The Conspiracy

Breaking news: Brandeis groups to co-host “Israeli Occupation Awareness Week”

Two Brandeis University student groups, one of them Jewish, will be hosting the school’s first “Israeli Occupation Awareness Week” next week. One of the week’s events will be a speech by Professor Noam Chomsky.

Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine, along with the school’s recently founded chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, organized the series of events. Jon Sussman, one of JVP’s founders, said that the programs’ goal was to balance out the pro-Israel events that have occurred on campus this semester.

“There have been a lot of events coming from the Zionist narrative,” he said. “We thought this would be a nice counterpoint.”

Brandeis was founded as a non-sectarian Jewish university, and it has had strong official ties with the state of Israel. Last school year, however, students protested the selection of Michael Oren–Israel’s ambassador to the US–as commencement speaker.

Sussman added that Chomsky, who is known in part for his unsympathetic views on Israel, will bring attention to the week of events, which also includes speeches by activists in Israel and Palestine–among other programs.

“He’s a well-known voice,” Sussman said regarding Chomsky. “He comes to Brandeis with a clearly articulated position and he’s going to make people take notice.”

The week comes months before the annual string of Israeli Apartheid Weeks that occur on campuses across the country in the spring. Sussman said that this week would be “analogous” in terms of subject matter to IAW, and that Brandeis groups may host an IAW next semester. He added, however, that hosting an official IAW is “not our priority” at present.

“The more we’ve come out explicitly, the more people have started talking about this issue, the more people realize that there aren’t a lot of black and whites on this issue.”

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19 Older Responses to “Breaking news: Brandeis groups to co-host “Israeli Occupation Awareness Week””

  1. dave
    November 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    JVP helps explain how Juderats were possible.

  2. Rachel Golem
    November 3, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Not to worry. In a few months Iraq will be on fire. Egypt will have a war for succession. It’s going to be a good year.

  3. A different Dave
    November 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    dave wrote “JVP helps explain how Juderats were possible.”

    I was thinking that righteous gentiles (or in this case Jews) was a more accurate analogy.

  4. Miriam
    November 4, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    This makes me so angry I don’t even know what to say. Really.

  5. Mayer Jacobovits
    November 4, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Only Jews provide a platform for their enemies! Please read “The Oslo Syndrome – Delusions of a People under Siege” by Kenneth Levin

  6. Seth
    November 4, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    This is great to see at Brandeis. It should be welcome by all who oppose collective punishment and have some regard for basic principles of international law.

  7. Nava
    November 4, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    This is wonderful news! Thanks, Brandeis organizers. The conversation about Israel and Palestine is seriously shifting in the U.S., and you are bravely & strategically helping it happen.

  8. Elle Weiss
    November 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Will there also be an Alisa Flatow memorial, as that was her home college?

    http://pages.cs.brandeis.edu/~philip/memorial/alisa/alisa.html

    Seriously, I’m all for a fair and balanced debate, but this has a clear motive of vilifying Israel, with the keynote speaker being someone who denies that Jews are even a nation, according to the New York Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/02/magazine/way-we-live-now-11-02-03-questions-for-noam-chomsky-professorial-provocateur.html?pagewanted=2

    How is this productive? It’s two extremes yelling at each other. Frankly, this is a step back for the entire process.

  9. patti
    November 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    What a shame. I thought Brandeis was a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel campus. I guess my son won’t going there!

  10. Rachel Golem
    November 5, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    The bad news is, in a few months, there will be a civil war in Iraq and millions of Iraqis will kill each other.

    The good news is, Amy Goodman will right a best selling book blaming it all on Jewish Republicans.

  11. Susan
    November 5, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Interesting that he says “The more we’ve come out explicitly, the more people have started talking about this issue, the more people realize that there aren’t a lot of black and whites on this issue.” and yet they’re not inviting a speaker who is able to talk about the grey areas at all. They’re inviting someone who sees the issues in black and white terms.

  12. Al Forman
    November 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Self-hating Jews are truly pathetic.

  13. Armin
    November 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    While this is a totally disgusting development, it’s also important to remember that these people (anti-Zionists/anti-semites) have very little support from other students. They are loud but not at all representative of most Brandeis students.

  14. louis
    November 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Elle Weiss said: Seriously, I’m all for a fair and balanced debate, but this has a clear motive of vilifying Israel, with the keynote speaker being someone who denies that Jews are even a nation, according to the New York Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/02/magazine/way-we-live-now-11-02-03-questions-for-noam-chomsky-professorial-provocateur.html?pagewanted=2

    Me: I think Chomsky is utterly repugnant for a number of reasons, including consorting with Holocaust deniers, but what he said (see below) in the NYT piece to which you link doesn’t prove him to be “someone who denies that Jews are even a nation”. (“State” is unequivocal in meaning, whereas “nation” is not so unequivocal in meaning, especially where Jews are concerned, since Jews have seen themselves as a “nation” while living in the Diaspora before a Jewish state came into being in 1948.) You are quite right, however, about the motive of the JVP effort being to vilify Israel.

    [Chomsky: I objected to the founding of Israel as a Jewish state. I don't think a Jewish or Christian or Islamic state is a proper concept. I would object to the United States as a Christian state.]

  15. Gene
    November 18, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Pro Jewish and pro-Israel is an oxymoron as Israel commits war crimes (apartheid) and real Jews support social justice, not apartheid.

  16. Robert
    February 6, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    The supporters of this vicious conference reminsd me of Jewish kapos who helped the Nazis kill their own people. They’re disgusting.
    And there is no Israeli apartheid, but there are plenty of Arab nations that practice it. Why have 100,000 Christian Copts fled Egypt in recent weeks? Israel even has affimative action programs, favoring Arabs for university seats and judial appointments.

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