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Thursday, December 03, 2015

This is what passes for 'freedom of speech' on American college campuses

A Jewish student at the University of Michigan is the subject of an 'ethics probe' after confronting anti-Israel protesters on campus last month.
“My actions came from my own place of hurt and that of a sizable portion of my constituency’s,” said Jesse Arm, a University of Michigan sophomore and Central Student Government (CSG) representative. “I am saddened that my fitness for office has been called into question by virtue of my opposition to a purposefully inflammatory protest.
“To suggest that I am not suited to be a member of Michigan’s Central Student Government because of my public opposition to Students Allied for Freedom and Equality’s protest on the Diag [quad] would be to undermine the core principles of democracy and pluralism on which our nation was founded and our University rooted.”
Last month, Arm confronted fellow protesting students who assembled an anti-Israel display on campus. The demonstration took place on Nov. 19, the day that 18-year-old American student Ezra Schwartz was killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Israel.
The altercation between Arm and the demonstrators was caught on video and resulted in SAFE, the group responsible for the display, calling on the student government’s ethics committee to dismiss Arm. During a CSG meeting on Tuesday, a number of university students and former student government representatives spoke in defense of Arm.
Speaking to The Algemeiner about the confrontation on campus, Arm said he questioned the anti-Israel demonstrators about the taste, timing, and appropriateness of their display in light of the recent terror attacks taking place around the world, particularly in Israel. He said he felt a connection to Schwartz, who was killed the same day demonstrators put up the anti-Israel display.
“That American student was a contemporary of mine from my community with whom I shared many mutual friends,” Arm said. “He was abroad on a gap year program that I seriously considered attending before eventually electing to enroll at Michigan. His story was my story.”
Read the whole thing.  This is not the first time Arm has taken a principled stand on an important issue. I would not be surprised to see him studying in yeshiva here in Israel as part of a Junior (or post-graduate) year abroad. In the meantime, American college campuses have a lot to learn about what freedom of speech really means. But then, you knew that.

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At 7:35 PM, Blogger David said...

Beware of "but-heads" i.e. I believe in free speech but... - Andrew Klavan : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV9Vyht5HG4


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