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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘speech’

The Jewish Exception to Free Speech on Campus

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS website}

In 2012, the Electronic Intifada, an online anti-Zionist media outlet that aggressively promotes the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, ran a lengthy article suggesting that “allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ create a real climate of fear” that is “silencing” pro-Palestinian student activists on U.S. campuses. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw the article, not because of the absurd nature of the charges — that Jewish students were somehow intimidating and silencing pro-Palestinian student activists just by virtue of speaking up about the intimidation, and silencing they themselves were experiencing at the hands of those same activists — I laughed because of the accompanying photograph set beneath the headline. In one concise image, it revealed the utter disingenuousness of the thousand words that followed.

Students face a climate of intimidation on several California campuses (UC Berkeley SJP)

Students face a climate of intimidation on several California campuses (UC Berkeley SJP)

The photo, credited to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at University of California Berkeley, depicted a large pole on campus that was covered from top to bottom with multiple layers of promotional flyers. However, the only ones that were fully visible — because they had been affixed directly on top of the others — were the SJP’s flyers demonizing and delegitimizing Israel and urging the university community to support BDS. The juxtaposition of the photo with its caption, “Students face a climate of intimidation on several California campuses,” practically begged the reader to think: Which students are facing a climate of intimidation?  Certainly not the members of SJP, whose bold and brazen “freedom of expression” to demonize and delegitimize Israel and promote efforts to harm it is literally smothering everyone else’s!

In the four years since that article was published, the smothering of speech depicted in the article’s photo has not improved. In fact for one group of students, it has gotten worse.  Much worse.

A study of anti-Semitic activity in 2016 on more than 100 campuses, which our organization released earlier this week, revealed that over the past year the number of incidents involving the suppression of Jewish students’ freedom of speech and assembly by members of SJP or other anti-Zionist student groups had approximately doubled. For example, in April of this year, more than two dozen members of the General Union of Palestine Students at San Francisco State University disrupted and ultimately shut down a Jewish student event featuring a speech by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. A few minutes after Barkat’s speech had begun, protestors stormed into the hall and loudly chanted slogans such as “Get the hell off our campus,” “Long live the Intifada,” and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free,” until the speech was prematurely terminated. Similar disruptions and attempted shut-downs of Jewish student events unfolded on campuses across the country.

It is telling that in our study we found a strong correlation between incidents involving the suppression of Jewish students’ freedom of speech and assembly and those involving the expression of anti-Semitic tropes that demonize and delegitimize Israel or promote its destruction: in 2016 all 12 of the schools at which the speech and assembly of Jewish students were suppressed played host to one or more incidents of anti-Zionist expression, and the greater the number of these incidents, the higher the likelihood that Jewish student expression would be suppressed. Not only does this strong correlation suggest that anti-Zionist expression may incite conduct which harms Jewish students, it also underscores the breathtaking hypocrisy of anti-Zionist activists on campus, who vigorously exercise their own freedom of expression but deny Jewish students that same right and freedom.

In addition, the increase in incidents which trample on the civil rights of Jewish students indicates the growing success of a tactic known as “anti-normalization,” which members of SJP and similar anti-Zionist groups routinely employ to aggressively stifle all pro-Israel expression. For example, in one of its founding documents the SJP group at Binghamton University outlined strategies for harassing Jewish students and disrupting or shutting down their Israel-related events in a section entitled: “Tactics and Strategies Used to Counter Zionist Normalization.”

Adherents of “anti-normalization” target not only pro-Israel students, but anyone presumed to support Israel, first and foremost Jewish students, regardless of their actual personal feelings on Israel. As a result, Jewish students engaging in Jewish activity having nothing to do with Israel — wearing their Jewish sorority or fraternity letters, displaying Star of David necklaces, walking to Hillel for Sabbath dinner – report fearing for their safety and well-being.  In addition, because of their support, or even just presumed support, for Israel, Jewish students report being rejected from progressive social justice activities such as pro-choice rallies, anti-rape demonstrations, Black Lives Matter events and racial justice conferences.

The situation has become intolerable for many Jewish students.

This past spring, the University of California system took a critical stand against the rising anti-Semitism plaguing its 10 campuses. Its Board of Regents issued a Statement of Principles Against Intolerance acknowledging that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism which incites additional Jew hatred and, like other forms of discrimination, has no place at the University of California system. The Regents’ statement also singled out “actions that physically or otherwise interfere with the ability of an individual or group to assemble, speak, and share or hear the opinion of others,” stating that they “impair the mission and intellectual life of the University and will not be tolerated.”

Universities across the country must follow suit.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Trump’s Deeply Unpatriotic Convention Speech

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

As editor of Commentary and as a newspaper columnist, I have commissioned, edited, and written hundreds of thousands of words on the dreadful mistakes and parlous consequences of the Obama presidency.

Under Obama, America has become less free, more regulated, and less bound to constitutional norms. And I believe his foreign policy has made America less safe and the world more chaotic.

Still, what Donald Trump did in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week in trying to establish the contrast between himself and Obama’s successor Hillary Clinton was shocking, even for the shock-jock of presidential candidates.

It was a blast of anti-American sentiment and Spenglerian despair that might fit his own political marketing plan but is nothing less than a repellent slander against these United States.

I could be fancy and find myself a quote from Tocqueville, but it’s really the philosopher Merle Haggard who said it best: “When you’re running down my country, Hoss, you’re walking on the fighting side of me.”

Trump spent nearly 77 minutes running down my beloved country, and I don’t take kindly to it.

Whether it was a political success or a political failure is something that will be suggested by the polling response and where things stand in relation to Hillary Clinton after the conclusion of the Democratic convention this week.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s humility when it comes to predictions, so I make none. But I know a little bit about speechwriting, so indulge me in a peroration about why the speech was, quite simply, spectacularly lousy as a piece of rhetoric and argument.

Major political speeches are usually balancing acts between light and dark, between expressions of the positive and the threat posed to it by the negative. They establish the existence of something good and what qualities of goodness it possesses, explain how it is being warped by something bad, and offer a way to repair the damage and restore the equilibrium.

This isn’t just a boilerplate structure. You do it this way because it is a reflection of reality.

Speeches are both diagnoses of problems and prescriptions for solutions, and unless the diagnosis describes a recognizable reality, the solutions will ring either hollow or exploitativeYou talk about the good and the bad because that is how life is. Nothing save actual evil is without virtue; there is nothing that is not unmixed. That was not true of Trump’s United States. He did not offer a portrait, a description, a sense of what America is or has been or can be at its best and take off from there to describe what has gone wrong and how to fix it.

There was almost no light and almost complete darkness.

The America Donald Trump portrayed is a horrible place, awash in barbarity, crime, disorder, decay, deceit, rigging, cheating, exploitation. It is very nearly beyond salvation, in such dire straits that a man who was having a wonderful time in business felt called upon to serve as “your voice” because “only I can fix it” the problem.

I don’t know how to say this except sentimentally, but here it is: America in 2016 is still America. It is still the greatest, and noblest, and freest, and most just society the world has ever seen and a shining beacon of hope to the world.

And when it is caricatured, when it is degraded, when its people are told by one of the two people who might sit in the White House for the next four years that they live in a barbaric and hopeless dystopia from which they need to be saved by a strong hand rather than in a great country where some things have gone off the tracks and need to be placed back on them – the person who does such a thing has indulged himself in a deeply unpatriotic act of rhetorical infamy.

John Podhoretz

BREAKING: Trump’s RNC Speech Text Revealed…And It’s Actually Brilliant

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Hours before Donald Trump’s schedule nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the press released a full copy of the text of his speech. That speech was powerfully written and wide-ranging in its critique of America’s problems – it touched on virtually all the victims of the left’s political dominance for the past several decades.

The speech text is, in fact, quite brilliant.
It was short on solutions to the problems America faces – as always, that’s the sticking point for Trump. He’s always been half of a great doctor: terrific diagnosis, awful prescriptions. He’s Dr. House when it comes to diagnosis; he’s Dr. Demento when it comes to solutions. He’ll tell you correctly that you have cancer, then advise you to shove your head in a cotton gin.

But he didn’t bother with prescription in his speech text.

That makes the speech a pretty spectacular barnburner.

Trump leaned heavily on a crucial theme: law and order. This is smart politicking – the best way for Republicans to win in blue areas is to run against the high-crime policies of Democrats (see Rudy Giuliani and Richard Riordan, for example). “Together,” Trump’s speech began, “we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.”

Then he dinged Hillary for her failures to grasp the real risks of the moment: threat to life and limb thanks to attacks on police officers and jihadist attacks in the heart of the country:

Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.

Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.

I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.

The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.

This is excellent, hard-hitting stuff. Trump cannot guarantee safety, of course, but he can guarantee that he’ll take safety seriously. Hillary obviously will not. She’s too busy catering to the cop-hating Black Lives Matter movement and pretending that jihadism is less a threat than gun ownership.

Trump continued:

I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore. So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths the Democrats are holding their convention next week. But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.

He then launched into a list of statistics: homicide increases in America’s major cities, police officers murdered, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal records “roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.” He cited the murder of Sarah Root by an illegal immigrant, then added, “to this Administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders.”

Again, tremendously effective stuff.

Then Trump moved on to the economy.

There, he laid out another litany of statistics about America’s untold economic crisis, particularly among minority Americans. He summed up:

Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000. Our manufacturing trade deficit has reached an all-time high – nearly $800 billion in a single year. The budget is no better. President Obama has doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing. Yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.

Then he moved his diagnostic needle to foreign affairs. Again, Trump’s diagnosis was spot-on: he blasted the Iran deal, Obama’s red-line Syria policy, the Libya mess. His attack on Hillary here was particularly pointed:

Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos.
Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness.

Then Trump dropped his rhetorical bombshell, the undoubted theme of his campaign: he is America’s voice:

The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change in 2017. The American People will come first once again…I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice. I AM YOUR VOICE.

This is actually a brilliant slogan. Even Americans who dislike Trump find themselves nodding along at some of the things he says – they get the feeling that he’s their id, the fellow who will say the things they wish they could. Trump knows that.

He continued along those lines:

I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.

When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.

And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before.

When the FBI Director says that the Secretary of State was “extremely careless” and “negligent,” in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did. They were just used to save her from facing justice for her terrible crimes.

In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others have paid so dearly. When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers I know the time for action has come.

This is spectacular. Truly. Linking Hillary Clinton with an elite group that doesn’t care about ordinary Americans hits directly at her weak point: the creeping feeling that she doesn’t give a damn about anybody but herself. Trump is right here, 100 percent.

Trump, as I’ve said for months, is a hammer in search of a nail. His speechwriters directed the hammer directly at the nails. Trump called himself the “Law And Order candidate,” and attacked President Obama directly for utilizing “the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color.” He noted the “damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals,” narrowed his infamous Muslim ban to an immediate suspension of immigration from any nation “compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place,” and vowed support for Israel. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Trump noted, he wanted “to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people. Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.”

On immigration, Trump vowed a “system that works, but one that works for the American people.” He pointed out the Americans murdered by illegal immigrants and stated:

These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain. Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly?

These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate.

Trump moved on to trade, where he pushed his usual anti-free trade idiocies and prevarications: “I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.” He spoke at length about the evils of free trade agreements from NAFTA to the WTO to TPP.

From there, he directed his comments to tax laws, which he vowed to rewrite in favor of the middle class, and regulations, which he vowed to trim. He made an outright appeal to miners and steel workers, contrasting his own positions with Hillary’s radical environmentalist shibboleths. He spoke about education, ripping the “education bureaucrats”; Obamacare, which he called “disastrous”; and the TSA, which he vowed somehow to “fix.” Here was his sole line on military growth: “We will completely rebuild our depleted military, and the countries that we protect, at a massive loss, will be asked to pay their fair share.”

He vowed to appoint “a person of similar views and principles” to Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. He also vowed to toss out IRS crackdowns on religious institutions speaking about politics.

Then he began his wrapup:

We can accomplish these great things, and so much else – all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before….Remember: all of the people telling you that you can’t have the country you want, are the same people telling you that I wouldn’t be standing here tonight. No longer can we rely on those elites in media, and politics, who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place. Instead, we must choose to Believe In America. History is watching us now.

It’s waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong.

My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”. I choose to recite a different pledge.

My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.”

I am your voice.

So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you.

To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again.

We Will Make America Proud Again.

We Will Make America Safe Again.

And We Will Make America Great Again.

THANK YOU.

Trump’s capacity for recognizing America’s ills has never truly been in question. His solutions are. That’s the reason so many conservatives find Trump troubling. But Trump avoided any talk of real solutions tonight. He recognized that politics is a game of opposition, and that everyone can agree with diagnosis even if few people agree with prescription. From any political angle, Trump’s speech text is not just smart, it’s effective and hard-hitting politics. It may not calm any qualms about principles, but it certainly shifts the onus to Hillary Clinton to provide some answers. And she’s in no position to give answers.

Ben Shapiro

Tim Kaine’s Decision to Boycott Netanyahu’s Speech Could Hurt Hillary

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

When Hillary Clinton’s choice for VP, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, joined the Democrats who avoided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress, he announced: “There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership.” Revealing that he had labored to delay the Netanyahu appearance, Kaine said, “I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech.”

Before Kaine made his announcement, only three other senators had planned to boycott the speech: the two anti-Netanyahu Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy, and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz. All the other Democratic senators were reluctant to commit either way, and told the press they were thinking about it. Even the biggest Democratic opponent of the Iran deal, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, did not forcefully call on his fellow Democrats to show—not willing to upset an already irate President Obama. Most Democratic legislators who said they’d avoid the speech came from blue states and blue districts. But when Kaine, whose state of Virginia until 2008 voted Republican for president, gave permission to Democrats from red states to boycott Netanyahu when he declared he was skipping the speech.

The Forward on Friday wrote that Kaine “Will be the Jewiest Vice President” under Hillary Clinton, describing him as “a friend to the Jewish community for about as long as he’s been in public service.” But when one reads the reasons why Kaine is so “Jewey” according to the Forward, one realizes Kaine would be a bonanza to leftwing Israeli Jews, very much like the folks who are currently in the White House.

Kaine supports a two-state solution, argues the Forward; also, he is a religious Catholic (so he knows all about the auto-da-fé); during his time as the governor of Virginia, Sabra built the world’s largest hummus factory outside Richmond, and hummus is Jewish, isn’t it, ask anyone from Cairo to Ramallah to Damascus; and Kaine hosted several Passover seders and played matchmaker to Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline’s daughter.

So, in considering Kaine’s pros and cons regarding Israel, you have his support for a nuclear deal with Iran, and his support for a Palestinian State, while on the plus side you have lots of hummus.

JNi.Media

David Duke: Jews Plagiarized Michelle Obama’s Speech, Shamed Melania Trump

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

“This is a con job, sabotage, political character assassination plan from the get go!” declared the former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke regarding the embarrassing Monday night GOP convention speech of Donald Trump’s wife Melania, which lifted several key segments from a 2008 speech in a similar setting by then Democratic candidate Barak Obama. “Did a Jewish Neocon Speechwriter Sabotage Melania Trump’s Big Speech?” he wondered.

“I would bet a gefilte fish that this was sabotage,” Duke continued, “I would also bet a bagel it was orchestrated by an Israel Firster who wanted to damage the American Firster.”

Thank God, he didn’t bet a matzo or a Hamantash on anything…

According to the NY Times, two sources inside the Trump campaigned actually confirmed it was a Jew — Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who commissioned a draft of Ms. Trump’s speech from Matthew Scully and John McConnell, two former speechwriters for George W. Bush.

The two writers were told that the timing of Melania’s speech had been shortened, and that she worked with a person inside the Trump organization to make substantial revisions.

Those revisions obviously included lifts from that great 2008 Michelle Obama speech.

Melania said: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect . . . They taught and showed me morals in their daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to many generations to follow because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Michelle Obama said: “… Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them . . . And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller explained away the plagiarized text, saying, “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”

But KKK Duke believes it was the Jews looking to humiliate candidate Trump. “Nobody could have been so stupid as to make about five or six common quotes out of Michele Obama’s Demo convention speech just a few years before and put it in Melania Trump’s speech and not think it would get exposed,” he wrote.

So, what did the Jews stand to gain from humiliating Trump, who, as we all know, is surrounded by Jews, including some of his own offspring? “Of course, that’s easy to answer,” writes Duke. “A vicious corrupt lying Zio Media who are going all out to destroy Donald Trump just as they are setting out to destroy this nation with a flood of immigrants in their bid to divide-and-conquer!” and he reminded his readers of Israel’s Mossad motto, “By deception Thou Shalt Wage War.”

Of course, Duke got that one wrong, too, or perhaps he lifted it off of a White Power website. The Mossad logo is Proverbs 11:14, which goes: “Without clever tactics an army is defeated, and victory comes from much planning.”

Have another bagel, Mr. Duke.

JNi.Media

An Israeli Rabbi’s Response to Obama’s Speech on Radical Islam

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

If you don’t know who you are fighting, you can’t win the war.

Video of the Day

The Lie Of Academic Free Speech

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The disturbing campaign to suppress speech that is purportedly hurtful, unpleasant, or morally distasteful is a troubling and recurrent pattern of behavior by “progressive” leftists and “social justice” advocates from Muslim-led pro-Palestinian groups.

Coalescing around the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, this unholy alliance has been formed in a libelous and vituperative campaign to demonize Israel, attack pro-Israel individuals, and promote a relentless campaign against Israel in the form of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

As the ideological assault against Israel and Jews intensifies on university campuses, and pro-Israel individuals begin answering their ideological opponents, the student groups leading the pro-Palestinian charge (including such groups as the radical Students for Justice in Palestine [SJP]) have decided that their tactic of unrelenting demonization of Israel is insufficient, and the best way to optimize the propaganda effect of their anti-Israel message is also to suppress or obscure opposing views.

The pronouncements of these groups are now frequently defined by baleful whining.

Because it cannot win an honest, open ideological debate about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, SJP has characteristically tried to ensure that no pro-Israel voices are heard, by either disrupting and shutting down pro-Israel events and speakers or urging administrators to disinvite speakers they deem Islamophobic, too pro-Israel, or critical of their own tactics and activism.

The thuggish substitution of event disruption and the shutting down of other people’s speech for what is supposed to be two-sided academic dialogue and debate occur with increased regularity. These methods mark another, more pernicious, aspect of the campus campaign against Israel, Zionism, and Jews.

At the University of California, Davis, for example, George Deek, a Jaffa-born Arab Christian, planned to give a speech titled “The Art of Middle East Diplomacy” when some 30 pro-Palestinian activists stood up and blocked Deek with banners and took over the event by screaming “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” – meaning an Arab state in place of present-day Israel – and chanting such toxic ditties as “Long live the Intifada,” “Allahu Akbar,” and “When Palestine is occupied, resistance is justified.”

In February, Bassam Eid, a Palestinian himself and the founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, witnessed how nothing positive said about Israel is allowed to be heard, even from such a credible, though unusual, source as a Palestinian.

During his speech, in which he was critical of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for their failure to seek peace, Eid was verbally attacked by a student attendee, who said in Arabic, “Dr. Bassam, do not dare talk about us [Palestinians] anymore. You have shamed our God…you’ve shamed us, disgraced us, you are a traitor, you are a traitor, in the name of God you are a traitor…. You are worse than the Jews and we will hunt you down and find you in every place. Be prepared.”

When it became obvious that his speech would not be able to continue uninterrupted, Eid cancelled the event and had to be escorted offsite by the police.

Last November, the University of Minnesota Law School sponsored a lecture by Hebrew University professor Moshe Halbertal, an expert on Israel’s military code of ethics, titled “Protecting Civilians: Moral Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare.” The lecture was delayed for 30 minutes by the unruly heckling and chants of some 100 protesters from the Minnesota Anti-War Committee and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who indignantly rose from the audience, interrupted, and accused Halbertal of war crimes and complicity in the 2014 Gaza incursion.

Also in November, as yet another example, the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Israeli Studies hosted an event with Stanford University’s Dr. Gil-Li Vardi, who was to present a study on “The Origin of a Species: The Birth of the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Culture.” At the event, twelve members of the “Palestine Solidarity Committee,” intent on disrupting the speech, created a human wall in the back of the room with the purpose of not allowing the event to begin. The anti-Israel activists tried, without the benefit of actually knowing what the speaker would say, to prevent her from presenting her viewpoint by shrieking out such taunts as “You are a former IDF soldier; we do not listen to you.”

The university officials and student groups who now try to suppress all thought of which they disapprove have sacrificed one of the core values for which the university exists. n their zeal to be inclusive, and to recognize the needs and aspirations of victim groups, they pretend to foster inquiry but have actually stifled and retarded it.

As this otherwise noble purpose for the university has devolved, the first victim in the corruption of academic free speech, unfortunately, has been the truth.

Richard L. Cravatts

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-lie-of-academic-free-speech/2016/05/19/

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