Yeshiva University Blocks Promoter Of Terrorism

On March 15, 2022, Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, the President of Yeshiva University, sent a letter to the university’s community called “Let’s Build a Better World Together.” In the email, he wrote about the “decision to cancel a student-scheduled guest speaker at Cardozo Law School, Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi. Dr. Abdulhadi is a professor who has supported violence by inviting students to meet with terrorists and even praised those who hijacked planes and held innocent civilians as hostages.

Letter from Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University on blocking a terrorist supporter from speaking on campus, March 15, 2022.

The decision to bar a promoter of violence should be both easy and popular. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Abdulhadi is a professor of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University. In that role, she invited a member of a terrorist group to speak to her class and reportedly spoke in favor of the violent actions the speaker advocates.

That guest speaker was Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a US State Department designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Khaled was the first female hijacker of a plane in 1969, and then again in 1970. She continues to argue for violence not only against Israel, but “Americans, and in general, the West, which supports Israel.

Regardless of her position – or in support of such sentiment – Abdulhadi says that “Khaled is a Palestinian feminist icon.

Abdulhadi is not alone. Universities around the United States are happy to have terrorists and their supporters inculcate young minds, at least when it comes to attacking Zionists.

University of California Merced hosting Palestinian terrorist on April 23, 2021

Rasmea Odeh is another female Palestinian terrorist member of the PFLP who has a university following. Odeh was involved in the bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket before the Purim holiday in 1969 which killed two Hebrew University students. Unperturbed, Northwestern University hosted Odeh in 2017 in an event hosted by the comically-named, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP at DePaul University held a fund-raiser for Odeh, and several Harvard Law School groups also support Odeh.

While American universities are embracing Palestinian terrorists who continue to advocate for violence, some Europeans have started to push back.

The Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam shuttered the Verrekijker Center after it hosted an event with Odeh in 2018, from which reporters for the Jewish Dutch weekly, NIW, were refused entrance. Germany blocked Odeh from speaking in Berlin in 2019 citing the Residence Act, which states that the political activity of a foreigner can be restricted if it endangers the peaceful coexistence of different groups or public security.

Promoting violence is never protected by free speech, no matter what The New York Times informs its readership. It is a sad state of affairs, that one has to admire and congratulate Yeshiva University’s stand against the advocates for terrorism, in a world unmoored from basic principles of civil society.

Related articles:

Is Columbia University Promoting Violence Against Israel and Jews?

Courageous Jews On Hostile Campuses

‘The Maiming of the Jew’

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

NY Times Considers Notion That Terrorism Against Israel is a Matter of Free Speech

The January 22, 2021 article (24th in the print edition) in The New York Times “What Zoom Does to Campus Conflicts Over Israel and Free Speech” could have been an interesting discussion about the ongoing role of big media companies and censorship. Remarkably, the Times opted to tackle an easy and extreme case – the dissemination of terrorist propaganda and calls for violence – and decided the answer was sure, if the target is Israel.

The opening sentences of the article made it clear that the author understood the subject to be used as a foil in the discussion:

“Leila Khaled is a two-time hijacker, a member of a Palestinian group on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. So it came as a shock to Javier Cohen, a senior at New York University, to find her speaking on an N.Y.U. webinar last semester.

From such factual clarity, it is frightening that the Times would follow:

In a conflict that has divided campuses in recent years, here was a new dimension: A commercial technology company [Zoom], under pressure from pro-Israel groups, was controlling content at a major American university.

We’re usually not in the position of having campus speech being adjudicated by outside agents,” said [NYU Professor] Mr. Ross, arguing that criticism of Israel was being labeled anti-Semitism. “But Zoom is in the position of doing that right now. ”

This is preposterous and incendiary. Saying that pro-Israel groups are shutting down “content” through the guise of charges of “anti-Semitism” completely misses the mark that the university invited a terrorist who calls for violence onto the college square on the basis of free speech. In no civilized society does free speech cover such activity. To blame the target of the vitriol for shutting down discussion adds to the delusion and reeks of fanning more anti-Semitism.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had written about Leila Khaled a few months ago when she was due to speak at San Francisco State University (SFSU):

“In some anti-Israel circles, PFLP terrorists Leila Khaled and Rasmea Odeh have drawn particular admiration. Leila Khaled took part in the hijacking of two civilian aircraft in 1969 and 1970. In recent interviews, she has remained unrepentant for her role in the hijackings and continues to hold the view that the Palestinian national movement is justified in using all means of resistance, including armed struggle.”

At the same time in September 2020, Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr outlining the criminal charges that should be brought against SFSU which had invited Khaled and possibly the technology companies like Zoom for hosting such discussions which “appeared to be [for the purpose of] the promotion of the PFLP’s [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] terrorist agenda to a wider audience.

While the Times did not quote the ADL or Lamborn’s letter, it seemed to acknowledge the issue of promoting terrorism but then it quickly shifted gears back to anti-Israel free speech:

“A spokeswoman for Zoom, Colleen Rodriguez, said Ms. Khaled’s association with a terrorist group violated the company’s terms of service. The company also banned three other colleges’ webinars featuring Ms. Khaled.

As schools around the country have shifted to virtual learning, the battles over Israel and the Palestinian territories — with opponents accusing one another of anti-Semitism or suppressing free speech — have migrated with the technology, evolving from campus demonstrations and fliers to social media and Zoom.”

It is as though the article was written by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in acknowledging the problem of promoting terrorism but then excusing it as a matter of “suppressing free speech.” The article would go on for another 37 paragraphs – three pages including large color pictures – about whether criticism of Israel is a matter of free speech.

The 2,000-word article ended with an exchange that suggested the public square deserved to hear from Leila Khaled:

“The history is “messy,” he said, with “justice on both sides, and injustice on both sides.”

“Even without remote learning, students have little incentive to see the other view and strong support for hardening their own side’s.

“Mr. Stern said, mildly, “That makes conversations very difficult.””

One cannot imagine that the Times would go to such lengths to defend a university inviting a member of al-Qaeda onto campus to discuss the evils of the United States and its desire to continue an armed struggle against the western world. Maybe an alt-left university in California or New York would entertain a member of ISIS delivering a lecture under the banner of the university but hopefully law enforcement would shut it down.

The New York Times spent considerable ink over this past week saying that the new Biden Administration will help unify the country. That will only happen if he sends the attorney general and law enforcement after the alt-left universities and media companies like The New York Times which continue to promote terrorism and terrorists.


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Flip-Flopping on the Felling of Terrorist Groups’ Founders

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For The New York Times, “From the River to the Sea” Is The Chant of Jewish and Christian Zealots

Even The New York Times Needs to Fire David Halbfinger

CNN Sanitizes Palestinian Car Ramming Terrorism

NY Times Will Not Write About Arab Pogroms

Every Picture Tells a Story: Have Israel and the US Advanced Peace?

The New York Times wants the military to defeat terrorists (but not Hamas)

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