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No dissenting viewpoints allowed

When it comes to Palestinian-organized events on campus, the rule of thumb seems to be no dissenting viewpoints allowed, as is evidenced by a planned conference at U of T that was cancelled at the last minute:

The conference had a six-point political basis of unity which conference participants must support in order to attend. The administration brought up two points they specifically objected to: unconditional support for the Palestinian right of return and the principle that a two state solution is not a viable option for the Palestinian people.

According to Susan Bloch-Nevitte of the department of Public Affairs, the conference’s basis for unity was exclusionary and therefore the university delivered an ultimatum: either abandon the basis for unity or abandon the booking.

[ . . . ]

The conference would have included sessions on the refugees’ right to return, the current situation in all of historical Palestine, women’s involvement and solidarity with feminists, and queer activism. Sunday would have been dedicated to a session on strategies for resisting what conference organizers called the “Israeli apartheid.”

Of course, conference organizers are, in typical fashion, up in arms denouncing the university’s “blatant trampling on students’ right to organize” and demanding apologies, yadda yadda yadda.

If you recall, pro-Palestinian students made (false) allegations that they weren’t going to be allowed to get tickets to hear Benjamin Netanyahu speak at Concordia last year… they even used it as an excuse for their riot. But apparently it’s ok to organize a conference where nobody but the most hard-line extremist viewpoint is allowed to be expressed, and people can’t even attend unless they’re committed to the destruction of Israel. And yeah, then they have the gall to be angry when their event is cancelled.

This is a very clear example of democracy, Palestinian-style: we have the right to put forth our hard-line views, they say, and you have no right to object or dissent. Our viewpoint matters, yours doesn’t.

(Via Bob).

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Otter 11.24.03, 8:53 PM

    “women’s involvement and solidarity with feminists”? “queer activism”?

    What goes through these people’s heads? I simply can not fathom it. Perhaps one of the people who are always trolling your comments could explain the logic of “queer activism” in support of Hamas? I sincerely would like to hear what their thought process is.

  • Dr_Funk 11.26.03, 12:46 AM

    Dissent and Palestinians (and their sympathizers) don’t really mix well. Its all very well when their freedom to speak is in any way abridged. But they aren’t too keen in hearing viewpoints. As you’ve seen yourself when Mr. Netanyahu visited…

  • Hanthala 11.26.03, 2:29 AM

    Any basis of unity will be exclusive. What a dipshit.

  • Eric 11.26.03, 7:09 PM

    Why does a conference at a university need a “basis of unity”? That is the question.

    No conference I’ve ever attended needed its ideology typed out to be signed by attendees. A conference isn’t a government office, or a recruitment into a regulated organisation, it’s a forum for the exchange of ideas. Homogeneity is anathema to that.

  • Hanthala 11.28.03, 9:34 PM

    Half agree with you Eric. Organizers probably didn’t want to have to debate the same old same old and move forward on the basis of that unity. I do think its legit.

  • Hanthala 12.01.03, 1:18 AM

    Hmmm…so does U of T I guess, the conference is going ahead as scheduled, basis of unity and all.

  • joe 12.09.03, 5:28 AM

    So Segacs, the Sharansky event that only included members of Hillel shouldn’t have happened at UofT either, right?

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