"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ivy Leaguers Praising Hezbollah and Weeping the Loss of Bin Laden...It's All the Fashion You Know?

On May 2, 2011 Columbia University hosted Rabid Jew Haters:
Norman G. Finkelstein, author of This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion
and Rashid Khalidi, author of The Iron Cage, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia, and Co-Director of CPS, Peter Weiss, Vice President, Center for Constitutional Rights
It ran from 7:30 PM ~ 10:00 PM in room 417, Altschul Auditorium, International Affairs Building, Columbia University, 420 West 118th Street, NY, NY 10027

Funny how things come full circle...especially things our PC society claims to be against and should never have had it's chance to come full circle. The Ivy Leagues have a dirty little-known secret of the Jewish Quota in their admissions policy, born out of hatred, once openly flaunted and now swept under the rug. But their welcomed panel is changing that once again.

Phil Orenstein decided to gather a group of Israel supporters and go courageously to this event. I was unable to attend. With his permission I am posting is his first-hand reporting of the experience:

Here's a recap of some of the highlights. As I was handing out the Horowitz flyers I met a young woman Columbia undergrad from Hasbara (also a Camera Rep on campus), Danielle Reich who came to defend Israel. There were altogether 250 people and only a handful of Israel supporters. Most of the people handed the flyer back to me after they saw the name David Horowitz. Michael Ackerman was there but I only found that out today.
Danielle and I were engaged in arguments with several people around us. The speakers, Finkelstein and Kalhidi were vile and venomous and it was grueling to listed to their talks, but the audience was worse. The person I was sitting next to was mourning the death of OBL. In fact I think everyone in the audience was a supporter of OBL. I got into an argument with one white middle aged lady who said that Israel backed out of every deal and shortchanged the Palestinians, read Dennis Ross's book, one of your guys, she said. I said Arafat backed out of the deal which would have given the Pali's a state and she kept saying BS, Israel backed out, read Dennis Ross.
One young woman was praising Hezbollah and said Israel was the worst thing that happened since the Holocaust. I confronted her on her statements and she and her friends said "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter"
Before the lectures people were passing out literature on the "nakba" the freedom boat, etc. I spoke to Palestinian Muslim who looked more like a 1960's beatnik with a goatee, who said the Pali's have had a "culture" there for many past generations, when I told him that there was no Palestinian entity of Arab people during the 400 year Ottoman occupation of the land, and during the British conquest. I told him Mark Twain said it was a desolate land with no inhabitants. Everything I said he answered was Zionist propaganda. He claimed there was no Arab War with Israel in 1948, Zionist propaganda. I just walked away.
First there was a video of the UN testimony from the Goldstone hearings in which the victim described how his 3 children were intentionally shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers at point blank range. The speakers were grueling and hard to listen to. Finklestein went into excruciating detail of the war in Gaza. He said Israel reneged on lifting the blockade during the Hamas cease fire. Israel needed a pretext to launch the war in Gaza. It wasn't a war, it was a massacre of 1400 civilians including 350 children by bombing while they slept, targeting civilians and dropping white phosphorous using "an insane amount of firepower" quoting the testimony of Israeli soldiers. 100-1 Palis to Israelis deaths. There were no engagements with Hamas fighters, no battles took place, only massacres. Human shields were a lie, etc. etc. He went on like this for 30 minutes and the audience groaned in support and derision of Israel.  
Rashid Kalhidi was worse. He lambasted the politicians and the media for their pro-Israel lies and distortions of the truth. They frame Gaza in a narrative of terrorism and Hamas, which is far from the truth. He went on to talk about the collective punishment, siege of Gaza, like a prison where no people, goods can enter or leave, etc. etc. Then he went on to talk about the Arab revolutions which are for true democracy. But then he blamed Israel as the crux of the problem. He said all the Arab uprisings are concerned about the suffering of their Palestinian brethren, and in Egypt the new regime will not be servile and submissive to Israel and the West like the Mubarak regime was in dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli issue. The new regime will solve it with or without Israel's cooperation or else (with an implied threat of violence).
No one interrupted. There were I think only 2 security guards in back. Everyone was well behaved. (There were probably only a tiny handful of Israel defenders) During the Q&A everyone was respectful, polite and asked their questions and sat down, unlike the harassment we have to face at our lectures like the one with Horowitz. I asked: "Why the total silence on the Arab dictators as they massacre their own people. Why is the only focus on demonizing Israel, the only fee democracy in the Mideast? And why aren't Israeli Arabs revolting, who have more rights than in Arab countries and in fact 80% of whom would stay in Israel if there was a Palestinian state."
I got an answer from Kahlidi who said he does speak out in other lectures on the brutality, and he agreed with me that the Israeli Arabs do have somewhat more freedom than in Arab nations and they would stay in Israel because it's their home. I don't know which way he meant it, but judging from his threatening tone, he probably meant that it's their true home, not Israel's. After that I shook my head and left. It was 10pm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Columbia University should be ashamed to host such baised speech without offering the opposite view. They have a responsibility to offer facts to their students. Then they can make informed choices as to what they support and why. As for me I stand with Israel. I believe most college students have no clear ideas and go with the crowd. Shame on you Columbia for not encouraging your students to think for themselves.