[sixties-l] Fwd: Netanyahu Protest Did Not Dishonor The Free-Speech Movement

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 12/18/00

  • Next message: radman: "[sixties-l] Netanyahu protest -- letters to the editor"

    >Netanyahu Protest Did Not Dishonor The Free-Speech Movement
    >Barbara Lubin    Monday, December 18, 2000
    >DEMONSTRATORS at former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's canceled
    >speech at Berkeley Community Theatre on Nov. 28 did not "block" his
    >The decision to cancel should be blamed on Netanyahu himself, the event's
    >promoter and the Berkeley police, who were angry at not being notified about
    >the protest. We certainly were not responsible for cancellation of
    >Netanyahu's two other lectures in San Mateo and Marin County.
    >We demonstrators did not intend to, nor expect to, prevent the speech. We
    >did what we have done whenever someone with as shameful a record as
    >Netanyahu has comes to Berkeley: We registered our dissent -- nonviolently.
    >We hoped to make Netanyahu feel unwelcome. We wanted to tell him that many
    >Americans oppose Israeli policies toward Palestinians. We wanted our voices,
    >which are usually ignored, heard in the mainstream media.
    >Nobody, not Netanyahu nor those attending the lecture, was ever in danger.
    >We planned to sit down after the protest and expected that the police would
    >move or arrest us. Our opposition would be public; the event would proceed
    >with little trouble. We extended Netanyahu far more freedom of expression
    >than he offered Palestinians just for flying the Palestinian flag while he
    >was prime minister.
    >Contrary to assertions that we sullied Berkeley's proud tradition of free
    >speech, our demonstration honored that tradition. This was true democracy in
    >action. But Netanyahu recoiled when confronted with peaceful opponents he
    >could not send his army out to bludgeon.
    >What I find most ridiculous is the amount of outrage mustered to defend the
    >free-speech rights of a man who has almost unlimited access to the
    >international media, while we who oppose him must demonstrate to be heard.
    >Where were their voices of outrage when Israeli soldiers gunned down unarmed
    >Palestinian children?
    >I find it curious that these so-called guardians of free speech never before
    >felt the urge to complain about acts of civil disobedience during
    >appearances by former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, for
    >example, or Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
    >I think what is really going on is not an effort to preserve free speech but
    >an attempt to stifle the free speech of anyone who would criticize Israel.
    >Barbara Lubin is former school board president and executive director of the
    >Middle East Children's Alliance in Berkeley.

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