Letters To The Editor
This morning, I read the news about 11 courageous students at UC Irvine who took a stand to disrupt a speech by Michael Oren, ambassador from the genocidal rogue state of Israel. These students risked their freedom, their safety and security while ambivalent, complacent and complicit students, faculty and community members gleefully welcomed a spokesperson for mass murder into their assembly hall, on their honorarium.
Faculty members, other students and members of the community expressed “shame” toward these brave fellows who stood up against genocide. The shame is on an ambivalent and supportive academic community who would give a platform to any statesman or representative of the state of Israel. Shame on the arresting officers. Shame on the university administration. Shame on the law school and the department of political science.
Housing this event and arresting the students sets a precedent that must be reversed. There are three things the University should and must do to affirm its stance in support of human rights: Immediately release all arrested at the event, pay just compensation for any arrest and detainment and formally apologized from the president of the university and the chief of police; adopt a formal policy against any representative of Israel speaking on campus, and adopt a statement against the genocidal rogue state of Israel.
Let the shame be absolved with taking action on the above three points. If you shall not, let history, the people of the world and God judge you justly for your support of genocide. Further, let history and the people of the world honor and respect the brave students who took a stand at this event, and let God bless them.
Graduate Student, Sociology
Northern Arizona University
Of the many intellectual perversions currently taking root on college campuses, perhaps none is more contradictory to what should be one of higher education’s core values than the suppression of free speech. With alarming regularity, speakers are shouted down, booed, jeered, and assaulted with vitriol, all at the hands of groups who give lip service to the notion of academic free speech. Often, they have no interest in listening, or allowing others to listen, when ideas are being presented that contradict their own worldview.
Last week, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, had the unpleasant experience of confronting virulent anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian Muslim students, whose ideology on academic debate seems to be “free speech for me, but not for thee.”
It is, of course, the MSU’s choice to hear whatever opinions they wish from whomever they choose to listen. What is not their choice, however, is to be able to prevent other views from being heard on campus, particularly within the complex and thorny Israeli-Palestinian conversation, merely because pro-Palestinian students have decided that they will not recognize the very existence or legitimacy of a sovereign nation, Israel, nor hear the ideas of individuals who are able to defend it and explain the Israeli side of the argument.
University officials must repeatedly make clear that campuses must allow many different views and perspectives, and should not allow the exclusion of unpopular thought from the proverbial marketplace of ideas.
Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D.
Director of Boston University’s Program in Publishing, author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel.”