Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! reports on the attempt of far right-wing partisans of Israel to quash a courtesy sponsorship by the Department of Political Science at Brooklyn College for a student-organized panel on boycotting and disinvesting from Israeli enterprises usurping Palestinian land and resources in the Palestinian West Bank. It features eminent scholar and cultural critic, Judith Butler.
Of all the groups in the US who hate our first amendment rights to freedom of speech, including climate change denialists, gun nuts, and American nationalists, the more extreme partisans of Israel are the most strident and often are quite powerful. Since many of them got their power promising to represent the public interest in general, it is a species of malpractice for them to misuse their position of trust in favor of a narrow sectarian and partisan foreign-policy interest. It would be as though Italian-American politicians went around insisting that you can never criticize Italy, no matter what Silvio Berlusconi does, and if you do they will try to get you fired from your job. You would call that extreme Italian nationalism, misplaced into an American context, and everybody would recognize it as problematic. Why is extreme Jewish nationalism somehow not only put up with but actually encouraged?
The blurb for the show:
“New York politicians are threatening to cut funding to Brooklyn College if the school hosts a forum Thursday night about the Palestinian-led campaign to boycott and divest from Israel. The Brooklyn College Political Science Department is among the event’s co-sponsors. In response, a group of New York City councilmembers has raised the possibility of Brooklyn College losing taxpayer support. The councilmembers’ threat is just one of several efforts by local lawmakers, from Congress on down, to pressure Brooklyn College to remove its sponsorship or even cancel the event. As the school vows to proceed with the event, we’re joined by one of its featured speakers, author and activist Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the BDS movement and author of “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights.” On BDS, Barghouti says, “It follows in the steps of the civil rights movement in this country and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. … It’s just when we talk about Palestinian rights that some people are trying to criminalize and make it completely unacceptable speech to address Palestinian rights under international law.” We’re also joined by Glenn Greenwald, columnist for The Guardian and author of “With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.” [includes rush transcript]
Filed under Israel & Palestine, Omar Barghouti, Glenn Greenwald
Omar Barghouti, one of the founding members of BDS, a nonviolent campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel until it complies with international law. His book is Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights.
Glenn Greenwald, columnist for The Guardian and author of With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.”