Ben Kaufman ’17 and Wyatt Smitherman ’16 debate the possibility of a new deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. Kaufman argues we that the Right needs to compromise to pass the deal while Smitherman claims the cost is too high in passing the deal and lifting sanctions.
But the divestment campaign provides little more than a distraction. Instead of facing the real-life dilemmas of a conflict in which two peoples demand, legitimately, the right to live decent lives in the same slice of land, it seeks to seduce supporters by collapsing suspicions of dubious multi-national corporate activities into the Palestine-Israel mix.
While Netanyahu’s tenuous political standing and upcoming elections are likely the catalysts for his divisive address to Congress in defiance of Obama, blaming the pain away will not resolve our allies’ qualms. In fact, it is not unlikely that Netanyahu will win the Israeli elections and retain his leadership position in the Israeli government.
No amount of dialogue and dreaming is going to influence well entrenched systems of oppression thousands of miles away. And therein lies the reason why Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine is a force for good on campus. They’ll actually do something about the occupation and illegal settlement expansions by getting students and faculty to actively organize, by getting this enormous machine we call Stanford up and operating such that really positive, world-level change may some day soon be possible and may even occur.
Ambassador Dennis Ross, a prominent Middle East adviser to Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H. W. Bush, affirmed his belief Tuesday night in CEMEX Auditorium that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threats to attack Iran if an agreement on nuclear weapons is not reached are sincere.