Israeli war criminal Ehud Olmert was to deliver a speech at the University of Chicago, but was met by protesters who shut down his hate-filled speech. Electronic Intifada caught the protest, which it helped organize:
I am sure many will argue the former Israeli prime minister’s free speech rights were violated. This tends to be the mindless, reactionary position, and is not morally defensible.
Of course, holocaust-deniers and Al-Qaeda supporters should and would not be invited to deliver a speech, so why would the university welcome a violent leader who oversaw the senseless killing of thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese, the littering of South Lebanon with cluster bombs, the collective punishment of Gaza through a crushing siege? The same holocaust-deniers and Al-Qaeda supporters who would not be invited to speak on moral grounds have much less actual blood on their hands. So what is the moral standard here? I agree they should not be welcome, but their ultimate crimes are ideological, while Olmert’s are ideological (Zionist-apartheid) and actual (war crimes and crimes against humanity).
That he would be invited to speak on American university campuses after the Goldstone report’s damning findings shocks the conscience.
Also, there is the obvious counter-argument that the protesters have free speech rights as well. I applaud them exercising it. For too long, Palestinian-Americans have been too afraid to protest like this and disrupt such events. We need more of this, especially as the norm-enforcing institutions of high-learning and similarly-situated elites have completely failed to bring any sense into this issue — continuing to treat Israel and its leaders as a normal and respectable, and beyond boycott.
As Gaza is quarantined and Palestinian “leadership” is come to be seen as even more in the pocket of oppressive powers, we the people will have to take to activism to bring about the real change promised last year through the mindless incantation of the Obama campaign slogans. And no charade of a peace process should stop us.
Filed Under activism, israel