Moreover, is it appropriate for a coalition that was created expressly for promoting Israel's defense at a time when the press and campus radicals were undermining it with disinformation and out-of-context stories, to pay to bring in speakers who, echo the same distortions the group was founded to oppose?First things first: the UPZ paid to bring in the soldiers from "Breaking the Silence"? As far as I know, BTS didn't get a penny from the UPZ. At best, they received some coke and pretzels. The UPZ student activists put up some posters and made some arrangements. Like any NGO, BTS solicits funds from foundations, etc. Nobody paid to bring them to the US. What was Tobin referring to when he mentioned "distortions" and "out-of-context-stories"? . He gives no examples. Yehuda Shaul told the story of how when he was on patrol in Hebron, and a football match was on television, and his unit wanted to see the match, they walked into a Palestinian house, kicked the family upstairs, and sat around watching the tv in the family's living room. A minor event, surely, nothing to be compared with Darfur. Just one of tens of thousands little humiliations that have been happening for almost forty years. But according to Mr. Tobin, what that story lacked was "context". Well, here's the context: soldiers, civilians, and a forty-year occupation. Or consider this testimony on the website shovrimshtikah.org
Name: *** Rank: First Sergeant Unit: Battalion 50, Nachal Infantry Unit Place of incident: Hebron Date: 3 weeks after the beginning of Operation Defensive Shield. Battalion 50 took over the city of Hebron about four months before “Homat Magen” (Operation Defensive Shield). At this time it was to be replaced by Nachal Battalion 932. The changeover started in stages and my company of March 2001 was the first to leave the front. We were replaced by the parallel unit. We went out on regular leave during which time we were called back to participate in Operation Shield. The rest of the battalion stayed on in Hebron and that is how we found ourselves with unit 932 while the rest of our company remained with 932 in Hebron. After three weeks we exchanged in order to reserve our original organization. Two or three days after we had returned, I went to the “pharmacy” post, (it was near a pharmacy…hence called the pharmacy post) that was next to the Bus parking lot beside the open lot beside the tomb of the Patriarchs. As part of the procedures, we would go up to the roof of the building in order to watch tover the roads coming into the crossroad. While going up to the watch, I noticed that one door was broken into and I remembered that it hadn’t been like that when we had left…. We opened the door and viewed a horrific sight!!!...The place was a doctor’s clinic and what we saw were wooden doors that had been completely smashed and glass showcases had been destroyed. Syringes scattered all about, along with documents, drawers that had been upended and smashed, and the worst was the used toilet paper scattered about and two piles of shit in the middle of the mess….Now I am sure that Tobin is a decent man. So I would like him to explain to me what is the context that explains, if not justifies, the IDF soldiers destroying a doctor's clinic and leaving excrement? I would really like him to hear him say, "Well, smashing up a doctor's office and leaving excrement is an indefensible act, but there is no moral equivalency between that and suicide bombing." Because if that's what he means by "context"; if he thinks that suicide bombing explains the reaction of the soldiers, then he is an apologist for war crimes. The defenders of terrorism also talk about "context" and "understanding." I can guarantee to you that no soldier watching the game thought, "I am so upset at this Palestinian family for not publicly condemning their suicide bombers that I am kicking them out of their living room. Let them hear the game on the radio." Bottom line, though -- Tobin is right. Who needs an ideological-watchdog umbrella on campus? Only paternalistic alte kakkers who are scared to let yinge kakkers think for themselves.