A common sight on Canadian university campuses these days is "Israel Apartheid Week", a week-long hatefest meant to create the impression in the eyes of non-involved students that Israel is a bubbling cauldron of racist evil as well as to intimidate any pro-Israel Jewish students into hiding their true allegiances.
Now, I'm not against free speech. If one wishes to speak one's mind, one must be prepared to allow people with different viewpoints to speak openly as well. (This is something politically correct types still haven't figured that one out yet). The problem is that not everyone feels that way. Even more irritating, it is just those who scream loudest about freedom of speech that are the first to clamp down on points of view they oppose.
Recently this came to the fore at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (that's up in Canada, eh?). During the event, a senior university official demanded that the anti-Israel group remove a large, public banner proclaimed their event. Apparently she felt that the banner might intimidate Jewish students who were pro-Israeli. And that's all that happened.
Naturally, things immediately blew out of control and the professional victims committee of the anti-Israel group was ready with their usual pathetic howls of "supression of freedom of speech!" Yes, the hated peddlers were denied a single forum of many. How horribly fascist.
This morning the university held a public meeting to explain why they had limited the freedom of speech for the anti-Israel group. Being an open forum, there were calls across the Jewish community for people to attend and show support for Israel. I myself was opposed to this for various reasons.
One is that these forums end up being crowded by professional Jew-haters. While I went to university to learn, it seems there are a significant number of people on campus who are there to attend rallies and spread hatred. These people love to come to forums. I think it must be included in their tuition. As a result, however, any opponents they run into are immediately screamed at and driven away with either verbal or physical abuse.
Secondly, the biggest problem with calling for Jews to attend these meetings is... that Jews will attend them and feel an urge, in their never-ending need to prove to the gentile world how politically correct they are, to join in the condemnations of Israel and those who would limit open hatred against our brethren on campus.
Finally, if anyone is allowed to speak in opposition to these hate mongers, he is usually an "official Jew", definitely not religious or passionately Zionist but one who is known to be moderate and "firm" in his support both for Israel and human rights. Such a man also spoke this morning.
And really, after all the speeches and anti-Jewish tirades, all the Jewish community had to do was send up one person to ask one question: "Hey, I'm going to be organizing a conference on Islamofascism. You guys have a problem with that?"