The JTA runs this story today after critiques from their earlier piece–honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised — I agree it isn’t productive to build a message or a group based on countering another group, or should I say on a negative message, so I can see why they want to change that PR spin, (and seeing as how all the people who wanted to challenge AIPAC left the initiative…) but wow don’t they sound like funders at the end of the article–indeed I wonder what this new potential “product” might really mean — what I mean is I’m not understanding then what is going to be new in this “marketplace of ideas.” I guess time will tell:
News of the initiative emerged in part because of a rift at the inaugural Sept. 13 meeting in Washington over the degree to which AIPAC should be confronted. There were a number of representatives at that meeting who have directly challenged what they believe is AIPAC’s hawkishness. Others at the meeting said confronting AIPAC would be counterproductive.
Subsequently, those participants who favored a more direct confrontation with AIPAC dropped away, though it was unclear whether they were disinvited or simply chose not to continue participating.
Those currently leading the effort say they’re happy to work with AIPAC.
Sawsan Salameh, a Palestinian from the West Bank, was thrilled to get a full scholarship from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to begin a doctorate in theoretical chemistry.
But a recent move by the Israeli Army to ban new Palestinian students from Israeli universities for security reasons is keeping her from studying at the campus, just two miles from her home.
“The first time I applied for a permit I was rejected,” said Ms. Salameh, 29, a Muslim wearing a firmly fastened head scarf and a black denim skirt that skimmed the floor. “I was shocked, because I thought there must be some kind of mistake, so I kept trying. I kept hoping.”
Her situation is familiar to many Palestinians whose freedom of movement has been limited in recent years because of the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Ms. Salameh said that after she appealed six times to the Israeli government agency that handles Palestinian affairs, she decided to turn to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Gisha, an Israeli group that is an advocate for Palestinian rights, submitted a petition on her behalf to the court, calling the ban illegal…
“There is a Jewish tradition in which value is put on learning; Mr. Ben-Gurion said he wanted Israel to be a shining light to all nations,” he said, referring to Israel’s first prime minister. “You have to deliver on these things.”
“Both by sentiment and cold practicality, it is not in our interest to act like this,” Dr. Levine said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he is teaching at the University of California.