The Arab-Israeli conflict has been brewing for decades, but it fermented at CMC’s campus on Monday, March 4, when the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) set up a mock checkpoint outside Collins dining hall during dinnertime.

For those who have not yet heard about the event, some students associated with SJP (a 5C club) set up a mock Israel Defense Force (IDF) checkpoint outside Collins dining hall that consisted of a wall of students blocking entry. Students eating dinner were required to show their ID cards before entering Collins in an attempt to somewhat simulate what checkpoints in Israel are like for Palestinians.

The students affiliated with SJP never explicitly received permission to obstruct people’s entryway in front of Collins; this lapse is an issue in itself. But regardless of whether or not they received permission, the event intended to provoke an emotional reaction. After running into several peers who were greatly upset by the demonstration, I continually asked myself throughout the next few days: Why? What was the purpose of the event?

Individuals reacted in a variety of ways to Monday night’s demonstration. Those who were of differing opinions of the SJP demonstrators were probably highly offended to see a controversial, multi-faceted issue presented in such a one-sided way. While the issue of checkpoints needs to be addressed, addressing it through pathos is a weak argument and one that demeans the audience, especially at a college campus. I could walk into a TNC and pretend to be a suicide bomber, as suicide bombers have appeared in clubs in Israel before. Would this garner people’s attention? Definitely. Would it inform? Probably, for people who know little about suicide bombers in Israel. Would it provoke and enrage many people? Absolutely.

Other people, who perhaps had few opinions on the matter, either were mildly irritated by the fact that they had to show their ID before entering a dining hall or left the event feeling better educated about checkpoints (which is what I hope was SJP’s ultimate goal). However, education through emotional show is not education. Education through a demonstration that shows one side of the issue is not education.

I hope that those who are not educated about the issue read articles about the issue, talk to friends whose opinions they trust and whose opinions might be different than theirs, and attend lectures on the topic. Attempting to educate through a demonstration is belittling to the intellectual student body at the Claremont Colleges, and it is an unnecessarily polarizing way to educate.

Rational discourse is one of the most important tools to use when addressing someone with an opinion opposite from you. It is easier to hide behind a wall of your beliefs and engage in demonstrations rather than discussions. But this gets us nowhere. It isolates and polarizes the other side, and it minimally educates.

Talk to someone who you respect but who you know disagrees with you. Read articles from media outlets you know have a different political leaning than you. Educate yourself, and educate others. Respect other people’s views on this campus. The best way to do that is to talk with them, not at them.


  1. What dopey, content-free column. Why not educate yourself about the issues at hand so you can write something halfway intelligent about them?

    • What a dopey, content-free individual. Why not have something intelligent to say in order to continue the actually rational discourse brought up by the author?

  2. Well written and well said. If the aim was to educate, the SJP certainly missed the mark by impersonating IDF soldiers and harassing students and faculty. They did not accurately portray the reality of the situation or consider the other side’s perspective. You were right on with the analogy to the suicide bomber in a club – that would NOT be an okay demonstration for a pro-Israel club to do – there would be serious repercussions, and yet it would be more true to the facts than the SJP demonstration that DID happen. If the aim was to provoke and hate, their Israel “Apartheid” Week, which should realistically be called “Israel Hate Week” was right on target. Never in a million years would a pro-Israel group receive sponsorship and approval from private colleges to put on a similar week of events geared toward hating and demonizing the Palestinians, but the opposite unfortunately is not true. I am disappointed to see such a lack of productive, educational discourse, and I feel extremely saddened that the Claremont Colleges are yet another campus to fall victim to the propaganda of “Israel Apartheid Week”.

    • Pro-hate? What? It was an all anti-Israeli-oppression week, not anti-Israel or anti-semitic.

      What are people doing when they repeatedly change “Stop abusing us!” to “I hate you!” Oh wait, I know what they’re doing–they’re NOT LISTENING!

  3. The claim that students “were required to show their ID before entering Collins” is completely false. The SJP actors were standing 4-6 feet apart and asking for IDs. If people chose not to present an ID, no attempt was made to block their progress and plenty of physical space was available for them to walk right by without interacting with the SJP members. Please fix this factually incorrect article.

    • FURTHERMORE, SJP did have permission. Seeing as you took the time to write this article means it raised enough awareness. After the checkpoints people went home and looked up the conflict for themselves which is a great reaction.

    • 1) The SJP students were not 4-6 feet apart. No one could get into the dining hall without giving them their ID’s. There was no other option, bar forcibly walking through, that would have allowed a student to get into the hall.

      2) SJP did not have permission from the administration. If they had, they would not have been required to protest elsewhere.

        • srsly?!

          grammar-picking pedants perpetually peeve me. especially in online comment threads. oy!

        • The permission was from Jim Nauls. Decide for yourself if he does or does not count as administration.

        • Apparently the guy who gives out money that has been budgeted by the college for the purpose doesn’t count as administration. Yet he is an Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities. Given that this was a student activity, I’d say he was the designated administration rep. To say otherwise would imply that the CMC website is lying which is doubtful unlike the “facts” in this article.

    • I was there for a while and the students were shoulder-to-shoulder blocking the entrance. Dean Spellman came over and had them move to the side, showing that what they described to the administration was absolutely not what happened.

  4. Your suicide bomber analogy is exactly the type of rhetoric that poisons thoughtful discourse. In what way is standing in front a building presenting a simulation–inconvenient, maybe offensive, but very obviously a simulation–anything like actively entering a crowded place dressed as a suicide bomber?

    • I disagree with you in saying that Ariel’s comparison poisons thoughtful discourse. I actually think the parallel works quite nicely. Both on the Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian sides of the spectrum, activists are quick to criticize the policies and actions of the others’ extremists and governments that are counter productive to creating a meaningful peace while simultaneously dismissing their own side’s problems as not a big deal.

      While Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank (not Israel proper) are more systematically established than suicide bombing in dance clubs (even though the Palestinian government consistently and honors and glorifies terrorists and their families that kill civilians), one needs much more context to understand what is going on in the insanely complicated situation between Israelis and Palestinians in that tiny little strip of land in the Middle East. That is the point that Ariel makes here–an isolated “street performance” void of context or obvious purpose does not help to foster dialogue. Listening to others, asking good questions, being humble about your role in this international conflict, and taking narratives that are not your own seriously do.

      We are not policy makers, nor are we global leaders. None of us (including myself) are experts on this issue, regardless of how many articles we have read, papers we have written, classes we have taken, or friends we have talked to about it. Consequently, it is our job as students to talk to as many people as possible with as many different opinions and viewpoints as possible in order to help us form opinions, regardless of our individual backgrounds. I am a Jew; I am a Zionist; I am pro-Peace; I am pro-two state solution; I am pro dialogue; I am pro-learning other perspectives; I am pro-experiencing cognitive dissonance while trying to reconcile these seemingly irreconcilable narratives.

      I WRITE THIS POST WITH MY NAME SO THAT ANYONE WHO WISHES TO HAVE THIS DIALOGUE CAN ENGAGE IN IT WITH ME. My email is [email protected]. If you are remotely tempted in responding to me or engaging in any sort of conversation, don’t hesitate to reach out. And if you respond on this thread, please use your real name. Anonymity is anything but productive to dialogue.

      • I disagree. Representation of those that experience the problem first hand is an essential rhetorical tool we as educated young people must incorporate into our studies in order to successfully attempt to understand the situation.

        As critical thinkers, we must push ourselves to not fall for just the ‘experts’ opinion on issues – listening to the real experiences people face around the world is an important way in which discourse is established.

        I am glad to hear that you are willing to take the other side into account. However, I’m weary of whether or not you’re actually attempting to form any bridges here. For one, you blatantly incorporate your stance on the issue by raising the claim that Palestinians celebrate terrorism. If you really wanna create a space in which multiple perspectives are taken into account, you cannot place your own tidbit in the middle of such request.

        And again, you’re wrong on anonymity. Publius and Brutus immediately prove your point incorrect. This is an open, online space. We don’t need our name or faces to be the ones that speak for us.

  5. Walk into a club as a suicide bomber? Do you know how ignorant and racist you sound? What is the ratio of checkpoints to suicide bombers? Please think before you speak, God the amount of racist people I find at such a prestigious school disgusts me.

    • The checkpoints exist because of the suicide bombers. If SPJ wanted Claremont students to experience the plight of the Palestinians, then the obvious parallel would be Israeli citizens living under the constant fear of terrorist attacks. Most residents of countries like Israel, India, and the UK know what living with terrorism is like. Nearly all public places in these countries have checkpoints, but they exist for everyone’s safety.

      The ratio of checkpoints to suicide bombers has increased only because Israel has been able to prevent and preempt most terrorist attacks. The only racism here is comparing Israeli checkpoints against terrorism with apartheid. Perhaps if you want to raise awareness, you could start with Palestinian leaders who impoverish their people and endanger schools and UN missions by launching rockets and provoking reckless wars.

      • Nice job hijacking my moniker, dickweed.

        And your total ignoring of (or at best, ignorance of) the truth about Israeli abuse of Palestinians — of, that is, that which PROVOKES rocket attacks by a people without an army faced by oppressors with the 4th largest army in the world — is truly sad. Sickening, really. You’ve been pathologized. Have a good illness.

        • Huh, strange commenting system. Now your comment says Dalrymple. Never mind then about the first part of my comment.

        • Apart from calling him names and saying his views represent an illness, your ‘argument’ boils down to ‘they started it.’ It seems like the rocket attacks are more of a provocation than a response to provocation. Usually Israel faces a rocket attack and then responds with a surgical strike, which is generally successful. The point I think Dalrymple makes is that checkpoints exist as a necessity, not as a desired racial policy that is designed to intentionally abuse people. Jews go through checkpoints as well, just like all Indian citizens get checked by metal detectors when they enter a shopping mall. Even if one considers the rocket attacks and bombs as being entirely justified, the point still remains that Israel has to initiate counter measures like checkpoints. If terrorism stopped, then the checkpoints would stop as well. The fact that the fatality rate from terrorist attacks has diminished sharply is a sign of the policy’s success.

      • I think I puked a little in my mouth, go learn your facts oh and please learn how to spell SJP before you start talking about it.

  6. You effectively state that you think these sorts of demonstrations are useful with your suicide bomber analogy. You said that going into the club dressed as a suicide bomber (something inordinately more offensive than standing outside dining halls) would nonetheless garner attention and inform people. I personally neither know about nor am invested in learning much about the Israeli-Arab situation. My friends are not likely to chat about it either. So I will go through much of life uninformed. I think these sorts of demonstrations are useful. You say they didn’t have permission, some commentators say they do. Obviously that matters the most, but if it’s peaceful, then perhaps there is some value to these demonstrations. Anyway, the suicide bomber in a club is not at all comparable to this. That’s on a different scale altogether.

  7. 1,097 Israelis and 6,638 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.

    1) No mention that the Israeli professor called a peaceful Palestinian student a “fucking cockroach” multiple times, as corroborated by the campus safety officer’s report.

    2) Students could enter, the entrance was in no way blocked — we have photos.

    3) The act of the suicide bomber is not comparable to the OFFICIAL POLICY of checkpoint humiliation the Israeli state. There is no army backing up the actions of one man — you can’t blame any state for it.

    For the record, pathos is necessary to incite action. We are motivated by emotion, as you clearly were to write this rather slanted piece.

    Chew on these:

    “We have no solution… You [Palestinians] shall continue to live likedogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this processleads.”

    – Moshe Dayan (1915-1981) served as Chief of Staff of the IDF, defense minister, and leader of the Labor party in Israel. He said these words in a talk with members of his Labor cabinet. Noam Chomsky cites as source of this quote: Yossi Beilin, Mehiro shel Ihud (Revivim, 1985), 42; an important review of cabinet records under the Labor Party.

    May 3, 1983:

    “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle.”

    – Rafael Eitan (1929-2004) served as Chief of Staff of the IDF, and later as Knesset member and government minister.

    Those defending checkpoints will be the South African apartheid apologists of the coming decades. Palestine has no army, Israel has the 4th most expensive in the world. Wake up.

    • I appreciate your effort to wake people up on the issue, but I don’t understand how this kind of emotionally charged posts can contribute to a rational discourse to the author’s point. If the author did not present a well though-of argument, I doubt if you’ve done any better with your post. As someone who was not present at the event I am more interested in hearing from people who could actually testify whether SJP blocked the entrance or not at certain point.

  8. Could not agree more: “Education through a demonstration that shows one side of the issue is not education.”

    • So how would you have modified this street theater so it showed the other side? The side, that is, that refuses to acknowledge just how lopsided and rapacious Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is…

      • Realize that we are students that are here to learn about issues going on in the world and form opinions about them. How do you expect to have meaningful and educational dialogue about anything when the statement above is your basis for conversation. I’ll go line by line.

        “the other side? The side, the is…”: To suggest that a conflict this longstanding and this complicated has only two sides and that each side is fully united in their views is problematic. 2 jews = 3 opinions. Now imagine a full country of that. to describe the other side as a monolith is to oversimplify this conflict tremendously.

        “that refuses to acknowledge just how lopsided and rapacious Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is…”: Where can a conversation start from here? Before I accept or deny the claim that israel’s treatment of the palestinians is either rapacious or lopsided, one needs to define WHO is israel? is it the army? the government? the random civilian that was born in Tel aviv? is it jewish? muslim? christian? Then you need specific, factually based evidence from credible sources that acknowledges the motives on either side, including historical context. Then you need to explain who palestinians are. Are they suicide bombers? innocent civilians? refugees? children of refugees?

        I agree with you that the way that israeli soldiers treat Palestinians in the west bank is problematic (to use the most generous term). But making a claim as you did does not help to foster dialogue.

        • I would argue that it did foster dialogue since you chose to respond to it. It may not be quality dialogue but it’s still dialogue.

        • I’m not suprised you chose “the most generous term” to describe Israeli soldiers’ treatment of Palestinians.

          Argue all you want for infinitely multi-sided discussions. But please understand how on an international level, that would only help maintain the status quo, wherein illegal settlers continue to steal land and soldiers continue using the eyes of Palestinian boys for target pactice.

    • It actually is education but whether it is proper education is the area of contention here. Also, I highly doubt that you can show all sides of the issue at hand during such a short time in which the demonstration occurred. At least in an effective manner.

  9. I opened this article hoping for a look at how students across a wide spectrum are responding to this socially dichotomous issue. What I actually just read was riddled with factual inaccuracies.

    Pitzer students all received an e-mail from our Dean that specifically stated

    1. the students had written permission from the CMC administration to demonstrate and

    2. that a CMC professor is alleged to have spewed racist statements at a Pitzer student.

    This is a pathetic excuse for journalism, try to leave your ignorance or laziness or whatever it was at the door before you write something intended to educate a public forum next time?

  10. The purpose of the SJP street theater was to reenact something that is legal and state-sanctioned. Suicide bombing, on the other hand, is nether of these. People already know that suicide bombing is an awful thing. Checkpoints, however, are not only considered legal by the US, but also supported by them. The analogy with suicide bombing does not apply AT ALL. Also, SJP is always willing to engage in rational discourse. We were handing out flyers at the checkpoints advertising our events for the week, and each event offered a discussion at the end. However, just like you don’t really have a chance to engage in a discussion in the middle of a play at the theater, many people didn’t get to speak up at the actual checkpoints. They did, however, have the chance to do this both at the documentary screening Monday night, or at any of the other scheduled events of Israeli Apartheid week.

  11. It’s ridiculous, absolutely absurd, how the community that supposedly foster leadership becomes a cowardly institution when it comes to being correctly blamed for an unfortunate issue.

    It’s ridiculous how no where in this article does it say ANYTHING about the CMC professor’s response to this event, a response that is confirmed WORD FOR WORD by the Camp Sec report (believe me, I’ve seen it.)

    It’s ridiculous how, when it comes to partying, CMC is down to brake any walls in order to get fucking drunk. But when it comes to condemning a professor for the verbal assault he committed, WHICH IS TOTALLY INDEPENDENT FROM ANY POLITICAL DISCUSSION BETWEEN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL, nobody from the CMC community is able to admit that, in fact, we’re not perfect.

    Please, fellow CMCers, let’s acknowledge that the demonstration itself DOES NOT MATTER.

    It does not matter wheher it was “educational.” It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t acknowledging both sides (which, btw, is ridiculous to expect from any demonstration). It doesn’t matter is SPJ might be wrong.

    What matters is that Professor Yaron Raviv called Najib a cockroach, and to fuck off, multiple times.

    I ask you, CMC community, to imagine if the scenario was reverse, and if a Pitzer professor told a CMC student the same thing. How would we react? How would we like the Pitzer community to react?

    Please, let us condemn this professor for what he did, DEMAND an apology, and reconsider our values as a community. In all honesty, does being able to binge drink outweigh having a possibly racist and hateful professor?

    In all honesty, I fear the answer to such question.

    • I completely agree. While I have my own opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the demonstration in question, I think the much more pressing issue regarding the SJP demonstration was the incident involving the CMC professor. While there is certainly room on the Forum for an opinion article about the Israel-Palestine issue, it’s absurd that Forum published an article about this event without mentioning the confrontation that occurred. I hate to say it, but when compared to the Student Life article this just makes the Forum look extremely unprofessional.

      • It’s as much Mimbs’ fault as it is Ariel’s. After all, she has the final editorial say. But what’s another tone-deaf blunder in a year full of tone-deaf blunders?

        I have to say thing I am most excited about in the coming year is that the forum might come under leadership that may a modicum better than what we’ve got now.

    • Do you honestly think that any of us condone the statement made by Professor Raviv? Separate the Administration of the college (which a majority of CMCers are anything but thrilled with right now) from its students. And as you say very provocative statements toward us, I ask AGAIN, for you to USE YOUR NAME.

      • Well, stemming from the fact that one of Najib’s tires got slashed and was victim of other forms of verbal attack, I rather not.

        However, I cannot separate the students from the administrations when there seems to be no distinct reaction. The Forum is supposed to be CMCers voice, and yet all we can focus on (apparently) is whether the demonstration was educational or not. This is a blatant attempt to ignore the real issue here.

        If this was a Arabic professor telling Jewish students that they should fuck off because they’re fucking rats, what would your reaction be?

        Seriously, it doesn’t take much effort to realize that this story is as much of a PR statement as the campus-wide email sent last week.

        (BTW, my anonymity does not decrease the value of my words. If you ever read the Federalist papers, you kinda know what I’m talking about.)

        • Najib, if you’re ‘reading this, just know that I DO NOT condone your tires getting slashed or the verbal attacks. I think they constitute hate speech/crimes and should be dealt with as such. If it were a professor making an anti-semetic statement toward me, I’d be as livid as you are. But you have no idea what I have said to administrators or to my peers or how I have acted in response to this issue. I’d prefer for you to not make assumptions that I don’t care just because I am a Jew and the crime committed here was against a Palestinian. Above all else, I’m a person.

          Regarding your point about not separating CMC students from our administration, I don’t buy it at all. I am an individual with my own thoughts, opinions, and responses to troubling situations like this one regardless of the college I attend.

          Regarding your point about ignoring the real issue, I ask you point plank: what is the real issue? If the issue is that our administration is not acting promptly in dealing with an absurd situation of hate speech from a professor toward a student, I agree with you 100%. If it is that the Israeli Palestinian conflict exists and that the Israeli army does horrible things that we should all know about/be up in arms about/do something about/protest about/stand in a circle and sing songs about etc, I think you’re forgetting the fact that we are students, here to learn about the world in which we live–rather in which our bubble sits.

          Finally, regarding your point about anonymity, I don’t believe that speaking anonymously makes your point invalid. I just believe that putting your name to a statement adds a level of accountability that moderates conversations about topics that get heated (like this one). I’d honestly love to talk to you more about this incident in person because I am very interested and troubled by it, especially since I am going to Jordan next fall and will most likely encounter a few situations like this one. If I don’t know who you are, I can’t do that.

        • Yeah Becca, you’re going to encounter the situations because you can’t keep your mouth shut and probably will start a goddamn intifada.

        • That’s the goal! I’ve always wanted to be the source of further global conflict. To be remembered in generations to come for singlehandedly starting a “goddamn intifada” would be amazing.

        • I am sure Najib understands that students don’t support such actions done against him, but again, for the sake of preventing further vandalism, I’d like to remain anonymous. I can email you directly at a further time, if you wish.

          And as to what the real issue is, I’m glad you agree with the faulty handling on the side of the administration! I really, really do. Unfortunately, this is not what is being perceived by the rest of the community when articles like these are posted by the school in which such professor resides in.

          As leaders, we should be the FIRST to condemn Professor Raviv for his actions. He represents CMC in and outside of the classroom, and this sort of behavior is nothing less than reprehensible.

          As to what our purpose as college students is, I have to disagree with your analysis. As we become older and more “adult like”, less and less do we have the opportunity to voice our concerns in a way in which we don’t fear loosing our job. As college students, we should incorporate many types of discourses in other to demonstrate our points – articles, scholarly research, and, yes, demonstrations.

          Showings just like these is what drives democracy across the world. Just look at the Arab Spring – what would’ve been happening if it wasn’t for demonstrations and protests? Do you think “rational discourse” would’ve worked? I know the situation here and there isn’t nearly comparable, but it shows the effectiveness of such ways of starting a revolution, or our case a conversation.

        • Please email me, because I honestly want to continue this conversation. I’m completely serious, because I have a lot of things I want to say in response, but not publicly.

          [email protected]

    • Please don’t transfer. There are no dorm rooms that consist of ivory towers for you to pass judgement on campus.

      You do realize you drew a major false comparison? The whole thing about drinking and social issues is more promoted because its more well known of an issue among students and alumni.

      Frankly, your comment is the first I’ve even remotely heard of any such actions by a CMC Professor, and as it would seem, probably needs to be widely discussed.

      • TSL and other media around campus have attempted to contact the professor multiple, multiple times. HE is the one that is not commenting, and the CMC PR office has effectively put a wall between media sources and the administration as a whole.

  12. I was personally offended by the emotional response attempting to be evoked by this demonstration. I agree that this was not the correct way to go about provoking discussion. Naming something “Israel Apartheid Week” is a VERY serious analogy. One that does not accurately describe the actions being taken in Israel. Palestinians living in Israel have full rights as citizens, they live respectfully alongside Israelis. The checkpoints are in place because of safety concerns. Israelis and Palestinians alike are affected and dislike the disruption in their lives. However, in the years since the checkpoints were put in place there has been something like a 90% decrease in terrorist killings. From 1500 civilians murdered in one year to about 100 in 10 years. By calling the Israeli system Apartheid you are demeaning them. It is not systematic discrimination based on racial or social class, it is a safety measure meant to protect a population (which is one purpose of government). Additionally, when I questioned some of the protesters they used emotionally charged language that they could not back up with fact. Cite your sources, be respectful, start a two-way discussion, don’t hide behind dramatic “theatrical performances”

    Some more info at

      • Funny, maybe you should back up your big mouth with your real name instead of being a cowering loser. Especially if you’re going to talk big to someone who proudly discourses with her own name.

        Unless you’re just afraid to be humiliated. That works too.

        • Read elsewhere on this thread, Harvey.

          It’s not necessarily a good idea to open oneself up to the kinds of death threats, tire slashings and so on that Najib has faced since attaching his own name to ideas that get unfairly heard as antisemitism and/or anti-Zionism.

          People can still exchange information online productively without using their real names, and not using one’s name certainly does not automatically invalidate what one has to say. You’re engaging in a specious form of argumentation called ad hominem; you should look it up. And, if you’re going to say anything else here, you should get back to the very important issues at hand.

        • I’m definitely not afraid of being humiliated. I’m afraid of finding out that I is attend a college with someone who has nothing substantive to contribute to this conversation, especially someone who also using a fake name (I watch Suits too). I didn’t realize that challenging Haley’s source were the actions of a “cowering loser”. My apologies for contending the source of her information since I don’t believe that presenting biased information is a good idea for productive discourse.

          I’m sorry for using my big mouth to explain myself. But arguing that I don’t use my real name therefore my contribution isn’t valid is a terrible argumentation style.

    • Who gets stopped the most at check points?

      Are those check points going into areas with certain ethnic groups?

      Who gets effected most by check points?

      Is this not part of a policy that involves trade embargoes and unfair treatment of water rights. Is this not part of a systematic web of oppression?

      Yeah. It’s not racism. The same way that SB 1070 wasn’t racist. Or shooting a black teenager on a whim because he’s scary isn’t racist. Just because it’s out of fear or in self-defense doesn’t make it not racist. And it doesn’t make it anything other that discrimination.

      I don’t buy it. But whatever helps you sleep at night.

  13. I see little respect for our peers in the comments above and even fewer arguments with evidence. Having said that, this article’s purpose was to criticize the event and sought no comment from event organizers, making the article a bit unbalanced, albeit Ariel pointed out possible goals of organizers. While I agree that the event provided little education, it was certainly a reminder that getting around is not as easy in some parts of the world is it is at CMC. The event may have had few benefits and costs in the eyes of most, but I hope we can respect our peers and treat them as we want to be treated. Ariel, the event is only belittling if you let it affect you. It’s really in your hands. The event was harmless and reactions should be. I respect that the author took the effort to write this article and I discourage such thoughtless remarks, but I think we all need to think and read what we write before we speak and post.

    • Agreed, I am wondering how this article was able to be published without any quotes, any substantive interviews, any sort of fact-checking? If I wanted vague reference to “students’ reactions” I could have talked to anyone on campus. This didn’t further what was already known in any way.

  14. While I applaud your suggestion that those invested in this issue should consider viewpoints contrary to their own, I left your article wondering if you had done the same. You repeatedly criticize the protestors’ efforts to portray certain emotional aspects of the occupation of Palestine, suggesting instead that those interested in legitimate dialogue ought to stick to conversation and “read articles” representing opposing positions in order to educate themselves. But in claiming this, you are failing to give fair consideration to the merits – and arguably, the necessity – of educating through emotional display.

    In what historical instance has wrongdoing been eliminated without its victims conveying the very real, emotional consequences of their oppression? You’d be hard-pressed to find a preponderance of examples sufficient to substantiate your claim that rational discourse alone can resolve a serious conflict. For example, some of the most catalyzing, powerful, and effective material being circulated in the effort to curb systemic sexual assault in the U.S. military is video of survivors detailing the harrowing nature of their assaults and their institutional silencing. If you attended the screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Invisible War” at the Ath last semester, you should understand this.

    Why is this so? In the absence of a personal element to the discussion, large parts of the intended audience would be unwilling or unable to recognize and understand the severity and the definite reality of the suffering that exists. It is easy to write off emotional appeals as inappropriate means of educational dialogue, to call them exploitative, or unnecessary, or “belittling” – because doing so silences those making the appeal and automatically puts you in the right.

    Proponents of Palestine in this debate would be misguided and off-base to claim that Israeli civilian deaths are unimportant or that they shouldn’t be considered. But a proponent of Israel, like yourself, does a disservice to your cause, its integrity, and its own legitimacy by saying that the debate is “belittled” by trying to convey the emotional experience of Palestinian oppression under Israeli occupation.

    I believe all parties involved in this dialogue would do well to make a strong effort to understand the opposing perspective. In turn, I sincerely hope that you will do the same.

    • Awesome comment, thank you.

      I would add that the proper response to legal free speech is not to srgue about whether it should have been said, but rather to engage in more free speech. Students who believe in the other side of the dialogue, or who just want to know more, should find ways on campus to start talking.

  15. Ariel Katz should be ashamed of herself. The comparison of SJP protests to a student (without any planning with the administration) walking into TNC dressed up and pretending to be a suicide bomber is as stupid as it is offensive. I realize that Ariel’s article is an op-ed and not a news piece, but not only is it poorly thought out, but also shoddy journalism.

    Agree or disagree with SJP all you want, hating on SJP and public protest is also hating on free speech. Even if you find SJP’s opinions loathesome, you should be in support of free speech rights on campus. Anything along the lines of “The Fairness Doctrine” is a major impediment to free speech. There was a reason it was revoked. Were the protests in favor of any other issue, the student body would be up in arms about how inappropriately a professor dealt with students and that the administration, counter to its own policy, is investigating into the students involved despite no filing of a formal grievance. It’s just funny that civil disobedience becomes a good or a bad thing depending on the issue.

    How you feel about the speech rights of people you don’t like shows how in favor you are of free speech you actually are. It also often shows how much of a hypocrite someone can be. Let me just say, this article shows a lot of things that aren’t all that pretty.

  16. Although they had the right to protest, the SJP protesters did it in an “unpeaceful” fashion. Peaceful protests are not supposed to disrupt everyday activities. By obstructing the entrance to the dining hall they were forcing confrontation. “Hey, excuse me. Can I get by you?”— “Well, before I move let me tell you about…” I shouldn’t have to be bombarded with your political views (whatever they may be) when I am just trying to get some dinner. I should have the right to ignore your act of civil disobedience/resistance/protest/demonstration/whatever you want to call it. These clowns took away that right.

    But i guess it was a successful protest seeing as how I’ve spent my time talking about it

    • So the sit ins that occurred during the fight to end segregation in this country probably disrupted every day activities but that doesn’t mean they weren’t effective or wrong. You do have the right to ignore them. You could have exercised this right by entering at a different entrance or saying something polite like,”I’m in a hurry and I’m hungry. I’d love to hear about this but I’m unable to at this time.”

      • Right. I don’t imagine people like Procrastinator have a problem with disruptive protests that he or she agrees with.

        Sometimes getting change from an indifferent populace calls for inconveniencing them to get their attention. It’s a tradition that lies at the heart of this country; I bet a lot of tea lovers felt put out by the Boston Tea Party.

  17. Bravo, Ariel. I think a better analogy, though, than the suicide bomber, would be if you became indiscriminately firing rockets into TNC. Israel has checkpoints because a sadly large percentage of the Palestinian community won’t stop until every Jew is driven from the Holy Land. The Students for Justice in Palestine fail to realize that under Israeli control, there is justice. Of course, what SJP wants is to ban Israelis and those who support them from campus. They clearly targeted Professor Raviv.

  18. It’s amazing to me that all of these students are freaking out that a Pitzer student was called a cockroach but said nothing when Rachael Ballard SC ’11 called all white students cockroaches at Scripps. Racist much?

  19. As much as it agonizes me to say so, I have to agree with Charles Johnson (gag). Where was this outrage when Rachel Ballard SC ’11 labeled all white students cockroaches at Scripps as head of the Party/event planning?

    • Nice derailing tactic.

      I’ll get upset about instances of oppression of white people when white people in general are oppressed because they’re white. They’re currently not (and never have been), because white supremacy is still a reality in the good ol’ U S of A.

      • Ah, the hypocritical approach that racism is a one way street.

        And you mistake detailing tactic for an equivalent comparison. React to one but not the other? Gotcha. Keep it up, champ.

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