Monday, January 12, 2004

Stanford Columnist compares Israel to KKK in criticising CampusTruth ads
The ads can be viewed here. The criticism by Sheba Najmi can be viewed here.

A little background. Campust truth ran a series of ads at Stanford about the Israel - Palestine conflict that were eye catching to say the least. Much criticism has been focused by several interest groups on the editorial board for allowing the ads to run, basically on the basis that the ads were misleading and told only half the story. This column is part of a general criticism of the decision to allow the ads.

The key quote is at the end
The important question is: Where does the editor in chief draw the line? If a hate-based organization such as the KKK wrote a sensationalistic ad listing only negative “facts” about African-Americans, would the editor in chief publish that too? It could well be a “factual” ad and, under the line Setoodeh has chosen to follow, he certainly would. Would he dare to argue as well that the KKK message “foster(s) greater understanding among those in the University community” (“Controversial ads will keep running,” Nov. 4) and that these published “facts” do not demonstrate prejudice?

Yes, the middle east is complicated. Yes, the Israelis have done quite a few naughty things. However, comparing the ads, which are shown above, to the KKK seems to be a bit much. Whatever the justification, the Palestinian public do value the killing of innocent civilians, as this apologist in the Guardian makes clear. In the Muslim world, then, we celebrate what we call the martyr-bombers. To us they are heroes defending the things we hold sacred. Polls in the Middle East show 75% of people in favour of martyr-bombings. This is all the ads speak to (as opposed to other things on the website). They do not say one side in the conflict is right. They do not say one side is wrong. They only point out the difference in values that is implied with different tactics. Imlying that this makes these ads similiar to the past behavior of the KKK demeans not only the ad makers, Israelies, or the past victims of the KKK, but also the rest of us who are confronted with this garbage.

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