Posted by: University of Mississippi | February 9, 2010

Who is Elie Wiesel?

A Segregationist?

Chancellor Dan Brown issued a statement last fall explaining why “Dixie” was to be cut from the marching band’s playlist.  He wrote:  “Let me be clear, all the leaders of this vibrant, diverse, modern university long ago denounced any association with those who espouse segregation.” If Brown is serious about this claim, he should seriously consider canceling this year’s Spring Convocation speaker, Elie Wiesel.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who read Night in high school, you may not have heard much about the rest of this author’s personal history. If not, you should know that Night is Wiesel’s self-proclaimed autobiographical tale of his survival in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII.

Wiesel’s moral sermons often come across as beautiful statements of righteousness.  Unfortunately, Wiesel’s commitment to human rights is about as real as Heidi Montag’s new smile.  Consider two of Wiesel’s most famous moral declarations: “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference,” and “silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  According to these principles, everyone has a moral obligation to fight ethnic persecution, regardless of where it occurs. 

Now compare “silence encourages the tormentor” to the following statement in Wiesel’s personal memoir, And the Sea is Ever Full: “…since I do not live in Israel, it would be irresponsible for me to [take a public stand in the conflict].”  

Similarly, Wiesel once publicly stated, “I support Israel—period. I identify with Israel—period.  I never attack, I never criticize Israel when I am not in Israel.”  According to Wiesel’s logic, one should only criticize a government’s policies from within the particular government’s jurisdiction.

This convenient little rule never stopped Elie from criticizing the governments of South Africa, Cambodia, Iraq, Nicaragua, or the U.S.  The truth is that it makes no difference whether Wiesel is in the United States or Israel or Timbuktu.  He remains wholly uncritical of Israel’s government due to the unconditional loyalty he feels towards his particular religious group.  

Consider Wiesel’s statement about the potential for resolving the Palestine/Israel Conflict: “Israel will cooperate, I am sure of that. I trust Israel for I have faith in the Jewish people.”  The international community sees it differently.  Human rights groups and UN delegations have consistently found Israel to be in violation of all sorts of human rights laws in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

No population is to be trusted with ultimate moral superiority.  Any such unconditional allegiance to one’s ethnic or religious group produces the same outdated, supremacist attitudes that Chancellor Brown seeks to eradicate from campus.

I suggest taking a closer look at Wiesel’s past before we devote a Monday evening to his lecture.

From 1947-1949, Wiesel was employed by the Irgun, the paramilitary group of extreme right-wing Zionists.  In 1948, Jewish-American icons Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, and Sydney Hook (among others) composed a letter to the New York Times that refers to the Irgun as “the terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.”  

Look up “Deir Yassin” or “Sabra and Shatilla Massacre” and decide for yourself if Wiesel should remain silent about his involvement in the Irgun.

1948 was also the year of the “Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” when more than 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed or forcibly evacuated by Israeli forces.  More than 700,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes.  Zionists literally “cleansed” the land of Palestinian Arabs to make room for Jewish settlements.  To this day the Palestinian refugees are prohibited from returning to the Israel/Palestine region. 

On the other hand, Wiesel is a staunch supporter of the Israeli law that allows for any Jew, “…a child [or] a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew [or] the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew,” to immigrate and settle in Israel as a full-fledged citizen.

Wiesel uses the rhetoric of pacifism and human rights activism to support the segregationist political agenda of far-right Jewish Israelis.  MIT professor Noam Chomsky, the most frequently cited scholar alive, calls Wiesel “a terrible fraud.”  Norman Finkelstein, the Jewish-American son of two Holocaust survivors, wrote a bestselling novel entitled The Holocaust Industry, in which Wiesel is the antihero.  Finkelstein recounts how Wiesel and others have exploited the suffering of Jewish people in the Nazi Holocaust in order to advance Israel’s agenda in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Consider the way Wiesel perceives the Ole Miss student body.  He believes that any Jewish student at the University should be free to move to Israel, settle there, and become an Israeli citizen.  If you happen to be a Palestinian-American Rebel, on the other hand, Wiesel thinks you should be prohibited from moving to Palestine or Israel.  It doesn’t matter where you grew up, where your parents were born, or what you intend to accomplish in your lifetime.  Your ethnicity restricts your opportunities. 

Here at Ole Miss, we frown on that sort of segregationist mindset.  Don’t we, Chancellor Brown? Don’t we, Ole Miss?

For more information, check out the following websites:

Posted by: University of Mississippi | July 6, 2009

New Website!

The new website is launched!

CLICK HERE to see it!

This site will be left intact for archives, though the domain will soon be transferred to the new site.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | June 29, 2009


Posted by: University of Mississippi | June 11, 2009

The Rich Man’s Terrorism

By Justin Head

It is no stretch for one to conclude that terrorism has replaced socialism as the new perceived threat to America. Our government has found it exponentially more convenient to use mythical terrorist threats to scare US citizens into saluting the flag and pledging support for all horrendous atrocities being carried out in our names. These scare tactics are to be expected post Cold War because America needs a new reason to justify its empire, as well as its increasing control over the lives of the population. However, a recent court case has me questioning the arbitrary definition our government has placed on terrorism.

According to Al Jazeera, A US court recently sentenced the former heads of the charity organization Holy Land Foundation to 65 years in prison for providing funds to Hamas. Prosecutors claimed that the charity was spreading Hamas ideology by providing aid to its schools, hospitals, and social welfare programs inside Palestinian territories. They also accused the charity of allowing Hamas to fund its fighting with the charitable donations. Bush labeled this case another battle in the War on Terror. However, while I would not agree with this charity funding Hamas’s violent actions, the case does expose the hypocrisy of the US government in dealing with Israel and Palestine.

We recently had heated debates on this campus over whether or not our school should divest from companies providing military supplies to Israel. The main point of the divestment campaign is that the university is not and, of course, should not invest in companies giving military supplies to Hamas; therefore, we should not invest in companies providing weapons to Israel. We now have a case where a charity, accused of aiding Hamas’s battles with Israel, has its leaders thrown in prison. Is this happening to Boeing or Caterpillar? Would it had been better if, instead of giving Hamas money, the Holy Land Foundation had sold them weapons as US companies are doing with Israel?

This case also exposes another, even more egregious, transgression. According to John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt in their book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, the US government gives an average of $3 billion a year to Israel, consisting mainly of direct grants, 75% of which is now spent for military purposes. These figures are larger than for any other country receiving US foreign aid. No doubt Israel uses this money to build illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinians territories and to fight Hamas. Therefore, the US government gives billions to the Israeli military every year, but a charity is jailed for giving any money to Hamas’s fighting force. This is a hypocritical stance.

So why do Americans go along with these obviously biased actions of the US government? Is it correct to assume that Palestinians are the only ones capable of terrorist acts? To answer this question, it is necessary to define terrorism. Of course there are many definitions. However, according to U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d), terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. Therefore, Americans must associate Hamas with this definition since we see no harm in giving money to Israel but are willing to prosecute those who do the same to Hamas. However, when taking a look at the facts, Israel seems just as guilty of terrorist acts as does Hamas. According to B’Tselem, The Israel Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, at least 6,348 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since September 29, 2000, as opposed to 1,072 Israelis having been killed by Palestinians. Of the 6,348 Palestinian deaths, an estimated 4,596 (72%) were innocent civilians, or what the US calls noncombatant targets. Of the 1,072 Israelis killed, 731 (68%) were innocent civilians.

Seeing as how Israel kills more noncombatant targets than Hamas does, why does America not define Israel’s government as a terrorist organization as well? Israel’s attacks are obviously premeditated, politically motivated, and, as I just pointed out, perpetrated against innocent people. Obviously, the mere intention to strike combatant targets does not exonerate Israel when the innocent are slain as well. The only difference seems to be who is carrying out the attacks. This leads to the conclusion that when a military murders innocent people, they call it collateral damage. However, when poor people murder the innocent, they call it terrorism.  

My wish is that people begin to realize that war and terrorism are the same monster. The murdering of innocent people is never justified, even if it is carried out by fighter jets instead of commercial airliners. America’s love affair with Israel must come to an end. We must also realize that the terror created by our empirical policies is no different than the terrorism we claim to be fighting against.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | June 2, 2009

Does “Apartheid” really describe occupied Palestine?

This was one of the questions asked and answered in a recent study by the Human Sciences Research Council.  The resulting evidence may provide the most thorough scholarly assessment of the situation in occupied Palestine to-date.  See for yourself:

Study: Israel Practices Apartheid and Colonialism in Palestine
June 1st, 2009
Ma’an News


The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the West Bank to conduct the study.

The resulting 300-page draft, titled Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law, represents 15 months of research and constitutes an exhaustive review of Israel’s practices in Palestine according to definitions of colonialism and apartheid provided by international law.

Click here for the full HSRC report (though still a draft, this version has been published by the HSRC).

Posted by: University of Mississippi | May 26, 2009

Is Israel an Ally to the U.S.?

Is Israel an ally to the U.S.?  We know what the politicians have to say about U.S.-Israel relations, but what do the facts say?  Here are a few issues to consider:

1.  The War in Iraq

Israel has not provided any troops to the “coalition” of countries engaged in the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom), although former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Israel lobby pressured the U.S. to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein prior to the March 2003 invasion.  The invasion and occupation of Iraq since 2003 has cost more than four thousand American lives and more than $500 billion.

John J. Mearsheimer, political science professor at the University of Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt, international affairs professor at Harvard University wrote in “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy“:

“Pressure from Israel and the [pro-Israel] Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil, but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure… Within the United States, the main driving force behind the Iraq war was a small band of neoconservatives, many with close ties to Israel’s Likud Party. In addition, key leaders of the Lobby’s major organizations lent their voices to the campaign for war.”

Months before the Iraq invasion, retired four-star US Army General Wesley Clark acknowledged in an interview: “Those who favor this attack [by the US against Iraq] now will tell you candidly, and privately, that it is probably true that Saddam Hussein is no threat to the United States. But they are afraid at some point he might decide if he had a nuclear weapon to use it against Israel.”

2.  Foreign Aid

According to The Israel Lobby, “Total direct US aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year.”  That is far more money than any other country in the world, despite’s Israel’s status as a relatively wealthy nation.

The following in an excerpt from “Unusual Partnership,” by Daryoush Bavar (May 17, 2009) 

Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, says, “The US aid relationship with Israel is unlike any other in the world… In sheer volume, the amount is the most generous foreign aid program ever between any two countries…”

Despite a crippling financial crisis which has hard hit the US economy, Washington has no plans to halt its foreign aid. On May 5, 2009, Ynetnewsquoted the outgoing Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Salai Meridor, as saying that the White House recently asked the Congress to approve a $2.775 billion military aid to Israel as part of the 2010 budget plan.

Despite the economic downturn, the Obama administration has no plans nullify the Bush administration’s commitment to provide Israel with aid for 10 years, starting in 2009. As part of the aid, Israel will receive $2.5 billion in 2009, $2.775 billion in 2010, and in 2011 the sum will reach $3 billion. In total, the military aid is slated to reach some $30 billion until 2019.

America’s excessive military aid to Israel has brought more instability and violence to the Middle East, a region that has been plagued by violence and bloodshed for the past six decades.

Israel’s deadly 22-day war on the Gaza Strip that killed over 1400 Palestinians, many of women and children, is an example of how emboldened Israel will become when Washington continues to profusely provide it with massive military and political assistance.

During the onslaught, Israel was charged with massive war crimes and human rights violations. Massive anti-protests that erupted worldwide during Israel’s onslaught against both the Washington and Tel Aviv, indicate that the US, Israel’s chief ally, is seen as culpable for the alleged crime as well.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) says, “The US military aid to Israel has a dramatic effect on Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. It has increasingly been used not to pay for defense but to finance the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.”

Two former CIA analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison say as long as Israel can rest assured that it is guaranteed billions of worth of annual US arms aid, it will not make peace with Palestinians. This is while, some observers say Washington, by committing itself to giving economic, military and political assistance to Israel, is undermining the peace agreement it is trying to promote.

3.  The War in Afghanistan

Israel has never had any troops fighting the with the U.S. in “Operation Enduring Freedom,” the U.S. counter-terrorism campaign that began in Afganistan in 2001.   Since this war began, 682American troops have been killed.  Obama recently ordered a “surge” of 17,000 additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan.

 4.  Israeli Spies in the U.S.

Jonathon Pollard received a life sentence in 1987 for espionage.  In 1998, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly admitted that Pollard was a spy for Israel. 

 In 1998, President Clinton initially agreed to release Pollard.  However, he was soon compelled to withdraw his offer when CIA Director George Tenet threatened to resign.  Four past directors of Naval intelligence wrote a response to the Washington Post:

We… feel obligated to go on record with the facts regarding Pollard in order to dispel the myths that have arisen from this clever public relations campaign… aimed at transforming Pollard from greedy, arrogant betrayer of the American national trust in to Pollard, committed Israeli patriot
Pollard pleaded guilty and therefore never was publicly tried. Thus, the American people never came to know that he offered classified information to three other countries before working for the Israelis and that he offered his services to a fourth country while he was spying for Israel. They also never came to understand that he was being highly paid for his services….
Pollard and his apologists argue he turned over to the Israelis information they were being denied that was critical to their security. The fact is, however, Pollard had no way of knowing what the Israeli government was already receiving by way of official intelligence exchange agreements…. Some of the data he compromised had nothing to do with Israeli security or even with the Middle East. He betrayed worldwide intelligence data, including sources and methods developed at significant cost to the U.S. taxpayer. As a result of his perfidy, some of those sources are lost forever

Casper Weinberger, in his opposition to a reduced sentence for Pollard, described the damage  to the United States incurred by Pollard: “[It is] difficult to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by… Pollard’s treasonous behavior.”

Pollard is only one example of Israel’s systematic policy of espionage in the U.S.   Mark Rivero (May 4, 2009) enumerates a long list of covert Israeli operations within the U.S. that have gone public in the article “Israeli Spying: The Mother of all Scandals.”  The list begins in 1947 and extends into the present time with a disturbing consistency.  Israeli government officials and correspondents generally get away unscathed, at the cost of the American taxpayers.

5. U.S.S. Liberty

On June 8, 1967, US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was suddenly and brutally attacked on the high seas in international waters by the air and naval forces of Israel. The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that this was an American ship and lied about it. Survivors have been forbidden for 40 years to tell their story under oath to the American public. The USS Liberty Memorial web site tells their story and is dedicated to the memory of the 34 brave men who died. (excerpt below)

Q: We are frequently asked, “Why did Israel attack?”
A: Israel’s motive is irrelevant. They did it. They admit they did it. If motive were a factor, then Charles Manson should be released from prison because no one knows his precise motive for mass murder.
Q: Still, they must have has some reason to attack. What plausible motive could they have had?
A: We were an intelligence ship and the Israelis were doing something that they did not want the US to know about. One popular writer of Jewish fear-literature, John Loftus, writes in “The Secret War Against the Jews” (a Jewish version of The Turner Diaries) that Israel attacked deliberately because Israeli authorities believed that USS Liberty was relaying Israeli war plans to Egypt in order to assure the destruction of the Jewish State. That is patently ridiculous, but widely accepted even in Israel. Loftus claims to have documented his position through interviews with long lists of “retired old spies” whom he refuses to identify. While Loftus may be correct about Israeli paranoia, he is totally wrong about Liberty’s mission. Liberty’s primary mission was to collect intelligence on the Soviet forces in the area. The ship didn’t even have a qualified Hebrew linguist aboard.
Q: What other reason might they have had for attacking?
A: Intelligence analysts agree that they attacked because they feared we might learn something that they did not want the United States to know.

That could have been

1. The planned invasion of the Golan Heights which was set to start a few hours after Liberty’s arrival in the area. When Liberty arrived, the invasion was postponed for 24 hours, Liberty was attacked, and the invasion took place the next day. Did they postpone the invasion until Liberty was out of the way and unable to report on the war?

2. It is possible that they were afraid that Liberty might learn and report to the United States that Israeli forces were executing up to 1,000 Egyptian Prisoners of War at El Arish at the very moment that Liberty was just 13 miles off shore.

3. It is also possible that USS Liberty was attacked to prevent the ship from reporting a deliberate massacre of 14 Indian United Nations peacekeepers that took place in Gaza shortly before Israel’s attack on USS Liberty.

Q: Some of those reasons sound far fetched. Is there any proof to substantiate them?
A: Israeli apologists dismiss these stories as untrue or wildly speculative, despite the fact that they are well documented. Israeli apologist-historian Michael Oren in his book “Six Days of War” and in published articles dismisses the claim as untrue claiming that, if it were true, there would be mass graves, reports in the major media, and great outcries from Egypt for justice.

Behold! There are mass graves, major media reports and cries for justice.

Attention is invited to

CNN reporting on the subject which reports the mass graves of POWs and a TIME Magazine story which reports the outcry

More on the atrocities can be found in Jim Ennes’s report in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and in Jim Bamford’s Body of Secrets.

6. The Israel Lobby and Dual Citizenship (Israeli-American) of American Principals

You are probably already aware that AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) is the most powerful foreign lobby in Washington D.C.  But did you know that many powerful American officials are Israeli citizens?  Or that Israel is the only country for which the U.S. allows dual citizenship?  The 1940 Nationality Act, which prohibits dual citizenship, was altered in 1967 (Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253) to allow an Israeli citizen dual citizenship, as long as he never intended to lose his American citizenship by voting in an Israeli election.  Since then, many Israeli citizens have acquired many powerful governmental positions in the U.S.

Some examples are Michael Mukasey (former U.S. Attorney General), Michael Chertoff (former head of Homeland Security), Richard Perle (former chairman of Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, with a very shady history), Paul Wolfowitz (Former Deputy Defense Secretary, member of Perle’s Defense Policy Board),  Lawrence Franklin (sentenced to more than 12 years in prison in 2006 for giving classified information to an Israeli diplomat and members of AIPAC), and many, many others.  These officials have a consistent tendency of putting Israel’s interests before the United States’, which is why the 1940 Nationality Act was initially ratified.

A much more thorough exploration of the effects of dual (Israeli and American) citizenship in the U.S. government, along with many more examples of powerful Israeli citizens in the U.S. government, can be found in the article: “Dual Citizenship — Loyal to Whom?” by Dan Eden.


Clearly, the U.S. is an ally to Israel.  Just as obvious is the fact that Israel is not much of an ally to the U.S.  The “close ties” between the two countries are largely exagerrated by the media and politicians who rely on AIPAC’s influence.  Thanks to scholars like John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, the truth is finally coming to light.



References not linked above:

“IDF General Gilad: No Israeli troops in western Iraq.”  UJA Confederation of Greater Toronto.  April 2, 2003.(

Weber, Mark.  “Iraq: A War for Israel.”  Institute for Historical Review.  March, 2008. (

Mearsheimer, John J. and Stephen M. Walt, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,”  March 2006, pages 29, 30, 32.($File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf).

The Guardian (London), August 20, 2002.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | May 20, 2009


Posted by: University of Mississippi | May 19, 2009

Blair to U.S. Senate: Time for Two-State Peace is Now

Originally Published May 15th, 2009, by the Ma’an News Agency:

…President Obama has made it very clear that this is a strategic priority for the United States to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution,” said Blair. “This is an issue that Secretary of State Clinton is very familiar with and understands and knows deeply.”

Blair’s optimism comes despite increasingly dim chances for Palestinian unity as Abbas prepares to swear in a replacement caretaker government that at least two Palestinian factions see fit to boycott and mutual antagonism between Fatah and rival Hamas continues in the West Bank and Gaza. The Quartet envoy acknowledged the formidable obstacle of Israeli insistence on continued settlement building, and a revamped campaign of home demolitions and land confiscation in Jerusalem, but insisted there is a “window of opportunity” for peace…

 Click here to read the full story.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | May 7, 2009

“Who Will Stop the AIPAC Jews Before its Too Late?”
by Medea Benjamin
May 6, 2009

While I was being tackled by security guards at Washington’s Convention Center during the AIPAC conference for unfurling a banner that asked “What about Gaza?,” my heart was aching. I wasn’t bothered so much by the burly guards who were yanking my arms behind by back and dragging me-along with 5 other CODEPINK members-out of the hall. They were doing their job.

What made my heart ache was the hatred I felt from the AIPAC staff who tore up the banner and slammed their hands across my mouth as I tried to yell out: “What about Gaza? What about the children?”

“Shut the f— up. Shut the f— up.” one staffer yelled, red-faced and sweating as he ran beside me. “This is not the place to be saying that shit. Get the f— out of here.”

What makes my heart ache is thinking about the traumatized children I met on my recent trip to Gaza, and how their suffering is denied by the 6,000 AIPAC conventioneers who are living in a bubble-a bubble where Israel is the victim and all critics are anti-Semitic, terrorist lovers or, as in my case, self-hating Jews…

Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | May 3, 2009

Conflict Resolved!

No, not the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, I’m sorry to say.  But the conflict between representatives from each side of the debate has been resolved with a handshake, a few negotiations, and a genuine desire for resolution from both parties.  The debate got ugly on campus, to the point of formal harassment charges and a Facebook ad hominem attack-group.  But as of Friday, the ugliness has rescinded.  The Facebook group no longer exists, the formal charges have been dropped, and both parties have agreed to participate in a public debate during the Fall semester.  This act of peacemaking is a great example of how honest conversations between rivals can dissolve the hostility between them and reveal the common interests of both parties.  You can make your own conclusions based on the official statements from both parties.

Zubick wrote this personal statement after our conversation:

After having the opportunity to sit down and meet Mr. Blazo, I took responsibility for the mistake that was the Facebook group in question and apologized to him for the content as well as its effects on him personally regarding the potential repercussions the statements could have made on his reputation. I found Mr. Blazo to be a likable person and deeply regret our first meeting having been under these pretenses.  Furthermore, Dan and I have agreed to publicly debate the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict at a date to be announced during September. I am glad that despite all of the hype, this situation was rather easily resolved between two gentlemen, with a handshake, and the help of the University Attorney’s Office. I look forward to being able to put this situation behind us and to be able to move forward with, in regards to the Israel-Palestine Crisis, respectful opposition and dissent.

-M. Zubick

and this Facebook note:

To all,

I am writing this after a constructive period of “intense negotiations” in the Lyceum with Dan Blazo. After apologizing for the remarks made in the group (and let’s face it, it’s hard to admit a mistake and apologize for it) and Mr. Blazo subsequently accepting the apology, several agreements were reached. First and foremost, if you were directly drawn into this because of your participation in the group, I am sorry. Mr. Blazo has denied involvement in those instances, you know who you are, and if you contact him will discuss what he can do to help and how as per the agreement made today.

Separate statements will be made on Dan’s blog either tonight or by the end of a few days time, Further details of the agreement made are not ready for public announcement simply because he and I have not discussed how to word it.

I will say, however, that I have agreed to debate Mr. Blazo in September in a neutral forum. I will also disclose that as a result of today’s meeting, the apology made by myself, that the Harassment Charges and No Contact order will be or have been rescinded.

I am sorry to everyone involved for dragging you into a personal mess that never should have gone public, and am publicly expressing my apology to Mr. Blazo for the severity of the statements made.

More tonight on Dan’s blog, and more in September.

Also, keep in mind that there is no longer any ill feeling between Dan or myself..therefore, nothing more need be done or said. I mean this with sincerity and not as a condition of the charges being dropped.

As part of our agreement, I wrote this letter to Michael:

Mr. Zubick,

After meeting with you this afternoon, I believe your apology to be sincere and am pleased to accept it.  I appreciate your willingness to repair the damage from this conflict by addressing the former members of the infamous Facebook group.  Today’s negotiations have led me to drop the charges filed against you.

I am looking forward to the debate we agreed to hold during the Fall semester of 2009.  I believe the civility we share today will maintain itself in the meantime.  Your public apology and written statement to the former group’s members are enough to relieve my personal concerns derived from this experience.  Your willingness to grant these requests, and the sincerity expressed in your apology, have really improved my perception of your character.  I hold no grudge.

Peaceful solutions will always require cooperative efforts across enemy lines.  Let this peaceful resolution of a bitter conflict serve as a source of hope for those entangled in bleak rivalries with one another.

-Dan Blazo

This will be the last post on this issue.  We are putting it behind us and moving forward.  It is my hope that the on-campus debate will vindicate the ugliness of this controversy.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 29, 2009

Alumni Support

The following letter was written by an Ole Miss Alumnus, originally as a Facebook “note.”  It was soon brought to my attention through a mutual friend.  This letter reveals that the recent character attacks aimed at discrediting our campaign do not represent a consensus of opinion at Ole Miss.  While Poole does not hold an opinion on the divestment issue per se, he expresses respect for political diversity, honest debate, and passionate activism.  These are the virtues that underlie our campaign, and I believe that recognizing their importance is crucial for maintaining their existence.  Although I do believe Poole’s criticism of the ASB to be a bit over-inclusive, I respect Poole’s opinion and his outspoken support for the virtues of constructive democratic action.

Dear Dan Blazo,

I know you probably won’t read this, but I just want to say that I sympathize with your situation. When I think of the Ole Miss ASB Senate, the first thought that comes to my mind is “an extremely conservative, like-minded, totalitarian regime.” Like most politicians, people who are elected to the ASB Senate have no idea what they’re doing, and, rather than listen to an outside voice to gain some perspective on an important issue, they would rather debate parking spaces — or something else equally as trivial. (Yes, for all you readers, I said the parking issue is trivial — learn to walk. God gave you two legs, and they weren’t retro-desgined for brake and gas pedals.) However, I’m sure you realize that you’re going up against an extremely conservative student body who probably doesn’t understand the divestment of Israel, and only voted against it because their buddies told them to do so. What’s understanding? I’d rather be ignorant.

I really hope you stand your ground in the ASB Senate. It gives me peace of mind knowing that not everyone in the Senate is a mindless clone. It is absolutely absurd that fellow Senate members are asking for your resignation because you don’t share the same ideology they’d like to see assimilated through out the campus. You’re going up against a group that doesn’t like change. You’re going up against a group who only wanted to be elected because it would look good on job/graduate school applications — there may be exceptions. You’re going up against a group who do not respect perspective or anything other than extreme right wing ideology. The last remark you made in your letter to fellow Senators, which is posted in the “3,000 Rebels who want to impeach Dan Blazo”, is no less than the intelligence I expect from a group who only sought election to better their resumes.

It’s nice having someone who is actually political in the ASB Senate.

Ole Miss Alumnus,
Aaron Poole

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 27, 2009

Apartheid: “Jim Crow” era Mississippi vs. Occupied Palestine

Israel and Palestine: “Like a Greek Tragedy”
by: Michael Winship
Copyright 2007


“In the late spring of 2004, when I was in Jerusalem, a white Episcopalian minister who had grown up in the deep South told me that if he had the choice of being a black man in the 1950’s Mississippi of his childhood or a Palestinian man in the West Bank today, he’d choose life in Mississippi.

That’s how bad it is here, he said


Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 26, 2009

Palestinian Poetry

Outlandish: “Look Into My Eyes”

Inspired by:
Eye to Eye
by: Gihad Ali

Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see.
You don’t see a damn thing,
’cause you can’t possibly relate to me.

You’re blinded by our differences.
My life makes no sense to you.
I’m the persecuted Palestinian.
You’re the American red, white and blue.

Each day you wake in tranquility,
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude,
Thanking God He let me rise.

You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I’ll survive another day.

Your biggest fear is getting ticketed
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is that the tank that just left
Will turn around and come back.

American, do you realize,
That the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day?

The bulldozers and the tanks,
The gases and the guns,
The bombs that fall outside my door,
All due to American funds.

Yet do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?
Is this a truth that no one knows?

You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of Zionists.
I’m terrorized in my own land
And I’m the terrorist?

You think you know all about terrorism
But you don’t know it the way I do,
So let me define the term for you,
And teach you what you thought you knew.

I’ve known terrorism for quite some time,
Fifty-five years and more.
It’s the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It’s the bulldozer in front of my door.

Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It’s the checkpoint on my way to school.
It’s the curfew that jails me in my own home,
And the penalties of breaking that curfew rule.

Terrorism is the robbery of my land,
And the torture of my mother,
The imprisonment of my innocent father,
The bullet in my baby brother.

So American, don’t tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I’m terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.

But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is our land and there we’ll remain
Until the day our homeland is secure.

And if that time shall never come,
Then we will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will my fight for justice cease.

And if I am killed, it will be in Falasteen.
It’s written on my every breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 25, 2009

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Speech on Peace in Israel/Palestine (2002):

The title here is “Occupation is Oppression.” Now, I would like for us to have changed that and said “give peace a chance,” for peace is possible. You see, we are bearers of hope for God’s children in the Holy Land. For God’s people the Israeli Jews, and God’s people the Palestinian Arabs. We want to say to them: our hearts go out to all who have suffered as a result of the violence of suicide bombers and the violence of military incursions and reprisals and express our deepest sympathies to all who have been injured and bereaved in the horrendous events of recent times. We want to say to all involved in the events of these past days: peace is possible. Israeli Jew, Palestinian Arab can live amicably side by side in a secure peace. And, as Cannon Ateek kept underscoring, a secure peace built on justice and equity. These two peoples are God’s chosen and beloved, looking in their face back to a common ancestor Abraham and confessing belief in the one creator God of salaam and shalom.

I give thanks for all that I have received as a Christian from the teachings of God’s people the Jews. When we were opposing the vicious system of apartheid, which claimed that what invested people with worth was a biological irrelevance–skin color–we turned to the Jewish Torah, which asserted that what gave people their infinite worth was the fact that they were created in the image of God. Thus, on this score, Apartheid was unbiblical, evil without remainder and therefore, unchristian. Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 25, 2009

Palestinian Christians

The following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article: “Palestinian Christians.”  Sources are listed below and have been verified.

In a 2006 poll of Christians in Bethlehem by the Palestinian Centre for Research and Cultural Dialogue, 90% reported having Muslim friends, 73.3% agreed that the Palestinian Authority treats Christian heritage in the city with respect and 78% attributed the ongoing exodus of Christians from Bethlehem to the Israeli travel restrictions on the area.[1]

A recent letter from Congressman Henry Hyde to President George W. Bush notes that “the Christian community is being crushed in the mill of the bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and that expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are “irreversibly damaging the dwindling Christian community.” [2] [3]

After Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on Islam in September 2006, five churches, among them two Greek Orthodox churches – as such, not affiliated with either Catholicism or the Pope – were firebombed and shot at in the West Bank and Gaza. No one was hurt and no one claimed responsibility.[4] Former Palestinian Prime Minister and current Hamas leader Ismail Haniya condemned the attacks and police presence was elevated in Bethlehem, which has a sizable Christian community.[5]

  Read More…

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 23, 2009

Ole Miss Student Body Survey Results

This survey was conducted in March, 2009, to gauge the opinion of the student body on divestment from Israel’s Arms dealers and noninvestment in Hamas.

To see the results, click here.
To see the results with talking points, click here.

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 22, 2009

Anti-Divestment DM Columnist Starts Hate Group

I believe the time has come to issue a formal statement about M. Zubick’s short-lived Facebook group: “Dan Blazo is a Godless Agitator, Agent of Hamas, and Jew Hater.”  I have been putting this off for a while now, as I don’t believe hate-groups like this are relevant to a constructively-minded website like ours.  However, today’s front page story in the Daily Mississippian has compelled me to state my position on this issue.

I have never met Mr. Zubick or 13 of the other 14 members of this Facebook group.  I find it troubling that these Ole Miss students were willing to endorse the attacks and insults in the group description without ever verifying the truth of these claims.  However, I realize that good people can make bad judgments, and I am confident that the majority of these group members were merely jumping to the wrong conclusions due to their trust of Zubick’s claims. 

Zubick, unfortunately, was not concerned with the truthfulness of his claims.  There is no doubt in my mind that this group was created as an ad hominem attack against the Israel Arms divestment campaign.  Zubick wrote a column criticizing the divestment campaign, which I responded to with a letter to the editor.  The day my letter was published in the DM, Zubick created his hate group.  Rather than address the issue under debate, Zubick committed an ad hominem fallacy by attacking the person, rather than the opposing argument.  Ad hominems are intended to distract attention away from intellectual debate to something unrelated, thereby attempting to discredit the opponent rather than his argument.  This tactic is generally perceived as a sign of desperation, used when the attacker finds himself losing the argument on logistical merits.

Two days before Zubick created the group, I called his cell phone and left a voicemail.  The message I left went something like, “Hey Mr. Zubick, this is Dan Blazo from the Israel Arms divestment campaign.  I read your column in the DM and was wondering if you wanted to participate in a forum we’re hosting about the Conflict.  We want it to be informational and representative of both sides, so just give me a call back if you’re interested.”  Instead of calling me back, Zubick founded his group.  Clearly he did not want to debate on fair terms, presumably because of his perceived disadvantage.

Additionally, Zubick has made false allegations about my own personal history in attempt to damage my reputation.  Here he is especially uncreative with his attacks, as they are the same ones used against anyone who speaks out against the Israeli military.  Zubick has no evidence that I am a “Jew-hater,” and I doubt that he sincerely believes this claim.  He has no evidence that I am “the leader of a group trying to kick the R.O.T.C. off campus,” since this is untrue, as well.  Nor has he any evidence that I have ever called Christians “bible-thumpers,” or Hamas militants “freedom fighters,” because I haven’t.  He fabricated lies and presented them not as jokes or hyperboles, but as facts. 

I believe that a university should be a place to embrace free expression and free speech in a nonthreatening atmosphere.  A real virtue of higher education is the exchange of diverse ideas and opinions.  Without the diversity of ideas, we cannot decide for ourselves which opinions make more sense to us than others.  We cannot challenge or improve our outlooks on life unless others inspire us to reconsider our opinions.  Zubick’s attack of my character represents the antithesis of academic freedom.  Freedom of expression does not extend to unprovoked, untrue attacks against a political opponent.  Nor does it allow threats of violence, such as the group officer title: “aiming his 166mm at a certain hippie’s house.”  I strongly believe in the legitimacy of defamation of character laws.  Without enforcement, laws cease to exist.  By filing formal charges against Zubick, I am fighting to uphold the integrity of these laws and the integrity of free expression at Ole Miss.

I have not lost hope in Mr. Zubick.  I hope he will understand that hate speech is both unproductive and inappropriate.  I hope that in the future, if he finds himself unable to win an argument, he will withdraw, concede, or reassess his own opinion, rather than engage in personal attacks.  I would like to put this conflict behind us soon so we can return to the important issue for which our “side” has a considerable advantage in a fair debate: the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

-Dan Blazo

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 20, 2009

AIPAC challenger steps up to plate…

For the first time in its history, “The Israel Lobby” is witnessing an organized rebellion from within its ranks (“mutiny” may prove to be a better term).  J Street, a relatively new Israeli lobby in the U.S., is lossening AIPAC’s (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) grip on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.  The most powerful foreign lobby in the U.S. is currently directed by Israel’s Right wing.  J Street, on the other hand, appears to hold a genuine desire for peace in the Israeli/Palestinian region.  J Street is owned and operated by Israelis and Jewish Americans who oppose the settlements in the West Bank for both social and economic reasons. 

The story of David and Goliath comes to mind, as does its heroic conclusion.  After all, it was David who, when looking up into the eyes of his heavily-armored oppenent, announced fearlessly: “…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and speare…” (1 Samuel 17).


Leonard Doyle | 18 Apr 2009

The most powerful Jewish lobby in America is facing an unprecedented threat from a rival pro-peace pressure group that is vying for the ear of President Barack Obama.

“For the past 25 years, the influential and hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) has helped thwart every US presidential effort to deliver Middle East peace on terms it was unhappy with. The lobby’s legendary stranglehold over US foreign policy is now receding with the rise of J Street, which describes itself as the “political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement…

“While there is nothing ‘right’ in raining rockets on Israeli families or dispatching suicide bombers, there is nothing ’right’ in punishing a million and a half already-suffering Gazans for the actions of the extremists among them,” the organisation told its members.

“In twelve months J Street has mushroomed, becoming Washington’s leading pro-Israel political action committee. Its success has surprised founding members like Joel Rubin, who expected Aipac to act more aggressively to try to snuff out the new organisation, perhaps by leaning on its major donors. “They missed an opportunity and it is too late now,” he said.”

J Street Youtube video:

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 17, 2009

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: Divest


The following statement was accessed from

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) Statement on Sanctions


After years of diplomatic and political efforts aimed at inducing Israel to end its Occupation, while watching it grow ever stronger and more permanent, ICAHD supports a multi-tiered campaign of strategic, selective sanctions against Israel until the Occupation ends; i.e. a campaign targeting Israel’s Occupation rather than Israel per se. We believe that in most cases merely enforcing existing laws, international as well as domestic, would render the Occupation untenable and would pull Israel back into compliance with human rights covenants. We also favor selective divestment and boycott as tools of moral and economic pressure.

Since sanctions are a powerful, non-violent, popular means of resisting the Occupation, a campaign of sanctions seems to us the next logical step in international efforts to end the Occupation. While it will develop over time, ICAHD supports the following elements at this time:

  • Sales or transfer of arms to Israel conditional upon their use in ways that do not perpetuate the Occupation or violate human rights and international humanitarian law, violations that would end if governments enforced existing laws and regulations regarding the use of weapons in contravention of human rights;  
  • Trade sanctions on Israel due to its violation of the “Association Agreements” it has signed with the European Union that prohibit the sale of settlement products under the “Made in Israel” label, as well as for violations of their human rights provisions;
  • Divestment from companies that profit from involvement in the Occupation. In this vein ICAHD supports initiatives like that of the Presbyterian Church of the US which targets companies contributing materially to the Occupation and certainly the campaign against Caterpillar whose bulldozers demolish thousands of Palestinian homes;
  • Boycott of settlement products and of companies that provide housing to the settlements or which play a major role in perpetuating the Occupation; and
  • Holding individuals, be they policy-makers, military personnel carrying out orders or others, personally accountable for human rights violations, including trial before international courts and bans on travel to other countries.  

ICAHD calls on the international community – governments, trade unions, university communities, faith-based organizations as well as the broad civil society – to do all that is possible to hold Israel accountable for its Occupation policies and actions, thereby hastening the end of this tragedy. While we also call on the Palestinian Authority to adhere to human rights conventions, our support for selective sanctions against Israel’s Occupation policies focuses properly on Israel which alone has the power to end the Occupation and is alone the violator of international law regarding the responsibilities of an Occupying Power. 

Posted by: University of Mississippi | April 17, 2009

Israeli Soldiers Refuse To Serve In Palestine


Part 1:

Part 2:

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