As Jews and new Trinity parents, my wife and I eagerly anticipated Mr. Peledâ€™s recent presentation on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Hearing a Jewish/peace activistâ€™s perspective sounded like a good way to get a first look at the intellectual environment that the university wants to foster.
We were shocked by what we heard.
Mr. Peledâ€™s positions are extreme/ anti-Semitic and are basically a Hamas recruitment/ fundraising pitch. His rhetoric even prompted me to read the legal precedents that govern this type of speech. (I wondered: if a San Antonio synagogue or the like was harmed in the wake of his hate speech, could Peled be legally responsible? The answer is â€œnoâ€ but not by much; nevertheless the university would have a stain upon itself)
After his talk I thought, â€œIf you wanted to radicalize the Muslims at Trinity, you are off to a good start.â€
The intellectual dishonesty of the evening was profound. It started with how the talk was advertised at Trinity.
â€œIsraeli activistâ€ that, Â ( I paraphrase) proposes a solution that respects human rights for all.
Mr. Peled may be Israeli but his heart lies with Arab extremists. A far more accurate description would have been: â€œPalestinian activist.â€ Never mind his nationality… after all Peled continually made the point that Gaza and the West Bank are not to be differentiated from the State of Israel. I believe the description Â â€œterrorist sympathizerâ€ is also appropriate. In recent speech, Peled couldnâ€™t even agree to condemn Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens that were hitchhiking near the West Bank. Need I say more?
If Mr. Peled had given an analogous pro-Israel talk in Gaza, he would be dead by now (by the hands of Hamas).
And to speak of human rights, remember that this is a conflict between a free and open democracy and a police state. Just this week Hamas publicly executed a dozen or so suspected Israeli collaborators. (I guess their trial is next week). Hamas shows zero tolerance for gays, free speech, womenâ€™s rights and religious minorities. Blow up some Jews (and yourself) in a pizza parlor? Â Earn yourself rock star status in Gaza. They forbid their endangered citizens from heeding the numerous warnings (from Israel I must point out) that precede Israeli military attacks. Children are used as human shields. Yep, these folks are ready to be part of a one state solution (as Peled lobbied for) and to be stewards of democracy and a voice for tolerance.
Every point Peled made is as refutable as it is laughable.
Has Israel been perfect? Of course not. Condemning Israel for not being perfect is right out of the playbook that includes holocaust denial.
A single state? Every consolation the Jews have ever made has been met with terror and violence. (Look at what occurred before the second Infatada, for example). A single open/free democratic state would mean open season on Â Jewsâ€¦by a group whose founding documents speak of the commitment to the destruction of Israel. Incalculable Jewish death would follow a one state solution.
Doesnâ€™t sound much like peace to me, Mr. Peace Â Activist.
Sure, I can handle speakers that donâ€™t have my views, but this level of dishonesty and hate crosses the line of what should be allowed at the university. If Mr. Peled was invited for debate, then it might have been be acceptable, but these moral cowards seldom if ever agree to a factual debate. He took questions, but the format was not debate style (from what I understand based on his past performancesâ€¦we left after the formal presentataion..we had had enough).
Maybe next week Trinity could invite a KKK speaker that has â€œa new plan for American blacksâ€â€¦or the Westboro Baptists could address gay rights in America.
These are PERFECT analogies.
Trinity, shame on you.