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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
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Free Speech On Campus? Only If You Don’t Offend Islam

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Brown University genocide expert Omer Bartov, described the book in a New York Times review as “a novel variation on the anti-Semitic forgery, ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ . . . brimming with indifference to historical facts, inner contradictions, strident politics . . . indecent . . . juvenile, self-righteous, arrogant and stupid.”

Finkelstein, who was recently denied tenure at DePaul and then fired (his fourth such experience at a university), has adopted the position that this professional setback was the direct result of his being bold enough to speak up against Zionism and Israel, and that he has been punished into silence accordingly – even while he regularly visits college campuses nationwide, usually at the invitation of the Muslim Students Association, where he demonizes Israel and America, coddles homicidal Palestinians and defends the terror of Hizbullah with such admissions as: “I did make a point of publicly honoring the heroic resistance of Hizbullah to foreign occupation … Their historic contributions are … undeniable.”

So it is telling that when this academic charlatan appeared on the St. Louis campus as part of a multi-day hatefest against Israel and Jews, no one on the administration thought the content of Finkelstein’s speech might “offend” or defame any of its students.

But might not Jewish students feel offended or otherwise uncomfortable on their campuses when they witness speakers cheering for terrorist groups whose oft-stated goal is the murder of Jews everywhere? When they see the Star of David painted as equivalent to a swastika? When the Jewish state is regularly described as an apartheid regime, a brutal occupier committing “genocide” against the Palestinians, the main obstacle to world peace?

Liberal-leaning academics at St. Louis University and other American campuses seemingly hold the notion that free speech is only good when it articulates politically correct, ideologically acceptable views of protected victim or minority groups. But true intellectual diversity – the ideal that is often bandied about but rarely achieved – must be dedicated to the protection of unfettered speech representing opposing viewpoints.

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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