[R-G] URGENT- VERY SERIOUS SITUATION AT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY!
wwchi at enteract.com
Wed Oct 3 14:28:03 MDT 2001
From: Tobias <tobias at techno.ca>
To: rad-green at lists.econ.utah.edu <rad-green at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>At a recent conference here in Vancouver, a Concordia
>student speaker had this to say about the whole thing,
>and he is someone whose views I respect as a coherent leftist:
>"Well, as I just got in last night, I don't really know the details but
>my take: Virulent case of one-upsmanship
>(or perhaps one-downsmanship) among
>two groups known for very silly rhetoric.
> ... the CSU's handbook was lame, and they have been
>doing and saying a lot of stupid shit lately. For example, painting the
>Israeli-Palestinian conflict in .. [a] black and white kind
>of way, rather than as the highly complex issue that it is.
Now wait a minute.
In the first place, "I don't really know the details" but I strongly suspect
that your "friend" has a position on Palestine that I would take great issue
with, a position that in practice works out to "Hey, it's a sad thing that
Palestinians are getting shot down and their homes are getting destroyed and
they are condemned to poverty and permanently deprived of any
self-determination and live under something like old-style South African
apartheid, and it's sad that our governments in the U.S. and Canada back the
status quo to the hilt, but what choice do we have? It's a complex
And that in practice, your friend's neutrality between B'nai Brith and the
CSU is intended to have the same effect that his 'balanced, nuanced'
position on Palestine has, namely, that the CSU gets repressed as
Palestinians are, and your friend stands around and is sad but says that
they (in Palestine as at Concordia) brought it on themselves by their
So really it comes down to what position your friend and you take on
Palestine to begin with.
But in the second place, let's look at it from a plain old civil liberties
perspective. Let's suppose that organization A writes a "lame" handbook and
says "a lot of stupid shit". I don't know what constitutional law is like
in Canada these days, but in the U.S., at least as of September 10, people
had the right to write lame handbooks and say stupid shit. Organization B,
which has a very great deal much more power than organization A, then comes
along and, "in response", attempts to frame the members of organization A as
accomplices in the recent killing of 6,000 people which has provoked an
international manhunt of unprecedented proportions, in effect calling for
their arrest and indefinite detention, and calls for their prosecution under
other laws, labeling their support for the Palestinian cause, however 'lame'
or 'stupid' your friend has prejudged it to be 'without knowing the
details', as illegal Nazi hate speech.
This is the situation that your 'coherent leftist friend' describes as
'virulent onedownsmanship' and seems to be completely devoid of outrage
about. And why? Because the second place comes back to the first place.
Because he is not too unhappy to see pro-Palestinians arrested and
pro-Palestinian speech quashed. At least that's how it looks to me without
knowing all the details! I don't know how coherent such a position is, but
it doesn't seem very 'leftist' to me.
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