a node at the edge  

May 16, 2002
PoliticsMore on Anti-Semitism in Northern California

According to an email I received from the editor, later this afternoon, the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California will have another article related to the Peace Rally at SFSU. You can look for it at the publication's web site.

In the meantime, the publication did just post an article about an English class being taught at UC Berkeley (SF Gate also published an article on this class). The class, "Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance", generated a lot of controversy because the teacher, a pro-Palestinian graduate student stated in the course description:

    "...This class takes as its starting point the right of Palestinians to fight for their own self-determination. Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections."

When I first read this description, I was appalled. That a University known for free thinking would have a class with this disclaimer attached.

Should the class be pulled? If it focuses on the use of writing and rhetoric as it relates to the Middle East, then I don't believe it should be pulled. A writing class of this nature would not only be interesting, it would be thought provoking as well as useful. However, this applies only if the class looks at the impact of writing and rhetoric from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Unfortunately, as the class is titled and according to the political affiliation of the teacher, it promises to be pro-Palestinian biased, and that's inappropriate considering the venue.

These issues are never black & white, or uncomplicated, are they?

Posted by Bb at May 16, 2002 11:09 AM


I don't ever see things in black and white - and you're right, this issue is definitly complex.

I wrote and scrapped 4 blog entries before I posted the one regarding this issue that I did.

I did attempt to find more information, but only found a small mention here and there - outside of the Blog entries, of course.

I realize that this particular account is only one side of the story, but I think it represents a disturbing trend of violence and anger, if not downright hatred, against various ethinic groups.

That's what I was trying to address. That and the fact that when we see wrong being done, we need to at least speak up about it.

You can't just write these things off - as "not my problem" or "doesn't affect me," because you never know, one day it might.

Posted by: Kath on May 16, 2002 04:45 PM

I've chatted with folks who were at the rally. There was a great deal of ugliness but the concensus was that the "riot" was blown out of proportion -- and there were people on both sides saying things they shouldn't. The focus should have been -- as the article in the JBNC says -- on the positive aspects of the rally.

I think no one was well served by how this was blown out of proportion. Having said that, though -- there is an anti-Semitism problem in this area, and it is getting worse, and this is very worrisome.

Posted by: Bb aka Shelley aka Weblog Bosswoman on May 16, 2002 06:17 PM

the problem it seems is that everything that is not clearly pro-israel is being looked upon as anti-semitism. surely that must be wrong?
btw there *is* a difference between anti-semitism and anti-zionism.

Posted by: tulse on May 21, 2002 03:25 AM

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