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David Palumbo-Liu
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I am the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor at Stanford University, and Professor of Comparative Literature and, by courtesy, English. I serve as the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Besides Huffington Post, my blogs appear in Truthout, Boston Review, and Al Jazeera America. I am also a Contributing Editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Entries by David Palumbo-Liu

Is BDS Simply a 'Campus Movement?' How Deceitful Can Thomas Friedman Actually Be?

(4) Comments | Posted May 25, 2016 | 3:05 PM

On May 25 the New York Times published an op-ed by Thomas Friedman with the incendiary title, "Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel-Palestine," which attempts to show just how far the Israeli Prime Minister has gone to destroy any notion of a two-state solution. That Friedman...

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Condescension Mixed With Fear: The Anti-BDS Push in State Legislatures

(41) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 10:58 PM

There is no doubt that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has done more to bring the cause of Palestinian rights into the view of the world community than any other movement or political action. From Bill Gates to the Presbyterian church, from Junot Diaz to labor unions, from Archbishop...

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Un-diversifying the Professoriate

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 6:53 PM

Over the years, college administrators have evolved a predictable rhetoric when it comes to diversifying the faculty. When you think of it, it seems non-controversial--who would be against diversity, after all? "Diversity" has been a buzzword for decades--it simply percolated into the academy from the corporate and investment world.

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India, Israel Bring Their Disputes Over History Into Our Schoolbooks, and More

(34) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 9:40 AM

It is not uncommon for various groups to protest the way certain subjects are presented in school text books. Most recently, educational publishing giant McGraw-Hill apologized for the fact that its World Geography referred to slavery thus: "The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions...

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Beyond Physical Violence: Lasting Psychological Effects of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

(4) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 8:42 PM

The United Nations reports that currently there are 4.8 million registered Syrian refugees; nearly a million have petitioned for asylum in Europe since 2011. Of course in the past few years there has been a sharp spike in these numbers -- in 2014 alone 138,000 applications requests came...

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Faculty at Prestigious Canadian Universities Join Students in Resisting Parliament's Suppression of BDS

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 9:14 PM

Upon taking office as Canada's Prime Minister, one of the first things Justin Trudeau did was to condemn the pro-Palestinian, pro-human rights movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the state of Israel until it grants Palestinians full rights. Among various pronouncements, his criticism of BDS came out a year...

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India's Crackdown on 'Anti-Nationalism' on Campus and How It Can Affect Universities Here

(29) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 8:38 AM

Police have now taken control of one of the premier universities in India and charged its student leadership with sedition, provoking statements of support for the students and faculty from at least 40 other universities in India as well as a worldwide protest from international scholars. But why should we...

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What's Behind the Explosions of Violence in Palestine? -- The Destruction of Religious Sites and "Extrajudicial Executions" of Palestinian Teenagers

(128) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 10:12 PM

If what we see going on in Israel-Palestine is not yet a third Intifada, one may not be far off. As presented in the mainstream press, the stabbings of Israeli settlers, the rock-throwing, the mass uprisings, all seem chalked up to some inexplicable proclivity toward violence on the...

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Hindu Nationalism and Hi-Tech in Silicon Valley

(35) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 6:13 PM

One would not think that an open letter to Silicon Valley tech leaders and entrepreneurs from eminent scholars of South Asia, published in an academic journal, would cause a huge public uproar spanning two continents. But indeed it has created a tidal wave of incensed reaction from the...

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"Compassion" or Meanness? The GOP's Dilemma

(15) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 6:08 PM

With Ben Carson's rise in the polls, Donald Trump's absolute dominance in the Republican primary is showing signs of weakness. But what might be boosting Carson might be a matter of tone rather than content. Most people's ability to sustain a mean streak is being strained by Trump's...

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'Coddled Students? That's Not the Problem'

(15) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 9:45 PM

The much-publicized article in the recent Atlantic, "The Coddling of the American Mind," opens by setting off the alarm:

Something strange is happening in America's colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects...
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In the Afterglow of Racial Passing

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 11:23 PM

I have been extremely wary about weighing in with regard to the Rachel Dolezal matter. It has been written about extensively -- no, exhaustively -- from so many angles that it makes one's head start to explode.

On the one hand, I was for awhile willing to delve into...

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#CEOLivesMatter -- What About Others?

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 3:02 PM

Two days ago a colleague of mine here at Stanford and I were standing in line for lunch. When I asked her how things were going she fumed, "Not well -- they have cancelled all classes and shut down our building, all for Facebook. Heck, they are not even alums...

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Arab-Americans and Muslims: Beyond Profiles, Beyond "Problems"

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 4:20 PM

At some point during a recent debate at Stanford on a student bill that would have requested that the university divest from firms aiding in the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, a student argued against divestment because it made him feel "threatened." An audible gasp passed through the room, as we...

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Activism in the Academy: #Ferguson2MLA and BDS

(4) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 7:59 AM

Back in 2013, when the Association for Asian American Studies became the first U.S. academic organization to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, it caused somewhat of a stir. But that was nothing compared to the clamor that followed the American Studies Association's endorsement shortly after. This act,...

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This Is How an Academic Boycott of Israel Actually Works

(51) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 12:47 PM

The growing momentum of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement since last year has drawn a great deal of media attention to the issue of Israel-Palestine, and the cause of Palestinian rights. Unfortunately, this often has produced more confusion and obfuscation than illumination and clarity. Even one of...

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Celebrities and Another Kind of Cultural Work

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 5:29 PM

In August the Washington Post ran an article entitled, "Celebrities Get Nasty Over Gaza and Israel," which began, "Your average celebrity feud starts with a personal slight that escalates into a hashtag-laden Twitter battle and culminates with a late-night talk show appearance. But when celebs fight about Israel...

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Ferguson and Gaza: Let's Tell the Truth

(10) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 8:09 PM

Recently, Rabbi Menachem Creditor published an article entitled, "Ferguson Is Not Gaza."

It's easy to agree with that statement. While politically expedient and a good rallying call for action of various sorts, to declare a clean equivalence between the two is in many ways misleading. On the...

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A Reply to Nathaniel Zelinsky: 'Anti-Israel' Professor Shouldn't Have Been Fired

(27) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 11:46 AM

Nathaniel Zelinsky claims Professor Steven Salaita should not have been hired to teach at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. He feels that Salaita's vocal and acerbic tweets against the Israeli state are more than sufficient grounds to not hire him. Furthermore he perceives a contradiction between those...

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Don't Give In to Anti-Semitism; Act Against Injustice

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 1:49 PM

A Facebook friend and I are engaged in a silent debate. Nearly every time I post some news story critical of Israel's attack on Gaza, he posts back, without comment, a news story on the growing, ugly, resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. Indeed, stories coming from Israel warning...

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