Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pamela Olson author of Fast Time in Palestine: There’s been a sea change in US opinion on the conflict

"It’s hard to over-state how much the climate has changed in the past decade. A filmmaker friend summed it up: You used to need extra security to bring a pro-Palestine speaker to campus. Now you need extra security to bring a pro-Israel speaker.
At Oklahoma University, when I spoke to students in the flagship Middle East studies program, I felt utterly redundant. They already knew everything I was saying. The argument in class wasn’t whether Israelis or Palestinians were to blame, but whether Israel had totally destroyed the two-state solution. (Some of the students thanked me for being straightforward and not dancing around the issues like most “experts” did. I told them that was one benefit of not having a mainstream career to lose.)
 In the most remote place I spoke -- Seminole State College in a small town in Oklahoma -- the faculty were fascinated and expressed gratitude that I was bringing them “the other side of the story.” The students asked not whether my stories were true but how it felt to be in the middle of them. That was as big a surprise to me as any."

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