When asked to define "Intifada", a word written on some T-shirt, Debbie gave what was the "Arabic meaning" (I guess perhaps because she is developing an "ARABIC-THEMED" school?). She was quoted as interpreting "intifada" as a "shaking off" of oppression. She failed of course to mention "Palestinian terrorism", and you may be able to get away with this even in Israel (heck, Haaretz may even write about it!) but NO WAY in New York. You can’t gloss over the "violent uprising", though you can definitely gloss over, ignore, and dispel any mention of the violent state-terrorism and OCCUPATION of Palestine by Israel.
To add insult to injury, guess who they replaced Debbie with? "The new principal of the city’s controversial Arabic-themed school is an ardent Zionist who considered moving to Israel, according to her former Jerusalem roommate." Can you believe that? Would you imagine if the Hebrew schoolin Florida had a Muslim, Arab Principal forced upon it? Can you imagine the outcry that it would raise? In one word, IMPOSSIBLE. But when it comes to Muslims/Arabs, you can inflict whatever injustice you want on them.
Mona Eltahawy, a liberal progressive Muslim, sums it up nicely in her article in the NY Daily News. Her title says it all that Debbie was scapegoated and that she was "a casualty of fear"
Mona talks about how this incident has shaken her faith in the city of NY:
As an Egyptian whose first language is Arabic and who has always felt at home here, the hounding of Almontaser has shaken my faith in this great city.
I have met Almontaser twice at conferences that brought together American and European Muslims. At those events, it was clear to me that we Muslims in the United States were better integrated into our society. But next time we meet, I will have to tell European Muslims that New York is not as free of hate and racism as I once thought.
And ends her article by an appeal:
The rabid critics, emboldened by Almontaser's resignation, are now trying to stop the school from opening. Bloomberg and Klein must not let them succeed. Cowardice in the face of prejudice is not the New York - or American - way.
Those who support the "American dream" and "American fabric" that every person should be judged on his or her own merit and qualifications, not on religion, race or color should do the following to speak up against this injustice and scapegoating of Debbie:
- Write to Joel Klein, the NYC Department of Education Chancellor, expressing your disgust at his department’s decision Use this link http://schools.nyc.gov/...
- Call the NYC Department of Education and speak to the Chancellor about it. Tel No. (718) 935-2000
So the long-awaited, "long-feared" (by AIPAC, ADL, and similar) book by the two Professors from the prestigious universities of Harvard and Chicago (Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer), is out, finally! You can buy it on Amazon.
Apparently, freedom of speech is a liability when it comes to criticizing Israel. Even before the release of the book, which has faced great levels of hardship and delay-tactics by the Israeli lobby to prevent its publishing in America, the lobby was lining up to send the sharks, much like what was done to Jimmy Carter.
See these article in the NY times and Dawn on the backlash these authors are facing, to the point that bookstores in NY which are selling the book are having a hard time doing so. The Dawn writer states:
In fact, at major locations in New York, Jewish groups held demonstrations and some walked in the store threatening managers with daily unrest if they continued to display the book. (At one store in Manhattan where one tried to buy a copy, I was told that the book is sold out. But I could see stacks hidden in the corner).
So much for freedom of speech, huh? Why aren’t other media outlets reporting this? I only found this "backlash" news in NY Times. Nothing in the headlines about the attempts by Israeli supporters to muzzle information. If they truly believe that truth is on their side, then why is the Israeli lobby so fearful? The NY Times further reports how events talking about the book are being canceled!
The subject will certainly prompt furious debate, though not at the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Jewish cultural center in Washington and three organizations in Chicago. They have all turned down or canceled events with the authors, mentioning unease with the controversy or the format.
The authors were particularly disturbed by the Chicago council’s decision, since plans for that event were complete and both authors have frequently spoken there before.
I think the authors probably may have had better luck in Israel proper than Israel minor-- our country United States. I believe they could have a more open discussion in Israeli campuses and reports in Haaretz than the kind of backlash and "silencing" that is ongoing in the States.
Truly Shameful. I hope the DailyKos community resonates with this message... not an "anti-Israel" message, but rather the "freedom of speech" message. Let people make up THEIR OWN MIND. Let them see both sides of the story. We have always heard the Israeli side, so give way to the side told by distinguished American Professors. LET FREEDOM REALLY RING for them.
In order to understand some of the dynamics of the Israeli lobby, you must see this video and here’s Why....
It is not propaganda, rather it counters it. Very professional, and objective. Why is it important for us to see this? Because an understanding of the ‘other’ perspective, and how that other perspective is formed, and more importantly, why our perspective is so different, will help increase our comprehension of world events, and it will improve our understanding of what breeds violent extremism.
Many of us in America wonder why there is such a different view of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the rest of the world (Europe, Middle East, Asia, etc.). While most Americans feel that the world is biased against Israel, this documentary will perhaps elucidate for you that things may not be quite that way. Rather, perhaps, what we see and hear is only one side of the coin.
An important note... most of the narrators in the documentary are Jewish. Why is this important to point out? In our time, any critical discussion of Israel is criticized and discarded as anti-Semitism.This phenomenon of labeling everything critical of Israel as anti-Semitic chokes discussions and critical analysis. It makes our nation an unfair arbitrator, and it leads to injustice in our dealings with the non-ally in this conflict. Injustice breeds hatred, and our nation is now more despised by the world than ever before, and by more people in the world than any other country. It is easy to dismiss this by resorting to ‘who cares?’. Well, we should care. We live in an age of globalization, and if we want to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism, or win the so-called ‘war on terror’, we sure are not going to do it alone. And unless we understand what some of the root-causes of the hatred are, and unless we open our eyes to what the rest of the world sees and hears, we will have difficulty succeeding.
Let the learning, and hopefully the healing, begin. Pls view the documentary with an open mind... and if you believe it contained useful information, please send it to others...
See the video today here
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