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Monday, April 18, 2011

Three good articles

Mudar Zahran in Hudson-NY:

The UN general assembly's vote could also bring terrifying complications and hardships to the Palestinians. The establishment of a Palestinian state in such a manner would give Israel the cause to absolutely sever its ties with the Palestinians; this act would deprive the Palestinians from working with Israel, the only country in the region where they are allowed to take employment, and the country that provides them with water, electricity, fuel and transportation outlets. Of course, such deprivation would be merely a technicality for Abbas and his colleagues in the Palestinian Authority. It would just bring them even more prominence and legitimacy to cover their corruption and abuse of their own people, while at the same time enabling them to delegitimize Israel even further by portraying themselves as Palestinian freedom fighters under siege by the "inhumane Israelis."

David Harris in HuffPo:

Over a span of two decades, hundreds of thousands of Jews were compelled to leave their ancestral lands because of violence and discrimination, yet there was hardly a peep from the international community.

The UN kept silent. Most governments looked the other way. Editorial writers and news reporters wasted little time on the subject. And few scholars rushed to their usual intellectual outlets to speak out.

But it should have been clear that this mass exodus was not just about the Jews. In fact, it was about the intolerance of societies that rejected basic notions of pluralism and respect for minorities.

Well, no one said anything and then what happened? Without Jews to target, those very same societies began to focus on other communities, especially Christians, but also minority Muslim sects.

But again, the very same universe that looked the other way when it came to the Jews didn't acquit itself any better when it came to Copts in Egypt or Chaldeans in Iraq.

After all, if it couldn't be pinned on Israel, why bother?
Yair Rosenberg in The Harvard Crimson:

In early 2010, the disruption of talks by major officials was all the rage on university campuses, even as these outbursts inspired greater measures of outrage amongst the broader student body. In January, General David H. Petraeus was repeatedly shouted down by student anti-war protesters during a speech to a packed Gaston Hall at Georgetown University. In response, organizations across campus—from the Georgetown University Student Union to the Georgetown Democrats—condemned the conduct. The next month, Israeli Ambassador Michael B. Oren was similarly assailed, this time by 11 members of the Muslim Student Union at UC-Irvine. The interruptions of “war criminal” and “mass murderer,” which prevented the ambassador from addressing an assembled audience of hundreds, were harshly condemned by the university administration, and the MSU was subsequently suspended as a campus organization.

But what seemed like a typical story of an overheated campus culture clash took an unusual turn after emails among the MSU’s membership surfaced indicating that the Irvine disruptions were carefully coordinated by the group to prevent the ambassador from speaking—a premeditated plan that involved staggered disruptions by predetermined individuals with cue cards, all directed via text messages. In light of this evidence, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas convened an investigatory grand jury and then leveled charges against the so-called “Irvine 11,” bringing the campus controversy into the California courts. Arraigned this past Friday, the students each pled not guilty to misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and disturbance of a meeting.

To understand why this prosecution is justified, and indeed similar future prosecutions of campus disruptors are warranted, one must first understand what this prosecution is not.
Read them all.

And if you are looking for reading material over the next two days that I am not posting, check out the "Gleanings" linkdumps at The Augean Stables. Lots of great stuff there.