By Ted Belman
A few days ago Jerry Gordon reported on recent antisemitic remarks by Sari Nusseibeh, calling him a Terrorist supporter. These remarks appeared in a MEMRI clip. These remarks were no small matter because Nusseibeh is President of Al Quds University in Jerusalem, holds a PhD from Harvard and is Head of the PLO in East Jerusalem.
This story has legs. An exchange of correspondence followed initiated by our friend Ami Isseroff. Particularly read my remarks at the bottom.
Isseroff to MEMRI
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Belman to Isseroff
If Nusseibeh wants to explain, he should..
Why are you interceding for him.
Mort Klein of ZOA recalls the history of extreme remarks in this post yesterday.
Palestinian “Moderate” Sari Nusseibeh: “No Jew” May Live In A Future Palestinian State, Jaffa Should Be Part Of It
ZOA: Cut ties with Nusseibeh and his Al-Quds University
Isseroff refers to this post
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Isseroff to Belman
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Anti-Racist Blog: Exposing Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism on American College Campuses replied
With all due respect, like Ted, I don’t get your defense of Mr. Nusseibeh either. The statements in the video were offensive, as were some of his past statements, which were documented by the ZOA press release, and other articles.
For example, see excerpts from this early 2007 article:
“Even Al Quds University–embraced as the bastion of moderation by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)–engaged in a weeklong celebration this January of the terrorist credited with developing the first suicide belts more than a decade ago. […]
When asked by this journalist about its funding decisions in the West Bank and Gaza, USAID pointed to $2.3 million in assistance provided to Al Quds University. Undermining USAID’s argument that funding the school is wise policy, however, was the weeklong celebration this January of Yahya Ayyash, the Hamas leader known as “the shahid [martyr] engineer.” He is credited with creating the first suicide belts in the mid-1990s and training the next generation of suicide bomb makers.
The school’s celebration of a leading terrorist actually seems to be in line with the beliefs of its leader. The president of Al-Quds University President, Sari Nusseibeh, is widely considered a leading Palestinian moderate–USAID praised him as “one such prominent and respected figure”–yet he, too, celebrates the glories of terrorists.
In an appearance on Al-Jazeera in 2002 with Hamas political bureau chief Khalid Mashaal and the mother of a suicide bomber, Nusseibeh had this to say of the woman who proudly raised a terrorist: “When I hear the words of Umm Nidal, I recall the [Koranic] verse stating that ‘Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.’ All respect is due to this mother; it is due to every Palestinian mother and every female Palestinian who is a Jihad fighter on this land.” (Transcript provided by PMW.)
As Palestinian colleges go, Al-Quds University might well be quite moderate–but that’s the problem. If terrorists are hailed as heroes at the moderate schools, imagine what happens at the more radical ones.”
How We Fund Hamas University
Ami, it seems like you are desperately trying to present this guy as moderate. Why? He doesn’t seem like a moderate, even without the recent video. [..]
Anti-Rascist Blog made some excellent points. I will post any ensuing correspondence in the comment section.
I want to draw a parallel here. Isseroff advocates for both Nusseibeh and the Palestinians in the pursuit of justice.
Isseroff, argues in his defense of Nusseibeh, “It is the right thing to do.” and the Jewish tradition requires us to pursue justice.
In the pursuit of justice which we all want (though we disagree on what constitutes justice), the West has developed a system that assures the best result, namely, an adversarial system with an impartial Judge.
Unfortunate such a Judge does not exist for the ME conflict. Nevertheless the advocates on both sides must present the best case they can. When the Left in Israel, and the Jewish left in general, comes to the defense of the other side i.e. the Arabs, it is either becoming an advocate of the Arabs or it is putting itself in the role of judge. In either case it is subverting justice by subverting the system designed to achieve it over centuries. In effect the Left is undermining the case for our side. Is this the right thing to do?
- “I believe that most people will eventually recognize fairness, and distinguish between fairness and objectivity on the one hand, and various partisan claims on the other.”
It seems to me that this is a dubious proposition. Once again he abandons the system of justice and argues as a tactic that rather than be partisan we should be fair and objective. Once again he attempts to be the judge. Given the media distortions and the spin of the officials elected or otherwise, and the propaganda and lies of the other side, it seems he is embracing a naive belief in the independence or good will of the masses.
Similarly there is a time honoured way to negotiate a settlement. Both sides must want to settle their differences and to make compromises to do so. If one side does not want to compromise but to win, the other side must decide to give in to all demands or to go to court. The Left essentially feel defeated and don’t want to fight any more. They are willing to give in to all demands (almost all). Even when there exists a spirit of compromise, in order to get the best deal one must seek to let the other side make the offer first. Also one must offer as little as possible. The Left do not follow these rules and so they are “taken to the cleaners”.
Our duty is to make the best deal possible. This can only be done if there is a willingness to say “no.”
Our duty is to discredit what the other side says as much as we can and to credit our position as much as we can. That and only that will give us the best shot at justice.