I guess I am supposed to post about things I find interesting, but I wanted to note how uninterested I was in the dust-up over the cancellation of a lecture by NYU Professor Tony Judt. Judt is a bright guy and a good writer, but a sort of moral and pragmatic logic has left him supporting a binational state in Palestine– a move that has made him a target of pro-Israel advocates in the United States.
I have no objection to the actions taken by any of the parties involved, but it did remind me of an interesting exchange I once had. A couple of years ago, Judt gave a lecture on the Israeli occupation at Columbia University in NYC. The next day I happened to be meeting with some gentlemen from the Israeli consulate. They wanted to meet to pitch stories about Israel for the magazine I was working for. They began with a discussion of the lecture, describing its very occurence as a major defeat. I was a bit dumb-founded. On the one hand, who cares what some professor in NYC says on any given day? On the other, it was a bit impressive that their p.r. strategy cast such a wide and fine net.
Politics, I guess, is lot like life: Master the little things and the rest falls into place …
POST-SCRIPT ABOUT A POST-SCRIPT: It truly is the little things:
“The French Embassy on Monday canceled a New York party for a book about Vichy France’s collaboration with Nazi Germany because of the author’s postscript that says Israel has oppressed Palestinians. The Cultural Services of the French Embassy’s office in New York had planned to hold a party on Tuesday to fete the September publication of author Carmen Callil’s “Bad Faith” about Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, the Vichy government official who organized the deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz.”