Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
Recent events demonstrate that the Jewish community is fast losing the free speech wars. Those who wish to condemn Israel at public forums are seemingly immune to efforts at having an alternative view heard, while those who seek to talk tough about radical Islam are vulnerable to being blocked altogether.
In a widely reported incident in February, a symposium was scheduled at Brooklyn College by a campus group opposed to Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. It was to feature two leading figures in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Pleas from Jewish students that pro-Israel speakers be added for balance were rejected by the event organizers. As it turned out, four students identifiable as Jews and thought to be planning to sharply question the speakers were ejected from the room.
To make matters worse, an internal investigation as to whether the students’ free speech rights were violated concluded last week that while the students were wrongly ousted because there was no evidence that they created a disturbance – as organizers of the event originally claimed – there was also “no support for an inference of discrimination based on religion” because other Jewish students were allowed to remain at the event.
What nonsense. The issue here was not the students’ religion but their views on the Middle East conflict – which were suppressed. The investigative report did not comment on the fact that the Brooklyn College political science department co-sponsored the event and abdicated its responsibility to ensure freedom of access.
Similarly, efforts to block or at least add some balance in the wording to an award presentation last week to former president Jimmy Carter, a notoriously anti-Israel public figure, from an apparently independent student group at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, came to naught.
In contrast to this, a coalition of so-called interfaith leaders in Nassau County, including left-wing rabbis and liberal ministers led by a local imam – who used his official stationery, as a commissioner of the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights, in the effort – was able this past week to force the cancellation of a speech on the dangers of shariah law at the Great Neck Synagogue by blogger Pamela Geller, an outspoken critic of radical Islam. To be sure, synagogue officials resisted the pressure to cancel the speech until it became unbearable, but cancel it they did.
The solution to this problem is not readily apparent. But Brooklyn College is a publicly funded college and the imam is a Nassau County human rights commissioner. So while moral suasion may be appropriate in dealing with some benighted Cardozo students, perhaps official inquiries by New York City and Nassau County authorities to pursue the Brooklyn College cover-up and the imam’s use of his public position to intrude on the decision-making of a religious institution are in order.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?
Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.
Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.
Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.
Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.
Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status
David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?
sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience
Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.
Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]
Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.
Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”
A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.
The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.
Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.
His many articles on education showed great insight into the problems facing Jewish teachers in a changing student environment.
We cannot forget Secretary Kerry’s obsessive and relentless focus on the Middle East peace process.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-free-speech-wars/2013/04/17/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: