Rashomon Reports From Israeli Defense Forces Visit to Cal State Fullerton
Move over, UC Irvine: Cal State Fullerton has entered the ranting-against-visiting-Israelis sweepstakes.
Or has it?
Pro-Palestinian students say they recently confronted two Israeli Defense Forces soldiers on campus, according to a Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) report.
Giving a totally different account of the Oct. 13 event is the American Trial Attorneys in Defense of Israel (ATADI).
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Here's what can be agreed upon: Two IDF soliders, a man and a woman, invited by CSUF Hillel and Stand With Us talked with students about life in Israel's army. Both speakers focused on the code of conduct that dictates how Israel's soldiers should deal with Palestinians.
Other than that, the reports diverge. The PSL, which sneaked members into a gathering it reported as being composed "mostly of Zionists," claimed the soliders did not want to disclose their names. The ATADI said they gave only first names, Orit and Jonathan.
The ATADI: "With her story, Orit hoped students at CSUF could recognize the efforts that the Israeli army is doing to try to negotiate with Palestinians. That Israeli soldiers have no interest in war, but to live in peace and a secure world in which the people of Israel and Palestine can exchange dialogue and not violence."
The PSL: The Israelis tried "to paint the brutal, racist military in a humane light" and fibbed about their code forbidding interaction with Palestinians, "lies that would be laughable if they implicated something less serious than collective punishment, bombing of children, checkpoints used to humiliate and degrade Palestinians every day, and disgusting T-shirts depicting brutalized Palestinian women with the slogan, 'Better Use a Condom.'"
As with the infamous appearance by Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren at UCI in February, the dissenters in the CSUF crowd disrupted the speakers, with Palestinian student Tamara Khoury, who belongs to the PSL, asking, "What is humane about the mass murder of more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children?" before she was escorted out, reports the PSL.
"The IDF soldiers continued to be challenged and the meeting was an utter failure in its attempt to propagate the myth of a 'humane' IDF and 'humane' occupation," claimed the pro-Palestinian party.
No such disruption was mentioned by the ATADI, which quoted Noffar Kaspi, a communications disorder and sciences student, saying, "The event was a positive outcome and I valued everyone's opinion," and human communications major Ryan Alhadeff opining, "I can't speak for the Israeli army, but it seems that we are trying to take out the Hammas and the war with the terrorists. Hopefully we can work things out, we both want peace."