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Don't let those frightened of your voice, buy aceon steal your right to use it.   By Remi Kanazi / SOURCE "Free speech is not without consequence. Buy aceon In the United States, buy aceon for example, buy aceon criticism of Israel is tantamount to heresy. Buy aceon Former US President Jimmy Carter felt a societal backlash last year after the release of his book, buy aceon Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, buy aceon which condemned Israel’s apartheid-style policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. Buy aceon Consequently, buy aceon and without foundation, buy aceon Carter was branded by many in the American press as a one-sided, buy aceon anti-Semitic propagandist. Similarly, buy aceon Harvard professor Stephen Walt and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer were lambasted for a paper the two co-authored that discussed the power of the Israel lobby and its adverse effect on American policy. Buy aceon Additionally, buy aceon Norman Finkelstein, buy aceon an esteemed professor at Depaul University and author of the bestselling book, buy aceon The Holocaust Industry, buy aceon witnessed a McCarthyite-style campaign mounted against him when he came up for tenure. Buy aceon Finkelstein, buy aceon the son of Holocaust survivors, buy aceon has been an outspoken critic of Israel’s human rights abuses and of pro-Israel apologist and Harvard professor, buy aceon Alan Dershowitz. Buy aceon Predictably, buy aceon it was Dershowitz who led the anti-tenure campaign against him; ultimately, buy aceon Finkelstein was not only denied tenure, buy aceon but he lost his job at Depaul. The attacks against Carter, buy aceon Finkelstein, buy aceon Walt and Mearsheimer serve as a few well-known examples of the consequences writers and intellectuals face when they breach the line and criticize Israel. Buy aceon Furthermore, buy aceon the condemnation writers and intellectuals of Arab descent face are invariably higher than Jews of conscience, buy aceon former presidents, buy aceon and highly regarded academics. Buy aceon As a result, buy aceon many writers often acquiesce to the demands of the mainstream. Buy aceon Their self-censorship usually appears in the form of “toning down the message, buy aceon” be it to please editors or critics—essentially to conform to the reality of purported pragmatism. Buy aceon Yet, buy aceon this “pragmatism” is a euphemism for acceptance of a repressive status quo and is analogous to the “necessary” practical thinking that silenced a multitude of commentators during the Oslo years—the supposed time of peace. Buy aceon Unsurprisingly, buy aceon untold Palestinian suffering followed as a result of increased settlement expansion, buy aceon land confiscation, buy aceon checkpoints and seizures, buy aceon and the ultimate failure of Camp David 2000. Shying away from perceived controversial matters may help to protect a mainstream career, buy aceon but the intent of a political analyst should not be to produce works of fiction. Buy aceon The vast majority of Americans weren’t open to criticism of US policy during the run-up to the war on Iraq, buy aceon mainly due to the media’s complicity in promoting the war, buy aceon but criticism was still the appropriate course of action based on the facts, buy aceon and Americans would have been better off for it today. A man who combined principle, buy aceon activism, buy aceon and human appeal quite masterfully was distinguished educator and commentator, buy aceon Edward Said. Buy aceon In the realm of academia and Middle East analysis, buy aceon Said was by no means viewed as the quintessential radical. Buy aceon Nonetheless, buy aceon his positions were radical when juxtaposed with “conventional wisdom”: he was a proponent of the one-state solution, buy aceon an unwavering critic of the Israeli government, buy aceon and an ardent supporter of the ostensibly controversial right of return. Buy aceon Said was still heavily criticized throughout his career and endured incessant attacks by his detractors, buy aceon yet his accessible personality and articulate message kept him relevant. Sadly, buy aceon Said’s relative acceptance has been the exception rather than the rule. Buy aceon In recent years, buy aceon there has been increased emphasis on putative pragmatic dialogue. Buy aceon However, buy aceon this accentuation on so-called rational and balanced thinking has proven to be little more than a sinister means to pressure the oppressed to accept the position of the oppressor. Buy aceon The greatest leaders of the last hundred years didn’t shy away from controversy; they remained persistent, buy aceon and saw their visions brought to fruition; be they Martin Luther King, buy aceon Nelson Mandela, buy aceon or Mahatma Gandhi. Nevertheless, buy aceon one cannot overlook that even paramount figures have been castigated for “overstepping” their boundaries, buy aceon namely Martin Luther King who was chided for speaking out against the war in Vietnam, buy aceon imperialism, buy aceon and social injustices that plagued the US. This week, buy aceon Palestinians across the US commemorated 60 years of displacement. Buy aceon Yet, buy aceon the lens the Palestinian people are expected to look through under the pragmatist vision is one that sees a dispossessed people as necessary victims for a righteous state to take form. Unfortunately, buy aceon waves of writers and commentators continue to adopt this line in fear of retribution, buy aceon in exchange for nicer houses and comfortable livings, buy aceon or a combination of both. Buy aceon That is their free will. Buy aceon Free speech is not without consequence. Buy aceon Nonetheless, buy aceon losing piece of mind is the only repercussion a writer should fear." http://1158munich.blogspot.com/2008/05/when-free-speech-doesnt-come-free.html ~ Remi Kanazi is the editor of the forthcoming anthology of poetry, buy aceon Poets For Palestine, buy aceon which can be pre-ordered at www.PoetsForPalestine.com. Buy aceon Remi can be contacted at remroum@gmail.com. ~