We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, April 28. 2012
A group of students at the University of California, San Diego, claim exclusive rights to wear clown costumes, and accuse anyone else wearing one to be clownaphobic. Ridiculous, right?
Then, keep reading.
After the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine at UCSD lost the vote in the student government for divestment from Israel, they have turned to baseless and in this case utterly absurd attacks upon anti-divestment members of the campus.
First they made up charges against a music professor that he’d intimidated a student, which the official UCSD Office of Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination investigated, clearing the professor.
Now, beclowning themselves, SJP member Noor El-Annan and cohorts accuse a campus-wide elected member of the student government, Ashton Cohen, who voted against divestment, of being Islamaphobic, denigrating Moslems, and being culturally insensitive. The pretext: the student Senator wore an Arabic costume at a costume party.
The student is a Persian Jew, with Moslem family members. He bought the outfit in Dubai, and wore it there for comfort when it was very hot. On that same trip, as a guest of the Indian government along with other US student government leaders, he’d also bought Indian garb, but it was at his family’s house in L.A. If he’d worn that Indian garb, would he be Indianaphobic? Ridiculous.
At the costume party a photo was taken of him, along with three female friends, two of whom are Moslem. One of the females posted the photo with a humorous subtitle, “three wives?” That’s what the pro-Palestinian fanatics call an insult to Moslem polygamy practices. Would they have preferred photos of clitorectomies, which is also a common Moslem practice?
Here’s the photo:
Here’s also a photo of Sephardic Jews in Jerusalem from early in the last century.
Here's a link to a more current photo of Yemeni Jews in traditional clothing.
Guess what, the pro-Palestinian students, and Moslems in general, do not have a monopoly on desert garb that keeps one cool in the hot sun.
The UCSD Students for Justice in Palestine are clowns, dangerous clowns, who themselves dress up as Israeli soldiers to tell students at UCSD that Palestinians are harassed at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Pro-Palestinian activists are proud of their clownery, and claim exclusive rights to be clowns. They've proven that they are.
And, they have a chapter elsewhere. Photo from SciFi film, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
Tracked: May 07, 05:03
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I , as a mother of Ashton Cohen was really shocked to see such extreme accusations for a costume that my son purchased while in Dubai . Ashton is a very smart and passionate person, very open-minded and accepting of others no matter what their background and we brought him up as a gentleman. unlike many others, particularly those who made these ridiculous claims, he's accepting of others not judgemental of them. I was born and raised in Iran , an Islamic country and majority of
my friends and including two of my aunts and my own sister in law( my brother's wife) are Muslim.
if you go to my Facebook, you will see all my friends and I still have contact with my high school friends whom I have not seen for over 33 yrs.
o and they are all Muslim.. theyve been living in that country (Iran) which attempts to brainwash them to hate the United States and anyone who doesn't believe in Islam; of course those who I'm friends with reject the propaganda which encourages desperate people to take action and committ violence against the "infidel," (the jews, christians and non-believers).
they are not like that, I am confident that despite the large number of extremists around the midle-east (noor would fit into this category) the majority of Muslims are good people and once they trust you, they will be your true friend.
Ashton has been brought up in a positive environment and through his life experiences has realized that their is good and bad in all cultures. our Muslim family members are not extremists like those in the "clown union" at UCSD, they are accepting and tolerant, they dont look for every oppurtunity to divide and marginalize others by playing the victim card and launching verbal attacks.
I actually sent the article to most of my friends , and they were all shocked. Unfortunately, what has happened in this case was just a plot for revenge and
a childish revenge for that matter, which could cause a lot of damage to my son, who has been working so hard all his life to get ahead , he lives in a great country that he will have all those opportunities regardless of his race or religion. Believe it or not , in Islamic countries,
we never had those opportunities , yes we were able to go to school, but we didn't have chances to get ahead in government agencies or in many private industries because of our religion. In fact, I was driven out of my native country, Iran, because I was Jewish! my father was tortured in that country and imprisoned for his faith and "failure" to go along with the radical islamic theocrarcy. this is the reason that I wonder sometimes, when a country like United states gives us all opportunities , why do people who are so angry all the time and live here and take advantage of all benefits ,still hate this country? how could they?
I never thought in my wildest dreams that the radical extremism and radical islamisists that i escaped when I left iran, would come to this country and start their hate-filled campaigns and anti-semetic threats/assaults. i find it so troubling that the hateful people who went after me for my faith are now in this country and trying to intimidate and attack my son the way i was attacked in Iran, for being Jewish. This noor-el-annan girl reminds me of the intolerant anti-semetic extremists that were on display in Iran during the 1979 revolution, she is of the same mold.
I Thank GOD every day for being here and maybe others should learn to just be happy and not
waste their youth years and make a better life for themselves and others around them. instead of being divisive and hateful towards those who are not like you, be tolerant and accepting; i hope the extremists and hate-filled people like noor el-annan wise up and learn to stop threatning others because of their religion or point of view. its a shame people like that are still aroun today, in this country, but I pray for her and other lost souls like her that they let go of their hate and see the light.
I have known Ashton since he was born, he is a smart , kind individual with high standard ,He has never been a racist and this accusation is absolutely false and outrageous. I pray some day the Muslim Community will get rid of all the Hate they have towards us. I was born and raised in Iran and Ashton's mom was one of my best friends from childhood and If u want to see racism among Muslims, plz go and check it out in Muslim countries.
Thank you for the article.
As a Chirstian and Hispanic friend of Asthon and co worker of his parents, I was shocked to see Such Haterous exist in this free country,I'm a true beleiver of Jesus Christ and a regular Church menber and I pray for the soul of all the crazy people that allow themselves to destroy a young man's Life for getting revenge and for not believing of what she believes. We are all GOD,s children and Jerusalem belongs to all GOD's believers........... GOD BLESS América
As a jewish ucsd student I don't even want to post my comment with my name because my critical relationships in the Muslim community (including noor) might be seriously undermined if I explicitly show support for my friend. Which to be honest is kind of ridiculous, but I digress. I have known Ashton for some time and while we certainly do not agree on all things political, I can say that I respect him greatly. He is an upstanding gentleman and a great leader on our campus and In our Jewish community. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees a major contradiction going on here. The same week the sjp poses as Israelis, they attack somebody not even posing explicitly as an Arab. Let this be a lesson to us all: many Jews are being accused of playing the antisemitism card when they are put under sever pressure to defend Israel. Now, the same people who put them in those situations attempt to defame them (and strengthen their cause) by playing the islamophobia card against them. Its sick.. It disgusts me that Arabs can play the minority card in the US against Jews in a world that is rapidly globalizing where Jews are getting it from all sides especially about tiny Israel and Arabs are praised for "revolutions of democracy." there are about 300M Arabs in the world, and over one billion Muslims. There are about 15M Jews.. Almost 20 times smaller than the Arab population. And yet everybody allies for their cause because they are so "just" and Israel is so "racist, colonialist, and evil." I can't stand it, and yet I still try to reach out to the Muslim community because I know not everybody is filled with this kind of hate and I want to make things better on my campus. still I worry as the Arab population increases in the US that we as Jews will no longer be made to feel welcome here if we feel a certain way about Israel's internationally recognized right to exist (as it is in so many parts of the world already). I dont consider myself islamaphobe but after four years on this campus, its scary to think what can happen if the next generation is raised in the same as this one.maybe I will be moving to Israel because all my friends seem to be doing that and I don't know if I want my children to have to face the same kind of bigotry and slander I was exposed to. Keep your head up Ashton we stand united with you against these attacks.
hey anonymous, you reach out to the Muslim community at ucsd? how far has that ever gotten YOu ? I'm sure I might even know you.
For everyone else, THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
the Jews here have 3, THREE whole groups dedicated to the Israel issue.
-Tritons for Israel- a moderate pro-Israel group seen as "crazy right wing Zionists" by SJP and MSA
-Jstreet- A liberal chapter on this campus, describing itself as "pro Palestinian and pro Israeli"
-Jstap (Jewish Students Taking Action for Peace)- another liberal group that doesn't favor Israel over "Palestine".
So you see, of 3 groups, the Jews have 2 liberal ones that outright declare their intention for peacemaking and crap. And TFI, the "crazy right wing" has never caused controversies or stirred up shit.
The Muslims have ONE SJP (make no mistake, SJP is a Muslim organization, they need to cut the crap), basically an arm of the MSA (Muslim Student Association). The SJP draws their "palestine" colors all over the map of Israel and they all have that view. They all have sensationalist, dramatic views of the conflict that are totally one-sided. They despise the hell out of Israel and ANYONE who likes Israel as a country. No one I have ever met from SJP has ever been open to talk, EVER.
I would how they are so quick to attack people for "Islamophobia" when in essence this so called costume is not Islamic in origin in anyway. I am a Christian middle eastern and every prominent and elder male figure in my family and my hometown/country all wear this getup. This is not an Islamic dress code, its a cultural middle eastern outfit as is the Sari to Indian women and the flif-flop is to Southern Californian culture. Those who are quick to judge (the Arab associations) are simply using the ignorance among people here and the democratic plea for minority protection to show their presence in this part of the world.
I am a moslem and part of Ashton's family for the past 35 years and so sad to see how some uneducated people put this smart, educated and well mannered kid thru. Keep up your head up and move on.
Marg Bar Jomhouriyeh Eslami!
Israel and Iran peace!
Writing this article does not benefit anyone. Whoever you are, you do not understand the on the ground reality of UCSD. As a member of the local Jewish community, I personally feel maybe it wasn't the brightest idea in the world knowing how campus groups approach identity politics at this campus, but Ashton did nothing wrong. Unlike claims by El-Noor, Castelleon, and Dalmar, this is not an attack on Muslim students. In fact, Cohen identifies as being part Muslim and the clothing is rather Middle Eastern, not Muslim.
That said, these articles do nothing to help the Jewish community that you think you might be helping, so seriously, Maggie, why don't you stop and give us all a little room to breath?
Dear Anonymous 2:
I am a member of this Jewish community, and along with many others will not back down nor hide from harassment intended to intimidate silence and stifle our breath.
If you think that a warped approach to exploit "identity politics" deserves your quiet, that is your choice, to add to its encouragement. This has nothing to do with "identity" and everything to do with ideological thugs hiding behind a false identity, and exposing their identity as thugs, and dangerous clowns. -- Hiding behind "anonymous 2" indicates nothing that approaches courage of convictions.
I'm not sure who exactly you are but I've never seen you at any event within this Jewish community. I'd say I know quite a few people involved in this issue (read: most UCSD pro-Israel community as well as some SJPers). Please stay out and mind your own business if you are not part of our Jewish community. If you are and we've just never met, I'd love to discuss my views with you in a setting where constructive dialogue can occur.
Calling Palestinians ideological thugs is not helpful and extremely hurtful. If you disagree with Palestinians, you should still allow them to self-identify as Palestinian, just as Ashton can identify some connections with his mother's heritage.
As for the name, the reason I hide behind it is preciously because of people like you. No reason to attack members within your own community.
You have my name, and I don't hide it, or anything else or from anyone.
That should say enough compared to your "anonymous 2".
I'm in the phone book. Call me, if you wish. I will take down all you say, and name, and affiliations, so that it may be obvious why our paths don't cross. If you won't identify yourself fully, we have nothing to discuss. I don't talk to ghosts. I walk in and speak in the light. That's how people like me behave, openly, instead of cowering from, yes, they are ideological thigs.
I'm known as, basically, the most hated person on this campus by the Muslim Student Association + Students in Justice in "Palestine" + their ally/affiliate groups. I'm on their death list for sure LOL.
I am proud of this fact.
I am proud to say what I think instead of being silenced by bullshit intimidation tactics derived from 3rd world civilizations and barbaric societies.
I am proud to say what needs to be said, EVEN IF YOU PEOPLE DON'T THINK IT'S "POLITICALLY CORRECT".
There are many coward Jews on this campus- either who shut up and don't say anything, or they go with the agenda of SJ"P",or they think they can appease SJ"P" by joining Jstreet or something like that.
Screw that. Stand up you cowards. Stand up and say what you really think, what needs to be said.
Ah! A brave (not) anonymous troll.
The article is entirely based in fact, and the "utterly useless attack" is by the fanatic pro-Palestinian students inventing outrage in order to harass. It is utterly useless because the facts say otherwise, and expose their hooliganism.
Ashton, all I can say is keep your head up and stick to your guns. The muslim extremists on campus who are trying to tarnish you are obviously NOT Americans at heart ESPECIALLY because they would go off and persecute someone just for choosing to wear a costume to a campus party! Last time I checked, this is still the land of the free! What are WE Americans doing about our freedom if we cower under the whinings of extremist groups like the one libeling Ashton in UCSD? They try to initimidate everyone into submission. Plus, tell me, since when is wearing a costume to a party meaning to be a derogatory tribute to whatever the costume stands for? There are others who wear a cultural garb as a costume to pay tribute to the positive aspects of that culture. Knowing Ashton, who has both Jewish and Muslim ties in his family, when I looked at this picture, it shows me that he is proud to represent what is good regarding both sides. I myself is a Catholic and it hurt many times when I hear people of other denominations describe the Pope as the "Anti-Christ" and create derogatory photoshopped pictures of the Pope in Anti-Christ garb. What Ashton is wearing in this picture does not even come close to anything remotely offensive. I personally think that he of all people has the balance of good from both sides, and he is able to "wear" the good qualities passed down from Jewish and Muslim family members and friends and be able to reach out to both. In wearing this costume, it shows strength of character and bravery to own up to everyone that yes, he is Jewish but he also has Muslim ties and proud of it. Unfortunately, to extremists like that clown El-Annan and others, they are so bent on revenge and defaming those that do not share their views so they will go at great lengths to distort the truth.As for the joke regarding "three wives", if the muslim extremists found it offensive, then they as muslims are in essence admitting that there is something wrong with polygamy, otherwise why would they be offended? It is time for us Americans to put our foot down and remember that this country was settled and established by Christian men who because of their faith in God wrote and ratified the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights which gave ALL of us Americans the rights and freedoms we all enjoy. Freedom of religion and speech which extends even to extremists like El-Annan, because believe me, if the tables were turned and El-Annan happened to be an extremist "Christian" in a strict Muslim country, I do not believe that Noor El-Annan would even be able to have the liberties to whine about how the other religion is offending her. Pity that she has forgotten that she is able to exercise her religion freely here in America because of the Bill of Rights which happen to have been written and passed to law by Christians to the benefit of ALL religions including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and even Atheists and Agnostics! Come on, if we are to listen to whining clowns like Noor El-Annan and her group, then we are in essence allowing these extremists to erode the very foundation of liberty here in this country. Ashton did nothing wrong in wearing the costume. If anything, he quietly exuded the pride he has in having experienced the good from both sides of the divide and if there is anyone who can reach out to both Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, it would be Ashton. My family and I have met him when he was still in high school, and even my little girl who was four years old at that time commented on how kind he was and a gentleman. We recently met with him and his family again for lunch a few months ago, and definitely, he made us very proud to know such an intelligent, well-versed young man. We are proud of you Ashton and we stand behind you on this. Keep up the great work!!
I've known Ashton for many years, and I can tell you he is anything but racist. He is one of the most politically correct people I know. He is alway respectful to every race and creed. His back ground is multi national. His Mother is Iranian, his father is British . His grandparents form his father's side were Iranian/Iraque and Russian. His ancestery touches several continents and he is the most versed idividual you could ever meet when it comes to talking about history and culture. Interlectually he is decades a head of his time. For someone to say he's racist sickens me to the core when he is exackly the opposite. Why would anyone find it offensive that a traditional costume be worn at a fancy dress party. His grandfather wore something similar to this in the middle east. Is it offensive when college kids wear sexy nurse outfits, because by the same token that should offend the medical profession. Is it offensive when college kids wear bill clinton or obama or arafat masks at halloween parties? If Ashton was wearing swastikas; yes then we should all be offended. Wearing a traditional middle eastern garg and being hugged by his 3 Muslim female friends at a private costume party is harldy racist. It's called "College" If we continue to allow people being labeled as racist everytime they wear a cultural outfit at a private party, then America is going down the wrong path. Lets once and for all put an end to this garbage.
I am a friend of Ashton's family, and I don't practice any religion. I think the whole thing is very childish. I didn't expect Palestinians to be so fragile to be insulted by that. The same thing when Jews asked Prince Harry to apologize for wearing Nazi outfit in a Halloween party. If I wear a pirate outfit in a Halloween party (which I did two years ago), am I supporting the pirates or mocking them? NONE!
Palestinians reaction indicates wearing Arabic outfit by Jews is mocking them. Jewish community reaction to Harry indicates he was supporting Nazis. I DON't GET IT. It is all our subjective interpretation.
I think it is better to save energy and time to fuss over something serious not childish complainings from both sides.