Middle East studies in the News
Speaker Spread Hate in Ithaca
by Marcia Zax
I am disturbed that Bassem Tamimi, a man whose films have spread hate and violence in the Middle East, was invited to speak at an Ithaca church on Sept. 17 and treated as a human-rights activist.
I am appalled that he was a guest in a Beverly J. Martin Elementary School classroom on Sept. 18. Would we allow someone who advocates violence against our legal authorities to enter our elementary school classrooms?
Tamimi teaches his children to try and incite Israeli soldiers by throwing stones, biting and screaming. He works very hard to have these events filmed and then selectively edited to spread hatred and lies. Photos and videos showing how the distortions were created can be found at is.gd/F7NgMm, and more details are at is.gd/Zql9NG.
In many states, rock-throwing that results in an injury is a felony. On the Jewish New Year, Sept. 13, a man was killed by Palestinian rock-throwers in Jerusalem.
The issue is disputed territories and, not as often conveyed in the news, land being taken when there is proof of ownership by another party. Such cases have ruled in favor of Arab owners by the Israeli Supreme Court.
I want to see peace and prosperity in the Middle East for all its people — Jews, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, LGBT people — all inhabitants. All of these peoples are much safer in Israel today than in the Palestinian Authority, Hamas-ruled Gaza or any neighboring Arab country.
Sabeel and the Justice for Palestine group that brought Tamimi to Ithaca as part of his national speaking tour utilize tactics that lead to hate and distance between parties that someday must find a way to live in peace.
To foster a peaceful way forward in the Holy Land with mutual respect between all people, many local individuals and organizations co-sponsored the June 3 talk by Palestinian educator Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, from Roots-Judur-Shorashim: "One Land, Two Worlds, One Painful Hope," which was held at the Space at GreenStar in Ithaca.
More information about this group is available at friendsofroots.net.
Also, the Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East brought Egyptian peace activist Ahmed Meligy to speak June 14 at The History Center.
There are genuine peace activists who deserve our support. Those who advocate violence have no place, least of all in our elementary schools.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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