I was reading through old material on the MEALAC issue, and stumbled across this nice article that puts Prof. Joseph Massad and Noah Liben quote after quote. Here are the quotes, back to back:
Nevertheless, the festival was not without a political agenda. Massad, author of the forthcoming Persistence of the Palestinian Question, praised the Palestinian filmmakers’ ability to “deploy their films as weapons of resistance in the international arena,” and likened Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s cultural views to those of Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels in his panel remarks.
Noah Liben, GS ’04 and President of Lion PAC, Columbia’s pro-Israel political action group, emphasized that the campus’s pro-Israel community has no objections to the festival but expressed dismay that only one perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was represented.
“LionPAC and the greater pro-Israel community has no problem with Palestinians expressing themselves through cultural or visual arts. We think it’s great that they express themselves. However, we think it is unfortunate that the University would support such an event without choosing to show the other side of the issue as well.”
Guess things have not changed. Massad stills likens Israelis to Nazis–and some students get the point–and Noah is still asking for more moderation. And guess what the administration has done since then?
That is why, although I respect very much the Harvard Crimson, agree with their perscriptions and thank them very much for their solidarity with the Columbia student body, I think their optimism regarding the administration’s forward movement is a bit naive. President Bollinger and Provost Brinkley have yet to even initiate contact with the students in the documentary, let alone take “some important and careful steps to examine the situation.” I, personally, have yet to see one step taken.
Where is their leadership? Can we really trust them to look after the good of the students if they have waited all this time to move?