In response to my previous posting regarding speech and limits on speech, an interesting article with a different approach, by Liel Lebovitzwas passed on to me.
Below is an excerpt that has his essential points, with a link to the full article following:
"...some of my dearest friends and many
others I greatly admire and respect—signed up to join Open Hillel’s
academic advisory board, supporting the nascent organization’s
commitment to allowing even Israel’s fiercest critics to speak in front
of Jewish groups on campus, something that Hillel itself opposes. Too
often, this debate between Hillels, open and otherwise, is portrayed as a
referendum on free speech and tolerance, with the parent organization
accused of blocking out difficult and unpalatable opinions rather than
having the courage to listen, reason, and discuss. The truth, however,
is grimmer and more difficult to resolve.
Hillel’s refusal to allow BDS
activists to address its members isn’t an act of censorship—one, after
all, hardly lacks safe spaces for Israeli-hating on college campuses
these days—but the rational, even obvious, course of action. Just as you
wouldn’t expect a gay student group to invite a practitioner of gay
conversion therapy to give a talk, say, or a black student group to
welcome a white supremacist arguing for the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education,
so you shouldn’t be surprised when a Jewish student group refuses to
let in those who ignore all of the world’s evils and all of Israel’s
virtues to insist that Palestinian nationalism be lauded while its
Jewish counterpart be banned.
Why, then, do so many smart, sensible people solidly support Open
Hillel? Maybe because sensible and smart folks have a very hard time
dealing in absolutes. To declare that something is irredeemably evil and
something else good is a failure not only of the imagination but also
of the moral instinct, which, like every good compass, is only worth a
damn if it is able to capture the tiniest shifts in direction.
is true until, sadly, it is not: There are some moments, rare and
arduous, in which our survival depends on our ability to clearly tell
black from white. These moments offer little nuance, a dearth of depth,
none of the pleasures a well-trained mind expects when it inspects the
folds of a complex situation. These moments don’t call for
disquisitions; they demand action, a decisive move that defines us
against those who wish us real ill. This is why we oughtn’t indulge
supporters of the BDS movement in dialogue but fight them with any means
at our disposal...."