Jerusalem mayor cancels San Francisco uni lecture
Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat has cancelled his lecture scheduled on Friday at San Francisco State University citing the double standard of protecting the rights of anti-Israel demonstrators and denying debate.
Nir Barkat said: “At San Francisco State last April, dozens of anti-Israel protesters disrupted my public lecture through intimidation and provocation, vulgarities and incitement that bordered on the anti-Semitic.
Following the incident, President Wong invited me back to the University to provide students the opportunity to learn that they were denied last spring. I felt a moral obligation to return to San Francisco State and share Jerusalem’s progress, challenges, and opportunities.
Unfortunately, the University did not offer the lecture that would provide the kind of healing needed after the assault on free speech last year. Instead, the University offered a ticketed, limited event, and no legitimate effort was made on the part of the University to publicise the lecture. I have decided not to participate.
By failing to provide the necessary public forum and properly publicise my lecture, the University has contributed to the continuing marginalisation and demonisation of the Jewish state. If I were a representative of any other country, no institution of higher learning would have allowed my speech to be drowned out by protestors inciting violence and then bring me back to campus in a limited, secluded way.
Mostly importantly, the University’s proposed framework is nothing short of a double standard. The University has demonstrated that they will protect the rights of anti-Israel students to drown out diverse voices through violent incitement, while they will not protect the rights of the students to engage in open, robust dialogue.”