Kudos to Paul Shaviv and the Ramaz administration (“Ramaz Israel Row Points To Larger Trends,” Feb. 28) for rescinding a student group’s speaking invitation to Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor who has spouted anti-Israel rhetoric and hatred.
Although there is certainly room for differences of opinion on issues relating to Israel, there are also voices that deserve not to be recognized, especially at a Jewish day school.
Khalidi dedicated his 1986 book about the Palestinian Liberation Organization to avowed PLO terrorist Yasir Arafat, and has called Israel a “racist state” and “an apartheid system in creation.”
It’s not unreasonable for a school or any other institution to draw red lines about who should and should not be allowed to speak in their halls. Would this student group also welcome a member of the al Qaeda terrorist group to its school, in the name of free speech and open discussion? How about a representative from the Jews for Jesus organization? A white supremacist? A Holocaust denier?
One can believe in freedom of speech, while still maintaining standards of decency. If the political science group at Ramaz is looking for a speaker with a more “nuanced presentation” about Israel, they can certainly find such an individual within the Jewish community itself.