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A Double Standard For Campus Free Speech

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Therein lies the hypocrisy in academic free speech on campus today: while coddling selected victim groups and granting them unlimited expression as a purported way to further diversity of thought, college administrators have regularly denied those same rights and privileges to groups deemed not to deserve or need them – namely, conservatives, Christians, Republicans, or those who seek a strong defense against radical Islam and terrorism aimed Western democracies, principally the U.S. and Israel.

If pro-Israel and Jewish students have to be escorted by police to protect them from physical assault and nothing is said about the egregious nature of the offense, and pro-Israel, anti-terror speakers such as Daniel Pipes are shouted down and heckled relentlessly when they come to York, the university is failing in its stated objective to foster true debate and free speech where reasoned conclusions can evolve through animated and lively discussion of alternate views.

“The ‘Israel debate,’” say Gary A. Tobin, Aryeh K. Weinberg and Jenna Firer in The Uncivil University, “is not a true intellectual debate at all, but rather a failure of the university community at all levels to properly protect its highest ideals. No institution of higher learning should allow Jewish students to be intimidated or attacked, or pro-Israel speakers to be so physically threatened that they cannot safely visit a campus.”

Why? Because “such an environment is antithetical to the mission” of the university, they say, and if the academy abandons that goal for the sake of selected groups and favored causes today, it clearly makes victims of other groups whose views and voice deserve the same hearing in our marketplace of ideas.

About the Author: Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews.”

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