Monday, June 24FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE

NAZI BOY

In the days leading up to Israeli Apartheid Week’s opening event at Columbia University, leading anti-Muslim blogger Pam Geller posted an image of an SS officer with the name of one of the event’s speakers, Ben White, emblazoned on his uniform. (The image recalled placards held by far-right settlers depicting Yitzhak Rabin in an SS uniform just days before he was assassinated.) Geller was among the crowd at the Columbia event, making sure to catch White’s eye as he walked to the podium to speak. He told me that she mouthed to him, “You’re a Nazi.” The day after the event, Geller posted another characteristically juvenile screed describing White as “Nazi boy.”
There is little reason to engage a figure like Geller on the merits of her deranged characterizations. And it would be unfair to ascribe crude views like hers to the established pro-Israel groups working to discredit Israeli Apartheid Week. Their tactics are slightly more sophisticated, even if they have also demonstrated a reluctance to engage White and other participants on the facts about Israel’s systematic dispossession of the Palestinians. (Canadian pro-Israel students have united around a vaguely pornographic counter-campaign called “Size Doesn’t Matter” that invokes insecurities about penis length and equates traveling to Israel with the pleasure of oral sex.)

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