On Wednesday Oct. 13 Students for a Free Palestine hosted Diana Buttu, the “legal advisor” to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

This, in my book, is unacceptable from the get-go. The PLO has long been providing training, information, capital and weapons to terrorist movements worldwide, including countries such as Spain, Ireland, France, Japan and Italy.

That Georgetown University would even allow a speaker from a known terrorist association to come speak is on its own unbelievable.

But what is even more appalling is the fact that hardly anyone batted so much as an eyelash when said speaker talked for 45 minutes without once mentioning murder in the form of homicide bombings.

Buttu began her speech with a little light Israel bashing, badly-veiled as voting rights rhetoric. She made a very big deal about how great it was that we could all vote in the upcoming American election, and then said: “We in Palestine cannot vote. We are stateless.”

This statement is garbage, designed by well-trained, Arab public relations employees to evoke pity and sadness from Westerners. (The term “apartheid” to describe the Israeli-Arab conflict is another one of these buzz-phrases, and while it is not at all applicable to the situation, Buttu had no problem using it several times.)

Why don’t “Palestinians” have the vote in Israel? Because they hate it, plain and simple.

They do not stand with the country, nor do they wish to see it survive. Why give citizenship to someone whose goal is first and foremost to see you dead? That’s like offering Osama bin Laden a U.S. passport and then asking him to join you in a rendition of “This Land Is Your Land.” It’s ridiculous.

Furthermore, “Palestinians” are stateless for good reason – their “state” doesn’t exist. It never has. In fact, the word “Palestine” actually has nothing at all to do with Arabs. It was originally “Palestina,” and it was coined by the Romans, who thought it up and then applied it to Jews in order to belittle them.

Later, during the first and second waves of Jewish immigration, “Palestine” was used to refer to a land that, at the time, was unrecognized as an autonomous entity. The “Palestine Post” of 1932-1950, for example, was a Jewish-run newspaper.

Second, there is no indigenous Arab people known as the “Palestinians.” In fact, if you look several generations back, it is easy to see that most of the “Palestinians” living in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip are actually of Syrian descent. Arabs are kept in poverty in these areas that Israel rightly and tactically won back in the Six Day War for propaganda purposes.

Consider the following quote, from PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein in a 1977 interview with a Dutch newspaper: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct `Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”

Buttu rambled on about the barrier Israel is building and how the salty water Palestinians are forced to drink causes cancer. That’s new – I’m sure Georgetown’s med school would like to know more about the salt-cancer link. Maybe Buttu can help them out.

When I asked, at the end of Buttu’s speech, why she had not mentioned terrorism, the woman’s entire attitude suddenly changed.

She got agitated. Mad. And then she demanded to know what it was I wanted to know about terrorism. (I thought that was a pretty stupid thing to ask me, seeing as how the question I’d just asked ought to have cleared it up).

She stepped to the front of the raised dais she was on and, looking like she would have enjoyed seeing me dead, spat that terrorism was the Palestinian peoples’ way of fighting Israeli occupation and oppression.

Nobody said a word when she said this. But I will.

Terrorism is never justified. The fact that the Georgetown students in that room didn’t have the guts to stand up to this woman and say so is appalling to me.

My sister had a dear friend who was a waitress at Mike’s Place, the Tel Aviv bar that was bombed to smithereens almost two years ago. Shall I comfort her with “Sorry, that’s the Palestinian peoples’ way of fighting occupation and oppression”? I don’t think so.

And neither should anyone at Georgetown.

Anath Hartmann is a senior in the College.

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