Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not Even at Berkeley

The story of the divestment attempt at Berkeley has been confusing, but apparently the side that should have, lost. Divest this! has been on the story all along, and explains here that in spite of the obfuscations, the divestors really did lose. This would explain why the many reports at Mondoweiss have all been along the lines of "we won by being there". Tom Lehrer once quipped about the Spanish Civil War that "they won all the battles, but we had all the good songs".

Not that there's much about the present topic that resembles the Spanish Civil War, mind you. The naive folks who flocked to Spain to fight on the losing side at least had the decency to be willing to die for their convictions, even as they overlooked the fact that both sides were pretty awful. Compare that to, say, Cecilie Surasky at Mondoweiss: true, she's ecstatically convinced she's part of Something Big, but her gushing makes me think of a 14-year-old.


Gavin said...

Isn't she nauseating, like a child all right. Context is a concept that seems a bit alien to a lot of people but if I could put her comments about Palestinian 'suffering' into context I'd look at places like North Korea.

Couple of years back there was an article in our local 'paper about the North Koreans being smaller in stature than their southern brethren. Upshot of it was that decades of malnutrition had literally stunted the growth of entire generations of Nth Korean children. That is truly horifying, an entire population physically altered by malnutrition, and yet the 'caring' world has said nothing more about it since the report came out. Instead we get stupid cows who haven't grown up meddling in affairs that are really none of their business. It's quite sickening.


Sylvia said...

I feel for Jewish students today in the enlightened western world. The abuse they are having to suffer through is simply horrible.
There is another story involving Britain's Union of Jewish students, who have garnered enough courage to face their Muslim persecutors and ask them to stop. But at what price! They had to "disinvite - and perhaps alienate altogether- one of their rare supporters, just so that the Federation of Muslim students would agree to meet with them.

This is unreal. As someone who attended a 95% Muslim majority high school in an Arab country, I must say I have never experienced anything like it. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

yesterday I listened to one of our most prominent historians telling about his impressive for him experience in the US, how they would politely listen to a man to whom the audience objected most strongly, something that he dearly wished would become a German habit
- this made me think of how Michael Oren was dealt with recently ...
something has changed
- this is no longer business as usual - it feels more and more as if there is a definite and very frightening change of climate - as if the whole model of tolerance and education is about to fail -


AKUS said...

There's something here I don;t understand - pleae explain.

The student representatives can pass a motion that the moon is made of green cheese, or whatever, but it is not they, rather the board and university management that decide how to invest its endowment, surely?

Yaacov said...

Of course, AKUS. I very much doubt even the professors are allowed anywhere near such decisions, for obvious reasons. The whole boycotting thing is straight from never-never-land or somewhere nearby. Still, far more people live in never-never-land than you'd like to know: there, and in la-la-land.

Bryan said...

And, naturally, the student body passing a resolution that the administration would (obviously) ignore could cause significant problems on campuses. Many administrators and the old guard of the faculty are old enough to remember student protests of earlier years, and such protests can be disastrous to a university's image, in addition to possibly shutting down the university temporarily or necessitating police action.

Of course, I still the UCB MSU is a horrible bunch of dishonest dissemblers, and I can only be glad that my university (lovingly dubbed BJew) would never stand for such nonsense.

Sylvia said...

I have faith in the democratic system. True, intolerance has used that very system to show its ugly head. But people value their freedoms above everything else I believe and once they wake up, they'll take action. It might get ugly before it gets better, though.