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The Georgetown Israel Alliance (GIA) seems to have taken considerable exception to an earlier campus event featuring a lecture and question-and-answer session with Princeton international law scholar and former U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk.

Subsequently, a member of the GIA went on to dismiss and denounce the event as having been “an evening of half-truths” and “manipulative rhetoric,” sprinkled with some legitimization of wanton violence and served with a side of “egregious lies” in a “A GIA Response to Former U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk” published by The Hoya on Dec. 18.

The author accused Falk of anti-Semitism — a charge that is both unsubstantiated and diversionary. Further, in aiming to criticize Falk’s proposed course of action —that of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — the author shed crocodile tears over the plight of those Palestinians who would be unable to work at a SodaStream plant that was operated on illegally occupied territory.

The closure, which followed significant losses in SodaStream revenue, was one of the recent indications of the effectiveness of the BDS model. It epitomizes the colonial enterprise’s tendencies to feign best interests for the subjugated in order to induce quiet compliance.

While the closure of the SodaStream factory has been painted by the media as economically harmful, the economic loss the Palestinian people have suffered over the years has left hundreds of thousands to languish in grueling poverty to this day, and it is not properly recognized.

The viewpoint’s criticisms lack evidence and are emblematic of the methods that inhibit robust and intellectually honest engagement between Israel and Palestine.

For too long in American newsrooms, halls of power and towers of academia, prevailing assumptions about what does and does not constitute “legitimate” or “constructive” or “civil” discourse around the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have caused the development of skewed conceptions that discourage dissent.

Those who dare challenge the demarcations laid down run the risk of being dismissed as “divisive” or “radical” or worse. Sadly, however, these phenomena are neither new nor restricted to Palestinian advocacy.

My advice to the GIA, and those who support its positions on the issue of Palestine and Israel, would be to return to the drawing board. As should be evident by any honest survey of American civil society, especially in light of global reactions to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza this summer, the stale strategies of yesteryear are rapidly becoming irrelevant.

Slow but nonetheless significant victories are being achieved for the Palestinian cause within societies across the globe and on college campuses across this country. In the last couple months alone, varied iterations of the BDS model have succeeded at places like Harvard and UCLA despite meeting strong resistance.

And this resistance isn’t reactionary. There’s a reason why money is being poured into initiatives aimed at challenging and defeating campaigns such as BDS — they work.

In a recent piece entitled, “The Dead End of Post-Oslo Diplomacy,” professor Falk details the Oslo approach’s flaws, as well as his recommendations for a way forward. Far from the GIA’s retelling, Falk did not discuss or legitimize acts of violence against civilians. Rather, he cited the strength of the Palestinian case from the perspectives of global solidarity, morality and international law, as well as the great potential that lies in methods of “nonviolent militancy” such as BDS.

How on earth, the GIA asked, could Mr. Falk condemn the protracted diplomatic exercises that bore such wonders as, not one, but “two Nobel Peace Prizes?” Does Falk see no other avenue but violence? The error and sensationalism that pervades both questions should be sufficiently clear. And if they are not, as Benjamin Netanyahu once said, “study the facts.”

Amin Gharad is a junior in the College and a board member of Amnesty International, who, along with Students for Justice in Palestine and the Georgetown University Lecture Fund, initially coordinated Richard Falk’s visit to campus.

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4 Comments

  1. Bill O'Rights says:

    LOL…

    Georgetown has NO leg to stand on, defending the infamously antisemitic Muslim Brotherhood shill, Richard Falk.

    See excerpts of Falk’s approved commentators, and his responses. on his blog, here:

    http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2014/05/19/the-open-anti-semitism-on-richard-falks-blog/

    But let us discuss Georgetown’s massive conflict of interest, since Georgetown willfully accepts both money and a free campus in Doha, courtesy of the terror state Qatar, with the condition that Georgetown faculty and staff do not criticize either Qatar or the Muslim Brotherhood, AS DEFINED IN THEIR AGREEMENT WITH THE QATARI GOVERNMENT.

    It should be further noted that GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY IS ILLEGALLY OPERATING OUTSIDE ITS CHARTER, which requires that it operate within the confines of the District of Columbia.

    Georgetown’s new patron saints have, as a matter of fact, become Yousef Al-Qaradawi, the al Thani family and the Muslim Brotherhood.

    So great is Georgetown’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, that one could easily wonder if past critics, such as Samer Shehata, were in fact denied tenure for their oppositional views.

    Over the course of time, Georgetown has doubled down on this nefarious relationship, deepening their support for the known terrorist organization Hamas, its terrorist benefactor the Muslim Brotherhood and the terror supporting government of Qatar.

    As it turns out, Qaradawi, correctly defined by the Anti-Defamation League as a “Theologian of Terror”, is an old favorite of Georgetown University:

    http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/people/yusuf-al-qaradawi

    Keep in mind that we’re talking about a man who is NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES due to his rabid support of Hamas, an organization listed among the State Department’s designated terrorist organizations.

    We’re also talking about a man who once called for the murder of U.S. troops, has justified the murder of homosexuals and called for the deaths of those who stray from Islam. There’s Muslim Brotherhood moderation for you.

    And, curiously, despite Georgetown’s claim that their Doha campus is having a positive, Progressive impact on the views of the Qataris and the Muslim Brotherhood, it seems that the views of Qaradawi, the Qataris and the Muslim Brotherhood reflect Georgetown’s own views.

    A few choice Qaradawi quotes:

    “When America threatened it [Iran], I said I am against America. Iran has the right to possess peaceful nuclear power, and if America fights it, we would stand up against it [America].”

    “I have been affiliated with a group considered by Zionists as their first enemy; it is the Muslim Brotherhood that has provided and still provides martyrs for the cause of Palestine.”

    “Conquest through Da’wa [proselytizing], that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da’wa.”

    This article is a farce.

    Worse still, it caters and kowtows to KNOWN terrorists.

  2. This is one of the most arrogant pieces I have ever read in the Hoya.

    “While the closure of the SodaStream factory has been painted by the media as economically harmful, the economic loss the Palestinian people have suffered over the years has left hundreds of thousands to languish in grueling poverty to this day, and it is not properly recognized.”

    What the hell does that even mean? Is this Author calling Israel, the ‘colonial enterprise’, the cause of Palestianian economic suffering? Even though the economy of the ‘occupied’ territories improved significantly under Israel, and has only deteriorated since it was placed under Palestinian rule?

    As someone who attended the talk, I know that Amin Gharad is lying when he says that Falk did not discuss or legitimize acts of violence against civilians. He did both of these things.

    When Gharad says things like “It epitomizes the colonial enterprise’s tendencies to feign best interests for the subjugated in order to induce quiet compliance”, it sounds like he has been drinking a little too much of the kool-aid.

  3. Per Amin’s logic {sic} Muslims do not legally own any land. The Middle East region was Judeo-Christian for thousands and hundreds of years before Islam appeared in the 7th century AD. Muslims are squatters on ancient Judeo-Christian land.

  4. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time believing that people who willingly let terrorists strap suicide vests to their children care even one bit about “peace, freedom and justice”.

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