November 16, 2002



There's no use denying it. In what has unfortunately become an increasingly rare occasion in their war, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad actually managed to hit a legitimate and purely military target in Hebron. Their ends still suck, but their means, just this once, were... well... civilized.

I appreciate all the links other sites have offered to the ongoing Marc Herold bunfest, but if we're going to collectively rise above his example, I'd hope other warbloggers would qualify their earlier (and unavoidably misinformed) remarks about "atrocities" and "massacres." What do you say, Charles? Gang?

Posted by BruceR at 11:41 PM

NO CONCORD HERE The situation


The situation at Montreal's Concordia University grows increasingly bizarre and pathetic. First homegrown Canadian anti-Israelis Judy Rebick and Svend Robinson, MP, were forced to speak on the front steps, because of the university diktat banning speech on the Israeli-Palestinian issue (enacted following the assault of attendees and ultimate cancellation of a Benjamin Netanyahu lecture earlier this year). Now tomorrow, the one-and-only Robert Fisk is due to show up, as part of the local pro-Palestinians' campaign to establish the students' obvious right to both hear anti-Israeli speech whenever they want, and beat up pro-Israeli speakers whenever they want.

The university has granted Fisk's right to speak, so long as he only talks about Iraq and Afghanistan, and not Palestine. This either speaks to a complete lack of knowledge on the university's part of who exactly Fisk is (a man who's never been able to string 10 words together without three of them being "Sabra and Shatilla"), or some sort of strange creeping dementia in their public relations department:

[Spokesman Dennis] Murphy warned yesterday: "If Mr. Fisk discusses this in contravention of the injunction it will be followed up with contempt of court provisions." After consulting the university's lawyer, he said the students' union, not Fisk, will face the consequences.

A pox on both their houses. The university's position is, of course, completely untenable, and deserves to be reversed immediately. A bastion of free speech cannot ban speech solely on the basis of topic. But the willingness of people like Rebick, Robinson, and now Fisk, to be used as means to a disturbing and shameful end (the quashing of the pro-Israeli voice in Canadian discourse) speaks only to their own lack of judgment.

The day after Netanyahu was turned away at Concordia, I among others showed up in Toronto to bear witness, should such an attempt be made when he spoke here. I didn't see Judy, Svend or Robert Fisk standing next to us then. It's probably for the best... these shadowy guys organizing their speeches are playing for keeps. If Fisk even tried to do something courageous, and say Netanyahu should have been allowed to speak, too, he might have another angry mob to escape from himself, tomorrow. Rebick and Robinson knew the game... they didn't even try to mouth platitudes about letting both sides speak, as far as I can determine from the press coverage... just took their paycheques and ran.

Posted by BruceR at 11:53 AM