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