Thursday, February 19, 2009

Despicable Anti-Israel Act at SJSU

Spartan Daily Article on Israeli Speaker


According to our state department Hamas is a terrorist organization. So, if you support Hamas you are supporting terrorists. I remember 9-11 too well to be comfortable with that.

However, that said, I respect the right of people to peacefully protest and to voice their opinions even if I disagree with the protesters, even if they take a position that supports people who target civilians intentionally, use their own citizens as human shields and whom our own government has labeled as terrorists. But, what happened in the SJSU student union on Thursday October 5 was not freedom of speech. It was despicable.

According to a report by a faculty member who was in attendance, "Akiva Tor, Consul General of Israel and honored guest of the student group Spartans for Israel, was verbally abused and forcibly driven from the stage by anti-Zionist hecklers. As the moderator quickly lost control of the screaming crowd, Tor had to be escorted out of the room by a phalanx of security officers and campus policemen."

In my opinion; folks opposed to Tor's message had the right to express their freedom of speech by holding up signs or perhaps by having a peaceful informational picket line. But, when they disrupted the event they went too far.

Yesterday SJSU President Jon Whitmore sent an e-mail to the campus community. In that e-mail he said, "The university fully endorses the free expression of ideas and opinion, but does not condone behavior and methods of expression that disrupt free and orderly discussion. Departments and recognized student organizations are exercising their free speech rights when extending invitations to speakers and planning events. Behavior that is too disruptive infringes on those rights."

I hope President Whitmore finds a way to make it up to Tor and to the student group Spartans for Israel.

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