Sunday, October 14, 2012

Anna Baltzer at the New School

Guest: Anna Baltzer, author of "A Witness in Palestine" and head of US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, spoke at the New School on "The Jewish American Relationship with Israel at a Crossroads."
The Russell Tribunal was a very good event. Several of the speakers were somewhat dry, but that may reflect what this was supposed to be, a judicial exploration and ruling on the plight of the Palestinians.
For something to stir one's passion, I recommend Saleh Hamayel on Palestinian Sociocide. Also, the film on Operation Cast Lead that was shown during the break on Sunday was hard to get through, but ultimately effective in making one realize the carnage that goes hand in hand with Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
Anna Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein at the Center for Art and Politics (New School) was also well worth attending. Anna was very straightforward and convincing as usual. Finkelstein was just terribly insulting (particularly to Anna), a man on his way to a nervous breakdown. I don't think he is a credible spokesperson for Palestinian rights. His heart is in the preservation of Israel as a Jewish state, and all the rest seems to be a way of somehow achieving that end. He is so against BDS that he insinuated that Anna was an intellectual lightweight and a liar for advocating it. I don't see his usefulness in the movement, although the discussion clarified the trauma that is confronting many Jewish Americans.

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