I dream of a binational secular democratic state in Israel/Palestine that provides equal rights to all citizens and inhabitants of the Holy Land (Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Christians and Muslims) regardless of ethno-religious affiliation.
I believe that we can and will realize this within our lifetime."
[Emphasis added, here and below]
The words are those of Swarthmore College visiting professor in Peace and Conflict Studies (and class of '06 graduate) Sa'ed Atshan [pictured], quoted in the Summer 2016 Swarthmore College [alumni] Bulletin that I finally got around to reading today, having flicked through the class notes a fortnight or so ago.
"Atshan's most recent foray beyond the ivory tower is the inaugural Swarthmore College Israel/Palestine Study Trip, but he has long worked to build bridges from academia to the front lines of social justice and peace activism. As a graduate student at Harvard, he organized a similar spring break study trip to Israel/Palestine; the program has endured and is in its eighth year. He has also partnered in projects with Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees....'On page 15 is a cross-referenced report by Bulletin managing editor Carrie Compton headed "Trip of a Lifetime". Illustrated, as you can see here, by, respectively, "Rainbow in Jericho; Palestinian potter; Lunch in Hebron; Dome of the Rock", it tells us:
'Over winter break, 19 students from Sa’ed Atshan ’06’s Israeli-Palestinian Conflict class spent 10 days in that region of the Middle East, meeting with top humanitarian figures on all sides of the conflict. The journey was free for the entire class, thanks primarily to funding from an anonymous donor.
Though the trip occurred during a break in the academic year, the students found it as demanding as any other Swarthmore experience.
“They were rigorous, emotionally draining days filled with phenomenal meetings,” says Omri Gal ’19, whose parents are Israelis from Jerusalem. “I can’t even count how many times I’ve been to Israel before this, but this was something else entirely: an all-access, insider’s trip.”
The group’s itinerary swept the region, with stops in Israel and the West Bank: Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Negev, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Hebron. On each day the travelers spoke with about 10 of the area’s most influential peace activists, including Israeli and Palestinian Swarthmore alumni, during meetings that began at 8 a.m. and typically ended around 10 p.m.
“We really got to see every single aspect of the region’s struggles from the conflict zones, which as a tourist, you’d never be able to do,” says Gal. “The vast majority of students came away from the experience with an incredible amount of hope for the situation, because the people we met were so full of strength and resilience.”
“One of the inspirations for this trip was to help students better think about how they can be engaged globally,” says Atshan, “and how they can contribute to the amelioration of suffering and creating a more peaceful and nonviolent world.”
Professor Atshan’s course on the Israel-Palestine conflict is slated again for fall 2016, but funding for another trip has yet to be secured.'So who precisely did fund this trip? Swarthmore? Soros? CAIR? ...
There is a podcast interview here by Joelle Hageboutros of this extremist Swarthmore group with three participants in the trip.
If you can be bothered to listen to this depressing piece of Israel-bashing (the photo below is a clue to the slant) you will notice that Ms Hageboutros states that the trip was organised by Atshan "in conjunction with Boston College and fully funded by Swarthmore" (which conflicts with the information given by Carrie Compton).
The interview shows how much these young participants have been brainwashed by the "peace activists" with whom they came in contact.
Though I suspect, that at least one of the interviewees needed little encouragement to become a "useful idiot".
When they talk of "peace" is it the demise of Israel that they, too, seek? Sadly, I assume so.
The photo at the top shows him at Swarthmore in 2013, visiting from Tufts.
No doubt he had only good things to say about the treatment of gays in Israel compared wiith Arab states, and his audience was duly impressed and appreciative. with the enlightened attitude of the little Jewish State. Huh?
Alas for Dr Atshan's "dream" of a replacement state in which all would live in harmony, tasting and meting out only loving kindness, we don't need a much-vaunted Swarthmore or Ivy League education to work out who, in the kind of state that would inevitably follow his "dream" of the fall of the Zionist Entity, would have reason to fear the sight of cranes and the tops of tall buildings.
Let's hope the kids snap out of their fantasies soon.