New York University, "the Gaza of Greenwich Village," made big plans last spring to host what was billed as the biggest and best conference on Palestinian writers ever held. Covid intervened and the conference was cancelled, but as Campus Watch Fellow A.J. Caschetta demonstrates today in The American Spectator, its promises were necessarily hollow from the start. In order to live up to NYU's billing, there would have to exist a Palestinian literary community worthy of the adulation its planners heaped on it. Alas, no such entity exists:
When the coronavirus restrictions prevented Middle East Studies academics from getting together in groups, they took their support for Palestine online. BDS organizations have been sucking up bandwidth for many months, pursuing their academic boycotts of Israel, comparing it to Apartheid South Africa, and decrying the evils of its colonial settlers. Former PLO man and current Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi has been hawking his latest book all summer long. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacker and hostage-taker Leila Khaled was ready to Zoom in to be feted by San Francisco State University on Wednesday when a protest at the tech company's headquarters, and a threat to launch federal investigations changed those plans.
The biggest Palestinian festival-cum-conference of all would have been held the last weekend in March at New York University, but it was cancelled by the coronavirus shutdown. I refer to the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, billed as the greatest, most important convocation of Palestinophiles in and beyond the academic world.
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