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Amith Gupta

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Steven William Thrasher

Amith Gupta comments on the controversy over NYU President Andrew Hamilton’s undermining of campus free speech when he censured Steven Thrasher’s NYU commencement speech celebrating BDS. He says lost in the discussion is any meaningful discussion about which ideas are being suppressed at NYU in the first place — and which ideas are being promoted.

Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

That the blatant bigotry of expecting Muslims to prove their loyalty has become a staple of American political life is made that much more obvious by the recent attacks on those who raise entirely legitimate concerns about Zionist lobbying and U.S. support for Israel. Were Congress genuinely concerned about racist canards of “dual loyalty,” they would be spending their time fixing U.S. immigration laws to undo the Muslim ban rather than making false allegations of the canard against two people who are actually its victims.

That Israel’s own mouthpieces, including AIPAC, openly admit to using campaign cash to push pro-Israel legislation, should end any ambiguity: Ilhan Omar and all sensible citizens were being gaslit in the name of preserving the status quo and its decades of silencing Israel’s victims. This was especially clear in the liberal Zionist attacks on Omar, which sought reduce her criticisms of the lobby to little more than an anti-Semitic fantasy.

CNN fires commentator Marc Lamont Hill for saying Palestine should be free “from river to sea,” but it allowed Israeli official Michael Oren to tell former AIPAC aide Wolf Blitzer to say that Palestinians fabricated video that children were killed by Israeli soldiers, even as an executive at CNN’s parent company was writing speeches for Benjamin Netanyahu, no problem.

In a full-page ad in the Washington Post, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an ally of rightwing nationalist Steve Bannon, has printed an all-out verbal assault on Lorde, the New Zealand singer who recently cancelled a show in Tel Aviv out of concern that she would be legitimating Israel’s occupation. The ad will only help the boycott movement, BDS, by causing other celebrities to steer completely clear of Israel gigs.

Palestinian refugees from the refugee camps of Lebanon met with members of the Ramapough Lenape tribe on Friday, September 15 for a communal dialogue about joint indigenous struggle, tactics, and future collaboration. The stop was at the inaugural event of the 2017 North America Nakba Tour, which brings Palestinian refugees Khawla Hammad and Amena El-Ashkar to visit communities in North America.

Amith Gupta reports, “New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, council members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Rory Lancman, and press secretary Eric Phillips joined Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon in strong-arming the Queens Museum to host an Israeli-government sponsored celebration of the creation of the State of Israel. ‘At a time when we literally have neo-Nazis marching in American streets, when bigotry is on the rise, the Queens Museum has sent a disappointing message to New York City and the world,’ said New York City comptroller Scott Stringer about the initial cancellation.”