Tuesday, December 28, 2004

One-way dialogue 

Powerline reports on an article in Commentary this month on the Palestinian Solidarity Movement conference at Duke University. PSM has been known to be, um, less than agnostic about terrorist attacks in Israel, with one of its organizers confessing a desire to "strap a bomb to his chest and kill those Zionist racists," and another to openly support the intifada.

None of this was of concern to Duke president Richard Brodhead. He found the decision to host the pro-terror organization to be "an easy one" given "the importance of the principle free expression." It is true that after the PSM's statements and deeds were spelled out in detail for Brodhead, he modified his position. Now the "deepest" reason for hosting the conference was no longer free speech, but "the principle of education through dialogue."

The dialogue, as Adler and Langer show, was a one-sided and darkly anti-Semitic affair. Keynote speaker Mazin Qumsiyeh (a Yale professor of genetics) presented a short history of the virulent Zionist "disease." Israel was pronounced "racist" and a greater abuser of human rights than South Africa in the days of apartheid. One speaker defended the terrorist acivities of Hamas. At a workshop, Huweida Arraf of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) urged students to join her group, which she acknowledged cooperates with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and offered them tips on how to enter Israel surreptitiously. Thus, in the name of dialogue, did Duke University assist in the recruitment of accomplices to terrorism.

Duke's own coverage lauds the fact that the conference went off peacefully. As if that were the only issue. One wonders how much additional "dialogue" has occured since then.