- A personal note. I grew up in Boston from the mid-1930s
- mid-1950s through college. Then after military service and summer courses
at BU, out-of-town grad school followed in the fall.
- It was a different time, good and bad. Eisenhower was
still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Most
years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low.
The average new car cost $1,500, a typical home under $10,000. College
was affordable. Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later
it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. During the period, anyone
could attend evenings at $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about
$175, the way my mother did it, graduating with me in the same class, the
first ever mother and son to do it.
- America was unchallenged economically, its manufacturing
base offering high paying/good benefits jobs. Union representation was
high. The South and US northern cities were segregated. They still are,
all 1960s civil rights gains lost plus most good jobs and benefits. Alaska
and Hawaii additions grew America to 50 states.
- The Korean War left an unsettled armistice. Cold War
politics settled in. Developing "mutually assured destruction (MAD)"
and accommodation prevented WW III. Censure ruined Joe McCarthy, and by
May 1957 he was dead at age 48. The CIA's first coup deposed Iran's Mohammad
Mosaddegh. A generation of terror followed. A year later, another toppled
Guatemala's Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, fueling decades of genocide against its
- Throughout the decade, few followed Vietnam events, its
defeat of France, America's growing involvement, what became three decades
of war. Palestinian Territories weren't occupied, and during the period
Israel was young, growing, but mostly out of the news and public mind.
With today's one-sided Western support, times indeed have changed, for
the worse, not better, including in academia.
- For example, noted professors like Norman Finkelstein,
Joel Kovel and Canada's Denis Rancourt, among others, lost jobs for supporting
Palestine, universities tolerating no Israeli opposition no matter how
justified. Moreover, Zionized Yale, among other activities and curricula
studies, has an Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism
(YIISA) at a time evidence shows it at a historic low.
- Nonetheless, it holds regular seminars and conferences,
including last August for three days on campus, featuring pro-Israeli zealots,
omitting Palestinian supporters, and letting hatemongers rail on topics
like radical Islam, genocidal antisemitism, the Iranian threat, and much
more throughout a 72 hour hatefest.
- Boston University's (BU) Pro-Israeli Conference
- Not to be outdone, on October 10 and 11, BU hosted its
own. Sponsored by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in
America (CAMERA), a Boston-based pro-Israeli media lobby, it bogusly claims
to be "non-partisan....regard(ing)....American or Israeli political
issues, (taking no position) regard(ing)....ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli
- In fact, by shamelessly supporting Israel, it monitors
media reports globally for one purpose - to combat all "anti-Israeli
bias." CAMERA tolerates none, no matter how justified, targeting journalists,
editors, producers and publishers, demanding "distorted or inaccurate
coverage" be retracted and replaced by "factual information to
refute errors." For CAMERA, it means uncompromising Israeli support,
or be hounded, condemned or replaced. With considerable funding and thousands
of members, it has plenty of lethal firepower and no reluctance to use
- Its conference theme was "War By Other Means: The
Global Campaign to Delegitimize Israel," referring to growing initiatives
like the Global BDS Movement, the International and Palestine Solidarity
Movements, and others. They're gaining strength after incidents like Cast
Lead, the May Gaza Flotilla massacre, the Gaza siege and isolation of Palestine's
legitimate Hamas government, and daily assaults against Palestinian civilians
- unpunished crimes of war and against humanity by any standard.
- With global outrage growing, CAMERA says "Israel
faces a convergence of global forces that may undermine its legitimacy
in the eyes of the world community." So it sponsored a two day conference,
featuring notorious pro-Israeli Islamophobes and other extremists, spreading
hate-filled propaganda for the price of admission - $50 per day or a flat
$25 for students, those helping out attending free, including lunches.
What a deal to be indoctrinated free of charge.
- CAMERA and twenty other organizations co-sponsored the
event, including campus Hillels, Hadassah, local synagogues, the Israeli
New England consulate, and Zionist Organization of America, the oldest
and one of largest US pro-Israeli groups with over 30,000 members throughout
the country - a coalition of pro-Israeli zealotry, intolerant of opposing
- CAMERA's Speaker Lineup from Hell
- Beginning early on Sunday, October 10, Maxine Wolf and
Rabbi Joseph Polak delivered opening remarks. Wolf is a member of CAMERA's
executive board, Polak a BU-based Hillel director.
- Lead speaker was Alan Dershowitz, a notorious bigot,
an earlier article calling him:
- -- a purveyor of myths, canards, false logic, and hate;
- -- a misinterpreter of fundamental law standards;
- -- a believer in unique Jewish suffering, mindless of
- -- an advocate of torture, targeted assassinations, land
theft and dispossessions; and
- -- a committed Zionist and Israeli apologist, legitimizing
its aggression, its worst crimes and abuses, believing that "international
law, and those who administer it, must understand that (in times of war)
the old rules" don't apply against "fanatical foes."
- He also defends preemptive wars, no matter how lawless,
calling the UN Charter's 51 (limiting attacks to self-defense) "anachronistic,
(a) mid-twentieth century view of international law" inapplicable
to today's threats. In other words, on matters affecting Israel, no law
applies, threat or no threat.
- Yigal Carmon was next, president and founder of the Middle
East Research Institute (MEMRI), its board and advisors including a rogue's
gallery of pro-Israeli zealots like Elliot Abrams, Ehud Barak, James Woolsey,
John Bolton, John Ashcroft, Michael Mukasey, and Elie Wiesel, a man Norman
Finklestein calls "vain, arrogant, gullible, naive about international
affairs, (and defender of) the worst excesses of previous Israeli governments."
- Daniel Pipes followed Yigal, a man Fairness and Accuracy
in Reporting (FAIR) included in its October 2008 report titled, "Smearcasting:
How Islamophobes spread fear, bigotry and misinformation."
- Founder of the Middle East Forum, an extremist think
tank promoting US Middle East interests, including "fighting radical
Islam; working for Palestinian acceptance of Israel....combat(ing) lawful
Islamism," and other hard right positions, he preaches hateful zealotry.
Besides writing op-eds for The New York Times and other major publications,
he's interviewed often on mainstream radio and television from CNN to PBS
and NPR. He defends racially profiling Arab-Americans, and once said in
a National Review article (11/19/90) that:
- "Western European societies are unprepared for the
massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange food and maintaining
different standards of hygiene....All immigrants bring exotic customs and
attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most."
- Dershowitz, Yigal, and Pipes set the tone for like-minded
participants to follow, including:
- -- Andrea Levin, a CAMERA director;
- -- Philippe Karsenty, Media-Ratings founder, doing the
same type monitoring in France that CAMERA does globally;
- -- Anne Bayefsky, a right-wing pro-Israeli zealot, senior
fellow at the neocon Hudson Institute, associated with UN Watch devoted
to attacking anti-Israeli criticism, and member of the Israel-based Ariel
Center for Policy Research, a Likud Party-affiliated group supporting hardline
writers in the Middle East, North America and Europe;
- -- Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, a notorious
- -- Melanie Phillips, an extremist journalist, author,
and defender of pro-Western "values" over others she disdains;
- -- Manfred Gerstenfeld, chairman of the Board of Fellows
at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a pro-Israeli think tank, publishing
material like "The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West."
He's also an Institute for Global Jewish Affairs director, supporting the
myth of worldwide antisemitism and various pro-Israeli initiatives;
- -- Mark Steyn, a Canadian writer, political commentator
and cultural critic, supporting a pro-Israeli agenda;
- -- Irwin Cotler, a Canadian MP and former Minister of
Justice and Attorney General;
- -- Yaakov Kirschen, a Jerusalem Post cartoonist and drybonesblog.blogspot.com
creator, saying on May 18, 2009 that: "Palestinians are not prepared
or able to build a modern, democratic state that could live in peace with
a Jewish State of Israel," among other hateful comments;
- -- Kenneth Levin, a Harvard Medical School instructor
and writer on Israeli/Arab issues, supporting the former over the latter;
- -- Alvin H. Rosenfeld, a professor of English and Jewish
Studies and director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism
at Indiana University, promoting the myth of its resurgence, saying a "phenomenon
of this scope and consequence demands sustained scrutiny at the highest
- -- Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Hebrew and Jewish Studies
lecturer, board member of the pro-Israeli Scholars for Peace in the Middle
East, and chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach Advisory
Council, involved in "combatting the rise of campus anti-Semitism;"
- -- Alex Safian, CAMERA's research and associate directors;
- -- Bret Stephens, a hard right Wall Street Journal deputy
editorial page editor and foreign affairs contributor; earlier, he was
editor-in-chief of the right wing Jerusalem Post.
- Conference Topics
- They included:
- -- Israel and the Case for Moral Clarity;
- -- Radicals and Reformists: Trends and Challenges;
- -- The Islamic Background;
- -- Examining Israel: From The New York Times to Aftonbladet
and The Huffington Post;
- -- Pallywood and Mumammad al-Durah;
- -- The United Nation's War on Israel;
- -- NGO Biases, the Halo Effect and Israel;
- -- The British Hijacking of Reason;
- -- Is a New, Criminal Europe Emerging?
- -- The City Besieged: Israel and the War on the West;
- -- Countering the Legal Assault on Israel;
- -- Fighting on the Front Lines: Responding to Campus
- -- What Walt and Mearsheimer Hath Wrought;
- -- Jewish Defamers of Israel: Roots and Branches;
- -- Jews at Sea: Reflections on Israel's Jewish Detractors
- -- A Cartoonist View of Jewish Defamers;
- -- Making Israel's Case, the Smart Way;
- -- Mainstream Churches and Israel;
- -- Blogging, Social Media and Israel;
- -- Getting Published in the Mainstream Media and Making
an Impact On-Line; and
- -- The Spanish-Language Media and Effective Activism.
- A Final Comment
- On October 10, BU Students for Justice in Palestine,
American Jews for a Just Peace, ItisApartheid, and other local pro-Palestinian
groups protested against CAMERA's conference.
- In front of BU's Metcalf Hall in the George Sherman Union,
the conference venue, they simulated a mock apartheid wall, symbolizing
Israel's Separation Wall, surrounding and isolating West Bank communities,
as well as stealing 12% of their land when completed.
- They also chanted "BU, US, it's time for BDS,"
"Hey BU you've been had, Dershowitz is WICKED bad," and the politically
oriented Brass Liberation Orchestra accompanied protesters as they sang,
held banners, and distributed fliers.
- Like Yale last August, BU lent its name to a two day
hate fest, featuring Islamophobes supporting apartheid, lawlessness, aggressive
wars, isolation, land theft, dispossessions, mass imprisonment, torture,
targeted assassinations, and decades of slow-motion genocide of Palestinian
civilians. For 48 hours, truth, equity and justice were nowhere in sight.
Complicit BU was the venue for the worst of hatemongering viciousness.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour
on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and
Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.