The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Monday, September 24, 2007

Another Ahmadinejad and Columbia J-blog Post?

Iran Hostage 1979
Ahmadinejad with American hostage in Tehran, 1979 (source)

Just to add my thoughts to the subject . . .

The IgNoble Experiment has a great post on the subject, as well as a round up of other posts, that can be found here.

In the general, I would sum up my feelings by saying that the right to the free exchange of ideas does not apply here -To debate is to give validity to the other side . . . The hate spewed by the Persian Preacher is not worthy of validation. This does not mean that he is not a real or present threat, but rather that his rhetoric remains purely that -rhetoric of a charismatic politician, not fact worthy of intellectual debate.

But the focus of my post is on something different . . .

In an Msnbc article on Mr. A's speech in Columbia, it said:

Thousands of people jammed two blocks of 47th Street across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York. Organizers claimed a turnout of tens of thousands. Police did not immediately have a crowd estimate. The speakers, most of them politicians and officials from Jewish organizations, proclaimed their support for Israel and criticized the Iranian leader for his remarks questioning the Holocaust.

“We’re here today to send a message that there is never a reason to give a hatemonger an open stage,” New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. Protesters also assembled at Columbia. Dozens stood near the lecture hall where Ahmadinejad was scheduled to speak, linking arms and singing traditional Jewish folk songs about peace and brotherhood, while nearby a two-person band played “You Are My Sunshine.” Signs in the crowd displayed a range of messages, including one that read “We refuse to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and American imperialism.”

While I'm always for open acts of Jewish pride and unity, this case being no exception, I wonder if it is to our general benefit to present the Iranian Issue as a 'Jewish' problem. Is he a potential threat to the Jewish people and to Israel (G-d forbid)? Yes. But a threat to Israel or the Jewish people is not strictly a 'Jewish' Issue . . . It is a world issue. So much more so when Iran does more then dabble in anti-western sentiments.

When we come out to protest, if the media pictures it as an issue bothering Jews, then the world views it as strictly a Jewish issue . . . making room for the dismissal of a very important issue as another case of the Jews complaining.

Just a few randoms thoughts on a serious political issue posted on an only slightly political blog.

In other news:
I'm back in LA.

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Irina Tsukerman said...

Thanks for the link!

I think you make an excellent point about that... Most of the people from my university that I knew were going to the demonstration were Jewish. I think perhaps Jews tend to perceive Iran as more of a threat in general, because their awareness of what threatens Israel also sheds light on what can happen to the West in general. I don't want to make generalizations, but I think many non-Jews don't feel they have as much of a stake in the Middle East, and thus tend to take the developments there less to heart, unless it touches them personally somehow.

Mottel said...

We are more aware because of our past experiences and our connection to the place . . . But we need to make sure that others realize that it is a global issue that is pertinent to all.

Alex said...

Ed Koch, former mayor of NYC, had something similar to say in an article (at Excerpt:

"I am also distressed that the heart of Bollinger's objections related to Israel and Ahmadinejad's call for its destruction. Of course, that is important, especially to Jews and certainly to me, and to the world as well. But I would have preferred a question on Ahmadinejad's call for the destruction of the United States. Bollinger could have said, "with respect to the U.S., shortly after your election in October 2005, you called for a global jihad aimed at destroying the U.S., saying 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' You went on to say, 'You should know that this slogan can certainly be achieved.'" Bollinger, a Jew himself, gave Ahmadinejad ammunition to be used among Islamic supporters that the battle at Columbia was primarily a battle between Islam and the Jews, and Ahmadinejad had bravely stood up to the mocking of the Jewish Bollinger."

Mottel said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing Alex.