Tags: hedges | compares | israel | isis

Fmr. NYT Reporter Compared Israel to ISIS

Image: Fmr. NYT Reporter Compared Israel to ISIS
Former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 12:19 PM

Former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges recently claimed that he was uninvited from speaking at University of Pennsylvania conference on peace in the Middle East after he penned a column comparing the foundation of Israel with the foundation of ISIS.

"Being banned from speaking about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, especially at universities, is familiar to anyone who attempts to challenge the narrative of the Israel lobby. This is not the first time one of my speaking offers has been revoked and it will not be the last," Hedges wrote in a Dec. 21 column for TruthDig.com

In the article penned by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, which was entitled "Banning Dissent In The Name Of Civility," he cited an email he received from the lecture agency which set up the conference saying that they "don’t think that Chris Hedges would be a suitable fit" at an April forum on prospects for Middle East peace that is being sponsored by the university’s International Affairs Association (IAA).

"We’re saying this in light of a recent article he’s written in which he compares the organization ISIS to Israel. In light of this comparison we don’t believe he would be suitable to a co-existence speaker based on this stance he’s taken," wrote Zachary Michael Belnavis of the IAA in the email posted by Hedges.

But the IAA says it never formally invited Hedges to the conference, nor did they have any direct e-mail contact with him.

"Please be aware, that at this point, the IAA had not formally invited Mr. Hedges and were still in discussions to select and secure a speaker. The IAA also never had any direct e-mail contact with Mr. Hedges and the entire process was run through APB. Additionally no contract had been signed between the IAA and any external agency. Furthermore, this decision was taken by the Academic Affairs branch as a whole, with the support of the Executive Board of the IAA – not by any single individual within the club," read a release posted Dec. 30 on the IAA's website.

Hedges has found a niche making controversial statements and supporting left-wing groups, notes The Daily Caller.

Last year, he attended the People’s Climate March and a protest called “Flood Wall Street,” and in 2013, he spoke out in support of Bradley Manning, the Army private who convicted and imprisoned for revealing classified documents.

But the recent controversy stems from a Dec. 15 column entitled, "ISIS-The New Israel" posted on TruthDig in which Hedges contends that ISIS' pursuit of ethnic purity is similar to the goal of the founders of Israel.

"{ISIS'] quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948. Its tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel," Hedges argued.

In its response, the IAA also says that Hedges was only a suggested speaker when the group began its conference planning in November. Even prior to the controversial article's publication, they write, "the Academic Affairs branch, with the full backing of the IAA felt that Mr. Hedges was not the right type of speaker for our event and hence decided not to pursue him as an option."

Hedges has insisted that it is wrong to say he does not believe in coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel.

"The charge that I oppose coexistence cannot be substantiated by anything I have said or written. And those of us who call on Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders are, after all, only demanding what is required by international law and numerous U.N. resolutions," he wrote.

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Former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges recently claimed that he was uninvited from speaking at University of Pennsylvania conference on peace in the Middle East after he penned a column comparing the foundation of Israel with the foundation of ISIS. Being banned...
hedges, compares, israel, isis
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2015-19-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 12:19 PM
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