Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

U-M Hillel Cancels the Olive Branch

2. October 2005 • Ari Paul
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The decision by the U-M chapter of Hillel to invite Muslim students to pray at the campus Jewish center ignited an internal uproar, causing the organization to cancel its extension of the olive branch, the Detroit Jewish News reported in its September 29th issue (print edition only).

Hillel officers voted by a small margin to offer Muslim students a place to pray at its facilities. Treasurer of Hillel’s board of governors, sophomore Robert Weisenfeld, resigned in protest.

He said in a letter obtained by the DJN, “If Hillel wants to make Jewish students comfortable, it is certainly not a good idea to attempt a religious mixer with the Muslim students at a Jewish center…Interaction with all kinds of people is wonderful, but at a center for Jews the idea of bringing in a contentious element of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish perspective is generally off kilter.”

The paper reported that many of those who voted in favor of the invitation later apologized.

Hillel’s assistant director, Rabbi Jason Miller, is quoted saying that although this was a good idea “in theory,” it would not be in the center’s interest and that no invitation will ever be sent out.

Weisenfeld was more blunt, however.

“A Jewish center should be for Jews and Jewish prayer,” he said in his letter of resignation, “not a place of refuge for Muslim students to pray to their god [sic].”



  1. Can you imagine the outrage if any other religious or ethnic group were treated this way?

    The University of Michigan should immediately sever all ties to the U-M Hillel.

    Will the Michigan Student Assembly, and the “Michigan Daily”, demand that simple act of respect for U-M’s Muslim student population?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 3 '05 - 09:55AM    #
  2. Last time I checked, most religious organizations don’t offer space at their places of worship for other religious organizations to pray. When will you take every other church/temple/etc. to task for not making the same offer?
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 10:04AM    #
  3. Dear “John Q” (“John Q Public”?),

    I’ll answer your comments as best I can.

    Did you notice this quote, by a very recently departed official of Hillel’s governing board? – – “If Hillel wants to make Jewish students comfortable, it is certainly not a good idea to attempt a religious mixer with the Muslim students at a Jewish center…”

    Doesn’t that quote strike you as carrying some pretty sickening assumptions about the alleged need to quarantine Muslim students away somewhere, where they won’t make you feel “uncomfortable”??

    Is that the kind of assumption you want University-affiliated institutions voicing and acting upon?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 3 '05 - 10:57AM    #
  4. Feel free to criticize the comments of an individual. But that’s doesn’t translate into a blanket denunciation of an organization. In any case, you didn’t address my point which is that the offer, even rescinded, is more than other religious organizations ever offer and I have yet to see criticism of those organizations for not making a similar offer.
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 11:12AM    #
  5. Dear John Q,

    OK, say you are a University-affiliated institution, and you start to offer space to a group.

    Then you decide not to.

    Then you announce to the media, through your officials, that your precious students must be protected from contact with Muslim students-

    -What does that get you?

    It gets your organization thrown out of all its affiliations with the University, and rightfully so.

    Have you considered how Muslim students are feeling these days?

    Can they hope for a fair hearing from ArborUpdate, not only about Hillel’s remarks, not only about Palestine, but about their right to feel secure in boldly expressing their opinions as you do yours?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 3 '05 - 11:23AM    #
  6. Sorry but one comment from an ex-official does not get an organization banned from the University unless you prefer to engage in guilt-by-association, sweeping generalizations, etc.
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 11:52AM    #
  7. And if I was a Muslim student, I think I would be offended by your comments that imply that they can’t speak up for themselves, that they are shrinking violets cowed by the idiotic remarks of one person on campus, and that they need to be protected from the real world where there are real idiots.
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 11:54AM    #
  8. Since when are Muslim students necessarily “a contentious element of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish perspective” ?
       —David Boyle    Oct. 3 '05 - 01:22PM    #
  9. Small snafu on the part of Hillel, but Blaine – you’re still out of your gord.

    Can you even imagine a scenario where it would even be a thought to allow Jewish (gasp, perhaps even Zionist) students to pray at Mosques in AA?

    Away with the infidels,

    Brad
       —Brad    Oct. 3 '05 - 01:59PM    #
  10. The article says:

    * “Many of those who voted in favor of the invitation later apologized” !!!

    (Apologized for momentarily thinking it was OK to allow Muslim students into the building?!)

    (Apologized to who?)


    * “Hillel’s assistant director, Rabbi Jason Miller, is quoted saying that although this was a good idea ‘in theory,’ it would not be in the center’s interest and that no invitation will ever be sent out.”

    (No invitation will EVER be sent out to Muslim students?!)

    Also note:

    * The Hillel Board Chair told the “Detroit Jewish News” that if inviting Muslims made even ONE (Jewish) STUDENT feel out of place, then a resolution inviting Muslim students was “not right” and even “crossed the line”!

    If you didn’t read the whole article, at pages 78-79, “Detroit Jewish News”, in the September 29, 2005 edition, then go to Borders and check it out.

    Of course the University of Michigan should immediately cut all ties to “University of Michigan Hillel”.

    Read what the Hillel honchos said about Muslim students.

    Imagine how Muslim students’ parents feel, seeing their children officially treated, by a campus institution, like some kind of menace- just for being Muslim.

    Can you name me any University-affiliated institution that should rightfully be allowed to make that kind of public proclamation, in favor of protecting racists from the mere sight of Muslim students?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 3 '05 - 02:54PM    #
  11. “Apologized for momentarily thinking it was OK to allow Muslim students into the building?!”

    The invitation wasn’t to “allow Muslim students into the building”, it was to invite students to pray together. Personally, I don’t see a problem with Jews and Muslims praying together but neither are my own personal religious beliefs so far be it from me to say whether that’s compatible or not. But if people of different faiths choose not to pray together, that’s their choice. I would give the same deference to Muslim students who chose not to pray with people of other faiths.
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 03:45PM    #
  12. John Q.,

    As the lord creator of the universe and everything in it, I just have to say I’m ashamed at the behavior of the so-called “chosen people,” choosing to be a bunch of narrow-minded pinheads (by the way, I formally take back their chosen status.)

    I could just smite you all with the plague, locusts, fire and brimstone, but honestly, after a few million years of creating you humans and watching grow and evolve over the milleniums, I’m just too dissappointed in you all to give a shizzl anymore. I’m just too old for all of this. I think I’m just going to pack my supernatural things and move to another dimension and start all over.

    Yours truly,
    God

    ps – John Q., stop playing with yourself. It’s gross. It’s so gross, even Satan has been text messaging me complaints about it.
       —god    Oct. 3 '05 - 03:46PM    #
  13. John Q.,

    Are you aware that your name is the same as the character played by Denzel Washington in the movie of the same name? You know, where a man takes over a hospital with a gun and holds people hostage?

    Sounds pretty muslim to me …

    The late Eric Wright
       —Th brother that will smother your mother ... and make your sister think I love her.    Oct. 3 '05 - 03:51PM    #
  14. John Q.,

    Are you aware that your name is the same as the character played by Denzel Washington in the movie of the same name? You know, where a man takes over a hospital with a gun and holds people hostage?

    Sounds pretty muslim to me …

    The late Eric Wright
       —The brother that will smother your mother ... and make your sister think I love her.    Oct. 3 '05 - 03:52PM    #
  15. John Q.,

    Your a bitch. Stop playing with yourself. It’s gross.

    Sincerely,

    He who cannot be named.
       —Satan    Oct. 3 '05 - 03:54PM    #
  16. Longtime lurker, rare poster.

    Personally, I disagree with Hillel’s decision. (I’m Jewish, btw). I think it was a nice olive branch and it’s too bad that this interfaith worship can’t come together (my hometown, another small liberal college town does this pretty well).

    That said, I don’t see, Blaine, how Hillel is horrible here. Like John Q. said, did the Muslim groups or any of the local mosques invite Jewish students to pray with them?

    But facts don’t matter to Blaine. He’d rather just use this as another excuse to use this to post his usual anti-semitic screechings of Divest from Israel NOW. Any thin example for the cause, huh, Blaine?

    (And yes Blaine, I called your anti-semitic. I don’t think all people who are pro-Palestinian are, but you certainly are one. I don’t care if you really are Jewish, as you’ve claimed previously—your comments (which I have been reading over the past many months) read that way to me).
       —Bil    Oct. 3 '05 - 04:27PM    #
  17. To answer the latest question, I’ll just ask readers to compare the state of Jews in 1939 Warsaw with the state of Palestinians in 2005 Palestine.

    Even Gaza, claimed by “Israel” as some kind of showcase of Israeli generosity, is being promiscuously bombarded by Israeli artillery.

    This is happening now, as Israeli troops seal Gaza off, hermetically, from the rest of the planet, as Gaza children suffer monumentally high levels of malnutrition and anemia.

    Just as no sizeable mass movement arose to save the heart of Jewish civilization in 1939, there is no sizeable mass movement to save Palestinian civilization today.

    Just as the dominant Polish civil and religious authorities, in 1939, viewed the helpless Jewish population as a threat, today the dominant Zionist authorities portray the helpless occupied population of Palestine as a threat.

    Ask yourself honestly, would any mass movement erupt, in the U.S. or in “Israel”, marching to save Palestine, if Israel embarked on a Final Solution and started murdering every Palestinian?

    You know the answer.

    Ask yourself, would any mass movement erupt, in the U.S., marching to save 6 million Muslim Americans, if Bush ordered all 6 million shipped to Guantanamo, and imposed a news blackout there?

    You know that no such human rights movement would arise.

    My aim is, and your aim should be, to change that.

    My aim is to remind you that Muslims are worthy of that mass movement.

    My aim is to remind you that Palestinians are worthy of that mass movement.

    If you disagree, then of course, you’ll see nothing wrong with high officials of U-M Hillel speaking openly as if Hillel must be shielded from even the slightest contact with Muslims.

    Just remember that the same talk was used in 1939 in Warsaw.

    Look what happened.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 3 '05 - 05:00PM    #
  18. Blaine,

    You might want to head down to the library and check out this book by this guy named Dale Carnegie. It’s called “How to Win Friends & Influence People”. It might tip you off to the idea that the way to gain support for your cause is not to accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with you 100% as being the equivalent of being abettors to Nazi deathcamps.

    No, really, I know this is a stretch but people might actually listen to you if you don’t start out by linking them to Hitler. I know it sounds crazy but you might try it once or twice and see if you have more success than your current approach. I’m sure it feels wonderful to always be in the right. But right now, your a complete failure at influencing anyone into listening, much less thinking about your side of the issue.
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 05:20PM    #
  19. This country is just filthy with so-called “peace activists” who follow your method- they only speak of divestment, of Palestine, in ways which will avoid offending Zionists.

    Guess what ways those are?-
    – Silence.

    Only silence, about Palestine, is palatable to Zionists.

    Your suggestion of using only nice-talk was NEVER urged on activists against slavery, against the Vietnam War, or against Nazi occupation.

    No, only advocates for Palestine (which is dying, if you haven’t noticed), are told to shut up if they want to be heard.

    Tell it to the dead 4,000 Palestinians, dead on the land of Palestine, where they had every right to live.

    Oops, I guess I’ve lost you as a divestment advocate.

    Too bad.
    You were so close to turning into a mad-dog activist for divestment.

    Did I ruin that too?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 3 '05 - 05:59PM    #
  20. Blaine,

    Your problem is that your a one-trick pony with only one volume – Obnoxiously loud. You can be John Brown if you want. Some people feel the need to be righteous over being effective. But as far as I can tell, you’ve only managed to get people here to tune out. And if you can’t make it go in Ann Arbor, I’m afraid you’re not going to make the sale in Peoria either. But like I said, for some people, it’s all about being right.
       —John Q    Oct. 3 '05 - 06:31PM    #
  21. Blaine:

    Yeah, I have to agree with EVERYONE else who reads ArborUpdate and say you’re fucking crazy.

    I frequent Hillel quite a bit; I’m active in and/or aware of many organizations at Hillel; Tzedek, the Jewish social justice group, Union of Progressive Zionists, the left wing Zionist group, etc. I can assure you, Muslims are NOT banned from entering Hillel. UPZ coordinates the Jewish-Muslim Habitat for Humanity House Building every year.

    I believe the question here was about Hillel’s decision to pursue a Muslim prayer space in Hillel’s building. Now, Blaine, for someone who seems so in touch with student issues, in particular Muslim ones, you should be quite aware of the concern that many Muslim students feel that there is a lack of significant prayer space on campus. I think there is one room on Central Campus, but it is too small and there is no room on North Campus. I assume, Blaine, in your expansive wisdom, would know this. You are obviously an educated person (snicker).

    No other religious, cultural, or ethnic groups offered a prayer room for Muslim students. By that same token, no religious, cultural, or ethnic groups offered any room of any kind to Jewish students.

    The only organization besides the University who offered prayer space was Hillel, the Jewish one.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with their decision; that’s another discussion altogether.

    The fact is, just because Hillel decided against giving a prayer room doesn’t make them prejudiced against Muslims. The fact that Hillel was the ONLY group considering giving space tells you something.

    You know why people accuse you of being an anti-semite, Blaine? Because you pull shit like this. You look for racism where it doesn’t exist, and always against Jewish groups.

    No wonder you were encouraged not to attend the Divestment vote last March . . .
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 4 '05 - 12:12AM    #
  22. Again the obscenities come out, this time from a Hillel fixture who wants us to know how very concerned he is with social justice.

    Right.

    Social justice for everyone except actual Palestinians, who are suffering severe malnutrition, who are nearly crushed to death under a Zio-Nazi military occupation.

    If I am so very wrong to care about that, then what are 4,000 innocent, murdered Palestinians doing dead on their own land, in Palestine?

    Are they unworthy of even staying alive, on their own land?

    Why is not a single Israeli soldier doing hard prison time for killing them?

    Why are we all paying Israel BILLIONS every year to keep killing and robbing Palestinians on Palestinian land?

    And why is it “crazy”, as you put it, to ask for divestment, not only from Coke, not only from Nike, but also from this nuclear superpower which calls itself “Israel”?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 4 '05 - 08:43AM    #
  23. Blaine,

    How about answering the question – why aren’t you going after other religious groups who didn’t even offer a space in the first space? Why are you obsessed with attacking the one organization that even considered the option and ignoring the organizations that never even stepped forward? Try answering the question without giving us the cut-and-paste rant.
       —John Q    Oct. 4 '05 - 10:41AM    #
  24. OK, here’s my answer, “John Q”:

    Hillel did not just refuse space.

    Hillel officials publicly spoke of Muslims almost like dirt, like dirt that Hillel students must be protected from.

    Got it?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 4 '05 - 10:53AM    #
  25. Got it Blaine – you’re selective in your “outrage”. Thanks for clarifying that.
       —John Q    Oct. 4 '05 - 11:24AM    #
  26. ok, perhaps i am INSANE – but Hillel is a privately owened building that can dedicate its space as it wants. It didn’t say muslim’s arent welcome to attend events at Hillel. Just that no specific space woudl be set aside. That seems reasonable to me. Perhaps if Michael Brooks would spend less time trying to be all things liberal and just a bit of time being wise, Hillel woudl get fewer black eyes.
       —David LIvshiz    Oct. 4 '05 - 04:07PM    #
  27. livshiz,

    hillel is, to my knowledge, a priavtely owned building…this does not bar you from being insane, however…

    couldn’t resist,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Oct. 4 '05 - 04:14PM    #
  28. So it’s not the “University of Michigan Hillel”, with ties that the University can cut?

    It’s just a private thing, that happens to be on campus, like a store?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 4 '05 - 04:36PM    #
  29. Blaine:

    I’m not a fixture of Hillel; just a student member. I’m not on governing board or anything like that.

    As always, you avoid the issue. You know absolutely NOTHING of my personal views on the Israel/Palestinian conflict, so please, don’t pretend you do.

    No one has a problem that you have pro-Palestinian views. We’ve all said it a thousand times. We have a problem with YOU and your inability to debate things on a rational level (you don’t have very many friends, do you).

    By the way, I never called it crazy for people to suggest divestment from Israel, Nike or Coke. I called YOU crazy (big difference).

    But, this issue, the one about Hillel deciding on not giving prayer room space for Muslims, is what this particular forum is about. Not Israel or Palestine. The fact you constantly do this on every forum that even mentions the word “Jew” is the reason why A) No one likes you B) you are accused of being an anti-semite C) You were asked to not be at the divestment vote last March.

    You don’t answer any questions, instead shifting talk to “Zionazis”, which I’m sure really makes Holocaust survivors feel really nice. How about thinking about how THEY feel?

    Whoops, I shouldn’t have mentioned the Holocaust. Because then, Blaine, you will go into another tirade. You personally make it very difficult to be a Jew here because you inject every conversation with a Jew, which mentions a Jew, or pictures a Jew, with unanswerable rhetoric on your views on the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

    So, please Blaine, if you wish to debate the conflict, please do so when the topic comes up (like when Fadi Kiblawi got arrested in the West Bank last year) and do so in a way that allows free movement of ideas, not just empty rhetoric and propaganda that can’t be debated.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 4 '05 - 05:03PM    #
  30. Blaine,

    I’m sure the University can cut ties to Hillel. And then you would have a little feather in your cap that you could wave around to everyone so they would know how special you are and how you took down the anti-fill-in-the-blank people. And you would have accomplished absolutely nothing except stroked your ego which appears to be all you really care about.
       —John Q    Oct. 4 '05 - 05:28PM    #
  31. OK, Jared, I get it.

    You say this is neither the right time nor place to discuss action against “Israel”, like divestment.

    It never is the right time, is it?

    Then you discuss the Holocaust, and how the survivors must feel.

    Sorry, but I have no Holocaust survivor relatives to ask- every one died under Hitler’s gas, under his bombs, from malnourishment and disease, or however they all died.

    Not even one was left to say how they all died. I only have the barest hints to go on, and some family pictures of people whose names are forgotten. Like a picture of a girl reading a Yiddish show-biz magazine, dressed in the modern Polish style of the 1920’s.

    Why should I stay silent while Zionists finish another Holocaust, this one against the last remaining Palestinians on Earth?

    You look at the Warsaw Ghetto in 1939, and the Gaza Ghetto in 2005, both packed with malnourished children, scared out of their minds by massive aerial bombardment, and tell me why Zionists are not Nazis.

    In my mind, every Zionist is a Nazi.

    Look what the Zionist have actually done to rob and rape Palestine, just about into the grave.

    To quote Neruda:

    “Come and see the blood in the streets,
    “Come and see the blood in the streets,
    “Come and see the blood in the streets!”

    Why shouldn’t I ask for divestment from the Zionists’ Nazi state, their Disneyland built on 400 dead Palestinian villages?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 4 '05 - 05:34PM    #
  32. Hey all you crazy kids, this is Thor, reminding you to tune in to U68 every Sunday for some boooonne crushing metal!

    It’s the power hour, yaaarrrrrrrgghhh!!!!!!!!!!!

    (Visualize a 6ft. 2 blond hair bodybuilder Canadian flexing his arms and baring his teeth.)

    Thor
       —Thor    Oct. 4 '05 - 06:04PM    #
  33. Blaine –

    putting the arguments aside – you’re misapropriating Neruda. He WAS there, in demonstratinos where people were getting shot at. Not sitting in the comfort of Ann Arbor annoying everyone. If you feel strongly – i’ll chip in (i’m sure others will to) to get you a ticekt to Gaza where you can do all you can for Palestinians. If you ‘re going to be pontificating, the least you owe the people in whose name you’re embarasing yourself is to share the risk with them. D
       —David LIvshiz    Oct. 4 '05 - 06:06PM    #
  34. When you push for divestment from Israel, someone is always ready to send you somewhere else:

    Like to the Gaza Ghetto, to die.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 4 '05 - 07:21PM    #
  35. Blaine:

    Once again, you DON’T answer the questions and/or DON’T pay attention to the issue. I never said this is not “the right time nor place to discuss action against ‘Israel’, like divestment.”

    What I said (you need to read more closely) is that a forum discussing Hillel’s decision not to have a Muslim prayer room inside the Hillel building IS NOT the forum to discuss issues pertaining to Israel or the Palestinians. It’s not that we don’t want to talk about it; we just would rather talk about it in the correct forum.

    But, I see your simplistic mind is only capable of reading what you want to read. You’ll read my response as apathy or trying to skirt around the issue of the Israel/Palestinian conflict. I can’t help that. I can assure you, it isn’t. I’m just sick and tired of trying to have an honest discussion here and you keep interjecting it with rhetoric and propaganda that is either offensive, doesn’t mean anything, or is unanswerable.

    So, keep on clogging up this forum with propaganda. You’ll see the readership drop like flies. When you want an honest, intellectual debate, let everyone know.

    Otherwise, please, continue with the uneducated drivel.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 4 '05 - 08:39PM    #
  36. Dropped by MSA tonite to suggest a resolution to divest/stay divested from Sudan (some members have expressed interest), and also met a group of UM undergrads who are supportive, maybe because they are a Darfur action group…
    ...by way, Paul Rusesabagina from “Hotel Rwanda” is visiting the Power Center a week from now to give lecture, accept UM award, etc.
    A flyer on my desk, with message from him and Don Cheadle, says “Prevent Hotel Darfur”. Exactly!
    No genocide in Darfur!
    Shana tova and shalom for Rosh Hashanah, and Ramadan Mubarak and salaam for Ramadan. God (Adonai, Allah) bless you all.
       —David Boyle    Oct. 4 '05 - 09:35PM    #
  37. Jared,

    You injected Holocaust rhetoric into this thread.

    You seem to feel that was appropriate.

    I mention divestment from Israel.

    You feel that is IN-appropriate.

    David and MSA members are ready to divest——but from Sudan, a place that gets $zero in U.S. military aid.

    Just let me know when it becomes appropriate to debate divestment from Israel, an occupying nuclearized military power which gets BILLIONS in U.S. military aid each year.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 5 '05 - 08:16AM    #
  38. No, Blaine, you injected Holocaust rhetoric into this thread:

    “To answer the latest question, I’ll just ask readers to compare the state of Jews in 1939 Warsaw with the state of Palestinians in 2005 Palestine.”

    “Just as no sizeable mass movement arose to save the heart of Jewish civilization in 1939, there is no sizeable mass movement to save Palestinian civilization today.

    Just as the dominant Polish civil and religious authorities, in 1939, viewed the helpless Jewish population as a threat, today the dominant Zionist authorities portray the helpless occupied population of Palestine as a threat.

    Ask yourself honestly, would any mass movement erupt, in the U.S. or in “Israel”, marching to save Palestine, if Israel embarked on a Final Solution and started murdering every Palestinian?”

    That was post #17. I called you out on it in post #29. Crazy, loner, stupid . . . now you can add LIAR to that list.

    It’s appropriate to debate divestment when a divestment post comes up. There, I think that’s simple enough.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 5 '05 - 08:32AM    #
  39. Great! When will a divestment-from-Israel post actually come up?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 5 '05 - 08:49AM    #
  40. Blaine:

    I’ve got a lot of studying to do, and I usually don’t take the time to sit here and write such comments. Most likely, you’ll ignore this entire post anyway and continue on your narrow-minded track into the argumentative abyss.

    For that reason, let me make this simple. You’ve evoked Godwin’s Law and you expect us to even listen to your rhetoric? You’ve failed the argument from the onset. Also, for the sake of everyone else here, learn proper formatting using Textile . And since you won’t click either of those links since they may hurt you in some way:

    from Wikipedia
    Some would argue, however, that Godwin’s law applies especially to the situation mentioned above, as it portrays an inevitable appeal to emotions as well as holding an implied ad hominem attack on the subject being compared, both of which are fallacious in irrelevant contexts.

    If anyone here needs to stop whining and check historical facts, it’s you. I’m all for a Palestine, but it’s people like you that make the pro-Palestinian movement look terrible by injecting your arguments with obscene amounts of anti-Semitism, and then at the same time you believe that you have the right to compare a Jew to a Nazi. You are the racist here.

    If you want to drag Hitler/Nazis/The SS/German Volksgemeinschaft and racial “purification” into this, go take a class on Nazi ideology and Nazi German history before you start throwing on your tinfoil hat. You’re nothing but a conspiracy theorist. There are plenty of forums for people like you.

    As many others have pointed out to you – much to your own ignorance – your facts are crazy, your logic convoluted, and your own reasoning skills poor. You’re not an “activist”, you’re not a “leader”, you’re really not doing much at all other than wasting Arbor Update’s data space with something you pulled out of a political action book. You’re one of the guys on the streets that yells about sticking it to “the Man” and has no educated basis on backing up what you’re talking about.

    Since I’ve neither the time nor the desire to sit here and argue to someone that doesn’t understand the basic concepts of philosophical logic, I’ll try to explain this and then get back to what we should be talking about.

    begin Nazism debate

    from Blaine (Palestine)
    ??You look at the Warsaw Ghetto in 1939, and the Gaza Ghetto in 2005, both packed with malnourished children, scared out of their minds by massive aerial bombardment, and tell me why Zionists are not Nazis.

    In my mind, every Zionist is a Nazi.??

    Do you even know what a Nazi is? Comparing the Holocaust to the Palestinian state struggle is ludicrous at best. Let’s start with the basic philosophy here, why don’t we. I’ll try to give you a basic idea as to what Nazi ideology was. If you don’t believe me, you’re more than welcome to take the UM class on Nazi history (HISTORY 3-something) or read Sax and Kuntz, Inside Hitler’s Germany.

    The NSDAP (Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterspartei, the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, now known as the Nazi party), more specifically Hitler himself, rose to power in Germany post-World War II due to an unstable Weimar government and economic fallout. The reason his racial state under the Volksgemeinschaft even gained any power whatsoever is because he offered a scapegoat to the economic problems – the Jews. The Jews caused absolutely no economic nor political distress to Germany, but due to their lack of status as a political group, and due to the NSDAP elite closing off the country, they had no diplomatic means to fight the label. I’d love for you to meet an Auschwitz/Dachau/Birkenau survivor and tell them that the Jews are Nazis.

    Why don’t you go revisit the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 on Wikipedia? How about anti-Zionism, the PNA, the riots of 1920, etc.? This is not the same case as Nazism by any means. The Jews didn’t carry out multiple attacks on civilian targets in the 1940’s. They attempted to kill the SS officers oppressing them.

    end Nazism debate

    Now, let’s get back to the debate at hand: Hillel. I’d like to know a few things you’ve yet to debate, instead slip-sliding off into the land of rhetoric.

    Why does it matter what Hillel – a Jewish organisation – does with its religious centre anyway? No one asked the Muslims or the Christians to build cooperative unions in each centre.

    Actually, let’s not even debate that – let’s debate why you believe that the actions of one person at Hillel somehow allow you to pigeon-hole the entire Jewish population at the University into being Zionist extremists?

    How would you like it if I decided that all Muslims on campus were Muslim extremists, all associated with insert name paramilitary group?

    (Also, there’s anti-Zionism from within Judaism as well, but you’re too thick-headed to see both sides of the debate here.)

    To you, Jew = extremist. This is the same type of prejudice that the Muslims are fighting from the uneducated populace that says Jew = terrorist. Do you enjoy paralleling yourself to the same fault?

    By associative logic, you’re the exact problem on the opposite side of the debate – the lowest common denominator of the opposite side pigeonholing all of those of Jewish belief or any support of the religion as people wishing for the genocide of the Palestinian populace.

    Go ahead Blaine and think that you’re part of the solution. You’re not fighting for anyone’s cause whatsoever.

    You’re not even fighting for Palestine.

    You’re fighting to uphold your own empty rhetoric against all the people here that have disproved your point over and over again, but you disproved yourself as soon as you invoked Nazism.

    In the meantime, you’ve been sitting here trying to say that for some reason the blogosphere isn’t covering this issue. Obviously you’ve never used Technorati or Google to look for blogs on the matter. On a local level, maybe you didn’t read all of the Daily’s multiple instances of coverage on divestment in March.

    Also, I’m sure you’ve heard of forums systems. They’re a great place to start your own debates on such matters.

    Oh, and just so you have my stance on this issue before you declare me a Zionist, Nazi, or whatever else: I’m neither Jewish nor Muslim, and while I support the existence of Israel, I see no reason why we shouldn’t develop a Palestinian state as well, with compromise from both the Palestinians and the Israelis.

    -e
    hyalineskies.com
       —eston    Oct. 5 '05 - 03:09PM    #
  41. What?

    Why do you keep screaming about Jews?

    I said Zionists are Nazis, because of what they did to Palestine, and keep doing to the remains of Palestine.

    I made no generalization about Jews.

    That would be the height of stupidity.

    The place you call “Israel” was Palestine, then suddenly it’s called “Israel”, with most Palestinians dead or fled.

    Something happened.
    Something not good.

    Even today, Gaza is reeling under day-and-night sonic booms (sound-bombing), and indiscriminate artillery fire from the Israeli military, something Israel avoided while it still had settlers in Gaza.

    So you don’t call it genocide.
    What do you call it?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 5 '05 - 03:36PM    #
  42. Blaine:

    Who are Zionists, anyway? While that question leaves a large spat of grey area, what is abundantly clear that while you claim,

    “I made no generalization about Jews,” you lambast “Zionists” in a post thread that dealt with a Jewish student center and you participate in protests in front of Jewish synagogues. It seems to me you very much target Jews, not Zionists.

    By the way, Israel was Palestine, Palestine was Palestina, Palestina was Judea and Israel, Judea and Israel was united Israel, united Israel was Canaan, etc. Giving one former name to a land does not confer ownership nor take it away.

    But, this is pointless. Here’s what I propose everyone who reads and/or comments on ArborUpdate do: ignore any comment posted by Blaine. Don’t read it, but if you read it, don’t comment on it. Pretend it isn’t even there.

    Then maybe Blaine will figure out how to debate people in a rational way without being cryptic, offensive, and dogmatic.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 5 '05 - 05:53PM    #
  43. To answer your question,

    For a very long time the great majority of Palestine was Palestinians, mostly Muslim, what Zionists simply call “Arabs”.

    All the way until the genocide of 1948.

    There is nothing religious about this.

    It was theft, and it was murder.

    It’s still theft.
    It’s still murder.

    Those who defend it have no religion but racism.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 5 '05 - 06:19PM    #
  44. Just for the sake of inserting a word edgewise, I’ll talk for a little while.
    Oh wait, one more thing.
    DISCLAIMER: Let me make one thing clear: I am not Jewish. I am not pro-divestment, nor am I against it. I have friends on both sides, but I myself hold no strong views. I am not Jewish. I am not Muslim. I am an Asian-American agnostic.

    Post #31: Shortly after speaking of the Holocaust in a poignant, pious way, Blaine effectively goes “Well actually, I really don’t feel it too much, guys. I mean, I don’t really know what happened. It’s just a convenient cliche to whip out. Shit happens.”

    Maybe I give you too little credit. I apologize. But, I doubt it. “Why is this?” you ask. Well, you stated Zionist=Nazi in Post #41 (among others). Hillel is, as I think even anti-Semites will agree, not devoted to Zionism. Seeing as how you’ve made anti-Zionist rhetoric the fulcrum for your posts on this forum, the logical implication is that you do the following math in your head: Jew=Zionist.

    So, by the transitive property, which I hope you learned sometime around 3rd grade, Jew=Zionist=Nazi leads to Jew=Nazi.

    This coming from a kid who claims to be Jewish and remember/respect the Holocaust. I find this curious – most curious. Don’t you? The way I see it, either you’re not actually Jewish, which means that everything you’ve said so far shall be construed as a lie. Or, even though you have a bit of substance behind your words, it’s lost in your love of hearing yourself talk. I highly suggest blowing $30 on a voice recorder. Entertainment for weeks on end! Or, you just threw something explosive out there, but it turned out that the rest of the world treated it like a Whoopiee Cushion, and you’re still whining about that difference in perception.

    Oh yes, back to the matter at hand: Israel’s oppression of Palestine and your lament about how the Jew-loving West doesn’t care. Ask yourself now: Why should we? Especially with kids who cry wolf about the rise of a neo-Nazi Jewish Army (of Doom(!)). Actually, I don’t even need your idiocy in making this argument.

    Why should the world care, Blaine? Africa is devouring itself from inside out,the tide of malnutrition and HIV washing over its land like God’s bulldozer (oh look, I can use grandiose rhetoric, too!). India and Pakistan are hair-trigger nuclear-capable political rivals waiting for an excuse to turn the Far East into a giant game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and you probably think they’re fighting over a sweater. North Korea has tested nuclear-capable ballistic missiles capable of turning Hawaii into the world’s largest modern sculpture. Katrina has turned New Orleans into the world’s and most devastating cesspool. Rita gave the finger to the rest of the South. Meanwhile, our President is color-coordinating shirts with Mississippi chiefs of police.

    In the grand scheme of things, who really cares about 4000 people? More people die weekly from the flu. Well okay, if I knew these 4000 people, well then I suppose I’d be pretty annoyed. But barring the possibility that I personally know some of those 4000. 4000 is a small number. Really. Never mind that, though.

    What I find amusing about your train of thought is that from a single rash statement by a single human being, you’ve managed to denounce the whole of Judaism. Oh, you say you only denounce “Zionists,” right? See above. That part about the transitive property. Reread that part. I’ll wait till you’re done. Good. Vituperous condemnation (that’s a lot of Scrabble points) of Judaism isn’t kosher (zing!) in my book, but so is denouncing a lot of things (like any other major religion, and the power of cheese).

    You speak of grand ideas and the downtrodden state of the Palestinians. You feel for them. Oh, I know you do. You know how I know? You talk about it. A lot. Here are some things I talk about, and thus care about. Ahem. Here goes (and I quote):

    I long for world peace. I really do. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s a pity you dumbasses out there haveto fight for your beliefs! What’s with that?! Why can’t we all sit down, sip a cup a of Earl Grey (or green, or jasmine, whatever, I’m a very open tea drinker), and chat it over like civilized people? I feel strongly about this. We need to invite Kim Jong Il, Hu Jintao, President Bush, PM Poutine (zing!), Tony Blair, That French Guy, Netanyahu, the heads of al Qaeda, and the Pope to a roundtable. Play a friendly game of Texas Hold’em. Sort things out. Hug. I strongly believe in this very nice and good idea. I really do. Strongly.

    There. Of course, I won’t actually try to arrange this, or help this along, but at least I talk about it, and I called the rest of you “dumbasses.” That counts for something, right? Right? Right?! Kid, frankly, you have a lot to learn about the very act of obtaining an opinion. Make sure it’s an opinion that makes sense. Also, make sure that you don’t use it too much. Opinions are like sexual favors. You dish them out too much, and people suddenly stop liking you so much. Another thing. The Jew=Nazi thing, how about let’s just sweep that under the rug, eh? It’s unsightly, really. No, it’s embarrassing to me – as in it’s embarrassing that a part of humanity wants to convince others that (being a Jew) he really wholeheartedly believes that.

    Oh, and frankly, just for kicks, you talk about 4,000 Palestinians killed, Blaine. Then you turn around and talk about genocide. I feel that you’re belittling the Palestinians a bit when you equate the two. After all, I do believe there are a bit more than 4000 Palestinians in the Israel-Palestine region. I sure hope so.

    Of course, for all intents and purposes, 3000+ died in the WTC collapse. So basically… you’re calling an extended conflict that’s claimed two office buildings full of Palestinians… a genocide. 9/11 was a terrible event, I’m not belittling that… but to label something of that scale a genocide? ...I don’t know about you, but I hold more hope for the Palestinians.

    But anyway, I respect the fact that, however misguided (or unguided) your views, you have strong opinions. That’s frickin’ fantastic. In fact, I hear that if you ask the right people, you can get free Semtex bodysuits for believing so deeply.

    As they said on Avenue Q:
    You’re a little bit racist.
    Well you’re a little bit, too.
    ...
    Everyone’s a little bit racist, sometimes.
    Doesn’t mean we go around committing hate crimes.

    Cheers, and may your beliefs guide from this life to the next.

    P.S. – Hehehe, that was fun.
       —John    Oct. 5 '05 - 07:31PM    #
  45. You say Hillel is not devoted to Zionism.

    Look what Hillel says itself, in defense of the truly racist, truly genocidal State of Israel, a state which is murdering Palestine 4,000 at a time, a state which is permanently choking off food and medical care from millions of Palestinians, creating mass anemia and malnutrition.

    (Brief excerpt from Hillel’s own Web page follows—)

    “Michigan Hillel Says: Invest in Israel

    “DIVESTMENT

    “Take Action! Take Action
    How to counter divestment efforts. Ask an Expert. Ask an Expert

    ”...Is Israel really an apartheid government?”
    • Read the response
    • Ask a question Campus News Archives

    “Students at the University of Michigan, among the country’s leading pro-Israel activists, have launched an Invest in Israel campaign to counter a national effort to prod university officials to divest from companies that do business in Israel.

    “It is important for us to show that Israel is a valuable ally for the United States and that any campaign to convince universities to divest from Israel is simply misguided and wrong, says Michigan Hillel Board Chairman Eric Bukstein.

    “The Invest in Israel idea is catching on. Across North America, students are raising funds to help rebuild Hebrew University’s Frank Sinatra Cafeteria, to buying Israeli bonds and donating them to schools across the country.

    “While Michigan Hillel has consistently advocated for Israel, the latest campaign has been energized by a national divestment conference in Ann Arbor from October 12-14….”

    For the whole article, see Hillel’s Web site at:

    http://cms.hillel.org/Hillel/Israel/News+and+Opinion/Spotlight/Michigan+Hillel+Says+Invest+in+Israel.htm
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 5 '05 - 09:16PM    #
  46. I just read over my post and realised I made two typographical errors.

    “Post World War II” should read “Post World War I”

    To you, Jew = extremist. This is the same type of prejudice that the Muslims are fighting from the uneducated populace that says Jew = terrorist.

    should be “Muslims are fighting from the uneducated populace that says Muslim = terrorist.”

    Needless to say, Blaine, you have offered absolutely no argument. You have not responded with any logic to any counterpoint we’ve dealt to you. You don’t even read.

    Please tell me that you’re not a student at or alumnus of this University.
       —eston    Oct. 6 '05 - 11:10AM    #
  47. After 46 posts, does anybody care to speak about what’s actually happening to actual Palestinians in Palestine?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 6 '05 - 11:14AM    #
  48. We already know what’s happening in Palestine, Blaine.

    And I’ve already told you this. Several times.

    If you want people to respect your opinions, then you have to respect theirs. This is rule #1 in having a polite discussion.

    Try following the rule, Blaine.

    If your mission is to get people to understand your cause, and actually take the time to listen to you, the you have to show that you are listening to them, too. Further, you have to know when to shut up if it is clear that they have heard your point. I’ve already told you several times now that I’ve heard your point.

    The polite, and intelligent thing to do now Blaine, is to shut up, and listen to Eston’s question. Read it, and politely respond. Gain his/her respect, and then you can take your turn and discuss other things.

    You should have learned this in Kindergarten, Blaine.
       —todd    Oct. 6 '05 - 11:42AM    #
  49. So you know what’s happening to Palestine.

    Tell us:

    What is happening to Palestine?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 6 '05 - 11:45AM    #
  50. I give up.

    You aren’t interested in listening to anyone but yourself, Blaine.

    Ever play Monopoly, Blaine?

    You’d win every time, because it’d always be your turn to roll the die.

    I’m out…..
       —todd    Oct. 6 '05 - 11:59AM    #
  51. Again, after 50 posts…

    ...Feel free to discuss what is actually happening to the occupied people of Palestine, in your own words.

    Not in my words—but in yours.

    What is happening to the Palestinians, and what, if anything, should be done to save them?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 6 '05 - 12:05PM    #
  52. Blaine, this thread is not about what is happening to the occupied people of Palestine.

    Do you not understand what people are asking of you? That you address the problems raised by the post (was Hillel wrong? what should be done?)...

    You keep asking people to discuss what is happening in Palestine. Why? Why here? There are lots of other places to do that where people actually want to discuss that topic.
       —RJY    Oct. 6 '05 - 04:11PM    #
  53. Yup, I was right. You weren’t worth the time I put into typing that post.

    You have no idea how to argue. You have no idea how to convince anyone of your point. For that matter, you don’t have a clue what the state of the international world is now or what history has said about it, even after I tried to explain it.

    You won’t listen; we’ve all proven logically that you’re a moron with invalid counterpoints and a lack of argumemtative direction.

    From now on, I’ll make sure that I ignore your posts, emails, or whatever else. If any of your posts ever come up on my blog, expect them to be deleted as well.
       —eston    Oct. 6 '05 - 05:06PM    #
  54. Have you proven that the ongoing destruction of Palestine is really nothing that anyone needs to oppose?

    Have you proven that it’s OK to keep blindly funding that destruction?
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Oct. 6 '05 - 05:43PM    #
  55. OK.. so what happened to ignoring Blaine?
    How ‘bout them Wings?
    Whew! Gas prices a really soaring!
    Hey.. heard it was gonna drop to 39 degrees tonight!
    What will you/your kids be dressed as for Halloween?
    Wow! Did you lose weight?
    Great party, eh?
       —freaked out    Oct. 6 '05 - 10:31PM    #
  56. “How ‘bout them Wings? ”

    Ahh, yes, “freaked out”... Wings. Like the ones those zionist bastards tore off of little palestinian babies. No… seriously! Palestinian babies were born with wings until 1948, when the naqba began. I saw it with my own two eyes!

    WHY, arborupdate editors, self-professed gatekeepers of this free-minded stronghold known as “arborupdate.com”, do you refuse to take decisive action in this matter?

    WHEN will you lead the call to Divest from anything having to do with Wings—ESPECIALLY BBQ wings?

    WHY have you forsaken me, arborupdate?
       —Blaine Impersonator (Not Blaine, but sounds like Blaine)    Oct. 7 '05 - 12:06AM    #
  57. I am starting a new divestment campaign.

    DIVEST FROM ALL ESTABLISHMENTS THAT DO BUSINESS WITH BLAINE

    Are you with me?
       —Brad    Oct. 7 '05 - 11:34AM    #
  58. Oh, BTW Blaine just wondering if you got the memo that sandwich boards went out in the 70’s…

    PS It’s not a tumor
       —Arnold Schwarzenegger    Oct. 7 '05 - 11:37AM    #
  59. Brad, I’m down for it.

    I think I’m going to divest from ALL ESTABLISHMENTS, PERIOD. It’s the only rational thing to do. :D
       —eston    Oct. 7 '05 - 12:16PM    #
  60. Ok, so back to what this post was all about:

    Was Hillel’s decision right? Did former governing board member and treasurer Rob Weisenfeld go overboard with his statements?

    It would be difficult to answer the first. On the one hand, most Jews at Hillel would have no problem, perhaps even enjoy the olive branch, the opportunity to pray with Muslim students. And considering no other group offered prayer space, I thought the original gesture was a good one one.

    On the other hand, it is a private Jewish center,whose main purpose is to serve Jewish students.

    My opinion: I would have been against the decision deciding not to allow the prayer space. I see nothing wrong with two spiritual communities praying together. I, however, cannot fault Hillel for coming to the decision that they did. I just disagree with it.

    As for the second question, yes, Rob definitely said the wrong things. I, however, don’t know what else to say or do about it though. He said those things as an individual, not as a member of the governing board, and I doubt any criticisms here are going to change his mind.

    On the whole, the Olive Branch prayer space would have been nice, but there are other ways to encourage Jewish-Muslim dialogue/involvement. Hopefully, there will be plenty of opportunity this year.
       —Jared Goldberg    Oct. 7 '05 - 07:07PM    #