Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
San Diego State University has become the latest battleground for the Israel haters, and yet again they have been soundly defeated.

It didn't look that way at first.  San Diego Jewish World reported on a visit by two IDF soldiers to campus a couple of weeks ago:
Yishai and Ilana are students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, but they weren’t visiting San Diego County in that capacity earlier this week. They came as two former active-duty 1st lieutenants of the Israel Defense Forces...

In their estimate of these two Army reservists, a visit to San Diego State University provided both low and high points of their trip, the low point coming when the student legislature took “testimony” on a proposal to divest student funds from companies doing business with Israel, and the high point coming later that afternoon when Ilana and Yishai walked and talked with pro-Palestinian students from Gaza and the United States and later had the opportunity to fully answer their charges during a presentation in San Diego’s new Hillel House.

The BDS resolution, which will be voted upon by the student Senate following the Spring break, was the subject of a hearing at which, as Ilana described it, was controlled by one student senator who already had made up her mind to demonize Israel by describing its soldiers as an occupation force who were violating human rights. There were only a few Israelis and pro-Israel speakers at the hearing, who were given two minutes each at the beginning of the meeting, and when they finished speaking, a well organized phalanx of pro-Palestinian speaker leveled emotional charge after emotional charge against Israel, charges that according to Ilana had no basis in fact nor which could be responded to under the carefully controlled format of the meeting.

But while the haters might have been noisier, and while they again tried to hijack the student council's procedures, they failed - spectacularly.


From J.J. Surbeck of Project TEAM:

The whole event started at 3:30 pm and ended around 9:00 pm, which overall was a record in speed compared to the almost all-nighters that had happened before at UCSD and other campuses.

Most of the afternoon was filled with a long string of statements made by proponents and opponents of the resolution. We had been informed that the time allotted was to be 2 minutes, only to learn upon entering into the meeting hall that it had been cut down to 1 minute! That was ridiculous. Try to make a cogent statement in 1 minute, let alone one meant to sway the opinion of on-the-fence senators! There was one way around this absurd rule, however, and that was when someone who had signed up to speak yielded his or her time to another speaker, allowing the latter to accumulate precious minutes. So some speakers ended up with 4 or 5 minutes, which is a lot better than just 1.

Be that as it may, the voices for both sides were roughly equal, and the pro-Israel students made excellent statements that balanced out the other, more emotional tones of the pro-Palestinians. Two professors spoke against. So did yours truly. On the other side, local anti-Zionist Miko Peled spoke and stayed until the end. The result must have been a bitter pill for him to swallow, not that I feel in any way sorry for him given the usual lies he presented (he enjoyed a 4 minute period). Oh, I almost forgot, Graubart spoke, too, and even if he didn’t make an impression, he of course declared himself in support of the resolution. I might add also that the pro-israel students had the backing of StandWithUs, Hillel, ADL and T.E.A.M., all represented in the room, together with several members of the community (who are to be thanked for having made the trek to SDSU for the occasion). Even though by and large they did a great job on their own without needing assistance, they knew they could count on our support and that they were not left to fight this battle alone.

Then came the crucial part. One of the council member who didn’t seem amused by this blatant attempt by SJP to hijack the SDSU AS for their narrow purposes pointed out that he had examined the resolution carefully and in particular checked every one of the links they had provided as “evidence” in support of their statements. And he had thus discovered that most were either faulty or inaccurate, or came from web sites with questionable reliability or reputation. One of the pro-Palestinian council members then dragged the council in a long, drawn-out procedural battle to “find” more reliable links. This went on until one of the pro-Israel students pointed out that maybe it wasn’t the council’s job to improve poorly drafted resolutions submitted for its approval! The council didn’t act on this fundamental remark immediately, but eventually it decided to vote against several more attempts to “improve” the content of the resolution, and finally decided to vote on the resolution itself.

While a few senators voted by simply saying “no”, most took their time to explain their votes. A clear majority defined itself quickly as opposed, most based on the fact that they found the text of the resolution offensive, crude and one-sided. In other words, the SJP shot themselves in the foot with their usual extremism. In the end, the verdict was without appeal: 16 against, 3 in favor and 3 abstentions. To call this therefore a crushing defeat for the BDS is an accurate depiction of what happened. Let’s note that while the pro-Palestinian side was loud, clapping when it was not supposed to, and would have undoudbtedly erupted in screams of joy if they had won, there was none of that on the part of the pro-Israel participants. It was very dignified. The satisfaction of having seen reason prevail among the AS members was its own, highly satisfactory reward.
There is a 4.5 hour long, often unintelligible Google Hangouts video of the entire proceedings here.

Looks like there is a clear pattern here of major BDSFails on college campuses this year. No doubt part of it is because of better organizing by pro-Israel groups to match the enthusiasm and underhanded methods of the Israel haters.

But a lot has to do with the pushback on the part of student unions when they realize that they are being manipulated by petty, hateful liars whose intolerance dwarfs anything they can say about Israel.

Not that the haters are discouraged. Their cult-like tweets after the vote try to make this sound like a victory as they promise to bring the topic up again and again and again.

The haters still do occasionally win. Last night the haters celebrated a victory at University of California Riverside by the narrowest of margins, 8-7.

And they are even organizing a "summer institute":


So while the tide has turned, it still requires hard work and perseverance to defeat the haters. Congratulations to those who did such an outstanding job at SDSU!



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