Bravo, Harvard Crimson,
Harvard students were pilloried for daring to organize a conference to investigate the so-called one-state solution [http://onestateconference.org/]. The jerked knees were afraid the pretense of “Jewish and Democratic“ would be exposed. Recovering their composure, the knees straightened up, after all. How about an uncontroversial conference to celebrate Israel’s "real accomplishments?" By talking about the wonders of Israeli technology and corporate aptitude, and by bringing to campus the inventors of advanced technology and the creators of everyday tools, the organizers are opening discussion on a new and supposedly uncontroversial area of the Israel-Palestine debate.
Giacomo Bagarella points out in his Harvard Crimson contribution a number of disagreeable truths. “The United States has given Israel over $115 billion from World War II to today; more than half of this aid has been military. No other country in the world enjoys such extensive foreign subsidies. How can Israeli innovation be considered sustainable if it is accomplished through dependence on U.S. tax dollars?”
I may add that this largesse far exceeds anything we have given any other nation.
Giacomo further points out the commercial and financial advantages enjoyed by Israel’s economy through the illegal occupation.
The Occupation gives Israeli businesses an unfair advantage in two main ways. First, it makes economic investment in Palestine a great risk. Foreign donors have built and rebuilt schools, hospitals, flour mills, and other facilities which cyclically get destroyed in Israel’s military operations, such as the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead. Other foreign investments, such as solar and wind power installations in the West Bank, are also under unending threat of Israeli demolition. [Israel threatens solar panels donated by Germany ] The unstated charges? Those of increasing Palestinian energy independence and fostering development in local communities.
The “vibrant, innovative, and optimistic” Israel the organizers envisage exists on foundations of illegal activities and 64 years of lack of accountability. While it is undeniable that medical and civil technology benefit society on a large scale, the contextual ethical costs cannot be ignored. Hopefully, we can maintain these positive achievements while redressing the human rights and international law violations they emerge in, because only then will these innovations truly be to the benefit of all. Unfortunately, by inviting speakers who directly contravene international law and by obscuring the roots of the Israeli "miracle," the Israel Conference sidelines the potential for innovation in favor of the criminal potential of Occupation.
Read the full article at Harvard-israel-innovation-occupation/ The article in the Harvard Crimson by Giacomo Bagarella jerked the usual knees with their ad hominem and irrelevant objections. To paraphrase one of my father’s aphorisms about horses' anatomy, there are more knee jerks in the world than knees.As a young American Jew at a Zionist summer camp in 1936 I came to realize that the sought after “Jewish National Home” in Palestine could only be achieved by doing to the native Palestinians what the European settlers did to the Native Americans. Further, such an enterprise could only be sustained by enormous financial subsidies from the diaspora. How true that prophesy turned out to be.
Settlers and wall builders destroy the life sustaining olive trees of the Palestinians with the help of the Israeli army of occupation exactly the same way the ranchers who settled the west destroyed the life sustaining bison of the native Americans with the help of the US Army.