SFSU “Blog Burst”

Several bloggers have gotten together to express their opinions of the SFSU pro-Palestinian/pro-Israel clash. You can view a summary of this event at Winds of Change.

Of particular interest to me was Facts of Israel claims of bias at the San Francisco Chronicle. The reason for my interest is the Jewish Bulletin pointed out what it also considers bias of the Chronicle. However, the Bulletin also carefully mentions that the current Chronicle Execute Editor, Phil Bronstein, “…got his start as a young reporter at the Bulletin in 1973.”

One comment: Facts of Israel needs to link to online articles if they’re going to paraphrase and editorialize on the SF Chronicle content. With this, the reader can then verify for themselves the validity of the interpretation of the material.

In the interests of equal representation I’m also linking to an IndyMedia posted comment representing the General Union of Palestinian Students viewpoint. Note, though, that IndyMedia is not known for being an unbiased publication.

Only one weblog (armed liberal – see link and full quote later in this post) from the Blog Burst effort references the material I’ve presented about the DA referrals resulting from this clash. And armed liberal equates turning over pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian students as “…moral equivalency…”

On to other things.

I am concerned about this so-called Blog Burst. Though bloggers are not Journalists and may express their opinion at will, what do you call a formalized process to gather like minds together, resulting in multiple voices united in expressions of anger, paranoia, and hate?

Selected readings:

    “The sort of people who run colleges certainly love Palestinians — love them because they are so incompetent and useless. They dote on feckless minorities, because they need to feel superior to someone. If they really cared about them they would tell them to pull up their socks and work hard and make something of themselves.” Random Jottings

    “There is a difference between yanking down a flag and stomping on it while yelling words that basically mean, “You should be dead”, and calling someone a “camel jockey”. It’s inappropriate to use ethnic slurs, but that is not morally equivalent to wishing someone dead because of his or her race or ethnic origin. This reluctance to call evil “evil” is the same thing that gives Arafat and his homicidal thugs the ability to continue playing both ends in Palestine – targeting innocent Israelis repeatedly while holding up their hands to the world and saying, “I’m just protecting myself” when called on it.” cut on the bias

    “Now, I’m not on the ground in San Francisco, and I’ll defer a little bit to some folks who have first-hand experience of the events there. But there are a few things that are incontrovertible and clear:

    The pro-Israel/pro-Jewish side seems to be taking all or a vast majority of the physical damage;

    The acknowledged racist comments are all coming from the pro-Palestinian side;

    The powers that be are taking a ‘children, children, you shouldn’t both be fighting’ moral equivalence stance. They have turned three students over to the District Attorney’s office for possible prosecution – two pro-Palestinian and one pro-Israel.” armed liberal

Though not part of Blog Burst, Mike Sanders wrote:

    “The riot incident at SFSU on May 7, 2002 is just a symptom of the climate at SFSU campus and many other American campuses. Hate speech is not free speech and is not sanctioned by the law. The fine line between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic is easily crossed and I have yet found an acceptable set of guidelines for making the distinction. This is partly because it is not just the words that are being said, but who is saying them, and what have they said before. America is founded on both freedom of speech and freedom of religion and we must insure that both freedoms are protected under they law”

“I have yet found an acceptable set of guidelines for making the distinction.”

The concept of Blog Burst disturbs me. The results of this event disturbs me.

Lewis Carroll wrote one of my favorite poems, The Walrus and the Carpenter. I’ve always felt that one particular verse of the poem typifies weblogging:

The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax –
Of cabbages — and kings . . .”

Today is not the day to talk of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax; and I have no heart for cabbages and kings.

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