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‘NYT’ writer takes Salaita’s side, saying U of Illinois violated ‘intellectual and academic freedom’

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The pressure on the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign over the firing of Steven Salaita increases with a long essay published two days ago in the New York Times “Stone” section– a forum for contemporary philosophers — by University of Massachusetts professor Joseph Levine, describing Salaita’s firing as “a straightforward violation of intellectual and academic freedom.”

But Levine then goes on to puncture the “civility” standard that the university has put forth as a standard for discourse at the school. That standard has caused 34 department heads to rebel at the restrictions the administration is placing on efforts to attract excellent professors. Levine says, so what if Salaita was not civil, that is a vital means of changing attitudes on a moral question.

He begins by quoting one of Salaita’s controversial tweets.

Let’s cut to the chase: If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being.
11:46 PM – 8 Jul 2014

At that point, Levine notes, “Israel had begun intensive bombing of Gaza, and quite a few civilians had been killed, including children.” Ultimately Israel killed 2100 Palestinians, 500 of them children.

Levine aligns himself with Salaita totally on the immoral character of Israel’s actions, in view of the fact that the people of Gaza were “trapped and totally vulnerable”:

I myself am in complete agreement with Salaita… I can’t mount a full defense of this position here, but let me just say that careful attention to the actual sequence of events over the summer, alongside the vastly disproportionate violence visited on the trapped and totally vulnerable Gaza residents, renders the Israeli claim that they were acting in justifiable self-defense completely unreasonable.

Bringing the Debate to YouLevine goes on to defend the rudeness of Salaita’s tweet, as a means of jogging Americans to consciousness about what is occurring in Palestine:

I am reminded of something Daniel Ellsberg said in that wonderful documentary about the Vietnam War, “Hearts and Minds”: Speaking of the revelations about systematic government lying in the Pentagon Papers, he said that it was a tribute to the American people that our leaders felt that they had to lie to us and hide their horrendous actions; but it was no tribute to us that it was so easy. In a related manner, I say, unfortunately, given the state of the general social-political atmosphere here about the conflicts in the Middle East, people can support United States and Israeli military attacks that cause terrible suffering and still be decent. But, I ask again, what does it say about us that this is so?

Not pretending to know what was behind Salaita’s tweets (I have never met him or corresponded with him about this issue), I can see two reasons for being so “uncivil” as to impugn his opponents’ moral character. First, there is just the need to express outrage at the state of our discussion on this matter. While the people targeted by the tweet are not actually awful human beings, it’s about time we came to generally see things from the perspective from which they certainly seem to be. Having to listen to justifications for bombing children can wear you down, even if you know very well where it’s all coming from. (An op-ed by the Jewish actor and singer Theodore Bikel captures this sentiment well. )

But more important, expressing moral outrage in this way — intentionally breaching civility by refusing to merely engage in calm persuasion — is itself part of the very process by which social-political perspectives shift. If it ought to have been true that only awful human beings would support this attack, how do we move society toward that point? One way is reasoned argument, no doubt. But it’s also important to exhibit the perspective, and not just argue for it; to adopt the perspective and provocatively manifest how things look from within it. When you do that, something like Salaita’s controversial tweet is likely to come out.

When Levine cites Theodore Bikel’s Jewishness in noting his outrage at Israel’s actions last September (Bikel said “The shameful apologies trying to justify the death of Arab children with trite explanations of ‘collateral damage’ and ‘use children as shields and they will die’ fill me with anger”) and when he says that “it ought to have been true that only awful human beings would support this attack,” he is addressing the reactionary power of the organized Jewish community over this issue, its ability to inhibit clear thinking by smart people. In short, he is using Salaita’s case to do some consciousness-raising. You will see that comments on the piece are both supportive and outraged; it is in the end yet another sign of the end of consensus inside the establishment on the Zionism issue. Still at the edge of the establishment. But this is moving fast.

P.S. Yes, Steven Salaita has endorsed our fundraising drive.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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43 Responses

  1. wondering jew
    wondering jew on December 16, 2014, 3:25 pm

    Whenever I read an article about Salaita and it quotes one of his tweets, but it does not quote the tweet that I find truly offensive, I consider it a bit of a cover up of Salaita.

    I am not part of the academy and I do not know what standards of free speech entail or not, but calling for the settlers to all go missing, when the missing at that moment was a kidnapping, is certainly more egregious than the relatively anodyne tweet quoted here.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on December 16, 2014, 3:40 pm

      The settlers should all fuck off back home, Yonah.
      And you should come up with a new whine.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on December 16, 2014, 4:01 pm

        seafoid- Whatever the settlers should do, as long as the name Salaita comes up and his tweets are put to the test, that tweet will be the one that i quote. tweet and whine both have one syllable.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on December 16, 2014, 4:11 pm

        The settlers are trash, Yonah.
        They should never have been planted in the occupied territories.
        They are going to bring down Zionism.
        The pity of it all.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 16, 2014, 5:43 pm

        “The settlers are trash, Yonah.”

        The settlers are people. Zionism and Israel are what treats them as trash. Well, they’re probably not very nice people.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 16, 2014, 5:50 pm

        “as long as the name Salaita comes up and his tweets are put to the test, that tweet will be the one that i quote.”

        But you haven’t quoted it, Yonah. So instead of making all kinds of bullshit insinuations about the tweet, why don’t you quote it and let us see how awful, (how “lascivious”, and not “merely bloodthirsty”) it is?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 16, 2014, 6:02 pm

        “tweet and whine both have one syllable.”

        quod erat demonstrandum!

      • piotr
        piotr on December 18, 2014, 2:26 pm

        Even so, “The settlers should all kindly move back home” sounds more civilized.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on December 16, 2014, 5:48 pm

      “but it does not quote the tweet that I find truly offensive”

      “Truly offensive”, Yonah? Was it “lascivious” or “merely bloodthirsty”?

      And of course, there won’t be any “cover-up” if you, Yonah, peal the tocsin with your own hand, and quote the “truly offensive” quote.

      Of course, you could just make up what you wish Salaita had said and put quotes around it. Why change a good tactic now?

    • Mooser
      Mooser on December 16, 2014, 5:56 pm

      “I am not part of the academy and I do not know what standards of free speech entail or not,”

      And what the f—k, is that high-flown bit of middle-brow bullshit above supposed to mean, Yonah?
      You don’t even know yourself, do you, and you wrote it.

      You don’t know how to misdirect an issue, so why are you making these incredibly clumsy efforts to do so?

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew on December 16, 2014, 6:05 pm

      quote: you may be too refined to say it, but i’m not: i wish all the fucking west bank settlers would go missing. unquote. 6:59 p.m. june 19, 2014 –

      • adele
        adele on December 16, 2014, 7:09 pm

        I wish for a lot of things too, Yonah.

        I wish that I could eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner without any consequences, I wish that summer didn’t have to end, that I could read all day long without guilt, and I really wish that adults didn’t hurt children (I would give up ice cream forever if I could get this wish, and never ever make another wish for as long as I live)

        And right now I’m wishing that you had read the article above and actually comprehended Prof. Levine’s reasoned argument. But mostly, anytime I read your obsessive ramblings I wish you would get a clue.

        Please read the article slowly and carefully and ponder the fact that expressing a wish is not committing an action. Did you factor in the circumstances under which the tweet was posted? And did you ponder the fact that you didn’t get all in a tizzy when civilians in Gaza were actually being pulverized and crippled this summer? So relax, Yonah, the settlers are still there, nobody has disappeared them…and you don’t have the potent smoking gun with Prof. Salaita’s tweet that you think you do….that tweet will not save Israel from condemnation and will not make the anti-zionists magically disappear.

        But more important, expressing moral outrage in this way — intentionally breaching civility by refusing to merely engage in calm persuasion — is itself part of the very process by which social-political perspectives shift. ~ Professor Joseph Levine

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 16, 2014, 10:10 pm

        “quote: you may be too refined to say it, but i’m not: i wish all the fucking west bank settlers would go missing. unquote. 6:59 p.m. june 19, 2014”

        Yonah! Why didn’t you warn us you were going to do that, so I could have pulled the couch over. Now I’ve got a bump on the head, and I’m going to have to burn some feathers under my nose.
        And there’s little dents in my hand from the pearls!

      • tree
        tree on December 17, 2014, 12:13 am

        Quote:“Let’s really let them understand what the implication of their actions is. . . . Very simply, wipe them out. Level them.” March 2, 2002 Rabbi David Hartman

        Quote in response to Hartman’s eliminationist speech:” Those who had no emotions involved at that moment are hardly in the spot to criticize those whose emotions found expression in speech.” Yonah Fredman, February 14, 2014 http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/urging-sharon-simply

        Yonah, in harping on Salaita’s tweet, is simply pointing out, yet again, his own hypocrisy and bigotry. An Israeli Jew issues truly eliminationist speech about Palestinians and Yonah bends over backwards to excuse it and explain it. But when Salaita sends a tweet wishing that there were no more Israeli settlers in the West Bank, Yonah has no sympathy or understanding, just phony moral indignation. He’s a bigot, and his anger at Salaita is the anger of a bigot, not a man with a consistent sense of morality. Otherwise he would not have excused the far worse speech of Hartman.

      • annie
        annie on December 17, 2014, 1:05 am

        so “wipe them out. Level them” gets a pass and “missing” gets condemned.

        way to lose creds yonah.

      • eljay
        eljay on December 17, 2014, 10:40 am

        >> tree @ December 17, 2014, 12:13 am

        Nicely done, tree. I’m curious to see how y.f. explains away the inconsistency.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on December 17, 2014, 4:24 pm

        I am a hypocrite. I give hartman a pass, when I shouldn’t.

        but guess what? no one has heard of hartman or cares about hartman and this salaita dude is now a famous representative of the Palestinian viewpoint, and no matter my hypocrisy or hartman’s exterminationist rhetoric will change the fact that this new face of the Palestinian movement tweets some offensive shit. and you deal with it by throwing my words and hartman’s words at me. I am not famous. hartman is not famous. salaita seeks fame and this tweet should be cited as part of his offensive pearls of wisdom.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on December 17, 2014, 4:29 pm

        Hartman- I am certainly biased in favor of Hartman. I met him, I come from his milieu. The comment of mine was in defending a man a few days after his death. i cover up the sins of the recent dead. this is my hypocrisy. this does not let salaita’s words off the hook.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on December 17, 2014, 4:31 pm

        the steady pain inflicted by Israel against the Palestinian people is something that I don’t normally comment upon. but it is a remarkable pain that has been inflicted and I am sorry that my role here as adversary does not give me sufficient opportunity to comment on the suffering of the Palestinians.

      • straightline
        straightline on December 17, 2014, 7:42 pm

        @Yonah: “but guess what? no one has heard of hartman or cares about hartman and this salaita dude is now a famous representative of the Palestinian viewpoint,”

        Exactly – I think Hartman and his statements deserve much more coverage. What about it NYT?

        @Yonah: “I am sorry that my role here as adversary does not give me sufficient opportunity to comment on the suffering of the Palestinians.”

        Yeah – right! But that would be less lucrative.

      • tree
        tree on December 18, 2014, 7:19 am

        Well, yonah, you’ve come up with three excuses for your hypocrisy. But none of them hold water. First we have this:

        no one has heard of hartman or cares about hartman …hartman is not famous. salaita seeks fame and this tweet should be cited as part of his offensive pearls of wisdom.

        Which is total bullshit. Rabbi Hartman was famous, especially in Israel, but also in the US, as a founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute. His obituary was featured in the NYTimes and columnist James Carroll of the Boston Globe eulogized him as “one of the great figures of contemporary Jewish life. The founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a prophet of religious tolerance, the self-described Jewish kid from Brooklyn had a huge impact on his generation, both in Israel, where he lived since 1971, and in the broader Jewish world.” http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/02/15/rabbi-david-hartman-towering-figure-religious-harmony/xn5Evn4gGy5GlwMLkNJFVP/story.html

        He WAS famous, and even more appalling given his eliminationist speech, he was revered as an icon of religious tolerance, which he betrayed with that very statement in 2002, which he never retracted.

        So one lie is told to defend your double standard when it comes to Jews uttering “offensive pearls of wisdom”. Hartman, when he was alive was more famous than Salaita, but you prefer we not mention what Hartman said. You think its unfair, but when Salaita says something far less offensive, this must always and forever be mentioned in the same breath as his name.

        And Salaita’s current fame is the byproduct of the successful attempt by wealthy donors to have him fired. I’m pretty sure that Salaita did not seek this kind of fame, and would much prefer to have his job rather than this fame by smear.

        Plus, one is hard pressed to explain why its somehow more acceptable for a non famous person to make eliminationist statements like Hartman did. You don’t explain it. You can’t.

        Then there is this excuse: The comment of mine was in defending a man a few days after his death. i cover up the sins of the recent dead.

        Another phony excuse. Hartman had died almost exactly a year before you made your comment in February this year. He was not “recently dead”. In contrast, you went on at length in the comments section here about the sins of Gore Vidal, as you saw them, less than a full year after Vidal’s death. You don’t cover up the sins of the recent dead. You cover up the sins of those you like, or those of your “millieu” (read: Jewish Zionist), and exaggerate the sins of those you don’t like, or are not of your “millieu”.

        And finally you come up with this oddity: I am sorry that my role here as adversary does not give me sufficient opportunity to comment on the suffering of the Palestinians.

        But, as Teapot said, we are all just here to comment on those things we wish to comment on. No one has a “role” here unless it is a self-assigned one. You have plenty of opportunity to comment on whatever you wish to comment on. And obviously Palestinian suffering is not something you chose to comment much on. Your choice, no one is preventing you or limiting you comments about Palestinian suffering. Your comment above is a cop out. And your obsession with Salaita’s tweeted wish that the Israeli settlers “go missing” from the West Bank shows you don’t really relate to the suffering at all. As does your statement made back in February, in response to a question from me:

        I understand that my perspective is one sided for the most part (that I understand Hartman’s reaction and would not accept a similar reaction from a Palestinian).

        A perfect example of your purposeful failure to empathize with Palestinian suffering. To you the second intifada was all about Jewish Israeli suffering, even though it paled in comparison to the Palestinian suffering during that time period. This is why you forgave Hartman for urging Sharon to “wipe out” the Palestinians but can not accept Salaita’s desire that Israeli settlers were not living in the West Bank, even though Hartman’s statement was the genocidal one and Salaita’s was not.

      • just
        just on December 18, 2014, 7:45 am

        “Hartman- I am certainly biased in favor of Hartman. I met him, I come from his milieu”. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/illinois-intellectual-academic#comment-141103

        There are other “milieus” and clubs, yonah. What Professor Salaita tweeted was not noxious. Helen Thomas said “go home” and he said nothing worse.

        Both of them paid a price for speaking the truth. But you and others continue to pay nothing.

        (Thanks to tree and adele.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 27, 2014, 11:54 am

        Thanks, “tree”, well said.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 27, 2014, 11:58 am

        “and I am sorry that my role here as adversary does not give me sufficient opportunity to comment on the suffering of the Palestinians.”

        Well, that’s the role you assigned to yourself, and I hope you choke on it, since you can’t get enough of it.

    • piotr
      piotr on December 16, 2014, 11:28 pm

      I am in academia, so I can comment on “standards of free speech”. It is not constitutional free speech, the freedom from criminal sanctions, but basically the expectations of goodwill on the side of university administrations in honoring the contracts with the faculty members.

      The central part of it is in what circumstances faculty can be hired and fired. Salaita got an offer of a tenured position, which means that he should be fired only after a process with input from himself and his peers in the university. If such an offer can be rescinded in a secret proceeding where only one side presents its arguments, it really undermines the core principle of functioning of reputable universities, as opposed to frankly biased institutions like Liberty University. The idea of academic freedom is a constant irritant to powerful interests who prefer the “free market of ideas” to be arbitraged according to political power in state legislatures of truly market power: one dollar one vote.

      For example, in the previous academic year a tenured professor was almost fired, and temporarily removed from teaching at University of Kansas because he offended NRA in a highly emotional tweet. Another time, governor of Maine was pressuring a university of fire an openly atheist professor. An untenured professor in Kentucky was hounded out because he dared to suggests that some aspects of the diet in Kentucky (eating squirrel brains) explains high incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in that state. Without administration showing some spine, American universities and researchers will be subjected to unending harassment, rather than occasional one we witness now.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid on December 16, 2014, 3:41 pm

    Intellectual freedom and Zionism are a combination like joy and torture.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont on December 16, 2014, 5:13 pm

    As to the war-crimes aspect, the ‘awful human being’ aspect, think also that Israel uses these attacks to test weapons and then puts those same weapons on the market as ‘tested in combat’ (or words to that effect) at international arms exhibitions (major, major gun shows). It is easy to believe that among all the reasons for the attack (Gaza-2014) was weapons sales as well as preparations for elections and other reasons having nothing even remotely to do with “security” of Israel.

  4. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on December 16, 2014, 11:36 pm

    RE: “. . . Levine then goes on to puncture the ‘civility’ standard that the university has put forth as a standard for discourse at the school.” ~ Weiss

    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: I can’t help but wonder whether the actions of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose comported with contemporaneous German notions of “civility”.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [White Rose]:

    [EXCERPTS] The White Rose (German: die Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to dictator Adolf Hitler’s regime.
    The six most recognized members of the German resistance group were arrested by the Gestapo, tried for treason and beheaded in 1943. . .

    • Leaflets
    Quoting extensively from the Bible, Aristotle and Novalis, as well as Goethe and Schiller, they appealed to what they considered the German intelligentsia, believing that they would be intrinsically opposed to Nazism. These leaflets were left in telephone books in public phone booths, mailed to professors and students, and taken by courier to other universities for distribution.[2] At first, the leaflets were sent out in mailings from cities in Bavaria and Austria, since the members believed that southern Germany would be more receptive to their anti-militarist message.

    “Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes– crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure– reach the light of day?” — 1st leaflet of the White Rose

    “Since the conquest of Poland, 300,000 Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way… The German people slumber on in dull, stupid sleep and encourage the fascist criminals. Each wants to be exonerated of guilt, each one continues on his way with the most placid, calm conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!” — 2nd leaflet of the White Rose.

    Alexander Schmorell, who penned the words the White Rose has become most famous for, became an Orthodox saint after his martyrdom. Most of the more practical material—calls to arms and statistics of murder—came from Alex’s pen. . .
    . . . The fifth leaflet was composed by Hans Scholl with improvements by Huber. These leaflets warned that Hitler was leading Germany into the abyss; with the gathering might of the Allies, defeat was now certain. The reader was urged to “Support the resistance movement!” in the struggle for “freedom of speech, freedom of religion and protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary action of criminal dictator-states”. These were the principles that would form “the foundations of a new Europe”.
    The leaflets caused a sensation, and the Gestapo began an intensive search for the publishers. On the nights of the 3rd, 8th and 15 February 1943, the slogans “Freedom” and “Down with Hitler” appeared on the walls of the university and other buildings in Munich. Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl and Willi Graf had painted them with tar-based paint. (Similar graffiti that appeared in the surrounding area at this time was painted by imitators).
    The shattering German defeat at Stalingrad at the beginning of February provided the occasion for the group’s sixth leaflet, written by Huber. Headed “Fellow students!” (the now-iconic Kommilitoninnen! Kommilitonen!), it announced that the “day of reckoning” had come for “the most contemptible tyrant our people has ever endured.” “The dead of Stalingrad adjure us!” . . . SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose

    FROM MERIAM-WEBSTER.COM [civility]:

    ci·vil·i·ty noun \sə-ˈvi-lə-tē\
    : polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior

    Full Definition of CIVILITY

    1 archaic : training in the humanities
    2a : civilized conduct; especially : courtesy, politeness
    2b : a polite act or expression

    FROM THESAURUS.COM [civility]:

    civility noun niceness

    comity
    courtesy
    decorum
    politeness
    propriety
    respect
    affability
    amenity
    compliance

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson on December 16, 2014, 11:45 pm

      P.S. White Rose Leaflet 6 – http://libcom.org/library/white-rose-leaflet-6

    • RoHa
      RoHa on December 16, 2014, 11:58 pm

      From the real dictionary.

      civility
      Line breaks: ci¦vil|ity
      Pronunciation: /sɪˈvɪlɪti /
      NOUN (plural civilities)

      [MASS NOUN]
      1Formal politeness and courtesy in behaviour or speech:
      I hope we can treat each other with civility and respect

      1.1 (civilities) Polite remarks used in formal conversation:
      she was exchanging civilities with his mother

      http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/civility?searchDictCode=all

    • seafoid
      seafoid on December 17, 2014, 12:48 am

      Dickerson

      Have you ever seen the film “Sophie Scholl” ?
      It’s well worth watching, followed by “Downfall”.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on December 19, 2014, 11:20 am

        I agree. They were both excellent.

        Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
        2005 NR 117 minutes
        You rated this movie: 5.0
        Our best guess for you: 4.9 stars
        Average of 337040 ratings: 3.8 stars
        Arrested for participating in the White Rose resistance movement, anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl (Julia Jentsch) is subjected to a highly charged interrogation by the Gestapo, testing her loyalty to her cause, her family and her convictions. Based on true events, director Marc Rothemund’s absorbing Oscar-nominated drama explores maintaining human resolve in the face of intense pressure from a system determined to silence whistle-blowers.
        Cast: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Gerald Alexander Held, more…
        You rated this 5 stars on 7/25/2010
        NETFLIX LISTING – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Sophie-Scholl-The-Final-Days/70045696

  5. piotr
    piotr on December 16, 2014, 11:45 pm

    An article in the blog of Times of Israel also discusses the same issue, from the opposite perspective. In a recent letter addressed to Timothy Killeen, the university’s newly appointed president, thirty-four department chairs and program directors describe how thousands of academics are refusing to visit the Urbana-Champaign campus, resulting in the cancelation of dozens of previously scheduled guest speaker events, colloquium series, and conferences. Faculty searches have been jeopardized, as promising candidates aren’t even bothering to send in their applications. And graduate students are frightened that their own job prospects are being compromised.

    You’d think, given this litany of woes, that Salaita would call off the boycott, empathizing with the students, faculty, and staff of a university that he’s now suing.

    Not a chance.

    Read more: After Salaita: How professors can better protect their Jewish students | Miriam Fendius Elman | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/after-salaita-how-professors-can-better-protect-their-jewish-students/#ixzz3M7vID5lQ
    Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

    Professor Miriam Fendius Elman deserves an honorable mention in the competition for “Twisted Argument of the Year Award”.

    • piotr
      piotr on December 16, 2014, 11:46 pm

      This is why I will not donate until “edit” is enabled again. I quite MFE entry of ToI blog starting with the second sentence above.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on December 17, 2014, 12:04 am

      “You’d think, given this litany of woes, that Salaita would call off the boycott, empathizing with the students, faculty, and staff of a university that he’s now suing. ”

      I don’t get that. The staff, faculty and students are entitled to the level of discussion, education, and free exchange of ideas that a university should provide. If anything his suit acts to protect them and in the case of the students, where debt loads can be extreme, particularly acts as a force on the University to provide that instead of letting them wallow in some sort of alternate universe dictated by donor dollars.

  6. Walid
    Walid on December 17, 2014, 4:30 am

    Israel’s joy ride is sure coming to the end; the EU just scratched Hamas off its list of terrorist organizations.

    • just
      just on December 17, 2014, 5:12 am

      Well, well, well. Thanks, Walid. I hope that the “Holy Land Five” will be free next!

      (Did they put the IOF on the list?)

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on December 17, 2014, 6:11 am

        Most probably the Palestinian UN Bid for statehood, has something to do with it.

        I enjoy seeing Bibi getting irked. Heh.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on December 17, 2014, 6:09 am

      I just read this article on that:

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30511569

      Here is what an annoyed Beebs said:

      “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the Council of the European Union to “immediately put Hamas back on the list”.

      “Hamas is a murderous terrorist organisation which in its charter states its goal is to destroy Israel,” he added in a statement.

      The ruling comes hours before the European Parliament is expected to vote on recognition of Palestinian statehood, after the parliaments of several member states took a similar step.”

      Lovely.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on December 17, 2014, 8:16 am

      Ma sha allah.

      Hamas played the game well in July/August- exposing Israel for the lost cauldron of hatred and paranoia that it is.
      Israel has been stringing Europe along for far too long.

      • just
        just on December 17, 2014, 9:00 am

  7. Teapot
    Teapot on December 17, 2014, 5:01 pm

    I am sorry that my role here as adversary does not give me sufficient opportunity to comment on the suffering of the Palestinians

    I don’t know about you, Yonah, but I usually just comment on the things I want to comment on. This isn’t a paid job where you have to act in a certain way or play a role, right? Or is it?

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