Monday, March 12, 2007

Hate-filled peaceniks

It would seem bizarre that a group calling itself the "Western New York Peace Center" would actually be inciting hatred. But for those of us who have seen the rise of virulent anti-Israeli campaigning on campuses, it's no longer hard to believe. What has most troubled our SPME members in Buffalo is that the local organization that goes by the "Peace Center" name uses the guise of peace to teach intolerance to students, on campus. A highlight was the Peace Center's co-sponsorship of a speech at the University at Buffalo by Norman Finkelstein, who used the stage to share his view that Israelis want to turn themselves into an Aryan race and that the Jewish name "Ari" stands for "Aryan," along with other similarly informed observations.

After careful study of the Peace Center's record of sponsoring events in the Buffalo area, we issued a four page statement on January 31, 2007, and distributed it widely. Twenty of our members signed, representing Erie Community College, SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Brockport, and my own institution, the University at Buffalo, which is also part of SUNY. After documenting the Center's grossly distorted statement about events in Jenin and its record of sponsoring virulent speakers, our statement concluded that the organization's actions have belied its ostensive commitment to peace. Nonetheless, since peace has to be pursued in dialog with adversaries, we offered to be open to conversation with the Peace Center, though we conditioned our offer on the Peace Center's willingness to publicly apologize for at least one event, its co-sponsorship for Finkelstein.

The Buffalo Jewish Review printed our statement in its entirety over two issues. According to the editor, Mrs. Rita Weiss, it is the longest article ever to appear in the paper, which has been published since the early 20th century. The statement was also distributed around the world by the NGO Monitor, recognizing the Western New York Peace Center as another politicized nongovernmental organization that capitalizes on public good will-traditionally extended to nonprofit organizations claiming a humanitarian cause like peace-to pursue a partisan and inflammatory agenda against Israel. Locally, our case was briefly covered on WBFO, the local National Public Radio affiliate. The director of the Peace Center defended its sponsorships simply as cases of upholding free speech and providing an additional perspective.

Let me conclude by reflecting on this fallback to the free-speech defense. It's a poor retort, for several reasons. Local anti-Israel activists are not civil libertarians-they do not go out of their way to defend speech coming from those they disagree with. Nor, for that matter, are the Israel-haters' speech rights threatened; on campuses and political rallies around the country, virulent anti-Zionism has center stage. What is more, support for free speech is no reason to invite hateful speech. Free speech is a political right, not a campus or institutional obligation. The claim that Israelis want to become Aryans is not a "perspective" that illuminate understanding, but rather a slander, lie, or stupidity that obtrudes on perspective. It is for this very reason that no faculty member is obligated to invite pederasts to speak about childhood safety or the KKK to speak about racism: non-invitation in such cases upholds the very meaning of civilized discourse, which must progress by successively examining moral claims and excluding demonstrable lies. It's revealing that a supposed peace organization, when confronted with evidence that pierces its humanitarian pretense, would resort to the free-speech defense. That it is unable to confront criticism against its claims, and instead merely defends its right to make them, reveals the vacuity of its position.


British schoolboys arrested over `racist taunts'

A typical British police over-reaction. All that happened was a bit of juvenile cheekiness -- a repetition by some kid or kids of a sporting expression that drew attention to the teacher's Jewishness. At a time when calls to the British police for assistance are routinely ignored, one could only hope that they would react with the vigour shown below to complaints of burglary, assault etc. Under Ingsoc (Orwell's abbreviation of "English Socialism"), thoughtcrime is more important than real crime. I have zero tolerance for antisemitism but this was just kids being kids.

Eight teenage boys were arrested in class after a film shown on the internet was alleged to show them shouting racist taunts at a teaching assistant, David Appleman, during his leaving party. Police took the 14 and 15-year-olds out of Chauncy School at Ware, Hertfordshire, drove them off in vans and questioned them for nine hours at Bishop's Stortford police station. They were fingerprinted, photographed and had DNA swabs taken. A spokeswoman said that reports of a racist incident were being investigated.

The film was made in December and posted on the YouTube video-sharing website. Police are believed to have removed it for examination. The youths were released on police bail. A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: " "We take allegations of this nature very seriously and we believe we acted accordingly."

Dennis O'Sullivan, Chauncy School's head teacher, said: "When these boys realised that Mr Appleman was leaving they prepared a tribute to Mr Appleman for his last lesson. "David is seen on video looking delighted, smiling and shaking hands with each of the boys." It is thought that the alleged racist comments followed afterwards.

Mr O'Sullivan said he believed that Mr Appleman had complained to police, adding: "It is sad to see he made a complaint against our students without telling us." He continued: "None of us should accept racism in any part of our lives." Police said that investigations into the matter were ongoing.


We read elsewhere:

They were accused by Chauncy's former technology assistant, David Appleman, of making anti-Semitic remarks during his leaving party in December. It is alleged that 'Yid Army' was shouted - a nickname for Tottenham Hotspur's Jewish supporters that is often heard at football grounds.

'Politically Incorrect' Web Site In Beta

A Burbank, Calif.-based, self-described "politically incorrect comedy network" launched last month with comedy, games, networking and user-generated video.

Now in beta, delivers nine irreverent channels of politically incorrect videos, outrageous games, and networking opportunities that appeal to South Park conservatives with the functionality of both MySpace and YouTube. You can create online issue campaigns and upload video clips to build a group of friends and volunteers online. Some of the special video programming includes "Border Bloopers" and "Feed the Supermodels."

"We are building an online community of people for the other half of America," said social director Jonathan Moore. "OURcountry is a place for those who’ve grown tired of the liberal bias on other social networking sites. On our site you can connect with people you want to meet and launch your career to the next level.”'s development team includes Lee Troxler, a high tech entrepreneur and producer of "FahrenHYPE 9/11"; Gabe Abelson, a one-time comedy writer for late-night hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman, and Floyd Brown, former executive director of Young America's Foundation.


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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