Hate speech against Jews is OK?

I cannot recall when I have ever felt such strong personal outrage. How can I stand in solidarity with the Left?

Steven K-Brooks, now retired from active real estate brokerage, writes on his website, Blog88.org. Contact him at [email protected].

Questioned at a Congressional hearing, the president of the University of Pennsylvania would not say that calling for the genocide of Jews violates the university's anti-bullying or harassment code of conduct.

She said such speech is "context-dependent" and only violates University rules if it "turns into conduct." The presidents of Harvard and MIT gave similar testimony at the Dec. 5 hearing.

By that logic, couldn't racist students burn a cross on campus and advocate lynching in order to intimidate Black students, and the University would consider that to be protected speech?

Yeah, but Jews are different. Hate speech against Jews is OK, isn't it?

Perhaps these Ivy League universities should look the other way and accept demonstrations advocating rape. Women should understand that advocating that they be raped is not intimidation or harassment. It is free speech, isn't it?

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A Nov. 3 New York Times opinion piece by Gabriel Diamond, Talia Dror, and Jillian Lederman, "What Is Happening on College Campuses Is Not Free Speech," details antisemitic hate speech, apparently tolerated by administrators.

They wrote that in a recent online discussion forum, "Jewish students at Cornell were called 'excrement on the face of the earth,' threatened with rape and beheading and bombarded with demands like 'eliminate Jewish living from Cornell campus.'"

They also reported that "the targeting of Jewish students didn't stop at Cornell: Jewish students at Cooper Union huddled in the library to escape an angry crowd pounding on the doors; a protester at a rally near New York University carried a sign calling for the world to be kept 'clean' of Jews; messages like 'glory to our martyrs' were projected onto a George Washington University building."

According to the Harvard Crimson, after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and 33 other student groups at the university "drew intense campus and national backlash [...] for signing onto a statement that they 'hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence' in the wake of a deadly invasion of Israel by the Islamist militant group Hamas."

"There was no mention of Hamas," wrote Diamond, Dror, and Lederman. "The university issued such a tepid response, it almost felt like an invitation."

On Oct. 15, at Cornell, at a pro-Palestinian rally, Russell Rickford, an associate professor of history, said he was "exhilarated" by Hamas's terrorist attacks; he apologized and is on a leave of absence.

In an article, a Columbia professor, Joseph Massad, wrote that "the sight of the Palestinian resistance fighters storming Israeli checkpoints separating Gaza from Israel was astounding, not only to the Israelis but especially to the Palestinian and Arab peoples who came out across the region to march in support of the Palestinians in their battle against their cruel colonizers."

And 100 Columbia and Barnard professors signed a letter in which they "[felt] compelled to respond to those who label our students anti-Semitic if they express empathy for the lives and dignity of Palestinians." That sounds reasonable, except that the letter also legitimized the atrocities on Oct. 7 as a "military response by a people who had endured crushing and unrelenting state violence from an occupying power over many years."

"To the best of our knowledge, none of these professors have received meaningful discipline, much less dismissal," Diamond, Dror, and Lederman wrote. "Another green light."

The Times piece makes a distinction between free speech, debate, diversity of opinion; and intimidation: "Mob harassment must not be confused with free speech."

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I have read opinion by Dan DeWalt in The Commons and other publications in which he focuses exclusively on Israel's war crimes but is silent about Hamas's unspeakable atrocities against Jewish women on Oct. 7. He trivializes what happened on that day. (Ho-hum, just routine retaliation, DeWalt seems to say.)

I cannot recall when I have ever felt such strong personal outrage. How can I stand in solidarity with the Left, when as a whole (including some of our friends and neighbors in Brattleboro) they show themselves to be weasels and jackals?

In total contrast to the Dan DeWalts of the world, at a Dec. 6 press conference, President Biden's press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, unequivocally denounced the Hamas atrocities, antisemitism, and calls for genocide.

"That is unacceptable, it's vile, and it's counter to everything this country stands for," she said. "I can't believe I even have to say that. I can't believe I even have to say that. I shouldn't have to."

This Voices Response was submitted to The Commons.

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