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Kristof says Stephen Hawking and American Studies Association support Hamas

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Kristof

Nicholas Kristof has another New York Times column on the conflict: “Who’s Right and Wrong in the Middle East?”

It’s easy to miss, but he makes the following statement in paragraph six:

“Hamas sometimes seems to have more support on certain college campuses in America or Europe than within Gaza.”

There are three links in this sentence. “On certain college campuses in America” leads to:

“U.S. academic group votes to boycott Israeli universities” — a Washington Post story on the vote last December by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli schools.

“or Europe” leads to:

“Stephen Hawking Joins Boycott Against Israel,” a New York Times story on the scientist’s decision to boycott an Israeli scientific conference on advice of Palestinian colleagues.

Hamas, really? All these folks acted because of human-rights abuses in Palestine.

Donald Johnson offers this open letter to the columnist:

You mean well, and what you say contains some valid points–in particular, that innocent people on both sides are hurt by the malicious acts or violence of people on the other side. And for once, and this is rare in American punditry, you mention the blockade and its harmful effects on Palestinians.

Unfortunately, all of your explicit condemnations are aimed at people on the Palestinian side–for instance, you take a swat at the stereotypical target of college students and don’t say one word about AIPAC or how there is nearly unanimous bipartisan support in Congress for everything Netanyahu does–he received 29 standing ovations when he spoke there. As for our President, he empathizes with victims of Hamas rocket fire and says nothing in condemnation of Israeli violence. Neither do you.

You condemn rock throwing more than Israeli killing of civilians, and claim that Israel tries not to hurt civilians. You mention the killing of civilians, but only as part of Israel unfortunately choosing to “defend itself” against aggression, though the reality in many cases, such as the 1982 invasion, is that Israel was the aggressor. Israel apologists commonly claim Israel can’t be targeting civilians, because if they were they could be killing everyone in Gaza (1.5 million) or tens of thousands (which they actually did in 1982 Lebanon), but the same could be said of most repressive regimes. Israel shoots protesters, it shoot farmers and fishermen during ceasefires, and obviously some of the current killing looks remarkably like deliberate killing of civilians, though with Israel’s refusal to do honest investigations there is no way to tell.

What happens in the American press, including this column, is that the slate is wiped clean as soon as an Israeli is murdered–and acts of violence against Palestinians that occurred immediately before go down the memory hole. So the shooting of unarmed non-rock-throwing Palestinians in May was reported, but it has gone down the memory hole. Why is that, Mr. Kristof? Why can you so clearly see the sins of people on college campuses (some of whom know far more about the situation than you seem to) and are blind to your own?

Finally, you endorse the blockade on Gazans–the lifting of the embargo is conditional on control being returned to the PA. So would you suggest doing the same to Israel until the illegal occupation ends? No, you wouldn’t. It would never occur to you to hurt Israeli civilians with a draconian blockade.

 

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About Philip Weiss

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

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23 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    July 20, 2014, 12:22 pm

    Wasnt it someone who praised kristhof the other day at Mondoweiss?

    • quercus
      quercus
      July 20, 2014, 6:43 pm

      Yes, someone did, which surprised me, because he is a typical, nonsense-spouting, no-nothing, pseudo journalist, worried about keeping his job.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    July 20, 2014, 12:35 pm

    Hamas’ s demands are so reasonable. Israel is nuts.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    July 20, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Kristof needs
    1 a lobotomy
    2 a haircut

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      July 20, 2014, 2:13 pm

      3 a heart

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        July 20, 2014, 2:30 pm

        4 a plane ticket to Israel and taxi money to the Erez Crossing. A few weeks in Gaza would force him back to earth.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        July 20, 2014, 2:57 pm

        5 a rubber bullet in the behind because, well, they’re made out of rubber and don’t even hurt, right?

  4. Donald
    Donald
    July 20, 2014, 12:45 pm

    I want to apologize for one part of my piece, which upon re-reading I think I should have written more carefully–

    “As for Israel not trying to kill civilians, Israel refrains from killing vast numbers or as many as it could, but the same could be said of most repressive regimes.”

    What I meant there was that Israel apologists commonly claim Israel can’t be targeting civilians, because if they were they could be killing everyone in Gaza (1.5 million) or tens of thousands (which they actually did in 1982 Lebanon) or whatever. So that’s what I was thinking of when I said “vast numbers”. But I winced when I read it just now–hundreds of civilians have been killed and I strongly suspect some of them quite deliberately. Very bad wording on my part and I apologize for it.

    Phil, if there is some way to stick this in as an update to the post that’d be great. If not, well, it’s here at least.

    • annie
      annie
      July 20, 2014, 2:08 pm

      donald, send an email to phil and/or adam w/the subject line ASAP:edit. and then change the wording however you want. in the meantime i’m updating now w/your words here.

  5. American
    American
    July 20, 2014, 12:46 pm

    You would think Kristof wouldnt have any questions or trouble saying Israel is the guilty one–given what his father, born Wladyslaw Krzysztofowicz, in Romania lost to invaders.

    http://archive.today/FOHb5

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    July 20, 2014, 12:48 pm

    Eventually, way to long for my view, Dick and Jane will see that they’ve been funding and supporting otherwise an ethnocentric state that is far removed from US values centering on equal rights and opportunity for a good life. What’s good for the Jews in Israel is not anything like what’s good for the Jews in America. Why? Because Israel is an ethnocentric state and acts accordingly. It’s also an expanding settler state in the 21st Century, and this is not a good example for the contemporary world.

  7. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    July 20, 2014, 12:49 pm

    I commented elsewhere on the MW website about Kristof’s chronic inability to get his facts straight.

    Click here and scroll down.

    Enjoy!!

    It sure doesn’t take much to be NYT columnist!!

  8. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    July 20, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Every bullet, every bomb in this conflict has Zionism as its starting point. Arguments about proportionality, two sides, terrorism, painful compromises, the Holocaust, etc. should start with demanding a defense of Jewish supremacy on its “merits”. Enough with the boundaries of polite society wrt Zionism. Instead of asking Sen. Chris Murphy how he feels about Palestinian children killed in Gaza, ask him why American tax payers should pay for a purified, exclusive, racist Jewish State.

  9. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    July 20, 2014, 1:03 pm

    Would he not speak of the Bible and prophecies? He might go on for hours.

  10. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 20, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Should we blame Aipac for the carnage in Gaza? Quite possibly.

  11. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    July 20, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Abolitionists like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison didn’t condition the imperative of abolishing slavery on determining whether or not slave owners kept the leg irons too tight. Abolish Zionism! Emancipate Palestinians!

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      July 20, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Or whether there were “good” masters. All are bad. Everything the state of Israel stands for is bad.

  12. Pat Kittle
    Pat Kittle
    July 20, 2014, 2:55 pm

    War crimes tribunals for these neo-con chicken-hawks can’t come soon enough.

  13. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    July 21, 2014, 1:26 am

    I doubt Stephen Hawking needs to worry about whether, or not, Kristof thinks.

    (not a typo)

  14. Donald
    Donald
    July 21, 2014, 8:20 am

    Just found out about this tweet, which summarizes the criticism of Kristof in one pithy remark and makes my post unnecessary–

    Even Gandhi would have punched you in the face

  15. Talkback
    Talkback
    July 21, 2014, 10:05 am

    Kristof says Stephen Hawking and American Studies Association support Hamas

    And Kristof supports state terrorism and Apartheid.

  16. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    July 22, 2014, 12:38 am

    RE: What happens in the American press, including this column, is that the slate is wiped clean as soon as an Israeli is murdered–and acts of violence against Palestinians that occurred immediately before go down the memory hole. So the shooting of unarmed non-rock-throwing Palestinians in May was reported, but it has gone down the memory hole. Why is that, Mr. Kristof? ~ Donald Johnson

    MY COMMENT: I wonder how much progress Israel has made in the “thorough and transparent investigation” the US State Department said it expects Israel to make* into the videotaped shooting/murder by the Israeli military of the two Palestinian teenagers during the Nakba Day protests outside Ofer prison in the West Bank back on May 15 (more than two months ago).

    * SEE – “US to Israel: Investigate killing of Palestinian teens”, by Yitzhak Benhorin, ynetnews.com, 5/21/14
    Following release of footage documenting killing of two Palestinians near Ramallah, US State Department spokesperson says US expects Israel to ‘conduct a thorough and transparent investigation’.
    LINK – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4521979,00.html

    P.S. As to the question of why the shooting of unarmed non-rock-throwing Palestinians in May was reported, but has since gone down the memory hole, my theory is that the mainstream/corporate “journalists” in this country all suffer from ADHD-PI (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Predominantly Inattentive), sometimes also known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

  17. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    July 22, 2014, 12:52 am

    RE: “Finally, you [i.e., Kristof] endorse the blockade on Gazans–the lifting of the embargo is conditional on control being returned to the PA. So would you suggest doing the same to Israel until the illegal occupation ends? No, you wouldn’t. ~ Donald Johnson

    MY COMMENT: I suspect that Kristof would oppose any practical measure that would help bring an independent Palestinian state into existence, because in reality he is a “two-state faker”*.

    * SEE – “Flotilla 3.0: Redeeming Obama’s Palestine Speech with Gaza’s Ark”, By Robert Naiman, truth-out.org, 3/25/13

    [EXCERPT] There’s a half-empty way and a half-full way of looking at President Barack Obama’s Jerusalem speech about the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
    The half-empty way of looking at it is: This was Obama’s white flag of surrender.
    To everyone around the world who for decades has been assuming that at the end of the day, the president of the United States would lead the way to resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Obama was saying: Don’t look at me. Just because the United States is the principal military, diplomatic and economic protector of the Israeli government, doesn’t mean that I, as the president of the United States, will do anything about the military occupation of millions of Palestinian human beings. Bibi doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; Bibi’s government doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; AIPAC doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state; and Congress – which defers to AIPAC – doesn’t want an independent Palestinian state. Of course, many of them mouth the words – not Bibi’s government, they don’t even do that – but those who mouth the words oppose any practical measure that would help bring an independent Palestinian state into existence. They’re “two state fakers.” Settlement freeze? Impossible. UN membership for Palestine? Can’t be done. No, according to the two state fakers, the only option on the menu in the restaurant for the Palestinians is to return to negotiations without a settlement freeze, negotiations that for 20 years have brought more land confiscation, more settlements, more restrictions on Palestinian movement and commerce, more oppression. And so, Obama was saying, my hands are tied. Don’t look at me.
    The half-full way of looking at it is this: It was a great speech. If you “price in,” as the markets say, acceptance that the US government isn’t going to lead on this, it was a great motivational speech. President Obama made a very compelling case that someone else should do something. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15307-flotilla-30-redeeming-obamas-palestine-speech-with-gazas-ark

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