Hawaii and Palestine – Two Occupied Countries?

When an American university sponsors a conference on Israel and Palestine, most observers know what to expect: a prolonged rabble-rousing attack on Israel sponsored by the “anti-colonial” far left, with no one invited to defend Israel. Last Friday, the University of Hawaii at Manoa concluded an 18-day Israel-bashing festival, one of the longest such adventures on any campus. The event was primarily sponsored by the university, a public institution, and therefore funded by the Hawaiian and American taxpayers.

The symposium featured films, including “Occupation 101,” “End Israeli Occupation” and “Sacred Space Denied – Bethlehem and the Wall.” Panels focused on divestment in Israel, the rights of Palestinian refugees to return home, the history of Nakba (catastrophe) wrought by the founding of Israel, and “Palestine and Hawaii: Occupied Countries.” Hawaiian Studies professor Haunani Trask said: “The corollaries are there. Both are occupied (with) indigenous forced to leave their country, and divided by blood as part of the bigger ‘elimination of the native’ plot.”

How is it that presidents and administrators of these universities never think to raise any objections to these one-sided events?


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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2 thoughts on “Hawaii and Palestine – Two Occupied Countries?

  1. Hawai’i as an occupied country is a very valid academic argument. The fact that you would think our stance was not already challenged by the world of academia wreaks of supremacy. Many P.h.D’s have argued that Hawai’i lacks a treaty of annexation, because a joint resolution simply is not a treaty. It’s elementary to me that people don’t understand how important treaties are in international law regarding the status of Hawai’i as an independent nation state… or any other country. I would gladly have an open debate with any professor of your choosing of why Hawai’i is an occupied country. I would simply base my argument on one simple question to the academic community. Where is Hawai’i’s treaty?

  2. Aloha, I lived in Hawaii for fifteen years and received my BA from the University of Hawaii-Hilo. In pursuing a Ph.D. I opted to attend Kansas State University. Although I must pay out-of-state tuition, it is well worth. UH recently was demoted from a second to third tier institution. UH is quickly descending into a complete embarrassment.

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