Thursday, 4 February 2016
Selective Freedom Of Speech
One of the great hypocrisies of the Left is its selective approach to freedom of speech. When a subject arises that they're in favour of, they are the first to scream if disputed or argued with. They demand their right to speak, nay, shout their opinions and Heaven help the person who disagrees.
When it's a subject that they're against, however, they quickly change their tune. From "I can say what I want!" and "You can't oppress my speaking out!" they move to "Your attitude is creating a toxic atmosphere" and "I feel oppressed!" Ask any pro-life university students about freedom of speech when it comes to presenting an anti-abortion perspective on Western campuses. Ask any proponents of traditional marriage about their experiences when they try to express their opinion. The Left is quite clear - free speech for me, not thee.
That's what makes York University such an odious place these days. For those not following the news, a large mural (shown above) currently hangs in one of the public spaces on campus. This mural, created by an Arab student, shows the usual anti-Israel tripe we've come to expect from the Jew-hating lobby. There's a noble so-called Palestinian armed with nothing but rocks, wearing his keffiyah and a backwards necktie adorned with a map of "Palestine" which naturally does not include Israel. (Syrians will be happy to note it doesn't unclude Golan either, but I digress). He's watching a bulldozer, presumably driven by those nassssssty Israelis, about to uproot a beloved olive tree, the goal being to put a Jewish settlement in its place.
The reaction from Jewish students at York has been reportedly negative. They mostly don't like it, some even feel intimidated by it but nothing has been done. The biggest Jewish group on campus won't do anything to formally protest it either. Keep in mind that York has a large Jewish community, one of the largest university Jewish communities in Canada, so large that York used to cancel the first two days of school in September if they coincide with Rosh HaShanah. It also has a distinction of having had a few pogroms occur on its grounds.
But while the student leadership has remained docile, outside Jewish donors haven't, principle amongst them Paul Bronfman, a major donor to the university. In the wake of discovering that this mural exists and that the university doesn't care about the offence it causes a significant proportion of its student population he has pulled his funding and donated equipment after contacting York President Mamdouh Shoukri (hmmmm......) and getting a milquetoast response.
The justification for leaving the mural in place is, naturally, freedom of speech and expression. There is promise of a committee to study "inclusiveness" and "respect" and a statement from another flunky denying that the mural is a form of Jew-hatred at all! (Much like Der Strumer was a pretty ordinary broadsheet that just happened to report on legitimate criticism of International Jewry, nothing to see here folks)
Stop and consider for a moment. Let's say a group of students approach the university with a different picture, one of a heterosexual couple standing happily in sunlight while an anonymous, obviously gay couple stare malevolently at them from the shadows behind. Or perhaps it's a pro-life group with an obviously anti-abortion painting. What about the trump card? What if a Jewish artist produces a picture of the Temple Mount with the Temple standing on the ruins of the Dome of the Rock, the flag of Israel fluttering proudly above it and claims that it's not anti-Islam but merely critical of Muslim occupation of Judaism's holiest site? Do you think for a moment that any of these paintings would be hung? And even if, by some miracle they were, how long before they were either taken down or destroyed by "activists" in the name of inclusiveness and respect?
At York, like elsewhere, Jew hatred is freedom of speech. Protecting Israel is not. Rich Jewish donors should remember that before cutting their next alumnus cheque.