Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
More than anything else, the fellowship description of Society under Occupation: Contemporary Palestinian Politics, Culture and Identity reads like a Palestinian propaganda pamphlet:At this point most Universities, especially their Near East Departments, have become bastions of the anti-Israel jihad, even going so far as endorsing Palestinian suicide bombing. In effect, these supposed "progressives" have embarked on a campaign of delegitimization of the only state in the Middle East that actually shares the values they supposedly hold dear.
Israels occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has now persisted for over thirty-seven years, during which time the number of Israeli settlers in the occupied territories has grown to hundreds of thousands and Israeli control over the territories has been strengthened by the use of checkpoints, by-pass roads, military engagement and, most recently, the construction of a wall separating Palestinians from Israel and from one another. Despite living under occupation, as refugees, or outside their homeland, Palestinians have maintained a vibrant cultural and political life. In 2005-2006, the Institute will focus research on contemporary Palestinian life, both under occupation and in the diaspora. We wish to explore Palestinian culture, society and religious life, as well as Palestinian national identity and contemporary Palestinian political, legal and ethical thought. We also hope to examine Palestinians understanding of dispossession and occupation, and their visions of a post-occupation future.
Imagine that Israel never existed. Would the economic malaise and political repression that drive angry young men to become suicide bombers vanish? Would the Palestinians have an independent state? Would the United States, freed of its burdensome ally, suddenly find itself beloved throughout the Muslim world? Wishful thinking. Far from creating tensions, Israel actually contains more antagonisms than it causes.