Prof. Rickford speaks at the knee-in protest last Wednesday. He joined Black Lives Matter in Ithaca in 2015 and has been a founding member of Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy since last year.

Michael Wenye Li / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Prof. Rickford speaks at the knee-in protest last Wednesday. He joined Black Lives Matter in Ithaca in 2015 and has been a founding member of Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy since last year.

October 5, 2017

Professor Has No Regrets After Controversial Chant

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“I never assume that most people share my politics,” Prof. Russell Rickford, history, told The Sun.

Activist and scholar of black American history, Rickford joined Black Lives Matter in Ithaca in 2015 and became a founding member of Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy last year, which led protests demanding the University to protect and support international Cornellians in March.

More recently, and more controversially, at a knee-in last Wednesday following the professional athletes and Cornell students who had been protesting racial violence, Rickford led the chant “Free Palestine” just before the crowd kneeled.

Rickford’s chant was followed by a scattered applause and a palpable unease among some in the crowd. Shortly later, the chant “Free Palestine” was dubbed by conservative blog Legal Insurrection as the “hijacking of other ‘social justice”’ causes to turn them against Israel.” It also called Rickford “an anti-capitalist, anti-Israel activist” after the protest.

Following the protest, Rickford was met with criticism that he misused a platform framed for solidarity with athletes and black Cornell students in addressing the hotly debated Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Prof. Rickford assumed that because we were here to protest racism on Cornell’s campus, we all shared an opinion and belief on a separate issue,” wrote Arielle Hazi ’18 in a Guest Room for The Sun. Hazi said she was “frustrated” with Rickford’s decision to initiate the chant.

Rickford said his rhetorical strategy in leading the crowd in the chant “Free Palestine” was precisely aligned with the aim of the protest.

“The colonial occupation of Palestine remains one of the world’s most visible campaigns of white supremacist violence,” Rickford said. The event was held not just to bring awareness to violence against black Americans, but as an expression of resistance against acts of white supremacy — to which Rickford said Palestinians were subject without exception under Israeli occupation.

Rickford said his chant connected expressions of white supremacy on campus and in the United States to systemic colonial violence abroad.

Comparisons of his chant with anti-Semitism, Rickford said, is effectively an insulation of ongoing colonial powers.

“It is also an attempt to silence the millions of Jews around the world who condemn Israel’s apartheid policies,” he said.

When Rickford was growing up, black nationalism, amid its the cultural resurgence in the 1990s, was a basis for his “early resistance to white supremacy.” As he continued to evolve politically after college, he studied the works of Marxist and Third Word theorists, from Frantz Fanon to Amilcar Cabral, and has embraced a leftist view of society.

“I began to link anti-racism with anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, and anti-militarism,” he said.

Protests against racism in America today too often avoid a “direct confrontation of power,” Rickford said. This avoidance of confrontation is something Rickford said he has attempted to counteract in his speeches.

That is why he said he has called for liberation and anti-colonialism not only at home but, more importantly, around the world.

In fact, Rickford said he had also mentioned the history of genocide and dispossession of indigenous peoples in North America in his speech. But he said that there was no complaint about it following the protest, because that statement was not regarded as a serious challenge to the ongoing practice of colonialist power.

“Those in power reserve the right to define the limits of acceptable political expression,” he said.

The fact that people were specifically unhappy with Rickford’s remarks on Palestine demonstrated that, to Rickford, his challenge of Palestinian occupation was a threat to those in power in America.

“The Palestinian people remain colonized,” he said. “Their oppression is routinely justified in the United States, a society steeped in the culture and logic of settler colonialism. All the great structures of U.S. violence — mass incarceration, militarism, police terror, racism, etc. — converge in the occupation of Palestine.”

Rickford said one’s dedication to principles of social justice and equality should not end at home.

“If we’re committed to liberation, connecting the local and the global seems not only appropriate, but absolutely necessary,” he said, adding that his motivation behind leading the chant at the knee-in was to challenge listeners to place their values in a global context.

The Palestinian people, as a group that has long endured colonial occupation and apartheid, to Rickford, were thus necessary to include in the conversation about race and hate in America.

“I always invoke Palestine when I speak publicly. It is part of my attempt to demonstrate solidarity, as the Palestinian people have long done in relation to the black freedom struggle,” he said.

  • concerned alum

    This “history” professor doesn’t know what apartheid is. He co-opted one cause for another.
    What a double standard. Where are the “demands” to get him off campus, protests in front of his office, or boycotts of his classes?
    Arielle Hazi’s editorial in the Sun last week was brilliant!

    • Jonathan Pomboza

      Arielle Hazi’s editorial was trash. Basically a pro-Israeli apartheid fluff piece.

      • Arafat

        “Antisemitism has moved from hatred of Jews on religious or racial grounds to hostility towards the proudest expression of Jewish identity we now have — the Jewish state.”

        “No other democracy is on the receiving end of a campaign calling for its people to be shunned and their labour to be blacklisted,” he continued. “This is antisemitism, impure and simple. It is the latest recrudescence of the age-old demand that the Jew can only live on terms set by others. Once Jews had to live in the ghetto, now they cannot live in their historic home.”

      • MajorBidamon

        Jonathan is the kind of guy who ends up with Che in the Bolivian jungle wondering, “how the hell did I end up here?”

      • MajorBidamon

        I just read her article — what about it was pro-Israel. She specifically mentions how her dad experienced Racism in Israel and how she is trying to get past her upbringing to understand the Palestinian plight. Her issue was with shallow conflation of American issues with the Palestinian issue. I’m starting to think Jonathan is a troll … willfully ignorant of what Hazi said or willfully dishonest. Please don’t tell me you went / go to Cornell. This would confirm Cornell is not a true Ivy.

  • Thomas Sowell

    This so-called history professor is quite illiterate when it comes to history. Go figure.

  • Guy

    Why are leftist such haters? Why is this person of hate…allowed at the university…is it skin color and the university’s acceptance of leftist hatred?

    • Jonathan Pomboza


      • Arafat

        You need a Leftist Tear Mug. They’re available in different colors and sizes.

        • MajorBidamon

          Ben Shapiro says it will be there thousands of years from now — the highest form of human accomplishment!

      • MajorBidamon

        #AmericanTears. You know Jonathan — America! The country you love and honor!

      • Kizmet Paradigm

        CUCK ALERT! The only “white tears” I have are swimming in your sisters stomach…yummy!

  • Guy

    BTW what has BLM done to stop black people from shooting black people…the vast majority of black shooting deaths…400+ so far this year in Chicago alone…Charlotte and Baltimore are seeing record shooting of blacks….but people like this classic liberal HYPOCRITE…blame the cops? Ever think cops get scared just like the rest of us? In my state black men 15-45 are 4% of the population, they commit 70% of the murders. I would think everyone would get behind…a cause to lower black males murdering people…mostly blacks. Of the 13,455 cases from last year in which the FBI listed a victim’s racial information, 7,039 victims – or 52.3 percent – were black. That compares with 5,854 cases – or 43.5 percent. Blacks are only 13% of the population in the USA…but are 52% of the murdered…almost all by fellow black people? Maybe his time would be better spent trying to stop this VIOLENCE!

    • Happy Jack
      • Jonathan Pomboza

        BDS is not anti-semitic.

        • Arafat

          Demonization of Israel, holding it to double standards not used against any other country, including the worst dictatorships, falls under the definition of anti-Semitism by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and the U.S. Department of State. Here is a simple example: the “left” repeatedly calls for boycotts of Israel because it is, they claim, “an apartheid state.” One might weep. Israel is so totally free of apartheid that anyone who has spent ten minutes there knows the accusation to be an outright lie. So why keep on saying something untrue? That is anti-Semitism.

          • Leo

            The apartheid is in the West Bank. Israel wants the land and water resources of the West Bank, but doesn’t want to absorb its population. Experts on apartheid like Mandela and Desmond Tutu have concurred that the situation in the West Bank is one of apartheid. Of course, Israel apologists will just brush them off as anti-Semites.

            It is Israel that expects a double standard to its advantage. It wants the world to sit back and allow it to occupy indefinitely land it has not annexed and to whose inhabitants it has not offered citizenship. It has not annexed the West Bank or offered citizenship to West Bank Palestinians, yet claims the West Bank is not under occupation, just disputed territory, as if disputed territory can’t be under occupation. Given Israel is militarily controlling the West Bank, and hasn’t annexed it, the West Bank is clearly under occupation. That means the settlements are war crimes, as UN security council resolutions passed with US consent under Reagan, Carter, and Obama, confirm.

          • Arafat

            “Late last month, I went to hear Bishop Desmond Tutu speak at Boston’s Old South Church at a conference on ‘Israel Apartheid.’

            Tutu is a well respected man of G-d. He brought reconciliation between blacks and whites in South Africa. That he would lead a conference that damns the Jewish State is very disturbing to me.

            The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families — even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools, and get the best medical care in the world.  I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli Parliament. I see street signs in Arabic, an official language here.

            None of this was true for blacks under Apartheid in Tutu’s South Africa. I also know countries that do deserve the apartheid label: My country, Sudan, is on the top of the list, but so are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. What has happened to my people in Sudan is a thousand times worse than Apartheid in South Africa. And no matter how the Palestinians suffer, they suffer nothing compared to my people. Nothing. And most of the suffering is the fault of their leaders.

            Bishop Tutu, I see black Jews walking down the street here in Jerusalem. Black like us, free and proud.

            Tutu said Israeli checkpoints are a nightmare. But checkpoints are there because Palestinians are sent into Israel to blow up and kill innocent women and children.

            Tutu wants checkpoints removed. Do you not have doors in your home, Bishop? Does that make your house an apartheid house? If someone, Heaven forbid, tried to enter with a bomb, we would want you to have security people ‘humiliating’ your guests with searches, and we would not call you racist for doing so. We all go through checkpoints at every airport. Are the airlines being racist? No.

            Yes, the Palestinians are inconvenienced at checkpoints. But why, Bishop Tutu, do you care more about that inconvenience than about Jewish lives?

            Bishop, when you used to dance for Mandela’s freedom, we Africans — all over Africa — joined in. Our support was key in your freedom. But when children in Burundi and Kinshasa, all the way to Liberia and Sierra Leone, and in particular in Sudan, cried and called for rescue, you heard but chose to be silent.

            Today, black children are enslaved in Sudan, the last place in the continent of Africa where humans are owned by other humans — I was part of the movement to stop slavery in Mauritania, which just now abolished the practice. But you were not with us, Bishop Tutu.

            So where is Desmond Tutu when my people call out for freedom? Slaughter and genocide and slavery are lashing Africans right now. Where are you for Sudan, Bishop Tutu? You are busy attacking the Jewish State.


            Simon Deng is a refugee from Southern Sudan, now an American citizen.

          • Arafat

            Leo…you really are a product of a warped education system. Most everything you know {sic} about Israel is false.

            In case you had not heard the West Bank is governed by a guy name Abbas. Like most every Muslim leader he is serving the people {sic} for the twelfth year of a four year term. He and his parliament {sic} make the laws, provide the social services {sic}, dictate daily life for their people. They set up the education system, not the Israelis. And education system that teaches kids as young as four to wear suicide belts and to think of Jews as beneath life. They are responsible for naming streets and public squares after terrorist pigs who have killed women and children.

            Yes, Israel controls movement in and out of Israel but most other governments I’ve heard of are also granted this privilege. I suppose you think Israel should allow women and children killers free access to her people. Do I understand this correctly?

            And, of course, then there is Gaza. You seem to forget that Israel forcibly removed her settlers from Gaza in the hopes that the enlightened government of Hamas (you know…the government that throws gays off of rooftops and forces women into servitude and which holds NO democratic elections) would respond with thanks. But, noooo, Hamas instead responded by shooting thousands of rockets into Israel.

            You are a product of a perverted education system. You are a victim who shares similarities with the Palestinian children who are taught to hate Jews from the cradle to grave. You do not know the truth, you know propaganda.

          • stannadel

            Straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

          • Leo

            Reagan let UN security council resolution 476 pass, which says Israel’s actions in Jerusalem violated the Fourth Geneva Convention. I guess that makes Reagan an anti-Semite too.


    • Arafat

      BLM…a license to get away with murder.

      BLM is really something special.

      They pushed the Bern off the stage at his campaign stop in Spokane. They beat up Trump supporters as if that’s part of the democratic process, they shout down moderate democrats because, well, they’re moderate. Who in their right mind would want these racist, violent people in power?

      • MajorBidamon


        • Kizmet Paradigm


          • MajorBidamon

            The prize: one way ticket to a re-education camp. Doh!

  • Happy Jack

    “Free Palestine” from whom? Terrorist extortionists, Hamas or Fatah? From the inept kleptocracy of the PA?

  • Ken Waltzer

    Mr. Rickford should turn in his credential as a historian and instead wear a sign that says “ideologist.’ Note the security guards recently killed by a Palestinian near Har Adar — an Israeli Ethiopian, an Israeli of Moroccan descent, and an Israeli Arab. White supremacy? Or the guard killed in chaos near the Al Aqsa Mosque recently, an Israeli Druze. White supremacy? Spouting ideology one need know nothing else — formula this, formula that. One need not inquire. The answers are ready made. The burden for Cornell is not partnership with the Technion but the presence on the faculty of shortcut analysts of this kind — shallow, unknowing, misleading.

  • Jonathan Pomboza

    Free Palestine from Israeli Apartheid. Thank you Professor for taking a stand.

    • Arafat

      I think we should boycott the Muslim world.

      Every single Muslim country discriminates against the LGTB community and in some Muslim countries homosexuals are killed. In Israel the LGTB community prospers.

      In every single Muslim country freedom of speech is limited and the media is an unapologetic propaganda tool of the state. Even a “moderate” Muslim country like Turkey has imprisoned more journalists than any other country in the entire world. That is right. Google this.

      And then there are the most Islamic countries – Saudi Arabia and Iran – the Sunni and Shi’ite leaders in Sharia law where women are forced to wear black body coverings to leave their home. Where women are routinely abused in the most horrific ways imaginable. Where women live in fear.

      And throughout the Muslim world ethnic cleansing is commonplace. In Israel the Muslim population is growing apace but in the Muslim world Christians, Hindus, atheists, Bahai, Animists are being slaughtered. So much so that if one takes the time to Google the religious demographics in the Muslim world one discovers frighteningly few non-Muslims (and fewer all the time). This is particularly shocking when one realizes that Islam is the world’s youngest religion. How did all the Buddhist disappear from Afghanistan leaving that country 100% Muslim. How did almost all the Hindus disappear from Pakistan and Bangladesh? How did all the Animists disappear from Sudan? The answer is simple, they were either killed or forced to embrace Islam.

      Let’s divest from the Muslim world for their bestiality towards children: forcing young girls in Nigeria and elsewhere into sexual slavery, forcing young boys to become child soldiers.

      Silly me! Why would I expect journalists to propose or support this? I mean it’s more PC to make up lies about Israel than to be honest and unpopular about the Islamic world. After all, journalists are not paid to do their homework they are paid to be pawns of the establishment: Specifically the liberal establishment, the liberal professors and their ilk.

      And most importantly, why care about Jews, right? No one speaks up for them, no one ever did throughout man’s history. Their two temples were destroyed and the Jews were forcibly kicked out of Judea and Samaria (now called the West Bank). Jews were victims of pogroms, prejudice and genocide at the hands of Christians, Muslims and atheists for thousands of years and no one spoke in their defense. So why would I expect the IDS journalists to act any differently? Silly me to expect ethics or decency from these people. After all, they (Jews) are only Jews and while Muslims get away with all the crimes Jews are accused of committing the presses role in this anti-Semitic game never changes. Today’s press is little different than Goebbels’ press preceding and during WWII, i.e., the press fans the flames for the next pogrom or holocaust. This time instead of the Nazis it will be at the hands of Islamism and the press will look the other way.

      • Elizabeth Ferrari

        Israel blackmails Palestinian GLBT to coerce them to inform. Israel’s incarceration of Palestinian women and children, often without charges or trial, is a scandal. And of course, their regular street executions of Palestinians is simply murder.

        • Arafat

          Really? “Their regular street executions of Palestinians…”

          And your believing viciously anti-Semitic sites like Electronic Intifada is pathetic. You, in fact, are pathetic. You are no different than the Nazi youth for like them you embrace propaganda with open arms and despite the reality that an open mind and open eyes would show you. You bring out the worst in yourself and others and the world would be so much better without people like you and your evil lies.

          I suppose though, and in your defense, when a university like Cornell hosts people like Rickford it’s not surprising people like you thrive. I heard Cornell was once an institution for higher learning instead of the evil farce it is today.

      • Cecilia73

        Islamophobic rant: equating Palestinians with Islam is an Israeli propaganda ploy. You must be aware that not all Palestinians are Muslim, and those who are are among the most secular in the Muslim world (as were Iraqis before the US destruction of their country on behalf of Israel).
        And you are using another Israeli propaganda tool when deflecting to other subjects to avoid any mention of Israeli denial of human rights for Palestinians.
        This is not about Islam. It’s about the military occupation of Palestine.
        What has WWII to do with the current plight of Palestinians? Another red herring used continually by Israeli propaganda. Play the holocaust card when in difficulty.
        And this is not about Jews either. We are talking about a political dogma, Zionism. Not all Jews are Zionist, not all Zionists are Jews. But of course “Jew” is used deliberately to make out you are a victim when instead you are the oppressor.
        Zionism is a racist, colonial settler project. All right-thinking persons should oppose it.
        Before you start another Islamophobic rant, I am not Muslim but a convinced Atheist.
        “Creating Israel on land already inhabited by Palestinians would imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East” DEAN ACHESON, US STATESMAN, 1947

        • Arafat

          Cecillia, other than your facts being wrong everything you say is inaccurate too.

          The West Bank was once a diverse community just as the Arabian Peninsula was before Mohammed and his followers changed all that. In fact Mecca and Medina were once homes to Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews. Now, of course, there are no non-Muslim citizens in all of Saudi Arabia and non-Muslims cannot even step foot in Mecca and Medina.

          So too the West Bank. If one subtracts out the Jewish population one finds less than 3% Christian and the rest Muslim. Sorry to bother you with sticky little things known as facts but I’m simply trying to do the work Cornell is not doing for you.

          • Arafat


            What do you recommend the world do about Sudan. You do know that before the Muslim jihadists attacked that country in the 1990s it was mostly a peaceful placed populated by Animists. But the Muslim jihadists conquered Sudan, killing almost one million people, creating three million refugees and gang-raping untold women. Should the Muslim invaders give up Sudan or is your moral outrage only directed at Israel a country legally created by the UN and a democracy where Muslims serve in the parliament, and are successful doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc.?

          • Arafat


            What do you recommend the world do about Muslim ethnic cleansing of Christians across the Middle East and of Hindu ethnic cleansing in Pakistan and Bangladesh? Why are you so anti-Semitic such that all you care about is Israel, a country where Muslims are free while infidels in all Islamic nations are not?

          • Cecilia73

            Ah, you are running out of arguments if you have to resort to the old anti-Semitic card!!!
            When did I ever criticize the Jewish religion?
            As an adult (I hope) I presume you understand the difference between criticizing a country’s policies and criticizing a religion.

          • Cecilia73

            What is happening in Sudan is horrific, especially for the women and children. What is happening in Africa is a result of the US/Britain/France interference to maintain their spheres of influence. Britain and France in particular do not wish to lose the advantages still accruing to them because of their colonial eras.
            However I have no idea of what this has to do with the discussion on the brutal occupation of Israel by immigrants of European descent with no connection to the land.

          • Arafat

            What is happening in every single Muslim country is horrific. Gay hangings, misogyny, ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims and this is also happening in the Palestinian territories where honor killing is rampant and ethnic cleansing of Christians is all but accomplished.

            What you fail to understand is Islam’s role in all this. Unlike Jews, Muslims are unable to overcome their own failings so they cry victim status all the time. Unlike the Jews – who in 70 years have turned Israel into a top-tier agricultural and technical country – Muslims are unable to do this even though they control dozens of countries.

            And you are part of the problem. You’re making excuses for Palestinians who cannot get along with one-another much less with the thriving Jews in their midst.

            And as far as colonization goes no more repressive colonizers have existed than the Muslims. Wherever Islam exists today it was thanks to Islamic jihad and colonization, and if not for the fact that Muslims, through no doing of their won, sit on vast oil reserves developed with western technology, they would have nothing to show for themselves.

            Israel is NOT the problem, Islam is.

          • Cecilia73

            Sorry, forgot to state that Israel is not a democracy. I
            How can a country that commits war crimes be a democracy?
            Israel is militarily controlling the West Bank and hasn’t annexed it, so the West Bank is clearly under occupation. In fact the UN recognizes Israel as an occupying power. That means the settlements are war crimes, the immigration of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens into these territories is forbidden by international law, as UN security council resolutions passed with US consent under Reagan, Carter, and Obama, confirm.
            Please stop talking about only the outrages performed by Muslims. People are being killed every day by your Christian United States, either directly (Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.) or indirectly (Palestine, Yemen, Syria). Countries have been destroyed (Iraq, Libya) by the US/Britain/France and their puppets. They are dying to go to war with Iran (pushed by Israel). War is always terrible, it always involves killing, maiming, rape, creating refugees. It has always been like this. There are no goodies and baddies, much as Hollywood would like to have you believe.

          • Cecilia73

            And my country was covered with forests thousands of years ago!
            Using your “reasoning” I should be entitled to a piece of real estate in Hungary, as my ancestors the Celts passed through there a few thousand years ago.
            Why are you so obsessed with Islam? Perhaps it’s useful to point to other people’s crimes in order to cover your own?
            I’m not interested in Islam or any other religion. All bad.

          • Arafat

            It’s difficult to refute lies and since lies are all you know, I plead guilty to not always staying on topic.

            At the end of the day you know nothing but propaganda and lies promoted by today’s Nazis. The Cronins and JVPs of the world are your idea of reliable sources and if I link articles that prove the inaccuracy of their information it makes no difference to you.

            You are not interested in learning. You are not interested in hearing other viewpoints – more nuanced arguments. You are like Pavlov’s dog who keeps repeating the same self-destructive act over and over again. But there is a difference. Pavlov’s dogs had no choice and you do.

            You could actually take the time to study opposing opinions from those you embrace, to test the logic and facts {sic} you embrace as if irrefutable, but that would assume you are a person of integrity and intelligence and if there is one thing that shines through in our exchange to assume you have intelligence and integrity would be to assume the Palestinian’s care about peace.

        • Arafat

          “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism,”

          Martin Luther King

    • MajorBidamon

      I wonder if he will take a stand for they Gays being prosecuted in Egypt, Iran … actually all over the Middle-East.

  • E Max

    Thank you, Professor Rickford. A courageous, honest academic.

    • Arafat

      E Max, the following will make your heart soar. LOL

      “Tapoohi was expanding on a Bloomberg report claiming that BDS has not had its proponents’ desired effect. On the contrary, the report said, “Foreign investments in Israeli assets hit a record high last year of $285.12 billion, a near-tripling from 2005,” when BDS was started by a group of Palestinian activists aiming to hit the Jewish state in its pocket…

      Tapoohi concurred. “Most companies are savvy enough to realize that the BDS message is predicated on distortions and disinformation, while Israel, with its creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit, represents an exceptional business opportunity,” he said.

      Asked how it is that BDS seems to be gaining momentum everywhere — especially on college campuses and, equally blatantly, in the British Labour Party — yet the effect on the ground in Israel is nil, Tapoohi explained, “From the Vietnam War onwards, college students have demonstrated against issues they perceive to be wrong or unjust. However, just because college campuses are rife with BDS activity doesn’t mean this is affecting Israel’s economy – quite the opposite, as can be seen from last year’s record levels of foreign investment. This goes to show that the loudest voices are not necessarily representative of the true situation.”

  • NV81Grad

    Comical that one of the most racist people on Campus is claiming to lead a diversity campaign. He is an example of a negligent retention on the part of the University, but we all know that the upper echelon will not push back on him for fear of being labeled a racist. Cornell must be very proud to have this distinguished racist as part of it’s faculty

    • Arafat

      Indeed. If the Palestinians were to create a country it would be no different than any other country. No Jews allowed, ethnic cleansing of Copts, Chaldeans, Animists, Hindus, Buddhists, Assyrians, Armenians, gays, lesbians, atheists and all other infidels.

      No wonder the Leftists support this for their logic {sic} is so upside-down that what else would one expect.

      • Cecilia73

        Using your analogy, the United States should never have been given independence, given its history of ethnic cleansing of the native population, slavery, hundreds of wars and invasions of other countries, etc. Far worse than even the worst Islamic country.
        The right of people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in international law. This states that a people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status without interference.
        So whether you like it or not Palestinians have a right to self-determination. The British had no right to promise a “home” for the Jews when this home was already occupied by another people.

        • Arafat


          Why do you hate freedom so much? Slavery is as old as mankind. This is not to excuse but is a simple undeniable fact. There are still many Muslim countries today where slavery is openly practiced and the Muslim role in the slave trade was more horrific than that of White men.

          You preach self-determination when something like 1.5 billion Muslim are not afforded this and this includes the Palestinians. Abbas is serving his twelfth year of a four year term. Hamas does not allow free elections. If Israel were to vanish Hamas and Fatah would be at one another’s throats no different that what is happening across the Muslim world where Shi’ites, Kurds and Sunnis share a common land.

          Why are you such a hypocrite?

          • Arafat

            The British did not promise a home to the Jews the UN did. I understand your a product of brainwashing but you could at least get this simple fact right.

            Pavlov proved how hard it is for brainwashed dogs to respect their own needs and the needs of their fellow dogs. You might want to think about this.

          • Cecilia73

            I can’t believe you are ignorant of the Balfour Declaration of 1917! This was a letter from the British Foreign Secretary to Lord Rothschild promising support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. It read:
            “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
            Of course the last phrase was always intended to be ignored.
            The Declaration was drafted by Zionists Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann, without any representation from the indigenous population in Palestine.
            Britain was desperate for the Americans to enter World War 1 but there was much public opposition to this. Enter the Zionist lobby and voila, the Americans changed their minds.
            After the defeat of the Germans and their allies the Ottoman Empire, the imperial powers Britain and France were able to gobble up the Middle East, Britain getting the Mandate for Palestine, as planned.
            The Balfour Declaration shaped the Palestinian experience. The signing over of Palestine to a European settler colonial enterprise and the disregard for the rights of the indigenous people is the cause of the Palestinian condition. The racist British encouraged the immigration of white Europeans as they considered the native population akin to apes (this was their attitude in all of their colonies, racism being of course a prerequisite for imperialism). Israel of course is continuing this racism.
            Without the active assistance and support of Britain from 1920 to 1948, the Zionist colonial project could not have been achieved.
            Read David Cronin’s brilliant book “Balfour’s Shadow” to learn how essential Britain was to the Zionist cause.
            Try to read some history instead of slogans like the Pavlov one.

          • Arafat

            Cecllia fell down the rabbit hole.

          • Arafat

            Unsurprisingly Cecellia relies on anti-Semites like David Cronin.
            “…Down to speak was David Cronin. He writes for Spinwatch, that strange organisation which seems obsessed with ‘Jewish power ‘. Cronin writes from Brussels and is a specialist in demonising Israel and its supporters.

            Here for example he writes ‘the Israel lobby is a force not only on Capitol Hill, but in Brussels, too, and … it is attempting to stifle debate about Israel’s sadistic treatment of the Palestinian people.’ He is famous (more accurately, infamous) for attempting (and failing) to make a citizen’s arrest of Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels. And look what he said about Jonathan Freedland in March 2015, when Freedland was thought to be a candidate to become Editor-In-Chief of the Guardian: ‘In a perverse way, it might be a good thing if he gets the job.

            With Freedland at the helm, it would be easier to show how a supposedly progressive newspaper is in thrall to the toxic ideology of Zionism’.

            The meeting was not chaired by Jenny Tonge. It was instead chaired by Lord Warner, a former civil servant who quit the Labour Party and sits as a cross-bencher.

            He is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He is also one of the four European Parliamentarians who are trustees of the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) (there are six trustees in all). CEPR reportedly ‘serves as Hamas’ representative in Europe’ and if its trustees – including Lord Warner – attempted to land in Israel, they might well be arrested, following Israel’s proscribing of the organisation at the end of 2013…”

          • Arafat

            “Remember David Cronin? He’s the campaigning Irish ‘journalist’ who tried to arrest Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels in 2011. Now he’s contributed to the growing pile of Israel-traducing books offered at markdown prices by Amazon, ahead of the Balfour Centenary in November. His book is called ‘Balfour’s Shadow’ and it focuses in particular on relations between the UK and the Israeli Arabs and Palestinians (he wrongly calls them all ’Palestinians’) between 1917 and the present day. The book is published by Pluto Press, the former publishing arm of the far-Left SWP. Cronin spoke about the book at a meeting on 27 July.

            Mistake #1 comes with his timeline. In spring/summer 1948 he writes that ‘Zionist forces undertake major ethnic cleansing programme in Palestine’. Not true, see Efraim Karsh. Only a handful of Arabs were attacked by Jewish irregular forces. The vast majority left because their leaders told them to go. They were told to leave for their own safety and that they would be able to return after the fighting. The Mayor of Haifa begged the Arabs to stay.
            Mistake #2: Cronin says it’s a myth that Balfour was acting benevolently in issuing the Declaration. No it’s not. Balfour’s appreciation of the history of the Jews was genuine. See for example this quote:

            “Here you have a small race, originally inhabiting a small country ….., at no time in its history wielding anything that can be described as material power, crushed between great Oriental monarchies, its inhabitants deported, then scattered, then driven out of the country to every part of the world and yet maintaining continuity of religion and racial tradition of which there is no parallel elsewhere…. We cannot forget how they have been treated during long centuries. Our whole religious organization of Europe has proved itself guilty of great crimes against this race. [Speech to the Lords (1922); Quoted in Lord Turnberg’s book ‘Beyond the Balfour Declaration’]

            In fact Balfour and Weizmann became good friends. So much so that in 1930 when Balfour was on his deathbed, Weizmann was the only non-family member allowed to see him.

            Mistake #3: Cronin writes that at the time of the Balfour Declaration, the most prominent Jews in the UK opposed Zionism. Some did, others (Lord Rothschild, Herbert Samuel for example) didn’t. The President of the Board of Deputies opposed Zionism but for this he was voted out of office (see this book).

            Mistake #4: In Chapter 2, Cronin refers to the transfer policy of some Zionists in the 1930s, omitting to mention (as do all anti-Zionists) that transfer was a policy recommended by the Peel Commission (1936).

            Mistake #5: In Chapter 6, Cronin writes that UN Resolution 242 required Israel to with draw from all the territories captured in 1967. No! It just said ‘territories’. Not ‘all territories’. And the wording was deliberate, see here for example.

            Mistake #6: In Chapter 8, Cronin warns about ‘conflating Judaism and Zionism’. Show me an anti-Zionist and I’ll show you someone who tries to separate Judaism from Zionism. Obviously you can’t: Israel is a majority Jewish State, more Jews live there than anywhere else and Jews outside Israel both have very strong ties to the country and identify as Zionists (this applies to the vast majority).

            Cronin’s talk included denunciations of Tony Blair and Theresa May. Plus most of the ritual, robotic slanders so beloved of Pappe and the others in the Israel Hate Brigade. Thus Israel is “imposing a medieval siege on Gaza” (nonsense, truckloads of goods go in every day); “the British government is conducting smear campaign against the PSC”; “the IHRA Definition of antisemitism is bogus”; the Conservative/DUP Alliance has “settler colonial” qualities; “bullies in the Zionist Lobby”

          • Arafat

            Like I said, Cecillia fell down the rabbit hole. Cecillia is like Pavlov’s dog and like it cannot respond rationally.

          • Cecilia73

            As you have been incapable of countering any of the points I have raised on this page but instead spout hatred of Islam and other classics of Israeli propaganda, and use silly slogans like “Cecilia – spelt wrongly – fell down the rabbit hole”, I refuse to interact with you further.
            I can’t find your remark about MLK but would point out that he was not infallible like the Pope. He was human and made mistakes, and was wrong in this instance.
            And of course like everybody else he also had to take into account the power of the Israeli lobby in the US.

          • Arafat

            “As you have been incapable of countering any of the points I have raised on this page but instead spout hatred of Israel and other classics of Islamic propaganda, and use silly slogans like “Arafat – spelt wrong – fell down the rabbit hole”, I refuse to interact with you further.”

            (OK everyone…Cecillia’s following sentence tells us all we need to know about her intelligence.) “I can’t find your remark about MLK but would point out that he was not infallible like the Pope. He was human and made mistakes and was wrong in this instance.”

            Wow, Cecillia! You so smart!

            Cecillia continues with…”And of course like everybody else he (MLK) had to take into account the power of the Islamic lobby in the US.”

            Thanks Cecillia for proving that Pavlov was right.

          • Cecilia73

            What a load of tripe, starting with your claim that the book is being sold cheaply.
            I bought it on Amazon at normal price, i.e. the same as other similar books.
            And I know lots of Jews who are not Zionists. See for instance Jewish Voices for Peace.

          • Arafat

            November 6, 2016 Daniel Greenfield 3

            Like the Holy Roman Empire, Jewish Voice for Peace is not Jewish and it’s not for peace. It’s a rather ugly hate group that is obsessed with hating the Jewish State and collaborates with Islamic terror supporters. The rise of a variety of anti-Israel organizations such as T’ruah and If Not Now, forces JVP to move further into the extremes to maintain support from the anti-Jewish left.

            So it does insane things like protesting Presenting Princess Shaw, a documentary about an African-American YouTube performer who collaborates with an Israeli without even having seen the movie.

            Even the Times of Israel, which does its best to present the anti-Israel hate group in the most positive light possible, has trouble defending its actions, especially once the organizer of the anti-Israel protest at the film festival insists that he hasn’t seen the movie in question and doesn’t care.

            The ugliness is another reminder that JVP, like most anti-Jewish bigots, simply hate. And their hatred is ugly and irrational. They were out there protesting a movie they hadn’t seen starring an African-American YouTube star because of their insane hatred.

  • Kevin McCabe

    A perfect example for why I stopped donating to my alma mater. Funding such moronic bigots is not what Ezra Cornell envisoned.

    • Arafat

      Indeed and good for you. Cornell is one step away from being the next Evergreen College where the Leftist lunatics ran the asylum until donors had enough.

      • MajorBidamon

        I think this is a multi-generational death spiral — it started in the 60s. We are very close to the end (Evergreen, Mizzou and that shrieking Yalie-halloween-costume-triggered idiot are the canary in the coal mine). I would never subject my children (very bright kids with full ride scholarships at state schools — heavily recruited by SpaceX, Apple and others) to Cornell. What a joke. PS — my skin is brown.

        • Arafat

          I agree. The Left will lead us to hell.

        • Leo

          It’s called progress. The world’s most successful religions were invented by goat herders or cave dwellers when people thought the world was made of earth, water, wind, and fire. Religions evolved like scams do, to being monotheistic. Monotheism is the ultimate punt of trying to use a single entity to explain everything else. While intelligent people are capable of admitting they don’t know something, religious people would rather embrace an obvious fairy tale than admit blur knowing something. Science has given us computers, air and space travel, pharmaceuticals, dna analysis, electronics, lasers, etc. The last concrete thing religion gave us, was male and female genital mutilation, aka circumcision. Today, atheism is growing faster than any religion, and most faiths have been neutered to the point that their followers use humanistic principles to decide what parts of their holy texts are too immoral to take literally.

    • MajorBidamon

      I’ve felt guilty for not donating to Cornell — Like you — this wipes away all guilt.

  • If you fight against racism, you support Black Lives Matter which has the fight against Israel’s apartheid policies part of its platform. You can’t pick and choose which racism you’re against, they all intersect and only by connecting the struggles do we have any chance of overturning the White Supremacy which is as intrinsic to the US political system as it is to Israel’s. Universities have long been the motor for social movements, and individuals like Prof. Russell Rickford can help historic change for greater justice!

    • Arafat

      No, the boycott policy is solely against the Jewish State, which boasts one of the highest levels of academic freedom, press freedom and equality under the law on the planet. They do this in the “3-D” ways noted by the true advocate of human rights, the Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky, in his The Case For Democracy:
      Double standard: targeting only Israel from among the 200 territorial disputes, from Tibet to Ukraine.
      Demonization: comparing Israel’s actions to Nazis when it is really the people doing the comparing who should be compared to Nazis.
      Delegitimization: denying the right of Israel to exist.
      The racist hypocrisy is as transparent as it is perfidious.

  • Beth Harris

    Once again Professor Rickford takes a principled stand linking structural racism to oppression locally, nationally and internationally. He is one of the few courageous professors in Ithaca to speak openly about the oppression of Palestinian people being linked to the oppression of Black people, American Indians and immigrants within the United States. His analysis is framed in the context of racism, colonialism and imperialism. His public stand can turn feel-good photo opportunities for liberal humanitarians who want to squelch solidarity with Palestine into political moments where the consequences of speaking truth to power become palpable. We are so blessed to have Professor Russell Rickford in our community.

    • Arafat


      You should put your actions where your mouth is. Stop using cell phones, laptops and desktop computers for without Israeli technology none of these products would be what they are.
      Check all drugs you and your family take and all other medical devices you or your family might use. Chances are good some of these were developed with Israeli technology.
      And some of the produce you eat is likely on your table thanks to agricultural developments pioneered by Israel, drip irrigation among others.

      Why are you such a hypocrite? Why do you not practice what you preach? Or are you like so many other Leftists, people who tell others what to do while doing whatever it is they like?

      • MajorBidamon
      • Leo

        This is silly. Russia has contributed a lot more than Israel to science, technology, and medicine. Does that mean we can’t criticize Russian foreign or domestic policy, or boycott Russian products, without also boycotting any products even peripherally related to Russian contributions to science and technology?

        • Arafat

          Sure we can criticize whatever, whomever we want. In America, like in Israel, we have individual freedoms including freedom of speech.

          The problem here is one of accuracy and truth and stupidity. Anyone with an IQ of 80 can see that in every single Islamic country free speech, gay rights, religious freedom, sexual freedoms are null and void. Anyone with an IQ of 80 can see that repression, fear, sadism, violence rule the day in every single Muslim country.

          Now I am not suggesting – because I know a Leftist with an IQ under 80 will accuse me of this – that ALL Islamic countries are equally bad. I am simply stating that every single Muslim country is guilty of all of the charges I levied above, and that any Muslim country that opens itself up to freedoms eventually sees these freedoms destroyed. Think Turkey, think Tunisia. For this is the nature of Islam. Islam MEANS submission. It means submission of the individual to a supremacist, violent, jihadist religion.

          In sharp contrast to this we have Israel and Judaism – pretty much the polar opposite – and we have Leftists whose IQs are so low they turn white into black, day into night and idiots like this professor into spokesmen at pathetic universities like Cornell.

          • Leo

            Modem countries, unlike medieval nations, and especially countries that want to be considered democracies, belong to people within defined borders, not to races, religions, or ethnicities. Israel defining itself as belonging to the Jewish people, is what leads to the absurd situation of it trying to cement indefinite control of the West Bank, an area with 3 million non-Jews (Muslims, Christians, atheists, etc) Israel doesn’t want to give citizenship to and absorb into its state. It’s one thing for a country to label itself as Christian or Muslim or Jewish, as a reflection of its majority. It’s another for a country to define itself as *belonging* to Jews, Christians, or Muslims. India doesn’t define itself as belonging to Hindus. Utah doesn’t define itself as belonging to Mormons. Countries belonging to races, religions, or ethnicities, would be a recipe for eternal civil war and fragmentation. For every country, we’d have to pick what race, religion, or ethnicity, or belonged to, and possibly break it up along sectarian lines. What matters is that a country give all permanent residents within its borders citizenship. A country can choose its immigration policy, but it can’t deny citizenship to those legally within its borders. The questions for Israel, is at what point do Zionists think nonJews within Israel’s current borders, magically became squatters, outsiders, or invaders. If it doesn’t make sense to say all non-Hindus in India are squatters, it doesn’t make sense to say all non-Jews in Israel’s borders are squatters. Your race, ethnicity, or religion, don’t determine your legal residence. If a Jew can be from Brooklyn, a Christian, Muslim, or atheist, can be from Israel, or from the West Bank, or from a city in the West Bank.

          • Arafat

            Sure, Leo. Live in your fantasy world all you want. No skin off my back.

            Twenty percent of Israel is non-Jewish and all the non-Jews have equal rights and all the non-Jews demographic profile is growing as fast as the Jewish one.

            Meanwhile the following Muslim countries – all countries where some degree of supremacist Sharia law governs – are 95% Muslim or greater, and the non-Muslim profile is disappearing.

            And remember that each country on this list was violently conquered by Muslim jihadists and that the indigenous people were wiped out.

            Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Qatar, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Mali, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Mauritania, Niger, Jordan, Yemen, etc.

            Furthermore Israel is NOT interested in taking over the West Bank. If they were they could do it in about one day. Nor are they interested in Gaza or the Sinai. In fact Israel gave back the Sinai to Egypt as part of their peace deal.

            Israel is interested in protecting her citizens from a Muslim population (Palestinians) whose basic charter calls for genocide against Israel. Now you may find Israel’s position on this unreasonable, but for most the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to blood-thirsty Palestinians this feeling of yours in not mutual.

            And then there is a little context -something you ignore as conveniently as you ignore the violent Muslim conquest of huge sections of Asia and Africa, and that context is the Jew’s connection to Israel and the reason the UN approved of the state of Israel.

            It’s evidently easy for you to forget that Jews settled Judea and Samaria long before Christianity and Islam even existed and that Jerusalem is mentioned in the Jew’s holy books hundreds of times (it is never once mentioned in the Quran).

            Furthermore you ignore the multi-millennial history of anti-Semitism and why it was necessary for Israel to exist if Jews were to exist. But why would a self-righteous do-gooder like you ignore all this context? Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. It is because you grew up attending schools that did not teach this and now attend a university that promotes the false memes you swear by.

            It’s little wonder more and more Jewish donors are stopping their donations to universities like Cornell who put being PC in front of teaching the truth. Cornell is guilty of creating people like Leo and Cornell’s administrators should be tarred and feathered for all the good they do. Such pomp and circumstance where there should be shame and asking for forgiveness.

          • Cecilia73

            “It’s little wonder more and more Jewish donors are stopping their donations to universities like Cornell”
            I’m sure you will agree that it’s more iimportant that they don’t stop their donations to US Congressmen and Senators!

          • Arafat


            It’s my guess political donations from Jews go more towards democrats than to republicans. In any case I assume you are insinuating that Jews control the strings? If true then how is your insinuation any different than what Hitler said of Jews in the 1930s? Are you then also in favor of eliminating Jews from America?

            I’m not trying to put words in your mouth but your comment was so vague and leading I’m simply trying to clarify. I wish you could/would express yourself in something other than insinuations.

          • Cecilia73

            So inviting Netanyahu to address the Joint Houses without the permission of the President of the US was normal? Dozens of standing ovations for this mass murderer was normal? Financing a rich nation like Israel to the tune of billions of US taxpayers $$$ each year is normal (Israel receives more money than any other country)? The US is actively de-stabilizing the countries surrounding Israel on its behalf (except the puppet states like Jordan and Egypt, of course). Pro-Palestinian leaders like Gaddafi and Sadam Hussein have been eliminated, luckily the Russians intervened to save Assad.
            Even a fool will realize that the US is being manipulated to further the agenda for a Greater Israel. Only Iran now stands in the way, and unfortunately for the world the Zionists will get their way and have the US attack it on their behalf.
            Look at the composition of Trump’s campaign team and current advisers. Do you think this reflects the overall US population?
            Follow the proceedings of the Israeli lobby AIPAC to see how American politicians of all persuasions fall over themselves to fawn over Israel.
            I very much doubt that politicians, the most immoral people in the world, do all the above for moral reasons.
            Read Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the United States Was Used to Create Israel”, which outlines the power of the Zionist lobby in the creation of Israel. It is even more powerful today.

          • Arafat

            Cecillia fell down the wabbit hole. Deep, deep, deep down that dark den.

            You are the modern day equivalent of the Nazi youth. You’ve bought it hook, line and sinker.

            “Everything is the Joo’s fault….and Heil Hitler” so sayeth are local village idiot.

            You are too brainwashed to even understand what you’ve become. To think that 14 million people – yes, there are only 14 million Jews in the world – could control what you believe they do is honestly insane. You. Are. Insane.

            (As a side note of those 14 million people something like 50% are children are of average IQ, etc. leaving 7 million people controlling Cecillia’s fantasy Nazi world.)

            Nah, Cecillia, there is no saving you. You’re too far gone. You’re a laughing stock to yourself and you don’t even get the joke. That said riddle me this, Cecillia. There are 1.5 billion Muslims and thanks to westerners discovering oil under their conquered caliphate and developing it with western technology, many of these Muslims have more money than Israel could even imagine.

            Tell me, Cecillia, how is it these 1.5 billion Muslims are manipulated and ruled over by a few million Jews?

            Do you see how Nazi-like you have become? “Everything is the Joos fault…and Heil Hitler’ is what you are really saying. You should wear a Brown Shirt, it would be fitting.

          • stannadel

            And Palestine is officially self described as Muslim, as are any number of other self described Muslim states, but none of these supposed leftists ever seem to criticize that, just the one state that calls itself Jewish–then they get all outraged when people suggest that this discrepancy smacks of Antisemitism.

        • Cecilia73

          Good point. We are allowed to criticize the policies of every country in the world, except one.
          And sanctions are currently in place against Russia for its annexation of the Crimea, while Israel has illegally occupied Palestine and the Golan Heights (Syria) for 50 years without so much as a boo!

    • Cecilia73

      You are right. All oppression is based on racism.
      The oppression of the Palestinian people is based on the structural racism with which Israelis are indoctrinated from infancy. They are taught to hate Palesinians (or Arabs, as they call them, refusing even to call them their proper name, just as they deny there is any Palestinian history or culture).
      From childbirth they are fed the Zionist myths that “God gave them” the land, that it was a desert before they came (not true), that it was uninhabited (A Land without People for a People without a Land), that the whole world hates Jews (not true) in order to forge a culture of fear and victimhood, without with the country would not have a reason to exist.

  • MajorBidamon

    A literal Marxist teaching at Cornell. This is news? If they said a Trump supporting professor was not protested against while giving a Speech at Cornell — now that would be news!

  • Mike

    Good man! Thank you, Professor Rickford.

  • Jane Jewell

    Thank you Professor Rickford.

  • bigredalumnus

    It’s tactics like this professor’s that undermine social justice protests. He may be 100% right on his issue, but whether he is or not is besides the point. Have him start his own symbolic act of protest.

  • stannadel

    Given that the majority of Jewish Israelis are no whiter than the majority of Palestinians this claim of Israeli white supremacy is pure lying propaganda as anti-Israel elements infiltrate the BLM and turn off supporters in the process–but they don’t care because their real loyalty is to anti-Israel ideology and they care little about Black Lives.