I went to Manhattan tonight to sit in Room 104-a comfortable ampitheater lecture hall in the Jerome Greene Building of Columbia's Law school with Rachel Fish of the David-project and Judy Jacobson CU faculty member and a board member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East . We gathered to hear four "eminent scholars" Professor Mark Cohen of Princeton, Professor Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad of Columbia's embattled MEALAC faculty and Ilan Pappe, a controversial Jewish Israeli lecturer at Haifa University who alighted in Manhattan before his trek to Toronto for "apartheid awareness week at The University of Toronto. A veritable coven of kindred demo-paths. The event was sponsored by Qanun- the CU Arab Law students organizations, the Middle East Institute, the School of International Public Affairs Human Rights program, the office of university Chaplain-doubtless a proponent of replacement and liberation theology in all i ts forms and, would you believe the CU student senate-the campus equivalent of the French National assembly during the days of Thermador, no doubt.
Cohen lead off, followed by Khalidi, Massad and capped off by Pappe. This was a gathering to circle the academic freedom wagons around Massad and demonstrate CU's adherence to the highest standards of un-balanced civil discord in the marketplace of ideas of the non Platonic variety no doubt.
Mark Cohen of Princeton a medievalist and expert on Arab Jewish relations in the alleged "golden era." Even he admitted that the "golden era" of Arab Muslim Jewish relations of alleged "tolerance" wasn't so "golden" in his remarks he tried to thread the realistic balance between the so-called "harmony schoool"-meaning Arabs and Jews, Christians too as the "revered" peoples of the book got along as long as they kow-towed as dhimmi and paid their jizyah, versus the conflict school-meaning Islam roared out of Arabia on an intolerant jihad conquest track, conquered or killed the indigenous Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Hindus, etc. and imposed dhimmitude-fourth class Jim Crow-ism on the survivors. Oh and don't get uppity you dhimmis or else you could get fried, tortured and deprived of your lives and wordily goods. Or some such constructs. Cohen said that in the four centuries of his m edieval history specialty indicate that the "realities" were somewhere in between the two "schools". His take was that Arab antisemitism was imported from Europe via French Catholic clerics catering to Arab Christians who in turned infected the querulous Muslims in the quest to force a pan Arab alliance and then it was simply exacerbated by the rise of Zionism. Zionism and the Jewish state of Israel which sticks like a craw in the throats of the surrounding Arab Muslim lands could "go away" then all would be sweetness and light and the harmony of the medieval period would return. Boo hiss to this nudnik. Bring on bat Ye'or who appears at Columbia on February 8th to rebut this claptrap.
Next came the snaky sinuous Rashid Khalidi, the current holder of the Edward Said chair of middle east mystery, er history. His conclusion was that the two state solution was up against the powerful concrete realities-2/3rds of the west bank were effectively incorporated into Israel and that a contiguous Palestinian state could not be established. He typecast this as a "one state" solution that "dares not speak its name: sole sovereignty, sole security meaning Israel hegemony. He characterized the Sharon Bush politics as being inherently unstable and that a lasting solution must meet "minimal standards of justice." Khalidi's shining moment came during his talk when he articulated a "demopathy" comment: "strongly held opinions or votes don't affect political policies and outcomes-his specific reference was to Israel occupation after 38 years since 1867 of the west bank and Gaza and US occupation of Iraq. I guess he pooh poohed the PA Chi cago style election of Mahmoud Abbas and Sunday's encouraging 60% voter turnout in Iraq besieged as it is by Ba'athist Sunni gangsters AKA insurgents. Khalidi underscored his demopathic construct by pointing to the concrete realities in the Israeli Palestinian conflict: "roads, barriers, Schools, factories." Thus Israel leaves Gaza but at the "price" of gaining control of the West Bank and Bush recognizing in April 2003, the realities of the Jewish Settlements, there
Then the piece de resistance was a 25 minute prepared speech by embattled untenured MEALAC faculty member Joseph Massad spouting more vitriol about Jewish racism, capped by his solution: the death of the Jewish state. Judy Jacobson remarked to me, about the number of times that the words "Jewish and racists" peppered his other writings capped by his remarks last night. Any time someone like Massad begins by talking about a "military Jewish racist apartheid system imposed on the west Bank and Gaza Strip," you know your in for a headache producing stream of near Marxist singular determinism. His bottom line is that "Israel destroyed Palestinian homeland aspirations and visions of sovereignty in a zero sum game in which the corrupt PA leadership during the 1993 Oslo process abandoned the Diaspora and the mythic 'right of return" for the mini-batustans of the remnants of the west bank and Gaza. He argued for a bi-national solution where Jews and Arabs could become 'equal citizens" for a nanosecond. But in his view this could only be achieved by raising the cost of continued Israel Jewish racism as was done in the US in the 19th century and South Africa in the 20th century through "resistance, divestment, boycotts, etc, etc. "
Israeli Jewish Ilan Pappe a lecturer at Haifa U, a member of the Commie party list in the Knesset and cats paw for the PA, who was nearly expelled from the professoriate at Haifa U. in 2002 because a graduate student was requested by him to lie about the facts of an alleged Israeli version of Abu Ghraib that never happened during the 1948-1949 War of Independence. Pappe is a lame brain world revolutionary Trotskyite who thinks that all nation states are dead, and that Israel is long gone, because of its unjust handling of the Palestinians. He started this diatribe by talking about a "division of Palestine into an 80% Jewish controlled state and a 20% non-contiguous one controlled by the PA. In reality he considered the PA as essentially two batustans" surrounded by an 8 meter high wall without a capitol in E. Jerusalem This solution Pappe would generate further cycles of violence. He even dismissed the ill-framed Geneva Accordionists as producing phony agreements for a state "without sovereignty, with no army" and "no solution for the refugees" of al Nakba-"the Catastrophe." The auditorium at the Law School was packed giving you some idea of the "enthusiasm" of the left anarchist crowd world revolutionary and pro Palestinian crowd for the demographic genocide of Israel, the Jewish apartheid oppressive militarist state and base of America in the Middle East. Where have I heard this stuff before. Ah yes, the great cunning linguist, Noam Chomsky.
Judy Jacobson had just come back from a "mission" to Israel, and said that Knesset members she and her groups of academics met and conferred with were enthusiastic about the prospects for peace with Mahmoud Abbas-the fools.