Monthly Archives: September 2005

Showing How Much They Value Discourse

Someone on Columbia’s campus played a great practical joke on the more illiberal radical Lefties on campus, posting the following flyer in dorms:

Join us for our Fall ’05 Kick-Off event!
9/29 11:30 AM at the sundial
Take back our education! Join us in the disposal of seditious and treasonous books,magazines, newspapers!
Political indoctrination in the classroom and the exclusion of conservatives from college faculties are violations of academic freedom and an offense to the very concept of a liberal education! To name one glaring example, professors refuse to teach anything other than the negative side of slavery!!
We can’t allow Marxist professors to aid the terrorists with talk of “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism!” Stop forcing us to learn about people we’ll never meet!!
Academia is under the control of left-wing ideologues who support the enemies of America and the enemies of America’s freedoms. Professors who teach foreign languages only aid the enemy. Remove from campus any professor who speaks anything other than American!!
We need to take back Columbia University!*****

I guess the author intended on poking fun at my friends and I who fought for students’ rights last year in Columbians for Academic Freedom, but the joke seemed to backfire–we laughed at the ridiculousness while Columbia’s Student Solidarity Group (the PC Police) didn’t find it funny:

I am not making this up….I can’t really believe that this could be
serious, but at the same time, if this is meant to be a joke, it is
not at all funny. I think we need to make sure people from the
branch are around tomorrow at 11:30. There is no fucking way we
are letting these far-right racist assholes onto our campus.

Wow. The flyer was ridiculous, and I would probably think the people in the pseudo-group were a bit scratched in the brain. But I’m still shocked by how militant Zach and co’ are. Guess it proves how open they are open to views not their own.


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Aviv Geffen at Columbia

Aviv Geffen.jpg

It was a great show–not least because Aviv held a question and answer session after the concert. One girl asked him, and I’m recounting from memory, “Aviv, you used to be against the Israeli army–have the last few years changed your opinions?” Aviv answered, “I was against wars, and therefore I am a pacifist. But I am not against the army. And I used to hate Sharon, but here he is leaving Gaza — and I have to say that I am proud of him. He’s doing a good job and I am proud of him.”
Ad sh’Ehiyeh Tov. Ad sh’Ehiyeh.

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Proof the Radical Left is Wrong about Terrorism and What to Do Now

[crossposted at BlogsofZion]
The violence raging in the Gaza Strip among the Palestinians, and spilling out into Israel, finally provides the empirical proof that the radical Left–and many Academics–were wrong about the “solution” to the problems afflicting the Palestinians, that being a simple ending of the occupation.
Yes, I realize that people will argue with the statement above from both sides. The Right will say, who needed proof anyway? The Radical Left will say, Gaza is still occupied because Israel controls the airspace. Both are wrong.
First, the Right is wrong because until we left the Palestinians to themselves, both we and the Palestinians themselves would never be able to know whether the mere presence of Israeli forces–at the least–was the critical factor. Second, the Left is wrong because, as many people have pointed out, a number of countries have had their airspace under another country’s supervision for an interim period and yet have not been considered by international law as “occupied.” One example is Iraq pre-War, whose airspace in the North was completely and violently controlled by the US and the UK, and yet functioned as a sovereign (tyrannical and evil) country until the American-led invasion.

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They’re baaaaack (in the UK)

The self-proclaimed champions of the down-trodden in the enlightened United Kingdom have returned the boycott to the agenda.
Hey, with campuses like this, who expects anything else?

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In Light of the New Situation

Classifying the newly created political entity of Gaza is a tough job–Gaza never was fully autonomous, not in the modern era at least, and so thinking of it as a territorial unit with sovereign responsibilities is, well, to rethink the blame-game in light of the new situation. It is in this light that I was surprised by Ha’aretz’s editorial on the violence between Gaza and Israel:

Now that the withdrawal is completed and the border crossings have become de facto international ones, Israel must treat attacks launched from the PA like attacks from any other country – which becomes an enemy state the moment such an action happens. We cannot accept excuses such as the lack of control by those who have accepted control over the entire Gaza Strip. The fact that we are talking about a kind of Palestinian state makes both the missile attacks and the response to them even more significant in terms of the mutual harm to sovereignty. Just as it is difficult to accept attacks from the PA on Israel, it is equally difficult to accept the IDF’s automatic entry into Gaza every time the quiet is violated. Assertive security dialogue with the PA is the main weapon Israel should use, without compromise or concessions.

Wow. Ha’aretz declared war. Now let’s wait to see if the NYTimes has anything more to say about it other than this lame story.
(By the way, compare the Times story to this one in the Washington Post–my paper of choice since the Times decided to charge for online content).

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I’m spending most of my time now trying to get BlogsofZion up and running. Read about our project here.

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Disgusted by Desecration

I am absolutely disgusted with the racist coverage of the synagogue burnings in Gaza. Racist, because if it were Jews burning Mosques or Churches, it would make front page news—or at least merit its own article. Instead, the New York Times, in a longer piece about the IDF’s complete withdrawal from Gaza includes only a few, passing remarks about the destruction of holy sites.
Even worse is the way the PA and other Palestinian officials have defended the destruction. Unlike Israel, which passed the Protection of Holy Sites Law in 1967 immediately following the conquest of land occupied by Jordan and Egypt at the time, that guaranteed that

The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.

Instead, Palestinian president Mahmud Abas denies the synagogues even existed. Seriously. According to what I’m assuming has become the official line of the PA, “Israel left behind some empty buildings which that are likely to collapse. All the public buildings they left are in danger of collapsing.”
But they did exist. And even if they existed for only a short while, they meant something serious to tbose people who prayed there for nearly forty years. (The modern state of Syria possessed the Golan Heights for less time, and yet it claims that land as its own). And yes, I do understand that they were built while Gaza was occupied–and I do think that the occupation was wrong. But many Mosques throughout Israel were built during the occupation by Muslim forces, as were Churches built when the Christians occupied certain areas. And these are protected. The point being that the contemporary nature of the structures should not be an issue. The holiness and symbolic meaning of the entire land to all three faiths is the issue, and mutually free access of all religions should be defended by all.
Hamas understands this–or rather, they understand that in destroying the synagogues they are making a larger statement regarding their intentions for Palestine and Jewish access as a whole. According to Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, the decision was a historically based one: “We won’t allow any Wailing Walls on our blessed land,” he said. No, no walls. No buildings. No respect for the fact that Jews too might find the land holy. What would happen if Israel employed that same logic and held itself to the enlightened standard of the leaders of the Palestinian body politic? Hey, it’ll be one way to end intifada’t al-Aksa. I wonder what the international community would say about that. Would the UK attempt to detain the burners of the synagogues for “hate crimes”?
As a related aside, I wonder if there is some sort of theological underpinning to the whole affair, one that makes the burning somehow justified in the eyes of the post-Jewish world. Islam, like Christianity a daughter faith of Judaism, could be seen as justified in destroying its mother’s home in a perverse replay of religious history. Hell, if you supercede the teachings, why not supercede the sites?
I very much hope the Israeli government prevents any damage to Mosques, and I strongly commend Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who said he would “consider ostracizing any Jew that damages mosques in retaliation.” We should certainly not do unto others what they do to us–but rather do unto others what we would hope they would do unto us. And I hope very, very much that the moderate Palestinians whom I know do exist out there will recognize the evil of their brethren’s deeds and work to defend the rights of all traditions to respect and honor.
Check out blogsofzion and add your thoughts to the mix.

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