In marked contrast, Gideon Levy and Suhail Khalilieh spoke last night at Brandeis University, and the event took place without anything even remotely resembling the verbal food fight that occurred in Westchester. Very few students were there---it was mostly people from the local community.
There was limited publicity, and bare acknowledgment by the university. Sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, it was posted tepidly on the official online calendar, but not covered by either the university's communications office, nor the student newspaper, both of whom were contacted beforehand. This let the event fly under the radar screen. (As a rule in a lot of situations and conflicts, political dissent is usually allowed if few hear it, and there's little or no dissemination and post-event publicity---in that case, it's judged that the tree falling in the forest didn't really make a noise.)
The most charged moment during their presentation was when Suhail Khalilieh was asked by someone in the audience, "I'd like to ask you a personal question..."---he smiled at the questioner and said, "I'm married."
Regarding the one-state solution, which Levy says (in this posting) is inevitable since the colonial settlers have clearly had their way, it is striking that American values are really not transplanted to Israel, which claims to share important values with the United States.
Consider this nominally left-wing expression of American values, due to Woody Guthrie:
“This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California to the New York island,
From the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me…”
Who in this one state, a fait accompli, is going to sing anything like that?
And this nominally right-wing expression of American values:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands,
One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Who in this one state, a fait accompli, is going to make a pledge anything like that?
I’m American, and Jewish, grew up in and have lived in the Boston area for many years. I was singing this song and repeating this pledge in school more times than I can possibly remember. If there were American values that I was taught, these were leading examples.
I don’t pretend that the United States really is everything that the song and pledge evoke. But each of them is an expression of what, in principle, we are supposed to be doing.
What shared values? What shared principles?
That Bruce Shipman was invited to speak at this event is acknowledgment that he said the right thing, and did the right thing.
For all the schoolmarm unctuousness that is served up on the importance of civil public discourse, Rev. Shipman was fired from his position at Yale University for a letter in the New York Times that was, if nothing else, entirely civil. The insistence on civility is, in large part, an attempt to muzzle or neuter political content. His dismissal makes that repression evident.
In a striking case of non campus mentis, Yale University has forgotten what its president, Kingman Brewster, said at his inaugural in 1964:
"Universities should be safe havens, where ruthless examination of realities will not be distorted by the aim to please, or inhibited by the risk of displeasure."