Wednesday’s talk by Mitchell G. Bard

Wednesday night I went to the CC Theater to hear Mr. Mitchell G. Bard speak on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call him racist, he was clearly biased, and prepared to say anything to further his cause. He was simplistic in his definitions, saying there was a consensus on the words “Zionism” and “jihad”. He emphasized graphic stories of suicide bombings, leaving numbers (which show how one-sided the killing is) out of it. He referred to “the propaganda campaign perpetrated by President Bush and CNN on behalf of Islam.” Why would we support Israel while propagandizing for its enemies? When I asked Mr. Bard the reason most of the world supports our current war in Afghanistan, but nobody stands by us in support of Israel, he said “Europeans only care about one thing: money.” Ridiculous! As if Americans have a monopoly on freedom and justice, and cared nothing for money. This merely illustrated his willingness to say anything, no matter how outrageous. I expressed my distaste for his bigotry and jingoism by leaving in the middle of his response. Perhaps worst of all, he implied that the Israeli people themselves were united in their policy towards the Palestinians. In fact, Israel continues its occupation based on a thin majority in the Knesset and the populace. Only once did he mention the 111 officers and soldiers of the IDF who refused to serve in the occupied territories, saying they “were issued commands … that had nothing to do with the security of our country, and [had] the sole purpose of perpetuating our control … in order to dominate, expel, starve, and humiliate an entire people”. In response he asks, obviously trying his best to portray Arabs as sadistic killers, “where are the Palestinians who refuse to fight?” Exactly, Mr. Bard, exactly.Peter BarendseContinuing Education student