Monday, April 20, 2009

Durban II: Alethophobic Boogaloo


"There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings."
- Dorothy Thompson



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opening speech at the 2009 United Nations World Conference Against Racism, dubbed Durban II, addressed numerous inconvenient and uncomfortable truths regarding both the UN Security Council and the history of the State of Israel. Predictably, in response to the public airing of such truths, Ahmadinejad was immediately met with sharp and revealing opposition and self-righteous indignation by the representatives of many European countries - echoed, if not led, by the US and Israeli governments - and has been lambasted and demonized in the Western media.

Such a response is unsurprising. Ahmadinejad is no stranger to manufactured controversy. And, as usual, a simple look at his actual words reveals statements of fact that cannot be refuted. Ahmadinejad's statements prompted an instantaneous and virulent reaction and criticism from the world's most imperial and hegemonic powers. He was immediately presented as a hatemonger and racist for speaking truth to such powers. The speed and ferocity of those with the power to divert attention away from the meaning of Ahmadinejad's actual speech in favor of personal attacks on the Iranian president himself betray the true motives behind such scapegoating.

Speaking at United Nations headquarters in Geneva on Monday morning, Ahmadinejad accused Western powers in the 1930's and 40's of fomenting warfare and implementing economic and military policies that have proven destructive to much of the rest of the world ever since. "Those in authority at the time set off two world wars," he said, "killing hundreds of millions of people and causing mass destruction" in Africa and Asia, in addition to Europe. "Those who won [World War Two], considered that the world was with them," he continued, and "set up laws that were oppressive and trampling."

Is this controversial or offensive? Perhaps, if one knows nothing of modern history, Western imperialism, aggressive globalization or neo-liberal economic policy. Anyone familiar with American foreign policy over the past sixty years, especially in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin and South America would not be surprised by such banal statements.

Ahmadinejad then turned his attention to the unjust and inequitable hierarchy of nation states that formed the basis of the United Nations itself. "The Security Council set up after World War II, let's analyze it. The veto vote - is that equality? Is that justice? Is that equality amongst human beings?" he asked, "Or rather is it arrogance and humiliation? The Security Council must be the most important body for decision-making in order to promote peace. If a law is based on force, how can we secure peace and justice? The seeking of power and arrogance means racism, injustice and occupation."

Who would disagree with these remarks, other than those who seek to maintain their control over issues of global security and justice, diverting attention from the war crimes committed by allied states and condemning resistance to colonialism and military occupation in the same breath? The UN Security Council, established as the most powerful element of the United Nations - wielding far more influence and authority than the General Assembly - has long been the best friend to imperialism, during and after The Cold War. The United States has used its Security Council veto to bully other members into submission and acquiescence, allowing for the illegal invasions and ongoing occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Most recently, the Security Council adopted resolutions enabling Israel to bomb blockaded ghettos and impoverished refugee camps with impunity, as well as protecting Israeli war criminals, who have the blood of 1,400 Palestinians freshly on their hands, from any condemnation or responsibility.

Later in his speech, Ahmadinejad addressed the creation of the State of Israel by the United Nations in 1948, after the post-WWI British Mandate. "As was the case after World War II, armies occupied other territories and people were transferred from territories," he said. "In reality, under the pretext of compensating for the evil done in the name of xenophobia, they in fact set up the most violent xenophobes, in Palestine."

"The Security Council made it possible for that illegitimate government to be set up. For 60 years, this government was supported by the world. Many Western countries say they are fighting racism; but in fact support it with occupation, bombings and crimes such as those committed in Gaza. These countries support the criminals," Ahmadinejad continued.

Any informed reader of these statements would find little with which to quibble or disagree. The well-known studies of Israeli historians such as Benny Morris, Tom Segev, Ilan Pappé, and Avi Shlaim attest to the injustice sanctioned by the British and American governments, affirmed by the United Nations, and carried out by Zionist terrorist militias such as Irgun, Haganah, Palmah and Lehi. The waves of illegal Jewish immigration from Europe and Russia to Palestine are well documented and not a debatable issue.

Ahmadinejad stated the obvious by telling the gathering of UN delegates, "Following World War Two they resorted to military aggressions to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering...and they sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the Occupied Palestine. And in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine."

The age-old axiom of Palestine being a "land without a people for a people without a land" has been discredited so many times that even mentioning it here seems redundant and obvious. It is no myth that over 750,000 Palestinians, the indigenous people of the region whose ancestors had lived and worked on the land for centuries, were driven from their homes through violence and fear following the implementation of Plan Dalet and the horror of Deir Yassin. It is not a matter of opinion that the State of Israel was originally created on 56% of Palestine, despite Jewish residents representing only 32% of the population and owning only 7% of the land at the time. It is historical fact. By July 1949, after a year of aggressive expansionism, the borders of Israel encompassed 78% of Palestine. Eighteen years later, Israel seized control of the remaining 22%, which it has brutally occupied ever since. The dispossessed, disenfranchised, and dehumanized Palestinians penned up in the Occupied Territories suffer from apartheid in the West Bank, and starvation, accented with psychopathic massacres, in Gaza.

Ahmadinejad knows all of this. He also knows that the Zionist enterprise to establish an ethnocentric state in Palestine had little to no support in Europe, the United States, or even in the world's Jewish community prior to the Holocaust. The fact that Israel is the product of post-WWII guilt by Western world powers and that the atrocities committed against the European Jews during the war are constantly used to justify the creation of the state of Israel are not controversial statements. Why, then, did 23 European delegates to the Durban II conference stage a walk-out during Ahmadinejad's speech as soon as he mentioned the use of the Holocaust as a pretext for the creation of Israel? The French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattei revealed the delegates' refusal to even listen to criticism regarding Zionism and the Jewish state, as if any dissent is off-limits, when he told the Associated Press, "As soon as he started to address the question of the Jewish people and Israel, we had no reason to stay in the room."

Why is Ahmadinejad condemned as an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier when it is perfectly clear that he condemns the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews as "evil done in the name of xenophobia" and "the dire consequences of racism in Europe"?

Is Ahmadinejad wrong to question the establishment of an exclusively Jewish state on Palestinian land in response to the genocidal acts of Hitler's Germany? Should it not be pointed out that a "Jewish" state, by definition, is racist and exclusionist, lest the nobility of Zionism be in doubt? Why would addressing the creation and ongoing support of an ethnocentric government that engages in selective democracy, institutionalized militarism, immoral occupation, illegal colonization, and systematic ethnic cleansing be deemed counter-productive at a conference devoted to opposing racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and intolerance?

"The word Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religion and abuses religious sentiments to hide their hatred and ugly faces," Ahmadinejad said, clearly demarcating the distinction between the 19th century colonial ideology of Jewish nationalism and the Jewish religion. Nevertheless, British ambassador Peter Gooderham called these remarks "anti-Semitic."

Because Ahmadinejad called for an "end to Zionism," countless news agencies erroneously report that he seeks the "destruction of Israel." His speech was called "offensive, inflammatory, utterly unacceptable" and "reprehensible" by dedicated Zionist and British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called it "an intolerable call to racist hate," while the US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff described the speech as "vile and hateful." The Vatican called it "extremist and unacceptable" and the President of the European Jewish Congress, Dr. Moshe Kanto, condemned it as "revisionist history and lies."

Perhaps Ahmadinejad's speech let too many cats out of what many hope are hermetically sealed bags. The cowardice displayed by the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Poland by boycotting the conference from the outset, as well as the embarrassing walk-out by 23 attending delegations, proves that the Western world would rather demonize a fearless truth-teller who refuses to be muzzled, than recognize the racism and injustice enabled by its own support and silence. There was no annihilationist or violent rhetoric in Ahmadinejad's speech, despite what one might read in the mainstream press. Opposing Zionism is not a threat of military action, but rather a call for political reform.

Dorothy Thompson, the German-American journalist and anti-Nazi activist, once wrote, "Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light." In his bold and uncompromising Durban II address, President Ahmadinejad, long cast by the West as the Iranian bogeyman, has done his part to illuminate the truths about Zionism and the hypocrisy of its supporters.

The boycotts, protests, "spontaneous" walk-outs, and other forms of pro-imperial theatre that are already defining the Durban II conference prove one thing: alethophobia, the fear of the truth, is alive and well in the West.

*****

UPDATE: See my response to a fellow blogger regarding this speech, in the comments section below.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you actually believe this bullshit you are spewing? This is disgusting and repugnant to a civilized and humane society

Lord Baltimore said...

I'm curious, Anonymous, about what constitutes "a civilized and humane society" in your eyes. Then, as an immediate follow-up query, I wonder how my writing is "disgusting and repugnant" to that society.

Until that's cleared up, I'm sorry but I have no way to respond to your eloquent comment.

Thanks for reading.

Lord Baltimore said...

UPDATE:

On Tuesday, I stumbled upon this blog post due to its title's similarity with my own.

The content of the post, however, differs greatly. I was compelled to respond.

Below is the entire post, from the blog Civilization and it's Discotheques, which is then followed by my reply:

Tuesday

Durban II - Anti-Semitic Boogaloo

by Natty AdamsOne often sees politicians acting with little or no dignity. One sometimes sees a politician acting with dignity. This past week we were given the opportunity to witness both simultaneously. I am speaking, of course, of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s appearance at the United Nations’ conference in Switzerland on racism.

The conference was already controversial, after the last one in Durban, South Africa turned into a platform for Islamic nations to single out and attack Israel. Several European Nations, as well as America and Canada chose not to attend this conference because, despite excising passages from the conference declaration which criticize Israel (no other country was mentioned by name in the Durban document,) this new declaration affirms the last one, and therefore implicitly agrees that Israel is the worst violator of human rights in the world.

Ahmedinejad, however, was more than happy to come speak. And Switzerland’s President Hans-Rudolf Merz agreed to meet with the brain behind such choice bon-mots as “"The Holocaust is a lie and the real Holocaust is happening to the Palestinians," “"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces.... we don't accept this claim,” and of course “Israel must be wiped off the map.” Switzerland defended the meeting by reference to their famous neutral position in international politics (the same “neutrality,” which resulted in Swiss banks accepting not only gold plundered from occupied treasuries, but also “Melmer” gold plundered from the corpses of Jews.) Nor should one be surprised that delegates from the Vatican attended the conference.

The first question is, who’s bright idea was it to have a holocaust denier speak at a conference on racism? The second question is, what inexcusable moron decided that World Holocaust Remembrance day would be as good a time as any? And what did Mr. Ahmedinejad do with his opportunity to grandstand? He did exactly what everyone thought he would; after the usual insipid invocation to Allah, it wasn’t long before he started slamming Israel; saying "Following World War Two they resorted to military aggressions to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering." He doesn’t mention Iran once in his entire speech. If he’s meant to be representing the people of his country then he’s doing a poor job of it.

Then something happened: several delegates stood up and calmly walked single file out of the room while Ahmedinejad continued to expound on his twisted and confused concepts of history and justice. I found the moment rather stirring. These delegates, with their heads held high, did something which demonstrated the very crux of free speech: they chose not to listen. This is the rejoinder to anyone who thinks that censorship is the right way – you don’t have to listen to it. Just as there is no compulsion in thought or speech, there’s also no compulsion in listening. When Ahmedinejad claims that Israel is committing deliberate genocide, one doesn’t see rioting in the streets or people screaming for him to be beheaded or flogged. But draw one little cartoon…

Which brings us to something I mentioned in my last post: the UN’s recent non-binding resolution condemning religious “defamation.” The resolution, put forward by Pakistan (whose delegates applauded Ahmedinejad’s speech,) and pushed through by a bloc of Muslim countries, makes the charge that insulting a person’s religious belief should carry the same opprobrium as racism (not discriminating against members of a religion, mind you, simply insulting the religion itself.) This novel interpretation of human rights means that beliefs and ideas have the same rights as people and therefore cannot be criticized, satirized, or, ultimately, dissented from. One result of this is the conflation of Anti-Semitism and so-called “Islamophobia.”

This deserves confronting: Anti-Semitism is hatred and discrimination of the Semitic (Jewish) race. It has little to do with the Jewish religion itself – Anti-Semites rarely explain their hatred of Jews by reference to offensive parts of the Torah, and to most Anti-Semites a Jew who doesn’t believe in god or is secular or non-practicing is still a Jew who should be hated for that fact alone. “Islamophobia,” on the other hand, is not the same thing as Anti-Arabism. There are native Muslims of different races all over the world: Not only Arabic, but Persian, Bosnian, Turkish, Somali, Moroccan, Spanish, Chechnyan, Malay, etc… The fear of Islam is the fear of a particular doctrine. Not a particular people.

That’s why one can and should be concerned when Somalia adopts strict Shari’a law (one wonders what the punishment for high-seas piracy is.) Or when the Pakistani Taleban predictably doesn’t follow through on their agreement to disarm in exchange for unchallenged control, and instead pushes outward from Swat to Neighboring Buner – inching closer to the capital city of Islamabad while one of their holy men, Sufi Mohammad, demands a nationwide Shari’a court system and their leaders openly declare that their aim is total control of Pakistan. This would, presumably, include the country’s nuclear arsenal. One can’t help but wonder how anyone is willing to risk capitulating to the demands of such people. Meanwhile, as Ahmedinejad paints himself as a great champion of free speech, US-born Journalist Roxana Taberi remains under arrest as a suspected American spy and Sri Lanka has become a hell on earth as the Hindu Tamil Tigers continue to battle the largely Buddhist Sinhalese Sri Lankan army, with thousands of non-combatants of varying affiliation fleeing or else ending up dead in the crossfire.
With all of this inter-communal strife going on, is there hope? Always. The Muslim Canadian Congress has denounced the UN declaration on religious defamation, vigorously opposes the notion of Shari’a Courts, and has proven that there can be such a thing as a more modern, tolerant Islam, existing in a pluralistic and open society, if people are only willing to fight for it.

Footage of the speech and the walkout at the UN:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8008657.stm*****

My reply:

Lord Baltimore said...

Mr. Adams,

I find your post about the WCAR (Durban) conference and documents to be rather frustrating. Further, I believe that your clear contempt for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in particular, and perhaps Muslims in general, reveals your deep-seated ignorance and bigotry.

First, allow me to clarify something: I notice from certain links on your blog that you are most likely an atheist. I am too. I am from a multicultural background, was brought up in a very non-religious household in New York City, and believe that religious dogma (and to a lesser extent doctrine) has led to much (though certainly not all) of the truly horrific events in human history. I find the writings of Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins to be very compelling, whereas I find Christopher Hitchens to be combative in a very revealing way. His political agenda not only muddles arguments, but, in fact, guides his beliefs toward conclusions that wind up being rather ignorant and just as dogmatic as the blindest and most self-righteous religious crusader.

There is a good chance that both you and I agree on a great many things regarding religion, and I hope I am correct in assuming that you are a secular humanist who cares very much about promoting human rights and justice, while acting to put an end to racism, intolerance, and the suffering of others.

Incidentally, I wrote a piece about Ahmadinejad’s speech yesterday and used a similar play on Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo for my title. Kudos to both of us – it’s a good reference.

In response to your post, however, there are some glaring inaccuracies, numerous examples of misinformation, and quite a few outright lies that I must address. Though you may think of yourself as a well-informed person just making some observations, your errors show clearly that you hold certain biases, and that you base your opinions upon a staggering amount of wrong information.

Please allow me to be specific:

You begin your post by claiming that the UN’s World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban in 2001, “turned into a platform for Islamic nations to single out and attack Israel.” This is a very curious thing to suggest considering the clarity and vision of the document that was actually produced by the attending delegates, despite the embarrassing and telling absence of both the United States and Israel from the conference. I wonder if you yourself have actually read the document of declarations and issues adopted and affirmed at Durban I. If you were familiar with this document, you would know that out of a densely-packed 61 pages, there are a mere six paragraphs that have anything to do with Israel and/or Judaism. These are the references (please feel free to check the original document yourself to verify):

58. We recall that the Holocaust must never be forgotten;

61. We recognize with deep concern the increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in various parts of the world, as well as the emergence of racial and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities;

63. We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation. We recognize the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State and we recognize the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel, and call upon all States to support the peace process and bring it to an early conclusion;

64. We call for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region in which all peoples shall co-exist and enjoy equality, justice and internationally recognized human rights, and security;

150. Calls upon States, in opposing all forms of racism, to recognize the need to counter anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism and Islamophobia world-wide, and urges all States to take effective measures to prevent the emergence of movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas concerning these communities;

151. As for the situation in the Middle East, calls for the end of violence and the swift resumption of negotiations, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law, respect for the principle of self-determination and the end of all suffering, thus allowing Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace process, and to develop and prosper in security and freedom;


That’s it. I would hardly call that a bash-fest. I do wonder what you take issue with in those statements and why you would believe the United States was correct in boycotting this conference due to these statements. I also wonder how these statements, even if they had not subsequently been removed from the 16 page Durban II declaration, would implicate Israel as, in your own words, “the worst violator of human rights in the world.”

You take issue with (or are simply parroting something you read somewhere) Israel being the only state mentioned by name in the declaration. What you fail to mention is that Israel is singled out in order to clearly and unconditionally affirm its own “right to security” so as to remove any unnecessary misunderstanding when urging the support of a peace process in the region. If you had actually read the document, you would probably have noticed this.

Furthermore, you go on to disparage Ahmadinejad’s intelligence and repeat the absurd accusations and lies about his beliefs and proclamations that have become gospel in Western mainstream media. To put it simply, Ahmadinejad, who has a Ph.D. in civil and transportation engineering, has never denied the Holocaust nor has he threatened to wipe Israel off any map. These claims have been discredit and debunked so many times by now that it’s irritating to even have to address them here. The first claim seems to stem from Ahmadinejad’s belief that Arab Palestinians should not have to suffer for the atrocities committed by the Nazis. He has never denied that the Holocaust occurred, but has rather questioned the subsequent “mythologizing” that used the horror of the Holocaust to justify the displacement of hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians in order to make room for an exclusively “Jewish” state. For more information on this particular misunderstanding, please refer to this excellent article.

In reference to your repetition of the claim that Ahmadinejad has threatened to “wipe Israel off the map,” I can only say that you are the victim of a gross and deliberate mistranslation. Not only this, but I am surprised that you would still be using this argument after so many years of this claim being corrected. The Iranian President has never threatened any other country on the planet with physical harm and the nation of Iran has not attacked any other country in over two centuries (the US and Israel clearly cannot boast the same bona fides). The reference in question had everything to do with Ahmadinejad’s belief in the necessity of replacing oppressive regimes with more representative governments, citing the Shah’s tyrannical regime in Iran, Soviet Russia, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as examples. In fact, just so you know, the phrase “wipe off the map” doesn’t even exist in the Persian language. If you care to read more about this oft-repeated and oft-discredited mistranslation, check out these helpful links:
HEREHEREHEREHEREAND HERE.

Also, if Ahmadinejad were so anti-Semitic, why wouldn’t he just turn his attention to the over 20,000 Jews currently living in Iran (the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside Israel) instead of what he is ridiculously accused of: training his sights on a militarized state with nuclear weapons that is financed and supported by the world’s only superpower?

After some more name-calling, you move on to address Ahmadinejad’s actual Durban II speech. You write that the speech began with “the usual insipid invocation to Allah.” Wow, that’s ignorant and offensive. I wonder if you use the same epithet to describe the usage of “God Bless America,” uttered incessantly by every single United States official from City Council members to the President. If you have problems with religion in general and therefore are irked by Ahmadinejad’s appeal to a compassionate, just, and merciful deity, fine. Whatever. But what about it is “insipid”? Would it be as offensive to you if he had invoked another god other that Allah? Did it piss you off that he invoked the names of prophets such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, all of whom are highly regarded in Islam? If so, then you must have be appalled by Barack Obama’s entire inauguration ceremony, which included countless references to god and scripture, as well as both a benediction and invocation. Does a religious person’s prayer for peace and justice in a forum expected to address racism and intolerance really bug you so much? Or is it only because the speaker is Iranian about whom you clearly know nothing?

You clearly took issue with the content of Ahmadinejad’s speech, though I do wonder if you have actually read the entire thing. You say it did not take long for Ahmadinejad to turn his attention to (or as you say, “slam”) Israel; however, there are a good five paragraphs of the President’s speech that proceed his first mention of anything related to Israel. This part of the speech, hardly a cursory introduction to supposed “Israel-bashing,” includes the following:

“Over the last centuries, humanity has gone through tremendous suffering and pain. In the Middle Ages, thinkers and scientists were sentenced to death. It was then followed by a period of slavery and slave trade, when innocent people in millions were captivated and separated from their families and loved ones, to be taken to Europe and America under worse conditions; the dark period that also experienced occupations, lootings, and massacres of innocent people.

Many years passed by before nations rose up and fought for their liberty and freedom, and they paid a high price. They lost millions of lives to expel the occupiers and proclaim their independence. However, it did not take long that the coercive powers imposed two wars in Europe which also plagued a part of Asia and Africa. Those horrific wars claimed about 100 million lives and left behind massive devastation. Had lessons been learned from the occupations, horrors, and crimes of those wars, there would have been a ray of hope for the future. The victorious powers called themselves the conquerors of the world while ignoring or treading upon the rights of other nations by the imposition of oppressive laws and international arrangements.”


I wonder what your thoughts are about these statements, as well as his condemnation of the United Nations’ Cold War hierarchy of placing five nations with a veto vote above all other countries in the world’s most powerful organization. What about his later questioning of the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan? Are you unfamiliar with the roles of neo-conservatives like Doug Feith, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, and David Frum in promoting the Bush Doctrine? Maybe you should read some Chomsky - that might clear some things up for you and allow you to hear truths about the world that won't offend you so easily.

Later, when Ahmadinejad addressed the injustices of using the Holocaust as an excuse to create the state of Israel on land that already had an indigenous population living and working there, he said that the creation of Israel was “compensation for the dire consequences in Europe.” This hardly seems to fall in line with the accusation of Holocaust denial.

Instead, he makes clear that he questions the justice of compensating one group of persecuted people by in turn persecuting another group, one that had absolutely nothing to do with the original injustice. I wonder what your thoughts are regarding this issue.

Do you deny that the founding of Israel was a Zionist enterprise intent on establishing a Jewish nationalist movement in Palestine? Do you deny that the state of Israel was created with the help (though not authorization) of the United Nations Security Council in May 1948? Do you deny that the Zionist program, which involved the displacement and ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 native Arab inhabitants of Palestine as European and Russian Jews illegally immigrated to the region, received the blessing of Britain, the U.S., and other Western powers which adopted a policy of explicit rejection of the right of the Arab majority of Palestine (including both Muslims and Christians) to self-determination? Do you support Israeli occupation in Palestine since 1967, replete with apartheid in the West Bank and a besieged and starving refugee population in Gaza?

Perhaps you think these are all just rumors or unsubstantiated propaganda. All I can urge you to do is to educate yourself about the situation a bit more before making erroneous statements on your blog. Even if you wish to limit yourself to Israeli historians to corroborate what I’ve written, please check out the work of Tom Segev, Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim, Shlomo Sand, and Tanya Reinhart.

I also wonder why you would assign “dignity” to a staged walkout by white Europeans when faced with accountability for their historical roles in slavery, genocide, colonialism, and on-going occupation and imperialism. What you call a dignified walkout, others might call running scared.

Either way, I think you should do a little more research and get yourself a bit better informed about things you choose to write about before spouting invective like Rush Limbaugh and taking the Benjamin Netanyahu line about matters you so clearly know nothing about.

*****

curt said...

Great piece. Hilarious seeing the room empty under the guise that Ahmadinejad was spewing racist drivel when the thrust of his rap was anti racism.

Orwell would cringe.

Keep up the great work.