Last year, Eric Alterman criticized my department for co-sponsoring a panel on BDS “at which its [BDS’s] arguments would be presented without opposition or clarification from its opponents.”
This year, Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College decided to give Alterman an opportunity to make good on his complaint. They invited him to debate Max Blumenthal on the question: “What would a just settlement of the Israel/Palestine issue be, and how can it be brought about?”
Alterman’s response to their invitation? “No thanks.” That was it. To students at his very own college, some of whom might even be in his classes.
Perhaps if the students agreed to pony up $10,000 to pay Alterman, he’d consider.
It’s hard to organize a balanced panel if the people criticizing you for lack of balance refuse to participate.
Next time you want to know why the discussion on BDS is one-sided, ask Eric Alterman.
In the meantime….
Update (5 pm)
It just occurred to me: Eric Alterman is free to refuse to debate Max Blumenthal, that is, not to engage in a conversation on his campus organized by students on his campus—and for the record I believe that he is—but American academics are obligated to engage in an exchange with Israeli academic institutions. Okay…