"In any context other than the Israeli one, the idea of college students testing the limits of "permissible discussion" would be ridiculous. Imagine college students "testing the limits" of debate on abortion, gun control, the death penalty or any other issue. It's inconceivable, at least nowadays. In the United States today, students can freely discuss anything... except Israel. How crazy is that?"Ha ha ha. College students can freely discuss anything. That's funny. That's really funny. If you have an hour and a half to spare, check out this documentary called "Indoctrinate U." In reality, views that are conservative or simply not left-wing are completely unwelcome and often squelched on the American college campus:
And of course, this is a classic Palsbarist strawman. College students freely discuss Israel (and often in bigoted, radical ways that would be unacceptable about any other country) but Hillel is refusing to allow radical views under their roof or on their dime. It's amazing how dishonestly Israel haters keep going back to the same well: just because you refuse to give money to a group doesn't mean you are silencing them. I would like to remind MJ Rosenberg of his own words, yet again:
"If you take money from your parents, they should have some say in what you do with it."In this case Hillel is the parents, not the USA. So if Rosenberg isn't a hypocrite he would shut up and let them exercise their freedom. But since he is a hypocrite, he won't. So anyway, after pompously declaring that in 2014 Congresspeople will "criticize the occupation" (whoop de doo) and providing some free advertising for his fellow professional Israel hater Max Blumenthal, though he eventually gets to criticizing him:
"But Blumenthal is simply not credible, even though the facts are on his side, because the book drips with hatred of Israel. In fact, it concludes with a section called "Exodus Party" which expresses what he clearly hopes is Israel's future: its collapse with its people moving to Europe. Moreover Blumenthal is an American who speaks neither Hebrew nor Arabic. His book, despite the truth it tells about the occupation is easy to ignore, which is what the Israel establishment should have done rather than attempt to ban it. (For the record, I recommend the book for its comprehensive reporting of the occupation but only for that)."Of course he does. Rosenberg contrasts Blumenthal with Ari Shavit, who also wrote a book criticizing the occupation, though Rosenberg naturally uses his classic blown-up language like describing Israel's actions as "devastating" and "nauseating." But he is correct that Shavit's goals are to make Israel better, contrasting Blumenthal's that is motivated by a desire to see it annihilation. But having found someone to hide behind, he makes another "big claim:"
"From now on, Palestinian debaters need only cite Ari Shavit when they challenge the absurd myth that the Palestinians left the country after being told to flee by their own leaders. They were driven out. Period."Uh huh. And I guess when Mahmoud Abbas (among other Arabs) said that they were told to leave by their leaders they were...what? Lying? I'll have to read Shavit's book to get the whole story, because I know that Rosenberg won't tell it to me, but I can't help but wonder if a medium is the closest to the truth. Some were driven out and some left. Rosenberg naturally can barely handle his love for Shavit's book, declaring that it "has utterly destroyed much of their hasbara package." I'm curious how exactly forcing Israel to take responsibility for something that it didn't do 65 years ago is "pro-Israel," but there are some glimmers of hope in his column as he criticizes his fellow anti-Zionists in the mildest way possible:
"More and more, I view the self-proclaimed anti-Zionist left as primarily being in the hate business, every bit as much as the "pro-Israel" right. The more virulent the attack on Israel and Israelis, the more enthusiastically they will endorse it. Blumenthal's book is all virulence and so they love it. Shavit's book, like The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart, is infused with love of Israel so they hate it -- even though it advances arguments they, in theory, champion. Hate gets in the way."You should be careful, MJ. Just ask Norman Finkelstein about how quickly the Israel haters will turn on their own at the sign of even the mildest criticism. The anti-Zionist left has been putting food on your table for a long time. And just because you agree with them about some (or even most things) will not be enough.
"The '48 refugees are not returning to Israel. But it would go far toward peace for Israel to at least admit that it caused the nakba, and it did so intentionally."If it did so intentionally, then let's see the proof. Saying "read Shavit's book" isn't proof, though I will try to get my hands on it. Rosenberg claims to have read it, so could he cite a passage or something? Oh wait, I forgot who I was talking to. Never mind.