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Friday, September 12, 2003

Ohio State okays the Jew-Haters

Just received this email, very much like the ones I received from Rutgers recently and from the Univ. of Michigan last year. So it seems that there will be an anti-Israel conference at Rutgers in October and another at Ohio State University in November. Both will include those who call for the destruction of the State of Israel.

None of these universities would dare sponsor a Student Ku Klux Klan Conference on their campus, yet all are willing to abandon the Jews to any consequences of hatred and incitement against them, billed as "free and open dialogue."

Free speech, as I've told all these universities, entitles no one to a grand hall and a microphone in a state-supported university. I have begged that these dangerously misguided students be relegated to whatever back rooms and basements they could find off-campus, but instead the universities choose to legitimate their views: Save the Whales, Kill the Jews, it makes no nevermind.

While we are assured that the event will be "conducted in a safe and civil manner," I see nothing particularly civil about refusing a people's right to exist and being one of those people, I don't feel especially safe, either.

So without any further ado, I give you the words of William H. Hall, Vice President for Student Affairs, of The Ohio State University, in the morally-challenged morass of Contemporary American Academia:
I am responding to the message of concern you recently sent to the Office of the President at The Ohio State University regarding the hosting of the Third National Student Conference on Palestinian Solidarity by an OSU student group. We have received many letters and emails similar to yours, expressing views ranging from deep concern to outrage. We take these messages very seriously and do understand the reasons why this event is troubling to you.

First, I want to assure you that the views of the conference and its organizers are solely theirs and do not reflect the views of The Ohio State University.

However, we cannot accede to demands that the university deny a registered student organization, in this case the Committee for Justice in Palestine, the right to hold a meeting in university facilities. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a university may not deny typical benefits to a student organization based on the organization's views. All of the more than 600 registered student organizations at Ohio State, representing a very wide spectrum of political, cultural, ethnic, recreational and career interests, are permitted to use university facilities for their meetings and programs. It is not legal for the university to deny any organization this or other benefits on the basis of its political views.

It is also the policy of The Ohio State University to promote free and open dialogue, to encourage debate and education about issues, and to provide a forum for respectful and productive discussion. It is our hope that the presence of this controversial conference will stimulate such thinking and dialogue. We are working with the students organizing this event to ensure that applicable laws and university policies are followed so that the event is conducted in a safe and civil manner. Those who wish to present counter points of view may do so within the same parameters of legality and civility.

I hope this addressed your concerns. Thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,

William H. Hall
Vice President for Student Affairs
STUDENTAFFAIRS@hfsecmail.rdh.ohio-state.edu
Cross-posted on ISRAPUNDIT