I'm getting damned tired of colleges, universities, public forums and even lecture halls, which ought to be bastions of free speech and the open and free exchange of ideas, becoming slaves to special interest groups.
What the hell is going on? When did the search for truth become the sacrificial lamb to intolerant supposedly liberal groups, or, in this particular case, conservative religious zealots?
This case involves Dr. Tony Judt, an admittedly controversial Professor of European studies and expert on Israel and middle eastern politics. Judt, who lost members of his family in the Holocaust, is a frequent critic of Israel and of Israeli special interest groups.
Judt was scheduled to talk Oct. 4 to a nonprofit organization that rents space from the Polish U.S. Consulate. The sponsoring group has rented space and held presentations there for many years. Judt's subject was to be the Israel lobby in the United States, and he planned to argue that this lobby has often stifled honest debate.
However, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee had lobbied hard, behind the scenes with the the Polish Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk.
Just hours before Judt was to arrive, the Consul cancelled the talk!! He said that Judt was too controversial.
But there is a concerted effort to deny Dr. Judt a forum. He was forced to cancel another speech later this month at Manhattan College in the Bronx after a different Jewish group had complained.
This is every bit as unacceptable as the radical left leaning Columbia University students silencing Jim Gilchrist, the founder of The Minutemen.
I, for one, intend to read and learn more from Dr. Tony Judt. He certainly spoke with great wisdom when he wrote.......
Tony Judt wrote:
"America's liberal intellectuals are fast becoming a service class, their opinions determined by their allegiance and calibrated to justify a political end.
In itself this is hardly a new departure: we are all familiar with intellectuals who speak only on behalf of their country, class, religion, race, gender or sexual orientation, and who shape their opinions according to what they take to be the interest of their affinity of birth or predilection.
But the distinctive feature of the liberal intellectual in past times was precisely the striving for universality; not the unworldly or disingenuous denial of sectional interest but the sustained effort to transcend that interest . . . ."
By the way, Vigilante, has created an entire new blog about the Judt case: Tony Judt's Thread. More information and a lively discussion can be found there.
TECHNORATI TAGS: FREE SPEECH TONY JUDT POLISH CONSULATE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE RELIGION JIM GILCRIST MINUTEMEN
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