A quick compendium of cheerful news from around academia:
“An issue we’ve been having is with professors setting up fake checkpoints outside of their classrooms at the request of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights [SPHR] and forcing the students to go through these. We’ve been speaking to the university about this,” Zelikovitz said.
“Once inside, students had a 25-minute presentation from SPHR, a slide show that was obviously completely one-sided and the professor discussed it for a while after.
From there the situation rapidly deteriorated as Feder was repeatedly interrupted by ridiculing laughter and insulting taunts, until the police no longer tried to intervene, perhaps fearful of sparking a riot. Finally Feder stormed angrily from the podium in disgust, but was convinced by UMass Republican Club members to try one more time to give his speech.
“If these people want to think they won, that’s fine,” (Feder) said, “the Soviets thought they won until the Berlin Wall came down, the Nazis thought they won until 1945.”
And, finally, from my alma mater, a disgusting series of events surrounding a “Palestinian Solidarity Week” that featured, among other disgraces, speaker Mauri’ Saalakhan spouting “Christians, Jews and Muslims have a right to live in equality,” Saalakhan said. “But Israel has no more right to exist than the apartheid [had].”
The event prompted a series of controversies, first featuring the organizers complaining that people had supposedly torn down their fliers advertising the hate fest.
The piece included the laughable statement from junior Hana Elhattab: “The next day, I was walking to lab when I overheard a kid say to another, ‘Did you see that Palestinian stuff? I spit on it and showed them who’s boss,'” she said.
As the event approached, event organizers began to complain that fliers had been hung around campus protesting their event, fliers that were apparently soooo hateful that no one can even bring themselves to describe them, except for this:
One such flier depicted a woman, wearing a traditional Muslim burqa and holding an AK-47 in one hand and a bomb-toting baby in the other. “What did she teach her child today?” was written above the picture.
So, basically a photograph that can be found on any pro-Palestinian website…
But, after calling for police to track down those people who they claim tore down their fliers, the event organizers responded by…tearing down the fliers.
(Senior dietetics major Gisica) Abdallah then began tearing down as many signs as she could before running to the Stamp Student Union, where she brought the fliers to Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Clement.
Finally, yesterday, campus police determined that, surprise surprise, the fliers protesting the anti-Israel event didn’t violate any laws.
University Police have stopped their investigation of what students called offensive, anti-Palestinian fliers that were posted near McKeldin Library last Tuesday after determining no crime had been committed, officials said.
“Basically, these fliers were free speech,” (University Police spokesman Paul) Dillon said. “Plain and simple.”
Still waiting to hear if any charges will be filed by the police or thes school against the students who readily admitted to tearing down the fliers, thereby blatantly violating the free speech rights of others. Don’t hold your breath. However, while you’re waiting, rest assured that the incident (the posting of the fliers that protested the event, not the event itself that called for the destruction of Israel) will be reported to the FBI as a hate crime incident, despite the acknowledgment by campus police that the fliers were an expression of free speech!
The fliers will be reported as a hate incident to the FBI in end-of-the-year crime statistics because they were offensive to a specific cultural or religious group.
“There is a difference between free speech and hate speech,” said government and politics and Spanish language and literature major Sana Javed, who helped to organize Palestinian Solidarity Week. “They were an irrelevant commentary on Islam, but we were talking about politics.”
“That’d be good so everyone is on the same page,” Javed said. “We’re definitely going to follow up with the university officials to make sure it’s not put on the back burner … because this is a big deal. We want a campus of tolerance.”
You know, a campus of tolerance. Where you can call for Israel to be wiped off the map and tear down fliers that you disagree with and whine that people who do the exact same thing should be arrested. That kind of campus of tolerance.
I’m so happy to claim that I graduated from Maryland. And our basketball team sucks too now.
UPDATE: The Maryland part of this story has been noticed by the big boys today (3/18), including:
Glad people are noticing this debacle, hope something good comes of it.