Can we agree that it’s kind of ridiculous that Brandeis is hosting a huge event where Judge Goldstone, respected International Jurist and member of the Brandeis community, is going to “debate” Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations?
This setup implicitly creates a dichotomy where Mr. Gold is said to represent the “Pro-Israel view”, and Mr. Goldstone represents an “Anti-Israel view”.
As an Israeli citizen and patriot, I don’t necessarily think Mr. Gold represents my views. I’m sure the “Pro-Palestine” community (and Judge Goldstone) will be quick to point out that he doesn’t represent their views, either.
True or not, this whole deal perpetuates the impression that Brandeis is scared to host a voice that deviates from “the party line” without a countervailing force. Ugh.
5 responses to “Fair and Balanced, pt 2”
Art, you got me; I messed up.
Often, when I write about “Brandeis” I do so as a shorthand for “the current ruling regime of administrators/trustees of Brandeis University”.
In the past, I trusted people to understand that I was making that sort of syntactical shorthand, but it’s come to my attention that if I say “Brandeis does X and that’s dumb/wrong”, a reasonable person might think I was talking about the students.
I try to draw more of a distinction in my writing these days, but it’s annoying to write “the administration” all the time so sometimes for the sake of writing style I shorten it to just “Brandeis”. In this post, I messed up.
Well, Phil, despite the the fact that there is a perception that Brandeis is 10000000000% blindly pro-Israel, I do not think that is true. I cannot speak for organizations I am not a part of, such as BZA and BIPAC, but I think many students have feelings somewhere in the middle. As a broad overarching concept I support Israel. I also see the inevitability [while I think it will have negative consequences] of a Palestinian state. But moreover, I am not afraid to be critical of Israel-its actions in the West Bank, and in the conflict with Hizbollah, have not been perfect.
On to this post, though, Sahar, I think you’re putting words in Brandeis’ mouth. Or, you must realize any representative of any faction/nation/etc can and only will be sure a pure representation. Did George Bush speak for every republican as the party’s candidate in 04? Hell no. Look at this as more of a debate between a party concerned with the situation in Gaza and the West Bank [Goldstone] and a respondant, Gold.
When I leave here in May, I will be so glad to be done with the “Brandeis party line” on Israel. It’s so overwhelming as a non-Jew, especially for one who criticizes Israel’s actions against Palestine. Here most people would like me to believe that because I have no “stake” in the issue, I shouldn’t have an opinion or that my opinion is misinformed. If Brandeis was in charge of creating peace there, it would never happen.
Anon, I agree with you on the Crown Center. I think it’s a great exception to “the rule”.
As for the donor thing – sadly, I tend to agree with your analysis of the situation. It’s better to “leaven” donor-unfriendly speakers than not have them at all, but let’s be honest about what’s going on here.
I think the fact that they allowed the Crown Center to invite Dr. Khalil Shikaki to work and teach here, proves that they can deviate from the party line. Shikaki’s brother founded Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group responsible for some of the suicide bombings in 2000-2001. When Shikaki was hired, there was a huge firestorm from donors about the fact, “did we really know if he’s working with his brother?”. In fact, Reinharz and Prof. Shai Feldman (both Israelis) came to Shikaki’s defense.
I think it’s great that we are having both Justice Goldstone and Mr. Gold to speak together. I mean, let’s be honest, there would probably be a another media storm if just Goldstone was here. Donors would again threaten not to give to Brandeis. I think having both Goldstone and Gold speak allows for healthy debate, and manages to placate both sides.