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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘American Thinker’

J.E. Dyer: Academia – Pro-Palestinians behaving badly

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

No, this wasn’t in the West Bank.  This happened in London on Monday, 14th May.  The Palestine Society of the University of London’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) held an event at the Khalili Lecture Theatre, advertised with these words: “I am Palestinian!  Representation and Democracy in the Arab Revolutionary Age.”  The event was open to the public, and – as is often the case – was being videorecorded by people in the audience.

Blogger Richard Millett was one of those using a video camera – for the first few minutes.  About 8 seconds into the presentation, Millett was prodded in the shoulder and ordered to stop recording.  When he refused, a man got in his face, demanding he stop recording, and said, “You’re a typical Israeli, you know.”  (Millett is not an Israeli, and it’s not even clear he’s Jewish.  I have no personal acquaintance with him.)  As that confrontation unfolded, a very large man seated in front of Millett got up, towered over Millett, ordered him to leave, and snatched Millett’s backpack, walking out of the auditorium with it.  The audience began rhythmic clapping, shouting at Millett to leave.  Millett tried to make the case for his presence at a meeting open to the public, being held at the taxpayer funded University of London facility, but the audience continued to shout at him – noise for noise’s sake; noise to drown him out and preempt any rational discourse.

Eventually, Millett did leave, in part to ensure the recovery of his personal belongings.  The audience clapped ecstatically for his departure.

If you go through Richard Millett’s website, what you will see is documentation of a number of such events (most of which he was able to remain and record throughout).  Millett is critical, no doubt about that, but all he does is document exactly what the anti-Israel – and often anti-Semitic – activists and lecturers themselves do and say.  He quotes them accurately and gets them on video when he can.  There is nothing unfair about his coverage; it is scrupulously honest.

The University of London should certainly look into this, and ensure that public events can be attended peacefully by anyone, and that videorecording is allowed to all or denied to all equally.  Such enforcement may have little effect, however, on a group mindset that resents not merely criticism but the simple truth.  If a civic or political group, meeting publicly, is not willing to have its activities and statements recorded truthfully by critics, its purpose is suspect.  Forcible suppression of truth only works one way:  those who practice it have wrong intentions.  There can be no good purpose for preventing third parties – i.e., the whole of society, whether friendly or critical – from seeing what is said and done at a public event sponsored by the Palestine Society.

The flip side of preventing the coverage of pro-Palestinian events is silencing supporters of Israel and those who make a pro-Israel – or even just a balanced – case in the matter of Israeli-Palestinian relations.  College campuses in the United States are the scene of a growing number of such attempts.

Quite a few of the most noteworthy have taken place in California (although by no means all.  On a slightly different head, see here for a Rutgers event to which putative Israel supporters were denied entry, based on blatant profiling by the sponsors.  And here for the attacks on Israel supporters who mounted political displays at UCLA and Penn State).  Back in 2010, writers for the American Thinker summarized a series of events at California universities at which critical or pro-Israel speech was shouted down – including an event made infamous for this exclamation by Dr. Jess Ghannam, a psychiatry professor at UC-San Francisco (emphasis added): “Now, every single Israeli military official and politician will be afraid to speak publicly. It’s huge!”

In a similar vein, Israeli soldiers giving a presentation at UC-Davis in March 2012 were relentlessly heckled by Palestinian-activist students.  One accused the Israelis of having turned “Palestine into a land of prostitutes, rapists, and child molesters.”  He hollered at the soldiers (emphasis added): “How many women have you raped?  How many children have you raped?  You are a child molester!”  And he admitted freely: “I can embarrass myself all I want.  I will stand here and I will heckle!  My only purpose today is that this event is shut down!”

Whitewashing The Muslim Brotherhood

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

After spending two years condemning Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks as impediments to peace, President Obama congratulated Egyptian demonstrators – reportedly members of the Muslim Brotherhood – for setting up checkpoints and conducting body searches.

The double standard is troubling, yet no longer surprising.

In his speech celebrating the success of protesters in removing President Mubarak, Obama said something remarkable when he reached the part highlighted below in italics:

“We saw a military that would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect. And we saw doctors and nurses rushing into the streets to care for those who were wounded; volunteers checking protesters to ensure that they were unarmed.”

The PBS “Frontline” show “Revolution in Cairo” reported that the checkpoints Obama praised were set up by the Muslim Brotherhood. Correspondent Charles M. Sennott explained, “The Brotherhood played a quietly effective role in bringing their hundreds of thousands of followers to the square and organizing checkpoints to keep the regime’s thugs from trying to trigger violence.” Advertisement

While stopping short of Obama’s outright praise, others in the media echoed Sennott in portraying the unauthorized searching of bags, checking of IDs, and pat-downs as sensible precautions, never as “controversial” intrusions.

The BBC’s Yolande Knell depicted the security measures as reasonable and necessary, noting, “They searched everyone who entered the square to make sure they had no weapons. There was even a separate queue for women – I was patted down apologetically several times.” BBC reports on Israel’s West Bank checkpoints mention two sides to the story – Israeli claims they are necessary for security, and Palestinian complaints that the restrictions are collective punishment. In Knell’s coverage of the Egyptian checkpoints, however, only one side of the story – the need for security -was reported.

Were the Brotherhood’s security measures proportional to a demonstrable threat? Obama and the media simply accepted at face value that the checkpoints were necessary.

In dramatic contrast, Obama has pressured Israel to remove anti-terror checkpoints, resulting in terrorist atrocities.

As Reuters reported in June 2009, “Israel lifted restrictions at two checkpoints in the West Bank after U.S. President Barack Obama urged Israel to take concrete steps to improve the lives of Palestinians in occupied territory . Washington wants Israel to lift army roadblocks and checkpoints and to freeze settlement building as part of a policy that would lead to establishing a Palestinian state.”

At least 19 anti-terror checkpoints were lifted by mid-2010. The results of yielding to Obama’s pressure were predictably tragic. In June 2010, an Israeli policeman was shot to death and two civilians wounded; two months later, four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were murdered. All the killings occurred on the West Bank’s Route 60, where all checkpoints had been lifted.

The difference between the Jewish state and other targets of terror is that wicked motives are ascribed only to the Israelis when they defend themselves. PBS’s Bill Moyers speaks for many on the Left when he alleges, “Israel misses no opportunity to humiliate the Palestinians with checkpoints, concrete walls, routine insults, and the onslaught in Gaza” (this from the same PBS whose man in Cairo, Charles Sennott, lauds the Muslim Brotherhood as nonviolent moderates devoted to charitable works). When checkpoints are removed and terrorist prisoners released, such sacrifices do not fit the hate-Israel script and are ignored.

Perhaps it could be argued that comparing a government’s use of checkpoints with that of protesters is not an exact analogy. In that case, let’s hypothetically imagine the security measures of Muslim Brotherhood volunteers being taken by other volunteers. Picture Tea Partiers protesting in a heavily traveled section of a major city and cordoning off the zone, demanding IDs, searching bags, and patting down everyone who wishes to enter the area. Imagine Israeli volunteers stepping forward to do the same, with no legal authority, in a dangerous area they feel their government is not protecting sufficiently. Would our president congratulate them? Would the media accept the necessity of their checkpoints without question? Or would we be hearing words like “vigilante,” “unlawful,” “extremist,” and worse?

This troubling contradiction is simply a microcosm of the broader double standard practiced by the administration, the media, and “progressives.” The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in Americanoted that in February, “The New York Times has run two op-eds sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and a news story favorable to the group’s leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/whitewashing-the-muslim-brotherhood/2011/03/09/

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