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Smarting at Israeli’s reception, Florida school says students must not interrupt a ‘lawfully invited’ speaker

Israel/Palestine
on 51 Comments

Earlier this month we posted a story about three students at Florida Atlantic University who had accepted disciplinary action from the university including a “reeducation” curriculum from the pro-Israel group the Anti-Defamation League because they had disrupted an April speech on campus by an Israeli colonel who participated in the Gaza slaughter called Cast Lead four years ago. Among other actions, the students had held up a sign calling the colonel a war criminal. They said they accepted “reeducation” because the alternative was a harsher discipline.

Electronic Intifada also used the term “reeducation” in its headline, and the story was widely reposted.

FAU President Dennis Crudele is pushing back against the reports. He says FAU is a “marketplace of ideas.” If the students accepted disciplinary measures, they did so voluntarily, he says:

The University, as part of its student disciplinary process, provides the option for all students engaged in that process to enter into voluntary resolutions that are mutually agreed upon. Any student that objects to a proposed resolution is free to avail him/herself of the University’s full disciplinary process and is not required to accept any condition as part of that voluntary resolution. Further, reports that the anti-bias and diversity training implemented at FAU constitutes “re-education” training are both offensive and grossly inaccurate.

Then the statement says it’s against FAU policy for any student to disrupt a speaker. Sounds churchy:

not all public demonstrations and assemblies are permitted at all times in all places….University policy thus prohibits protests in campus buildings, other indoor facilities, or athletic or recreational facilities unless specifically permitted in writing by the appropriate University official.

Similarly, demonstrations and assemblies at the University may not interfere with scheduled University ceremonies or events or obstruct or disrupt the continuance of a speaker.  You may not like a speaker who is lawfully speaking at an FAU event; you may profoundly disagree with what that speaker has to say; and you may express your disagreement through lawful protest at appropriate times and places on our campus.  But you may not interrupt or disrupt the right of that speaker to speak, or the right of the audience to hear.

This simple concept — that one person’s right to free speech may not silence another’s — has been sadly overlooked in the misreporting of the earlier event.  A speaker who was lawfully invited to speak on campus was interrupted in the middle of his speech by individuals who disagreed with his message.  That is not allowed, so the University took appropriate, measured steps to enable the speaker to finish his speech and to hold accountable those who attempted to deprive the speaker and his audience of their rights. 

The University’s actions had absolutely nothing to do with the message of either the speaker or the protestors.  Both are welcome to lawfully express their views on our campus, but neither may deny or disrupt the right of the other to do the same.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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51 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    August 22, 2013, 10:48 am

    One wonders how FAU would have reacted to an interruption of a Palestinian freedom fighter’s speech… LOL. As if a University here in AIPACmerica would permit Palestinians fighting for their liberation from their wicked oppressors to speak. How silly of me.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      August 22, 2013, 1:14 pm

      “One wonders how FAU would have reacted to an interruption of a Palestinian freedom fighter’s speech”

      Exactly the same way, I would bet.

      “As if a University here in AIPACmerica would permit Palestinians fighting for their liberation from their wicked oppressors to speak.”

      Who did you have in mind? Are you asserting that Palestinians are not permitted to speak on campus?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 22, 2013, 4:02 pm

        “Are you asserting that Palestinians are not permitted to speak on campus?”

        I’m suggesting that if a Palestinian freedom fighter was invited to speak at a university in the USA that some AIPACmerican official would no doubt Gitmo him before he could step one foot in the US, regardless of what he’d done.

      • Pamela Olson
        Pamela Olson
        August 22, 2013, 5:50 pm

        I doubt they would invite a Palestinian who had knowingly killed hundreds of civilians in an act that amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and was proud of that fact.

      • eGuard
        eGuard
        August 23, 2013, 4:02 am

        hophmi “One wonders how FAU would have reacted to an interruption of a Palestinian freedom fighter’s speech”

        Exactly the same way, I would bet.

        How come you can’t think of any examples? At CUNY the perpetrators cried “anti-Semitism” when handled.

      • hungrydave
        hungrydave
        August 24, 2013, 6:41 pm

        RE: hypothetical whereby a palestinian freedom fighter’s speech is interrupted by pro Israel demonstrators.

        Hophmi says they would respond in “exactly the same way”.

        So Hophmi, let me get this straight. In all honesty, you believe that the hypothetical pro-israel demonstrators would be sent by the university to a hamas or islamic jihad re-education centre in the US to learn about their perspective on the conflict and Islamaphobia.

        You can’t seriously believe that! Can you….?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 26, 2013, 10:37 am

        ” In all honesty, you believe that the hypothetical pro-israel demonstrators would be sent by the university to a hamas or islamic jihad re-education centre in the US to learn about their perspective on the conflict and Islamaphobia.”

        The university hasn’t sent the kids to an ADL re-education center, and ADL is not the moral or political equivalent of Hamas or IJ, but thanks for playing:-)

        The only reference to “re-education” was that made by the students who were punished. The attempt of this website and EI to present that opinion as “fact”, and your buying it, is part of the propaganda campaign that goes on here.

        If you’ll notice, there hasn’t been one word about what the ADL program is, not a word about its details, not a word about what the students were actually taught there. No, you saw ADL and figured that you had no responsibility to actually check your facts on whether the program constituted re-education or what the program actually was.

        In fact, the program is the ADL’s anti-bias program for campus. There isn’t a word about Israel in it. It is a general anti-bias program.

        So this is really what happened. A group of students violated school rules on assembly and targeted a speaker solely because of the country he came from. The school, probably long a user of the widely used ADL anti-bias curriculum for their students and their faculty, asked them to attend anti-bias training, and since the ADL is one of the country biggest providers of such training, they asked them to do it through the ADL anti-bias program.

        The students saw that the ADL was a Jewish organization, and felt insulted that they, as Muslims, were being asked to take part in a program administrated by a Jewish organization. So, without going through the program or examining what the program actually was, and knowing that there is a contingent of people out there who will see ADL and draw certain conclusions, put ADL and reeducation in the same sentence, and Phil Weiss and Mondoweiss bought it hook, line and sinker.

        Now, I challenge Phil to do his job as a journalist, call anyone who works at the ADL, and find out what people actually learn in the anti-bias program, and then, to publish a correction if he learns that Middle Eastern politics have nothing to do with the program. That would be an improvement over being a weasel, and being played by the antisemites down at FAU who can’t follow basic rules.

        You can request an information packet about the “A Campus of Difference” program here:

        http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/anti-bias-education/c/campus-of-difference.html

        And, as always, I invite those of you who work at Muslim organizations to learn from the ADL’s work and devise your own anti-bias programs instead of complaining like small children about ADL program you clearly know nothing about.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 26, 2013, 10:08 pm

        “being played by the antisemites down at FAU who can’t follow basic rules.”

        They are critics of Israel, so of course they must be anti-Semites.

  2. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    August 22, 2013, 11:07 am

    East Jerusalem, just like all the settlements might just as well be part of Israel as far as the Palestinian leadership is concerned, foolishly thinking they can resolve these issues by a political agreement with the occupier, it is not going to happen, the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said recently.. “now that the UN General Assembly had made its determination that Palestine is a state, “the ball is now in the court of Palestine”, “Palestine has to come back” and “we are waiting for them”. Let the court decide if East Jerusalem and the settlements are part of Israel and whether they are illegal [illegitimate] any other course is just buying time for more facts on the ground and relieving International pressure on Israeli expansion, which of course is the objective of US/Israel.

    • HarryLaw
      HarryLaw
      August 22, 2013, 1:42 pm

      My apology, the above comment should have gone in reply to Phil’s post below on the 16 college students.

  3. doug
    doug
    August 22, 2013, 11:22 am

    I am sympathetic to the “marketplace of ideas” trope.

    However, steering students to the ADL’s or anybody else’s “sensitivity training” is targeted and implies acceptable thought v unacceptable thought. That has no place in a university.

    Their argument is against a straw man.

  4. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    August 22, 2013, 11:58 am

    The main thing that happened was speaking out of turn- the student said that he disagreed with the speaker during the speech. This is not the same as heckling and is not abnormal for speeches. Although it’s an interruption, it’s relatively minor. How many times in southern church services do random individuals say “Amen”, for example?

    You can say that the student interrupted in order to disagree, but the university is not supposed to restrict speech based on content (unless it’s obscene like cursing). Anyway, it was just one time, so that’s why it was pretty minor, although I guess it’s not allowed. How many times normally though are people punished for making a comment during a class? Some seminars don’t even require you to raise your hand to talk, especially if it’s a group of, say, 10 people around a table.

    I guarantee you that if a student interrupted the speech to compliment the speaker and agree with the brutality imposed on the civilians, nothing would have happened except heads bobbing ‘Yes.’

  5. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 22, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Sounds churchy? Why churchy? I dunno. Sounds like we need to look at the pattern of application of the value declared. That should mean, not just looking at what the students at issue did, and apply it to all subsequent speaking engagements, but also at the pattern of who gets invited to speak on campus, and how often.

  6. clenchner
    clenchner
    August 22, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Just out of curiosity, how would you state your preferred rule or mode of behavior using affirmative language?
    Would it be something like: The right of protestors to disrupt or silence speakers shall not be infringed. This includes use of human voices, clapping, non-amplified noisemakers and instruments, and any visual prop that can be held by one person, but excludes amplified sound, cloth banners held by more than one person, or the blocking of exits.

    It would be helpful to contrast this university’s policies with the appropriate alternative, so we can advocate for it across the board.

    That said, I have a concern that such an affirmative policy might be used against a variety of groups that we here might actually agree with.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      August 22, 2013, 1:14 pm

      My preferred rule is “No israeli terror squad members permitted in the US.” Of course, that’s not “positive” but the result — no more of these idf criminals dirtying the US soil — is very positive.

      • clenchner
        clenchner
        August 22, 2013, 2:34 pm

        Woody, your rule has nothing to do with behavior at events, you realize that, right? Sounds like you wish the US government would prevent certain people from being able to speak in the US. Again, how would you phrase that in general terms so that it only applies to your opponents?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 22, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Yes, ‘clench, I am quite aware of it. I have no interest in playing your silly game of trying to parse the rules of polite society while the jackboot of Zionism is stomping on Palestinians heads for going on four generations. Here’s my rule: “No quarter given to zionists.” All else is parlor games.

  7. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 22, 2013, 12:46 pm

    “Sounds churchy:”

    Sounds like a good rule. Do you ever run posts like this through the “shoe-on-the-other-foot” test? You know that if this were a Palestinian speaker and pro-Israel students interrupted him, you’d be all over this and calling for strong disciplinary action against them.

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 22, 2013, 2:14 pm

      I think a short protest is okay, so long as the speaker does get to speak after a few minutes. Which according to the students in Phil’s original story, is exactly what happened. The protesting students read out their protest and this lasted a minute or so, according to the student. They then walked out and protested outside. If that’s accurate, I don’ think they violated the free speech rights of the IDF apologist at all–they just exercised their own right to free speech.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 22, 2013, 4:03 pm

        “The protesting students read out their protest and this lasted a minute or so, according to the student. They then walked out and protested outside. If that’s accurate, I don’ think they violated the free speech rights of the IDF apologist at all–they just exercised their own right to free speech.”

        1. You weren’t there. The students that were there to hear the speech are the best sources on what happened.

        2. Clearly, the school has certain rules meant to preserve the right of students to bring a speaker to campus without constant public disruption that governs when and where people can protest. It seems that these students didn’t follow them.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 22, 2013, 11:49 pm

        that’s what happened. you got the same story I did.

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      August 22, 2013, 5:43 pm

      More worthless equivocations from the stale, lame chief Zionist troll.

      Instead of imagining scenarios in which we are as low and racist and hateful as you and your cult – PROVE IT.

      Cite a MW editorial where Phil and co. advocated pro-Israeli students face strong disciplinary actions for interrupting a Palestinian speaker.

      You won’t be able to.

      Hence why you stick to IMAGINING these worthless dichotomies.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      August 22, 2013, 7:47 pm

      Palestinians don’t get invited.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      August 22, 2013, 11:51 pm

      If the experience in the Levant right now was Turks burning down synagogues and expelling 4 million Jews, I think the shoe would be on the other foot as far as we are concerned, and we would have the opposite position we do about the conflict.

      Instead, what’s happening is the Israelis kicked out most of the native non-rabbinical population (descended from Jews BTW) and won’t let them return. If you objectively believe in human rights, then you oppose that brutality, regardless of the religious or ethnic identity of the perpetrator and victim.

      It’s the real test.

  8. irmep
    irmep
    August 22, 2013, 1:30 pm

    Can’t think a better outcome than sending students for reeducation at an organization with a long history of spying and subversion against legitimate Arab student, diplomatic and anti-Apartheid groups.

    http://www.irmep.org/ila/adl

    http://www.irmep.org/ila/adl-ca

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 22, 2013, 2:57 pm

      The ADL has gotten its way for SO long. Demonising Muslims has a very long modern Major Jewish Org history. I can’t help feeling it is not the best road to travel even if it keeps Israel going for another few years.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 22, 2013, 4:04 pm

        “Demonising Muslims has a very long modern Major Jewish Org history”

        No, it doesn’t. The ADL has never demonized Muslims. It’s stood for their rights countless times. It has criticized Islamic radicalism. That’s very different.

        Most of the Muslim baiting in this country, the vast, vast majority, in fact, comes from the Christian right, which the ADL has long opposed.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 22, 2013, 11:48 pm

        Demonising 20% of the world’s population, which your country is right in the middle of? What could go wrong?

  9. Edward Q
    Edward Q
    August 22, 2013, 1:43 pm

    If the punishment is indoctrination by the ADL then the college is endorsing the views of the ADL. I think basically supporters of Israel are allowed to present their views and critics of Zionism/supporters of Palestinians are not. This situation makes an interesting contrast with the uproar over the BDS panel at Brooklyn college.

  10. marc b.
    marc b.
    August 22, 2013, 1:48 pm

    bizarre. the detailed list of contexts in which ‘free speech’ isn’t permitted more or less isolates protestors to the cages supplied for protesters at the national party conventions. ‘you can demonstrate so long as it’s not disruptive’. non sequitur?

  11. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    August 22, 2013, 2:06 pm

    RE: “The [Florida Atlantic] University’s actions had absolutely nothing to do with the message of either the speaker or the protestors. Both are welcome to lawfully express their views on our campus . . .” ~ FAU President Dennis Crudele

    MY SNARK: Of course Florida Atlantic University respects the right to free speech! Much like “ADL ardently sup­ports the right to free speech”.* And AIPAC makes three!*

    SEE – “The AIPAC Politics of Smear: The Secret Section in Israel’s U.S. Lobby That Stifles American Debate”, By Gregory D. Slabodkin, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1992, pages 7-8, 89-91

    [EXCERPTS] During the reign of terror that Senator Joseph McCarthy unleashed in the 1950s, when the reputations and lives of many loyal Americans were ruined by false charges of “communism” and “treason,” American Jewry was overwhelmingly opposed to the Wisconsin senator and his blackmail by blacklists. According to the Gallup polls of the time, the percentage of U.S. Jews who opposed McCarthy’s smear tactics was twice that of the rest of the population. Many Jewish organizations passed resolutions condemning McCarthy’s ruthless character assassination.
    Today, however, such national Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are using the same tactics to stifle open debate of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

    • Secretly Circulated Lists
    To conduct this “neo-McCarthyism,” AIPAC operates a covert section within its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals, and others it labels “anti-Israel.” AIPAC selects information from these files and secretly circulates lists of the “guilty,” together with their alleged political misdeeds, buttressed by their statements, often totally out of context.
    Just as McCarthy’s permanent investigations subcommittee labeled criticism of specific policies of the U.S. government as “anti-American,” or “pro-Soviet,” AIPAC labels criticism of Israeli government policies “anti-Israel,” “pro-Arab” or “pro-PLO.” Still worse is the pro-Israel lobby’s redefinition of “anti-Semitism” to include any such criticism of Israel or its actions. . .
    . . . AIPAC’s “opposition research” department traces its roots to I.L. (Sy) Kenen, who founded AIPAC in 1954. As editor of AIPAC’s weekly Near East Report, he often attacked critics of Israel in his aptly titled column, “The Monitor.” Besides monitoring, analyzing, and responding to “anti-Israel” comment and activities in the United States, Kenen also kept files on AIPAC’s “enemies.” In his final year AIPAC began to expand its intelligence-gathering operations.
    Kenen’s memoirs, “Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington”, record how AIPAC pooled resources in 1974 with the American Jewish Committee and other national Jewish organizations to create a “truth squad.” Its purpose was to combat “pro-Arab propaganda” and the emerging “Arab lobby,” which Kenen believed to be a growing threat to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
    “While vigorously defending Israel’s perceived interests, the organizations that created the truth squad turned into a kind of Jewish thought police,” journalist Robert I. Friedman explains. “Investigators—sometimes overzealous Jewish college students, sometimes sources with access to U.S. intelligence agencies—were used to ferret out critics of Israel, Jew or gentile, wherever they might be. At ADL and AIPAC, files were opened on journalists, politicians, scholars and community activists. Their speeches and writings were monitored, as were, in some cases, their other professional activities. And they were often smeared with charges of anti-Semitism or with the pernicious label of self-hating Jew. The intention was to stifle debate on the Middle East within the Jewish community, the media and academia, for fear that criticism of any kind would weaken the Jewish state.”
    When Kenen stepped down as executive director of AIPAC in December 1974, the task of monitoring Israel’s “enemies” was left to the department of research and information at AIPAC, where it has remained ever since. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.wrmea.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10030:the-secret-section-in-israels-us-lobby-that-stifles-american-debate&catid=141

    • Stogumber
      Stogumber
      August 23, 2013, 7:12 am

      For the sake of public effect, it may be useful to confront “McCarthyism” then and ADL/AIPAC now. On the other hand, the ADL is older than “McCarthyism” and worked basically the same way already before 1945 (cf. James Martin’s article about the “Great Sedition Trial”). But when blacklisting is more and more expanded, it inevitably begins to include more and more dissident members of your own (in this case: Jewish) group.

  12. annie
    annie
    August 22, 2013, 2:11 pm

    But you may not interrupt or disrupt the right of that speaker to speak, or the right of the audience to hear.

    i didn’t realize agents of a foreign government had speaking rights on our campuses. and i am unfamiliar with ‘rights to hear’.

    and university can (lawfully) invite a speaker to come, but i don’t think that invitation bestows a lawful ‘right’ to speak, does it? didn’t we cover this w/the oren/irving 11 affair?

    • MRW
      MRW
      August 22, 2013, 2:43 pm

      I’m with you on this, annie. The First Amendment grants a speaker the right to free speech. It doesn’t grant the speaker the right to have his audience silenced, and it says nothing about guaranteeing an audience the right to hear.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      August 22, 2013, 4:01 pm

      “i didn’t realize agents of a foreign government had speaking rights on our campuses. and i am unfamiliar with ‘rights to hear’.”

      Really? Then I guess every time an ambassador or a consul general from another country speaks on the college campus, he has no right to speak. Do you agree?

      Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia in 2007. This site said Lee Bollinger should have been celebrated for bringing him to campus and criticized him for shooting down an invitation to Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia from scholars the year before, saying that doing so was tantamount to “censoring a point of view that scholars wanted to hear”

      http://mondoweiss.net/2007/09/why-columbia-pr.html

      “and university can (lawfully) invite a speaker to come, but i don’t think that invitation bestows a lawful ‘right’ to speak, does it?”

      The speaker, like most, was probably invited by the kids. Freedom of speech does not comprise a right to unlimited disruption. We can set basic rules to preserve the right of public assembly to ensure people are heard.

      I really wonder if you ever think about the implications of the arguments you make. You really seem to be an advocate of censorship when the point of view is not your own.

  13. eGuard
    eGuard
    August 22, 2013, 2:18 pm

    … a speaker [Col. Bentzi Gruber] who is lawfully speaking at an FAU event.

    In a more decent country, the man would be stopped at the border for war crimes.

  14. edwardm
    edwardm
    August 22, 2013, 2:31 pm

    “the right of free speech does not include the right to falsely yell “fire!” in a crowded theater.”
    So getting up and walking out is the same as pulling the fire alarm?
    “one person’s right to free speech may not silence another’s”
    What “right”? He is a foreign national. If he has any right to free speech on US soil at all, it does not include forcing someone to listen.
    “unacceptable to assail any members of the FAU community”
    So peaceful protest is assault, is it?!
    Such a “vigorous exchange of ideas”.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      August 22, 2013, 4:06 pm

      “So getting up and walking out is the same as pulling the fire alarm?”

      No, following the rules is not the same as not following them. The school has rules on when and where kids can protest. They’re a private institution, and they can set whatever rules they want. These students broke those rules. You don’t happen to like what happened because you agree with their politics.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      August 22, 2013, 8:10 pm

      “the right of free speech does not include the right to falsely yell “fire!” in a crowded theater.”

      No clear and present danger results from protesting against Israeli war crimes. We aren’t at war with either the Palestinians or the Israelis. In any event, the Supreme Court has long since rejected the mechanical application of the doctrine of clear and present danger, without regard to the context of its application. See the discussion in American Communications Association v. Douds. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0339_0382_ZO.html

      In the first place, Justice Holmes argued that advocating that others should violate the military conscription laws during the war against the Central Powers presented a clear and present danger. See Schenck v. United States. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0249_0047_ZO.html

      But in another case, Abrams v. United States, involving protests over US efforts to impede the Russian Revolution, Holmes dissented and argued there was no war with Russia or any danger of the USA declaring one. See his dissenting opinion here. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0250_0616_ZD.html

  15. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    August 22, 2013, 6:25 pm

    The college campus is shaping up to be the place where Zionists will fight their most public battles to date, and where their ideology may suffer its first defeat in the West.
    Electronic Intifada has posted two recent stories of censorship at Northeastern U. and York U. in Toronto.

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/boycott-israel-activist-banned-toronto-university/12674

  16. piotr
    piotr
    August 22, 2013, 7:27 pm

    One may ask what is a value of public performance over videotape and of life presence over a video link. Clearly, allowing for reactions of the audience, so-called contact is a principal component. Should only adulatory reactions be allowed?

    To return to crowded theater analogy, it was a long tradition of interrupting the performances with cheers and jeers.

  17. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 22, 2013, 7:30 pm

    You may not like a speaker who is lawfully speaking at an FAU event; you may profoundly disagree with what that speaker has to say; and you may express your disagreement through lawful protest at appropriate times and places on our campus. But you may not interrupt or disrupt the right of that speaker to speak, or the right of the audience to hear.

    Except for the fact, that there are no laws permitted under our constitutional system, abridging the student’s freedom of speech. Even if there were, it would be up to our Courts, not the university, to decide if it was acting “lawfully” when it invited an alien to conduct a public propaganda campaign on behalf of a foreign state using federally subsidized facilities and our government’s imprimatur.

    The term “publicity or propaganda” is a term of art found in the omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress every year: “No part of any appropriation . . . shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress. . . . The courts also agree with GAO that, by including the provision, Congress has indicated that at least the obvious cases of propaganda should be prohibited.” http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/publicity_or_propaganda

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      August 22, 2013, 11:46 pm

      Yeah that’s a good point. “Lawful protest”? Is talking out of turn at an event by an organization (university) you belong to “illegal”? Are students breaking THE LAW if they interrupt teachers? This seems weird.

    • piotr
      piotr
      August 23, 2013, 10:20 am

      Your link, Hostage, describes domestic propaganda by agencies of US government. For example, if a person from Center of Decease Control would lecture university kids that they are alive today only do to the indefatigable efforts of the center that would fall under “self-aggrandizement”. Or if another agency exaggerates the number of secret plots it thwarted. However, personnel of IDF is allowed to spend travel funds etc. to exaggerate the role of IDF, if they do not spend money of American taxpayers, but merely student tuition money.

      There are some regulations about “foreign propaganda”. I recall during Reagan years there was a case of a documentary movie produced by Canadians with government subsidies. The movie was about bad effects of acid rain that was caused by American emission from coal fired power plants on Canadian forests. Some American agency determined that it was a “foreign propaganda”, which meant that any public showing of the movie had to be preceded by a warning. I guess, “[According to United States Information Agency] What you will see and hear is the propaganda of Canadian government.” Perhaps it would be reasonable to treat presentations of representatives of foreign military forces in that fashion.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 23, 2013, 3:25 pm

        However, personnel of IDF is allowed to spend travel funds etc. to exaggerate the role of IDF, if they do not spend money of American taxpayers, but merely student tuition money.

        No, there are provisions of many laws, like Title VI, which apply to any institution that receives federal grants or funding, and prohibit them from making their facilities available to foreign agents for grass roots propaganda campaigns and incitement against persons of Palestinian national origin.

        By definition the IDF and all of its officers are agents of a foreign power and funded in whole or in part by the State of Israel. The Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (Act) requires registration, reporting, and disclosure by persons engaging in propaganda on behalf of foreign powers in this country. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/611

        FYI, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that aliens are not part of our American polity and do not enjoy boundless discretion to engage in teaching, political activities, or propaganda campaigns. See:
        * Teaching: Ambach v Norwick
        http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1978/1978_76_808
        * Labeling Political Propaganda in accordance with 22 USC § 611: Meese v. Keene
        http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/481/465/
        * Expenditures by foreign nationals on political campaigns: Bluman v. FEC
        http://www.fec.gov/law/litigation/bluman.shtml

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

        Here we go again with the false invocation of Title VI. File a complaint, Hostage. Why won’t you do it? Why? It’s a form. Fill it out.

        You never will because you know what you’re arguing is disingenuous, frivolous nonsense.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 26, 2013, 2:07 am

        Here we go again with the false invocation of Title VI.

        No Hophmi I’ve linked to the Justice Department handbook on Title VI and to the “Dear Colleague” letters issued by Kenneth L. Marcus, (then) Staff Director, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and other officials who advised recipient institutions of its new enforcement approach to take action when institutions fostered anti-Semitic or Islamophobic atmosphere on school campuses – and thus “aggressively investigate alleged race or ethnic harassment against Arab Muslim, Sikh and Jewish students.” See Kenneth L. Marcus, Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 15 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 837 (2007) link to scholarship.law.wm.edu.

        File a complaint, Hostage. Why won’t you do it? Why? It’s a form. Fill it out.

        You never will because you know what you’re arguing is disingenuous, frivolous nonsense.

        Among other things Hophmi, I contribute to the Center for Constitutional Rights, and they have formally complained, along with the National Lawyers Guild, to the University of California reminding officials there about their obligation to protect students against discrimination, threats, and a climate of intimidation. http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_Letter_UC_Yudof_.pdf

        Here is their letter to the Department of Education on the same subject: http://www.ampalestine.org/index.php/newsroom/articles/478-rights-groups-call-on-doe-to-address-use-of-title-vi-of-civil-rights-act-to-silence-students-advocating-for-palestinian-rghts

        Here is a page on the the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support initiative. http://palestinelegalsupport.org/

  18. Stogumber
    Stogumber
    August 23, 2013, 6:21 am

    I wonder about the term “reeducation”. Internationally, it has mostly been used (a) for the reeducation of Germans and Japanese after WWII, (b) for reeducation camps in China.
    Is “reeducation” a colloquial term in U.S. average life? Or is it restrained to political contexts?
    Does anyone know when and where the term was coined? And something about its history?

  19. just
    just
    August 23, 2013, 7:14 am

    This from EI-

    “Students forced to sign “civility” statements for walk-out protest
    Tori Porell
    The Electronic Intifada
    Boston
    21 August 2013 ”

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/students-forced-sign-civility-statements-walk-out-protest/12705

  20. Talkback
    Talkback
    August 23, 2013, 8:11 am

    What an amazing opportunity for the students to tape this ADL “reeducation” and expose its propaganda (Fact-Check on Youtube). They could include some innocent questions about security council resolutions or reports by human rights organisation. They could simply laugh at every laughable Hasbara. This is priceless, I would go voluntarily!

  21. Scott
    Scott
    August 23, 2013, 9:09 am

    For what it’s worth, I think shouting down speakers is a profoundly ineffective tactic. When I was in grad school, not a part of the the Left, there were factions which tried to shout down neocon speakers on Latin America subjects. They always ended up generating more support for the speaker. A neutral bystander concludes that the disrupters don’t have a reasonable argument to make. Basically free speech, the genuine exchange of information, is favorable to the Palestinians. They shouldn’t lose sight of that.

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