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Sarsour, Waters and Hill will ‘incite… violence’ against Jewish students, say pro-Israel groups

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Yesterday we posted on the opposition to a May 4 forum at the University of Massachusetts about the cost of speaking up for Palestinian rights. The event features Roger Waters, Linda Sarsour, Marc Lamont Hill, and Dave Zirin talking about efforts to quash speech about Palestine.

Last night we learned about a letter to the UMass chancellor signed by 80 pro-Israel organizations — count em, 80, most obscure and rightwing — saying that the forum will “incite animosity… violence… hostility” against Jews on campus, and the only way to protect Jews is to remove all UMass sponsorship of the event.

That’s right: the letter-writers say “we believe that that [the forum’s] departmental sponsorship… will encourage acts of politically motivated aggression and violence on your campus.”

So Jews will only be safe if the UMass brand is removed.

The letter says that the “vast majority of world Jewry” perceive four speakers as anti-Semites. That is the definition of notoriety! Waters, Sarsour, Hill and organizer/professor Sut Jhally, the letter says, are “all outspoken anti-Israel activists who have engaged in expression deemed antisemitic not only by the vast majority of world Jewry, but also by the standards established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which has been adopted by dozens of countries including the United States.”

These activists’ antisemitic expressions include charges that Jewish Americans are more loyal to Israel than America, calls for the elimination of the Jewish state, comparisons of Israelis to Nazis, and other false and defamatory accusations about Israel and Israel’s supporters that draw on classic antisemitic tropes.

The signatories of the letter include a few leading groups — B’nai B’rith International, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Israel Project — and a great number of campus pro-Israel organizations and less-well-known groups. There are also several Christian Zionist signatories, including Eagle Wings and the Israel Christian Nexus.

The letter is “not surprising, but this stuff still never ceases to be shocking,” says Jeremy Earp, an organizer of the conference. “It’s amazing the depths these people will go to smear really good people with the worst possible labels and accusations with zero concern for the truth. The fact that they invoke ‘the vast majority of world Jewry’ to support their charge that these panelists are anti-Semitic — without bothering to supply any specific or credible justification for the claim — is about as close to McCarthyism as you can get.”

The pro-Israel advocates are plainly worried about Waters and Sarsour and Hill gaining the imprimatur of a major public university. The forum is being sponsored by two UMass departments and one program: the Department of Communication; the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Resistance Studies Initiative UMass.

The letter is here. Here are some other excerpts:

Dear Chancellor Subbaswamy,

We are 80 civil rights, education, religious, faculty and student organizations that span the political spectrum, writing to express our deep concern that three UMass academic units have been named as sponsors of a political event, whose apparent goal is to incite animosity towards supporters of Israel, including Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus. Although we recognize that the event itself is protected by the First Amendment, we believe that its departmental sponsorship constitutes an unacceptable violation of the university’s academic mission, will encourage acts of politically motivated aggression and violence on your campus, and is a fundamental breach of the public trust. We call on you to rescind all university sponsorship of this event and to assure us that in the future, UMass faculty will not be permitted to use the university’s name or resources to promote their personal political agendas at the expense of academic integrity and the safety and well-being of UMass students…

As described in the press release, this is not an educational event but a political rally. Rather than aiming to promote an understanding of a highly contentious and polarizing issue by including speakers with a variety of perspectives, this event includes speakers with only one extremely partisan perspective and clearly aims to promote a political cause and encourage political action. Providing the imprimatur of three academic departments to such a politically motivated and directed event violates the core academic mission of the university, suppresses student expression and impedes the free exchange of ideas so essential for any university…

Official departmental sponsorship of this event will provide the appearance of academic legitimacy to the kind of political hatred that will undoubtedly be purveyed by these speakers — hatred that can’t help but encourage open hostility towards Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus.

There is an interesting sidelight in the letter about Brown University concerns re the issue.

As Brown University President Christina Paxton recently stated in the Brown Herald, “If the University starts taking political positions, we run the risk of undermining
academic freedom on campus. If we say we’re the university that opposes Israel, how can we have scholarship and debate on what’s happening in the Middle East?”…

Organizers of the event report shenanigans with registration for the forum, leading to the event being sold out. Many registrants appear to have fake names, etc. Tickets are now available at the door.

May 4 event at UMass.

H/t Allison Deger.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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28 Responses

  1. eljay on April 24, 2019, 1:12 pm

    || … The letter is here. … ||

    … These activists’ antisemitic expressions include charges that Jewish Americans are more loyal to Israel than America …

    That’s true only if one anti-Semitically conflates all Jew(ish American)s with Israel and Zionism and Israel and Zionism with all Jew(ish American)s. Which is what Zionists routinely do.

    … calls for the elimination of the Jewish state …

    Nothing wrong with that. “Jewish State” is a religion-supremacist construct and no state has a right to exist as any sort of supremacist construct.

    … comparisons of Israelis to Nazis …

    That statement implies that all Israelis are compared to Nazis and that’s a deliberate lie. Israelis (and non-Israelis) that do act like Nazis deserve to be compared to Nazis. If the comparison hurts their feelings, they should stop acting like Nazis.

    … and other false and defamatory accusations about Israel and Israel’s supporters that draw on classic antisemitic tropes. …

    Terrorism, ethnic cleansing, military occupation, colonialism, oppression, torture and murder are (war) crimes. The fact that supremacist Jews are advocating, committing, supporting and/or defending these (war) crimes doesn’t transform them into “antisemitic tropes”.

    There seems to be no length to which Zionists will not go in order to undermine human rights and international laws and the protections they are meant to afford all people including Jews.

    Why do Zionists insist on hating Jews so much?!

    • Misterioso on April 25, 2019, 9:16 am

      @eljay, et al

      Just received from a Canadian friend:

      Winnipeg, Manitoba enveloped in two false charges of “anti-Semitism” One involves Linda Sarsour:

      “What a false accusation of antisemitism from Winnipeg’s mayor reminds us about political power” Canadian Dimension, April 24/19,

      “On Tuesday, Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman delivered a press conference calling for Linda Sarsour, a prominent Palestinian rights activist and New York-based co-chair of the Women’s March, to be removed from an upcoming speaking event for the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg’s centennial anniversary event.

      “’She has continually attacked the foundation of the state of Israel’s right to exist,’ declared Bowman, who was accompanied on the stage by representatives from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and B’nai Brith Canada. The mayor then accused Sarsour — a hijab-wearing Muslim woman of Palestinian descent — of playing ‘racialized identity politics.’

      “The Social Planning Council was already forced to relocate the event in late March following public pressure regarding Sarsour and the cancellation of another Palestine supporting speaker in Winnipeg earlier that month. At the time of the relocation, a Winnipeg-based member of Independent Jewish Voices pushed back against critics by arguing ‘it should not be seen as being anti-Semitic to criticize a state or any government.’ The organization maintained its stance on Tuesday, telling media that it had no plans to cancel the event.

      “The criticisms of Sarsour as anti-Semitic are dubious at best. Jewish writers have defended Sarsour against such claims, including her alleged peddling in the ‘dual loyalty’ trope. In mid-2017, over 100 Jewish leaders signed an open letter that stated ‘we will not stand by as Sarsour is falsely maligned, harassed and smeared, as she, her organization and her family suffer vicious public threats and intimidation.'”

      “All of that political tumult came crashing down in Winnipeg on Tuesday. Mayor Bowman fell for a reactionary talking point harnessed to redirect criticism of far-right violence against a Palestinian rights advocate, the same way that attacks were leveled against U.S. congresswoman Ilhan Omar (who, likely not coincidentally, is also a hijab-wearing woman). In doing so, Bowman blatantly reiterated the false conflation of Jewishness with Zionism, deploying the power and legitimacy of the municipal government to promote a all-too-common crackdown on free speech about Palestine that continues the long legacy of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

      “It also served as an acute reminder of the incredibly skewed priorities of political leaders in Canada — and how they leverage power.

      “Sarsour doesn’t represent the vaguest of threats to residents of Winnipeg, yet Bowman summed up some extremely rare courage to erroneously condemn her as anti-Semitic. Meanwhile, the instigators of actual violence against marginalized communities in the city and country only continue to grow unabated and without any condemnation: fascists, police and all the connections in between. That must change.”


      “Hate-crime attack on café staged, Winnipeg police say, after owners charged with mischief”

      “An anti-Semitic attack originally called ‘the most brazen’ the city had seen was staged by the owners of the restaurant that reported it, Winnipeg police say.”
      By Bartley Kives · CBC News, April 24, 2019

      “All three members of the family that owns BerMax Caffé and Bistro on Corydon Avenue have been arrested and charged with public mischief since the incident was initially reported last week. The family, however, insists they didn’t fake anything.

      “‘We didn’t, because we don’t joke about swastikas on our walls,’ Oxana Berent said in an interview with Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Manitoba’s afternoon radio show, Up to Speed.

      “On Thursday evening, police responded to a report of an assault at the restaurant. A woman said she’d been assaulted, and the restaurant was spray-painted with hateful graffiti, police said.

      “Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth said Wednesday the attack was staged.

      “‘The anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism were also falsely reported as being done by outside suspects,’ Smyth said.

      “‘We found evidence of a crime. It just wasn’t a hate crime,’ said Smyth, adding the police expended considerable resources investigating and took the report seriously.”

      • eljay on April 25, 2019, 10:44 am

        || Misterioso: @eljay, et al

        Just received from a Canadian friend:

        Winnipeg, Manitoba enveloped in two false charges of “anti-Semitism” … ||

        I read about the latter, wasn’t aware of the former. It’s disturbing when a Canadian mayor collaborating with and/or under pressure from Zionists makes Israel a greater priority than his own city and citizens.

    • Citizen on April 25, 2019, 10:49 am

      AW, they only hate the ones who don’t think all goys are closet anti-Semites.

  2. David Green on April 24, 2019, 1:20 pm

    Not to be trollish, but let’s listen critically to what these speakers have to say, and evaluate whether they are really doing anything tactically or strategically to further the Palestinian cause in a substantive way. I suspect the answer will be “no.”

    • lonely rico on April 24, 2019, 5:57 pm

      > David Green

      [l]et’s listen critically to what these speakers have to say, and evaluate whether they are really doing anything tactically or strategically to further the Palestinian cause

      I personally have listened to several of these speakers, and read the opinions of all of them, and I suspect they will tell the truth about the savage cruelty of the Zionist destruction of Palestine.
      It is a truth that Americans must hear again and again, until the US stops aiding the Zionist holocaust of the Palestinian people.
      I am heartened, that despite you skepticism, you will listen and critically but fairly (one hopes) evaluate their position(s) and activism.

      • David Green on April 26, 2019, 6:04 pm

        I will continue to hope, with futility I fear, that Linda Sarsour will ever say something meaningful and strategically tactical or relevant regarding the Palestinian cause, vis a vis the Democratic Party to which she is so loyal, or vis a vis U.S. foreign policy which she never clearly addresses. I will continue to wait, in vain I fear, to hear Linda Sarsour present herself as anything other than an opportunist and an identity politics, #resistance player. But I will be curious to see whether she uses her fake Brooklyn accent in this context.

      • MHughes976 on April 27, 2019, 5:18 am

        I take it that Sarsour is attempting to increase sympathy with the Palestinians and to draw attention to the weaknesses in the customary pro-Israel arguments. She must hope to win some ground especially among Democrats. One of the problems that the Palestinians have in advancing their cause is the prevalence, at least hitherto, of negative attitudes towards them in the West and especially among politicians. They are weakened by this in advance of any negotiations in which the United States would be involved – if such are to happen. So it would be good to reduce this weakness by public argument. That is about all that people whose lives and activity are wholly in the West can do. It’s what Mondoweiss tries to do. And there is some success. The pro-P cause has moved from negligible to noticeable and in the West the question is about moving it from noticeable to normal, or at least to the status of a cause which a normal person, even a normal politician, might support. The battle over Corbyn is a big thing here.

    • Nathan on April 24, 2019, 8:25 pm

      David Green – It is really impossible “to further the Palestinian cause” when it is absolutely unacceptable to express criticism of Palestinian actions and policy. However, criticism is really the best example of demonstrating that you care and that you wish to help out. The anti-Israel crowd should take a look at the pro-Israel camp. Self-criticism is really the name of the game there.

      Here’s some of the criticism that the Palestinians need to hear. Reaching a peace deal with Israel is good, whereas perpetual conflict is bad. It is advisable to present the full list of grievances, making it clear that the rectification of such grievances means that the conflict has been resolved once and for all. The ploy of making demands of Israel without any intention of ending the conflict is a dismal failure. When you make demands of the other side, you are supposed to assume that you will have to give something in return. All that you have to offer is the end of conflict. Go for it.

      • Misterioso on April 25, 2019, 9:38 am


        Utter nonsense!!
        Anyone aware of the origin and history of the conflict knows full well that the Palestinians are the victims and Zionism and its spawn “Israel” are their victimizers. Also, the Palestinians have hard won international law, including the UN Charter, on their side and “Israel” is a serial/escalating violator of international law.

        For your further edification:
        By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandated Palestine.

        The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers “Israel” full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor, equal and mutually agreed land swaps), exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if “Israel” complies with international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute, binding on all UN members.) Fully aware of “Israel’s” demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. In accordance with “Israel’s” pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees (determined by Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…” “Israel” ignored the Arab League’s peace proposal.

        The Beirut Arab Summit Initiative was also “formally accepted by the [then] ‘supreme leader’ of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. [Furthermore, Sheikh] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that Hezbollah would not disrupt such an agreement if it is accepted by Palestinians [and] Hamas has repeatedly indicated its willingness to negotiate in these terms.” (“On the US-Israeli Invasion of Lebanon” by Professor Noam Chomsky, Znet, August 23, 2006)

        Notably, the Beirut Arab Summit Initiative has also been adopted by the Organization of Islamic States which includes Iran. (Akiva Eldar, “What will happen if Israel ‘defeats’ Obama?” – Ha’aretz, 1 June 2009)

        “…in May 2003, a conference of the member states’ foreign ministers [of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation] in Tehran ‘reaffirmed its support to, and adoption of, the Arab peace initiative for resolving the issue of Palestine and the Middle-East.’ Indeed, an information leaflet about the peace initiative posted on the Arab League’s official website shows the flags of all countries that endorse the proposal, including those of Libya, Syria — and Iran.” (“Why is Israel so afraid of the Arab Peace Initiative?, by Raphael Ahren, The Times of Israel, 18 June 2013.)

        Other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969); The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970); Egyptian President Sadat’s land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971); U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s call for a Geneva international conference (1977); Saudi Arabian King Fahd’s peace offer (1981); U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982); U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988); U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989); and the previously noted 1993 Oslo accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that unravelled following the latter’s assassination and subsequent return to power of the Likud party from 1996-1999 under Benjamin Netanyahu; continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001); the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003; and the 2014 Kerry Initiative.

        As for the much touted 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then “Israel’s” foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

        The “offer” made in 2008 by then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious because it lacked cabinet approval, he was under indictment for corruption with only a few weeks left in office, had only a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it. (Olmert was imprisoned.)

        On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.”

        “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from “Israel.” (By calling for a “resolution of the issue of refugees,” Haniyeh was in accordance with UNGA Res. 194, which calls for financial compensation as a possible option for the Palestinian refugees rather than their “inalienable Right of Return.”)

        In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, “Israel” promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.…
        “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz. No response from “Israel.”

        Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians, including Hamas, and the Arab states, has been rapidly increasing illegal settlement construction along with escalating dispossession and violent oppression of the indigenous inhabitants in occupied Palestine and other Arab lands.

        As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that are contrary to international law and explain why the conflict continues:
        The Likud Party Platform:
        a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
        b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
        c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
        d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

        To further state the obvious, Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and its proposed annexation of the Palestinian West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights are blatantly illegal and only serve to further fuel the conflict.

      • Jon66 on April 25, 2019, 11:42 am

        You keep saying this, “In accordance with “In accordance with “Israel’s” pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees ”.

        Can you provide a link that specifies Israel’s agreement to follow 194 by signing the Lausanne Protocol?

      • Donald on April 25, 2019, 12:04 pm

        “The anti-Israel crowd should take a look at the pro-Israel camp. Self-criticism is really the name of the game there.”

        That’s funny, because it is mostly just been insincere talk except at the extreme edges where the “pro-Israel” crowd admits the validity of the anti-Zionist criticism. Usually it’s Nakba denial or else people saying that the Nakba happened, but so what? There is considerable criticism of the settlement movement, true, but for the most part no action. No demand that the US cease support until settlements stop.

        Practice what you preach, Nathan. Do you agree that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes in 1948 in a process that involved dozens of massacres committed by Zionist forces? Is this a wrong that needs to be rectified?

        I haven’t actually seen you admit that the Israeli side has done anything wrong. You tend to dodge that question in my experience.

      • eljay on April 25, 2019, 1:39 pm

        || Nathan: … The anti-Israel crowd should take a look at the pro-Israel camp. Self-criticism is really the name of the game there. … ||

        Yup, the rapist and his supporters have no problem self-criticizing that his basement is too cold and he doesn’t keep it sufficiently clean. And they’re even brave enough to admit that sometimes when he’s “self-determining” himself he gets a little too rough with the ladies.

        But none of them – not even the most “liberal pro-rapist” of them – will argue that:
        – the women chained in his basement must be set free; and
        – the rapist must be held accountable for his past and on-going crimes.

        But, yup, the problem is that those anti-rapist folks simply don’t self-criticize enough.

      • mondonut on April 25, 2019, 1:40 pm

        @Jon66, Can you provide a link that specifies Israel’s agreement to follow 194 by signing the Lausanne Protocol?

        There is none, your edification is limited to excessively long cut and paste propaganda. Israel did not agree to 194 (or anything else) at Lausanne, they did however sign a Framework which was an agreement on what to discuss in the ultimately futile negotiations.

        Nor did Israel make pledges to the UNGA in 1949 (an obvious reference to UNGA 273), a thoroughly fisked claim that is nonetheless constantly asserted.

      • Mooser on April 25, 2019, 4:27 pm

        “Israel did not agree…Nor did Israel “

        Very clever, those Israelis. Since they didn’t sign, they can do anything they want!

      • oldgeezer on April 25, 2019, 5:29 pm


        Bizarro world you live in.

        Pretty much a complete 180 from the actual truth.

    • Donald on April 24, 2019, 10:11 pm

      “Not to be trollish”

      Would you mind spelling out what your specific criticism happens to be? Because I have no idea what you mean.

      • CigarGod on April 25, 2019, 9:17 am

        “We are 80 civil rights, education, religious, faculty and student organizations that span the political spectrum…”

        Really…span the entire spectrum?
        Right there in the first sentence they strangle their credibility.

    • zaid on April 25, 2019, 12:35 am

      They must be or otherwise you wont be here writing this comment.

  3. Steve Macklevore on April 24, 2019, 3:53 pm

    I’m curious, David.

    What are you doing tactically or strategically to further the Palestinian cause in a substantive way?

  4. just on April 24, 2019, 6:35 pm

    How often do so many hundreds of ‘panels’ and media roundtables leave out any Palestinian voices? Why does their venom not reach out to Dave Zirin? (Not that any of these folks deserve the venom!)

    From wiki: “The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts. It is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system.”

    Tax dollars fund it. So all those whinging should keep that in mind.

  5. annie on April 24, 2019, 7:20 pm

    this “vast majority of world Jewry” is a hoax.

    • Peter in SF on April 25, 2019, 5:56 am

      Either that or an anti-Semitic trope.

    • Mooser on April 25, 2019, 4:34 pm

      “this “vast majority of world Jewry” is a hoax.”

      A “hoax”? Try to keep in mind that a “vast majority” is well over 50%, more like 75%. And that is true no matter how small the total number is.

    • gamal on April 25, 2019, 7:20 pm

      “this “vast majority of world Jewry” is a hoax” that’s right it’s a Hex, my black cat bone is humming it says ‘they will get you if you weak’, it doesn’t look good America.

  6. Vera Gottlieb on April 25, 2019, 10:45 am

    It is the Zionists whom I see as the trouble-makers.

  7. Misterioso on April 25, 2019, 10:48 am

    Meanwhile, just published:

    “Stories of Personal Transformation. Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism” by Carolyn L. Karcher

    “In this powerful collection of personal narratives, forty Jews of diverse backgrounds tell a wide range of stories about the roads they have traveled from a Zionist world view to activism in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis striving to build an inclusive society founded on justice, equality, and peaceful coexistence.

    “Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism will be controversial. Its contributors welcome the long overdue public debate. They want to demolish stereotypes of dissenting Jews as “self-hating,” traitorous, and anti-Semitic. They want to introduce readers to the large and growing community of Jewish activists who have created organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, and Open Hillel. They want to strengthen alliances with progressives of all faiths. Above all, they want to nurture models of Jewish identity that replace ethnic exclusiveness with solidarity, Zionism with a Judaism once again nourished by a transcendent ethical vision.”

    “Contributors include: Joel Beinin • Sami Shalom Chetrit • Ilise Benshushan Cohen • Marjorie Cohn • Rabbi Michael Davis • Hasia R. Diner • Marjorie N. Feld • Chris Godshall • Ariel Gold • Noah Habeeb • Claris Harbon • Linda Hess • Rabbi Linda Holtzman • Yael Horowitz • Carolyn L. Karcher • Mira Klein • Sydney Levy • Ben Lorber • Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber • Carly Manes • Moriah Ella Mason • Seth Morrison • Eliza Rose Moss-Horwitz • Hilton Obenzinger • Henri Picciotto • Ned Rosch • Rabbi Brant Rosen • Alice Rothchild • Tali Ruskin • Cathy Lisa Schneider • Natalia Dubno Shevin • Ella Shohat • Emily Siegel • Rebecca Subar • Cecilie Surasky • Rebecca Vilkomerson • Jordan Wilson-Dalzell • Rachel Winsberg • Rabbi Alissa Wise • Charlie Wood.”

    “Carolyn L. Karcher is professor emerita of English, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Temple University and the author of many books and articles about the struggle for racial and gender equality in the U.S.”
    Many thanks and best wishes,
    Michel Moushabeck
    Interlink Publishing
    46 Crosby Street
    Northampton, MA 01060
    e-mail: mic…

  8. Jejasalo on April 25, 2019, 11:29 am

    The desperate attempt by UMass ‘pro’-Israel groups to want to shut down debate on Palestine – manifesting itself in this case, as an appeal to rescind university sponsorship, is so frightening that it has to be laughed at. How much longer will organizations, student groups, and political pressure continue to whittle down free speech rights? We’ve already seen some of the fallout in the form of proposed legislation & actions taken against BDS supporters.

    I’m old enough to remember when the Supreme Court ruled that a neo-Nazi group had the right to parade down the streets of Skokie, Illinois (a primarily Jewish suburb outside Chicago) as long as there were no attempts at violence or overt incitement against Jews.

    This kicked up a firestorm, but the end result was just heightened contempt for the neo-Nazis who felt the need to display their hatred.

    If UMass wants to demonstrate something akin to dignity and fairness, it will allow the panel to continue, and refuse to withdraw sponsorship. This suggests independence and principles. Can you imagine what would happen if a university were to refuse to co-sponsor a panel of Israeli and American Jews supporting Israel on the grounds that it was spreading hatred?? AIPAC would become apoplectic.

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