Gaza 2.0

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Bwog returned to the sundial for its second lunch of activism in two days. The speakout began promptly at 12:00 PM activist time (aka “12:13”).  A wan student (to the accompaniment of a bongo drum, vital in any event requiring “atmosphere”) listed the names and ages of the victims of conflict. He was surrounded by pairs of shoes – a setup clearly designed to commemorate the thousands of men, women and children who’ve lost their lives in Gaza.

Among the guest speakers was Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, who gave a rousing damnation of the general state of world affairs, asserting that the war was “made possible by the US’s tax dollars,” and also on the soapbox were slightly less vocal but nonetheless sincere representatives of the various student organizations (“I’m really nervous,” practically mumbled one of them). Yet excepting the occasional flyer-thrusting and poster-hoisting that was involved, the event maintained its solemn disposition.

Yet the solemnity eventually gave way to mulling about. Busy non-participants shuffled their way through the middle of the crowd. Two participants seemed more concerned with talking about their law school applications than the event at hand. Then someone thrust a flag into their hands and they perked up, renewed with idealistic zeal. 

– LPM, with photos by LPM and additional reporting by JYH 

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  1. the shoes  

    are meant to ward off the evil spirit of george bush

  2. what  

    was the deal with the drum after every name... made the whole hting kind of silly

  3. whoa  

    biased bwog coverage hello

  4. yeah..  

    wtf is with this article?

  5. clearly

    they only stand with gaza because someone took all their shoes.

  6. not surprised  

    at the terrible reporting in this article. next time get someone who knows how to utilize humor when appropriate (ie: not this article)

  7. I agree  

    who the fuck wrote this article? Not funny, well-written or informative at all. This is the first time I actually agree with the commenters. Very disappointing Bwog.

  8. Disgusted

    Bwog, this article is totally inappropriate and juvenile. The event was well attended and the speakers were very powerful and articulate. This kind of reporting is biased and disrespectful.

  9. Bigots

    whoever wrote this article should be ashamed of themselves

  10. Wow  

    It's absolutely hilarious watching you terrorist sympathizers squirm because of a bwog article. Oh my dearies, you're "disgusted" by these "bigots"!! I think it just goes to show how utterly unbalanced all of you are.

    • lol  

      Yes you called them "terrorist sympathizers" and THEY'RE unbalanced. Nice.

      And cheer up other commenters. Bwog is always going to be cynical/snarky about any kind of demonstration. And I'm sorry but this is not a vigil/funeral any more than the Dems' thing on Iraq was a funeral/vigil. It's a political demonstration underneath a vigil, so I don't think you should get your knickers in a twist.

  11. Bwog  

    Kudos for finally not giving in to the mass conformist political culture on this campus that requires everyone to shout ridiculous slogans without basis. I never know whether to laugh when I see dim-witted know-nothings condemning everything and anything established in the world with maniacal zealotry.
    This article was well-written and not bias in the least.

    Nowhere did Bwog say "Wow I love Israel" or "Yay, innocent people died"-- merely that this "vigil" was a sham.... which of course it was.

    And shoes...more holocaust inversion--classy...

    • dim-witted know-nothing  

      While I agree that political culture on columbia's campus often gives rise to activism addicts who barely understand the slogan that they chant from rally to rally, it is important to understand that in every rally there are at least a few students to whom the group has a deeper, heartfelt meaning. Those expressing disappointment with bwog's coverage may be overreacting due to their sensitivity to the subject, but there is something in complete dismissal of a student event's validity that shows a lack of respect. In bwog's referring to a drum marking the death of innocent victims as providing "atmosphere" and in your own use of the word "sham" in describing the vigil, there is an assumption made about the motivations of all members of the rally that is simply ungrounded.

      For every "dim-witted know-nothing" in the crowd shuffling their feet as they pose for shots of their activism, there was also a heartsick and honest member of the movement whose participation does not deserve to be so offhandedly dismissed. If activism abounds in this campus, it is only because there are so many conflicts in this era of globalization. To mock and undermine fellow classmates and professors for expressing true sadness that their homeland, or their neighbors, or possibly even a land with whom they have no connection other than common humanity, is being filled with tombstones, is beyond inappropriate. The microphone was set to a fairly low volume, and the event seemed really more a way of dealing with their emotional frustration than of bragging of their ability to condemn "everything and anything established in the world with maniacal zealotry."

      Yes, Bwog is here for our hourly/daily/etc. dose of satire and self-deprecation. And true, the article is not really that much more biased than any other bwog entry on political activism on campus. The problem, unless I mistake the previous commentors' intentions, is that it makes a judgment call on the merit of a carefully planned and thought out, touching ceremony, based on the actions of students who clearly had nothing to do with the process.

      As for the well-written bit, one could argue that starting two sentences in a row with the word "yet" and ending a report with an anecdote that relates little about the group and event as a whole are not exactly attributes of a finely crafted article. But that's neither here nor there.

      • well  

        "nonetheless sincere representatives of the various student organizations" -- this phrase says the same thing you said far more efficiently.

        the shoes symbolism was obviously designed to draw an analogy to the holocaust.

  12. disgusted.  

    this was not a vigil. it was a speak-out. it was a solemn event and those there kept it solemn. i guess bwog (and all those who agree with the disrespectful tone of this article) would like to laugh in the face of all those who stood solemnly today and listened with angry indignation and tears at what was said, much of which was beautiful and heartfelt, not just condemning the international political situation but commemorating the lives of those innocents lost in Gaza.
    The shoes are not a holocaust inversion, but an invocation that is recognizable to everyone, for we live in a world where genocide is a reality. It is happening in Gaza, which the Israelis above all others should recognize.
    Horrible, disrespectful, shameful, Bwog.

    • Time out.

      whoa now, buddy. You do NOT want to go here:

      "The shoes are not a holocaust inversion, but an invocation that is recognizable to everyone, for we live in a world where genocide is a reality. It is happening in Gaza, which the Israelis above all others should recognize."

      I agree that Israel's actions are deplorable and even excessive, and I can sympathize and empathize with your frustration and pain over what is occurring. But equivocating the war in Gaza to the Holocaust, and implying that A) Israel/Zionism is a simply a reaction to the Holocaust, B) Israel has turned its back on the Holocaust, and C) that every person in Israel is a Jew who should know better is offensive. It reflects something that I've noticed a lot recently, which is that anti-Israeli politics very quickly crosses over into antisemitism, and Israel and Judaism become one and the same. It is possible to be Israeli and not Jewish, to be Israeli and completley secular, and to support Israel regardless of religion.

  13. thanks  

    for realizing how inconsiderate the original article was and editing it...sarcasm and self-deprecation definitely have its place on the bwog but this somber speakout really could have done without. better late than never i suppose.

  14. wow

    this revision is...total crap. At least the original was honest and funny. This just reads like an insincere attempt at appeasement.

  15. Surprised

    I'm surprised that no one spontaneously combusted out of the group of pro-Hamas demonstrators - Hamas has a tendency to do that whenever a crowd gets large in a public space....say like a Sbarro's.

  16. whoa  

    revisionist journalism? i want to see the original copy...

    shame on bwog!!

  17. January 19 Informant  

    It's a little ridiculous for Israel advocates to complain about "Holocaust inversion." There was practically no death toll in Southern Israel, yet every day of the war you could hear another mention of the Holocaust from pro-Israel people.

    If you Israel advocates don't want Gaza supporters to use Holocaust imagery, stop twisting and abusing it yourselves.

    • practically no death toll

      yeah, seriously, who gives a shit if a few Jews die? So long as the precious terrorists are treated humanely at all costs.
      Not referring specifically to 23, but in general, it amazes me to see how much underlying antisemitism still lingers even at CU. Just because it's no longer taking the form of pogroms doesn't make it any less of what it is.

      • Whoa, whoa  

        This campus is so friggin' anti-Semitic with your Arab loving and your this and your that.

        • israel  

          excuse me while i go slaughter some more palestinian children while i tap into your collective western shame of being anti-semitic

          • Reality  

            Stop projecting your delusions onto others. You fucking terrorist-sympathizers love to pretend that one can't rationally defend Israel without resorting to accusations of anti-Semitism, which is clearly untrue. Just look at this thread - how many people have even used that term? And judging from the "counterprotest" on Monday, I can safely assure you that groups on campus with the biggest guilt issues are the far-left activist outfits like ISO and SDS. After all, what else else can explain why a group of upper-middle class pseudo-intellectual white kids from New Jersey who believe Marx's bullshit constantly ally themselves with the most despicable, fascist regimes on the planet (Iran, Hamas, Chavez, Castro, etc._).

      • scalees  

        It's not a matter of the death toll. It's about law and order and safety. No entity has a right to fire projectiles into Israel or to kidnap Israeli soldiers, just like no entity has a right to fire projectiles into the United States or kidnap marines. Doing so is an act of war, and groups which engage in belligerent activity and declare their intentions to engage in war very plainly should expect reciprocation and annihilation, for that matter.

        • .....  

          To make it clearer, there is no precept by which Israel must accept the existence of a violent insurrectionist entity within its borders, as is the present case, or outside of them for that matter. The fact that they are presently using weapons of only a certain range or capacity, notwithstanding perennial and ongoing attempts to obtain weapons of greater lethality does not justify their continued existence as a governing power. I do agree with some of the people opposed to the recent actions in one sense however. If I were in Israel's government, I would have never made it appear that any element of the situation in the South was acceptable. I would have not allowed the ongoing militarization to go unanswered, and I would have long ago made clear that autonomous government in the disputed territories is contingent upon the cessation of military activity.

        • January 19 Informant  

          So if a police officer is ever kidnapped by some random NYC gang, do you think the U.S. Air Force should begin wildly bombing Harlem in response? That is essentially what Israel did. Such an act of "self-defense" is characteristic of the world's most vicious regimes.

          I am glad, though, for your refreshing honesty. What we are talking about is not "self-defense." It is a prelude to "anihilation". From here, we can move only to genocide. Thank you for your honesty!

          • better analogy

            More like a soldier in the New York State...coast guard... is kidnapped by a political group in charge of New Jersey. New Jersey will not give information about the soldier for 2 years, keeping him hostage, and fires missiles at Long Island. Long Island builds bomb shelters for its people, who have 15 seconds to run into them. New Jersey, however, spends all its money on missiles, and shoots them from public areas, resulting in mass casualties when New York attempts to defend itself.

            See why these analogies are awkward?

          • correction  

            you forgot that in your analogy, new jersey wud be a densely populated gated community whose economy has been crushed by new york, its people starved, and surrounded by a barrier so new york can control the fate of the people. you should also mention in your analogy that the people living in new jersey wud be the ones who were kicked out of their homes in long island where they now fire flimsy rockets at.

  18. January 19 Informant  

    Of course I care if a few Jews die. I have no respect for terrorists, and if you listened to some of the Palestinian speakers today, they didn't either.

    Not referring specifically to 24, but in general, it amazes me to see how cowardly some Zionists are in the face of a mushrooming genocide. Just because it's not happening to Jews doesn't make it any less of what it is.

  19. ......  

    Seriously people, genocide is not another slogan so STOP using it as one. If you are so ignorant that you just do not understand what that word entails, simply look it up. Internet is a wonderful invention.

    I really do not care care if you are Israeli, Palestinian, American, Left, Right, or terrorist, every time 'genocide' is used to represent something as absurdly removed from it as in what is happening now in Gaza, the term lessens in meaning.

    With the rate Columbia holds these rallies/vigils/speak-outs/silence-what-nots/shams/etc., touting the banner of genocide, the word is soon fated to have as much force as vanilla ice cream.

  20. January 19 Informant  

    To clarify, I do not think there's genocide now in Gaza. But I think there's a clear possibility, and if you do not recognize that, it is YOU who are sloganeering.

    Look up stats. Compare to other locations that are recognized as potential sites of genocide. Examine closely how Israeli rhetoric and collective punishment has escalated against the PEOPLE of Gaza.

    You may be quite surprised.

  21. Reality Check  

    Go BWOG! I found the write-up funny, and I felt like it perfectly captured my own reaction to the gaza vigils. WTF was with that drum? Why were there shoes on the sundial? And why do the gaza protesters think they have a monopoly on all that is right and holy?

    News flash: there are bigger and more important issues in the world than Gaza. Indeed, the Israeli-Arab conflict, for all its flashiness, is not all that important.

    Which is probably why the event had about a 30-person turnout, including the City College students who got bussed in to make the protest look bigger.

  22. January 19 Informant  

    Yes, the analogy is quite awkward indeed--for you. Your first three sentences depict a situation that is indeed tragic and wrong. But that in no way justifies Israel's savage response. Your fourth sentence is based on an assumption, which is totally unproven, that Hamas alone caused the civilian attacks.

    Hamas is a fascist terror group. I have no love lost for them. But Israel is getting there as well.

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