Re-Orientation

Two Sides, One Waste of Time

March 09, 2012

Yes, I know it’s a little late to comment on the One-State Conference. By now everyone from your roommate to the Israeli ambassador has added his or her voice to the cacophony. So if you want to stop here, that’s fine—trust me, I get it. But the topic is worth discussing at least one more time because, with the benefit of hindsight, it has become evident that while the debate surrounding the conference taught us little, the character of the debate taught us everything.

Being six thousand miles away prevented my attending the conference, so I will give the conference the benefit of the doubt and assume it rose above the destructive rhetoric used by its organizers on this page. Most of the debate on the conference revolved around two subjects: anti-Semitism and free speech. The Harvard Crimson Editorial Board and Harvard Students for Israel excellently explained those two issues in relation to the conference. However, these two issues are really peripheral to the main lesson from the conference’s hubbub—academia is a destructive force in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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