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Readers accept the invitation

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Shaarey Zedek synagogue disinvited U of M president David Barnard from speaking at a Holocaust remembrance service because the university allowed Israel Apartheid Week events on campus. Our readers took that as an invitation to exercise their right to free speech.


Another example of castigating someone when his public stance, which is governed by public rules and policies, does not coincide with what their personal views might be. A form of bullying designed to muzzle views that may not agree with what Shaarey Zedek would like you to believe.

-- Qudsi


This IAW is nothing but poorly camouflaged anti-Semitism. They are a stain on any university that hosts them.

-- 23730947


They reflect my own views, which favour a single, non-sectarian state in Palestine with equal rights for all residents regardless of race or religion. Kind of the same as my position on every nation-state. So take your charges of anti-Semitism and stick them up your right-wing ideology.

-- dehall


By revoking his invitation, some people will now wonder about whether or not the claims about Israel's human rights record hold water or not.

Also, it appears the synagogue is using the Holocaust as a shield to deflect IAW's claims about Israel.

No doubt, these are the types of issues that some visitors to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be interested in.

-- WpgTriniman


"... Because it complied with both the law and with university policies, the U of M had no choice."

Here's an idea for the U of M. Come up with a policy that bans racist events that promote hatred toward any identifiable group.

Somehow I can't imagine that the U of M would use the same logic to defend allowing a KKK rally on campus.

-- 23539022


Synagogues and other Jewish organizations are free to try to pressure the university to break the law by banning a group from exercising its right to free speech. In view of the strong feelings about Israel, it is not surprising they would do so.

What is dismaying is how apologetic university administrators are about the existence of free speech on a campus.

It's like they really, really wish they didn't have to allow unpopular views on campus, but dang it, there's this stuff called human rights, so their hands are tied.

Remember when freedom of expression was a fundamental value of universities?

-- Spence Furby


Apparently, according to some, the free expression of ideas on campus is to be fully supported, but a private institution like the Shaarey Zedek ought to be criticized for expressing its views by exercising its right to withdraw an invitation. No shortage of inconsistency or hypocrisy here.

-- LeighHalprin


I see this as a legitimate pressure tactic by an interest group. Nothing wrong with it. Kudos to Barnard for supporting the principle of open discussion and debate on a college campus.

-- luvstb


Shaarey Zedek is free to invite or disinvite whomever they choose. If that's because they wish to protest against an organization or event they disagree with, such is their right.

Barnard is right to allow IAW on the U of M campus. Yes, it's critical of Israeli government policy, but since when does criticizing a government's policies amount to hate speech? Are the people who criticize Harper, Selinger or other Canadian politicians being anti-Canadian?

Or does everything that doesn't entirely embrace without question every aspect of Israeli policy all of a sudden become anti-Semitism?

-- Family Guy

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 4, 2014 A10

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