by Ludwig Watzal
As a former Graduate student of International Relations at the U of Penn I’m appalled by the disinvitation of Chris Hedges, a renowned newspaper correspondent and highly awarded writer, because of his courage to speak out against Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine. Hedges was supposed to speak at a conference in April on prospects of peace in the Middle East on campus.
Usually, a university forum is supposed to be the best place in an open society to discuss theses that don’t make headlines in the mainstream media, especially, when they allude to Israel’s destructive role in the Middle East. In a good article on „truthdig“ , Hedges compared ISIS to Israel. „ISIS, ironically, is perhaps the only example of successful nation-building in the contemporary Middle East, despite the billions of dollars we have squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948. Its tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel. Antagonistic ISIS and Israeli states, infected by religious fundamentalism, would be irreconcilable neighbors. This is a recipe for apocalyptic warfare. We provided the ingredients.“
A leader of the student association, Zachary Michael Belnavis, denounced Hedges, which led to his disinvitation. Hedges was characterized as not „suitable“ as „a co-existence speaker based on this stance he’s taken”. U of Penn is a predominantly Jewish university. Why doesn’t the student association invite the untamed Zionist Alan Dershowitz as a co-speaker? Perhaps this showdown would be a real treat for the audience!
Chris Hedges gave the only possible answer to this empty talk by this Zionist student body: “Being banned from speaking about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, especially at universities, is familiar to anyone who attempts to challenge the narrative of the Israel lobby (…) This is not the first time one of my speaking offers has been revoked and it will not be the last.” The Zionist Lobby is the greatest threat to free speech in the United States of America and worldwide.
Hedges tried to cut his losses admitting that he believes in coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians. He spoke out against violence on both sides and condemned Hamas‘ rocket attacks on Israel as war crimes. He even mentioned the truism of Israel’s right to exist that is required by international law and UN resolutions. If Hamas’s rocket attacks are considered „war crimes“ by Hedges, how would he evaluate the horrific attack and massacre inflicted by the Israel army on the imprisoned and defenseless people of Gaza last summer?
Hedges self-defense seems to confirm the allegations of this informer, but Hedges did not need to justify himself because everything he wrote in the above mentioned article is correct. It seems that there is no remedy against the calumnies of the Zionist lobby, not even the truth.