Utterly predictable, yet no less disturbing on that account, is Brown's statement that
Academic elites need to understand that their ideas have real world consequences well beyond the comforts of the ivory tower, and the last thing Israel needs is Harvard legitimizing a terribly misguided idea.May I note the following:
- Brown's gratuitous references to academic "elites" and the "ivory tower" were undoubtedly calculated to chum the waters for right-wing media maneaters. Rush Limbaugh in particular has used "elites" as a code for "hateful/egghead/pointy-headed liberals" for years.
- The "ivory-tower" denizens who will be speaking at the conference - most prominent among them, Ilan Pappe and Stephen Walt - have already forgotten more about the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that Scott Brown will ever know.
- Yes, Senator Brown, the entire point - and fervent hope - of the conference's organizers is that the conference will indeed have "real world consequences." The "peace process" has become the longest-standing joke in the history of US foreign policy and public diplomacy. But it has nonetheless resulted in significant "real world consequences": more Zionist "facts on the ground" - most recently in the form of West Bank "outposts", once deemed illegal, in which the Israeli government now quietly acquiesces.
. . . which is why I'm hugely disappointed that Elizabeth Warren, Brown's Democratic opponent for the Massachusetts senatorial election in November, responded to Brown's statements with an incredibly (but again, predictably, given the current biases in US politics) weak-kneed statement that, gosh, I wasn't even aware of the conference (in which case, she better hire some additional staff, or else start reading the papers), but anyway, I've always been in favor of a two-state solution. Isn't it comforting to see that Ms. Warren is so engaged?