My neighbor TigerHawk posted on Afif Safieh, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mission to the United States, speaks at Princeton just now. He’s as surprised as I was on the warm welcome,
The University went to great pains to report that Safieh was first invited to speak at Princeton by Abraham Udovitch, “the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East,” and that virtually every campus organization joined in the invitation. When Safieh stepped to the podium, the crowd applauded more loudly than I have ever heard at a Princeton lecture.
Indeed, more loudly than when Eli Weisel was introduced when he was on campus. TigerHawk continues,
It is, I think, a measure of the chicness of the Palestinian cause on college campuses that a man who joyfully worked for Yassir Arafat for almost twenty years would be received with such warmth and acclaim.
Speaking as he was to an essentially converted audience (there were a few obviously grumpy old townies and a few probably Jewish students who asked edged questions, but they were in the deep minority), Safieh was explicit in his objective — to influence his audience to campaign for an American foreign policy that would be “non-aligned.” True to his billing, Safieh was extremely polished and charming, and spoke as if he were giving a stump speech in a long campaign, a speech he had given many times and that he would give many times again.
This is a relentless Palestinian theme — that there is moral equivalence between suicide bombings targeting civilians and Israeli strikes against members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, or unintended civilian casualties related to those strikes. This attitude is extraordinarily widespread in the world, as we all saw law summer when the globe’s chattering classes weighed the unintended casualties from Israeli strikes far more heavily than the directed casualties from Hezbollah’s missiles.
Read his entire report.
Update Don’t miss Atlas Shrug‘s post.
Update, Friday, January 18 If you really are Afif Safieh