Social Question

jca2's avatar

How would the President of Columbia U. bring order to the chaos on the Columbia campus?

Asked by jca2 (16326points) 1 month ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson spoke at Columbia University today and called on the President of the University to “resign, if she cannot immediately bring order to this chaos.”

I’m not saying she should resign or she shouldn’t, but how should she or could she bring order to the chaos, as he puts it?

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79 Answers

janbb's avatar

It’s not chaos; it’s protests. Calling in the cops and arresting students was IMHO exactly not the way to handle the situation but I don’t think the president should resign. The right wing seems to be waging war on free speech and college campuses. Mike Johnson didn’t need to stick his oar in.

A bigger help would be to call for a campus wide colloquium where various groups could speak about their concerns about the Israel-Gaza war in a controlled environment.

After Kent State in 1970, my college called a moratorium on classes for the remainder of the year and we had teach-ins and seminars.

hat's avatar

Meet the demands of the students (divestment). Not arrest students or expel them. Go on the offensive against the Biden administration and corporate media.

Also, the encampment has not been chaos (other than the university calling in the police state). It’s been beautiful and gives me hope. And it continues to spread.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@hat‘s answer is typical of his previous postings, so I will ignore it.

The problem at Columbia (and other places) is that one group – in this case the so-called Palestine supporters – have decided that their voice is the ONLY one that should be hear. So they build encampments, threaten violence, close off sidewalks and roads, because they and they alone want to control things.

This means that these demonstrators have NO respect for normal values of discourse, discussion, and coexistence. The Palestine demonstrators are practically Taliban in their desire for purity – their way or be killed. (No one has died in these protests – yet. Wait a week).

And let’s be clear – From the River to the Sea – no matter how it is spun – is calling for the killing of Jews, Israelis, and the extinction of Israel. If you look at the facts, not some pro-palestinian apologists, that’s what is being said.

Back to the OP question: She is a smart woman, Ms Shafik, but she is in way over her head. There is no middle ground for her. Either she lets the protestors destroy Columbia, or she grows a spine. (Or she leaves).

A true leader would not let the mob overrule her.

hat's avatar

@elbanditoroso: “The problem at Columbia (and other places) is that one group – in this case the so-called Palestine supporters – have decided that their voice is the ONLY one that should be hear. So they build encampments, threaten violence, close off sidewalks and roads, because they and they alone want to control things.”

The university has direct investments and involvement in a genocide and is attempting to create a campus in the apartheid state of Tel Aviv. The way this works is that the students don’t have the power. The university has all the power, including the power of the state, both parties, and the corporate media. To pretend that this is a bunch of people with fingers in their ears is wrong and intentionally ignores the reality of the situation. You might want to research resistance and the history of antiwar protests.

@elbanditoroso: “And let’s be clear – From the River to the Sea – no matter how it is spun – is calling for the killing of Jews, Israelis, and the extinction of Israel. If you look at the facts, not some pro-palestinian apologists, that’s what is being said.”

There is nothing more offensive than calling a bunch Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and atheists “antisemitic” for opposing murder. This is a tactic those in power use to dismiss the demands of those that call them out. So, please don’t fall for it. Jews are getting suspended and arrested and then getting called “antisemitic”. If you hear anything tying anti-genocide to “antisemitism”, you can dismiss it out of hand.

Note: It’s also troubling on another level. Many Zionists’ attempts at labeling anti-genocide people “antisemitic” has accomplished a few things: It has stripped all meaning from a term that is a real phenomenon. Antisemitism is a real thing. And Zionists are trying to say that Zionism = “opposition to occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and genocide”. That makes antisemitism an objectively good thing, which is very dangerous.

Antisemitism is real, and by calling people protesting against the state of Israel antisemitic, you are trying to convince people that antisemitism does not exist.

Also, note that “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” does not mean killing of Jews. It just does not. You have been lied to, and it’s worth educating yourself. Palestinians wishing to be free is something you should celebrate. If you find the concept of a free people threatening, then you had better think about this harder.

Please don’t turn this thread into a right-wing call for continued oppression, anchored in a weaponized “antisemitism”. Jews are on the front lines fighting this. These “chaotic” protests are amazing expressions of solidarity. Thanks.

I am likely going to be very busy tonight, so I probably won’t be able to respond until tomorrow.

Demosthenes's avatar

What @hat said. Anyone who can’t see what’s really going on here is being willfully blind because their support for Israel requires them to ignore what’s in front of them.

The pro-Israeli side has lost the argument. The genocide is obvious, and it continues. They cannot deny it. So instead what they have to do now is silence, arrest, and (possibly, with the rhetoric of the National Guard being brought up) shoot. Meanwhile, news out of Gaza of mass graves that is outraging the U.N. is making headlines, but we’re still talking about the “crisis” on campuses in the U.S. because that’s what you focus on when you want to take attention from what the students are actually taking issue with: ongoing support for Israel on the part of the university.

gorillapaws's avatar

@elbanditoroso “The Palestine demonstrators are practically Taliban in their desire for purity – their way or be killed.”

This is moronic.

Riddle me this: explain how your statement is logically consistent with the pro-Palestine Jewish students holding Passover Seder in the midst of the protest. Hear Safia Southey talk about Seder experience with dozens of other pro-Palestine Jewish Protestors.

To answer the original question: Colombia should capitulate to the reasonable demands of the students and faculty who are attempting to bring pressure to end the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

jonsblond's avatar

I most likely have an unpopular opinion here but I would be irate if my child had to take online courses for the rest of the year due to these protests. I would be more irate if commencement had to be canceled.

I also feel for the students who don’t feel safe on campus.

There’s a time and a place and this isn’t it.

gorillapaws's avatar

@jonsblond “There’s a time and a place and this isn’t it.”

Of course this begs the question: Would it be a better time after tens of thousands more innocents die in Gaza in the genocide that Colombia is supporting via its investments?

jonsblond's avatar

^Do you honestly think these protests are helping the cause? They aren’t. The extreme left throwing items and hitting cops looks just like January 6. It’s giving hard core MAGA vibes.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Legalize/encourage marijuana use, on campus.

In all my years in law enforcement, I NEVER had a violent confrontation with people high as giraffe ass, on weed…....

seawulf575's avatar

I find the entire thing telling of the left in America. How long have we heard about hate speech and how horrible it is? Now it is being directed against Jews so that is okay. It is being directed against America so that is okay.

These protests violated the rules of the University. The university has every right to take whatever action is necessary to restore sanity. These protests are useless anyway. What does protesting against a university do to make any impact on the Israeli-Gaza conflict? None. Why don’t all these fools go and protest at the Capitol? THAT might have some impact.

Here are a whole lot of “students” that are not at college for an education and will whine when they are saddled with a mountain of student loan debt. Then they will protest against the horrible patriarchy for making them responsible for their actions.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know the Columbia situation specifically, but I have seen some of the protests on other campuses and it is outright scary on some of these campuses. I am all for protests, but also for students feeling safe, and it doesn’t look safe to me for counter protests or for Jewish students.

I am consistently over the years against protests that block traffic, set fires, and that go all night. I am in favor of organized protests with police cooperation to help protect everyone including the protesters.

From the River to the Sea calls for the destruction of Israel no matter what people want to try to say about it. It is at minimum a micro-aggression against Jews, because if you take out an actual map, you see from the river to the sea includes present day Israel. Ignorance does not get you to justify your behavior. Turn it around, Jewish students protesting From the River to the Sea, Israelis will be Free. Now, what land do these kids think the protests are talking about?

These same liberals freak out when Biden compliments Obama about how nicely he speaks, but they don’t want to listen to Jews saying that these protests and chants are fucking scary! Zero acknowledgment of the trauma Jewish people experience due to generations of trauma. The research of generational trauma started with observing Jews and now is used to explain the mental anguish, anxiety, and hyper-vigilance that is observed in Black people and other minority groups. Thinking Jewish people are immune because they are white (most are in the US) or some stereotype of being always rich and powerful is antisemitic and a show of the ignorance of what Jewish people have experienced.

I am not saying wanting the bombing to stop in Gaza is antisemitic. I am saying the lack of understanding of the Jewish experience can feel antisemitic and terrorizing, and liberals taking so much time to be empathetic to the experience of other groups and not Jewish people is frightening and saddening.

Protestors need to write on signs and chant what they really mean and not some catch phrase they know nothing about. Look at a map for God’s sake! If the protestor is for peace, write that! Write Cease Fire in Gaza. Write Two State Solution. Write Diplomacy not Bombs. Unless of course you are for the destruction of Israel then go ahead and keep writing and saying From the River to the Sea.

I think a long time ago the universities should have made every student go through two one hour classes about the geography of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and the greater Middle East. A brief about the history too and opportunity to ask questions and have civil discourse on the topic.

I think Columbia should set reasonable expectations of where and when protesting is ok and if students don’t comply then arresting them is ok with me. Police should be coordinated with to keep things safe.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat I don’t know if you will read my long post, but just stop with trying to explain your intentions with the phrase From the River to the Sea, and take out a map and see that means eliminating the State of Israel. I am not saying it means kill all Jews. I’m not sure why you and so many others are resistant to hearing that. If Netanyahu said From the River to the Sea Israelis will be Free, what would it mean to you? After you look at a map.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie – I won’t try to explain it to you. Just try and understand that there are Jews (everyone I know, including people in my family) who are anti-Zionist. They take offense at Zionists claiming that Jews are all ok with settler colonial apartheid states that carpet bomb children. The amount of gatekeeping is dangerous to both the people being eliminated and to Jews.

You right-wing Zionists claim it’s antisemitic to oppose the elimination of a people. Are you sure you want to make that claim?

You can claim that anti-war protests are scary, but that says far more about you, your fear of anti-war Jews, and your commitment to genocide. It’s vile, and you should reconsider.

And your confusion on the matter isn’t helped by your arrogance. You don’t know who is there and why. You insist that people who are far more informed than you go through classes. These are students and professors who have studied this for a lifetime. These are international students. There are students who have family who have been murdered in Gaza. There are Jewish students who have spent plenty of time in Israel. These people are not uneducated. They just do not want their money funding a fucking genocide.

@JLeslie: “Protestors need to write on signs and chant what they really mean and not some catch phrase”

Maybe you should go there or at least watch actual footage from these events. I’ve watched hours of these events, and amazing. Catch phrases? Nope. That’s what you get in your propaganda. Thoughtful, anti-war activism that should make anyone proud? Yes.

You have nothing to fear from people demanding that we stop murdering. I promise. You have convinced to be fearful in order to support a brutal state.

gorillapaws's avatar

@jonsblond “Do you honestly think these protests are helping the cause?”

Yes. They are spreading to more schools. People are rising up to say that it’s not ok to support a genocide-in-progress and that we can make a difference through divestment in companies that are supporting the annihilation of a people. Notice how terrified everyone is of the money drying up. That’s the weapon that will hopefully save the Palestinians.

@JLeslie “If Netanyahu said From the River to the Sea Israelis will be Free,”

“The right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is eternal and indisputable… therefore, Judea and Samaria will not be handed to any foreign administration; between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty”

-Likud Party Platform, 1977

His party has said it. They’re actively in the process of carrying this out. The State of Israel has devolved into a terrorist nation full of genocidal maniacs, the large majority of whom support massacring innocents. At this point, I question whether Israel should exist as a state in its current form. You don’t get to commit genocide and thumb your nose at the ICJ and the UN without consequences. Maybe the “river-to-the-sea” protestors are correct and we should have one secular nation there with equal rights for all—because that’s what they’re chanting for. They want to rip down all of the walls and let all Palestinians have full access to the land, the right of the refugees and their descendants from the Nakba to return and everyone live together alongside the existing Israelis.

It worked in the US after slavery was abolished, and in South Africa after Apartheid ended.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Right, and Netanyahu has been against a two state solution, so why @hat thinks that the Palestinians have a different intent is beyond me.

@hat Your answer is so void of understanding what Jewish people have gone through it is incredible. You are CORRECT. It is because of what we have in our heads. Because of our experience and the experience of our families. Do you give or shit or don’t you? Obviously not.

Was it ok to call Washington’s team the Redskins? Was it ok to say Obama spoke well? Even if the speaker’s intention was innocent and good? Or, do we need to listen to the perception of the minority group?

I did not call anti-zionists antisemitic, but if you are saying in your opinion Israel should not exist, just say it. It will clear things up. Stop using terms like zionist, which can be interpreted a few ways, just say you think the entire land should be Palestine with one government. Is that correct? That’s what you want?

WHY is it so important to use the slogan from the river to the sea if the person is ok with a two-state solution? Why the insistence on that slogan?

I want peace for the Palestinians and the Israelis, I don’t want people dying, I want them safe and prospering.

JLeslie's avatar

Article about the history of the slogan from the river to the sea.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “Your answer is so void of understanding what Jewish people have gone through it is incredible. You are CORRECT. It is because of what we have in our heads. Because of our experience and the experience of our families. Do you give or shit or don’t you? Obviously not.”

I don’t why you think that Jews have to be radical right-wing genocide supporters. No Jew I know or read or listen to believes this. You realize that Jews are disproportionately involved in these anti-Israel protests, right? Take it up with them, and explain to them why you think they’re not real Jews because they don’t want to murder children. What the actual fuck?

@JLeslie: “but if you are saying in your opinion Israel should not exist, just say it”

Israel should not exist as an oppressive settler colonial apartheid terrorist state.

@JLeslie: “WHY is it so important to use the slogan from the river to the sea if the person is ok with a two-state solution?”

Nobody wants a two-state solution, and it’s an impossibility.

@JLeslie: “I want peace for the Palestinians and the Israelis, I don’t want people dying, I want them safe and prospering.”

So do I. So does everyone you’re condemning as antisemitic.

You seem to feel that your manipulated feelings and lack of information are more imporant than human lives.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat So, what is the government you want for the united, one country, land of Palestine? If I understand you correctly that is what you are vying for. Does everyone in the region now get to stay? How will you sort out land ownership, are you going to go back and try to give back land to people who lost land or their homes? How far back? Or, people stay where they are now and everything starts from zero? Will Hamas be pushed out and leaders imprisoned or murdered if necessary to get rid of the extreme ideology.

It makes sense now why you support the slogan river to sea, you want one state. I need to be sure not to conflate your answers with @gorillapaws, because I think you two diverge on that point, and I don’t think he was trying to defend that slogan.

I can’t help it if there are some Jews who don’t have the same fears as many others do. There are Native Americans who were fine with Redskins and Obama made Biden his VP.

Plenty of “educated” people support Trump. So what? Even educated people can be wrong. There were surveys done of college students asking them what river and what sea, and the majority had no idea and once it was explained to them most changed their mind. They were ignorant and just jumping on the bandwagon because they are upset about the Palestinians who are dying. It is upsetting, that’s understandable.

I’ll ask you to watch this video from the days of the BLM protest. It’s not very long and it is a very educated man speaking who spends a lot of time studying psychological reactions of minority groups.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat I am NOT throwing around the accusation of antisemitic. You have to stop accusing me of that. I am talking about the fears for Jews. Jewish college students on campus, Jews in general too. We don’t know who is antisemitic and probably most people aren’t. Just like a Black or Jewish person doesn’t know if a homeowner with confederate flags flying on his house is just a proud southerner or wants to kill minorities. We don’t know his intent unless we talk to him.

Demosthenes's avatar

Saying you want a “two-state solution” is usually just a cover for wanting to preserve the status quo, due to the inherent unworkability of a two-state solution (the idea that Palestine would exist as two non-contiguous, shrinking pieces of land, one of which is already heavily settled by Israel is absurd). I’m very skeptical of the claim that most protesters don’t know what river and what sea and changed their mind once they were enlightened to the “horrific” anti-Semitic implications of the statement, which is simply not anti-Semitic.

I do not support the existence of a Jewish ethno-state that relegates Palestinians to a permanent underclass and ultimately wants to see them dead or resettled in Egypt or Jordan. So yes, there will need to be a new state where Palestinians are free; that is what is meant by the slogan. If calling for the freedom of an oppressed people unsettles you, then you have bigger issues at hand.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes I actually agree that I don’t see two non-contiguous states working. So, I’ll ask you also, what is the government in this new single state? Or, are you open at all to giving land in Northern Israel to the Palestinians so they have land from the West Bank across to the sea and then Israel take over Gaza? That would still be two states, but maybe more practical.

The racism in Israel, and I agree there is some, is racism that needs to be fixed, but some of it will disappear when there is peace.

JLeslie's avatar

I hear people say the Jewish people were given a disproportionate amount of land in ‘48 based on the Jewish population on that land at the time, but they are not taking into account the unbelievable antisemitism in many parts of the world at the time. The land of Israel was for the Jewish people, not the Jewish people currently living within the ‘48 borders.

Both the Palestinians and the Jews have been pushed around and harmed.

The majority of Palestinians who I listen to want one Palestinian state with a Palestinian government, and no existence of Israel. They think the Jews should leave New Palestine if their families were living somewhere else before ‘48. I don’t see how that will be a state with equality.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “So, what is the government you want for the united, one country, land of Palestine? If I understand you correctly that is what you are vying for. Does everyone in the region now get to stay? How will you sort out land ownership, are you going to go back and try to give back land to people who lost land or their homes? How far back? Or, people stay where they are now and everything starts from zero?”

There are plenty of good ideas that serious people have proposed. But I’m not interested in determining the specifics. But a reasonable solution would allow the right of return for Palestinians and their descendants. And that state would have equal rights for all.

But more importantly (and relevant), my concerns are with the things that my money and government are doing. I don’t want to fund this any more. I don’t want my government and tax dollars to go to this. I don’t want to support corporations or institutions that do business in or with Israel. The students at Columbia had very straightforward demands having to do with Columbia and divestment. We need to start somewhere.

@JLeslie: “It makes sense now why you support the slogan river to sea, you want one state. I need to be sure not to conflate your answers with @gorillapaws, because I think you two diverge on that point, and I don’t think he was trying to defend that slogan.”

I’m not sure what GP’s thoughts are exactly, but I’ll say that the slogan has become a hot topic in conservative circles specifically because they can tap into peoples’ ignorance of the subject. In watching literally hours of live coverage of many of these protests, I may have seen a few signs with “river to the sea”. And I don’t say it other than to oppose the racist fascism in this country. To exercise free speech in service of the freedom of an oppressed people.

@JLeslie: “Just like a Black or Jewish person doesn’t know if a homeowner with confederate flags flying on his house is just a proud southerner or wants to kill minorities. We don’t know his intent unless we talk to him.”

I have to stop talking antisemitism with you. It isn’t going well. You’re endangering Jews with this, and you’re somehow pretending that Israel = Jews. That is very dangerous, because Israel is not the victim here. They are the oppressor.

So, if you want to talk strategy on how we can push our government to do the right thing, let’s go for it. We’re not getting anywhere with the antisemitism thing.

JLeslie's avatar

I am not a conservative.

I absolutely do not have Israel=Jews in my head. Never have.

JLeslie's avatar

Jews and Palestinians are both victims.

That you think that Israel is some sort of dominant force and not vulnerable is crazy. It is only recently the other Middle Eastern states are acknowledging Israel’s right to exist and appreciating Israel’s contributions. Israel is surrounded by very large countries comparatively with millions of people who don’t accept Israel as a legitimate state.

It is impossible not to acknowledge Israel is a Jewish state, so in that way Israel and Jewish people are intertwined. It is impossible not to acknowledge the slaughter Jews have been through throughout time, and especially the acts during the Holocaust and Pogroms in the last 100 years. It is impossible to ignore the continued threat to Jews around the world, because antisemitism is still alive and well among extremists, and even among some people not so extreme there still exists negative stereotyping of Jewish people. For these reasons some Jewish people who are not Israeli see Israel as a safe haven if they have to flee their own country. I have non-Jewish friends considering what countries they can get citizenship in if Trump is elected again. It is not just Jews who think this way about where they can get entry due to their ancestry.

You said yourself you know Jewish people who are very vocal about wanting a cease fire and completely against the current action in Gaza. Obviously, not all Jews back Israel no matter what Israel does. Even Israelis themselves have been protesting against Netanyahu before and after October 7th. A friend of mine moved out of Israel almost two years ago because of the politics. She was born and raised there.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “I absolutely do not have Israel=Jews in my head. Never have.”

@JLeslie: “Jews and Palestinians are both victims.”


@JLeslie: “That you think that Israel is some sort of dominant force and not vulnerable is crazy.”

I’m pretty familiar with how Israel became a country, and it’s ugly. Removing a people from their land, abusing those that still remain, violating international law, regularly mowing the lawn bombing the people whose land it is, creating an apartheid state, encouraging further settlements to make a future Palestinian state impossible, then bombing Gaza to rubble after October 7th. All with them money, arms, and support from the largest military in the world does not make Israel a victim.

@JLeslie: “Israel is surrounded by very large countries comparatively with millions of people who don’t accept Israel as a legitimate state.”

Should it be?

JLeslie's avatar

@hat I still want you to explain the government in New Palestine where Israel no longer exists. A government the Palestinians will get on board with.

hat's avatar

^ Not my place or job.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat So, all the Jews should leave and Israel should not exist. Is that your point?

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “So, all the Jews should leave and Israel should not exist. Is that your point?”

Absolutely not. What? Why would Jews have to leave? Can you imagine a country that has Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc living together in a secular state?

JLeslie's avatar

@hat I’m asking YOU to imagine it. Who is in charge? Right now there are almost 2 million Arabs living in Israel. I’m not talking about West Bank or Gaza, I am talking about Israel. They have equal rights if they choose to become citizens and many have. They are judges, lawyers, doctors, serve in the army (if they want to) access to health care. As I said before there is some racism, I acknowledge that.

If you are relying on the supposed harmony of the past that Jews lived there and in other parts of the ME in peace and harmony, that is not completely accurate, there was antisemitism and even some mass murders of Jews in the ME previous to ‘48.

@Demosthenes How about you? What is your answer for the New State you want to create in the Middle East? What will be the government? Should the Jewish people just leave the ME altogether?

JLeslie's avatar

@hat Many Palestinians who talk about Christians, Jews, and Muslims living peacefully together in Palestine previously and in the future also think the “Zionists” should leave.

Demosthenes's avatar

@JLeslie No, I am not arguing for anyone to leave, except for perhaps leaving settlements in the West Bank, if that is designated as an area for Palestinians. The state should be secular, and should have input from all who live there. You can’t talk about a new state until Palestinians are not treated as second class citizens. That’s the first step.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “I’m asking YOU to imagine it. Who is in charge?”

I refuse to play that game, because I am not fighting to be the one to define the lives of people living there. I oppose the state of Israel. But I oppose lots of states. What makes this of particular importance to me is that the brutality is only happening because the US is funding and supporting it.

My opposition to occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide means that I should have a say in stopping the atrocity. Rebuilding and creating a nation that deserves to exist is the job of those who live on that land.

@JLeslie: “and in the future also think the “Zionists” should leave.”

Ummm, by definition what business would they have there?

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes How are they treated as second class? I agree settlers and right wing extremists in Israel mistreat Palestinians, and some radicals even have killed Palestinians, but under the law how are Palestinians treated as second class?

None of the ME countries have secular governments, do you really think Palestinians will get on board with that?

I’m American like you, and defend our secular government as one of the best inventions of the modern era, but we are talking about the Middle East. The ME states have Islam as official state religions. Maybe there is one or two that don’t that I don’t know about.

The Jewish people are a very very small group, it is difficult to protect them if they don’t have their own state just as a practical matter, because parts of Islam want to convert everyone. I realize not all Muslims think that way. I have never encountered that with Muslims in my every day life, I am specifically talking about people in power in parts of the ME. They have been driving out Jews and Christians for the last 75–100 years. You are saying you think the Palestinians are different.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat What business do Zionists have in Israel? Israel was created by a decision. Once it was created the country had every right to let anyone they want into the country.

Now, many of the people Palestinians and you refer to as Zionists were born in Israel and so were their parents. Where are they supposed to go? To some country they never have been to before?

hat's avatar

^ Zionism is an idea, just like other nationalisms. It’s not a people. They can fucking get over their Zionist shit or just shut up about it. But again, we’re slipping into defining how to move forward with a secular state once the nightmare of Israel is over. Not my place.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat I am talking about how Palestinians use the term Zionists, which is Jews who moved to Israel after 1948. I broke my rule and used the term which as I said is defined many different ways. Many Palestinians feel Jews who were not living in Israel before 1948 should go “back to their countries.” Probably even before 1948 for some Palestinians, because there were Jewish people moving to the area before that, but let’s stick with that as a line. They feel the Jews after ‘48 should go back to Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Europe, America, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

By the way, genetic tests categorize Jews like they do Italians and the Scottish. It is not just an idea that Jews are similar to a nation or national identity. Even science recognizes it.

hat's avatar

Again, I’m not going to tell the Palestinians, who have endured so much inhumanity and torture at the hands of Zionists, how they should feel or what a future state should look like. But it’s obvious this is not it.

JLeslie's avatar

@hat Ok, you have no interest in understanding Palestinians and what they want. Got it.

I guess we are done. You have no ideas on solutions, you just want Israel to disappear and Palestinians to control their own destiny in what today is the land of Israel and Palestine. You do want from the river to the sea, and so it is fitting you support the slogan.

Thanks for explaining everything. I know now where you stand, I had made some incorrect assumptions previously.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “Ok, you have no interest in understanding Palestinians and what they want. Got it.”

I understand that they want to stop being murdered. That’s where we currently are. That’s where we have to live right now. This is all that is important.

@JLeslie: “I guess we are done.”


JLeslie's avatar

@hat Even if the killing right now stops, something has to be changed or it will happen again.

hat's avatar

^ Yep. Israel will never stop. That’s why we call for liberation.

hat's avatar

An update to those who have not been following the protests on campuses – the police state is in full effect. Colleges and universities have called the police on peaceful protestors and beaten, tased, and arrested many more students and professors today. Just watched the chair of Emory University’s Department of Philosophy (Noëlle McAfee) get taken away.

This is the state of US freedom of expression that we risk if Biden loses or something.

Demosthenes's avatar

@hat Despicable. It at least shows the state is freaking out. Supporting Israel is unpopular, opposition to the genocide has united Jews, Palestinians, people of various backgrounds, and they can’t fucking stand it. And now there’s talk of bringing in the National Guard. There are plenty who are salivating at the thought of killing these protesters.

Yet the police presence is what creates the tension and the conflict.

hat's avatar

^ My daughter, who is currently in college, but not one of the dozens of schools with large actions, has been pretty nervous and has had to consider not speaking up or participating in certain situations for fear of retribution and crackdown. But she has friends who are active in SJP in other colleges, and I’m sure at some point during watching hours of this footage, I’ll watch someone she knows getting beaten and arrested.

Oh, and those free speech absolutists? Where are they now?

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Bullshit! Salivating at killing protestors. Who? That is a despicable thing to say.

I personally want to allow protesting, just not protesting that impedes on the education of other students, and do it in conjunction with civil discourse, and education on the subject at hand.

The idea that the only problem with the protests is cops or national guard showing up is false. Some protests are impeding on the freedoms of others. Some bad actors take advantage of protests. I want protesters to be safe as much as I want people trying to walk near or through the protests to be safe.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie: “The idea that the only problem with the protests is cops or national guard showing up is false.”

I’ve been in plenty of protests, and the only time things got hairy was when the cops show up.

Note: It’s also important not to glamorize or put too much importance on “nonviolence”. There are always agitators that embed themselves in an attempt to spark a response from the police, which then ends in arrests and it can be sold as a “violent” protest.

@JLeslie: “I want protesters to be safe as much as I want people trying to walk near or through the protests to be safe.”

There is no place safer you could be. Honestly. Until the police show up.

You should definitely research the history of social movements in this country. There is a playbook, and it is never altered. Demonize, agitate, beat, arrest, then claim the police presence and actions were necessary.

Demosthenes's avatar

@JLeslie You are being naive. The goal of the universities, the police, and the “powers that be” is to silence and stop the protests. The police show up so that there will be a confrontation that they can violently respond to. That is the purpose of the response. Protests are disruptive—that is the point of them. It is not people sitting down discussing issues. Protests like these make the establishment nervous; that is why they are responding this way. It can be seen throughout history.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes The protestors want the authorities to come in too. It helps them get attention.

Did you watch my video?

@hat Did you watch my video?

Demosthenes's avatar

Yes, I’m sure they do. It’s all the media can talk about right now, so I’d say it has the attention of most of the country. But the police come off looking bad and the state comes off looking repressive and desperate, and Biden continues to lose much of his appeal to young people. I guess that’s a price they’re willing to pay to make sure people don’t challenge American support for Israel.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It seems to me, that young people who are for the first time really learning history in college, instead of the lies we’re told in public elementary, middle, and high-school.

As young people are often trying to find themselves, and seeking freedom from their parents, and/or culture, they naturally cling to causes such as this.

I was not alive during the Vietnam War, but my understanding is that a very large amount of young people were protesting that conflict.
My father was in that war. He was badly wounded and received a Purple Heart.
He was a boy, when the troops came home to a heroe’s welcome from WW2.

When he was able to walk again, after healing from his multiple gunshot wounds, he said people would spit at him. Call him names, like “baby-killer,” and “murderer.”

As with ANY violent conflict, the public becomes divided on some of the actions of people at war. War, is Hell. Since Americans have been able to watch the effects of war, there have been people who don’t support it.

Again, as college aged people are searching for their own independence, they find themselves on the side of “the rebellious.”

The Israeli/Palestinian relationship, and the resulting current “war” on Hamas, hits a lot of young adults in many of the same ways as the Vietnam War.

In college, young adults are just reaching the age where they can get involved with their government.

A mob mentality, is a variable.

Boredom. Rebellious behavior.

I’ll never forget the changes/growth that I experienced in college.
I think, to an extent, it’s good to see students expressing themselves. Obviously, only if it’s peaceful.

I wish we had pressured our leaders over their unwavering support for Israel and the dynamic they established with the Gazans, decades ago.

The situation was not just allowed to fester, it was not so arguably funded in part by the US.

I can’t help but wonder how Israel would behave, without 100% support from the US.

The Israeli government has bragged about it’s defensive capabilities, following the simply amazing efficacy of stopping the large scale Iranian attack recently.
The truth is that the US, and the allies they called on, are responsible for the bulk of the success Israel had in defending itself.
Israeli defenses are top of the line. But. They would have been completely overwhelmed, without the help of their allies.

Following what could/should have been a win, Israel bombed Iran against US wishes.

Now. We passed a bill funding Israeli “defense.”

It’s already been made public, that more unguided bombs, and offensive weapons are to be given to Israel.

So. The actions of Israel, have been rewarded by our government.

I know that it sort of shocks me, that the Zionists who themselves were almost annihilated by genocide, are behaving in this manor.

If they plan to continue escalating the tensions in the ME, I won’t support them.
At this point, I’m tempted to opine that Israel should be cut off completely from US aid.
And they should have to deal with the situation they have created. That could certainly mean that they will be in danger from some of their neighbors.
Without US military might, Israel will have to be far more careful with how they conduct themselves.

Right now, it seems like Netanyahu is growing more ambitious by the day, and his agenda can no longer be defended, in any way.

I have no problems helping other countries. But if they want our help, we should have their ear. Israel clearly does not care, if it drags America into a larger conflict. They need us.

This situation, will only get worse. The most polarizing issues, will come when/if the Israeli attacks end.

Israel is going to look like a “bad guy,” for the foreseeable future.
I see ZERO reason why the US should even continue to be an ally of Israel.
I support the existence of Israel, for the same reason I support a Palestine.

I think that most of these protesters will bring it down a notch, if the IDF stops their war machine. And I think that is a worthy cause.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Thank you for that link. It does sound like the President at Columbia went too far and is conflating anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian, and antisemitism.

It’s terrible that the universities are getting caught up in the horrible political environment we have today. Universities are a place for discussing the politics of the day, and protests are practically a tradition on college campuses, but the current political environment is so manipulative and dishonest it is scary.

My link was trying to explain how easily on edge Jews can be. We don’t necessarily know if the pro-Palestine protestor is antisemitic or not. Israel is a Jewish state, and we don’t know if the person protesting understands that not all Jews support what is currently happening. If throngs of people are protesting against Israel it can be scary for a Jewish student to cross through that area. If a large group was protesting in support of Israel, I think you would understand why a Palestinian student might feel uneasy walking by that. Wouldn’t you?

hat's avatar

So glad universities have employed the state to rough up and arrest its students and professors for wanting to stop a genocide. This woman is a threat to democracy or something.

Demosthenes's avatar

@JLeslie I think it’s also a matter of some Jewish students, who’ve been raised to believe that Israel is a paragon of democracy and represents the pinnacle of Jewish achievement, having the blinders taken off for the first time in their lives. And that can be distressing.

jonsblond's avatar

I don’t agree with protests that inconveniences innocent people. Don’t block bridges or highways, and don’t disrupt classes at colleges. I think the appropriate place to protest is at your state Capitol building. When you protest on roads or campus you are infringing on the rights of innocent people. We now have students who paid a lot of money to attend classes in person who now need to end their year online and they now won’t have commencement. When you block highways you are keeping people from getting healthcare are picking up their children. These protesters were given multiple warnings to leave. I don’t feel sorry for them.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes I don’t see or hear that at all in my Jewish circles, but I am not saying it doesn’t exist. Almost every Jewish person I know, knows that the Israeli Palestinian situation is very complicated. They know both groups have been on the land for a very long time, they want nothing more but peace. I don’t personally know any Jewish person in America who wants to push all Palestinians out of Israel, West Bank, or Gaza, except to say if there was an agreement on moving people for peace. Many of us think borders need to be changed to accommodate both Israelis and Palestinians. Do Jewish people in the US think the Israeli democracy is better than what Palestinians would install if it was one state? I would say yes, but that is partly because they are Americans, and think the Israeli government is closer to a democratic government than any other government in the ME.

I just saw a discussion between Jews, some were Israelis, and Palestinians, some lived in West Bank previously, they were all in the US, and every Jew answered they can be pro Israel and pro Palestine and only one Palestinian agreed. It was just a small group, but I think it represents the thinking. The Palestinians made some good points about the media representation that I had not thought of before, but also the Jews had equal problems with the media regarding coverage of Jewish people and Israel. What was very evident was what I always say, both the Israelis and the Palestinians have suffered, have been pushed around, and feel so much of the same frustration and pain.

Both groups are small and worry about disappearing probably. I know that is true for Jewish people. Giving up their own country is like giving up their life for many of them. Like letting the people who want to exterminate us win. It’s similar to me never having children, it is very hard for me, especially as I get older, because my Jewish life will not continue now, and it will contribute to Jewish people ceasing to exist.

I saw more coverage of the Columbia situation and it seems like your article might have been a little biased, the truth is in the middle I would guess, like most everything.

I think you think the Israelis are the bad guys and the Palestinians are the good guys and just victims of circumstance, but it is way more complicated than that. They are both victims.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Or, did you mean blinders, like they always felt safe before and now they don’t? I really don’t think so. We are raised knowing people hate us and want to kill us. That is why we get so nervous, so paranoid, so easily. Did you watch my video? Please watch my video if you haven’t. Neither you or hat have acknowledged the video.

Demosthenes's avatar

I think you think the Israelis are the bad guys and the Palestinians are the good guys

If that is how you choose to see it, then yes. One side is backed by the US, one side has relegated the other to a state of poverty and disenfranchisement, one side is carrying out a genocide against the other. It is one-sided, it is not complicated, the truth is not in the middle, it is simple, it is black and white. Saying otherwise is a deliberate manipulation, and a denial of the situation because the reality of the situation is too uncomfortable to acknowledge. Polite fictions are fictions.

So, no, unfortunately there is no reconciling our positions. Acting as if this conflict is between two equal sides is a necessary defense mechanism for those who are pro-Israel, but it is rooted in falsehood.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Well, if you ignore the current conflict and just want to solve the problem, then how do you solve it? I think that is partly the difference between how you think about it and how I do. You are thinking about RIGHT NOW, and I am thinking about long term. Unless your long term answer is to eliminate Israel, then I stand corrected. I want a cease fire too. I want a chance for diplomacy, for the killing to stop and for the hostages to be returned.

If you mean Jewish people on US campuses are privileged white kids with no clue what it is like to be a minority or oppressed, that is wrong, stereotyping, and dismissive, and lacks understanding of the Jewish experience. If I remember correctly you are a gay, white, man. If there were demonstrations of Trump supporters on campus, waving US flags, confederate flags, Trump flags, signs saying lock her up and build the wall, and crosses around their neck, would you feel a little uneasy walking by that? What if it was your 18 year old daughter walking by it. You pass as white right? Why should you feel nervous? Maybe you don’t.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I really don’t want to get into this conversation – and won’t – but I will ask you to please speak for your own opinions and not talk as if you are a representative of all of Jewish thinking. Jews are very divided on the subject of Israel and its policies and there are those who would divorce Jewish identity completely from the political state of Israel. So please just speak to your own opinions and don’t generalize about Jewish fears or beliefs.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie – It’s very dangerous to continue to equate your Jewish identity and a genocidal apartheid state. I just spent another day watching Jews get beaten and arrested to stop the atrocities, and I’m back to you making opposition to genocide a hate crime against Jews. I don’t get it.

hat's avatar

I think you might just have to own your conservatism/right-wing identity more, rather than attribute it to your religion.

Also, I said before I was going to stop talking “antisemitism” with you, but I didn’t follow through. I will now. You want to talk anything else, go ahead. I won’t respond to claims of “antisemitism”.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I am not talking for every Jew obviously. I have said that and @Demosthenes is not that stupid. I absolutely separate Israel and Jewish people. I am an American, not Israeli and my national identity is American. Maybe you should watch my video.

Now, since you have entered into the conversation, how do you feel wearing a Star of David and walking through a pro-palestinian protest? Are you not at all uneasy? I am not even talking about Palestinians at all, I am just saying large crowds that are angry at Israel.

What about your connection to feeling vulnerable as a Jewish person with mass shootings in synagogues? Does none of that affect you? You feel just part of the majority, safe? Let’s say you denounce being Jewish? Does it matter? Now do you feel safe? Maybe your experience is very different from mine. I am not talking about the current war or protests, I am talking about in general as a Jewish woman. No antisemitism in our country? No worries when people chant the Jews will not replace us.

@hat I have no problem with opposition to what Israel is doing, you are making shit up..I am not religious. I don’t practice my religion, I was raised by atheists and am one. What does religion have to do with it? Stop calling me right wing, I am going to take that as a personal attack since it is blatantly false.

hat's avatar

@JLeslie – I dm’d you to clarify.

Brian1946's avatar


I’m sure Yitzhak Rabin would agree with you.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@JLeslie Israel has no right, to define what type of state “Palestine” would be.
That dynamic, is what led us to this point.

I agree, that I don’t know any “American Jews,” that want much more than peace. Especially, the younger generations.
I don’t want to offend anyone, but the American Jewish people I know, are closer to agnostics, than Zionists.

I do believe that Israeli Jewish people, want peace as well. But. I know that there is built-in indoctrinated, ancient dislike for the Gazans, and of course vice-versa.

I have seen articles alleging that Hamas would throw down their arms, if Gaza becomes it’s own Palestine.
I’m not saying that I believe that 100%, but that HAS been an objective of ALL Gazans (I think) for some time.

Any hopes of sustainable peace in that region, have likely been mortaly wounded, with recent developments.

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Gaza basically is its own state. The Israelis all left there 21 years ago. Any Israelis who didn’t want to leave were dragged out. The argument I hear, is the Gazans basically can’t move without a lot of trouble, because they have Egypt to the south and Israel all around the other sides of it, and from what I understand Israel patrols and controls and inhibits trade across the sea to the west.

I don’t think Israel should define the Palestinian state as long as it is a separate state from Israel. Are you saying Israel should not exist at all and the entire territory becomes a Palestinian state?

MrGrimm888's avatar

Israeli Minister of Settlement and National Missions, Orit Strook, on Palestine.
Posted on X.

“there is no such thing as Palestinian people.”

“There will never be a Palestinian state in the land of Israel.”

“Every cultured person on the world knows that this land us ours, for the Israeli people and only for us.”

The article sighting this was in what I consider to be a Muslim leaning publication.
But. The sentiment is clear.
I do hope/believe that she us in the minority, as far as her opinions.
The article aledges that she also lives “in an ‘illegal’ settlement in the West Bank.”


I have always gone out of my way, to hear opinions from other people. Through my own research over the years, and friendships with Jewish people who occasionally visit Israel, I have grown to dislike Netanyahu.
I never cared for the “apartheid state,” Gaza was as a result of Israel.

What I have always said, is that I don’t believe that a Jewish state on the most Holy ground in the world is sustainable. That’s just being realistic, to me.

As I’ve also said before, the only reason that there isn’t a single state solution, is because the Israeli people would lose power, because they would be outnumbered by the Muslims.
In a true single, democratic state, it would naturally become a Muslim majority nation.

Another thing I said, is we should move Israel to Utah.
I’d be fine with that. I don’t want ANY group of people to suffer.

Peace and love?

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Ok, I also would say one state would become a Palestinian state, because of the numbers, and I don’t think Palestinians would have a secular government like some people suggest, but I could be wrong. That is why I think the two state solution is the most realistic. I prefer the idea of one state and peace and harmony among all of the people and the both groups living in some sort of idealic democracy, but I don’t see it happening.

No matter what, Israel has a numbers problem. There are about 2 million Arabs living in Israel, about 1.5 million of them are Palestinian. There are only 9 million people total living in Israel, so the number is significant. I don’t know how many Palestinian-Israelis are citizens and can vote, I know some of them choose not to become citizens. Hopefully, growing up and living in Israel many of them lean towards democracy and protections for groups like LGBT and a more secular view of civil liberties than compared to other Muslim countries.

Some people say there is no such thing as Palestinians, because it is a term that started being used fairly recently, but I disagree with that thinking. I acknowledge Palestinians as a people, and if they now use the term Palestinian to describe their identity, I have no problem with it. Here is an article I just googled that explains why some people say there is no such thing as Palestinians.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think most rational people, would love for them to coexist.

Netanyahu is aware of the numbers issue. That’s why he has directed the deaths of estimates as high as 30,000 Gazans. Many of which, were children. Or in his mind, future enemies.

What’s really sad, is that I don’t believe either side really wants to coexist.

I have no agenda, for the ME.
I don’t have favorites.
They are VERY different people than Americans, culturally speaking.
I don’t agree with all of the religion induced problems.
But. They aren’t trying to force me to behave according to their beliefs. Not here in South Carolina.

Americans seem to be getting pretty upset about the Christian direction that the right-wing is pushing. At least, once women’s rights were in danger.

It almost seems like America needs a 2 state solution now.

The kids protesting on these campuses, are high emotion/low information actors.
As a 43 year old, I am old enough to remember times when it was common to see news about bombings at bus stops in Israel, and occasional unjustified killings of people at their borders.
Israel has been assassinating Iranian scientists, for decades.
And Iran has been busy with it’s proxies, and helping keep the shit stirred.

These students, are only now hearing about the situation with Israel and the Gazans.
The means of which students probably get their “information,” are likely heavily biased, factually incorrect, and most things are out of context.

The students protesting, are just doing what young people do, which is start thinking you know everything.
I can understand protesting the way Israel has handled this situation. I do not see how some have made the leap to antisemitism.
I suppose that such things happen, in a country with free speech.

Jan6ers, are a great example of what happens when people believe the narrative spoken the loudest and most frequent.

It’s one thing to have an opinion on something that you are well versed in, but sheep will take lies and run with them.

I’d love to go protest Netanyahu, but I am not an antisemitic person. I’ve been at several protests, and a common theme is some people attaching their issues to larger issues.
I was at a protest for T. Martin years back, and an old black guy took the mic and started ranting about slave reparation.
Some were talking about dollar stores, hurting the local economy.

You see all kinds, at protests.

I hope that something can be done, about the unrest on these campuses. Doing it wrong, will make it worse.

jca2's avatar

Now the Columbia U. protesters occupied a building, so tensions are higher and I think something is going to happen to get them out.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Yes. They are passed the free speech phase.

JLeslie's avatar

The cops are going in. Big squad (is that the right term?) going to drag then out. Probably a lot of the people still in the building aren’t students. We’ll see.

They want scenes of cops having to use physical force, have no doubt.

I figure it’s a two for. Attention for the Gazans and trying to show police brutality. I

MrGrimm888's avatar

I hate that it came to this.
But. They were wise, not to let the protesters more firmly dig in.
I saw a YouTube video of them removing one of the protesters, who had I guess got his friends to lock his hand into a metal pipe in the ground.
They cut him out, and at the end, he was holding onto a piece of metal. What bouncers call “a grabber,” who is holding onto every structure they can.
Hus fingers were pried open, and he was swiftly carried away.
If anyone cares, this was a white student, with redish/brown hair.
Maybe 20 years old.
He was mainly just screaming in the video so I don’t know what exactly he was protesting. But he was on one of the campuses.

Are they supposed to let them build a protester settlement on campus? Maybe get more creative and concrete students into the ground?

It was NOT pretty, from a PR standpoint. But. It would have been worse, if it git to the point where we brought in the National Guard.
Despite some liberal beliefs, that IS a function of the NG.
Every “Bike Week” in every major city that I have been to, has the NG there.

In Myrtle Beach, they usually close one direction of the highway that runs beachside.
They just keep the South lanes open. The North lanes, are barricaded off, and there are hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement agencies on foot and in military vehicles.
Sounds like a lot right? There hasn’t even been a civil unrest issue.
The South lanes are people on motorcycles, packed 15 wide, knees touching, crawling in heavy traffic.
Now. I love my motorcycle culture, but we abuse a city during such events.
The North lane is full of people interacting with law enforcement. Lots of plate issues, and stolen/uninsured bikes.
Bikers are doing burnouts in traffic, and there is a heavy hot thick air that smells like burnt rubber and gasoline, and marijuana.
On a bike, you don’t have to observe traffic laws. So people are lane filtering (driving between cars,) driving on sidewalks, and into bars and hotel rooms.
It’s a wild experience, and I cannot imagine what would happen without the NG being there.
It would be like “Mad Max.”

Sometimes. We need to be kept calm, and although large numbers of NG looks bad, the numbers make it easier to control the crowd, and LESS likely to end in violence.

I have, unfortunately, been in instances where mace is dispersed in a crowd. It was not a polite thing to do, but the crowd was not calming down.
And, everyone usually leaves an area.
I wonder, if such things would ultimately be better than person on person removal of these protesters. Each person is being recorded as they get taken. I imagine that each incident will be under scrutiny.
I have seen protesters on these campuses, crossing the violence line. I have seen LEOs who are removing them going too far occasionally.

Maybe. Hear me out.
A roach bomb.
Fly a drone in over the students, and drop a box filled with millions of roaches.

I actually hate that some roaches, would likely be hurt/killed. But I think everyone would leave.

In that case, which would you rather have on your campuses; roaches, or antisemitism?

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