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Flight of the Red Balloons

Bwog was pleasantly surprised to awake this morning to a beautiful spring day and a pleasant plethora of red balloons scattered around Low quad.  One thousand balloons were placed around campus earlier today by LionPAC. According to LionPAC, “1,000 balloons [represent] 7,000 rockets that have fallen on the civilian city of Sderot.”

One Bwog staffer has already began to notice campus reactions to the balloons. Recalls the staffer, “A bearded grad student in a tweed-patched jacket paused on College Walk to stare at the balloons… after about thirty seconds, he removed a pen from his pocket, obviously deep in thought, and popped one.” 



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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Yay Israel! Kill all who oppose them!

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous This comment said something along the lines of, “Yay Israel, and death to all who would attack her.”

      I don’t think that’s especially unreasonable. Seems like a pretty standard national slogan, right?

      Censorship? In MY bwog? It’s more likely than you think.

    1. oi! says:

      @oi! Hipstahs!

  • ummm says:

    @ummm are all the art hum/music hum classes full, or is there just an error in registration? (seeing as i cannot search or find the classes in the search function)

  • wooo says:

    @wooo i got into art hum. down with the underclassmen taking up the spots

  • I guess says:

    @I guess they figured that one balloon for each casualty wouldn’t make for a very impressive display. I wonder…if they had put up one balloon for every seven Israelis in sderot killed by these tin can “rockets,” not counting the ones who died of heart attacks, would you be able to count the balloons on your fingers or would you have to use your toes as well? There don’t seem to be any objective counts but even the Israeli foreign ministry puts the number of dead in the double digits. Obviously every life is precious–Jewish life even more so, apparently–and no one is condoning these attacks, but in the Middle East this is chump change. Lionpac also opens itself up for the implicit rebuttal–wait until Turath tries the Palestinian version of this histrionic stunt (if theres one thing on this campus we don’t discuss enough it’s obviously Israel and all its woes and grievances), we’ll all be picking rubber out of our shit for the rest of the semester.

  • Seriously? says:

    @Seriously? I can’t stand LionPAC. How about one balloon for every million dollars the US gives in aid to Israel every year? Or how many Palestinian homes have been demolished?

    Honestly, I’m one of those people who feels pretty on the fence about the whole conflict. On the one hand, I like Israel as a country–gay rights, freedom of expression, what have you. But to use this stupid fucking rhetoric to try to drum up even more support without turning that oh-so-holier-than-thou sentiment inwards is completely ridiculous. Killing is killing is killing. The Palestinians are as culpable as the Israelis (and Americans!). But goddamn if Israel doesn’t have better funding and significantly lower death toll.

    Stop fucking up your own cause by being so BLATANTLY hypocritical, LionPAC! You’re losing the support of Israeli-friendly people like me!

  • THE GEOMETER says:


  • Hooray says:

    @Hooray less than a month before I no longer have to frequent a campus where jews shove their rhetoric down your throat and look at you like you should thank them for taking time out of their day to do so.

    1. cc08 says:

      @cc08 I really resent the conflation between jews and zionists. I am a jew and not a zionist.

      dont be ignorant.

    2. alumnus says:

      @alumnus go back to your country club or mumsie’s park avenue restricted co-op, then.

    3. Uhhhhh says:

      @Uhhhhh Do you only attend class one day a year? Sanctimonious rhetoric belchers of every stripe make up at least a fifth of the student body here. Or is it just the Jewish ones you dislike?

  • whoa! says:

    @whoa! wow, you people truly know how to take things out of context. read what you’re writing.

    it’s gross…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Floating in the summer sky

  • meeee says:

    @meeee it was only a matter of time…

  • the end is nigh says:

    @the end is nigh 99 dreams I have had
    In every one a red balloon
    It’s all over and I’m standin’ pretty
    In this dust that was a city
    If I could find a souvenir
    Just to prove the world was here
    And here is a red balloon
    I think of you and let it go

  • Marge says:

    @Marge That’s supposed to be leather patches on a tweed jacket.

  • cc10 says:

    @cc10 hahahahahahaha the last paragraph of this post is genius.

  • Marge says:

    @Marge You’ve ruined a perfectly good jacket.

  • Homer says:

    @Homer Correction: TWO perfectly good jackets.

  • ZvS says:

    @ZvS You can’t swing your arms without hitting a balloon. Barnard has Spirit Day today, too.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I figured out how to bring universal peace to the world:

  • Ridiculous says:

    @Ridiculous This whole thing is beyond ridiculous. I actually wish I hadn’t found out about what it was for, I kinda liked the look of campus covered with red balloons before bwog ruined it by telling me LionPAC was behind it.

    1. yeah says:

      @yeah i second that! im sorry, but israel has the upper hand in this whole thing, this isn’t a win/lose situation … fucking SOLVE IT … these countries have to stop playing with their dicks, stop thinking with their dicks, and be real men (and women) and FIND A FUCKING PEACEFUL SOLUTION … enough with the crybaby red balloons … it is horrible horrible horrible that people are dying … instead of becoming victims, how about spending your time organizing more awareness for PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS … thnx

      1. whatever says:

        @whatever “how about spending your time organizing more awareness for PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS”

        Other groups on campus do just that. I’ve seen the posters in Hillel…arguably one of the places where it counts the most. I support the red balloons. There will only be peace when both sides have some minimal sympathy and understanding for each other. That takes being aware of every aspect of the conflict. And respecting what the political displays mean to those who put them on.

        1. tho says:

          @tho that’s true. but people should be more aware of how polarizing these events can be. put up red balloons? go for it. maybe put up some balloons for the people who have died on the other side too. this issue can no longer be one side here, one side there…bring BOTH TO THE TABLE…CONSISTANTLY

  • Rolling my eyes says:

    @Rolling my eyes “less than a month before I no longer have to frequent a campus where jews shove their rhetoric down your throat and look at you like you should thank them for taking time out of their day to do so.”

    I feel as though some political position is shoved down my throat at least once a semester. I’m sure everyone on campus feels that way about some issue. Why single out one political group?

    In any case, its a pity to think this kid went through four years of college building up that kind of resentment and hasn’t bothered to find and talk to one of the Jews on campus that is not associated with LionPAC. I’m sure the entire membership of the Progressive Jewish Alliance (not a member myself) would have been a great place for him to start. Really, all he had to do was go grab a coke with a Joe-schmo Jewish classmate, establish some friendliness and talk honestly. Instead, his only outlet is an anonymous post on the bwog. He’s let himself turn into a bigot.

    This does not make me proud to be a Columbia student.

  • annoyed says:

    @annoyed Why do you think that this is a polarizing event? These guys just tried to draw awareness to the fact that people are living under constant threat of being attacked by rockets. That’s really messed up for anyone to have to worry about. Why can’t people just say that’s terrible without feeling the need to vent their extremist political views?

    1. doublestandards says:

      @doublestandards Of all the anti-LionPAC posts here, I notice one consistent theme (besides the few that are pure trash for their simplistic, bigoted, anti-Jewish ranting). Everyone, including this previous poster, seem to think it’s LionPAC’s responsibility to show both sides of the story, to “spend their time organizing more awareness for peaceful solutions,” and the like. While everyone appreciates the value of a comment like “the two countries should stop dicking around” and how it contributes, so substantively, to reconciliation, this double standard towards LionPAC is perplexing and hypocritical. Can someone tell me why it’s LionPAC’s responsibility to highlight the humanitarian plight of Palestinians? LionPAC is not a group made to be a community forum–it’s not here to hold general discussions on the Israeli/Arab conflict and “present both sides of the story.” Like any other pro-“something” group, it’s here to be pro-Israel. Of all the things it could have done to deal with Sderot, this was increadibly measured and highly appropriate. This was an event to highlight the humanitarian plight of 200,000 Israelis under the aim of rockets. (And for the despicable person who belittled their effect, please, take your ‘proportional numbers’ argument and shove it up your ass–there’s no doubt that if Hamas was smart enough to make their rockets better, they’d gladly do so and kill as many Israelis as possible. Just because they haven’t smuggled in the technology yet doesn’t mean they are any less guilty of indiscriminate attacks against civilians).

      To me, it’s almost as if you guys don’t want to know about Sderot, don’t want to know about civilians under fire from Hamas terrorism, and don’t want to know about Israelis suffering–because it ruins the perfect little image you have in your heads about the Palestinians being victims and the Israelis being oppressors, Palestinians being David, Israel being Goliath. I would have thought to expect better of Columbia students, to at least feel some sense of empathy, or intellectual openness in questioning the narrative you’ve comfortably settled into. Alas, you will continue to block out pesky reality, you will continue to ignore the inconvenient truth. But go ahead, look for all the peaceful solutions you want to in that pathetic and distorted frame of mind. Or, as you might say, “keep dicking around.” I’m sure it feels good.

      1. .................. says:

        @.................. Don’t worry. A bitterly resentful retort awaits in the shadows.

      2. Right says:

        @Right You’re right, I don’t want to know about Sderot…if you’re not gonna give me the full story. Am I an “extremist” because I value Israeli and Palestinian lives equally? Being “pro” one side is completely retarded and meaningless when both sides are to blame for the shit storm.

        1. doublestandards says:

          @doublestandards Could you have missed my point any more blatantly? And your point is so intellectually shallow that it’s actually making my brain hemorrhage. Essentially, you’ve just said that healthy debate–indeed, free speech itself–is “retarted and meaningless” when, in your oh-so-expert opinion, “both sides are to blame.” Well, I’m glad to see that our fantastic free speech discourse of last fall, courtesy of our free speech crusading president, did so much to crack through your rock-solid skull and give you even a meager conception of free speech. Job well done, Bollinger.

          As any real proponent of free speech would argue, more speech is better than shutting down speech. In the situation you call for, there shouldn’t be pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian groups, because “both sides are wrong.” Well, no. This is how it works in a free speech society, in case you hadn’t noticed: there are people who support one side of an argument, and people who support the other, and then people in between. And you, cherished, enlightened, critically-thinking citizen, get to study the facts, listen to the arguments, and make–wait, I know this is a hard one for you–an informed decision. So let’s spell this out in context, in case you didn’t catch that: LionPAC is actually allowed to be pro-Israel, and not only is it allowed, it’s a good thing that it is. It is going to tell you a certain side of the story. By the same token, Turath and Filastin, should they decide to stage such events, will present to you the other side of the story. My only worry is that in your severe and dangerous stupidity and near-fascism (let’s not forget you called free speech meaningless and retarted), you won’t be able to handle a healthy debate.

          1. wow says:

            @wow You’ve totally got me pegged. I HATE free speech. I seriously, like, hate it. Fascism FTW!

            (On a more serious note, I realize that arguing online is silly. Those balloons really pissed me off, though)

        2. standards says:

          @standards Don’t bother with the “free speech” crusade. This individual seems ill-informed, perhaps on account of his own volition. Apparently, he is unaware that the behavior of Hamas in the Gaza strip was precipitated by nothing less than a complete, unilateral withdrawal of the Israeli military from the Gaza strip, and the complete, forced demolition of every Israeli settlement in Gaza by the Israeli government, in an operation conducted by over 14,000 Israeli soldiers and police officers.

          1. FACTS! says:

            @FACTS! Well, see the fact that Israel pulled out of Gaza at great national pain doesn’t matter to this person. They obviously do not care to look deeply into the situation and see that the only thing preventing Hamas from having a free state and relieving the plight of the Palestinian people in Hamas. Come can’t “COME TO THE FUCKING TABLE AND REACH A PEACEFUL SOLUTION” if one side does not even recognize the other enough as a negotiating partner. Is anybody actually paying attention to the facts?

      3. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous i just don’t understand why polls of Israeli citizens are consistently more critical of Israel than American polls.

        It’s like I’m living in a crazy land sometimes. And this is not directed against Jewish people, who are no more exceptionalist in their outlook than any religious or ethnic group, it’s just that everyone else around them bought into their exceptionalism for 1600 years or so.

  • red says:

    @red Most Jews are anti-exceptionalist. That is your answer.

  • Benito says:

    @Benito It irks me when people throw around the term fascism like it applies to anything that disagree with.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous lol…how can anyone claim this was a polarizing event? if you purport to be a supporter of human rights, then recognize the fact that indiscriminate rocket fire on a civilian population is really a serious problem. that’s all that LionPAC was trying to point out. it’s not belittling the palestinians; it’s merely highlighting the fact that, if a peacable solution is to be reached, this sort of thing needs to stop. if people can’t ultimately grasp this concept, i’m not too optimistic about the prospects for a future palestinian state.

  • lionpac says:

    @lionpac is a scourge to columbia. pro-israel progessives is an even more retarded organization. zionists, leave the rest of us alone. what more do you people want?

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