Protesters at Columbia University, Monday evening disrupted a lecture by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon with chants calling for the elimination of Israel.
- “From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go.“
- “1, 2, 3, 4, occupation no more, 5, 6, 7, 8, Israel is an apartheid state.”
- “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Must Be Free”
What was actually accomplished by protesting and disrupting this event? If the Students for Justice in Palestine & Co want to see their ideas aired, and Danon’s ideas challenged, why not agree to host a debate with pro-Israel students? But SJP’s policy of anti-normalization—non-engagement with Zionists—precludes such an event.
Beyond that though, solving the conflict is not their intention; the only so-called solution these students would accept is a world in which Israel does not exist. Whether they acknowledge it out loud or not, they know this “solution” will never be reached by diplomatic methods—Israel will never sign its own death warrant. So what’s left to do? Cheerlead; disrupt; yell; prove that they’re the loudest.
Being loud and being effective are not synonymous, and in fact, one often comes at the expense of the other. Consider what happened last night. After one of the seven interruptions which Danon stoically endured, he asked the protestors if one cohort might remain in the room for the duration of his speech so that he could hear their questions and debate with them during Q&A. “Maybe you’ll convince me,” he said to them, a grace note that earned laughter from the audience.
Instead of heeding Danon’s request, the protestors continued to scream, chant, and disrupt, and were continually escorted out: noise, not action. CommentaryMag
This is how hate and incitement looks like. pic.twitter.com/9WJDa4vvwE
— Ambassador Danon (@dannydanon) February 14, 2017