A perspective on our campus – while high on fighting hatred (no Vicodin necessary):

I have never met Ari Paul, yet he libeled, misrepresented and lied about me in the Daily (The People vs. Dorfman, 10/24/02). Paul did not even have the decency or courage to respond to my e-mails or phone calls to discuss his baseless assault.

The Lies (A select few)

Paul claims that I sued the University because the conference ” … allowed people to publicly state that Palestinians are people and that Israel isn’t perfect.”

Well … here goes (publicly):

The Palestinians are people and Israel is not perfect.

In fact, I find myself criticizing Israel everyday, but my issues with Israel are not the topic at hand. Mr. Paul, no one believes criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic. However, anti-Zionism (the belief that Jews do not have a right to a homeland) is probably rooted in anti-Jewish fervor.

Paul’s description of the incident in the fishbowl is fanciful. Fadi Kiblawi has publicly written that he wants to “strap a bomb to one’s chest and kill,” and that “The enemy is not just overseas, he is also among us.” When Kiblawi and his blind followers amass in direct protest, in an already tense situation, it is feasible that escalation may occur. I called the Department of Public Safety to moderate an intimidating scene, not to seek “criminal proceedings.”

Mr. Paul, your motives for writing such as piece are becoming clearer. You have publicly accused Israel of intentionally targeting civilians and you have referred to a facet of Fadi Kiblawi’s anti-Semitic writings, in which he makes a bizarre analogy seven times between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hitler’s Nazis, as “hilarious.” Mr. Paul, you disagree with my politics, so you say to me “shape up or ship out.” Aren’t you supposed to be a liberal advocate of free speech?

The Divestment Conference

My “beef” with the conference concerns the speakers’ list, not free speech. Unequivocally, I endorse the fundamental and undeniable right to anyone to advocate the Palestinian perspective. This conference featured Goebbels style propaganda – if you tell a big enough lie, enough times, people will start believing you. Israel is not an apartheid state, and being a Zionist does not make you a racist. These charges are unjustifiable, stupid and offensive, but again, anyone has a right to make them. Israelis are not allowed to set foot in Saudi Arabia, and slavery of blacks runs rampant in Sudan, but this conference preached that the real racist is the person who believes the Jewish nation has a right to a homeland: chutzpah.

The University used public resources to help rabid anti-Semites come to our campus, some with links to global terrorism:

Sami Al-Arian is currently banned from his own campus, at the University of South Florida, because of security concerns. He is also under current FBI surveillance. He is on videotape (http://www.john-loftus.com/video_clips.htm) being introduced as the president of Islamic Jihad in America. He refers to Jews as “the sons and daughters of monkeys and pigs.” He presided over a rally where $500 was solicited to Jihad for the explicit purpose of stabbing and killing a Jew.

In 1999, conference speaker Hatem Bazian at a rally stated, “The Day of Judgment will not happen until you fight the Jews … The Day of Judgment will not happen until the trees and stones will say, ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, COME AND KILL HIM.'”

Another speaker of the conference, Mahdi Bray organized a rally at which the crowd repeated: “Let’s all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews.” Bray spoke at another rally at which masses chanted responsively in Arabic, “oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!”

The list of speakers goes on. The content of this conference is disturbing. The mere concept of “divestment” is as anti-Palestinian as it is anti-Israel, as destroying the Israeli economy would surely annihilate the Palestinian economy that is dependent on Israel to survive.

At the conference, David Wolkinson, swears, under the penalty of perjury, that someone shouted at him, “A good Zionist is a dead Zionist.” David Herz signed a sworn affidavit swearing that on Saturday evening, a group of conference participants chanted: “From the River to the Sea – Palestine will be free,” followed by a “Death to the Jews” chant in Arabic.

The conference issue is not over yet. The Michigan Student Assembly has recommended that $5,300 be allocated to this conference, paying even for travel expenses of Al-Arian. However, American law allows for students to request a refund of their student fee ($6.69). Come to the MSA meeting (tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Union) and tell MSA to divest from hate – say that you would rather take your money and go to the movies than to pay for the advancement of anti-Semitism.

Dorfman is a founder and leader of the group Michigan Student Zionists.

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