Opposing Israel's Oppression of the Palestinians is Not Hate Speech… It's a Starting Point in the Struggle for Human Liberation

February 10, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On February 7, Brooklyn College is scheduled to host an event sponsored by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS activists describe their campaign as a non-violent tool aimed at pressuring Israel to comply with international law and end its control over Palestinians. The event is set to feature Omar Barghouti, a leading BDS activist, and Judith Butler, a widely respected philosopher from the University of California, Berkeley.

The event, and the fact that the Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring it, is provoking furious and ominous attacks from New York politicians who are demanding the school administration marginalize or ban the event, with absurd rhetoric about "hate speech," attempts to paint all criticism and opposition to Israel as "anti-Semitic" and barely veiled threats.

There is a basic question of right and wrong here, and it is not defined by "who you are," but from reality, and the interests of the vast majority of humanity of all nationalities and ethnicities. Israel was created and is maintained through the terrorist ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their homeland. Israel has been sponsored and backed by the U.S. because, from the Middle East to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, Israel serves as a violent enforcer for U.S. imperialism. And invoking the Holocaust to justify Israel is essentially an argument that one terrible crime by imperialism justifies another.

When reactionaries and fascists tried to ban teach-ins against the Vietnam War or in support of the civil rights and, later, Black Liberation movements in the 1960s, the battle to defend those events often became a platform from which to draw many more people into the debate, with many coming in with one view, and coming out with their heads set straight. In the mix, radical and revolutionary analysis and programs got a hearing and built up strength.

In that spirit, this teach-in must be defended, and an understanding of the real role and nature of Israel, and the strategic role it plays as an enforcer for the U.S. empire should be injected broadly into society. Along with digging into what it will take to really transform this world of injustice and misery dominated by the USA, for whom Israel serves as a hit man.

In today's world, where the "forces in the field" are the unacceptable "choices" of U.S. imperialism, and—on a much smaller scale—reactionary Islamic Jihad, it is critical that people get with the challenge posed by Bob Avakian: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS. If you're reading this, if you're serious about understanding this world and changing it in the interests of humanity…

  • Get to revcom.us and read, share, and spread the special issue, "Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of Israel" (revcom.us/Israel).
  • Be at the film premiere in March: BA SPEAKS: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live (info at revcom.us).


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