UC San Diego debates free speech during 'justice in Palestine week'
Running between the 'Palestinian wall' erected on campus, a pro-Palestinian spoken word performance and a history lecture, Associate Professor Shlomo Dubnov questions whether Jews should make a federal case out of it?
Shlomo Dubnov, an associate professor at University of California, San Diego, had an unusually busy schedule the first week of May. On Monday, he checked out the “Palestinian wall” erected on campus, then attended a pro-Palestinian spoken word performance and a lecture on “Palestine: Past, Present & Future.” Wednesday, it was a pro-Palestinian “Speak Out!” and Thursday, a lecture by Alison Weir, who, according to her website, is an expert in the “massive ethnic cleansing accomplished in Israel’s War of Independence” — all organized by the UCSD Muslim Students Association and co-sponsored by the UCSD Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.
It was Justice in Palestine Week, and Dubnov, a musicologist and self-described secular Jew, was monitoring the activities as head of the local chapter of the pro-Israel group Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. He felt offended by much of what he saw and heard.
He was especially disturbed by advertising for the event and by publicity on the MSA’s website listing the school as a co-sponsor. “I think that Jewish students should have the right to feel offended by what’s going on on the campuses,” he said, “and they have to find ways to be organized and respond.”
But should Jews make a federal case out of it?