Sunday, August 25

Aram Ghoogasian: State Department’s anti-Semitism definition stifles free speech


(Annie Chan/Daily Bruin)

(Annie Chan/Daily Bruin)


A country over 7,500 miles away is once again making waves at the University of California.

Even after a resolution calling on the UC to divest from companies doing business in occupied Palestine has come and gone, Israel has managed to remain at the center of campus discourse.

Some of the UC Regents graced our campus with their presence Monday to field student opinions on the UC’s anti-discrimination policy. Although UC Student Regent Avi Oved told the Daily Bruin Editorial Board in a meeting that the conversation was intended to revolve around as many underrepresented groups as possible, the way the UC will define anti-Semitism has become the focal point.

Many Jewish students and UC President Janet Napolitano want the UC to adopt the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, a definition that considers demonizing, delegitimizing and applying double standards – also known as the three D’s – to Israel to be anti-Semitic. As of now, the UC’s resolution does not borrow this language.

Adopting this definition would be nothing short of an assault on free speech and an affront to pro-Palestinian activism. This ambiguous definition leaves too much up to interpretation and can be used as a weapon to suppress the views of pro-Palestinian student activists by labeling them as anti-Semitic, even if said activists are themselves Jewish.

Pro-Palestine student activists, Jewish or otherwise, that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a nonviolent push to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and discrimination against Palestinians through economic means, would likely be at the highest risk of being silenced.

The BDS campaign is focused on human rights violations in Israel alone, which means that, under the three D’s criteria, it could possibly be considered anti-Semitic since some may think it applies a double standard to Israel, even though the Department of State has stated it has no objection to BDS. Current USAC President Heather Rosen appropriated this logic when she, as Financial Supports Commissioner, presented a list of countries the UC invested in during last May’s divestment hearing and asked why students weren’t focused on divestment from those entities as well.

But to be effective, advocacy groups and campaigns must have relatively narrow focuses with clear objectives, not sprawling goals that target a myriad of entities that engage in human rights violations. Focusing on every country is a surefire way to accomplish absolutely nothing.

Regardless of how fallacious and ridiculous this argument is, it has had real effects on college campuses across the country. Palestine Legal’s recently published report outlined the suppression of pro-Palestinian speech through bureaucratic hurdles set up by college administrators, harassment by police and fear mongering by pro-Israel advocacy groups. The organization, which works to protect the rights of pro-Palestine activists in the US, responded to 152 incidents in 2014 alone.

Omar Zahzah, a graduate student in comparative literature and former president of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, penned a column earlier this month detailing how UCLA students specifically have been targeted by this crackdown. Many UCLA students had their photos and personal information posted on the online blacklist canarymission.org, a website claiming to document hatred of Israel and Jews on college campuses. While this may seem outlandish, the view that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic is often used to combat people’s right to freedom of speech.

Granted there may be people with anti-Semitic tendencies that support BDS and the broader call for Palestinian rights. But the fact of the matter is that a vast majority of these activists are not anti-Semites and are concerned solely with equality for Palestinians. The small minority that holds anti-Jewish sentiments doesn’t and shouldn’t be allowed to define an entire social movement.

It is also worth noting that Jewish students are hurt by this pattern. While a good deal of the Jewish community may have strong Zionist beliefs, pretending that is the only opinion that exists homogenizes the campus Jewish community and disregards the existence of organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA, a group that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Jewish student leaders also disregard minority opinions on the topic within their own community. Undergraduate Students Association Council General Representative Danny Siegel told The Bruin he thinks the UC should adopt the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism because the Jewish community wants the UC’s statement revised.

Siegel’s comments are representative of an essentialist view of the Jewish community that ignores the considerable diversity of opinions among Jews when it comes to what many consider to be the nation-state of the Jewish people. This commonly held belief is often used to drown out dissent.

Anti-Semitism is a serious problem at the UC as evinced by a number of recent occurrences ranging from spray-painted swastikas to discrimination carried out by institutions, as was the case when four USAC members tried to block Rachel Beyda’s appointment to the Judicial Board last February. But conflating criticism of a state with bigotry does nothing to stifle discrimination and everything to legitimize strawman arguments made against student activists.

Freedom of speech and the freedom to criticize are fundamental building blocks of a well-rounded education. Student activists shouldn’t be barred from criticizing any entity, even if it’s a government a hemisphere away.

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Opinion columnist

Aram Ghoogasian is an opinion columnist and a member of the Daily Bruin Editorial Board. He often opines about labor issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the University of California.


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  • Michael H.

    Shshshsh freedom of speech only applies if you criticize countries other than Israel! If you criticize Israel you are automatically a non-Jew, anti-semitic, and hater! If you criticize other countries, other people, or even other religions it’s totally fine because it’s freedom of speech! You can even lie about other religions and demonize certain populations but its OK, you are just practicing your rights! Just as long as you don’t criticize apartheid and ethnic cleansing policies of Zionists, you’re good!

    • Mikeca

      Yes, you are part of the problem when you use terms such as “ethnic cleansing”.

      • Michael H.

        Hmmm…what about “forcefully displacing certain populations”? Isn’t that part of the problem!?!!!

        • Mikeca

          When intentionally using, without historical context, the buzz words of “ethnic cleansing” one is taking sides in a very complicated political conflict.

          The late 1940s saw large ethnic population movements/exchanges. The expulsion of Germans from the Sudeten, Hungry, Czechoslovakia and Slovak nations. “Fourteen million Germans were transferred from eastern to central Europe” (Global Security).

          During the 1990s and during the desolation of Yugoslavia large population transfers occurred. “A massive and systematic deportation of Serbia’s Albanians took place during the Kosovo War of 1999, with around 800,000 Albanians (out of a population of about 1.5 Mill) forced to flee to Kosovo.” (Wikipedia).

          Approximately 1,000,000 Kurds were relocated in 2009 by the Turkish authorities.

          I intentionally did not mention the expulsion of Jews and other ethnic minorities from Arab countries in order to keep this discussion focused on two issues.

          First, the 1940s was a different time than today. Secondly, there were recent population transfers that are inconveniently not discussed by those associating the term “ethnic cleansing” to Israel.

          • Michael H.

            It is a complex issue but some research would reveal which side is the oppressed and which is the aggressor. Between 4-7 millions Palestinians were displaced in the last 6 decades. You can look it up and find these #s from the same sources you found the numbers in your comment above. Millions of Palestinian refugees who forcefully were displaced are the evidence for ethnic cleansing policy of Israel. Undermining the massacre and displacement of Palestinians is ignoring the facts. Many displacements occured throughout history by brutal regimes. The ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies were condemned and/or stopped by international community. However, once it comes to Israel, cover-up the facts and labeling the critics becomes the norm with little to no effort to stop the illegal settlements, massacres, and ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

          • Blurred Lines

            Not buying the sob story, “Michael.”

            Your story is based in untruths which is pretty typical of Israel bashers such as yourself. The only massacre occurring is the one in your brain by spewing these lies and blood libels. Grow up.

          • Michael H.

            I bet it’s difficult for you to face the facts and truth…typical Zionist!

          • Blurred Lines

            Zion is talked about in the New Testament. As a Christian, does that make me a Zionist? Was Jesus Christ a Zionist? Was Jesus, a Jew at birth, a Zionist? He was in modern day Israel.

            Why do you hate Zionists so much? Do you have a learning disability?

    • roccolore

      Liberal fascists like you are the ones who support apartheid, especially the Muslim countries where women are beaten for not wearing cloth coffins, rape victims are stoned, gays are thrown off buildings, and carrying a Bible is a death sentence. You also defend ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab. Jew-hating fascists like you defended the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo.

      • Michael H.

        Yea right!!!! Did you extract all those info from my comment!?!!!

        • Blurred Lines

          He is right. You should open your eyes to the truth instead of demonizing Israel.

          • Michael H.

            My eyes are open but brain-washed Zionists like you want to close it. They won’t succeed!

          • Blurred Lines

            You espouse taqiya. You are a liar and your father is a murderer.

          • Michael H.

            Okayyyy!!!!!

          • Blurred Lines

            What? No more zionist conspiracies about mass killing and stealing Mohammed’s land? What’s wrong with you Michael? You’re disappointing me.

    • Blurred Lines

      Your race baiting is obvious. We already know you are anti-Semetic based on your comments. Can’t put lipstick on a pig.

      • Michael H.

        Your comment is the example of the problem I was trying to shed light on!!! Good luck covering facts by labeling and demonizing people!

        • Blurred Lines

          Would love to cover facts, problem is you don’t have any.

    • Nicoletta Machiavelli

      No we are letting you spout off your anti-semetic/anti-peace rhetoric right now. Freedom of speech is still alive. There is a difference between criticizing Israel’s policies and not wanting the state of Israel to exist, which clearly you don’t want. Jerusalem has belonged to the the Hebrews/Jews for over 2000 years, it does not “belong” to the Palestinians.

      • Blurred Lines

        Nicoletta, I don’t think “Michael” has any room in his head for logical arguments, as you rightfully stated.

        Based on his broken English and manner of speaking I believe he is Middle Eastern FYI. Anyways, you bring up excellent points, keep it up.

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    Palestinians and their supports are fighting for their lives and dignity in the face of insurmountable obstacles and a ruthless occupation and slow genocide….
    Israelis and their supporters are fighting to not get their feelings hurt while crossing their college quad sipping lattes while their conscripted bedmates apply their learned racism to build apartheid walls, deny Palestinians the right to movement, to marry, to citizenship, to land rights, civil rights, human rights,,

    • roccolore

      You Muslims are the racists and apartheid supporters who defend Omar al-Bashir.

    • Blurred Lines

      Lies, lies, and more lies. If you could ever write anything about Israel that wasn’t steeped in lies and misinformation, you might get a response. Til then good luck with that tripe, you’re going to need it.

      • BigSticksWalkSoftly

        A land without people for people without land and
        Palestinians did the holocaust
        And Rabin conspiracy theories those are the true lies
        ZIONIST lies

        • Blurred Lines

          Hitler worked with Arab leaders. If you look at Hitler’s murder of millions of Jews, it is steeped in the Koranic and Islamic hatred of Jews.

          Stop using the word Zionist, you sound like a loon.

          Apparently the truth hurts your version of reality. Sorry to disappoint you.

        • kcat

          Park it sweetheart. The Jews have been living there for over 2000 years. They let the Muslims and the Christians live with them and they still live together today in Israel.

        • Nicoletta Machiavelli

          Ah yes. I see that anti semetic zealots are thriving at UCLA as per usually.

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly

            news flash
            but criticizing the Republican-on-steroids Israeli government policies does not make one an anti-semite.
            news flash #2 but Palestinians are the real semites and not outside fakes from other lands.

            I guess that makes all AMERICAN democrats and 90% of republicans (once they realize they are unconditionally supporting a not-so-conservative and more socialist than russia liar state that loves US welfare money) anti-semites.
            Not in my name
            Israeli right wing racist colonial land thieving and anti-palestinian jingoism does NOT represent the good name of world Jewry
            America first
            not israel
            Free Palestine

          • Trolljaeger

            Islam is a religion of p!ss you rug-humping musloid!

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly

            Get out of your mommys rat infested basement couch apartheid wall lover, land stealing , zionazi baby killer, don’t you have some olive trees to burn down or are you too busy being balls deep inyour neighbors goat schmuk for brains?
            Here’s a mind blower for your amoebic brain…
            Why would you unconditionally support the more socialist than Russia racist state of israeli when their orthodxy extremist jews call CHRISTIANS their slaves, are ordered to spit and curse christian cemetaries, they burned the christian church of the loaves this year, and they also committed more price tag attacks including firebombing a house killing a 6 month baby and the parents.
            Your disgusting and truly ignorant as the zionism steal your money and your soul
            Filthy

          • Trolljaeger

            Ánal akbar you filthy paedophile-worshipping koranimal!

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly

            That’s not what your momma said. Looks like your dad is the mailman.
            Free P a L e S t I n E

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly

            actually that is what your momma said!
            and then the mailman and milkman and…..

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly

            dude your momma’s panties seem like their bunched up your yin yang and you should check your self at the douche hotel in your lame mobile.
            There are also many Christian Palestinians. And Druze. And Bedouin. Oh and also atheists and agnostics.
            you thinking Palestinians are homogenous, especially in regards to religion, is not only unfounded but petty.
            Palestinians have a right to defend themselves from foreign illegal armed immigrant terrorists from europe

    • Adam OnWeb

      Wow, do you really believe the stuff you write?
      Have you ever read the Hamas charter? Are you aware that they call for the genocide of every Jew on earth? You really think this is a fight about “hurt feelings”? There are two sides to this conflict and if you’re going to say outlandish things, no one is going to take you seriously. Why don’t you try to learn a little more about the other side of this conflict and see if you can contribute something a little more productive.

      Oh, and if you are going to suggest I do the same, I’ve already read books from Dr. Said, Chomsky and Finkelstein. I already know the Palestinian situation well.

  • Blurred Lines

    Why does Aram Ghoogasian always write biased articles against Israel?

    His Jew hatred is showing.

    • Adam OnWeb

      All the time. How the Daily Bruin allows this bigot to spew his hate is a genuine source of embarrassment for UCLA. Why don’t they let Joseff Goebbels write for them and be done with it?

      • Blurred Lines

        Joseff Goebels would be too obvious; they need to have someone like Aram Ghoogasian use the cover of free speech to further their cause of demonizing and slandering Israel.

        Desperate people….

  • M2000

    Where’s the condemnation of the knife attacks, the shootings and the bombings??? Against Israeli Jews???

  • Adam OnWeb

    Ghoogasian isn’t defending free speech.

    If Ghoogasian was really interested in free speech, he’d be writing about Hamas in Gaza. He might have written something about the incident in Gaza last year where Hamas arrested 19 anti-war protesters and – without even giving them a hearing or a trial – had them kneel in a public street and shot them each in the head. Where was Ghoogasian condemnation?

    Nothing. Absolute silence from Ghoogasian.

    In Israel, there is free speech. Arabs and Jews debate the Israel-Palestine conflict vigorously in newspapers, universities and in all kinds of open forums. Ideas and opinions are exchanged, and these debates are used to inform and influence the electorate – because in Israel, people elect their leadership.

    In Gaza, simply implying that you might be sympathetic towards an Israeli point of view is enough to get you killed. There is no free speech in Gaza. There is no free press in Gaza. And this works out OK for Hamas because they don’t hold elections. Palestinians don’t get to choose their leadership. Hamas seized control of Gaza illegally back in 2006 and they’ve never held an election. If there was a genuine election in Gaza, does anyone really believe the Palestinians would re-elect Hamas – the same leaders who have brought them three wars within 10 years?

    If there was free speech, free press and elections in Gaza, perhaps the voice of the Palestinian people might be heard. Perhaps then, when a war breaks out in Gaza, the Hamas leadership would actually pay a political price for running off to swanky hotels in Dubai while the people of Gaza actually suffer the war.

    Aram Ghoogasian and the Daily Bruin never talk about these facts. The antisemitism and hypocricy coming out of Ghoogasian and the Bruin is so thick that you could choke on it. While Gaza surpresses free speech and press, and murders protesters in the streets, Ghoogasian and the Bruin write about the burdens of their stifled hate speech.

    I’m no fan of limiting free speech. I’m sure we can win the exchange of ideas against bigots like Ghoogasian and the irresponsible editors of the Bruin who publish his propaganda trash.

    • Blurred Lines

      Nicely written statement.

      It all boils down to, they want to hold Israel to a MUCH higher standard than they hold the PLO or the Palestinian people to. Double standard indeed.

      I doubt Ghoogasian has ever even been in Israel, same goes for most of these desk jockeys that write the most unbelievable crud that makes absolutely no sense. Apartheid? How is that even possible if Jews are being stabbed by Palestinians on an almost daily basis?

      As much as Ghoogasian and his ilk try to distance themselves from the “few anti-Semites,” it becomes more obvious that their whole attack on Israel is rooted in anti-semetism, and that the two can never be separated.

      Like a criminal caught in an act, the more they try to explain, the more they expose their ill intentions and motivations.

      The thing is, the more puppets like Ghoo-gas-ian stick to their illogical and ridiculous arguments, the more they move the mainstream to the right. The civilized world will not tolerate a people who back terrorist groups like HAMAS, and they will end up being cast out. They had their chance.

      • Adam OnWeb

        You’re right. I support a 2 state solution but I find myself wavering. After what happened in Gaza, I can’t see turning over the West Bank. Even if the Palestinian Authority agrees to demilitarize, what good would that do? If the PA can’t defend their government, Hamas will simply kick them out again and the rockets will start flying in from the West Bank. And ultimately, this is what Hamas wants. They want to make sure that there is no path to peace. The want to carry on this fight to the death. I just can’t understand the sick people who support them. Keep up the good fight!

        • Blurred Lines

          The longer their terrorist groups attack innocent citizens of Israel, the more clear it becomes that a two state solution is an impossibility.

          What fellowship do Israeli Jews and Christians have with murderers and thieves? The answer is increasingly clear.

          “Palestine” has always been a tool of the other Arab states to wield against Israel and Jews worldwide. This “tool” needs to be decommissioned; its obvious, through their actions, the goal for them is not peace, but war. They use this “tool” to keep Israel in a perpetual state of fear and imbalance.

          Enough. Wipe out the terrorists once and for all. Don’t negotiate with those who seek to murder you. Take it all back and send them back. Collectively the Palestinians have failed and shown their true colors . They only want the destruction of Israel and this is why they cannot be allowed to live in or near its borders.

          • Michael H.

            And in one state solution you propose, would a Palestinian lead the government if elected by popular vote?
            Can you name a single state other than Israel that occupies other people’s territories while demonizing them?

          • Blurred Lines

            Of course not, that would destroy Israel as I am sure you are all too eager to do.

            Since your brought it up, why don’t you try to justify the expulsion of almost one million Jews from Arab countries in the early 1900′s? Your fake cause is transparent, as are your aims to delegitimize and entire nation of people, with thousands of years of history.

            So please, let me know when the Arab countries give full restitution to the nearly one million Jews they expelled from their countries and stole all their property and homes without any reason or cause. You seek to take the home of Jews away from them with your fantasies.

            Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once; it is mentioned in The Old Testament over 500 times. Yet “Palestinians” have an itch to claim it as their city. It doe not take a genius to see what is going on, the scam that is being perpetrated in order to disenfranchise the great state of Israel and her people.

            Take your scam and shove it.

          • Michael H.

            Hahaha yes what’s wrong with saying everything belongs to the “chosen people”!!!! Right?!?! Your comment is the definition of religious fanaticism and political radicalism. I’m happy your comment is here for people to see who we are dealing with.

          • Blurred Lines

            What part of living in a land for over 5,000 years is religious fanaticism?
            Apparently history is too fanatic for you!

            Thanks for showing us your stupidity.

          • Adam OnWeb

            Israel doesn’t demonize the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have no voice in their government. Polls in Palestine show that 66% of the Palestinian people would like to see a one state solution, but they want to pursue it through peaceful protest. These positions are very different from the Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other proxy armies that routinely attack Israel and openly call for the genocide of every Jew on earth.

            Did you know that the vast majority of Palestinian people reject a 2 state solution? Did you know that the vast majority reject violence? Did you know that their government engages in a policy that is contrary to the desires of the people in Palestine?

            The people in Palestine have no voice. Israel demonizes the Arab leadership and the Palestinian leadership – and rightly so. Had the Arab leadership simply agreed to a 2 state solution, instead of trying to destroy Israel, these 2 countries might have actually flourished together. Instead, rich Arab sheikhs sit in wealthy palaces making decisions for struggling Palestinians.

            It always amazes me how people like you completely ignore the proxy armies of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Queda and more. Who do you think funds these proxy armies? Isn’t it the same insanely rich Arab sheikhs who have robbed the Palestinians of their voice for their future? This isn’t about race. It is about self-determination. The Arabs want to rule over the Jews, and the Jews won’t allow it. This has been the root of the issue going back to the 1937 Peel Commission.

            And if you really cared about Palestinian freedom, you’d examine these facts carefully… and it might dawn on you that you’re on the wrong side of this issue.

      • Michael H.

        Double standard is to place ‘Israel and democracy’ in one sentence. We are not in 19th century: if Israel is democratic it must not colonize other’s territories and commit war crimes. FYI the Israelis who are stabbed are in illegal settlements built in West Bank (someone else’s territory). Blame Israeli expansionist politicians for violence.

    • kcat

      This is an amazingly well thought out rebuttal, you should definitely publish this in the db.

      • Adam OnWeb

        Thank you. I can see your heart and mind are in the right place. My time is limited, but I give you permission to use it any way you see fit.

    • Michael H.

      If there is no freedom of speech somewhere in the world, it does not mean we should not have freedom of speech in the US. Your reasoning is just wrong! If you are not hypocrite, then why aren’t you condemning the Israeli politician’s statements against the 2 state solution? Why aren’t you condemning illegal settlements in the West Bank? If you are not, then you’re a hypocrite propagandist who just tries to discredit an author who defends freedom of speech.

      • Nicoletta Machiavelli

        You missed the entire point of Adam’s stellar rebuttal. You clearly don’t care that Palestinians are not allowed to have a voice in their own country. Please, again, learn how to properly spell.

        • Michael H.

          And you care about Palestinians by demonizing them and supporting people who murder them!!!?! Give me a break!

          • Nicoletta Machiavelli

            Hamas is murdering Palestinians. Israel sends messages out to Palestinians to tell them to flee because they are going to attack Hamas. Hamas makes them stay so many people get killed. Google it.

          • Michael H.

            Israel bombs them. Israel tells its soldiers to kill civilians. Israel opposes the existence of Palestine. Google it!

          • Blurred Lines

            You have the understanding and mental capacity of a three year old. Please seek help.

          • Nicoletta Machiavelli

            No again, you have it wrong. As many people have stated, Israel wants peace with the Palestinians, in fact many Muslim Arabs want the state of Israel to exist. Israel bombs them because Hamas is trying to have Israel wiped off the face of the planet. Hamas makes the innocent civilians stay.

          • Michael H.

            It’s clear which side doesn’t want peace! Stop telling lies!

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/netanyahu-makes-final-plea-for-votes-1426520160

          • kcat

            Uh yeah. The reason he says that is because the land is not the Palestinian ‘ s land. Read a history book. He doesn’t want a state of Palestine right now because terrorist organizations like Hamas control that area and would destroy Israel in a second, because like I said, they do not want the Jewish people to exist.

          • Michael H.

            The area?!!?! Is Hamas controlling West Bank?!? No, but does Israel still occupies it? Yes. So I think you need to read some books or at least stop spreading propaganda.

          • kcat

            The west bank was part of the Hebrews original territory over 2000 years ago. It contains Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Again, please read a history book.

          • Michael H.

            Can Persians occupy lands from West of China to the mediterranean sea, because for thousands of years, these territories were part of the Persian empire? We are not living in 500 BC. Get a history book and stop the fanaticism.

          • kcat

            You clearly don’t understand what I am saying. The Jews cannot even visit their holy land without fear of being killed by Hamas. The Jews cannot even visit mecca without the fear of being beheaded. That is why a 2 state solution is not possible at this time. The main goal of the leaders and extremists is to wipe Israel off of the face of the earth, as do you. Stop your Jew hatred please. It is clear you don’t want peace.

          • kcat

            You should hear the chants that SJP screams. They want the land to the Mediterranean sea. They do not want Israel to exist. They want to exterminate the Jews.

      • Blurred Lines

        You and your ilk have abused free speech to call for the genocide of Jewish people in Israel, again and again, using veiled language based on outright lies.

        When you free speech directs others or incites others to target a specific group of people, you have revoked that right. Blame yourself, don’t cry for your right to abuse a people. Your right is revoked, terminated, finished. Your deranged movement have abused it and have no one to blame but yourselves.

        Don’t try to impede a person’s right to exist and then turn around and cry about it when you are told to shut your dirty mouth.

        • Michael H.

          Your comment is 100% irrelevant. Stop spread propaganda dirty uneducated hasbara.

          • Nicoletta Machiavelli

            How civil of you!

          • Michael H.

            How civil of you and your partner Blured Lines!

          • Nicoletta Machiavelli

            I didn’t call you any names and you can fact check everything we say. You clearly don’t have any respect for civil discourse.

          • Michael H.

            I didn’t either, your friend did call names and got his answer…. Oh wait maybe both accounts belong to one person that’s why you talk on his behalf!!!

          • Blurred Lines

            Truth hurts, eh Michael?

            When all else fails, you accuse me of being hasbara. Do they teach you these lines in Anti-Zionist school or something?

          • Nicoletta Machiavelli

            Yeah, no. Blurred lines is right. You don’t care about peace.

          • kcat

            You called blurred lines terrible names. As for blurred line’s offenses, they kind of make sense, since your rhetoric is ill conceived.

          • Michael H.

            I’m so sorry that truth hurts your feeling, while racist remarks don’t. 3 accounts defending a person whom comments are full of curses and insults…. Something’s fishy there!!!

          • kcat

            Lol now your using our arguments. How is this even an issue about race? You don’t want Israel or the Jews to exist and we want to live in peace. End of story.Trust me, we are three different people, but we are fighting for the same thing, peace. As Nicoletta and blurred stated: please learn how to use proper grammar, because I couldn’t understand half of what you said.

          • kcat

            You are the one who keeps on preaching anti semitism. You are the one who hurled the most insults and curses.

          • Blurred Lines

            Did you expect someone who trumps the destruction of Israel to be civil? LOL

            Just saying :)

          • kcat

            All they did was respond with the truth. But it’s ok. We understand that it doesn’t fit with your world view. Lmao

      • Adam OnWeb

        You didn’t read it properly. I am not in favor of stifling free speech at all. Read the last paragraph again, and in the future, try not to let your antisemitism literally blind you.

        As far as condemning Israel, I’ve done it before. I’m critical of many of their policies, but I never forget that they are genuinely defending themselves from a 2nd holocaust. If Israel ever stopped defending themselves, Hamas would slaughter them the way ISIS slaughters Shiites. So please, don’t preach your morality to me because you are supporting the people who openly call for genocide. You have a lot of work to do on yourself before you preach to anyone else about morality.

  • Blake

    The amount of walking on egg shells for this illegal entity occupying ancestral Palestine is mind boggling. Its time to right this 67 year wrong

    • Adam OnWeb

      What’s mind boggling is how you could fit so many lies into a single sentence!
      “Illegal entity occupying ancestral Palestine”???
      What kind of revisionist history are they teaching in UCLA?

    • Blurred Lines

      Did you forget to take your medication again, Blake?

      • Blake

        European
        zionist jews heard ancient fairy tales involving some tribes who wandered
        deserts of Middle east & literally believed it to be them so i wonder what
        hallucogenic substances you must be on.

        • Blurred Lines

          So you don’t believe The Holy Bible. Case closed, athiest nutjob.

  • Adam OnWeb

    “Freedom of speech and the freedom to criticize are fundamental building blocks of a well-rounded education.

    Says the supporter of the BDS movement that boycotts academic professors

  • Blake

    The vocal minority fringe lunatics zios are out en force i see. Looking more demented and delusional than ever.

    • Adam OnWeb

      I’m curious. Where are you from?

  • kcat

    You seem to acknowledge freedom of speech and the constitution only when it supports your biased, misinformed, and sheltered world view, but you’re quick to shut down any campus organization that doesn’t fit your standards of political correctness, like bruins for Israel who actually stand for a real solution and real peace, or fraternities and sororities throwing a dumb party mocking two trashy celebrities. Hypocrisy at its finest.

  • kcat

    Aram, have you ever been to the middle east? Have you ever been to Israel? It really doesn’t sound like it. I have been to Israel and my aunt works (worked) in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Armenia, and many other middle eastern countries as an archaeologist. I can tell you right now, the leaders of the majority of countries that I listed want Israel wiped off of the face of the Earth and they do not want Jews to exist. Then on top of that there are the religious extremists killing their own people, persecuting Jews, and stabbing IDF’s. As Adam stated, there is no freedom of press or freedom of speech in those countries so the people of those countries are forced to cooperate with organizations like Hamas. Israel always warns the Palestinians that they will be attacking Hamas hq’s and Hamas forces the citizens to stay put in order to make Israel look bad. In addition, in most of those countries, the number of Jews today compared to 50 years ago is almost zero, that is the real ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians and the Muslim religion are the fastest growing religion in the world today. I should also mention that the Jews have been living in that territory for over 2000 years and have always let Muslims and Christians live in that area. Most people in those countries are also indoctrinated with anti Israel propaganda and are constantly fed misinformation. Before writing another article, I urge you to go to the “stand with us” fb page and take a look at the people who support Israel (many of them are Arab Muslims, God bless them), and come to the Ben Shapiro panel to look at media bias against Israel. Israel wants peace and coexistence with the Palestinian people. You seem to be very misinformed on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and you are pushing a very dangerous agenda. I understand this is an opinion article but you seem to have no facts to support your partisan opinion. Please stop misinforming people with your narrow minded world view and please please please do thorough research before writing another piece on this topic or on the constitution for that matter, since you don’t seem to have any respect for the first amendment: freedom of religion and especially freedom of speech.

    • Michael H.

      I wonder how your aunt as an archeologist was able to abstract all these people in the Middle East into a generalization. When people are forced out of their lands and are not allowed to return to their homes (Google the # of Palestinian refugees), violence rises. Scarring people off by demonizing all countries in Middle East is a absurd propoganda to cover Israel war crimes and illegal settlements. BTW, there are and were Jews living in the Middle East for centuries. The one entity that need to be blamed for creating hate, violence, and bad view are expansionist Zionists.

      • Nicoletta Machiavelli

        She did not make any generalizations. In fact, she said many Arab Muslims support Israel. She said the leaders specifically were the ones who wanted Israel off of the face of the Earth and wanted to ethnically cleanse Jews. Maybe you should read a history textbook. You keep on making false generalizations, ironic huh? BTW the only war crimes being committed are those by Hamas, killing their own Palestinian people that is why there are so many Palestinian refugees. She is not demonizing anyone if she is stating the truth. I hate to break it to you, but facts don’t care about your feelings. Also please learn how to spell and use correct grammar.

      • Blurred Lines

        Your logic is broken.

        You seem to be unable to grasp basic concepts in what kcat wrote.

        Expansionist Zionists? Yes, they expanded from living all over the Middle East in every Arab country, to now living in a country the size of New Jersey, after they were wrongfully expelled just for being Jews. Expansionist? How? Are you crazy?
        Leave Israel alone, the Arabs have enough land to house the world population if they wanted to. The “Palestinian cause” is just a tool for the Arab countries to attack Israel through terrorism and threats.

        And as Nicoletta points out, please learn how to spell correctly.

  • Michael H.
  • raucla
  • MRL

    It’s unfortunate that this article, which seems to be trying to take a neutral tone and give space to both sides who might be harmed by the possible curtailing of free speech on campus, has been targeted, in this comment space at least, by single-minded diehards operating from clearly predecided opinions. Never does it seem that the author takes a strong stance on the essential moral rightness or wrongness of either side in the Palestine dispute, but it seems as if he’s automatically interpreted as waving the flag for one side or another based on very little evidence. Never mind that the article’s entirely about issues at play in terms of public expression and attempting to raise the level of the conversation above ceaseless name-calling and reductive arguments how about the other side are entirely treacherous, hateful genocidists.

    Then again, I’ve been befuddled for years why a territorial dispute over a patch of land literally half the world away has come to take such a prominent position in the discourse of a public university in another country where the dispute over Palestine has little practical impact. Call me crazy.

    Good job, Aram. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. And if you don’t read the comments, you’re probably a wiser man for it.

    • Nicoletta Machiavelli

      Please look at the past articles he has published and his twitter feed. He is rampantly anti israel and on his twitter feed he says “from the river to the sea palestine will be free” and has also said long live the entifada. He also has zero respect for the first amendment or the constitution. He wanted to ban frats and sororities and said that frats/sororities do not have a right to due process or freedom of association or expression.

      • MRL

        So you want me to judge the article on something other than the arguments it contains? Fine.

        Zero respect for the first amendment or the constitution? This article is all about protecting speech; wouldn’t he, if he hated the first amendment, be for curtailing it?

        On said Twitter, which I did read, there appear to be pro-Palestinian quotes, but they are indeed quotes from journalistic coverage (which seemed to be at least somewhat impartial) of opposed pro- and anti-Palestine rallies.

        I don’t know what opinions on Greek life have to do with anything here, except that, like all the other topics, Greek life is a fair target for criticism.

        I do know, however, that I am a fool for trying to debate someone on a forum such as this.

  • Blacksheep The Deplorable

    To be blunt and direct, this is a Socialistic pile of utter crap.