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← Uncivilized Tactics at UC Irvine (Rough Cut)

Uncivilized Tactics at UC Irvine (Rough Cut) - Comments

Pete.K's Avatar Comment 1 by Pete.K

Being anti-Israeli isn't anti-Jewish or anti-semantic. Israel is committing atrocious civil rights crimes, and civil crimes, the most recent being theft of identity and forging passports, not to mention the murder of foreign persons on foreign soil.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:22:00 UTC | #442303

PERSON's Avatar Comment 2 by PERSON

Nice selective editing. What was the man objecting to? We don't see.
I really don't like the US way (and in recent times, the UK way http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY5XpTsv-0U ) of dealing with hecklers. If the person speaking has such a strong case, why can't he deal with the audience's objections?
For comparison, see this film:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2010/02/do_people_heckle.html

Maybe it gets worse later on. I don't have time to watch more just now. But I'm not impressed so far.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:23:00 UTC | #442304

Imroy's Avatar Comment 3 by Imroy

Yeesh. I am quite critical of Israel's actions (note: not anti-semitic, not even anti-Israel) but I don't think anyone came out looking good in that video.

The protesters (were they all Muslim?) took it too far by repeatedly interrupting long after they had clearly made their point. It actually became rather childish. So perhaps the campus administration were right in addressing them almost like they were children. The staff also tried to arrogantly place their own embarrassment on the students.

Actually, I must correct myself. The ambassador came out looking alright, but we didn't get to hear much from him.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:51:00 UTC | #442327

ANTIcarrot's Avatar Comment 4 by ANTIcarrot

The sad fact of it is that Israel *was* founded on ethnic cleansing, and today *is* effectively an apartite state, as well as a rouge nuclear power, that shows little or no respect for international law or human rights.

They may be a step up from their neighbours (sometimes a big step, sometimes small) but that's not saying much. Yes you can be gay there, but you still can't get married.

And listening to Oren, I couldn't help but think of South Africa during Apartite. As well as *other* more famous historical examples...

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:58:00 UTC | #442332

digibud's Avatar Comment 5 by digibud

Many of my family members are jewish but I understand the anger by supporters of the Palestinian people. It's unclear from the video if the disrupters were simply anti-jewish religious bigots or exactly what their point was. I do think, however, that Israel's actions with regard to the Palestinian people is criminal behavior of the worst kind. Nobody would be surprised at a demonstration against apartheid and nobody should be surprised at demonstrations of hatred directed at Israel. The lack of civility is a shame, particularly at a University, but it's no great surprise to me and frankly, isn't without cause. Sadly it's one more example of the hatred that results from religious beliefs. Israel's current policies and atrocities flow directly from their ignorant religious beliefs, as does the basis for much of the entire Mideast conflict.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:07:00 UTC | #442338

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 6 by Cook@Tahiti

If only more people would have spoken up against injustices throughout history. Doesn't matter who is speaking: east, west, north, south, left, right, authoritarian, libertarian, liberal, conservative, Abrahamic, secular, etc.

If there's to be an error, I'd rather too much heckling than blind passive obedience to authority.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:32:00 UTC | #442347

Ramases's Avatar Comment 7 by Ramases

It is incredibly rich for a country such as Israel and its supporters to accuse others of shutting down debate and acting against free speech.

Israel and its supporters have consistently done all they can to shut down and suppress fair and reasonable discussion about the situation in Israel and Palestine - one of the most effective weapons they use is constantly accusing those who oppose the awful human rights Israel commits as being anti-semetic.

There is nothing I can see in anything that the protestors said that is anti-semitic.

Human rights abuses are appalling whoever commits them, and Israel should be roundly condemned by all who value human dignity, democracy, freedom, and who oppose ethnic cleansing. For what Israel does on a systematic basis is ethnic cleansing in every sense of the word.

I find the cry of "this is not Tehran" ironic. What would the reaction have been if the university had invited a representative of Iran to speak? What would the reaction be if the university had invited a representative of Hamas?

We can be sure in both cases such a speaker would not receive a warm welcome - we could even predict that he would be heckled - and rightly so, for representatives of repressive regimes that abuse human rights on a consistent basis, which then come to speak at supposedly free academic forums, deserve to be met by vigorous and appropriate protests. That is called freedom of speech.

I think it is shameful for a university which claims to value academic freedom to invite the representative of a repressive ethnic clearning regime such as Israel to speak. Good for the protesters.

Will the university now be demonstrating its balance by inviting a representative of the Palestinian authority or Hamas to speak?

I am also a bit confused about why this video and the rubbishy propaganda piece that accompanies it are here. It can surely not be based on the suggestion that Palestians who object to the murder and ethnic cleansing of the people and families are acting through unreasonable religious motivations?

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 15:27:00 UTC | #442366

Kmita's Avatar Comment 8 by Kmita

"while the anti-free speech students were thrown out and arrested. "

So heckling someone isn't you expressing your own free speech, it's you being anti free speech...

And they're the ones who were silenced forcibly... yeah...

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 18:07:00 UTC | #442411

lackofgravitas's Avatar Comment 9 by lackofgravitas

I think this has more to do with the college rules than the 1st amendment. Politeness costs nothing, they could have given the guy a grilling during the Q&A afterwards.

It looked to me to be a group of folks who were determined to disrupt the whole proceedings from the start. Timed too.

If we are not allowed to discuss problems, and possibly reach a solution, there is no hope for the future of the Israel/Palestine, it will be constant warfare.

Both sides have done terrible things (IMHO) and both have been as wrong as each other. But coming from the UK, and seeing that a solution of sorts can be reached (see Northern Ireland) I'd like to see discussion continue, not be disrupted by fashionably radicalised, well-heeled students of either stripe.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 19:49:00 UTC | #442438

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 10 by Richard Dawkins

It looked to me to be a group of folks who were determined to disrupt the whole proceedings from the start. Timed too.
Yes, absolutely. They all sat together in a block, the women in Muslim uniform (their vile headscarves), the men taking turns, in a no doubt pre-meditated order, to shout the guest speaker down. Then they all left together, in a block. This was not a spontaneous outburst of righteous opposition, it was choreographed from start to finish.

Richard

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 21:00:00 UTC | #442463

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 11 by Cook@Tahiti

Given what the Palestinians have been through in the last 40 years, expecting polite grace & dignity at all times might be a little optimistic.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 21:27:00 UTC | #442466

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 12 by Richard Dawkins

Given what the Palestinians have been through in the last 40 years, expecting polite grace & dignity at all times might be a little optimistic.
And you think these people were Palestinians? Or were they just Muslims?
Richard

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 21:30:00 UTC | #442468

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 13 by Chrysippus_Maximus

To be "anti-Israeli" *is* to be anti-Semitic, whether you want it to be so or not. The very notion of being "anti-Israel" is to be party to the attempts to de-legitimate the existence of a sovereign nation (whilst simultaneously either forgetting, or refusing to acknowledge the historical circumstances that surround its existence, and the past 60 years).

The use of Hamas-generated language in this thread is proof that liberalism has become very, very confused.

(*edit* Just to be clear, disagreeing with particular actions or policies of the Israeli army or government ought to be clearly distinguished from being 'anti-Israeli' or 'anti-Israel'.)

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 21:45:00 UTC | #442470

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 14 by Steve Zara

Comment #462201 by Richard Dawkins

But that's why this situation is so horribly messed up.

What does "Israeli" mean?

It has at least four different associations: The Jewish culture, the Jewish race, the Jewish religion, and being someone born within certain borders.

And so, what does Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians imply? A territorial dispute, a cultural dispute, or a religious dispute?

It's all so mixed up. You can't attack the religion or politics of Jews or Israelis without being accused of racism.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 21:56:00 UTC | #442473

root2squared's Avatar Comment 15 by root2squared

And you think these people were Palestinians? Or were they just Muslims?


Does it matter? There are conscientious Jewish people in Israel speaking out against the Israeli and US governments. There are Israeli soldiers refusing to serve in the occupied territories. Whether we like it or not, most of the empathy in the world is group based, whether the grouping is by religion or by nation or culture.

It's debatable whether it's reasonable to expect someone who is perceived as a representative of a state that carries out ethnic cleansing, to be met with polite questioning.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:01:00 UTC | #442474

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 16 by Chrysippus_Maximus

It's debatable whether it's reasonable to expect someone who is perceived as a representative of a state that carries out ethnic cleansing, to be met with polite questioning.


Please explain how anything the Israeli government has done constitutes anything like ethnic cleansing. This is such an absurd claim, I don't even know where to begin tearing it to shreds.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:14:00 UTC | #442477

decius's Avatar Comment 17 by decius

Comment #462204 by Spinoza

It is often the Israelis who resort to the rhetorical sleight of hand of labelling critics of Israeli policies - which are indistinguishable from Zionist doctrine - as anti-semites.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:17:00 UTC | #442478

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 18 by Chrysippus_Maximus

We're not talking about what you think the Israelis "often... resort to" in labeling their critics, but even if we were these ridiculous claims just keep getting typed here without evidence. I'm keenly aware of the supposed "evidence" people think they have for these claims, and I have yet to see any that makes any sense unless you're ignorant.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:22:00 UTC | #442479

decius's Avatar Comment 19 by decius

Comment #462213 by Spinoza

It isn't really what I think, but a casual observation that any impartial observer could easily make just by reading Dershowitz, Perle or any similar ideologue, or by cracking open a newspaper once in a while.

Since I have no dog in that filthy religious and nationalistic war, and because I think the Palestinians and the Israelis deserve each other, I leave taking sides ignorantly to you. Which you seem to be doing just fine.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:29:00 UTC | #442481

pbot64's Avatar Comment 20 by pbot64

Though I am avidly against the Israeli occupation, I would never interrupt someone as they are giving a speech, no matter whom it is. Politeness and Civility must be upheld in any speech, discussion, or debate. How you would like it if a bunch of creationist or neo-conservatives intruded on your lecture.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:32:00 UTC | #442482

decius's Avatar Comment 21 by decius

Spinoza,

here is some recent evidence that I find difficult to be missed, unless you never read the news. The sources are all Israeli, as you can see, so it's pretty hard to deny the case.


A report by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of fueling anti-Semitism with his criticism of Israel has sparked a harsh reaction from Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Gabby Levy, according to a news report by a leading Israeli daily

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 22:48:00 UTC | #442484

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 22 by InYourFaceNewYorker

I don't know what to think anymore. Both sides have done a great deal of wrong. But when I hear expressions such as, say, "Feminists for Palestine," I can't help but laugh sardonically.

I do know that the group tour Birthright Israel has had some corruption (thankfully that's not the tour I went on as a teenager). My brother's ex-girlfriend went on that and found out that someone who was allegedly a Palestinian telling their side of the story for an educational seminar about the conflict was actually an Israeli. I forget how she learned about this, but the reason they had someone who was essentially an actor was to make the Palestinian argument sound weak.

There is a counter group called Birthright Unplugged (I actually know the person who started it; she went to camp with me as a kid and is in some classes with me in grad school). In this program, Palestinian children are taken on tours to parts of Israel that they would otherwise have a hard time getting to, places that their grandparents were forced to flee from in 1948.

What do we do? The things that were done when Israel was founded are disgusting. Why is this apartheid happening? I confess that I don't know enough about the situation to comment. I should do my research. Unfortunately, I have so many other books in queue to read that it's going to be a while...

Julie

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 23:05:00 UTC | #442487

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 23 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Since I have no dog in that filthy religious and nationalistic war


It's not really a war. There is no state of Palestine to fight against. What conflict there is does contain religious elements, but the main issue is some vague notion of fairness in the original 1948 divisions, the occupation which occurred after '67, and the ensuing "settlements" which, yes, often involve ultra-orthodox Jews who have ulterior motivations for moving onto the land.

In any case, it would be wrong to accuse me of taking sides, I have not, I have simply argued that 'anti-Israeli' is an anti-Semitic position whether you think it is or not, because 'anti-Israeli' is ideological rather than directed at specific cases.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 23:22:00 UTC | #442491

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 24 by Cook@Tahiti

If any issue can be relied upon to split atheists down the middle, it's the Middle East. Should we invade, bomb, occupy, send arms to, diplomatically support or sanction, some Middle Eastern countries. Or not?

How much is the west's fault? How much is the violence due to Islam? What are the respective body counts and human rights abuses? Is intentional low-tech low body-count violence more morally reprehensible than unintentional high-tech high body-count violence?

Over the 3.5 years of visiting Richard Dawkins.Net, I'm sure it's the Middle East posts that have generated the most comments, and revealed the obvious fracture lines within the atheist camp. Is western foreign policy addressing or exacerbating violence? How far back do we need to go to assign blame? The fusion of religion and nationalism, with radicalisation and feedback loops, is difficult to disentangle.

Are the official stories true (i.e. they hate our freedoms)? Is violent global jihad a core tenent of Islam? Should we be exporting democracy or secularism or Baywatch or just mind our own business? Sins of omission versus sins of commission?

Christopher Hitchens and Noam Chomsky are both atheists and yet have completely opposite conclusions. Most atheists fall somewhere in between.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 23:58:00 UTC | #442501

root2squared's Avatar Comment 25 by root2squared

16. Comment #462211 by Spinoza on February 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/dec2002/isra-d03.shtml

http://chomsky.info/articles/20090119.htm

I have simply argued that 'anti-Israeli' is an anti-Semitic position whether you think it is or not, because 'anti-Israeli' is ideological rather than directed at specific cases.


First you say that "anti-Israel" is not directed at anything specific. And, in the same sentence, you equate Anti-Israel = anti-semitic. How did anti-Israel suddenly become so specific that it can be labeled anti-semitic? Because you chose it to mean that?

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 00:04:00 UTC | #442502

decius's Avatar Comment 26 by decius

Comment #462225 by Spinoza

I accept your correction - 'war' was a misnomer.


In any case, it would be wrong to accuse me of taking sides, I have not, I have simply argued that 'anti-Israeli' is an anti-Semitic position whether you think it is or not, because 'anti-Israeli' is ideological rather than directed at specific cases.


This seems rather circular to me.
However, I stick to what I was trying to point out earlier. Namely, you may find that even criticising individual Israeli policies or military actions is often met with the same accusations of antisemitism.
If you take no sides, then it should be easy for you to recognise the unfairness of certain Israeli propaganda.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 00:24:00 UTC | #442504

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 27 by huzonfurst

Spinoza, I am truly sick of being called anti-semitic because I don't think Israel was founded legitimately, so you can stuff your finger-wagging attitude.

That said, these Palestinian students (if they were all students) behaved abominably and accomplished nothing but further hostility to their very real concerns. The entire history of the modern state of Israel is one of systematic oppression and outright theft of other people's land; whether Palestine was a recognized nation or not is a transparently disingenuous objection to these actions by Israel.

I am not condoning suicide bombings (first invented by zionist terrorists) or random rocket attacks by any means, in case you are making yet more assumptions about those of us who question the behavior of Israel.

I've always thought the best solution to this situation is to simply stop any and all aid to Israel (something like a third of the entire foreign aid budget of the US the last time I looked) and let them start getting along with their neighbors or face the consequences.

Why is the US expected to continue to send billions every year to this country, when *we* and our allies were the ones who put a stop to the Holocaust in the first place? There was real anti-semitism during and after the war right here, but we didn't engage in systematic extermination, for christ's sake!

I long for the day when we are out of the Middle Eastern cesspool for good, after having finally gotten rid of our need for their oil and letting all of them go back to building their own societies on their own terms - or destroying themselves, whichever they choose.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 02:39:00 UTC | #442524

cam9976's Avatar Comment 28 by cam9976

This whole situation was embarrassing, and the Muslims left looking like a bunch of extremists (again...). Palestinians are the minority, and the only way that a resolution is going to be reached in the Middle East is through diplomacy - but the people assembled seemed to have no interest in any kind of dialogue.

And as an end note: Arab nationalism is just as destructive as Zionism.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 02:50:00 UTC | #442525

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 29 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Spinoza, I am truly sick of being called anti-semitic because I don't think Israel was founded legitimately, so you can stuff your finger-wagging attitude.
So I assume you are against any redrawing of boundaries that has ever occurred? Which are the "legitimate" ones? The ones you're unaware of?

let them start getting along with their neighbors or face the consequences.
Funny how if you change the referent of 'them' from Israelis to Palestinians it sounds outrageous to a certain set of people, yet it's not outrageous to say it about Israel because they're not the underdog (anymore)?

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 04:00:00 UTC | #442529

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 30 by Cook@Tahiti

28. Comment #462259 by cam9976

>the Muslims left looking like a bunch of extremists (again...).

That's an interesting observation. And yet when a white man in a tailored suit with impeccable credentials and a posh accent calls for 'action' with respect to the Middle East, which ultimately leads the death of many thousands of people - that's not looking like an 'extremist'.
I prefer to judge people primarily on the actual consequences of their actions.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 06:40:00 UTC | #442549