We are so proud of Daniel Swindell, a graduate student at Missouri University, for his Letter To The Editor in response to Saree Makdisi’s lecture at MU titled “The Everyday Occupation of Palestine.” Read Daniel’s piece below:
Editor, the Tribune: I attended the Saree Makdisi lecture at MU titled “The Everyday Occupation of Palestine.” I expected a lecture on security checkpoints and other difficulties, and those were mentioned. But the flier didn’t mention that the lecture would include a denial of the Jewish historical connection to the land and that Makdisi would advocate for the destruction of Israel.
First, the introductory speaker explained the conflict as one between the “Zionist and the indigenous population.” Anyone who has heard of the Bible knows that Jewish nationhood, language and religion all originate in Israel, which means Jews are indigenous to Israel, and a minority has always remained. And, “Zionism is the nationalist movement of Jews.” But this statement means Jews’ movement to regain their nation is in conflict with the “real” indigenous population or that Jews are not indigenous.
Makdisi then advocated for Israel to be removed from the map and replaced by a new binational state. Or, as Makdisi asserted, “all that has to happen is to remove the borders.” Calling for Israel to be replaced with an entirely different binational state is the politically correct way of saying that Israel should be destroyed without sounding violent. Yet, trying to destroy Israel is the reason there has been so much bloodshed. As a Jewish alumnus of MU, words fail to express the moral disappointment of knowing six departments sponsored a man who came to inspire students to work for a world without Israel.