You can't say that at Columia -- but that's intolerable!

Open Letter to the Columbia Community and Challenge to Debate:
“After the Holocaust, the Worst Thing that Happened to Jewish People is the State of Israel
“After the Holocaust, the Worst Thing that Happened to Jewish People is the State of Israel.” This is the title of a talk I gave at a town hall meeting in Manhattan last year during Israel’s massacre of Gaza ( It is a quote from Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.
I know. You can’t say things like this at Columbia University. Even mainstream academics on campus who bring up well-known, substantiated facts about the situation of the Palestinian people or the crimes Israel commits against them fear for their tenure, their careers, and even their physical safety. But that’s intolerable! Anyone on this campus who has a modicum of appreciation for the importance of academic freedom and free speech should be appalled at this chilling atmosphere at Columbia in relation to one of the most important issues in the world – the nature and role of Israel and its crimes against the Palestinians.
The nature and role of Israel is central to understanding the whole situation in the Middle East, the so-called “war on terror,” and the oppression of the Palestinian people. As a correspondent for Revolution newspaper, I come from a perspective that analyzes the roots of all this in the nature of global imperialism.
The suppression of critical examination of the nature and role of Israel at Columbia is part of a societal ruling “out of order” any serious critique of Israel. I can speak to this from personal experience: Zionists posted public threats against myself and Adam Shapiro of the International Solidarity Movement when we spoke at the Manhattan emergency town hall meeting against Israel’s Massacre in Gaza last year.  I was surrounded by 28 NYC police cars for 2 hours and issued a criminal citation for “criticizing Israel” with “no permit” (that is the wording on the citation) for holding a banner with the message of this challenge in front of the Holocaust Museum in Manhattan; and I was part of the Gaza Freedom March that was denied the ability to witness and protest the inhumane conditions Israel is imposing on Gaza – the Egyptian government under orders from the United States refused to allow us to enter Gaza.
I will make a compelling case that “After the Holocaust, the Worst Thing that Happened to Jewish People is the State of Israel.” I’ll debate anyone, anywhere on campus who can make something close to a serious, substantial argument that this is not true. I draw on my own personal transformation from a pro-Israel Jewish person to an internationalist who looks at the world from the interests of humanity, and a communist. And I challenge everyone in the Columbia community who finds the current dangerously distorted, censored, and suppressed atmosphere when it comes to Israel and its crimes to help facilitate me speaking on campus, including in a debate.
Contact me to help make this happen, or to engage in or arrange a debate next Fall:

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