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Double-speak on Israel.

College campuses are special places where we trust our children to be protected. But we are hearing more and more how Israel is singled out there for condemnation, falsely accused and expected to conduct itself in ways no other nation would. This delegitimizing double-standard applied to the Jewish homeland is an expression of anti-Semitism as the State Department defines it. Divestment votes can foster hate, as at the University of California, Davis, where swastikas were recently painted on the doors of a Jewish fraternity.

Unfettered speech is not acceptable when it leads to bullying and expressions of hate at our colleges and universities. Moreover, those who deny the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and sovereignty often expect "free speech for me but not for thee." Spreading calumny against Israel with apartheid walls is just fine. But when Israeli speakers or performers come to campus, they can expect to be hounded and shouted down. Many will remember how former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was badgered at the University of California, Irvine, not long ago.

I'm delighted that Salaita was denied tenure at the University of Illinois. Virulently anti-Israel professors are in positions of power over the students whose work they grade. Sitting in Salaita's class while he bashes Israel, Jewish kids would be more likely to feel upset than safe to express themselves. Freedom of speech cannot trump freedom from intimidation on college campuses.

Benjamin Pollock

San Francisco, CA

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Author:Pollock, Benjamin
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Mar 1, 2015
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