Op-Ed: A Letter to Swarthmore- The Wall

Op-Ed submitted by Swarthmore Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine

Swarthmore Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine (SPJP) aims to raise awareness and push conversations about the conditions of life in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. This week, we will be hosting a series of events exploring different aspects of the current conflict, in which we invite you to participate. Our events are open to all students and we welcome hearing from all perspectives.

The most visible event this week will be the installation of a wall in front of Parrish, which will be up from Wednesday through Friday. This wall is designed to invoke the Wall that separates Palestinian communities from Israel and Israeli settlements in Palestine. Our intent in putting up this wall is to draw attention to the permanent reality of living in the Palestinian Territories. As you interact with the wall during the latter part of this week, we hope that you will reflect upon the conditions of life that such a wall creates, and the structures that have allowed such a wall to be created and maintained.

As some may recall, we had a similar installation three years ago. While much has changed since we first created the installation, the Wall and checkpoints in the Palestinian Territories remain. In fact, its construction — along with the construction of new Israeli settlements in Palestine — has accelerated. Three years ago we wanted to build a wall on campus to draw attention to the impact the Wall has in the Palestinian Territories, and we approach this year’s project with the same goal. We see the acknowledgment of these structural barriers and their effects as a crucial step in understanding the conflict.

We will be holding a checkpoint simulation at the wall from 10 to 2 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. During this simulation, you will be given an ID card representing an Israeli, an international citizen, a Palestinian with a travel permit, and a Palestinian without a travel permit. Your treatment at the checkpoint may correspond with what someone with a similar ID would likely experience at a checkpoint. If you do not want to participate in this simulation, please exit Parrish from a side door, as McGill Walk will be occupied by the wall.

We recognize that this installation may be triggering for some people, and may bring up complicated feelings and emotions for many on campus. We would like to see all of these feelings channeled and discussed in a productive manner. To help facilitate this, we are hosting an open discussion on Friday April 26 at 2pm in Kohlberg 116, facilitated by Dean Alina Wong and Professor Elliot Ratzman. The discussion three years ago was an incredible success, and we hope that this discussion will be similarly productive. Part of that meeting’s success was due to the diversity of perspectives shared at the meeting, and we encourage everyone — regardless of their opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or our installation — to attend.

We also wish to invite you to a screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary “5 Broken Cameras” and also our remembrance ceremony for the American peace activist Rachel Corrie. The film screening will be on Friday, April 26 at 8pm in Science Center 105, and the remembrance ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 25 at 7:30pm in front of Parrish.

 

Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine (sfpatswat@gmail.com)


Did you like this article? Consider joining the DG! Open staff meetings are every Monday at 6:30 p.m. in Kohlberg; or email us at editors@daily.swarthmore.edu.

77 comments

  1. 0
    cmon son says:

    Sorry SPJP, you guys went soft this year and have officially lost the most annoying group on campus award. Didnt even come close. If you want coverage and attention youre gonna have to innovate.

    Better luck next year.

  2. 0
    Mahmoud Abbas says:

    Since we are trying to accurately depict the setting in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, will there be fake suicide bombers trying to pass the fake check points? Or maybe fake rocks being thrown over the fake wall to kill fake innocent bystanders?

    Wouldn’t want to unjustly represent the cause of justice in Palestine.

  3. 0
    parent says:

    “Hamas teaches Palestinian schoolboys how to fire Kalashnikovs
    Palestinian schoolboys are learning how to fire Kalashnikovs, throw grenades and plant improvised explosive devices as part of a programme run by Hamas’s education ministry.”

    Another example of whom the Swarthmore students align yourselves with. This obviously is not in the Quaker tradition. And yes, a crossing into Israel was closed this weekend after more rockets were fired at Israeli civilians celebrating a holiday. The Palestinian violence does not fit with Quaker principles. Or any other ideals that promote peace or good will. Shame on the Swarthmore administration that condones “student” groups supporting terrorists like Hamas to take over Parrish.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/10023810/Hamas-teaches-Palestinian-schoolboys-how-to-fire-Kalashnikovs.html

    1. 0
      Um... says:

      More like take a bulldozer to your house, to give you a sense of how it feels to be a Palestinian… Or build a wall through your village… Or bomb your hospitals… Or torture your children…

  4. 0
    Student '15 says:

    I feel like SPJP has done an excellent job in the past bringing to light the issues that are currently taking place between Israel and Palestine. Whether it was posters/signs or the demonstration that was setup behind Kohlberg, I believe in the Fall Semester, much of their campaigning has been interesting and effective.
    The wall however, takes this too far. It’s annoying, and impedes hundreds of Swatties each day that it is kept up. McGill walk is a heavy traffic area, and as the members of SPJP should know, Swatties are busy and everybody cuts through Parrish. I don’t need to be told I cannot walk down or up McGill on my way to class/Sharples/my dorm. If there was an option to participate in the demonstration or not, and the wall left half the walk open for those that didn’t wish to participate, fine. However, this does not seem to be the case as I was forced to walk around the wall today. This is beginning to look as excessive as the “VoteYes” chalkings, with the addition of actually being physically impeding. Not to mention, as the weather continues to get nicer, tours pick up. Is this the type of image we want perspective students to see? A big wall thats looks like scaffolding in front of Parrish? I thought we were doing more work on Parrish as I approached it this morning en route to class. SPJP, you’ve campaigned so effectively, why do this?

    1. 0
      Parent says:

      Actually I think that it would be helpful for the parent and student tours to see this fence.

      If we had seen it, my student would have gone elsewhere and could have saved much time and money, going to a better school that has less hostility.

      One reason that Swarthmore was chosen was due to the past affiliation with Quakerism. This wall is totally not in line with that spirit. What a mistake we made!

      1. 0
        Non-Quaker says:

        As a non-Quaker, I actually see this wall as perfectly in line with Quaker values. Many of the Quakers I’ve talked to see social action as a huge part of their spiritual project. Drawing attention to the violence of the wall in Gaza is an act against violence, not for it. I’m not sure what admissions told you, but if you wanted a school of students who stood silently by as injustice happened then maybe you really have made a mistake.

        1. 0
          parent says:

          No, I wanted a school that was more in line with Quaker actions. Swarthmore is nowhere near that now. I suggest that you research the Quaker approach to political conflicts. It does not involve intimidating, dividing, and provoking fear, as is done with this wall.

          I realize that the student body at Swarthmore generally is aligned with Hamas when the issue of Israel comes up. The bulk of the students there agree with Shariah Law and the oppression of women, gays, and transgenders in the Arab countries, including in Gaza by Hamas.

          If that is how the student body feels, and accepts this organization that celebrates the Hamas rule of Gaza, and accuses Israel of all types of human rights violations, then so be it.

          But it is very clear that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East that allows freedom of religion and speech for Christians, Jews and Muslims, including women, and gays. It is not perfect, and no country is.

          However, during the last attacks from Gaza on Israel, perhaps you remember 2 men who were accused by Hamas in Gaza of being sympathetic with Israel. Then with no trial, they were shot by Hamas in their heads and dragged through the streets on the backs of motorcycles until their bodies disintegrated.

          That is the group that the bulk of Swarthmore students appear to support. A wall to defend itself is a necessity because of the terrorists who have brutally attacked Israel.

          Israeli Christians, Jews and Muslims are people too, and it would good if the terrorists in Gaza and the West Bank stopped killing them.

          But I expect the sentiment here will go with Hamas. Terror must be politically correct now at Swarthmore.

          1. 0
            Razi Shaban '16 says:

            “I realize that the student body at Swarthmore generally is aligned with Hamas when the issue of Israel comes up. The bulk of the students there agree with Shariah Law and the oppression of women, gays, and transgenders in the Arab countries, including in Gaza by Hamas.”

            I can’t even… I would respond to this, but I can’t take you seriously. Have you ever visited Swarthmore?

          2. 0
            dying laughing says:

            wow holy shit

            because orthodox judaism and ANY/ALL ORTHODOX / FAR RIGHT SECTS OF RELIGION are way more friendly to women, “gays and transgenders”

            (actually some orthodox interpretations of the quran can be very surprisingly down for women, soooo)

            your ass is showing

            also if you are not a gay or transgender person please stop tokenizing us so you can feel self-righteous about your tantrum

          3. 0
            (Impersonator) Joe B. (the actual actual one) but really David H. IV '13 says:

            parent troll is trollish

            yeah ok
            cool story bro
            hamas 4evz luvz them kisses xoxoxoxoxoxo 😡 😡 😡

    2. 0
      (Impersonator) Joe B. says:

      Well, they just want to ruin your day because they’re spiteful little cretins. Can you blame them?

      Editor’s Note: The name of this commenter was modified because it was posted by an impersonator.

        1. 0
          (Impersonator) Joe B. says:

          Again, why are there so many people impersonating me? I didn’t know I was so popular.

          Editors Note: The name of this commenter was modified because it was posted by an impersonator.

    3. 0
      Justice Troll says:

      Yo but is this actually a problem for you, being forced to walk around a wall? We’re all forced to walk around walls everyday. It’s called being in any building ever.

    1. 0
      (Impersonator) Joe B. says:

      Who cares about JStreet?

      Editors Note: The name of this commenter was modified because it was posted by an impersonator.

        1. 0
          (Impersonator) Joe B. says:

          Neither of those were me. What the hell? This is fucking pointless.

          Editor’s Note: The name of this commenter was modified because it was posted by an impersonator.

          1. 0
            (Impersonator) (Impersonator) (actual) says:

            I am the real (Impersonator), and the other (Impersonators) are impersonating me. This is deconstructing my identity.

          2. 0
            (Impersonator) Joe B. (the simulacrum) but really David H. IV '14 (actually) says:

            it’s over you guys
            the daily gazette is over
            identity is over

            daily gazette, you’re drunk
            go home

  5. 0
    truth says:

    Interestingly, none of the anti-Israeli organizations are concerned with the recent crackdowns by Hamas on women in Gaza. Women at public universities are now required to cover fully, including hijabs and burkas. They are not allowed to ride bikes. The books that they can read are being limited. Mixed parties are banned.

    Journalists are also facing censure. Hamas has carried out a wave of arrests of Palestinian journalists in the coastal territory, accusing them of being involved in “suspicious activities.” Palestinian human rights groups say internal security services in the Gaza Strip have stepped up harassment of journalists in the Gaza Strip.

    “A recent 43-page report by Human Rights Watch documents extensive violations by Hamas security services, including warrantless arrests, failure to inform families promptly of detainees’ whereabouts, and subjecting detainees to torture. It also documents violations of detainees’ rights by prosecutors and courts. Military courts frequently try civilians, in violation of international law. Prosecutors often deny detainees access to a lawyer, and courts have failed to uphold detainees’ due process rights in cases of warrantless arrest and abusive interrogations, Human Rights Watch found.”

    http://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/10/03/abusive-system-0

    1. 0
      Ding Ding says:

      You win the derailment award! First prize in the, “But they’re talking about an issue in the Middle East and NOT talking about how oppressed their poor, poor women are” category. Congratulations said no one who actually read this article.

    1. 0
      ?? says:

      Is this the same President’s Office that actively fights divestment from coal? You really think it would support divestment from an apartheid state?

        1. 0
          actually ( User Karma: 3 ) says:

          Apartheid is an extremely accurate way of describing what happens in Israel. I’m usually not a fan of the Swarthmore activism (’13’s post is partly the reason) but on this issue I’m totally behind them.

          1. 0
            Frustrated '14 says:

            To Joe Boninger ’16 (the actual one): The state of Israel and Judaism/Jewish people are not the same things. Calling out Israel as an apartheid state is not anti-semitism; it’s criticizing the actions of a state. There are many Jews who would say Israel is an apartheid state.

          2. 0
            (Impersonator) Joe B. says:

            That’s…a little antisemitic. I’d expect similar comments from jihadists and neo-nazis.

            Editors Note: The name of this commenter was modified because it was posted by an impersonator.

  6. 0
    Joe Boninger '16 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    After thinking more about this, my opinion has become stronger. It’s difficult for me to believe that a group calling themselves “Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine” would subject the campus to such a blatantly biased, one-sided demonstration that vilifies Israelis without publicly showing the other side of the issue at all.

    I would be very interested to hear the rationale of one the DG readers that disliked my previous comment. Can one of them reply and explain what I’m not getting here?

    1. 0
      Will '13 says:

      Hi Joe,

      I didn’t downvote your previous comment, but I’ll reply here. I think you’re asking too much of SPJP to encapsulate the entirety of a complex issue with one demonstration. No public display, lecture, or discussion can do that. I imagine that’s why there are a variety of forums: “This week, we will be hosting a series of events exploring different aspects of the current conflict, in which we invite you to participate. Our events are open to all students and we welcome hearing from all perspectives.”

      Besides, there is particular value in articulating a specifically Palestinian perspective on the conflict. Mainstream U.S. media and political discourse is hugely biased toward Israel. For example, only 2% of network news programs on the conflict mention that Israel is militarily occupying areas legally recognized as Palestinian territory by the U.N. Palestinian deaths do not receive the same media coverage as do Israeli deaths (http://ifamericansknew.org/media/nyt-report.html), nor does the media accurately reflect the vast disparity of force deployed by Israel and Palestine, or the legally encoded disparities in civil rights between Israelis and Palestinians. And that’s just scratching the surface. In this context, when the pro-Israel perspective is given to us every day, it is important to have a demonstration that is unapologetically from a Palestinian point of view.

      I also don’t think the wall “vilifies Israelis,” as you say. It offers a pointed critique of Israeli governmental policy (and by extension, U.S. support for that policy), but I don’t see at all how it condemns individual Israelis. Critique of a government is not critique of a people.

      Will

      1. 0
        '13 says:

        Will,
        I find many of your points compelling but want to question a little bit further what you believe they justify. Discourse on mainstream outlets and in our congress is certainly biased towards Israel, due in part to American interests, lobby groups, and foreign policy based on democratic idealism (which is not always good). However, the discourse in leftist circles, on college campuses, and specifically at Swarthmore, I think you will find is the opposite.

        Whatever the case, my problem is that I do not think bias justifies bias. This is a remarkably one sided presentation of the issue which likens the wall to an arbitrary barrier between two sections of campus. In sticking the wall on campus like this, the “simulation” lacks context or history. The meaning of any signifier can be manipulated by a systematic replacement of its context. In what way is this a pointed criticism? It seems a rather blunt gesture at a more complex issue.

        What’s more, I wonder the training Spjp members who are conducting this simulation went through. Did they speak with membera of the idf about procedures? Do they have extenaive experience? do they have extenaive experience as someone with wach of the id’s thwy are handing put. isnt it possible to mischaracterize a situation based on your subjective experience without thought about parallel narratives? you might level, with good reason, these criticisms against israeli policies, but that would be a deflection of responsibility for the actions being taken on this campus. To what extent is honest presentation the goal of this action? And if it is not, I don’t think it should be presented as such.

        I am deeply grateful to Spjp for starting discussions like this on campus, but again, as was the case 3 years ago, I think they have not considered ethical presentation in the pursuit of dramatic presentation. I think they received feedback much like what I am presenting then and should have taken this into account when planning another action. When an argument grows so heated that the two sides are hurling insults at each other, an unfortunate situation in which both sides are actively precluding a solution, if coverage of this argument simply quotes a single insult it disingenuously portrays this action as unjustified and only shows a limited set of consequences. This simulation is much the same. Where were the simulations of attacks by a very marginal, radical portion of the population on campus in the weeks preceding the construction of this wall? While in Israel the wall constitutes a problematic, immoral institution of psychological and physical domination, it has also been the only effective solution to a problem that has cost the lives of over a thousand, the injury of thousands, and the traumatization of a nation’s children.

        Again, Spjp thanks for bravely continuing to bring these persistent conflicts, injustices, and tragedies into our discourse. You are performing the work of repairing the world.

        1. 0
          '14 says:

          Just because an anti-mainstream discourse might exist at Swarthmore doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be working to confront mainstream discourse. Swarthmore is not actually a bubble: we do get the same news coverage as everyone else.

          I would strongly disagree with your statement that bias does not justify more bias. While I think there is a place for reporting the aims to report facts, SPJP are not journalists: they’re interested in drawing attention to an issue. So-called “objective” opinions would have no need to debate one another, would they? Bias vs Bias is the whole point of any dialogue. Of course issues are complex, but it’s unfair to tell everyone they have to present every side of an issue, especially one they have a political and/or personal interest in effecting.

          As someone who hasn’t been involved in organizing this project and is unaffiliated with SPJP, I think the point of the wall is to say that there isn’t a context when a wall like this can ever make sense. It’s also just one part of a larger series of events and discussions aimed at providing historical and political context. Of course the wall isn’t meant as an honest simulation. It’s made of plastic, and SPJP members acting as IDF aren’t carrying weapons and can’t actually force you from getting through Parrish. They’re also not keeping residents on the other side of campus on a diet (http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/2-279-calories-per-person-how-israel-made-sure-gaza-didn-t-starve.premium-1.470419). It’s not capable of *actually* simulating the experience of getting through the wall, or any of the contexts for the wall itself, and it doesn’t need to be.

          “When an argument grows so heated that the two sides are hurling insults at each other, an unfortunate situation in which both sides are actively precluding a solution, if coverage of this argument simply quotes a single insult it disingenuously portrays this action as unjustified and only shows a limited set of consequences.” The two sides aren’t hurling insults at each other, they’re hurling rockets, and one side is hurling white phosphorous. The situation is much, much more complex then you’re making it out to be. What, would you say, are the consequences of this action aside from drawing attention to the conflict? If people can opt-out of the experience, then what risks does it pose?

          To another of your points: “While in Israel the wall constitutes a problematic, immoral institution of psychological and physical domination, it has also been the only effective solution to a problem that has cost the lives of over a thousand, the injury of thousands, and the traumatization of a nation’s children.” Something that hasn’t been discussed on this thread is the violence perpetrated by Israel against Palestine. While NONE of this violence should be happening, let’s not pretend that the two sides are equal. Israel is a major military power supported by US funds, and Palestine is a non-member state of the UN. The damage inflicted on Israel by Palestine, while tragic, is totally incomparable to that inflicted on Palestine by Israel.

          1. 0
            softclapper says:

            Hi Max,

            Let me clarify:

            Perhaps the DG could look into a two pronged system with two different type of usernames. The first type of username would be a continuation of unverified usernames for people (like me) who wish to remain anonymous.

            But also, perhaps the DG could also make a NEW type of verified username for people who like to use their full names. This could be done by using a swarthmore e-mail accounts or perhaps signing in through facebook. Verified accounts would have more weight than simply putting one’s name: e.g. Joe Smith ’13.

            I hope I’m not hijacking the comment thread or giving you an idea that will require too much coding. I just wanted to clarify, because I too believe there is anonymity but there is also value in using one’s full name. Perhaps the DG could look into a system that takes the best of both!

            – H ’12

          2. 0
            softclapper says:

            Hey Razi,

            If that really wasn’t you, I apologize for the comment.

            Maybe the DG could look into actual usernames and passwords for students and alumni.

            -H ’12

          3. 0
            Max Nesterak ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

            Dear H ’12/softclapper (if that is your real pseudonym),

            Thanks for your concern. Right now we don’t have the capabilities to do that, and I don’t think it’s something we will be looking into. The Daily Gazette believes in an open forum and believes there is value in anonymity. We also believe students from other colleges, parents, and others should be able to join the discussion. This does come at the cost of the occasional troll and, more seriously, commenters posing as others and then commenters posing as those commenters posing as others. If you find that someone has commented under your name, email the editors at editors@daily.swarthmore.edu from your Swarthmore email and we will rectify it immediately.

            We encourage an honest, open discussion and hope the majority will continue to honor the spirit of the DG comment thread.

            Thank you,

            Max Nesterak ’13
            Co-Editor in Chief

          4. 0
            Razi Shaban '16 (but actually) says:

            Hahaha if anyone believes I actually posted this at 6:37am… Get to know me.

            Also, awkward — I just downvoted myself?

            Max, could you remove these comments posted under mine and Joe’s names? Thanks!

          5. 0
            Max Nesterak ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

            Hi Razi,

            I hate having to down vote myself! Can you and Joe Boninger ’16 (the actual actual one) send me an email from your Swarthmore email accounts telling me the time stamps of the comments that are not from you. mnester1@swarthmore.edu

            Thanks!

            Max Nesterak ’13
            Co-Editor in Chief

          6. 0
            *soft clap* says:

            Great job Razi Shaban! You have the time and resources to build a huge wall @ the most travelled location of your school but you won’t take the time to read a senior’s non-confrontational well-worded criticism of your political stance. /sarcasm

      2. 0
        Joe Boninger '16 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Hey Will,

        Thank you for that response. It really helped explain the demonstration for me. I see what you’re saying, and while I still wish that this op-ed could reflect a broader perspective, I agree with your points. The American media does show a bias toward Israel, which has always bothered me.

        Once again, I apologize if anyone was offended by my words. That was not my intention.

  7. 0
    Joe Boninger '16 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As a practicing Jewish person with a not-yet clearly defined viewpoint on the right way to approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reading this article was an interesting experience for me. On one hand, I support peace and justice in the Middle East, and this project is sure to create a productive and informative dialogue (look, it’s already doing that!). I’ll be the first to admit that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is very far from simple, and that there are atrocities being committed by Israelis, against Palestinians, that I am not okay with.

    On the other hand, I would be lying if I said this op-ed didn’t make me a little uncomfortable. For reasons that should be obvious, this simulation of a checkpoint is making an inherently one-sided statement. The article is quick to talk about how the wall will “draw attention to the permanent reality of living in the Palestinian Territories” but it doesn’t even mention the reason why the checkpoints have been created in the first place, part of which involves missiles and other attacks by a small percentage of Palestinians against Israelis.

    In place of legitimizing any opposing viewpoints, the article reads: “We recognize that this installation may be triggering for some people, and may bring up complicated feelings and emotions for many on campus. We would like to see all of these feelings channeled and discussed in a productive manner.” This seems to me to be slightly passive-aggressive and completely unapologetic to those who experience such feelings.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, and I am being completely honest when I say that I have no clearly-defined viewpoint on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I simply wanted to share why, as a Jewish person, I find this op-ed difficult. I hope that this can continue to be a productive discussion.

  8. 0
    Question? says:

    When a wall simulation was done a few years ago, I believe it was assembled by Facilities. At the time it seemed inappropriate to me that the college would help to put together a political demonstration, however worthwhile. Is it the same with the wall this year?

    1. 0
      Razi Shaban '16 says:

      Hey Question?,

      I helped build the wall along with a number of other students. We had someone from facilities helping us make sure the wall was safe (i.e. not at risk of falling down and hurting Swarthmore students). But the actual construction was done by the students of SPJP; the same happened last time.

  9. 0
    David F. Hill IV says:

    While your cause is certainly noble, alleviating the suffering of anyone generally qualifies as such, I will politely inform you that you will not stop me or any other student from using the main entrance of Parrish Hall or MacGill Walk at any time we wish to use them.

    1. 0
      annoyed with David Hill says:

      First of all, it’s Magill Walk. Second of all, can you stop being such a dick every time you comment? This is an effort to spread knowledge about another part of the world. Stop hating on other people’s efforts for once. I think this is why most people on this campus would consider you annoying.

      1. 0
        Joan says:

        Nice. I’m glad that being a dick isn’t common on this campus. It’s a good thing people don’t cowardly hide behind anonymity in order to be douchebags to one another…

          1. 0
            Angry says:

            Why wouldn’t they be mad about one student silencing the legitimate speech of others?

            Love the username, by the way. Keep it forever.

      1. 0
        against intimidation at Swarthmore says:

        Actually last time they perpetuated this farce at Swarthmore, it was very disruptive.

        The world reacted to the bombing in Boston last week. Thousands of Israeli Christians, Jews and Muslims have been blown to shreds by Arab/Palestinian suicide bombers in the past 20 years. In fact, doctors in Boston were calling the Israelis for assistance in managing the bombing victims last week, because this is what’s been happening there for so many years, by Palestinian terrorists.

        The only thing that has slowed down the terrorist bombings in Israel are the fences, which help to screen out suicide bombers.

        These events at Swarthmore have made me deeply regret paying for my child to attend Swarthmore. I would not give a cent to the college because it supports these type of deceiving, disruptive activities.

        I would urge all donors to scrutinize this type of activity at Swarthmore. I would also encourage all parents of prospective students to think twice about sending your children to Swarthmore College, where open intimidation on campus by these biased, untruthful students is encouraged.

        Swarthmore students are not suicide bombers and should not be treated like suicide bombers. It is one of the most expensive colleges in the country. We do not pay to be treated like terrorists.

        1. 0
          David F. Hill, IV says:

          Since this type of lunacy is what decides to come to my defense, I retract my earlier statement and apologize. Best of luck with your experiment. Against Intimadation, as a member of the loyal opposition to most of Swarthmore activism, I promise you that they aren’t oppressive, vocal as they are.

    2. 0
      Seriously? says:

      If you think that their cause is noble, why are you going to actively disrupt their peaceful protest? Is it really that much hassle to go around?

  10. 0
    Slightly Confused says:

    “During this simulation, you will be given an ID card representing an Israeli, an international citizen, a Palestinian with a travel permit, and a Palestinian without a travel permit.”

    So we get to choose which ID we want to use? Or is one assigned to us?

  11. 0
    Prof. Taheri says:

    Security cannot justify occupation. But then, one cannot ignore recent history.

    Israel took its chances withdrawing from Gaza. The Palestinians greeted the withdrawal with thousands of rockets, forcing Israel to impose a blockade to limit the number and size of weapons that can enter the Strip.

    Why would Israel now unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank, constricting its width to nine miles, and leaving its soft belly exposed? Any passenger jet landing at Israel’s international airport would be within range of should-fired surface-to-air missiles. There are many such nightmarish scenarios.

    Trying to negotiate a withdrawal is impossible. The Palestinians insist on the right of return, in effect insisting that they will only make peace with Israel if there is no Israel.

    In the meanwhile, there are dozens of Palestinian attempts to murder innocent Israelis every single month (http://www.shabak.gov.il/English/EnTerrorData/Reports/Pages/default.aspx), and the only things that are stopping them are the onerous security measures that make Palestinian life difficult: The checkpoints, the barrier, and the preemptive arrests.

    The relentless bashing of Israel for defending herself may lead to events such as the ones brilliantly depicted in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning thriller, “Palestine.”

    1. 0
      Suggestions says:

      Prof. Taheri, I suggest you read the article. I’m sure comments on it and the project would be appreciated.

      Angry, hateful, uninformed and unproductive rants are not–by anyone. As I see it, this project and the other events this week are meant to spark thought and discussion among intelligent and considerate peers. There may well be those who hold conflicting opinions or disagree with the Wall project. However, I would expect them to voice their opinions and disagreements in an intelligent and non-combative manner taking into account that this campus is home to people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds, all of whom deserve to be treated with respect and consideration.

      I actually hope that my response will be the only response to the above post, and that future comments will address the project and its purpose in a respectful manner.

      1. 0
        Anonymous says:

        How is Prof. Taheri’s post angry, hateful, and uninformed? It’s full of accurate information, actually. So It’s definitely not uninformed. Perhaps we can take issue with Taheri’s assertion that “the only things stopping [the Palestinians] are the onerous security measures that make Palestinian life difficult.” But I think even that’s a true statement. Taheri is not saying that if not for these checkpoints, all Palestinians would murder Israelis. He’s even saying that they make life difficult for the Palestinians, which is an understatement. Instead, he’s saying the simply true fact that they stop “Palestinian attempts to murder innocent Israelis,” which is, undoubtably, true, whatever else the downsides of the wall may be. I see in no way how his post was angry, hurtful, or ill-informed. Don’t you think it might be hurtful for some of us more Pro-Israel students to walk around a campus where we feel like we’ll be judged and insulted for voicing our opinions? And not everyone can make it to your forum, though I commend you for hosting it.

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          clarifying says:

          I think “Suggestions” takes issue with Prof. Taheri making generalizing statements about “The Palestinians” which actually are unproductive and hurtful.

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            Anonymous says:

            Prof. Taheri uses both “Palestinians” and “Israelis” in his above comments to refer to nation-states, not every individual in those nations. It’s pretty obvious he’s not talking about all Palestinians, just as I would never think this wall takes issue with all Israelis.

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          Anonymous says:

          I’m not arguing, just to make it clear, that all or even anywhere near a majority of Palestinians are attempting to “murder innocent Israelis”; only that the wall has stopped some of the minority of those who do want to use terror.

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