Georgetown University's free speech double-standard
On April 26, Georgetown University hosted a talk by Mohammed El-Kurd, who has said Jews have an "unquenchable thirst for Palestinian blood" and other viciously antisemitic statements. World Israel News reports:
Mohammed El-Kurd, a media personality who has repeatedly accused Israel of harvesting and trafficking organs from Palestinians and described Zionists as "sadistic, barbaric Neo-Nazi pigs" was invited by Georgetown Law's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
News of El-Kurd's talk sparked a response from the NGOs StopAntisemitism and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which urged the university to intervene and disinvite him.
"Administrations like Georgetown's state they're against antisemitism yet allow Jew haters like Mohammed El-Kurd to freely spread hatred against Jews on their campuses," StopAntisemitism wrote on its twitter account on Monday. "Enough is enough — cancel El-Kurd's speech ASAP!"
"Mohammed El-Kurd has a long, ugly history of antisemitic incitement & conspiratorial rhetoric that goes far beyond reasoned criticism of Israel," the ADL's CEO Jonathan Greenblat tweeted. "Outrageous & indefensible that @GeorgetownLaw invited him to bring his hate to their campus."
The university brushed aside these concerns, claiming to be on the side of free speech.
During a meeting with Jewish students concerned about El-Kurd's campus appearance, Georgetown Law's dean said that the university prioritizes free speech.
"We allow a huge amount of latitude even where speech is deeply offensive to some members of the community, some or even many," Dean Mitch Bailin is heard saying in an audio recording of the meeting obtained by the National Review.
"Those are things that we think are important to educational values, to promoting free speech, to promoting a free discussion of ideas, even if those ideas are deeply, deeply offensive."
If that were true, I'd be all for Georgetown's position. I am a free speech advocate and would hope others could present critiques of El-Kurd without disruption and with the support of the university. But the problem is that the school has no such commitment. Consider this from the New York Times, dated January 31, 2022:
Ilya Shapiro has apologized after tweeting that President Biden was poised to nominate not "the objectively best pick," but a "lesser" Black woman to the Supreme Court.
It is self-evident that the university is employing a double-standard in which the sensitivities of Jews rank below those of other groups. That is a classic indicator of antisemitism. Dean Bailin is not upholding the truth.
Hat tip: Shirley Lewis.
Photo credit: Instagram via World Israel News.