Tuesday, February 21, 2006



Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 13:35:54 -0700

The Conference: www.palestinesolidaritymovement.org

I and my JDL brothers along with approximately 100 general supporters, Holcaust Survivors, and Russian Refuseniks attended this conference in order to protest, disrupt, and educate the attendees to distinguish between lies and truth about Jewish activity in the Land of Israel and the history of Jews in the Middle East since 1880. We were successful in interfering with several of their seminars, and got the cameras and microphones off the speakers and on us many times. PBS was there filming a documentary which will be shown in about 8-10 months. The rhetoric was vile, and the University behaved horribly toward us. They used excessive force to remove one of us (a 65 year old man with a cane and a heart condition) who demanded a straight yes or no answer on whether the panel would condemn homicide bombers. I was banned from attending press events Sunday even though I had bona fide press credentials because I also had a paid-for participant pass. I was free-lancing for a local paper. The vice-president for communications of the school Eric Smollson refused to explain his decision and brushed me off with a rude “have your publisher call me Monday.” His eyes burned with hatred. I was also banned from sessions Sunday because I was seen distributing Israeli flags to the Survivors and Refuseniks who were so proud and pleased to see Jews standing up to the Wahabist agents. Some had tears in their eyes. A young Jewish female student ran to us crying thanking us for our presence because the Nuturei Karta had been so hateful to her as she merely walked through campus and asked who they were.

To tell you the truth, the University Administration, in its heavy handed and unexplained expulsion of Jewish protestors who merely yelled out remarks, were worse to deal with than the Muslim students. Most of the participants and organizers were outside provocateurs, communists, and anarchists. Palestinian Solidarity of New Jersey had a Palestinian flag with a bloody fist adorning its table. The group was giving away lapel pins which included an AK47, AK47 in a raised hand, and red stars with a hammer and sickle. When I asked the young Caucasian nebbish whether he realized his heroes are happy to die for the cause and whether he was ready to do so as well, given his symbols of death and mayhem, he ignored me and looked at the floor. Nobody would even begin to discuss with me how Israel had been selected for boycotts and divestment efforts for alleged human rights violations over all of the other states who sponsor them such as most Muslim nations which condone honor killings of rape victims, stonings of adulteresses but pats on the backs of adulterers, denying women the right to vote and drive cars, and so on. They were utterly baffled as to why “Palestinians” living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt as refugees were denied the right to vote in the PA elections. Neither could they explain to me why the Jew is so vile and offensive that he cannot visit much less live in 22 Moslem countries and should be removed from our very holy Judea and Samaria. It was reassuring and not surprising to keep in mind that not a single college or university in the U.S. had been swayed by the divestment efforts over the past few years despite the heart rending but intellectually dishonest comparisons of Israel with apartheid South Africa. Noting that Caterpillar, the manufacturer of tractors used to destroy terrorist hide-outs and the subject of the sponsor’s boycott had a record year in 2005 with its stock skyrocketing. I asked the secondary boycott table to give me a list of the other companies they are boycotting so that I could better invest for my retirement. ISM founder and self-loathing Jew of the year for 2 years running denied his identity with a smirk to avoid conversing with JDL while his and ISM co-founder wife Heidi (Huwaida) Arraf spoke about supporting “Palestinian Resistance to Occupation: Volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement.” Abraham "Abe" Greenhouse, chairman of the central New Jersey branch of "Jews Against the Occupation," had the bad fortune of having his table next to that of the JDL. He was repeatedly informed that it was very bad form to have tossed a pie in the face of Anatoly Sharansky right before he was about to address a crowd of students at Rutgers University a year ago.

Very few people young enough to be undergraduate students were seen anywhere at the event. In fact, at Shabbat dinner, the Hillel students told us that they had a generally good relationship with Muslim students on campus and felt that outside troublemakers had come in to stir things up. They told us that there were no incidents of anti-Semitism or disrespect to Muslims. On the other hand, a strong turnout of George Washington University, American University, and University of Maryland Students were there to protest the Hoya event. I was screamed at by one Caucasian woman of about 30 holding a baby (neither a student) who accused me of being a racist pig and the JDL of being a listed terror organization which had murdered people. As to the personal charges, I calmly complained that she didn’t even know me and should talk with me if she’d like to know what I am. As to the JDL points, I explained that she was misinformed and seemed to be yelling out of an irrational fear or hatred of Jews who have big mouths. I got the same treatment from featured speaker Alison Weir. I asked her if she would dialogue with me or had to lecture me. She insisted that she had to lecture me and then took extreme close-up pictures in my face until I called security. Ms. Weir is a contributing writer to David Duke’s website with a history of spewing Jew and Israel hatred. There was one pathetic youngster of Middle Eastern lineage who complained bitterly in one session that she had been banned from her paper at the University of Cincinnati based on her race. When asked what she had written for them, she proudly announced a very scholarly piece deny the Holocaust. Oy! There was also a session in which attendees were taught how to use the Birthright Israel program (intended to pay for the first trip to Israel of a Jewish youngster) to get free airfare to the Land of Israel and then to break away from the group to join up with the ISM and other Israel haters in terror strongholds in places like Ramallah and Shchem.

The school was in the grips of terror over losing Saudi money to tolerate free speech expressed by Jews. The vice president of communications, vice president for public safety, and vice president for student affairs were constantly shadowing us with a cadre of campus police. Although the event was justified based on values of free speech, Jews were physically prevented from participating. I violated not a single rule of conduct and hadn’t even interrupted a speaker when I was banned for the aforementioned flag distribution. Large, muscle-bound campus security blocked me from entering the building, one of whom had no name tag and would not give me his name. They were twitching to bust heads and had been very poorly prepared to deal with articulate and law abiding protesters. Let’s add another event which should Never Happen Again. Never Again should any educational institution in the U.S. host such an anti-Semitic terror conference.

Matthew S. Finberg

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