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Author Topic: Pro-Palestinian group denying free speech AGAIN
Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 08:28 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Once again the pro-Palestinian "human rights" group at Concordia are trying to shut down free speech. This time they will try to stop former Soviet dissident and Israeli MK, Natan Sharansky from speaking at Concordia.

How many of us, now knowing what happened in the past, will stand up for free speech at Concordia and tell these facists that free speech is alive, well and a right for all Canadians? An interestiing litmus test.

denying free speech


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 21 January 2003 08:36 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just curious, Mishei. If they somehow managed to get Yasser Arafat to speak at Concordia, would you still be for free speech there?
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lagatta
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posted 21 January 2003 10:16 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Or someone from Hamas, supporting suicide bombing?
Remember that Sharansky is Housing Minister, in charge of building illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories. Also a war crime.

From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 21 January 2003 10:36 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ya know, I'm still of a mind that you should let these people speak (Bibi, Sharansky) and either pepper them with embarassing questions or simply skewer the content of their speech in the paper or on indynews, if there's no question period afterwards.

Of course, that only applies if the speech is open to all who wish to attend.

[ 21 January 2003: Message edited by: Sarcasmobri ]


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sheep
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posted 21 January 2003 10:38 AM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe these brave and honourable Concordia protestors should try booking Arafat then, and see what happens.

But why bother? So much more fun to protest and smash windows than to face your opponents in honest debate. What the hell? It'll at least get Jaggi onto the front pages whining "it's all the university's fault...we had no choice but to smash the place up"


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 21 January 2003 10:41 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Just curious, Mishei. If they somehow managed to get Yasser Arafat to speak at Concordia, would you still be for free speech there?"

Conversely, as Arafat is by most reckonings, a war criminal too, would the Palestinian students who rioted in protest of a war criminal in September do the same for Arafat?

I know that any answer to this is conjecture only, but If you believe there's a good chance that they *wouldn't* then you also have to believe that "war criminal" or not has little to do with any of it.

And for the record, if Arafat comes, and if there are Canadians who want to hear him, let him speak. They have that right.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 10:49 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Just curious, Mishei. If they somehow managed to get Yasser Arafat to speak at Concordia, would you still be for free speech there?
Yes absolutely. Here are my criteria;

1. Speakers cannot advocate muder or terror (Lagatta with respect Israeli retaliation is NOT equivalent to homicide bombing)

2. They must be able to be freely permitted into Canada.

With those caveats I would have no problem. Now folks let me see how far your liberty stretches.

[ 21 January 2003: Message edited by: Mishei ]


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Smith
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posted 21 January 2003 10:56 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fair enough, then.
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Briguy
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posted 21 January 2003 10:58 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Lagatta with respect Israeli retaliation is NOT equivalent to homicide bombing

How does the continued construction of new settlement housing equate to Israeli retaliation? I'm not following the bouncing ball here.

[ 21 January 2003: Message edited by: Sarcasmobri ]


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 21 January 2003 11:00 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And two wrongs do not make a right.

I'm not seeing what's so uniquely bad about suicide bombing, either. Seems to me a bombing is a bombing. Suicide bombings may be inefficient, but the intentions behind them are hardly unique.

[ 21 January 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]


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Michelle
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posted 21 January 2003 11:35 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So much more fun to protest and smash windows than to face your opponents in honest debate.

I don't have a problem with protesting, although I do have a problem with smashing windows and throwing coins at Jews trying to attend.

However, sheep, there's just one bone I would pick with your statement and that is that there was no opportunity for the protesters to face their opponents in open debate because the audience, if I remember correctly, was hand-picked and only open to supporters of Netanyahu.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 21 January 2003 11:43 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Free speech includes both the right to speak and the right to protest.

In any case, why does Concordia Hillel only invite right wingers to speak? They are reenforcing the perception that Jewish opinion is anti-Palestinian and hawkish. If Hillel truly wants to represent the Jewish community they shouldn't act as if the full spectrum of ideas ranges from A to C.


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Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 11:53 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Free speech includes both the right to speak and the right to protest.
In any case, why does Concordia Hillel only invite right wingers to speak? They are reenforcing the perception that Jewish opinion is anti-Palestinian and hawkish. If Hillel truly wants to represent the Jewish community they shouldn't act as if the full spectrum of ideas ranges from A to C.


Firstly,free speech does not include the right to commit violence.

Secondly, Concordia Hillel has the right to invite whoever the hell it chooses without having to fear the violence being threatened. Hell, it can even invite Natan Sharansky who was inprisoned in a Soviet Gulag for 10 years simply for wanting to go to Israel.


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Mycroft_
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posted 21 January 2003 11:56 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Or Natan Sharansky, the right wing politician who accepts funding from the council of West Bank settlers. Personally, I preferred him when he was Anatoly Scharansky, he was a nicer person then.
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Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 12:00 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
All i am saying is it doesnt matter. Either there is free speech here or there is not. This group of pro=Palestinian Demonstrators led by Alatrash and Singh have no right to threaten violence. Hell, they should be charged today for counselling to commit an unlawful act.
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Mandos
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posted 21 January 2003 12:04 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm happy to have them speak if their detractors can also attend the speech and they are also arrested right afterwards. Otherwise, no thanks.

And SPHR also clearly mentioned on radio that they would never invite Arafat even if they were allowed. With good reason, but not Mishei's reasons.


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lagatta
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posted 21 January 2003 12:07 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Concordia Hillel only invites right-wing politicians because Concordia Hillel is right-wing and hawkish.

A shame, when I was a uni student (both a LONG time ago in the 70s, and returning in the 80s) Hillel was basically a Jewish cultural group that spotlighted Jewish contributions to society, fought the remnants of antisemitic and other racist attitudes, celebrated Jewish holidays, organised kosher food outlets, etc. It was probably emotionally attached to Israel but that wasn't its main thrust and it certainly wasn't right wing.

Fortunately many other groups in Montreal, Jewish, non-faith-related and multicultural, have sponsored a wide range of speakers from Israel who are not hawks and right-wingers. Ironically, Hillel is giving a very poor image of Israeli society, where there are many debates and points of view.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 21 January 2003 12:15 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've come to believe that we must support the right of such speakers to speak, whatever the hell they say.

Some of us came through a period of chanting "fascists have no right to speak," and even that position bothered me then -- obviously because everyone immediately begins to play with the word "fascist," and before you know it, you get ... well, any number of debates on babble.

It bothers me that groups at Concordia seem to arrange such events without making them generally open -- or at least it's my understanding that that was part of the problem with the Netanyahu engagement: critics weren't welcome in the first place. Still, if the critics are turning up only to prevent a speaker from being heard, we have a problem.

I'm in favour of seeing the left do a little self-criticism on this score. With the minister responsible for settlements, for gawd's sake, we can afford it. Why not see first-hand the contortions he must go through to sound even minimally reasonable?

Pity about Sharansky. Such a pity. Undeniably a brave man.


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Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 12:22 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I'm happy to have them speak if their detractors can also attend the speech and they are also arrested right afterwards. Otherwise, no thanks.
While I would prefer an open meeting, Hillel has a right to make it a closed door event or for Hillel members only unless that is specifically prohibited by University policy.

All this notwithstanding, no one has the right to advocate violence to stop any lawful event in this country. Not Alatrash or even Singh. Nobody!!


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Michelle
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posted 21 January 2003 12:50 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I've come to believe that we must support the right of such speakers to speak, whatever the hell they say.

Some of us came through a period of chanting "fascists have no right to speak," and even that position bothered me then -- obviously because everyone immediately begins to play with the word "fascist," and before you know it, you get ... well, any number of debates on babble.


I agree with this sentiment completely. The right to speak, and the right to protest - peacefully.

Mishei, where is anyone saying it's okay to smash windows and be violent? Those actions are not inherent in the word "protest".


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 21 January 2003 12:59 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
At this point I don't think it would be unfair to extend to both sides in the debate the concept of a "safe space".

If, for example, the "Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Students Society" wants to have a closed meeting we don't see that as an infringement on anyone's freedom, because we know that to open such a meeting to everyone would be tantamount to inviting hecklers and homophobes to shut the meeting down. Women's groups often get the same "safe space" for similar reasons.

Likewise, I think it's fair and reasonable for both sides to attempt to restrict any meetings or speeches to those who want to listen and debate peacefully and with some decorum. This is, in fact, similar to what we have here at babble: discuss, disagree if you want, be passionate in your views, but if you're just here to heckle, disrupt, or try to shut babble down, you're out.

And hey... any word on whether Judy, Svend and Jaggi will be paying another visit to Concordia to reiterate their passionate belief in freedom of speech?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
sheep
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posted 21 January 2003 01:03 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Mishei, where is anyone saying it's okay to smash windows and be violent? Those actions are not inherent in the word "protest".

Jaggi is.

The police and Concordia University left us no choice in how we confronted Benjamin Netanyahu, says JAGGI SINGH


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Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 01:22 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Mishei, where is anyone saying it's okay to smash windows and be violent? Those actions are not inherent in the word "protest".


In fact, Laith Marouf, a Concordia University student and as I understand, a member of Society for Palestinian Human Rights is quoted in today's Globe and Mail as saying, “We will shut down Sharansky like we shut down Netanyahu,”. I assume he is referring to the September 9 violent protest that blocked former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu from delivering a scheduled address at Concordia.

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Michelle
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posted 21 January 2003 01:26 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh. Okay then. I was actually thinking about people on this thread, none of whom seemed to me to be saying it's okay to smash windows or be violent. It just seemed like you weren't acknowledging that there are people (like me) who think it's okay to protest but don't approve of violence or damage to the buildings over it. You were making it sound like I was justifying the violence because it wasn't an open assembly, and I wasn't doing that at all. I was merely responding to sheep's call for people to debate openly instead of protesting. There was no way for the protesters to debate because they weren't allowed to attend.

Imagine what B'nai Brith would have to say if the events they target with audience stacking didn't let THEM in. (BTW, I have no problem with audience stacking. I just think it's hypocritical to use that tactic but then not allow it at events that support your own point of view.)


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 04:01 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry Michelle I was not referring to people like you here on babble (and that would seem to be the overwhelming majotity) who deplore violent protest.

Just for the record is there anyone here on Babble who support the violent tactics of the "Society for Palestinian Human Rights" in trying to shut down Sharansky's speech?


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Michelle
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posted 21 January 2003 04:05 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To shut it down? No. To protest it? Absolutely.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 04:08 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, no one has a problem with peaceful protest. What I am asking is if there is anyone here who would support violent potest to shut this down?

[ 21 January 2003: Message edited by: Mishei ]


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lagatta
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posted 21 January 2003 04:11 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One can shut down Sharansky's speech without being violent - lots of sit-down strikes and other non-violent protests have aimed to shut down various activities. Don't know how I feel about shutting down his speech - in general I do agree with free speech, except for outright neo-nazis. However building permanent settlements in occupied territory is considered a war crime, and certainly is detrimental to a peaceful solution for Israelis and Palestinians. (Yes, Mishei, of course suicide bombings are too...). But being minister of settlements is certainly something worthy of protest.

It is a shame to see someone who was persecuted in the USSR becoming a repressor in turn, but hardly the first time such turnabouts have been observed.

Support for imprisoned dissidents against a totalitarian state apparatus never necessarily implied support for their beliefs. Some of the most prominent ones were anti-democratic (nostalgic for Czarism) or bordered on anti-semitism and other forms of Great Russian Chauvinism.

Edited to add: the name of the Concordia group is SOLIDARITY with Palestinian Human Rights. www.sphr.org

[ 21 January 2003: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mimichekele2
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posted 21 January 2003 04:58 PM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
Concordia? Again? Jeeeesusssss.

I fear this time both the Jewish and the Arab kids are going to come to the meeting with baseball bats. Am I the only one who feels some of them might actually be looking for blood?

Whatever Michelle and lagatta said - protest his settlement policies, yell at him, ask him why his Gulag experience doesn't make him more open to the Palestinians, sit down in front of the effing podium, whatever, but avoid violence (I suppose that's too much to ask - too many stupid macho men running around that campus for my taste).

Let's write the headlines now (hey, why wait?): 13 students injured in Concordia melee at MidEast speech, 3 die in hospital. Concordia building torched. etc.


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maggot
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posted 21 January 2003 05:38 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
The actions of Hillel are designed to be intentionally provacative; both Sharansky and Netanyahu were chosen, at least partially, because their very presence is a slap in the face to Palestinians and their supporters. For Hillel to pretend otherwise is bull.

That said, I'm a big fan of Voltaire's maxim: I would absolutely defend the right of Hillel to invite whomever they want to speak.

Bu the underlying question, it seem to me, is: If the pro-Pali groups succeed in preventing Sharansky from speaking, does that actually costitute the suppression of free speech? Or the expression of it?

It's not as simple as it sounds, at least not when you have two opposing actors of relatively equal influence and power -- as is the case here.

Isn't the history of social protest chock with similar examples?


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Mishei
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posted 21 January 2003 05:43 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Possibly Magoot. It still would be a supression of free speech if violence is used to prevent Sharansky from speaking.
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Maggot
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posted 21 January 2003 05:51 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
I'm not so sure that 'violence' is the line in the sand -- again, we're talking about two relatively equal players,, and neither has the coercive power to deny the other a pltform (except temporarily).

So I'm also not sure that it violates Voltaire's intent. (Geez: that looks weird on the page!) It would be different if one side had the police, or army on their side, as did, for example, the union busting mine owners in Depression-era Appalachia.

Please don't take offense, Mishei. I'm thinking aloud here...


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sheep
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posted 21 January 2003 06:01 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Let's write the headlines now (hey, why wait?): 13 students injured in Concordia melee at MidEast speech, 3 die in hospital. Concordia building torched. etc

Don't forget "Jaggi Singh Arrested"....whoops, looks like he's already getting a head start!


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skdadl
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posted 21 January 2003 06:10 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wouldn't worry about Voltaire, Maggot.

A man that deeply dipped in irony and survival politics never quite told us what he "believed," in the strange sense that keeps being demanded on babble, anyway.

(How did this site get to be confessional evangelism, anyway?)

Smart man. Good genes. Lived into his eighties in the French C18. Terrific life.

(Mind you, his more sweet-tempered teacher, Fontenelle, lived to be just months short of 100. Who ever knows?)


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Maggot
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posted 21 January 2003 06:22 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
skdadl, now you're just showing off. But impressive, nonetheless...
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Mimichekele2
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posted 22 January 2003 11:14 AM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
The problem I have been having for a few months with all the groups involved is that it has become a very childish football match. It is a contest to see who can shut down whom.

There is a very interesting recent book by the legal counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union, Alan Borovoy called The New Anti-Liberals. By liberal he means civil libertarian.

One of the chapters deals with political censorship and speech/behaviour codes on campus. Student unions and student activists groups have been among the worst offenders. The record is not great - pro-Palestinian groups have been banned by student unions and pro-Jewish groups too (we were all wrong - Concordia Hillel is not the first Jewish student lobby group to be banned - Ottawa University's student union also suspended a Jewish group a few years before the admin intervened and overturned the decision).

Borovoys' line - the position adopted almost universally by all civil libertarians - is that universities are supposed to be communities of learning where there are no official truths, no official ideologies. Therefore, one cannot deny the right of any speaker because that would be imposing some non-existent official truth.

Borovoy, in his descriptions of the banning of Middle East groups (pro-Arab or pro-Israeli) also makes what I thought would be the obvious point (it seems less obvious these days - but this only proves that the struggle for rights and freedoms is non-stop): student unions and student groups have no right to decide what is an official ideology or a good thought or a bad thought on a campus. The banning of a pro-Arab group at UWO and the banning of the Jewish group at Ottawa U were justified in openly political terms (the bannees espoused "bad values"). It has a name: arbitrary abuse of power and authoritarianism.

Coming back to the children at Concordia who appear to take great pleasure in drowning each other out, suing each other, and preventing each other from speaking, why doesn't the SPHR organize an event the same day as the Sharansky meeting with a well-known leftie Israeli? There must be a long list of Israelis they can invite. Then they can say Sharansky attracted 400 but our guy attracted 500. "Our Israeli dissidents are more popular than your cabinet minister, nyah nyah!"

That is probably too much to ask. It's called political smarts. Violently preventing people you disagree with from speaking is a lot easier.

Another thing. No one has brought this up, surprisingly. Being from Montreal, I get to talk with many people from there and most people with whom Concordia is discussed have little patience for any of the sides involved and little sympathy with violent people. Here is what no one has mentioned so far - Concordia University was the scene of the 1992 Fabrikant gun massacre and anyone who uses or organizes or encourages or tolerates violence there is playing with fire and will lose sympathy. Also, a very strong element of Quebecois political culture, you will find very little tolerance for violence of any sort in that province. The various sides on that campus are in the process of deeply alienating their fellow Quebec citizens. Again, understanding or even caring about this would take some political smarts.

I have come to the conclusion this may be too much to ask for from the "activists" from SPHR, Hillel, CSU and tutti quanti.


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 January 2003 11:26 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
skdadl, now you're just showing off.

Literary people ain't got no cred on this board ... Everybody else gets to be an expert ... grumble grumble ...

By the way, Maggot, there is also the not-inconsiderable problem of Voltaire's anti-semitism. Worse than Ahenakew. Sorry.

There's an argument to be made that it is sheerly opportunistic in Voltaire -- that is, that his real target was the C18 French Catholic church, and his truly vicious retelling of OT stories, tossing in every anti-semitic cliche available to him, was all done in order to get at the foundations of Catholicism. I don't see that that excuses him, but it's probably the truth.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 22 January 2003 11:34 AM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Maybe these brave and honourable Concordia protestors should try booking Arafat then, and see what happens.

So much concern about "censorship" here. Just how do you propose anyone at Concordia get to invite Arafat to speak when the Israeli's can do the censoring before hand by preventing him from even getting here? Remember the recent "peace talks" where Palestinians could not attend?

All this bullshit talk about "censorship" is getting ridiculous when discussed out of context with what's actually happening on the ground to Palestinians by the neo-fascists that run Israel.


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Mimichekele2
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posted 22 January 2003 01:38 PM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
You should read Borovoy's book rbil.

Using physical force to prevent a person from speaking is censorship of a most authoritarian kind, especially at a modern university, whose existence is based on the idea that there is no official doctrine or value system to be imposed by anyone.

I had thought this concept was elementary but it is frequently under assault from various quarters, be they left, right, centre, secular or religious.

Why don't the SPHR people invite Mr. Uri Avinery or someone like that the exact day at the exact time as Mr. Sharansky? It's then free speech vs. free speech, in other words more speech.

Here, it only looks like there is one side which only knows how to use force or the threat of force to shut down voices it doesn't want OTHERS to hear.

It is a very authoritarian attitude. It assumes any given side owns some pure truth and can impose it. This is quite incompatible, in my view, with the essence of a liberal democratic secular society.


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 22 January 2003 01:47 PM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
This is quite incompatible, in my view, with the essence of a liberal democratic secular society.

And when did I ever suggest I gave a flying f*ck about "liberal democratic secular society"? I don't have a slave mentality.


From: IRC: irc.bcwireless.net JOIN: #linuxtalk | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mimichekele2
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posted 22 January 2003 02:00 PM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
We've noticed you don't give a f**k about civil liberties or human rights.

I respect your honesty. I do not respect your authoritarian politics.


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maggot
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posted 22 January 2003 02:10 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Hi skdadl,

I wasn't aware of Voltaire's racist views. Thanks for the enlightenment, but it has absolutely nothing to do with my main point, which was to point out that what we have here are two actors of relatively equal power -- one (Hillel) trying to exercise their freedom of expression by intentionally inviting one of the more controversial Israeli political leaders, and the other (pro-Pali) trying hard to deny said leader a forum -- going mano a mano.

Neither has the coercive might to actually deny the other the means to express themselves -- except in a very temporary way. Sharansky won't be muzzled by this, not for any length of time.

What I see here is two groups, free speechin' away to their hearts' content.


From: BC | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 22 January 2003 02:13 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I wasn't aware of Voltaire's racist views. Thanks for the enlightenment

Volatire... Elightenment... get it?


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Maggot
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posted 22 January 2003 02:15 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Oh, my...
From: BC | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 22 January 2003 02:22 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bad pun! Argh!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 22 January 2003 03:49 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Sharansky won't be muzzled by this, not for any length of time."

I seem to recall a similar argument being brought out after Netanyahu's speech was disrupted, specifically that as a big and powerful politician he could simply speak somewhere else, so therefore freedom of speech was unscathed. Funny though, when Judy, Svend and Libby felt that *they* were being censored it never occurred to them that they too could speak somewhere else. Certainly Members of Parliament, prominent social activists, and owners of websites (!) have a voice outside of Concordia, no?

But to my point: the problem I have with this is that while the letter of the law, as regards free speech, may not mention it, I feel the spirit of the law includes the right to listen in with the right to speak. There's no point in giving a person a right to air their ideas if you do not at the same time give others the right to hear them.
So while Netanyahu (and Judy, Svend and Libby) can always find a microphone, to say 'so now it's OK' is to neglect the fact that some Canadians wanted to hear them. And some may want to hear Sharansky too. Whether you believe him to be a war criminal or not, his audience most certainly isn't.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maggot
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posted 22 January 2003 06:37 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Okay. Let's call this one with our eyes open, and screw all the high-minded debate.

Hillel is being intentionally provactive. What they are trying to do is provoke the pro-Palestinian groups into a reaction -- and hopefully a violent one, since that serves their purposes. In fact, it serves their purposes much more than anything Sharansky might have to say; Sharansky's views, in this context, are secondary.

This is political theatre, nothing more. The sad thing is that the pro-Palestinian forces will undoubtably (and questionably) rise to the bait.


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Michelle
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posted 22 January 2003 06:39 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Agreed, Maggot.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 22 January 2003 06:46 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But isn't it the case that the "Pro-Palestinian" people tried to bring in a Canadian MP, and the University prevented it?
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Mimichekele2
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posted 22 January 2003 07:01 PM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
Maggot hits the bull's eye. I'm glad I'm not the only one to see the juvenile nature of the game being played there.

This is why the smart thing is to avoid the confrontation and do something that takes some imagination and originality - like the counter-speech idea I mentioned. At the same time, the same day, get some famous peacenik Israeli to speak while the Minister is in town (hey Moshe Dayan's daughter comes to mind - she's totally in with the anti-occupation crowd).

So no one gets beat up, everyone gets to speak. Let the better ideas win. Why alienate Montrealers with violence? Not worth it.

But, as many have expressed already, I doubt any of the Concordia factions can think that far.


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maggot
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posted 22 January 2003 07:19 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Again, excellent point M2.
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darkhorse
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posted 23 January 2003 02:22 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In fact, Laith Marouf, a Concordia University student and as I understand, a member of Society for Palestinian Human Rights is quoted in today's Globe and Mail as saying, “We will shut down Sharansky like we shut down Netanyahu,”.
And why not? The activists "shut down" Netanyahu because they were 'shut out' of the talks. Tickets were sold to only a select group of pro-Israeli students and co.
And its ridiculous to argue for free speech for people like Sharansky, while totally ignoring Concordia's moratorium on Middle East issues, which is itself a violation of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

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Mishei
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posted 23 January 2003 08:20 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why not Darkhorse? Well, let's just start with the fact that it's against the law to urge and threaten violence.

Then let's go with the fact that it is counter to any free and democratic society.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
darkhorse
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posted 23 January 2003 11:00 AM      Profile for darkhorse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
let's just start with the fact that it's against the law to urge and threaten violence.
Well, states do it. The U.S. in particular. Then there's Netanyahu himself whose policies are to the right of Sharon.
You'd get the same violent reaction if Bush, Kissinger or Saddam Hussein were invited to Concordia. Its an afront to morality and 'the law' is not above morality.
I suppose you would have been among those who welcomed Suharto to Vancouver with flowers and a red carpet?

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sheep
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posted 23 January 2003 11:03 AM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
*sniff* but teacher...he started it!
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Mishei
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posted 23 January 2003 12:01 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I suppose you would have been among those who welcomed Suharto to Vancouver with flowers and a red carpet?

Suharto that demagogue, NO. I peacefully protested. That is what decent, civil people do.

[ 23 January 2003: Message edited by: Mishei ]


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WingNut
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posted 23 January 2003 12:04 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I peacefully protested.

In Vancouver?

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 23 January 2003 12:33 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In Vancouver?
Where else Indonesia? I felt much more comfortable protesting in Canada. It still is a democracy you know

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 23 January 2003 03:28 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You were at the UBC protests Mishei? Awesome, weren't they?
(For the record, protesters tried to deliver "citizen's arrest" warrants on Suharto, but were stopped before we could get to him.)

From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Beechtree
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posted 23 January 2003 03:32 PM      Profile for Beechtree        Edit/Delete Post
They should all be expelled, charged and imprisoned. Institutions have every right and obligation to enforce their own ground rules when public safety is the issue. Not to mention what a disgrace it is to Canada when respected foreign politicians are threatened with violence.
From: Hog Town | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 23 January 2003 03:34 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Where else Indonesia? I felt much more comfortable protesting in Canada. It still is a democracy you know
For now. Were you pepper sprayed?

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 23 January 2003 03:36 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
They should all be expelled, charged and imprisoned. Institutions have every right and obligation to enforce their own ground rules when public safety is the issue. Not to mention what a disgrace it is to Canada when respected foreign politicians are threatened with violence.

There must be a machine somewhere...

[ 23 January 2003: Message edited by: flotsom ]


From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 23 January 2003 07:12 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Were you pepper sprayed?
Thankfully, no

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 23 January 2003 07:24 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanfully is right. It is not something I have experienced but police nowadays seem to use it with abandon.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 24 January 2003 01:14 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's nasty stuff & especially so if you have asthma or similar. Bring a bottle of water to flush eyes.

There's a great book out on the APEC affair at UBC, called Pepper in Our Eyes (ed Wesley Pue) which makes the case for this sort of tactic as emblamatic of the erosion of democracy in Canada.


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 24 January 2003 01:21 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed in Québec City, at the anti-FTAA protests. I've always had some breathing problems - my dad killed himself smoking - and that was further aggravated by a winter-long strike over 20 years back.

I had trouble breathing for a few weeks after the protest. A nurse friend has been compiling reports on this.

Has anyone who considers Suharto a "respected" politician forgotten either the slaughter of the East Timorese or the pogroms against the local Chinese community?


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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