Dersh: "What would Harvard do if right wing students and faculty decided to convene a conference on the topic, 'Are the Palestinians Really a People?' and invited as speakers only hard right academics who answered that question in the negative? Would the provost office help fund such a conference? Would the Kennedy School grant it legitimacy by hosting it? Would the Carr or Weatherhead Center support it?" Harvard's Anti-Israel Hate Fest Demands Scrutiny by Alan Dershowitz | Newsmax
FP: There is no chance such a conference would have even been allowed, let alone supported by the university. Here’s my comment at Martin’s FB page:
The timing is irrelevant, the topic itself and the identity of the organizers and the speakers should have made things clear. Knowing today's academia, part. at Harvard, I would be very surprised if any one was duped, except perhaps self-duping on the conflict, which is rampant. The promptness of the response—failure to withdraw support and funding--should prove whether they were enablers. The fact that a petition was necessary and even so the funding has not withdrawn yet gives you the answer.
Dersh also writes, however: “I hope the issue is never directly put to Harvard, because it would be obnoxious for there to be a conference here on the subject of whether the Palestinians are a real people. They are, and so are the Israelis. The quest for a Palestinian state is a legitimate one, as is the need to preserve Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people…The question regarding the Palestinians was raised by a candidate for President of the United States and has been the subject of debate and controversy in the media and in academic writings. Both subjects are essentially political in nature and both have similarly phony academic veneers.” This is a historical falsehood and the controversy about this is manufactured for political purposes. Academia used to be about truth, but no more.
This falsehood has major responsibility for the current proliferation of events of this sort. Indeed, it was only after Israel conceded the falsehood of a Palestinian people at Oslo that the trend culminating in today’s anti-Semitism and the Arabs’ long-desired Arab one-state solution was initiated. So with all due respect to Dersh, politically correct liberals like him and the Israeli left have, whether they like it or not, contributed to such events.
In fact, organizing the counter conference that Dersh refers to is exactly what he should doin an academia that has totally collapsed. If it’s all about politics, then that’s the response it requires.
Bill Katz: A WARNING TO US
Britain is going broke. And we are making the same mistakes. From London's Telegraph:
The Government 'has run out of money' and cannot afford debt-fuelled tax cuts or extra spending, George Osborne has admitted.
In a stark warning ahead of next month’s Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said there was little the Coalition could do to stimulate the economy.
Mr Osborne made it clear that due to the parlous state of the public finances the best hope for economic growth was to encourage businesses to flourish and hire more workers.
“The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.”
Mr Osborne’s bleak assessment echoes that of Liam Byrne, the former chief secretary to the Treasury, who bluntly joked that Labour had left Britain broke when he exited the Government in 2010.
He left David Laws, his successor, a one-line note saying: “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left."
COMMENT: And we continue borrowing, and dumping one regulation after another on the very industries that need to grow to make the whole economy grow. And around the president are those – they probably spent their junior year abroad – who think the European and British examples are just wonderful, far more civilized than our own way. Why, in Britain they have national health care. At least this week.
FP: I just happened to watch the following video about how the British rich, including cabinet ministers who speechify about “We’re all in this together”, have set up a tax avoidance system for themselves.
I’ve been arguing for a long time that the current decline of the West is fatal and not reversible. This has been the mostly self-induced fate—via corruption, incompetence, ignorance and inability to reason and decadence--of all the dominant civilizations/powers in history, bar none, and it’s now the West’s turn.
Katz, who was a producer for Johnny Carson, commented as follows on the Oscars:
So the Oscars are over. I did get some glimpses between dozes. It wasn't bad, but it was unhappy. These aren't the Oscars that we used to now. Oscar himself, I expect, will be redesigned, to reflect a more third-world perspective. I thought the most important moment of last night's broadcast was the little bit they did bragging about all the countries represented by the nominees. Now, that's fine. Good artistry should be recognized. But...isn't international awards what the Golden Globes are about?
Oscar used to be the quintessentially American awards ceremony. We were celebrating the American film industry, Hollywood, and its often fine work. Yes, of course there were always those from other countries, especially Britain. But no one had any doubts about where Oscar lived. Today we can still talk about a French film industry, a British film industry, and of course the film industry of India. But no one wants to talk about an American film industry. Maybe that's because Hollywood today is basically deal makers and Democratic Party fundraisers.
Not to take anything away from the winners, but I think we've lost something, the American character of the great American movies and the industry that created them. We called it the golden age, and it was buried last night, once and for all. We were politely informed that Hollywood is now "international," or, to use the trendy term, multicultural. An announcer openly speculated about people in foreign lands watching and hoping their citizen would win.
Again, nothing wrong with noting foreign contributions. But the industry that gave us "Battleground" and "Wake Island" and "Sands of Iwo Jima" now gives us a steady diet of anti-American movies, and its executives refer to heartland Americans as "the flyover people."
They've killed the very thing they inherited.
Which is true of the US as a whole (see also next).
“A Separation” is the second Iranian film to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and the first to win • Iranian government gloats about victory over “Zionist regime."
FP: Why do I doubt this was an outcome based on artistic quality? Actually, it almost never is.
PowerLine: Afghanistan: Let’s Get Out
Nearly a year ago, I wrote that I thought it was time to get our troops out of Afghanistan. A remarkable 74% of our readers who voted in our poll agreed with me. Events since then have tended to confirm that we should pull the plug on our military effort.
The latest example is the fiasco over the burning of a few Korans by American troops. The facts surrounding the incident are somewhat murky; apparently a number of books were being used by Taliban prisoners to smuggle messages, and 60 or 70 books were confiscated and destroyed, some of which turned out to be Korans. The Korans’ burning is generally described as “accidental.” I assume that means, not that the destruction was unintended, but that the troops who carried it out did not realize that some of the volumes were Korans–not surprising, since they were not in English.
What we do know for sure is that the response of many Afghans was outrageous. Dozens of people have been killed or wounded, including a number of American servicemen. The ongoing violence illustrates the primitive level of culture in Afghanistan. The country, if it can properly be called such, is hundreds of years behind modern civilization. I don’t think nation-building is always a bad idea, but a certain amount and quality of raw material is required. In Afghanistan, the prerequisites for successful nation-building are absent.
Our initial overthrow of the Taliban at the end of 2001 was absolutely necessary. The Taliban had harbored al Qaeda and collaborated, in effect, in the September 11 attacks. Since then, we have killed large numbers of Taliban. That is a good thing, but the returns are diminishing. When we leave, the Taliban or similar Islamic extremists presumably will take control of portions, at least, of the country. That is a bad thing, obviously, but the same result seems more or less equally likely no matter when our troops depart.
It has never been clear why we can’t use drones, air power and troops stationed reasonably nearby to prevent the Taliban or other extremist groups from setting up extensive training centers that can be used for attacks on the U.S., such as those that existed before September 2001. If such measures are feasible, leaving Afghanistan should not damage our security. And, in any event, if our security depends on Afghanistan becoming a decent society within a lifetime or two, God help us.
Currently, as we noted last month, President Obama seems to be setting up a negotiated “peace” agreement of some sort with a Taliban front group. That, too, is a terrible idea. Let’s not negotiate anything or engage in any pretense; let’s just get out, while killing a few more terrorists on the way to the door.
FP: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were two lethal strategic blunders that, combined with the economic self-destruction set the US on a decline path. Building nations there was a fool’s errand. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is the government the Afghans deserve, just as the Arabs deserve the Islamist regimes they elected.
Debbie Schlussel: HAMAS, Qaeda & Obama On Same Side of Syrian Conflic t, Backing Rebels
HAMAS is now joining Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain in backing the Syrian rebels against Bashar Assad. We’ve seen this same scenario repeat itself in the Middle East several times before. And each time, the HAMAS side prevails over the “winning” side, NOT America. These American “leaders” are morons. And they haven’t learned. It’s like a giant echo chamber throughout theMiddle East . First, all of these morons backed the Egyptian “democracy” protesters. Then, they backed the Libyan rebels. In each case, the result was predictable and the same. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood took over, and it’s more chaotic and repressive than ever under Western ally Mubarak. In Libya, Al-Qaeda-tied extremists took over, and it’s more chaotic and repressive than ever under Qaddafi, with whom America had a no-nukes agreement and a detente.
FP: Exactly right, as I’ve been arguing.