Week 62 – Talking About Dialogue

I think me and Kareem were both expecting to come across a barrage of Zionist questioners at every Norman Finkelstein event we spoke at, but it seems that times are changing; for the first half of the tour, such dissent was non-existent. We had to wait until the University of Arizona on May 3rd…

The tone was set early on, as Kareem began his introductory speech:

“We are here today, to talk not only about Operation Cast Lead…”

“This is bullshit!” an old man shouted from the audience, standing up and leaving his seat. If he thought that was bad, then it was probably a good thing that he left early.

As we got into the question and answer session, I could see a smug young man in the line, waiting for his turn. I knew it was him. As I later found out, locals refer to him as “The Terrier”, for reasons I would quickly understand.

“Hi, my name’s Adam, and I help run the pro-Israel advocacy on campus.” Really, he should have just left it at that. “Throughout this year, we have extended our hands to the pro-Palestinian students on campus, to engage in dialogue… I’ve contacted members, student organisers… but I’ve heard nothing back for an entire year. Do you support that kind of dialogue?”

Although the question was directed at Norman, he insisted on handing over to me.

“The first problem with what you have just said,” I began, “is that I don’t believe a word of it. This is part of a wider campaign we are seeing by Zionist societies on campuses across the US and the UK, to normalise a situation of occupation. How can we have a “dialogue” when, as we speak, the Israeli government are evicting more Palestinian families from their homes? What I find interesting is how the dialogue has shifted; five years ago you might have stood up and attacked what we have said, but now that isn’t working anymore, you’re going to try this whole facade of “dialogue”, and really, I don’t believe a word.”

A rousing applause followed, and the isolation of pro-Zionists such as Adam, seems to be a sign that things are changing for the better.

I was feeling very tired and unwell, so I slept for the entire flight back to New York. When we landed, Norman came and sat in the row just in front of me as we waited for Kareem to come from the back of the plane. The man sitting next to me, who I hadn’t said one word to, now turned to Norman.

“What did the doctors say his diagnosis was?”

“Excuse me,” I interjected, “why didn’t you just ask me? I do have a voice of my own.”
“It’s fine, I don’t need to hear explanations, but just think about it next time.” And I began to walk off the plane.

When we got out to the terminal building, the same man came up to me.

“I want to explain why I said that. I have a seventeen year-old son who’s similar to you, but he can’t talk or walk or anything.”

“I’m sorry to hear that…” I replied.

“It’s difficult,” the man said, “but he still smiles everyday.”


20 responses to “Week 62 – Talking About Dialogue

  1. “Throughout this year, we have extended our bloodstained hands to the pro-Palestinians.” The fucker just doesn’t get it.

    Jody, you rock and I miss you so much.

  2. Jacqueline Fellner

    That’s sad 😦 So did he ask you directly or no?
    Love the AZ video btw 😉 And I do believe things are changing too-

  3. Much respect for posting this. I liked your answer both to the Zionist & to that old man.

    1 respect bro

  4. Jody
    You are hell of a man keep on reacting some situations may change one day.
    Suzy & Majed

  5. Dianna Soweidan

    lol i was there!! hilarious! great answer guys! loved it! keep up the good work guys!

  6. Debbie Mageed

    Jody, thanks for not trying to be diplomatic. You said it exactly right! It’s time that the pro-Israeli supporters hear it like it is. Good work and hope you are feeling better!
    Take care,

  7. Great job Jody 🙂 Hope your feeling better now. May God bless and protect you.

    Your biggest fan 😉

  8. sarah connolly

    Your answer to The Terrier was perfect, you allowed him no control over your talk.
    Now that no one has got in can we look forward to seeing you soon?


  10. Martina Lauer

    Something to remember: Don’t allow people to frame the discussion. Thank you for coming to Ottawa!

  11. Two very different incidences of stupidity – both of which you handled in the manner they deserved.

    Keep on Jody, don’t let them get you down……

  12. Heard your talk at UCI today – you rocked it. Thanks and keep it up! 🙂

  13. melissa hafez

    Jody-I saw you in Berkeley at M.L.K. Middle school where my daughter is a student. I have been a long time Palestinian activist. You are so inspirational and a fabulous speaker. Thanks for an informative evening.

  14. Ketty Papadima

    How can you be so direct/straightforward without sounding aggressive? That was what amazed me(made me envious, too, just a bit) when I heard you in Ottawa. After reading about the Terrier and the next-seat man, I have the same question.

  15. Well, there is no need to be aggressive about these things. Just keep telling the truth.

  16. Tatiana Sujatim

    hey jody, I heard you talk at UC Santa Cruz and I think, as Norman suggested in his intro, that you are definitely stealing the show. You’re amazing! My friends and I saw that lady yelling at you after the event, and I couldn’t understand why she had so much hostility. Don’t let people like her stop you from speaking about the injustice in Palestine. Keep at it! 😀

  17. keep it real Jody just remember a lot of this Zionist are now aware that there plan has been discovered that is why they want dialogue

  18. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated such an articulate answer to such an asinine question more. Thanks again for coming.

  19. Karen Woerner

    Dear Jody:
    I loved your talk. Hearing from you and Lowkey was as inspiring as the main lecture by Dr. Finklestein. When the fellow criticized Palestinian groups for not being willing to “engage in dialogue,” it occurred to me that what he wanted to do was engage in a sparring match, which he felt confident he would win by verbal cleverness. Real dialogue would involve an open heart and willingness to put yourself in the other person’s shoes — something he had no intention of doing. Your answer to him called him on his hypocrisy. Well said.

  20. Hal Jackson

    I very much enjoyed your informative talk here in 2 Stone Arizona (Tucson). I was the Audio Visual tech assigned to the show, and I found it a refreshing relief from the heavily Israeli/Christian event I had to work the previous week. I do not remember the name of this featured speaker, but let’s put it this way: he was like a Jewish Rush Limbaugh. I just kept asking myself as the audience roared with laughter, “is this guy serious, or is he just trying to entertain?”
    At one point, he remarked how on his conservative talk show how he thought that Native Americans should stop trying to get Pro Football and Baseball teams from calling themselves by Indian names, such as The Washington Redskins (which is highly offensive).
    He went on to say that he would feel elated if pro teams called themselves by names that were reflective of the Jewish culture, and that he would not feel slighted at all. It would make him proud.
    I waited around and asked this guy later, ” do you mean to say that if 24 big, sweaty, gangsta leanin’ black men called themselves the New York Rabbis, and not a single one of them was Jewish, you would not be the least bit offended?”
    Well, needless to say, he ran away from me quick. No answer. Just shock at having his bluff called.
    I saw that guy bum rush the show at the beginning. Wow! Dialog… nice thought.
    What I really wanted to say Jody was that I thought it was great that you guys had a Jewish person speaking right along with you. There are those who know the truth, and those who live the lie. Keep up the good works, and tell LowKey that the CD is bangin’.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s