Note to readers: Since the story of the Columbia Unbecoming documentary broke, this weblog will be dedicated to representing the views of a student involved and featured in the documentary, in order for you to have unfiltered access to the opinions, goals, aspirations and hopes wrapped up in this issue. If you or anyone you know was abused or intimidated by a professor, please email us at


This blog has moved to

I do not plan on updating the other attached pages either, so for all info see my new site. Thanks.




My new weblog is up. Please visit and bookmark, where you will be able to better comment, link and search.

I will leave this weblog up for a while, but will only update the new weblog from now on.

Thank you,

Ariel Beery


Rebuilding my Site

Back from LA, and I finally got a replacement for my computer. For the next few days I will be working on building the new, non-blog*spot blog, at do not be suprised if you do not see any new posts here. Thanks.



James Bennet a Nice Guy

Still in LA, although the conference has come to a close, so please continue to excuse my grammer and spelling.

I was speaking to an Israeli government employee who knows James Bennet from the New York Times personally, and who vouched for his being "a good guy." Fine, I trust this person, and maybe Bennet is a nice guy over all, but today's article on the Refridgerator Bomber is absurd (sorry, no link at this time). Sorry, but choosing to do a profile on an unrepentant individual and making him out to be a hero is just above the call of duty if you ask me. It not only validates his actions, it also glorifies him as a person, and you would not see such an article about an American massmurder, especially with so many other things going on in the region at the same time.

More when I return to the East coast.



Anti-Semitism on the Wings of the Saudis in Iraq

It has begun. Islam Online is reporting that the Sunni establishment in Iraq has begun preaching of an Israeli/Jewish attempted take-over of the cradle of civilization--which, by the way, was one of the centers of ancient Jewish history. Moreover, there has recently been a revival of Jewish art and music among Iraq's Arab citizens, and relations between Jews and Muslims in the country are very warm--so much so that Muslim's protect the rights of Jews to pray in Synagogue.

Taking into account the historic affinity between the people of Iraq and the Jews, and also keeping in mind that Saddam ran his propaganda apparatus like all of the other dictators in the region--blaiming the Jews for everything--The article itself is rather shocking for what it implies about the future actions of the Sunni elements in Iraq. Here are the most serious quotes:
The incident coincided with the circulation of an anonymous leaflet in Baghdad this week urging Iraqis to shun that hotel, because it was used by Jews and Israeli intelligence elements.

Signed by "a sincere Iraqi Muslim," the leaflet sounded the alarms that some people were buying houses from Iraqis at sky-high prices for the interest of Jews.

The warning found credit among mosque preachers and Iraqi citizens, with reports that Israelis were seeking to lay their hands on key buildings in sensitive areas of the capital.

"Jews will try to lure Iraqis into selling their homes at whatever prices, and control the media in order to spread corruption and immorality," asserted Muhanad Abdullah, Imam of Omar Ibn Al-Khatab mosque.

"But we will fight them, and will never allow a rerun of the Palestine episode," said Sheikh Muhanad, in reference to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

On Friday, a Sunni Muslim prayer leader charged that U.S. forces occupying Iraq were opening up the country to "Jews" and chided Iraqis he said were working as "brokers" for the Jewish infiltrators, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

"The Jews, civilian and military people, are now entering Iraq ... buying property, factories and companies while Iraqis work for them as brokers and guides," Sheikh Mahmud Khalaf told the faithful during weekly Muslim prayers in Baghdad's Sheikh Abdul Kader al-Kilani mosque.

"It is a sin for Iraq's people to sell their lands to the Jews and to deal with the Jews in this way," he said.

I do not think there is a doubt that Israel does have agents in Iraq, but I also cannot imagine them wanting to do anything more than gather intelligence. That said, one should immediately notice that the imam's preaching these rumors are Sunni, most definetely Saudi sponsored, and another reason why 'Hatred's Kingdom' needs to be taken to task for its incitement.



Moral Clarity When Dismantling Outposts

First, I must forwarn that I'm blogging from LA, where I am serving as the student representative for the executive committee of the American Jewish Press Association. This gives me little time to write, and a basic inability to hyperlink or spellcheck, so please excuse the sloppy nature of the next few posts.

The topic of outpost dismantling came up in a conversation I had with a senior Israeli official, and I felt I should relate it here.

This official, who will not be named, made a very simple point: he himself, one would assume, is right of center, and yet the question of outpost dismantling to him is a no-brainer, as it should be to any law-abiding citizen of a democratic state. In his words, "if Shalom Achsav [Peace Now] would be putting up fences, the government of Israel would act in exactly the same way: no unauthorized actions may be taken by Israeli citizens when they conflict with the rule of law."

That is the crux of the matter, and why the protests last week had so little popular support in Israel. Illegal Outposts are illegal, 'nuff said, and a government by rule of law must first and foremost protect and enforce the law, and not selectively enforce it based on politics. Those who would oppose the rule of law should be treated as criminals, all politics aside. Yes, peaceful protest and dissent should be allowed, but the clashes that erupted last week are unacceptable means of protests in my book.

In the end, I hope the leaders of the settler movement will come to accept this and take responsibility over their activists. While I in no way believe that a comparison can be made between the Palestinian terrorist groups' activities and those of the settlers, on a basic level Israelis cannot expect the Palestinians to rein in their factions while not doing so themselves.



Press Freedom in Iraq

Another quick reference to events in Iraq and a plug for my paper: in an article for The New Republic (needs subscription to access), Hassan Fattah argues against L. Paul Bremer's censorship of the Iraqi press, saying that while the press is much freer than under Saddam, recent actions by Bremer to limit incitement in the press have allowed back in the ghost of self-censorship, Saddam style.

While I agree with Fattah that the American administration in Iraq has to make much clearer the red-lines for incitement, I do not agree with him that censorship, at this point, is a bad idea. Seems hypocritical? Here is the passage from my policy paper on Iraq that makes the arguement:

This brings up the rather controversial point of the need to, at the moment, limit the freedom of the press within Iraq. While conventional wisdom would have that a free press is the hallmark of a liberal society, Dr. Jack Snyder has shown that the press can be bridled and used by elites to fan the flames of ethnic conflict to allow those elites to guide the collective action of their ethnic group. Previous examples include Weimar Germany and Rwanda, where elites used the press as a vehicle of propaganda and incitement to whip up nationalist sentiment in order to gain popular support. This cannot be allowed at the current juncture, where the new Iraqi state is on shaky institutional grounds. Before the press is liberalized, the interim government, under the watchful eyes of the US and UK, will need to build norms of reporting not unlike those willingly accepted by the English-language Indian journalists at that countries birth: ethnic issues must be dealt with sensitively, ethnic riots should be reported factually if at all, and journalists should be held to a higher standard of ethics in regards to the unity of the Iraqi state. Given Saddam’s history of press centralization and repression, the body set up should be independent from the government, and maintain a monopoly on the media until the governing institutions are firmly in place.

Unfortunately, reseach has shown that a free press in the beginning stages of democratization has led to increased violence and nationalism. At this critical juncture, Bremer would be wise to set up a professional press review board with clear guidelines, which will help lead the press to independence safely. Hey, if we can't get a credible press here, we might as well learn from our mistakes and create a good one in Iraq.