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COLUMN EIGHTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

AN E FROM CHINA

Subject: Re: HOW ARE YOU?
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 15:52:11 폍 (CST)
From: wenca@mail.sc.cninfo.net 
To: al aronowitz info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

Hi dear Al , 

Glad to hear fromm you, how are you getting along , and miss you and Ida very much . 

I had an five week academic trip to Canada in May last year invited by Canadian Embassy in Beijing and also i
had 2 month's academic trip in Hong Kong University from 12, 2002-- 2 , 2003 , and now am at Chengdu with new semester . I am all right with both my teaching and beat studies----edited the first Chinese edition X-rays America : Ginsberg Forum , a critical essays collections on Allen , also mu own collection of beat studies over years ---the two volumes were published 2002 .My project in HK is The Beat Generation and Eastern Religion -- I am to write books on Beats in the years to come . 

Sorry for not sending you Christmas greetings while I was in HK . WE are very much concerned about the War against Iraq from Bush adminisration, you are right to say that way , i am sure Allen would seand up against Bush's policy as he did in '60s against The War in Vietnam . It is hard to predict the future---what happens to the world if the war breaks out ,I am afraid --- America will not be as safe as it can
hope for its potential enemies. Islamic world and other places would take all means to revenge , How is the
general attitude for Americans at this moment " 

WE are watching what would happen for that matter.  However, hoping you and Ida all right in everything. 

Tell me something about you and Ida , Keep contact and all the best wishes from Chu-an  ##

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PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANS FEEL ENDANGERED

Subject: Fwd: article/letter for publication
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 16:46:47 -0800
From: Abe Ata awa@clyde.its.unimelb.edu.au 
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

Exodus of the Palestinian Christians 

The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established, there were about 400000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80000. Now it�s down to 60000. At that
rate, in a few years there will be none of us left. Palestinian Christians within Israel fare little better. On the face of it, their number has grown by 20000 since 1991. But this is misleading, for the census classification "Christian" includes some 20000 recent non-Arab migrants from the former Soviet Union. So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland? 

We have lost hope, that's why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget. I refer, of course, to the American Religious Right. They see the modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to Paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to Hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel. Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian Right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one; or the Israeli Right for accepting their offer. What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians.

Apparently we don't enter into anyone's calculations. The views of the Israeli Right are well known: they want us gone. Less well known are the views of the American Religious Right. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) said: "God Appeared to Abraham and said: 'I am giving you this land,' the West Bank. This is not a political
battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true." 

House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) was even more forthright: "I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank. I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave." 

There is a phrase for this. Ethnic cleansing. So why do American Christians stand by while their leaders advocate the expulsion of fellow Christians? Could it be that they do not know that the Holy Land has been a home to Christians since, well---since Christ? 

Do not think I am asking for special treatment for Christians. Ethnic cleansing is evil whoever does it and to whomever it is done. Palestinian Christians, Maronite Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Armenians, Baptists,
Copts and Assyrians have been rubbing shoulders with each other and with other religions---Muslims, Jews, Druze and (most recently) Baha'is for centuries. We want to do so for centuries more. But we can't if we are
driven out by despair. 

What we seek is support material, moral, political and spiritual. As Palestinians we grieve for what we have lost, and few people (the Ashkenazi Jews are one) have lost more than us. But grief can be assuaged by the fellowship of friends. 

(Signed: Prof. Abe W. Ata, a 9th generation Christian Palestinian born in Bethlehem. He is the author of 11 books including "Intermarriage between Christians and Muslims : the case of the West Bank"  (Melbourne, David Lovell Publ. 2000)
a.ata@asian.unimelb.edu.au
   ##

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AMIRI BARAKA AT YALE

Subject: Fwd: FW: Antisemitism at Yale
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 17:41:08 -0500
From: KhunRum@aol.com 
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com 

Despicable carrying on by that Lee Roi Jones feller at George Dubya's alma mater..for shame! And them Yankees criticize Texas.


Subject: FW: Antisemitism at Yale
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 14:44:48 -0600
From: "Hoffman, Alan, M. D." AHoffman@tmh.tmc.edu 

FYI to Christians - Hillel is a Jewish organization for college students. I sure hope if this every happened around here you'd all be writing protest letters. This is a repeat of antisemitic history that the Jews shouldn't have to fight against alone. More and more college campuses are having this kind of problems (even with faculty members). It's a repeat of Germany in the 1930's and must never be tolerated. Our kids (both Jewish and Christian) need to know how to organize coalitions to counter this evil. 
Posy

------ HF: HILLEL-FACULTY ------- 
campus-level Jewish issues &views 

Ranting Poet's Visit Makes For a Disturbing Week at Yale 

By James Kirchick, Forward, March 7, 2003 

As Yale Daily News columnist Eli Muller put it last Friday, "It has been an unpleasant week to be Jewish at Yale." 

The trouble started when the university's Afro-American Cultural Center decided to host controversial poet Amiri Baraka for a reading and discussion of his poem, "Somebody Blew Up America." In that now infamous work, the poet laureate of New Jersey suggested that Israel had prior knowledge of the September 11 terrorist attacks and warned 4,000 of its citizens not to show up to work in the World Trade Center that day. (Interestingly, he doesn't have an answer for why some Israelis and other Jews died on 9-11.) 

Here at Yale, the Jewish community on campus reacted with panic and downright anger to news of Baraka's invitation. Why would the African-American community invite such a hatemonger to campus? How could we respond effectively without appearing to be advocating censorship? What would this event do to black-Jewish relations on campus? 

All weekend before the February 24 event, the Yale Friends of Israel e-mail list was more active than ever before, with all sorts of protest strategies being offered up by students. Yet despite objections from Hillel, Jewish students and concerned alumni, the African-American center decided to proceed with Baraka. 

As a columnist for the Yale Daily News, I attended the Amiri Baraka affair, and it was one of the most disturbing events in my entire life. It was not Baraka's ranting that upset me most. Having read his work, I was thoroughly prepared for whatever was bound to come out of his mouth. 

What shocked me was the response he received from my fellow Yale students. As he offered "evidence" of Israeli foreknowledge of the World Trade Center attacks, many Yale students vigorously nodded their heads in approval and erupted into cheering. At the end of the event, the crowd leapt to its feet to give the poet a rousing standing ovation. (How quickly they've forgotten that the Jews helped them so much in the 1960's to gain their civil rights.)

Midway through his diatribe, Baraka spotted my skeptical expression. He loudly declared that I had "constipation of the face," and thus required a "brain enema." 

An avowed communist, Baraka drew laughs from the crowd when he affectionately quoted Mao Tse-tung on the topic of public integrity. 

"No investigation, no right to speak," he chanted. The audience loudly joined him in unison, repeating the words of a Chinese dictator responsible for the deaths of millions of his own people. 

After Baraka's talk, one Yale professor lamented that so many students from his alma mater had just been "applauding falsehoods at a university." 

"It is confining rather than liberating for students," the professor said. "It is anti-educational." 

Baraka may have been greeted with thunderous ovations at the event, but the opinion page of the Yale Daily News greeted Baraka with a stirring condemnation of his presence on campus. The editorial board lashed out at the African-American center in a piece titled, "Baraka's Hate Speech Has No Place at Yale." In an opinion essay, junior Michael Anastasio dismissed Baraka as "a man who deserves no attention at all." Jewish Chaplain Rabbi James Ponet and University Chaplain Jerry Streets,  himself black, raised their concern about Baraka's invective in a letter to the editor. 

But the war of words had just begun. 

The day after Baraka's speech, the Yale Daily News ran an opinion article by Pamela George, assistant dean of Yale College and director of the Afro-American Cultural Center. In her essay, which she had already e-mailed a day earlier to those who objected to the poet's visit, she conflated criticism of the Baraka invitation with censorship: "The Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale and the Black Student Alliance at Yale declare their belief in the importance of free speech as a fundamental tenet of the university." 

George did not stop with her criticism of those who protested the decision to invite Baraka. She also accused Jewish students of hosting a racist speaker of their own. 

"When an invitation was extended from a residential college at Yale to a former Israeli general and soldier it seemed appropriate that it be protested," George wrote, referring to Yoni Fighel, who was brought to campus by the Anti-Defamation League and a professor for a November event. "It was appalling to hear students share anti-Palestinian remarks at a tea with Yoni Fighel." 

As it turned out, George did not attend the Fighel talk that she so authoritatively railed against. Still, she saw fit to compare an Israeli counter-terrorism expert to a man who has written, "I got the/extermination blues, jewboys, i got/the hitler syndrome figured." I did attend the address by Fighel, who was directly involved in the 
implementation of the Oslo accords, and nothing that he said could even be remotely construed as racist. It is worth noting that George only raised the claim of racism after she and the Black Student Alliance were confronted about their own decision to invite Baraka. 

What has been most frustrating for myself and other Jewish students is the task of convincing our non-Jewish colleagues that Baraka's conspiracy theories rise above the level of mere criticism of Israel, and into the territory of antisemitic blood libel. 

Many non-Jews on campus have merely brushed the whole affair off as the paranoid overreaction of the Jewish community to an irrelevant ignoramus. 

As if the appalling display of support that Baraka received was not enough to alarm the Jewish community, a column appearing two days later in the Yale Daily News sealed the deal. Senior Sahm Adrangi ominously wrote that "the Baraka controversy isn't really about free speech. It's about how special interests manipulate the public discourse to advance their agendas." 

Adrangi did Baraka's bidding by attacking one of his most vocal critics, the ADL, naively labeling it as, "the Zionist group who ought to stick 'Israeli' in front of its name (when was the last time it condemned defamation of Muslims and Arab-Americans?)." 

This week, the ADL's national director, Abraham Foxman, fired back with his own essay in the Yale student newspaper, blasting Baraka and Adrangi. Foxman also noted that his organization regularly condemns acts of
discrimination against Muslims. 

By the time Foxman's article arrived, Jewish students were already in a tizzy over Adrangi's charges. Even during a nasty and protracted battle last semester against the divestment movement, such unabashedly antisemitic sentiments did not bubble up in the halls or cafeterias, never mind on the enlightened pages of the nation's oldest college daily. 

An emergency meeting was convened the same day that Adrangi's article came out at the Slifka Center for Jewish Life. Jewish students engaged in an emotional and at times contentious debate about what to do regarding not only Adrangi's column, but the future of black-Jewish relations on campus. While plans for future action remain murky, the general sentiment seemed strongly opposed to calling for George's resignation, instead favoring unconditional reconciliation with Yale's Black Student Alliance. 

As of now, Yale's tightly knit Jewish community is in a state of confusion. Mitchell Webber, a senior heading off to law school next fall, represents one of the more aggressive viewpoints. Following the Hillel meeting, he asked, "What good is a community that refuses to stand up for itself? I just need to keep reminding myself that Yale's Jewish community isn't representative of American Jews at large." 

[Akiba Covitz of the University of Richmond sent this in.] 

HF: HILLEL-FACULTY Commentary and discussion for university/college *Jewish* faculty/staff  ##

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I'M APPRECIATED IN HAWAII

Subject: You are appreciated
Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2003 09:59:27 -1000
From: "Roger Sussman, Sussman Communications" rajsuss@hawaii.rr.com
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com  

Aloha Al-

I have been reading your journals online recently, having happened upon them, which was a valuable discovery.

You sound like a good person.

I had seen your name around for years.

I hope this finds you well amidst all the very crazy shit flying around in this sad world.

I enjoy your stories, and the sense of interconnectedness they demonstrate has been so present in your life. I, too, have felt that way much of the time in my life, and have always much enjoyed that feeling of serendipity.

I live with my wife River and our three boys on the wet side of Maui. .  . I'm a nut, but I'm a nice and good nut, hanging in.

Onward...

Maybe one of these days you will have a reason to be here on island.

Aloha,

Roger Sussman
Haiku, Hawaii  ##

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