Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
I did have a chance to talk with people directly familiar with the SFSU peace rally. Additionally, The Jewish Bulletin provided expanded coverage of the email that generated so much discussion.
I rather liked the Bulletin’s coverage. It makes no apology that it has a bias — it is a Jewish publication. However, within that framework, it seems to go out of its way to present the facts. That has earned my respect and it is a publication I will pay close attention to.
From my understanding, there was unwarranted ugliness, and difficulties associated with the counter-demonstration:
Sophomore Dikla Tuchman, an organizer of the pro-Israel rally, said she and others in her group were cleaning up and saying their goodbyes when the event was “sabotaged” by pro-Palestinians, armed with whistles and bullhorns. Although the rally had ended at 1:30 p.m., Hillel had reserved the campus space until 2 p.m., so “it was still our time” when the pro-Palestinians demanded that the Jewish students clear out, she said.
However, it would seem as if the events weren’t quite as “drastic” as was originally reported:
The conversation was getting heated on both sides,” explained Polidora (SFSU Public Relations Director). “Our goal was to keep everybody safe.”
But Polidora also pointed out that much of what happened is based on perception. “Everyone has a unique perspective depending on where they’re coming from,” she said. “Everyone saw it differently.”
Ultimately, the focus about this event should have been about the positive aspects of the rally:
Cohen (International Hillel’s senior consultant) said he was personally disappointed that the controversy undermines the fact that throughout 90 percent of the day, “this was the most successful rally for peace in Israel at SFSU for years.”
Anti-Semitism is not to be tolerated — I may not agree with the Bulletin’s unqualified support for Isreali policies, but I can agree with it’s battle against anti-Semitism. And based on this, I plan on attending as many of these events as possible in this area, in order to fight anti-Semitism. However, this does not change my viewpoint on the policies inacted in the Middle East — it only reflects what I’ve known and felt all along: that all racism and bigotry, including anti-Semitism is wrong, and to be stopped wherever it occurs.
I’ve also sent the link to the Bulletin’s article to Mike Sanders, Meryl Yourish, and Glenn Reynolds. Considering that the article was written by people who were there and directly involved, I would think that they would be interested in hearing what it says.
I do ask that my interest in finding the truth about this event not be misrepresented. At most I ask you to write that I sought the truth. And printed it when I found it.
End of story.