- by FJK
- The Guardian
- Issue #2075
Photo: Alisdare Hickson – flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0)
One response to the Hamas attack on Israel and the ongoing atrocities Israel is committing in retaliation has been to try to close down criticism of Israel in any form. In Australia, Peter Dutton has done his bit by darkly implying that demonstrators who support Palestine are foreigners who should be deported, while the NSW police have been making noises about stopping and searching demonstrators, as well as threatening to use the powers they have to close down entire suburbs. In Melbourne, police labelled ‘Evidence Gatherers’ have been intimidating demonstrators by ostentatiously recording peaceful protests.
In the USA, Former US Treasury Secretary and current Harvard University President Larry Summers has had a public sulk about student groups at the prestigious US institution exercising rights that US citizens are supposed to take for granted. A lot of Harvard student groups have been describing Israel’s role in the events leading up to the occupation, and Summers wants the university to condemn them for, as he puts it, “blaming all the violence on Israel.”
The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups have put out a joint statement saying that the events of the Hamas attack “did not occur in a vacuum” and that they hold Israel “entirely responsible for all the unfolding violence.”
As Australian satirical website The Chaser put it, “Hamas launches ‘completely unprovoked attack’ (if you ignore 50 years of occupation).”
The Harvard student groups have called on the Harvard community to “take action to stop the ongoing annihilation of Palestinians.” Larry Summers would rather the venerable university took action to condemn its students for speaking up.