Taxpayer dollars funding hate at UCSD?By Michael M. Rosen
It's never good when our tax dollars go to waste, but it's infinitely worse when they fund odious projects.
Yet that's just what happened this week on the UCSD campus, where various university departments and $40,000 of student money underwrote the Muslim Student Association's (MSA) "Justice in Palestine Week," a series of bloodcurdling displays and crackpot lectures designed to defame Israel.
Consider the following inflammatory activities funded by these contributions:
First, various exhibits on a massive concrete wall along Library Walk -meant to (mis)represent Israel's anti-terrorist separation barrier-explicitly labeled Israel an "apartheid state," a charge as strategically important to Leftist groups as it is transparently inaccurate.
South African apartheid afflicted a single society and country in which a tiny white minority brutally subjugated an overwhelming black majority. In stark contrast, Israel and Palestine are two separate nation-states with distinct and independent governance structures and relatively clear borders, despite some intermingling of the populations.
Unlike the Afrikaners, Israel's government and army do not subject Palestinians to second-class status in society because Palestinians form part of their own, self-regulating society.
But groups committed to Israel's eradication depend heavily on the false apartheid analogy, since they ardently hope Israel and Palestine become what South Africa is now-a single state with an overwhelming majority of the formerly oppressed ruling over a dwindling remnant of the erstwhile power. Exhibit A, adorning the UCSD "wall:" numerous maps of the entirety of Israel colored in the red, green, white, and black colors of the Palestinian flag. In other words, no two-state solution for this crowd.
The university also played host to notorious anti-Semite and conspiracy-monger Norman Finkelstein, well known for his oh-so-well-reasoned, measured criticism of the Jewish state, which he characterizes as "Satanic," "lunatic," and "committing a Holocaust in Gaza."
And at a counter-speech by activist David Horowitz on Monday Night, an MSA student candidly pledged her fealty to the murderous directive of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah that all Jews worldwide gather in Israel for slaughter so that he needn't hunt them down across the planet. Genocidal quotes like that are pretty hard to come by nowadays, even on a liberal college campus.
Still, UCSD administrators wisely and appropriately provided outdoor and classroom space for all these activities and allowed the MSA to promote their events throughout the university.
The same courtesies, of course, are rarely afforded pro-Israel speakers on campus. Earlier this year, UC Irvine Muslim Student Association members disrupted Israeli ambassador Michael Oren's address with heckles and jeers, requiring campus police to clear the auditorium. And several years ago, officials had to cancel an appearance in Berkeley by Benjamin Netanyahu, now Israel's Prime Minister, after protests threatened to turned violent.
The appropriate remedy is not to restrict the Israel haters' speech but rather to ensure they cannot exercise a heckler's veto in shutting down viewpoints with which they vehemently disagree. So, too, must mainstream Americans tolerate the nonsensical and incendiary arguments of groups like the MSA and other assorted Leftists on campus.
But toleration does not equate to direct facilitation. And here's where the problem lies: UCSD's significant moral and financial support for the Hate Israel Week festivities effectively places the university in league with the malicious slanderers.
Co-sponsoring the events were UCSD's Departments of Literature, Visual Arts, and Ethnic Studies, along with its entire Thurgood Marshall College. Worse yet, documents available on the Internet reveal that the Associated Students kicked in $40,000 of mandatory fees levied on all students. Providing space and routine logistical support for provocative lectures and exhibits is one thing; spending tens of thousands of dollars to underwrite them is quite another.
The staggering dollar amount is all the more disconcerting given the severe fiscal strain under which the university, the UC system in general, and the state as a whole find themselves. In an era of ever-escalating fee hikes and system-wide staff and faculty reductions, crafting a $40,000 line-item for malevolent demagoguery is nothing short of outrageous
Or think of it this way: the money committed to the hate-fest could have funded a student's complete four-year college tuition.
What a profound injustice, then, that university funds and resources were so gravely abused. We can only hope that this disgraceful episode will shame those responsible into abstaining from financially supporting such efforts in the future.
Michael M. Rosen, a News Room contributor, is an attorney in Carmel Valley. The opinions expressed are his own. Reach him at email@example.com.