Opinion | Op-eds

Actions speak louder than words

Nearly half a dozen articles have been written attempting to decipher why Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine refuses to “dialogue” with Hillel and affiliated organizations. All the articles about C-SJP’s stance disregard a fundamental point: “Dialogue” gifts the oppressor legitimacy and takes power away from the oppressed. In other words, participating in dialogue, even on college campuses, works to help Israel ignore and sustain the occupation and chokes Palestinian resistance.

C-SJP’s policy has been characterized as “counterproductive” and stifling. In a recent op-ed, Jonah Liben stated that “by refusing to program events together,” C-SJP avoids “discussing difficult subjects. As students and future leaders, it is our duty to leave our comfort zones.” However, dialogue on campuses shifts the focus away from Israel-Palestine and onto our campus. What does that say about our power and privilege? As a group in solidarity with the Palestinians who face grave injustices every day, we seek to take students out of their comfort zones to realize that we as Americans are complicit in Israel’s occupation. Conversing about semantics, the necessity of checkpoints, the definition of occupation, or whether or not an occupation exists evades the very essence of the actual situation. While dialogue is being presented as an option to create a solution, the reality is that, during these peace talks and attempts at dialogue, Palestine is shrinking while Israel is expanding. The type of dialogue that Hillel and other pro-Zionist groups on campus seek is one that completely ignores the power structure of Israel and the Palestinians. In solidarity with the Palestinians, C-SJP recognizes the power imbalance and refuses to perpetuate it by engaging in activities that deny the reality of the situation on the ground.

Sarah Ngu’s article in The Eye last week suggests that C-SJP members and Hillel members have differing definitions of Zionism. She says “there is a disparity between” C-SJP’s “perception of Hillel and Hillel’s self-perception.” This is true. Inevitably, a Palestinian student at a checkpoint and those in solidarity with him would view Zionism and the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state differently than an Israeli solider or someone who supports Israel as a Jewish state would. This discrepancy is not because there is a lack of discussion between the two parties, nor is it because there is no codified definition of Zionism or apartheid. It is because at a checkpoint, someone is holding the gun and someone is at the end of the barrel.

Ngu states that dialogue would promote a “deeper understanding of both student groups” and describes groups like J Street as more “moderate,” suggesting that C-SJP would benefit from working with such groups. Regardless of its intentions, J Street attempts to put a more palatable, liberal face on a colonial project. Ultimately, these groups endorse the idea of Israel as a national homeland for Jews. Again, this goal is based on the absence of the indigenous people of the land. If blacks were fighting for emancipation in the antebellum South and the slave owners believed that in order to maintain the institution of slavery, they must treat their slaves better, this would not make slavery moral. The root of the problem is the institution of slavery, not the treatment of slaves. Similarly, asking Palestinians to accept the state of Israel as it stands today is asking them to participate in their own ethnic cleansing in order to seem “constructive” or diplomatic in the eyes of the colonial powers that seek to erase them.

Furthermore, the notion that Zionists may advise Palestinians on how to resist the same occupation that they refuse to oppose is tremendously problematic. You cannot simultaneously refuse to resist the occupation and dictate what “constructive” (read: legitimate) resistance looks like. You cannot write Israeli policy and, at the same time, determine how it may be resisted. The “uncomfortable” discussion Liben overlooks is the heart of the matter for Palestinians: As it exists today, Israel being premised on the death of Palestine and privileging Jews over all others is a process of ethnic cleansing.

Dina Omar is a graduate student in anthropology, Randa May Wahbe is a graduate student in public health, Tanya Keilani is a graduate student in anthropology, and Alaa Milbes is a graduate student in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies. They are the Palestinian Women of Students for Justice in Palestine.

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Anonymous posted on

Boycott is the only viable solution.

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Anonymous posted on

Great job guys! The individuals who the article are disgusting and need to be called out for their actions. I commend both of you and wish you both the best of luck in all of your future endeavors to support Israel and her right to exist.

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Anonymous posted on

Absolutely could not agree more.

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Anonymous posted on

Great job, guys. It's nice to hear something like this, even in Spec.

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Anonymous posted on


Why doesn't Lionpac ask SJP to debate with them?

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Anonymous posted on

because the general public will realize how ridiculous and weak the pro israeli argument is

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Anonymous posted on

im not so familiar with everything that's going on but isnt that exactly what they've been doing? Hillel's entire response was "Let's Talk." SJP seems to have made it explicitly clear that they will do no such thing since they deem dialogue as sidestepping the problem. They dont see the purpose in debate.

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Anonymous posted on

SJP prefers rockets to words

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Anonymous posted on

I have offered time and again, I said it in response to similar questions on other Op-Eds and at other junctures. I will debate/discuss any of these issues with anyone from the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, anywhere and anytime.

- Eric Schorr

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Anonymous posted on

SJP is not interested in discussing Israel. SJP does not recognize the Jewish State Israel. Until they are willing to accept a Jewish state in Israel there is nothing to discuss. Do not fool yourself by believing this is about the security checkpoints. That is just another stunt put together to delegitimize Israel's right to exist. After Hamas and the PA recognize the State of Israel, then we will be able to talk until then what are we talking about?

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Anonymous posted on

Great job ladies!

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Anonymous posted on

This is solely about the denial of Jewish State in Israel. This was and never will be about security checkpoints. SJP is solely about the destruction and delegitimization of the state of Israel's right to exist. After you and the PA recognize the State of Israel then and only then can we begin to discuss the complexities. Do not be foolish by thinking that "This discrepancy is not because there is a lack of discussion between the two parties, nor is it because there is no codified definition of Zionism or apartheid. It is because at a checkpoint, someone is holding the gun and someone is at the end of the barrel." You clearly state what this is about. You write, "the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state differently than an Israeli solider or someone who supports Israel as a Jewish state would."
SJP has shown us how easy to spread myths and lies. The refugee problem is not Israel's fault and never will be. Take some responsibility. Israel did not declare war in 1948. And Israel has no reason to stop progressing while refugees are being used as pawns by the Iranian and other Arab states to prolong a problem.

Everything SJP stands for is just more and more lies. The more they write and repeat them the more they become true. It is scary that they are a legitimate student group.

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Anonymous posted on

C-SJP's reaction to Hillel's anti-normalization issue is great. As an activist, I know that sitting down to have "negotiations," even between activist groups is a waste of time.

We all know it. Including Zionist and pro-Zionist students on campus. Have you asked yourself why pro-Zionist groups would like to sit down for coffee, but when asked to debate say, settlements, or Israeli apartheid, or anything of that nature, they decline?

They will ask for soccer and basketball matches with SJP, but refuse to talk about series issues. Why don't we cut the B.S. and have serious dialogue. I believe this was the issue this article focused on. I appreciate these ladies for writing it.

Keep up the good work ladies!

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Anonymous posted on

genocide?

christians and muslims? Jews?
What are you talking about "Arafat," or should I say, Eric?

Why do you insist on changing the subject?

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Anonymous posted on

I can only assume you are talking about me in that comment. All I have to say is, are you kidding me? You honestly think that's me? I don't even know who you are Annie but if you're accusing me of being an islamaphobic profiling racist then you are not only mistaken but completely offensive in your judgments. I am not "Arafat" and to think I am is completely unfounded. I have never espoused any of the sentiments Arafat proclaims never privately and never publicly. Not that I expect an apology but this just shows how unbelievably offensive you and your cohorts are. You have no regard for decent and structured debate or discussion and drive directly to personal insults and accusations.

- Eric Schorr

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Anonymous posted on

Trash trash trash trash trash. Avoiding dialogue is just pretending that every issue is clear cut, which obviously isnt the case. Absurdly pointless op-ed.

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Anonymous posted on

Thank you for providing an example of how demanding dialogue is a tactic of oppression. What nuances must a Palestinian family be expected to engage in dialogue about when their home is being bulldozed to make room for an Israeli settlement? When a wall is being illegally built between their home and their farmland? I can't imagine how it could possibly be more "clear cut"

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Anonymous posted on

then you're seeing only what you wish to see. the israeli-palestinian conflict doesn't merely boil down israeli settlers building apartments in contested lands. it's far more complex than that--hence the need for dialogue and understanding. opinion pieces such as this one do nil to further the cause of peace; if you advocate dissolution of the israeli nation-state, then i guess that's ok.

the tragic irony of this article, which seems to be lost on its authors, is that opinions such as this one only contribute to more palestinian suffering. this article is nothing less than a call to war: dialogue is useless, the authors imply, bring on the katyusha rockets, b/c that's the only way we'll ever get what we want. really sad.

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Anonymous posted on

Thanks for taking the time to clarify your reason for not engaging in dialogue with Hillel groups. The example of slavery drove home the point!

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Arafat posted on

Sam,

Here's some real slavery for you. Maybe one day we will read something from one of the Muslim students about this aspect of Islam.

http://islammonitor.org/index....

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Anonymous posted on

"Ultimately, these groups endorse the idea of Israel as a national homeland for Jews."

Why don't the Jews deserve a homeland as much as any other nation?

Jews are here being singled out as less-deserving of a state than other nations the world over. I feel no reservations whatsoever calling this article a work of anti-semitism.

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Anonymous posted on

Agreed wholeheartedly

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Anonymous posted on

Let me be clear, on one said that Jews do not deserve a state. If anything—Jews desperately needed a place to flee in response to anti-Semitism in Europe. Weather it would be a state of not that is a different question all together. (See Hannah Arendt). What this article suggests is that you can’t expect Palestinians to be okay with being uprooted in order to pave the way for the Jewish State. Just like you would not expect Native Americans to happily just give up their homes, and lands in order to give the pilgrims a country.

Also, calling people anti-semetic has become a manipulative tactic to silence people... and it dilutes the real meaning and heaviness of the term.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm fully aware that "anti-semitic" is a term brandished all too often. I consciously refrained from calling the women who wrote this anti-semitic, instead pointing out the anti-semitism inherent in their argument which I'm sure they didn't realize. Your amendment of the article to say that the authors (it is unclear whether you are one of them or not) didn't mean to say that Jews don't deserve a state is dubious. Additionally there are clear historical sources that say that Israelis didn't uproot the Palestinians but rather that they were uprooted by Arab armies invading Israel immediately after the State declared independence - obviously you have sources that you feel are just as reliable that say exactly the opposite. It is indisputable that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the State of Israel since Biblical times.

Say what you will about Israel's governmental policy, C-SJP women. Don't try and say that the entire state should become a Palestinian one - what happens to the Jews who live there then? Israelis and Palestinians both want a two-state solution - when will you get on board?

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Anonymous posted on

"Don't try and say that the entire state should become a Palestinian one - what happens to the Jews who live there then?"

Jumping to conclusions? I don't know that you read the article that closely, there is nothing in it that would indicate such a thing. In fact, as a contributor to this article, I'd firmly say that it's not in line with our ideas at all.

Further, even Israeli governmental sources thoroughly document the expulsion of Palestinians from their land; there is nothing to dispute here. This is not about whether or not people are deserving of a state, but rather about what it means to build a state atop of an entire indigenous population, to build a state based on exclusion and displacement. A state for the Jewish people neglects 20% of its Arab/Palestinian Muslim and Christian citizenry. There are currently 20 new bills in the Knesset that would specifically target this large and indigenous minority community.

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Arafat posted on

Muslims are famous for respecting non-Muslim's rights to exist. They (Muslims) make great neighbors!

Just look at how they respect the Animist's right to exist in Sudan, or the Christian's right to exist in Mosul and Alexandria. Or look at how well Muslims treat Hindus in Pakistan and Bangaldesh. And what of the Armenian Christian in Turkey. Whoops, I almost forgot they were all killed by Muslims. And look at the Bahai of Iran, not every single one of them has been hung yet. Or look at the Palestinian issues and how respectfully Muslims have treated these people! Kuwait kicked out 400,000 Palestinians during the 1991 Iraq war because Arafat sided with Hussein. Now these Palestinians live in THE worst refugee camp is Syria. Kudos Kuwait and for their love and concern for their Palestinian brothers! But look at the Palestinian's other Muslim brothers. Why is it not one single Muslim nation gives Palestinians anywehre near the rights that they get in Israel? Is that how Muslims respect their neighbors and brothers.

Long story short. If anyone is SO naive as to believe Palestinians will ever be good neighbors to Jews then I have a bridge, a used car, whatever you want for sale. Who are we kidding here. Look at Muslim's history towards Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Copts, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Zoroastrians, Animsts, Armenians, black Africans, Jains, you name it and you will see very clearly what they would do if they had the ability to do what they want against the Jews in Israel.

The Religion of Peace? Who are we kidding.

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Anonymous posted on

"Additionally there are clear historical sources that say that Israelis didn't uproot the Palestinians but rather that they were uprooted by Arab armies invading Israel immediately after the State declared independenc"

there were a few isolated incidents of women and children getting cleared out of battlezones during April, evne though much of the Arab leadership called on them to stay. Apart from that there are NO historical sources whatsoever to back up this claim, it's pure propaganda. On the other hand there are mointains of testimonies from Palestinians, Israelis and internationals of the various methods used to expel Palestinians from their homeland. Go read Yigal Alon, one of the senior commanders, talking about the psychological warfare he deployed (whispering campaigns), Yitzahk Rabin on the expulsions he orchestrated from Lydda, government ministers expressing shock about the many massacres, and of course the many testimonies of the refugees themselves, and please don't spread such odious, misleading claims.

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Anonymous posted on

You know, Hannah Arendt wasn't the only Jewish thinker at the time to wonder aloud about how a Jewish state should ultimately look. Should such a state exist? How should it be constructed? Where should it exist? Many Zionists at the time were writing about these questions. If you care to learn more, take Dan Miron's class, and you'll see that Zionism is far from some monolithic entity seeking to displace the Palestinians in evil fashion.

More to the point, it'd be nice to discuss this sort of thing with you, but it seems you've adopted the primitive, single-minded stance that this would be somehow be "caving in to the oppressor." So be it. Israel is what it is, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how many rockets the terrorists fire or bombs they strap to their own people. We can move forward or, alternatively, we can adopt your logic and move nowhere at all.

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Anonymous posted on

As a contributor to this article, I'm aware of the history of Zionism. I've researched it in full and I'm familiar with the movement's authors and intellectuals. But the fact of the matter is, this variegated form of Zionism you speak of is not the one that is manifested in Israel's policies. In fact, Israel itself neglects the rich history of Zionism you refer to. Blame it on Israel for marginalizing and silencing these voices. We speak of Zionism in practice, not in theory.

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Anonymous posted on

The authors clearly said they would not engage formally by establishing a dialogue between two organizations, but I'm sure they would be happy to discuss the issue as individuals -- which is an obvious component of their advocacy work.

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Anonymous posted on

Yes, Anon22. The article specifically states Zionist groups, not individuals. That is up to individual members of C-SJP. The point is that it is not productive/efficient/sensible/ethical/etc for us as an organization to dialogue/co-sponsor events with Zionist organizations. It's not in line with our goals as a group, which is to follow the lead and the needs of the Palestinian people living under occupation and second and third class citizenship. They don't ask us to dialogue with groups whose political policies are diametrically oppositional to theirs. Our role is to stand in solidarity with them, to work, to act, to educate. Hence the "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" title. The Palestinians have tired of dialogue; it has gotten them nowhere. It's like speaking about who gets to eat a pizza while one party has already eaten most of it. Again, logic of power structures and hegemony should make clear; it is not the role of Palestinians or those in solidarity with them to engage Zionists in talk, in the same way that Native Americans, the Mau Mau of Kenya, South Africans, and so on, should not have been expected to talk with their colonizers and those that supported them. It is not "primitive" to refuse talk; it is "primitive" to support unethical policies and expect talk from those that suffer under them.

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Arafat posted on

Tanya,

Raymond wrote the following article with your genome type in mind. Read it while thinking about looking in a mirror, for you will see yourself clearly described in this article! Self-knowledge is a good thing. LOL

http://www.raymondibrahim.com/...

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Anonymous posted on

Using the Native American example is completely irrelevant. If you look at history, Jews are also natives of the Land of Israel just as some groups of Arabs and Druze are. Therefore, that example is not applicable. Jews are not pilgrims to Israel in the same way that the British originally colonized America. Europeans had never been to America before, unlike Jews who have been in the Land of Israel for thousands of years despite having been kicked out many times.

In addition, Jews were not only fleeing European persecution but also terrible persecution from Arab countries going on at the same time and even before. That is why so many Jews from Arab countries arrived before many European Jews did. The Jews in Arab countries had just as much of a difficult time if not worse than Jews in Europe until the Holocaust.

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Anonymous posted on

The Jewish people are one whole people, no matter where they were forced to go by the Diaspora. No matter...American Jew, European Jew, Asian Jew, Middle Eastern Jew, it's all one people who have historically been in the Land of Israel for thousands of years and no amount of lies, false comparisons and propaganda will change that fact.

This article embodies the essence of why peace is has been impossible. If one group is unwilling to discuss anything, nothing will change. It is up to us, as students to shape the future, and it certain groups continue to make the same mistakes of their predecessors, then the same things that many want to see end will only continue. I am very disappointed by the attitude of this article. In the South, masters never tried to have dialogues with their slaves to figure how out to improve this situation. That is the antithesis of slavery, therefore, how could you compare the Israel-Palestinian Conflict to slavery? There is absolutely no comparison. If this was a slave-master situation, the "master" would not spend so much time trying to improve relations with the "slave." I would appreciate it if SJP would stop making dramatic comparisons that have absolutely no relevance to the situation.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm glad you guys point out the vapidity of Sarah Ngu's pseudoprofound conclusion.

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Anonymous posted on

Why is this of concern to anyone other than Israelis and Palestinians? Why is this of concern to the Columbia community? Please leave your fights at home. None of us care.

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Anonymous posted on

Not everyone at Columbia is superficial and close-minded as you are. I am not, for instance

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Anonymous posted on

Why? Because our tax dollars and our tuition contribute to this occupation. Because this is an issue at the heart of our foreign policy. Because Palestinians didn't ask the USA to give Israel 3 billion in military funding a year (more than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined). Because the US subsidies Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank. And on, and on.

I care about where my money goes. Speak for yourself, many of us do care.

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Arafat posted on

Tanya,

Let's not forget about all our tax dollars going to Pakistan and Egypt; two beacons of light for the whole world to stand in awe of. (I hope I'm not offending you...maybe you are Pakistani?)

And let's especially not forget all the billions in aid devoted to the Palestinians! For they are the largest recipient of international aid (US aid included) of any people anywhere in the world. And what do they have to show for it? Lots of good movies like the following:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009...

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010...

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

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Anonymous posted on

GReat Job Ladies!! Yes the example of slavery hit home! But unfortunantly there are still those who think of slavery as a distant memory not realizing it's alive and well in America today. Keep it up. In solidarity.

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Anonymous posted on

Excellent piece! Keep them coming!

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Anonymous posted on

Great Job. Thanks for bringing back a bit of reality on Campus (and on Spectator)

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Anonymous posted on

Insulting, factually incorrect, and completely disgusting. It is shameful that so many people are so narrow-sighted. Israel will not be going anywhere.

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Anonymous posted on

So what you're saying is that the Jewish people does not deserve the same rights as the Palestinian people. Even as you demand self-determination for Palestinians in their national home, you lambaste Zionism, which is nothing but the equivalent belief in Jewish self-determination in their national home. (And no, Tanya, that is not, as you say above, "jumping to conclusions." By falsely referring to Israel as a "colonial project" and slamming all groups (even J-Street, whose mandate seems to be to criticize Israel) that "endorse the idea of Israel as a national homeland for Jews," you clearly lay out your views on the legitimacy of the Jewish refuge.

And then you have the gall to state that Zionists -- that is, anyone who does not seek to reverse progress by erasing from the map the Jewish nation state -- have no right to say certain types of "resistance" are illegitimate. That view should be anathema to all who believe in international law, which endorses Israel's national rights and forbids the intentional murder of civilians that has been so deep a part of Palestinian "resistance."

The attitudes expressed in this Op-Ed are indicative of why peace has been so hard to come by.

p.s. Your suggestion that Hillel is " the oppressor" is also quite disturbing. How would you react to having C-SJP labelled as "the terrorists"? Surely with displeasure. But then, you've already made clear your view that you see respect and rights as being "for me -- not for thee."

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Anonymous posted on

That's not what they said. There is a distinct difference between the Zionist claim to Palestine and the Palestinian claim to Palestine. By and large Zionists decided that Palestine would be their homeland, while they were in Europe with absolutely no connections, except a distant religious fantasy, to the land of Palestine. They had no "right" to do that, and they certainly had no right to do it in a manner that dispossessed and disenfranchised the native population. The claim that Palestine should be a homeland for the Jews of the world, who were not in Palestine, is totally illegitimate. That is a separate question altogether of whether today, and going forward, Palestine should remain a safe haven for Jews around the world. It should, no doubt, be a safe haven for the Jews who live there today. Whether it should be so for Jews who have no Israeli citizenship going forward is a question that is conditioned on whether Palestinians in the diaspora will have their right of return recognized, and on whether there is full formal and legal equality between Arabs and Jews in Palestine going forward. It is certainly possible that in the right conditions, after justice and reconciliation, Palestine could become a national home for both Jews and Palestinians.

As for the international law argument you made, you seem to miss the point. It is utterly disingenuous to defend the occupation and actively support it, or refuse to resist it, while also dictating to others how they should resist it. This is not a question of what is right/wrong under international law. It's a question of what you truly believe: no one believes you when you pretend to have Palestinian interests at heart, at the same time that you support an occupation or military campaign that irreparably harms or kills thousands of them. Granted, certain things are "wrong" no matter what -- like the murder of civilians. But boycott is not one of them, and yet people who defend the occupation insist on claiming that boycott is unproductive at the same time that they participate in the military or defend it in public.

Nobody said Hillel was "the oppressor." But it is certainly quite active in defending the oppressor.

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Anonymous posted on

Thank you Anon for your comment. I could not agree more.

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Arafat posted on

Thank you Dina for your comment. I could not disagree more.

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Anonymous posted on

Factually incorrect, morally depraved, and unnecessarily provocative. This is filth.

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Anonymous posted on

If righting wrongs and fighting injustice is the point of C-SJP and its friends on campus, I would suggest that there are indigenous and aboriginal people much closer to home who need your urgent assistance, especially in light of your relative wealth, power and privilege. I speak, of course, of the native inhabitants of Manhattan Island -- who were ethnically cleansed so that foreigner colonizers could build Columbia University, and everything else in NYC. As people who benefit from this injustice -- and daily take advantage of it -- you are just as guilty as the original oppressors. In fact, more so, in light of your sophisticated understanding of, and appreciation for, human rights, which the founders of Columbia could not have been expected to share.

Why then do you focus so intently on a conflict that is thousands of miles away -- and which is so easy for you to view abstractly -- when, to put it bluntly, you daily trod on stolen land? Until you work to restore the rights of ethnically cleansed Native Americans, it is hard to take you or your arguments seriously.

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Anonymous posted on

You are seriously using the example of Native Americans as a reason why people should not support Palestinians? How is that morally consistent?

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Anonymous posted on

Great article! Keep it up SJP :D

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Anonymous posted on

What most people reading this op-ed ignore or forget is that 2011 will mark the TWENTIETH anniversary of "peace talks" between Palestinians and Israelis. What happened during these years while the Palestinians were at the negotiation table is very helpful in contextualizing positions of the two sides here. During these 20 odd years, the Palestinians have only seen more of their land being taken away from them (# of Israeli in occupied West bank in 1991 was 30 thousand, in 2010 it's close to 300 thousand), the Wall being erected, numerous assaults on Palestinians, and more Palestinians have become refugees. What people also ignore is that numerous dialogue programs do exist on and off campus and there is enough room on campus for the those who see dialogue as a fruitful tool. The right of other groups to be disillusioned by the premise and practice of dialogue should be respected. The mock checkpoint event is very illustrative of the suffering of people under occupation. What became apparent from the reaction of the Zionist groups is that they cannot really fathom what it must be like to be a Palestinian in occupied Palestine. It is this empathy that is the goal of having a dialogue after all. As a Palestinian who spent more than 2 hours debating with the most ardent flag-wearing Israelis that same day, I can only find this reaction to the event unjustified if not outright laughable.

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Arafat posted on

wordswordswords,

Your as good with wordswrodswords as Joseph Goebbels was, i.e., leave out the facts, repeat a lie, repeat a lie, repeat a lie, repeat a lie, repeat a lie, until the lie becomes the truth.

Just in case you did not read this article earlier I'm re-posting it just for you (and Joseph Goebbel's ghost from hell too):

http://www.raymondibrahim.com/...

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Anonymous posted on

The 'problem' with this article is not that it is "Factually incorrect, morally depraved, and unnecessarily provocative"
(really yyz? they consider those valid criticisms in Canada?) but that it conflates the views of the Palestinian writers with those of a solidarity group.Of course Palestinians do not see the point in engaging with discussions with any Zionist group that supports their ethnic cleansing as a "necessary evil", regardless of the time, place, or language used to convey that message.

However, as far as I can tell, SJP should not and does not engage in dialogue for a multitude of reasons- including, but not limited to, the distracting tendencies of dialogue and the simple act of abiding by a call to boycott from Palestinian civil society.

The power relations present at a checkpoint are of concern to Palestinians and those in solidarity with them, but should not be confused with the political basis for founding a solidarity group like SJP or any other organization that does not engage in dialogue. After all, SJP is a group based on the importance of human rights and discussing the importance of those human rights does not achieve any of the aims that are in SJPs founding charter. This is not because members of Hillel are "bad" people but simply because they do not challenge the status quo in Israel, and cannot change the lived reality of Palestinians living under occupation. SJP is trying to raise awareness about the problems, and discussing the "complexity" of the situation with Hillel does not achieve that goal. SJP does not exist to give members of Hillel a sounding board for their thoughts and feeling, but as an international solidarity group that believes in BDS and tries to raise awareness about the reality of living under occupation, or the problems faced by the Palestinian refugee population living in diaspora.

This is a question of strategy and using precious time and energy productively, not a game where freshman can hurl simple insults about terrorism and antisemitism for self-gratification.

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Anonymous posted on

tldr

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Anonymous posted on

amazing article!

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Anonymous posted on

this article is very well written. obviously i do not know the situation on other college campuses well, but i can say that a willingness to engage with the "oppressor" representation can have a positive effect in a multitude of ways. By refusing to engage in dialogue, you do miss out on having your voice heard by other members of your campus community who genuinely do care about the issue. you cant change a mind, deepen anybody's understanding of conflict or make a positive investment in the future of interfaith/interpolitical relationships if you are not willing to have an exchange of thoughts in some kind of organized forum. Last year, both the Arab student Union and SJP sent representatives to an event called "rethinking Israel/Palestine" on our campus, which was hosted by two separate jewish organizations. These representatives sat on a panel of four discussing the conflict and on-campus relationships. The event did not solve the problem in Palestine (neither do the apartheid weeks or the BDS movement or the Hasbara Fellowship), nor did it prevent SJP from having an apartheid week (nor was it intended to do that). but it laid a foundation for amicable relationships, it laid a groundwork for mutual respect which sincerely had been absent from our campus for half a decade. it allowed for people with varied viewpoints to hear one another out, to genuinely grow as individuals and mature in unexpected ways.  While i understand dialoguing does take the focus away from what is happening in the middle east and shifts focus to what is happening on our campuses (if you allow it to), what is happening on our campuses is an important aspect of the conflict and the way the conflict is perceived on a global scale. and as college campuses are historically a battlefront for global issues, what better a light to shine unto the rest of the world than one which shows students of radically different backgrounds sharing with one another in a genuine and meaningful way? perhaps not as good of a news story as two groups pitted against one another separated by a police force, but i for one do not believe the world issues need to be or will be solved in this kind of manner.

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