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campus talk:

"Peace-Now," Meaning "Peace-of-Mind" To Israel?

SLC Students disappointed by a speaker from Americans for Peace Now

Oz Shelach

8 Dec. 2000

I was upset by a talk Mark Rosenblum gave at Sarah Lawrence on December 8. By the pretense for objectivity, by the high handed approach of a man that refuses to acknowledge his own part in the oppression, by astounding remarks he made, like the one about a new generation of young Palestinians that need to be educated about Israel. The man managed to talk for two hours without once using the word 'occupation'.

I asked him some critical questions, and he responded in the same attitude. Pretending to be a supporter of peace, but actually supporting an imposed settlement which one side is forced to sign at gun-point. When I observed, sadly, that Israeli governments only respond to international pressure, and to violent resistance, giving as examples the withdrawl from Lebanon and the Madrid talks, Rosenblum snapped at me: "This is a very selective reading of history," and went on to say that Israel went to Oslo in 1993 of its own free will. This was paticularly hypocritical, because surely Rosenblum is aware of the fact that Israel only went to Oslo after 6 years of Palestinian uprising, the first Intifada.

What Rosenblum really promoted, was the Israeli Labor party line, representative of a large segment among supporters of peace in Israel. A wish not for peace, but for an end to resistance. A wish not to ammend the crime and injustice of the past and the present, but to allow Israel to continue ignoring them. Shut up Palestinians, let us live in peace!

I don't know why this, among so many instances of zionist propaganda upset me so much. Perahps because I felt isolated when I handed out Leaflets for the Not In Our Name action, perhaps because I was exhausted that night. But I was. I actually had a recurring nightmare about it. So you can imagine my relief when I read Leila Darabi's article in the feature section of Sarah Lawrence's weekly newspaper, the Phoenix.