From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Following are excerpts from an email a friend of mine forwarded me regarding the national conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement that took place at OSU two weekends ago. [Note: I’ve added a few editorial comments in brackets.]

As the Palestinian solidarity Conference leaves town, we wanted to reflect back on a few key issues and the many successes of our intensified efforts to educate and activate our students. In summary approximately 200 people attended the conference, with just 75 attending their rally ending the conference on Sunday. This compares to 400 peek attendance at Michigan last year. Hillel had nearly 200 attending its erev shabbat program with Avram Infeld, Interim President of International Hillel, at the same time as the conference opened [note: this means that an event at Hillel that was hardly publicized drew almost as many people, if not more, than the opening session of the conference, which had been publicized for months]. Dershowitz alone drew 1200 [note: and unlike the PSM events, which were free, people had to pay to see Dershowitz!], to say nothing of the numerous smaller events and pro-Israel messages disseminated over the last 10 weeks.

Coverage in the general media about the conference during the past 10 weeks leading up to this weekend was very modest indeed [note: that’s an understatement]. Even the Lantern, the school paper printed one article over a month ago and two letters to the editor. The only time the Lantern covered the story again was today, which we expected. Over the weekend itself there was some coverage in the Dispatch, also as expected [note: as mentioned below, this amounted primarily to three articles, two of which were mainly about pro-Israel activities.]

As a community we showed amazing unity as we worked together. From lay leaders to staff, organizations not only in Columbus but throughout the state lent their support, energy and ideas.

We controlled the message by not creating a first amendment fight.

And, still our work continues. Thank you to all of our friends who have helped us meet our obligation to strengthen the connection of the thousands of Jewish students on campus to Israel [note: this also helped strengthen support among a lot of non-Jews]. These have been challenging time and your support has helped us teach our students to stand up for the values that Israel and the United States represent.

Please continue to checkout buckeyesforisrael.org [note: not to be confused with buckeyesforisrael.com or buckeyesforisrael.net, the redirect pages set up by Joh Lehman of the OSU anti-Israel group; see TBON entry for Nov. 10] as we update our programs including an evening with Ambassador Ross.

I’ve got no major quibbles with that account. The conference received very little media attention, and most of the coverage it did garner was about the pro-Israel activities. And unlike at the various pro-Israel events on and off-campus, attendance at the conference seemed sparse. If you’re interested, you can still check out the conference’s webpage, which still features the bogus Desmond Tutu “quote.” I’m still typing up my account of what I saw and experienced before and during the opening session, and I’ll be posting that account, along with some additional commentary, soon.

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