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Do not gaslight us — we know what we saw, what we heard

Academic freedom? That’s not: ‘Be grateful I’m not going out murdering Zionists’

Last week from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR):

“Threats of disciplinary action, securitizing campuses with police presence and violence, and tolerating doxxing and harassment of our students is unacceptable.”

As if these students were merely “protesting” — and not threatening Jewish students. As if these students were not violating campus regulations. As if they were not destroying property. As if they were not supporting the Hamas murder, rape and kidnapping on Oct. 7 — as if they were the good guys.

But don’t be surprised about CAIR’s support for the “protesters.” CAIR’s director said last December about Oct. 7 that he was “happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in.”

Anti-Israel activists would have you believe that “protesters” calling for Israel’s destruction on university campuses are merely exercising their free speech rights. ACLU of Colorado would have you believe that the activists on Auraria campus who are calling for the destruction of Israel — “From the river to the sea” — are passionate believers in academic freedom.

Academic freedom? That’s when multiple ideas are pursued and debated on their merits. Not when students of a different view, religion or ethnicity — such as Jewish supporters of Israel — are threatened physically and forced off campus.

Academic freedom? That’s not when you mask your face, when you block Jewish students’ or professors’ access to campus.

Academic freedom? Not when it’s anti- Semitism. Straight out:

Khymani James last January, said to Columbia administrators:

“Zionists don’t deserve to live. Be glad, be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.”

Academic freedom? That’s not when you take over a university building, break windows, or take a janitor hostage.

Not a single one of those acts is protected by the First Amendment or by Columbia University’s rules.

Let the debates unfurl. Let them be fierce and passionate. Just this: The “protesters” are not interested in debate or conversation. Jewish and Israeli students have tried it. The very best response has been silence. More often: threats, harassment, physical attacks. Here in Denver, the Golda Meir House was closed down last December by “protesters.” Closed down: that’s debate? Last week, at the Tivoli quad on Auraria, a counterprotester was threatened with assault if he continued to speak to an anti-Israel protester.

The idea that the protesters are interested in speech is a sham.

“Protesters” and their supporters believe that the First Amendment provides a blanket immunity against crimes and misdemeanors committed while speaking. That useful idiots online believe this is one thing. But the ACLU? The supposed experts on the Bill of Rights? Do they expect us to believe their spin that threats, violence and destruction of property constitute “peaceful dissent?”

We heard the call for the destruction of Tel Aviv.

We saw the sign calling for Hamas to make its next victims the pro-Israel speakers outside Columbia.

We saw the Israeli speaker at UC Berkeley campus flee through a basement, unable to deliver his talk, when the very protesters now decrying a violation of their free speech forced him to cancel his speech.

We heard the chants supporting Hamas’ firepower against civilians.

We heard the chants calling for the removal of Zionists from campus.

Perhaps worst of all — we saw the pro-Israel counterprotesters told they had to clear the area, even as the anti-Israel protesters calling for intifada — violence and terror — were allowed to remain.

Academic freedom? That’s not when Simchat Torah, Shabbat and Passover are weaponized by those who hate Israel and its supporters.

We ended Passover to the sight of the NYPD entering Columbia intending to put an end to the sham “freedom of speech” and sham “freedom of demonstration” encampments and occupations.

We wish mutual respect and discourse and sharp debate were still honored as the tenets of academic freedom. But they are not.

Do not gaslight us.

We know what we see. We know what we hear — the irony! “Protesters” occupy a building in order to protest what they deem a malevolent occupation.

Copyright © 2024 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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