Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Don't Have to be Jewish to Recognize Hatred

The Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut is hosting a program it calls Terrorism, the USA, and the Palestinian-Israeli Struggle at the Dodd Center at UConn on February 14.

The Dodd Center is devoted to human rights, being named after Connecticut Senator Thomas Dodd, who played a prominent role in the Nuremberg trials.

It's unfortunate that it is sometimes the location of programs which make a mockery of human rights, such as the program February 14.

Both speakers are vicerally anti-Israel, with Mazin Qumsiyeh being a co-founder of Al-Awda, a group whose very name is code for the destruction of Israel, and the author of a book misleadingly titled "Sharing the Land of Canaan," which calls for the replacement of the only democracy in the Middle East by a state in which Jews would be lucky to have dhimmi status.

Qumsiyeh is so notorious that one respected civil rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League, has put together a backgrounder on him.

At least one UConn student, Jessica M. Hartke, has taken offense at this misuse of the Dodd Center and has written Michael Hogan, the president of the University of Connecticut.

We post her open letter along with an announcement of the offensive program.

Dear President Hogan,

I emailed you a while back welcoming you, thanks for your response. I hope all is going well!

I am emailing you in concerns to a lecture/forum being held tomorrow night by the Muslim group- I am hoping you can help with this situation.

I am not Jewish, but a Judaic Studies M.A. student, and many of my friends are Jewish and Muslim, in fact one of my best friends is from Saudi Arabia. However, I have little patience for people with negative attitudes towards certain groups. The Muslim group invited two people to lecture tomorrow night in the Konover auditorium in the Dodd Center- one of which spoke here before who is a racist against Jews, saying how Israel should not exist, and such degrading remarks about Jews which I will not go into at this time.

It is a disgrace that our money is being wasted on speakers who give negative attitudes, advice, and morals to the community: student, faculty, and visitors. This University should praise good ethics and peace- not racism and violence towards minority groups.

These speakers tomorrow is everything a university should be against. And yet.... if Hillel or a Christian group were to invite people in to show racism against other minority groups something would be said. *IF* a forum is held there should be a pro-Israel person to rebuttal- not a one sided argument to brainwash listeners.

Whether these people are right or wrong is not the concern- but it is the negativity which comes from speakers such as this- and we wonder why there is still hate and racism in this world. This is not something to teach university students.

Please call this issue to attention! I appreciate your time, whether or not you take action, I wanted to tell you about the degradation happening on campus.

Thank you! And sorry I had to bring this to your attention, but I felt as if it has to be addressed.

Jessica M. Hartke
M.A. Student, 09

The following is the announcement about the program, obtained from the Muslim Student Association's web site.

Terrorism, the USA, and the Palestinian-Israeli Struggle
Start: 02/14/2008 - 18:00
End: 02/14/2008 - 20:00
Konover Auditorium, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center - 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT 06269

Unfortunately, the United States’ “war on terror” campaign has successfully silenced any discussion regarding the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, especially the U.S.’s support for an expansionist and U.N.-defying Israel that is militarily occupying and oppressing millions of Palestinians. Dr. Gerteiny and Dr. Qumsiyeh will discuss aspects of legitimate and illegitimate political violence in this region, the origins and progression of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and why standing for justice and human rights is in the best interest of the whole world.

Dr. Alfred Gerteiny
Adjunct Professor of History at UCONN Stamford and author of "The Terrorist Conjunction"

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Christian Palestinian-American, Human Rights Advocate, and author of "Sharing the Land of Canaan"

Alfred Gerteiny, PhD, specializes in International Relations and History. He is the adjunct professor of history at UCONN Stamford since 1997. He has also served as a professor and Chairman of the Department of History at the University of Bridgeport. He has studied the Middle East, Islam, and Francophone Africa extensively, and has published many books and dissertations in these areas. He is interested in humanitarian and cross-cultural counseling. His latest book, “The Terrorist Conjunction: The United States, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and al-Qaida,” analyzes power, political legitimacy, and examines terrorism. He delves into the role of terrorism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and does not shy away from discussing the United States’ role in this area.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD was born to a Palestinian Christian family. He served on the faculty of both Duke and Yale Universities (six and five years respectively). He served on the Steering/Executive Committees of a number of groups, including the US Campaign to End the Occupation, the Palestinian American Congress, Association for One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine, Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and National Council of Churches of Christ USA. In CT, he is Vice Chair of the Middle East Crisis Committee and volunteers and participates with several local groups including and We Refuse to be Enemies. His latest book is titled "Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle". Appearances in national media include the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, CNBC, C-Span, and ABC.


alfredgerteiny said...

The article below from the Israeli HAARETZ should desabuse Ms. Hartke. Please copy and paste the link below.

primerprez said...

That Haaretz article is really absurd. The anti-Israel Arab/Muslim bloc still has an automatic overwhelming majority for any anti-Israel resolution it brings to the United Nations, no matter how outlandish (and they generally are outlandish enough to make anyone with even a modicum of honesty blush) and most of the countries whose leaders have visited Israel recently would still either vote against Israel or abstain.