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10:48 PM on 02/20/2009
As a former South African whose two stepdaughters both went to Hampshire, and whose future son-in-law is Palestinian, it is with great pride that I learnt that Hampshire - true to its traditions - is going to divest from the companies in question. The arguments that Mr Dershowitz levels against Hampshire are the exact arguments that were leveled against those divesting from South Africa twenty-some years ago.

Guess what? Those sanctions worked. They accelerated the demise of the apartheid regime. And yes, the oppressors in Burma were worse, and in Haiti, and in a multiplicity of other countries. But SA, which claimed to be a "civilized" western state, was held to the standards of the world in which it claimed membership, just as "civilized" Israel is being held to those standards now.

Did South Africa fall apart? No. Is it an earthly paradise? No. But at least a foundation of justice and equality has been laid, upon which the country has been able to establish the beginnings of a new order.

Mr Dershowitz: if the South Africans could do it (and how about the Irish?), then let's not underestimate Israelis and Palestinians. And if they need vigorious prodding to help them get there, so be it.
09:49 PM on 02/20/2009
For the record, Hampshire College was in the lead also when they decided to divest from South Africa. That was back in 1977, Nine full years before the US Congress passed the "Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act" in 1986 which by the way was vetoed by Reagan. It was fortunately overridden by Congress (Senate: 78 to 21 / House 313 to 83).
So thanks again to Hampshire College.
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skialethia
Ελευθερία ή θάνατος
01:31 PM on 02/21/2009
Hear-hear!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Fireslayer
01:53 PM on 02/22/2009
Hear hear hear!
05:32 PM on 02/21/2009
Hear-hear.
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batguano
As Long As Grass Grow, Wind Blow & The Sky Is Blue
05:15 PM on 02/20/2009
Mr. Dershowitz would have us silence a voice of conscience for taking a principled stand. He and others believe that the best way to get your own way is to intimidate and marginalize voices opposing Israeli occupation and illegal colonization of the West Bank; a brutal and all-inclusive racism and collective punishment of Palestinians. AIPAC has for too long silenced voices of opposition to Israeli actions deemed at odds with International Law, common decency and humane behavior by subverting our elected representatives; "educating" every and all to the pro-Israeli view; exerting de-facto control of our press to provide mostly only the pro-Israeli view and hide their unconscionable behavior toward Palestinians, both Israeli citizens and those of the Occupied Territories. American foreign policy has been co-opted and altered to this view that goes against every principle our country stands for. Mr. Dershowitz' apparent beliefs on free speech and the desirability of people to freely act on their morality, is not in the best interests of either America or anyone else; they are essentially Fascist in nature, and do him no credit. The ability of the pro-Israel crowd, no matter what outrage Israel commits, to rally American support, and evade condemnation, is dwindling rapidly, and the words of Mr. Dershowitz only hasten its demise.
BubbaC33
Jimmy Buffett is the greatest American
07:24 PM on 02/20/2009
This issue has nothing to do with silencing anyone. The college selected Israel with a set of standards it does not apply to other nations. This makes it anti-Semitic. It is a clear issue of ethnic bias, not a principled stand.
04:41 PM on 02/21/2009
Israel presents itself as a civilized, equal opportunities, modern secular state. It's very foundation was on the basis of guilt over Jewish suffering, during WW2 in particular. Now - if you claim membership of a club, then you have to abide by the bylaws of that club, and Israel is being so judged. It is being judged by those "bylaws" applicable to the countries claiming similar standards of behaviour, and has been found seriously wanting. Other nations aren't perfect, but Israel alone claims to such perfection and complete innocence in all its dealings.

The regimes of Sudan, Burma, etc. are not claiming to be anything than what they are - they do not try and hide their crimes behind some 60 year old victimhood. They do evil things, but have so little regard for the World Community and human life that they barely bother denying it. Israel on the other hand wants to be seen as this paragon of modern liberalism BUT commits acts which are below the standards of humanity set in the modern world by such a state. It's broken the bylaws of the club it demands entry to.

To point this out is not antisemitic, but I understand that this is the Z'nists final resort in attempting to shut down discussion of Israeli culpability in the long running mess that is Palestine. However, you should know that these days it just isn't working like it used to - too many times of people like you crying wolf
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
YankeeCanuck
dog
01:34 PM on 02/23/2009
This is not anti-semitism. It is anti-apartheid.
09:23 AM on 02/21/2009
This is an EXCELLENT post. No one, I repeat, no one is destroying Israel except Israel. Dersh is just as 'rabid' in his fanatical support of Israel. The fact that he is protesting the divestment is the call for the rest the to divest.

Give it up professor, Israel is losing the PR game, especially now that Bibi thinks he going to illegally appropriate more Palestinian land as 'state land' and expand the settlements.

No aid until the Israeli leave all illegal settlements and they are bulldozed to the ground.

No aid until the Israeli leave East Jeruselem and stop their 'natural growth' excuses.

No aid until the wall is removed.

No aid until all Palestinian prisoners are released.

No aid until the Palestinians are given full right of return.

No aid until the Palestinians can live in security and not be subjected to apartheid, terrorist treatment from the Israeli's.

No aid until the Golan Heights and Shabaa Farms are returned to their rightful owners, not the Israelis.

No aid until Israel signs the NNPT and allows IAEA inspections.

No aid until Israel is held to the same standards as the rest of the Middle Eastern countries in all respects, especially nuclear.

And if that doesn't work. Divest, sanction, and boycott Israel. Stop all aid to Israel. Now.
04:48 PM on 02/20/2009
It's a shame that some rather important points he makes are in the context of an attempt to call everyone and his mother an anti-semite.
It's intersting that he groups McKinney, a human rights activist, and Chomsky as part of the 'many of those who support divestiture against Israel actively support these repressive regimes'... This is complete nonsense. Chomsky is has written volumes about the complicit support of the US and other western countries of third world dictatorships.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
marignymitch
E pluribus unum percent
04:34 PM on 02/20/2009
You go, Hampshire! Keep doing the right thing.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Fireslayer
03:54 PM on 02/20/2009
Well I have always been amused by "The Church of England," a church founded to legitimate the asignations of Henry 8.

Israel is a sad place. They behave like bullies and then wonder why their neighbors and their own second class citizen Palestians all hate them. Like, duh.

Now that the true fanatics who are Zionist ethnic cleansers have their dream government Prof Dersch will start calling the opposition Jew hating Jews, if hasn't already.

For the record I want to see Israel be a true democracy with freedom of religion and no preference for any one sect. And the same goes for the Arab world as well. I do not single out any of the ethno-fascist states. I only regret the supreme irony of Israel becoming one of them.

There is a better way. Israel has a peace movement that accepts. Small, but growing. But the government is suppressing it with the same ferocity of the Greek Colonels of the late 60s. There are hundreds of both Jewish and Palestinian political prisoners in Israel secret prisons. The Palestinians are denied access to courts, tortured- the usual right-wing goon squad stuff/

Now we get to find out if our sometimes civil liberties advocate will allow this comment.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Fireslayer
04:33 PM on 02/20/2009
And further, I am not happy with the academic and cultural boycott. McCarthyism hitting the campuses taught us that we need all of the academic freedom we can get anywhere in the world.

Now the financial boycott, well I have no money for war profiteers anywhere.

Thanks for the lively debate. I suppose the more the Israel can do no wrong apologists try to stop it the more publicity it gets and the more it catches on.
BubbaC33
Jimmy Buffett is the greatest American
07:25 PM on 02/20/2009
How is it you have access to the prisoner list of these "secret" prisons located inside Israel?
calfacon
Liberty Loving, Liberal
02:57 PM on 02/20/2009
How about we ONLY contribute dollar amounts to Hampshire equal to the amount spent by Israel on white phosphorus bombs?
BubbaC33
Jimmy Buffett is the greatest American
11:23 PM on 02/21/2009
Just a curiosity question- have you ever seen combat yourself?
02:43 PM on 02/20/2009
The only way to get war criminals like the Israelis to listen to reason is to boycott all Israeli goods and companies..

Otherwise Israelis will never return all land they have stolen as well as treat non-Jews (as well as non-white Jews) within its borders as equal human beings.

Apartheid has to be fought all over the world with whatever means available including divestment.
BubbaC33
Jimmy Buffett is the greatest American
12:29 PM on 02/21/2009
The folks on this posting supporting this college seem to be able to make lots of accusations, but are short on facts and honesty.
For example, Israel has stolen no land. In fact, Israel has given back more land it took in 67 than it currently holds, including oil fields that could have supplied most of our pertro needs.
The restrictions in Israeli law do not apply only to Arabs. I am an israeli citizen and my life is affected since my wife is a shiksa.
04:45 PM on 02/21/2009
Actually Bubba, and I'm seriously asking here, does your wife not mind being called a shiksa, a term Jews of my acquaintance consider insulting?
03:31 PM on 02/22/2009
Shiksa? You actually voluntarily call your wife a shiksa, which means impure and an abomination.... She didn't divorce you? Well, when you think you are superior to everyone else, labeling someone with such offensive terms comes second nature and you must think you are being endearing. You probably think you complement her by saying that.
02:17 PM on 02/20/2009
Claiming it is prejudice to protest one country's crimes and not others' is awfully weak for a law professor to make. It is called prioritizing, dealing with the worst case with the limited resources one has. He would have us believe that a cop shouldn't pull over one speeder if he can't pull over the dozens of other speeding drivers as well.
BubbaC33
Jimmy Buffett is the greatest American
07:27 PM on 02/20/2009
The analogy you have used about the policeman is inappropriate and wrong-minded. If an entity is going to set itself as an arbiter of morality it owes the world adherence to a set of standards applied equally to all nations, not just the only one ruled by Jews.
06:57 PM on 02/21/2009
...which is why Hampshire College divested from a fund involving over 200 companies, many involved in actions all over the world -- not just in Israel -- that Hampshire College wishes to repudiate. Typical of the sort of straw men you build.

Oh -- and now suddenly your "only democracy in the Middle East" is "ruled by Jews?" Not that I've come to expect anything other than hypocrisy from you, but still.
01:32 PM on 02/20/2009
There are consequences for the Palestinians when they attack Israel.

There are also consequences for Israel when it kills over 450 children in less than a month. One of them being the negative reaction of peace loving people all over the world.
So when Hampshire College reacts to Israeli aggression, the Israelis should not be upset or surprised.
And of course Mr. Dershewitz has every right to react to the Hampshire reaction.

We see this throughout history when two sides make war. One violent act begets another, until both sides are blinded by hate, rage and a lust for revenge.
Right now the state of Israel and that of Palestine are locked in such a bloody cycle.

Many people around the world advocate for peaceful steps to be taken slowly, by both sides, in a reciprocal fashion. Eventually this will solve the crisis, it is the only way. Looking at the hatred from the players on both sides, this could easily take 50 or 100 years.

Too bad the haters and the war makers have the voice, while the little people yearning for peace pay the price with their lives. I'm not sure if boycotts etc. are the right answer. This article is good food for thought.
http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2009/01/israel-boycott-divest-sanction
05:14 PM on 02/20/2009
an, not and...
11:44 AM on 02/20/2009
Now that we are safely past the cycle here, you'd think that an attorney-especially one who works tirelessly for the rights of the downtrodden would have a great appreciation for facts as well as our first amendment rights? How about these:

Considering that perhaps 10-15% of Jews in the world are actually of Semitic blood--the rest being European converts for the most part, AND that the Arab and other indigenous peoples of the Middle East, and Palestine in particular, Are of Semitic blood being descended from the tribe of Abraham, to say that anyone who questions the policies of Israel--A state, not a people--is and Anti-Semite, is astoundingly poor reasoning.
04:56 PM on 02/21/2009
AAAARRRRGHHHH!

Sorry, but this "all European Jews are really converts" myth is really starting to get to me. Whilst conversion was accepted (in some cases even encouraged) in European Judaism until around the 11th/12th centuries, recent genetic studies have shown that Jews of all backgrounds actually have such close ties that they truly can be considered one genetic (but not cultural) population. The same studies have also shown that Palestinians and Jews are very closely related on a molecular scale, diverging only in the last 2000 years (when large scale conversions to Christianity/Islam from Judaism took place in the Holy Land).

But yeah - crying "Antisemite!" at anyone daring to criticise Israel is completely silly, and in fact, counter productive.
04:08 PM on 02/22/2009
I have seen these studies, and I have seen a lot of Jews, say these studies are not credible. I don't know what to believe since, I have no knowledge about genetics. When I stated that these studies showed that Palestinians are natives and were once Jews that evolved with the history of Palestine, I find many Jews dismiss this as well as Arabs, who dismiss that all Jews in the world are genetically linked. I think they need to do more extensive studies and conducted by non-involved people, people with an agenda for the outcome to go one way or the other. Just for curiosity sake.
09:42 AM on 02/20/2009
Hooray for hampshire!

And Americans should also reject the treasonous former CIA head Woolsey who pressured other institutions from doing likewise. he also wants the spy Pollard released, unimaginable from a former head of the CIA.
08:00 AM on 02/20/2009
Bravo Alan!
10:38 PM on 02/19/2009
All should divest from Israel. It can fend for itself.
12:06 AM on 02/20/2009
right on
07:08 AM on 02/20/2009
totally agree with both of you devante and martin2 . . .
04:23 PM on 02/20/2009
Amen to that.
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HeevenSteven
20 Minutes into the future.
07:49 PM on 02/19/2009
This is ONE problem with having a state religion. I don't think you'd want one here; why do you support one there?

Why is anyone who has a problem with Israel's policies automatically against "the Jewish state"? Why does a policy problem have to be conflated with bigotry. I don't think I'll be reading any more of your blogs; I know in advance what to expect.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Trial Lawyer
11:54 PM on 02/19/2009
Have you ever publicly voiced opposition to England's nation religion? How about Italy's? All of the Arab countries are officially Muslim. In many it is illegal to practice anything else. If you only publicly criticize Israel for having a national religion, you are practicing bigotry. Get it!
02:48 AM on 02/20/2009
Hmm, tell me again about those pilgrims, you know, that left England in protest of England's national religion and founded the US, without a national religion... Is the existence of the US in some ways a public expression of opposition to England's national relgion?
07:12 AM on 02/20/2009
explain yourself Trial Lawyer . . . what do you mean when you mention England and Italy . . . I live in London . . . don't understand what you mean at all . . . Iran has a lot of Jews and they have been there for generations .. . they aren't discriminated against . . . most Middle Eastern countries allow other religious groups to practise . . . there are also Christians in Gaza . . . they got the same treatment from Israeli missles . . war does not discriminate . . . boycotts and sanctions do . . . more institutions should follow Hampshire College . . .
11:47 AM on 02/20/2009
Yes, tried to reply 5 times last night--no luck. We castigate those Muslim countries or fundamentalist Islamists for wanting the same sort of religious state that Israel already has. Hypocrisy.
BubbaC33
Jimmy Buffett is the greatest American
12:32 PM on 02/21/2009
Apples and oranges. Israel is a democracy that allows all of its citizens the right to vote, Arab and Jew.