"And as you can see in this next slide....."
Tonight Ben White spoke at UC Irvine for the third time and guess what. He had the same tired old Power Point presentation as the last two times. On Thursday, this guy is going to speak at Brooklyn College, and everybody is acting like it's a big deal. Letters are being written, protests are being planned, and politicians are making statements.
Tonight, Ben spoke in a room half full of about 30-35 people. OK, maybe it was 36.
This is the third time I have pissed away an evening or afternoon watching and listening to this British bore repeat the same old points about Israel and the Palestinians and show the same faded slides with his little bullet points, maps and what-have-you.
Think about it; this guy is on a 13 day tour of North American college campuses saying the same things as he said the last time he was here. Who is paying for this, I wonder. Tonight's extravaganza was hosted by the Students for Justice in Palestine. They were expecting 70-100+ people. They got about 35-plus me.
If you are wondering, yes, I video taped it, but I don't know if I will go to the bother of posting it. Why put you through it?
Of course, I asked a question, and it went like this:
"When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map, you reportedly came to his defense on both occasions, saying, 'He didn't really mean it that way.' You have also been reported as having said that while you yourself were not anti-Semitic, you could understand why some people were. I can imagine if someone made a statement like that in the US about Hispanic Americans or black Americans, they would lose all credibility and support, but why have your supporters given you a pass when you say the same thing about Jews-and why shouldn't I, as a Gentile, suspect that this whole conflict is not so much about land as it is about religion?"
Well, young Ben handled that one pretty adroitly, I must say. He simply refused to address it. He said that he would not respond to personal questions, that his record of opposing anti-Semitism was clear, and that his statements were readily available on the right-wing smear sites. To that, Ben got applause from the other 35 people (almost all students) in the room. ( I will post that exchange later this week. It takes me a bit more time than others to handle the technology.)
So to all you folks in Brooklyn who are planning to go hear Ben talk Thursday, good luck. I suggest you bring along a good book to read. The guy is as dry as dust.