Steve Niva is a professor in Political Science and Middle East Studies, and a long-time boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) activist. He’s a frequent contributor to the viciously anti-Israel (and anti-American) “Counterpunch” newsletter. A list of some of Niva’s courses will give you an idea of his ideology:
Spring 2012. US Foreign Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. This program examined debates over the nature and causes of terrorism in the Middle East and considered alternatives to the policies adopted in the “war on terror.”
Fall/Winter 2013-14: Alternatives to Capitalist Globalization. This program will explore and critically analyze the diverse social movements and alternative visions for creating more just global and national institutions and societies.
Spring, 2013: Beyond Protest: New Theories and Practices of Political Action. This program will explore the theory and practice of new forms of oppositional political action that go beyond familiar modes of public protest.
Both Sharoni and Niva are mentioned several times in Rachel Corrie’s Journals, and clearly they were important in her decision to go to Gaza. The radical community in Olympia/Evergreen has beatified Rachel Corrie while demonizing Israel; Rachel is not the only one who bought the Palestinian story hook, line and sinker.
Doubtless those adult mentors believe that they are free of guilt for her death. They are not. Rachel Corrie’s Journals mentions a “Joe F.” who was her Arabic teacher — there is a Joe Fahoum teaching Arabic at Evergreen — who, according to a footnote (provided by the family), urged her not to go to Gaza.
Possibly he understood the real nature and objectives of the ISM and the danger Rachel would be in, and unlike the others, cared enough to see her as a young woman with a future rather than as a pawn to be sacrificed in the war against the Jewish state.
Visit the Fresno Zionism blog.