web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Free Speech Wars

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.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Free Speech Wars”

  1. Leftist do not believe in free speech. They believe that everybody has the right to agree with them and if you don't then you must be prevented from speaking.

    It has been this way since the 1960s.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US Secy of State John Kerry announcing nuclear agreement with Iran from Vienna.
Israel Law Center Files Motion to Block IranDeal in NY Federal Court
Latest Indepth Stories
The Quran

Islamists spoke of “Love and Justice in a World of Suffering,” skipping the horrors caused by Islam

President  Barack Obama.

How and when is it appropriate for pulpit rabbis to comment publicly on the Iran issue?

David Menachem Gordon

David was many things: Brother, son, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, talmid, comrade, AND a WARRIOR

Graffiti at Duma home that was torched in Samara.

Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”

Who said Kerry won no concessions from Iran? He secured pistachios and Beluga caviar for America!

In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3

The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.

I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya

While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

“The fear of being exposed publicly is the only thing that will stop people,” observed Seewald.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

More Articles from Editorial Board

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

Mr. Kerry may or may not be genuinely disturbed and troubled by the Iranian leader’s continued belligerence. With the deal completed, that’s not even a matter of concern anymore.

Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.

The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-free-speech-wars/2013/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: