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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Freedom of speech: Tel Aviv University President Joseph Klepter on Naqba day

Here's a quote from government-funded Tel Aviv University's President, Joseph Klepter, regarding his university's celebration of Naqba day, the day that commemorates the 'tragedy' of the establishment of the State of Israel (link in Hebrew, translation mine).
The university is proud of the fact that for many years it has allowed students from all across the political spectrum to hold political events, so long as they are legal and so long as the organizers under that there will be no words of incitement to violence or racism at the event, and that the course of studies at the institution will not be disrupted.
He then goes on to cite the famous Voltaire quote about "I may not agree with anything you say but I will kill myself for your right to say it."

How much does Dr.(?) Klepter not understand about western concepts of free speech? Let me shorten it to two small points:

1. Free speech means the right to say anything, at least so long as it does not pose a clear and present danger to others' lives. Yes, at least in the US, that includes the right to racist speech (Israeli 'liberals' would be horrified to hear that the Israeli right would be completely allowed in the US to say what it thinks of the Arabs).

2. Free speech does not include the right to have the government pay for your right to speak. That means that a state-sponsored university does not have to allow events at which the state's existence is mourned as a tragedy, and the government does not have to pay for them. That means that Israel's law revoking funding from government-funded institutions who sponsor events commemorating the naqba is completely in keeping with western political thought. A government is not required to fund its own demise.

So here's hoping that when the law is enforced and Tel Aviv University loses all of its government funding, Dr. Klepter will continue to be a supporter of free speech.

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At 8:19 PM, Blogger HaDaR said...

At TLV University they ONLY sponsor pro-Arab free speech!
They never sponsored pro-Jewish free speech.
He is a hypocrite, just like lots of his tenured moonbats

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

But according to what I read - the vile "Naqba Day" event was paid for by the students. If Tel Aviv University did not fork over any ANY MONEY for the event (including for facility fees and security guards) then I do not see how your second point is relevant.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger BH in Iowa said...

Let's see how passionate Klepter is about free speech. Im Turtzu should hold a patriotic rally. Who thinks that wouldn't get shut down in thee seconds or less?


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