The Blog

In Which an Anti-Zionist Pro-Hamas Islamist Delivers a Lecture at Haifa University and Jewish Students Are Barred

6:15 PM, Jun 17, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel (that's the extreme anti-Israel branch), who has served time in jail for providing financial support to Hamas, who in a 2007 sermon "urged supporters to start a third intifada in order to ‘save al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation,'" and who is a citizen of Israel, today told Arab students--and Arab students only--that "Jerusalem was an ‘Arab, Muslim and Palestinian issue alone,'" and that "Israel constantly dug tunnels under the Temple Mount and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was planning to rebuild the Temple." Adds the Jerusalem Post:

Salah's speech also attacked Jews, saying, "They want to build their temple at a time when our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and in their drinks. Our blood has passed from one ‘general terrorist' to another ‘general terrorist.'" He also said, "We are not those who ate bread dipped in children's blood."

The pusillanimity of the university's administrators in permitting the ancient blood libel against Jews to be heard within their walls ("We didn't invite him, but in the end, for legal reasons, we had to let him in") is pretty horrifying, but that's the downside of life in a liberal democracy: a person devoted to its destruction, even if only ideologically, is free to speak his mind. But permitting the boycotting of Jewish students at an institution of higher learning in the Jewish state, at the behest, presumably, of the anti-Semitic speaker and his audience, and especially at a moment when American and European academics are engaged in a vicious boycott campaign against Israel itself--that's not freedom of speech, that's just indefensible and unforgivable groveling.