Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
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.
Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t
There was a glaring void in the President’s State of the Union speech: Israel.
Let’s focus not on becoming an ATM for that little bundle of joy, but on what you can save in taxes.
Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves
The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.
Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.
Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians
Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists
In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site
Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”
The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps
Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.
In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
Despite the president’s respectable anti-terrorism record, he doubtless has little interest in being identified with anything that might suggest, however tangentially, criticism of Muslims or Islam.
One wonders what connection that rejection has with turning to the ICC, which would allow the Palestinians to bring war-crime charges against individual Israelis and is certainly one more step away from seeking a negotiated settlement.
In the NPR interview, Mr. Obama said Iran could become a “very successful regional power” if it agreed to a long-term nuclear deal.
Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.
Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-free-speech-wars/2013/04/17/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: