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Inside Temples of Tolerance

While academics lecture the rest of us about diversity, all is not well in their own temples of tolerance. “There has been a recent upsurge of public attacks upon, and disruptions of, Israeli diplomats and scholars, as they seek to present their views in the ‘marketplace of ideas’ and at institutions traditionally committed to the preservation of free speech,” PR newswire reports. “Recent events at the University of California-Irvine, University of California-Los Angeles, Oxford University, and Cambridge University have targeted these speakers in the most racist and hostile terms, and have seriously damaged these universities’ right to call themselves ‘institutions of higher learning.’”

“We believe that the failure to prevent such disruptions and the feeble response to them after the fact is cause for deep concern,” the scholars argue. “Speaking for academics worldwide, the Board of Directors of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (representing nearly 30,000 faculty worldwide) strongly condemns these calculated and venomous acts.”

“The SPME Board also urges the presidents and leadership of these universities (and all others) to strongly condemn these actions and to prosecute offenders to the full extent that their institutional policies and community legal standards will allow for. The SPME Board believes that such incitement deserves indictment.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [1].