Letter to the New York Times
By Dave Lippman
August 10, 2016
Times Public Editor:
Students and the Middle East Conflict, by Linda Wertheimer (August 3, 2016), about conflict between Palestine and Israel
supporters on campuses, is not journalism. It reads more like an AIPAC think-tank piece. Some examples:
“…Jewish students’ fears that their culture is under attack.”
It’s not their culture, it’s their alternating between
the destruction of and the theft of someone else’s culture. They’re
celebrating “Taste of Israel” with pomegranate seeds, hummus,
falafel, and pita. Taste of Palestine, anyone?
“…separation barrier running through the occupied West Bank,
which Israel built to thwart Palestinian suicide bombings and
No. To seize land. You just quoted their rationalization, which was
always a lie. Don’t do stenography for ethnic cleansers, please.
It’s not kosher.
“…he heard a [Students for Justice in Palestine] member speak
about what Palestinians lost when Israel became a state in 1948.”
What did they lose? Some paintings? Their
dog? Maybe their whole country?
“…a panel discussion on cultures affected by colonization…”
affected – is that a synonym for demolished?
“…kaffiyehs, the iconic symbol of Yasir Arafat…”
No, of Arab culture, and specifically in
this case, of Palestine. When you distort the truth about a people
in order to destroy their peoplehood, you are engaging in genocide. Lying about the culture of a people whose land you are taking,
appropriating both the land and the culture for yourselves – how is
this not genocidal?
“To leaders of Jewish organizations, those lines are frequently
blurred. They equate supporting the B.D.S. movement to supporting
Hamas and the destruction of their homeland.”
Their homeland? My Palestinian friends who grew up there can’t
go there. Any Jew from anywhere can move there, myself for instance,
while Palestinians continue to be evicted.
“…a survey of 3,199 Jewish students and recent graduates from
some 100 universities. A quarter said they had been blamed for
actions of Israel…”
Israel claims to speak for all Jews. Unless Jews repudiate
Israeli colonial demolition of Palestine, they are implicated.
Silence is complicity. Anyone knows this.
“…in March, protesters marched to the front of a classroom
and loudly chanted, “Israel is an apartheid state.” The guest
speaker was an Israeli diplomat whose topic was the art of
Key anti-apartheid South Africans will tell you that Israel is a
worse apartheid state than South Africa was. When Israeli diplomats
speak of the art of diplomacy, they are engaged in Brand Israel, a
project of the Israeli Foreign Ministry dedicated to whitewashing
Israeli dispossession of Palestine – kind of like what the Times
does in this article.
“Northeastern University’s chapter [of Students for Justice in
Palestine] was suspended for the
remainder of the school year after its members slipped 600 strongly
worded mock eviction notices under dorm room doors to mirror the
eviction of Palestinians. The notices reminded some of the expulsion
of Jews during the Holocaust.”
The irony is
that the mock evictions are based on real ones that Israel issues to
the indigenous people of the land. Those who “love Israel” can only
think of their own people, and not what those people do to
others. But let us not point that out in a “news” paper.
“Both sides lay claim to the land. Both sides have been
Equalization of unequal things. One stole the land from the
other. Look it up. It’s called the
Nakba. It was terrorism, and it continues. Anyone knows this,
except people who read the mainstream press. Jews were
victimized, but not by Palestinians.
“It pains me,” she said softly, “to see events in the world
dividing communities that are meant to be together.”
That’s your conclusion? Reminds me of things I wrote for my
high school paper after they were dumbed down by the advisor. The
“events” “dividing” “communities” are colonial domination and
decimation. Say their name! Or turn in your journalism license.