on April 12, 2014, 11:00 pm

      @ Jackdaw,

      Q: Phil has no kids of his own, so he has to glom on others.

      R: To see a person with no honor berate a man who tries to make a difference, that’s very, very sad and the way you’ve chosen to execute it, is low. No, it’s not even low, it’s mean. Very mean.

  5. hophmi on April 12, 2014, 3:57 pm

    A. You’re completely misreading what she wrote. She didn’t write that there is no room for protest.

    B. Katie Miranda’s comparison was in no way honest. She compared the fears Jewish students feel on campus (fears she obviously could care less about) with the fears of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, when an honest comparison would have been the fears Jewish students feel on campus with the fears SJP members feel on campus.

    C. No one is dismissing the SJP. Joshua Schreier wrote an op-ed in the school newspaper that was essentially supportive of them.

    D. You yourself said the March 3 meeting made you feel uncomfortable.

    E. It’s clear that the SJP overreached by picketing a class. And by the way, this is not Jim Crow. The comparison is, as usual, ridiculous. If we’re in the business of protesting “Jim Crow” policies in other countries, there are a lot of places we could start with worse problems than Israel, including countries where Vassar has sent students on an International Studies trip and where Vassar has study abroad programs.

    F. If you were a real human rights activist, you would care about the plight of Jewish students on campus, instead of pooh-poohing the issue.

    • Krauss on April 12, 2014, 7:59 pm

      zzzzzzzzzzzz

      P.S. hilarious that hophmi, a defender of a Jewish supremacist ideology – and a follower of said ideology – is trying to lecture anyone on human rights.

      • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 10:10 am

        Yeah, hilarious, hophmi’s equation of American jews’ fear on US campuses with the daily fearful life of Palesstinians.

    • Daniel Rich on April 12, 2014, 8:54 pm

      @ hophmi,

      Q: …when an honest comparison would have been the fears Jewish students feel on campus with the fears SJP members feel on campus.

      R: Let’s build a wall around it…

    • seafoid on April 13, 2014, 1:56 am

      “And by the way, this is not Jim Crow. The comparison is, as usual, ridiculous. If we’re in the business of protesting “Jim Crow” policies in other countries, there are a lot of places we could start with worse problems than Israel, ”

      “They suck”.

      But complacency is the enemy of Zionist sustainability.
      Power thrives by adapting to changing reality and Israel can’t do it.

    • on April 13, 2014, 7:32 am

      Jewish student, indeed Jews in general, are afraid because they are raised to think the next Holocaust is around the corner. What other group would react to criticism of a foreign racist colonial settler state with fear for their own safety? They are not healthy

      • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 9:09 am

        What the hell do you know about Jewish students at Vassar
        were raised? I went to the school. Jewish students are not worried about the Holocaust. They’re worried about a self-righteous student activist group who regularly cross the line between activism and intimidation, and political activism and bigotry, with the blessing of several irresponsible professors on campus. You are clueless and callous. If it were your kids, maybe you’d feel differently.

      • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 12:59 pm

        Put through, please.

      • seafoid on April 13, 2014, 3:50 pm

        “They’re worried about a self-righteous student activist group who regularly cross the line between activism and intimidation, and political activism and bigotry”

        Is that Hillel ?

      • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 4:47 pm

        I know you think you’re clever, but no one has accused Vassar’s Hillel of anything. So your comment, as usual, is irrelevant.

      • seafoid on April 13, 2014, 5:12 pm

        Hoph

        you cross them and I’ll nod them in

      • Hostage on April 13, 2014, 5:32 pm

        no one has accused Vassar’s Hillel of anything.

        I take it you don’t read the Jewish Press or Lori Lowenthal Marcus much. See: Open Hillel at Vassar Because ‘Israel Haters Are People Too’ http://www.jewishpress.com/news/open-hillel-at-vassar-because-israel-haters-are-people-too/2014/02/20/

        If you aren’t complaining about these Kahanists creating a climate of fear, or spreading hate and discontent, then I can’t imagine who you are talking about.

      • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 5:39 pm

        Clearly, you don’t seem to get that Lori Lowenthal Marcus is not on campus, and BDS students who picket classes and shout down other students are.

      • Hostage on April 14, 2014, 3:43 pm

        Clearly, you don’t seem to get that Lori Lowenthal Marcus is not on campus

        You said that no one has accused Vassar’s Hillel of anything, but the Jewish Press obviously did. Why do you presume that none of their Kahanist readers are active on campus?

      • Ellen on April 13, 2014, 5:03 pm

        Ah Hoppy. Sounds like the worries are a lot of projection. I am sure the students can handle themselves.

        As for worries about bigotry? One cannot prevent it by worrying about such theoretical possibilities by suppression and repression. When bigotry rears an ugly head it is exposed and takes care of itself.

        Suppression of legitimate exchange or criticism just because it might bring the bigots out is no justification for repression.

        Imagine one could not criticize the failings of Catholic Church institution because it would bring out the bigots. How insane that would be. Like so what, deal with it.

      • hophmi on April 14, 2014, 10:47 am

        “Ah Hoppy. Sounds like the worries are a lot of projection. I am sure the students can handle themselves.”

        Projection is when SJP students picket a classroom, and you blame Hillel for it.

        “Suppression of legitimate exchange or criticism just because it might bring the bigots out is no justification for repression.”

        There has been no suppression at Vassar. The only suppression I’ve heard of is that of non-SJP voices, who were snapped at and shouted down when they tried to speak at an open forum.

        “Imagine one could not criticize the failings of Catholic Church institution because it would bring out the bigots. How insane that would be. Like so what, deal with it.”

        Yeah, imagine. So is the Catholic Fellowship at Vassar inviting pro-choice activists to speak? Or maybe people who have been at the forefront of bringing the Catholic Church’s worldwide coverup of child sexual abuse? How about people who condemn the long history of Church-sanctioned persecution of heretics, scientists, artists, Jews, and God knows who else? You should really call on them to be more open.

        The fact that you could compare the two says so much about what is wrong with the way that you think. The Catholic Church is a massive, beyond-wealthy organization with a long history of persecuting others, sanctioning colonialism, military adventurism, and God knows what else. It rid itself of official antisemitism only in 1964. It claims hundreds of millions of followers. Even today, it operates in a way that is shrouded in secrecy, and for the most part, it is barely scrutinized. And you compare this organization, which faces no real threat at all and is maybe 50 or 75 times the size of the entire Jewish world put together, to the Jews, who were the victims of Church persecution for hundreds of years, and are two generations removed from the Nazi Holocaust. You deal with it.

      • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 10:12 am

        Yeah, Jewish students at Vassar are really a victimized group of kids. LOL.

      • hophmi on April 14, 2014, 12:42 pm

        “Yeah, Jewish students at Vassar are really a victimized group of kids. ”

        Have you been up there? Please, detail the basis for your conclusion.

        “boo hoo zionists have intimadated anyone who doesn’t agree with them. ”

        Boo hoo, Vassar has an Open Hillel and Phil Weiss said he felt uncomfortable on campus. Boo hoo, boo hoo for you, because you’re wrong as usual.

      • Citizen on April 15, 2014, 10:04 am

        Everybody knows Vassar students come from the ghetto. LOL

      • pjdude on April 14, 2014, 12:03 pm

        boo hoo zionists have intimadated anyone who doesn’t agree with them. that their uncomfortable that someone’s coming back at them hard shouldn’t mean we put the velvet gloves back on.

  6. Sycamores on April 12, 2014, 3:59 pm

    Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) are gearing up

    Regarding the Vassar College IS-SJP Controversy

    Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a grass roots organization of over 30,000 academic members, expresses its great concern with recent events at Vassar College, growing out of a student and faculty response to the “International Studies 110” class (IS) which traveled over Spring break to Israel:

    For 25 years IS trips had been offered without dispute. Only this year did the issue of the propriety of visiting a specific country—in this case, Israel—become a topic of discussion and condemnation—led by Vassar’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

    SJP is very clear in its opposition to the Jewish state, and they regularly vilify Israel, Zionism, and supporters of Israel; SJP previously constructed a mock security wall on Vassar’s campus.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14777

    Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is an pro-Israeli non-profit international community network of academic scholars

  7. seafoid on April 12, 2014, 4:21 pm

    “Climate of fear” can only deteriorate.
    If Jewish identity is built around apartheid
    it is not going to be nice. Apartheid is a dirty business

  8. amigo on April 12, 2014, 4:27 pm

    Do not walk the walk!

    Talk the talk.

    That is just how the zio entity likes it.

  9. German Lefty on April 12, 2014, 5:04 pm

    OT: I am watching the German-French documentary “24h Jerusalem”. It airs from 6 a.m. today until 6 a.m. tomorrow. I find it quite interesting. I would say that the film is liberal Zionist. It wants to present both sides. A few German Jews who fled to Palestine from the Holocaust were interviewed. There was also an interview with a Nakba survivor from Lifta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifta
    However, the word “Nakba” wasn’t mentioned.
    Not sure if the videos can be watched outside of Germany/France, but you can try.
    http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/plus7/par_themes?name=Dokumentationen&value=DOC
    The interview with the Palestinian refugee starts in the 17h-18h segment.
    Apparently, there are a lot of Philippine caregivers in Israel. The rules regarding their work visas are very strict. They are only allowed to stay in Israel for 5 years. The work visa can be extended once until the old person dies. Then, they have to return to the Philippines and are not allowed to work for anyone else in Israel. If a Philippine caregiver gets pregnant in Israel, she has to send the baby to the Philippines when it is a few months old. From the documentary, I got the impression that the Philippine caregivers are actually treated like maids. For example, one caregiver had to bring an old woman a glass of tea or water although the woman was still perfectly capable of getting these things herself.

    • Bumblebye on April 12, 2014, 5:49 pm

      Guardian claims exclusive livestream (from 5am bst today) http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/apr/11/filming-24-hours-jerusalem-volker-heise

      • German Lefty on April 13, 2014, 9:21 am

        Guardian claims exclusive livestream
        Oh, really!? Then this must mean “exclusive in the UK”.

    • LeaNder on April 12, 2014, 6:09 pm

      I got the impression that the Philippine caregivers are actually treated like maids.

      That is exactly their job over here in Germany. Here they usually are from Poland or Romania. They get a room for free and you pay from 1.800 to 3.000 € a month. No idea how much of it they get themselves. It’s done via agencies that obviously take their share.

      They aren’t trained in geriatric nursing. You need extra people for that. So your impression they are treated as if they were maids is quite correct, since that is exactly what they are hired for. No doubt with differences in treatment depending where they wind up. In the context of such a documentary what you see may be influenced by the people making it. The bringing of a drink could possibly serve to visualize their job is in a simple way. The moment you enter a scene with a camera you change it, not only that, but occasionally you also suggest special actions that express something.

      I looked into the issue for my parents. But I am of the opinion, as long as they can, they should stay as active as possible. According to the experiences in Japan in a special village, where a community of elders started a business together, its not bad for old people to stay active.

      My parents have someone helping in cleaning, its a big house and thus much work, but my mother still does all the cooking herself with 86 and so far needs no further help, but that may change soon.

      • German Lefty on April 13, 2014, 9:19 am

        They aren’t trained in geriatric nursing.
        In the documentary, they were called “Altenpfleger”. And such people are supposed to do things that you can’t do yourself anymore.

      • LeaNder on April 14, 2014, 8:49 am

        German Lefty, I have been involved in work around such documentary projects. I would warn you about the one-to-one reality reliability. That’s all. Occasionally things aren’t communicated correctly and you simply assume matters or words that come to mind, since you have no idea about the context. OK, I haven’t seen it. Just as you shouldn’t rule out interference from people involved in the larger production. That’s all.

        But strictly–and that is the reason I responded–it reminds me of a former co-worker, who related what a friend, who worked in the Jewish retirement home here in Cologne, had told her. She didn’t meet the people, mind you. But she apparently was quite able to deduct from the experience of her friend. “That ‘all’ these people are greedy”.

        I have no idea who you are. But if you would have a job like that somewhere, do you think you would get pregnant under these conditions? Without at least the hope for a secure relationship, which wouldn’t result in the scenario you paint.

        Look I am female too and have seen all type of troubles concerning the execution of the ultimate female power via the womb in my life. That may be why I am slightly hesitant about at least that example too. If you feel solidarity, since you ponder if you at one point could use this power: Good luck. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it don’t. But I would always like to hear all sides in this context. What would be the procedure in Germany, do you know. Would the mother and child be allowed to stay here? Can the child stay if the mother works? Do you know? Do you care to know?

      • German Lefty on April 14, 2014, 5:08 pm

        But if you would have a job like that somewhere, do you think you would get pregnant under these conditions?
        Well, I could. You can’t anymore ;-)
        Two Philippine caregivers were interviewed. They said that they have one day off per week. That’s sufficient to get pregnant, don’t you think? They also reported that one of her friends, another Philippine caregiver, got pregnant in Israel twice. She had to send her first baby to the Philippines when it was six months old and her second baby when it was only one month old.

        What would be the procedure in Germany, do you know. Would the mother and child be allowed to stay here? Can the child stay if the mother works? Do you know? Do you care to know?
        I am not familiar with the legal situation in Germany. However, I highly doubt that it is like in Israel. The circumstances are not comparable any way. The problem that I have with Israel’s treatment of immigrants is the double standard. Israel is a country that was founded by immigrants. So, how dare they treat other immigrants in such a hostile way?

  10. Donald on April 12, 2014, 5:35 pm

    “We have seen again and again that dialogue doesn’t affect the power arrangements one iota; it only allows supporters of the occupier to feel that they have atoned (we are critical too!) without doing a thing to address the structural inequity.”

    This is unfortunately true. My impression is that the advocates of “dialogue” seem to be most passionate about this at the precise moment when the pro-Palestinian side is making its voice heard. What were these advocates of “dialogue” doing when the propaganda war was entirely in Israel’s favor within the US? That’s most of the time, but for instance, after the Camp David/Taba talks led nowhere, the US political and pundit class almost universally put all the blame on the Palestinians. That would have been an ideal time for all liberal Zionist advocates of a 2SS to have stood out and said “Wait, this is BS. If we’re serious about a 2SS, we can’t go along with this charade.” A few did this, but most didn’t.

    With a few exceptions (Slater, for instance), I don’t think most advocates of “dialogue” and a 2SS give a crap about the 2SS. For the majority of them, what counts is that Israel have US support no matter what. Everything is about process and civility and ultimately it’s just supposed to provide cover for Israel and make Israel supporters feel good about themselves and reassured about US support. If the Palestinians also get a state, fine, but it’s not a priority.

  11. weareone on April 12, 2014, 5:40 pm

    If anyone is interested, here is a list (I think it may be partial at this point as it was posted 12/13) of universities whose presidents rejected the ASA boycott of Israeli institutions. I’ve contacted the president’s offices of several of these schools to express my support for the boycott and for academic freedom.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/12/list-of-universities-rejecting-academic-boycott-of-israel/

    • Kay24 on April 12, 2014, 11:16 pm

      That is one long interesting list. It seems most of the ivy league colleges are biased, and ignore human rights violations by Israel.

      I noted that Princeton University is also one who defends Israel at this point.
      One notable official at Princeton, ex US Congress person, Jane Harman, was linked quite openly to AIPAC:
      Wikipedia:
      “2009 Wiretap/AIPAC Allegations[edit]
      In 2009, it was revealed NSA wiretaps reportedly intercepted a 2005 phone call between Harman and an agent of the Israeli government, in which Harman allegedly agreed to lobby the Justice Department to reduce or drop criminal charges against two employees of AIPAC in exchange for increased support for Harman’s campaign to chair the House Intelligence Committee.[9] The NSA transcripts reportedly recorded Harman ending the phone call after saying, “this conversation doesn’t exist.”[10] It was reported that Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General at the time of the phone call, blocked Justice Department lawyers from continuing the investigation into Harman (in spite of the alleged crime) because the Bush administration “needed Jane” to support of their warrantless wiretapping program, which was soon to be revealed to the public by the New York Times.[11]

      Harman denied the allegations, and called for the government to release the full transcript of the wire-tapped conversation.[10] In June 2009, Harman received a letter from the Justice Department declaring her “neither a subject nor a target of an ongoing investigation by the Criminal Division.”[12]

      Most probably there are scores of Israeli loyalists deliberately placed in positions of prominence, to continue the devotion, support, and protect, the brutal occupier.

      They continue to do AIPAC’s bidding in all American institutions.

  12. wondering jew on April 12, 2014, 6:36 pm

    The place for protests are not in the buildings with classrooms. Outside the buildings with classrooms or at and in the administration building, yes. But inside the classroom buildings, no.

    • Donald on April 12, 2014, 6:38 pm

      “The place for protests are not in the buildings with classrooms. Outside the buildings with classrooms or at and in the administration building, yes. But inside the classroom buildings, no.”

      That’s a fair point.

      • tree on April 12, 2014, 6:51 pm

        That’s a fair point.

        How so? What makes a building with classrooms sacrosanct in your view, Donald?

      • Donald on April 13, 2014, 8:30 am

        “What makes a building with classrooms sacrosanct in your view”

        The presence of altars and the blood of all the sacrificed animals, mostly.

        It’s not the physical location, but the idea of disrupting a class that I think is wrong. I don’t think students going to class should have to be subjected to protests. I took one or two classes in my college days that had material I found objectionable and still do–it’s what college is about. One was introductory economics, with its idiotic supply and demand curve free market BS that “proved” minimum wage laws cause unemployment. The model is oversimplified, leaves out power relationships, and is clearly and conveniently designed to channel one’s thoughts in a certain way and in my opinion, does a huge amount of damage, but I don’t think protests that disrupt classes are the way to handle this. The student can raise objections within the classroom setting in a civil way, and the professor should allow this without penalty or intimidation, or protest in the student paper or organize protests on campus, but classes shouldn’t be disrupted.

      • puppies on April 13, 2014, 12:36 am

        @Donald – “Fair”? last I heard this it was in a report of a discussion on WW2 Germany. Not even the Turkish military dictatorship dared enforce such a thing.
        Universities may be private businesses in our blighted, unfortunate desert of a country, but theoretically they still are places where one goes to enquire about and discuss everything with no limits, hence the name universitas. It is not, contrary to habitual practice, where you send your brat to get indebted for life trying to learn how to screw a screw to the proper hole.
        Oxymorons like “Christian University” or “Medical University” would be laughed out of the room among anyone who gets it. Even worse is a university where classrooms are kept sterile from disruption and discussion. Something a Zionist or otherwise fascist mind is perfectly capable of imagining, of course.

      • Donald on April 13, 2014, 9:06 am

        “Even worse is a university where classrooms are kept sterile from disruption and discussion.”

        Discussion and disruption are two different things. Students have the right to oppose their professor in class in a civil way–if the professor won’t allow it then the professor is acting against the ideals of a university. And protests in general are fine–I just don’t think they should occur in a way that disrupts a class.

        Otherwise, of course, fundamentalist students can disrupt biology classes where evolution is taught. And so on. One can go too far with civility and not allow any protests anywhere, but if classes can be disrupted then every group with an issue will start doing it.

      • eljay on April 13, 2014, 9:34 am

        >> Donald @ April 13, 2014 at 9:06 am

        Well said.

      • puppies on April 13, 2014, 12:44 pm

        @Donald – Disruption consists in a civil enough deviating from the scheduled “lesson” flow onto a discussion that may appear more timely to a portion of the assistance (which can then adjourn to outside the classroom or, given a majority approval, discuss the newly introduced problem.) It happens often in old-fashioned university that is guaranteed from external intervention; used to lead to occupations of universities, etc. Of course it is disappearing. The objection is really to the statement, so often heard in the US “The place for protests are not in the buildings with classrooms” to which you agreed.

      • Donald on April 13, 2014, 1:36 pm

        Puppies–I don’t understand what you’re saying. I backed away from my original statement about the location of the protest–there’s nothing sacred about buildings, and narrowed it down to whether or not a class should be disrupted, which is my real concern. Lots of classes in college have implications that others may not like, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes not. Establishing a principle that it’s okay to disrupt a class because one doesn’t like what is being taught seems like a bad idea to me. Protest in some other way.

        Eljay–thanks.

      • puppies on April 13, 2014, 2:21 pm

        @Donald, that’s right, you recalibrated and I apologize for missing that. However, what I was saying about the kind of civil disruption I’m used to does not concern a specific class or a specific teaching –it is usually about the society we live in, or sectorial problems of students and faculty, etc. I taught for many years in both Europe and here, following obviously a stint as a student; over there in public universities you get accustomed to monthly or more frequent disruptions because of some general problem, important to a portion of the people; there may be low interest in which case the disrupters and their following adjourn elsewhere, or majority interest, in which case the class stops and becomes a general discussion of the problem at hand and may be followed by action up to occupation of the university, etc. Not a biggie and not a law and order problem as long as it is inside the university. None of that over here, though, except in 1968-72, when there still was university freedom, now RIP.
        A good thing? Well, if it is to answer a call to the vocation of “university” instead of a trade school, not only good but essential. Only so can people keep questioning and keep participating critically in their polity.

  13. Daniel Rich on April 12, 2014, 8:34 pm

    Q: They say that “a climate of fear has descended on campus.”

    R: That’s why ‘they’ need new laws and ever stringent rules to weed out any dissenting voices in order to ‘erase the climate of fear’ by injecting everlasting silence.

    You gotta love those guys… Every single time, the same ff-ing MO.

    • Sibiriak on April 13, 2014, 12:48 am

      Anti-Zionism makes me feel very uncomfortable and fearful. The sight of a Palestinian flag produces intense anxiety.

      • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 10:25 am

        @ Sibiriak
        As a life-long born American, I say that the sight of an Israeli flag produces intense anxiety. When the US flag and the Israeli flag are combined in a symbol, I nearly have a heart attack.

    • seafoid on April 13, 2014, 6:43 am

      I wonder who came up with the “climate of fear” meme.
      Finkelstein demolished a close relative of it in his famous Waterloo presentation.

      Zionism still tries to hide behind historic Jewish suffering and vulnerability to excuse oppression and the abuse of power in the Territories.

      Jewish weakness/success and vulnerability/impunity – they have played the game so successfully for so long by liberal slinging of the anti-Semitism slur but the war has now landed in the US and they are running out of ammunition.

      The 1967 Kerner Report about the chaos of the late 60s when black rather than Palestinian rights were in play is fascinating when read in the context of today’s crisis of Zionist credibility.

      http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6545/

      “What white Americans have never full understood – but what the Negro can never forget- is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it and white society condones it”

      Substitute “Jewish” for “White” and “Palestinian” for “Negro”.

      LBJ had 3 questions

      What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again?

      Zionism cannot ask those questions. It is too fragile.

  14. Rusty Pipes on April 12, 2014, 9:12 pm

    CC to President Hill, Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

    • ritzl on April 12, 2014, 9:43 pm

      Yep. Perfect example. Amazing. King’s universal observations of movement politics are becoming more and more impressive. He really recognized “the way things work” and shared that recognition so thoughtfully.

      So sad for what might have been.

      • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 12:56 pm

        King was in a jail, imprisoned for leading a march for civil rights in the South. No one is jailing Vassar students. It is not remotely the same situation.

      • Ellen on April 13, 2014, 5:12 pm

        Hop, fearful Zionists feigning intimidation and harassment, and a “climate of fear” when faced with voices they do not want to hear are setting the judicial stage to have Vassar (and other) students charged and jailed.

        You know that.

      • hophmi on April 14, 2014, 10:36 am

        “Hop, fearful Zionists feigning intimidation and harassment”

        The students at Vassar are feigning? Do you have evidence that they’re feigning? Please list the facts you have to support that viewpoint. Even Phil admitted that he felt uncomfortable by the atmosphere he encountered at Vassar.

        “setting the judicial stage to have Vassar (and other) students charged and jailed.”

        Oh please, no one is being charged or jailed. Just stop it already. Hell will freeze over before that happens at Vassar.

      • ritzl on April 13, 2014, 7:40 pm

        hophmi, the Vasser President was urging moderation in the face of ongoing violent repression. Actual, violent repression of SJP family members, if some of the Vasser SJP are Palestinian. While it may not be an identical situation surrounding the actual writing, this exhortation to moderation by Hill is exactly the same dynamic King described.

        And what Ellen said.

      • Rusty Pipes on April 15, 2014, 9:18 pm

        King was writing to white “moderate” pastors who had urged him to engage in dialogue rather than leading BDS actions which they considered provocative:

        My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

        I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

        You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

        I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle–have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as “dirty nigger-lovers.” Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful “action” antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.

        But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

        I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: “Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother.” In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.” And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

  15. RoHa on April 13, 2014, 9:15 am

    “A climate of fear”

    She should tells us exactly who is afraid, and exactly what they are afraid of.

  16. a blah chick on April 13, 2014, 9:52 am

    ” …at Vassar our greatest strength is in the power of argument and reason…We need to treat each other civilly and with respect.”

    As I read her comments I kept getting this image of Ms Hill sitting around a table with her gals drinking tea from real china cups (pinky extended) and telling the yardman to get those nasty kids off her lawn.

    • hophmi on April 13, 2014, 1:06 pm

      No, a blah chick, it was actually the kids in the class and their professors who told those nasty kids to go away, not President Hill. People seem to keep missing that point.

  17. weareone on April 13, 2014, 11:04 am

    “Most probably there are scores of Israeli loyalists deliberately placed in positions of prominence, to continue the devotion, support, and protect, the brutal occupier.

    They continue to do AIPAC’s bidding in all American institutions.”

    Thanks, Kay24. I agree. I have often wondered how university presidents and so many others in positions of power (many of whom seem to identify themselves as liberals and people of conscience, as president of a small liberal arts college identified himself when I spoke with him), are so callously able to disregard the cruel effects of their choices where oppression of other is concerned.. What lies must they tell themselves in order to justify their support for Israel? What price have they paid for the pittance of worldly position and a few pieces of silver tossed at their feet in contempt by Zionists?

    imho, it seems pretty simple (maybe because I’m a simple minded person). If everyone who calls himself a Jew lived by the laws of Moses and the Hebrew prophets (love God, love neighbor as self, no killing, no stealing, no coveting etc.), if anyone who calls himself a Christian followed the same commandments and tried to model his life on the teachings of Jesus (ie.ask himself-would Jesus do this), if a Hindu lived in accordance with the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and a Muslim in accordance with the teachings of the Koran, and an atheist lived as a moral atheist, it seems to me that not only Zionism, but also many of the world’s problems would vanish.
    To paraphrase the words of a great Indian sage, if all the prophets and sages of the worlds religions were together in one room, there would be no disharmony or disagreement, because they are in essence all saying the same thing.

    • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 10:31 am

      Zionists are not in harmony with “all the world’s prophets and sages of the world’s religions.”

  18. Sumud on April 13, 2014, 2:53 pm

    We have seen again and again that dialogue doesn’t affect the power arrangements one iota; it only allows supporters of the occupier to feel that they have atoned (we are critical too!) without doing a thing to address the structural inequity.

    This is critical to understand – dialogue is Israel’s “peace process” for the rest of us…

    • seafoid on April 13, 2014, 3:49 pm

      The only way to stop Zionism is to apply sufficient power to make the occupation uneconomic.
      That is the rationale of BDS.

      • lysias on April 13, 2014, 5:26 pm

        And it worked with South Africa. Not because BDS in and of itself crippled the South African economy. But because it led to a climate of opinion where a lot of businesses found it impossible to continue to support apartheid South Africa.

      • German Lefty on April 13, 2014, 6:21 pm

        The only way to stop Zionism is to apply sufficient power to make the occupation uneconomic.
        Zionism is more that just the occupation.
        Regarding the costs of the occupation, there’s an interesting talk by Shir Hever.

  19. weareone on April 13, 2014, 5:20 pm

    @Sumud
    I understand your point, but it seems to me that dialogue and activism are complementary. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that many anti-Zionists who post on this site are also activists in their private lives, in whatever way possible for them. I think dialogue on this site is very helpful in exposing the lies and secrets of Zionsim, as well as counteracting the disinformation of MSM. imho dialogue does not preclude activism and visa versa.

    • Sumud on April 16, 2014, 9:29 am

      weareone ~ I’m not opposed to face-to-face dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, it’s essential – but it has to come at the right time. Organisations like B’Tselem and ICAHD are wonderful and I support them 100%.

      The point Phil makes is that some zionists seem to think their moral duties are discharged once they have heard how terrible life is in Palestine. It isn’t.

      To use the sexual assault metaphor – first priority is to stop the assault and make the victim safe. True reconciliation – I suggest in the form of a South Africa-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission – cannot begin occur until the assault has ended.

  20. lysias on April 13, 2014, 5:25 pm

    New book on the complicity of Northern U.S. universities in slavery: Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.

    For women professors to say that complains against them are sexist is just like pro-Israel activists saying protests against them are anti-Semitic.

  21. American on April 13, 2014, 8:11 pm

    3 dead after shootings at Kansas City-area Jewish centers
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/13/us/kansas-jewish-center-shooting/

    CNN) — Three people were killed Sunday in shootings at two Jewish facilities near Kansas City, police said.
    But it’s too soon to say whether the shootings were a hate crime, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told reporters.
    “It’s too early in the investigation to try to label it. We know it’s a vicious act of violence. Obviously, at two Jewish facilities, one might make that assumption, but we’re going to have to know more about it,” he said.
    The shootings occurred at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas, and at the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood, Kansas.
    Authorities arrested the suspect at a nearby elementary school after the shootings, Douglass said.”>>>>>>>

    Whatever the man’s motive, why do these freaks go after the children? Why…why , why?

    • Citizen on April 15, 2014, 10:13 am

      The suspect killed three Gentiles, and wanted to know why the Jews can have a racist state, but not white Christians?

  22. Kathleen on April 13, 2014, 9:38 pm

    “action and protest” are absolutely necessary.

  23. pabelmont on April 14, 2014, 7:47 am

    Phil: follow-up reporting:

    If the trip happened, what happened during the trip? Whom did they talk to, what did they see? Was it basically a white-wash (“La-la-la-la, isn’t Israel wonderful?”) or was it a deep exploration of inequalities within the societies of Israel and/or under occupation, or both; and modes of governance?

    We need to know what happened. We need to know if Vassar was instrumental in determining, in advance, what happened, including choosing the professors who led the trip. Were there other professors, with other POV, that could have led the trip? Did Israel dictate the itinerary?

    • Citizen on April 14, 2014, 10:32 am

      Yeah, what did Vassar’s leadership wrought?

    • ritzl on April 14, 2014, 6:35 pm

      +1

    • piotr on April 14, 2014, 7:47 pm

      One can actually read the description of the trip with the narrative of the organizing professors. It was definitely not a white-wash.

      If I was inclined to disparage them, I would call it grey-wash. Oh, it is soo complicated, every stone has at least two narratives, good folks try to eschew extremes and work toward mutual understanding, but so pitifully few of them – even so, we will meet them. But I think it is OK for an educational trip for undergrads.

  24. seanmcbride on April 14, 2014, 1:33 pm

    hophmi,

    The Catholic Church is a massive, beyond-wealthy organization with a long history of persecuting others, sanctioning colonialism, military adventurism, and God knows what else.

    Why is everyone always picking on the poor Roman Catholics? Why are there so many Roman Catholic-haters out there?

    Joking. Say whatever you like about the Roman Catholic Church or Christianity in general — much of what you say may be true. You will probably not be verbally abused or molested by morally outraged Catholics or Christians who are always spoiling for a fight with their enemies.

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