Boston University's Islamophobic Pro-Israeli Conference - by Stephen Lendman
A personal note. I grew up in Boston from the mid-1930s - mid-1950s through college. Then after military service and summer courses at BU, out-of-town grad school followed in the fall.
It was a different time, good and bad. Eisenhower was still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Most years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low. The average new car cost $1,500, a typical home under $10,000. College was affordable. Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. During the period, anyone could attend evenings at $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about $175, the way my mother did it, graduating with me in the same class, the first ever mother and son to do it.
America was unchallenged economically, its manufacturing base offering high paying/good benefits jobs. Union representation was high. The South and US northern cities were segregated. They still are, all 1960s civil rights gains lost plus most good jobs and benefits. Alaska and Hawaii additions grew America to 50 states.
The Korean War left an unsettled armistice. Cold War politics settled in. Developing "mutually assured destruction (MAD)" and accommodation prevented WW III. Censure ruined Joe McCarthy, and by May 1957 he was dead at age 48. The CIA's first coup deposed Iran's Mohammad Mosaddegh. A generation of terror followed. A year later, another toppled Guatemala's Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, fueling decades of genocide against its indigenous peoples.
Throughout the decade, few followed Vietnam events, its defeat of France, America's growing involvement, what became three decades of war. Palestinian Territories weren't occupied, and during the period Israel was young, growing, but mostly out of the news and public mind. With today's one-sided Western support, times indeed have changed, for the worse, not better, including in academia.
For example, noted professors like Norman Finkelstein, Joel Kovel and Canada's Denis Rancourt, among others, lost jobs for supporting Palestine, universities tolerating no Israeli opposition no matter how justified. Moreover, Zionized Yale, among other activities and curricula studies, has an Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) at a time evidence shows it at a historic low.
Nonetheless, it holds regular seminars and conferences, including last August for three days on campus, featuring pro-Israeli zealots, omitting Palestinian supporters, and letting hatemongers rail on topics like radical Islam, genocidal antisemitism, the Iranian threat, and much more throughout a 72 hour hatefest.
Boston University's (BU) Pro-Israeli Conference
Not to be outdone, on October 10 and 11, BU hosted its own. Sponsored by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a Boston-based pro-Israeli media lobby, it bogusly claims to be "non-partisan....regard(ing)....American or Israeli political issues, (taking no position) regard(ing)....ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict."
In fact, by shamelessly supporting Israel, it monitors media reports globally for one purpose - to combat all "anti-Israeli bias." CAMERA tolerates none, no matter how justified, targeting journalists, editors, producers and publishers, demanding "distorted or inaccurate coverage" be retracted and replaced by "factual information to refute errors." For CAMERA, it means uncompromising Israeli support, or be hounded, condemned or replaced. With considerable funding and thousands of members, it has plenty of lethal firepower and no reluctance to use it ruthlessly.
Its conference theme was "War By Other Means: The Global Campaign to Delegitimize Israel," referring to growing initiatives like the Global BDS Movement, the International and Palestine Solidarity Movements, and others. They're gaining strength after incidents like Cast Lead, the May Gaza Flotilla massacre, the Gaza siege and isolation of Palestine's legitimate Hamas government, and daily assaults against Palestinian civilians - unpunished crimes of war and against humanity by any standard.
With global outrage growing, CAMERA says "Israel faces a convergence of global forces that may undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the world community." So it sponsored a two day conference, featuring notorious pro-Israeli Islamophobes and other extremists, spreading hate-filled propaganda for the price of admission - $50 per day or a flat $25 for students, those helping out attending free, including lunches. What a deal to be indoctrinated free of charge.
CAMERA and twenty other organizations co-sponsored the event, including campus Hillels, Hadassah, local synagogues, the Israeli New England consulate, and Zionist Organization of America, the oldest and one of largest US pro-Israeli groups with over 30,000 members throughout the country - a coalition of pro-Israeli zealotry, intolerant of opposing views.
CAMERA's Speaker Lineup from Hell
Beginning early on Sunday, October 10, Maxine Wolf and Rabbi Joseph Polak delivered opening remarks. Wolf is a member of CAMERA's executive board, Polak a BU-based Hillel director.