Dozens of organizations are urging the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to withdraw its name from an anti-Israel event, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Some 80 groups have a signed a letter warning that the May 4 event will “incite animosity toward supporters of Israel, including Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus,” according to a report by Breaking Israel News,
The groups include the American Truth Project, American Values, Endowment for Middle East Truth, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Israel Project and Eagles Wings.
The emailed letter contends the event, “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, & the Battle for Palestinian Rights,” violates the university’s mission.
“Although we recognize that the event itself is protected by the First Amendment, we believe that its departmental sponsorship constitutes an unacceptable violation of the university’s academic mission, will encourage acts of political motivated aggression and violence on your campus, and is a fundamental breach of the public trust.
“We call on you to rescind all university sponsorship of this event and to assure us that in the future, UMass faculty will not be permitted to use the university’s name or resources to promote their personal political agendas at the expense of academic integrity and the safety and well-being of UMass students.”
The letter warns: “This is not an educational event but a political rally. Rather than aiming to promote an understanding of a highly contentious and polarizing issue by including speakers with a variety of perspectives, this event includes speakers with only one extremely partisan perspective and clearly aims to promote a political cause and encourage political action.
“Providing the imprimatur of three academic departments to such a politically motivated and directed event violates the core academic mission of the university, suppresses student expression and impedes the free exchange of ideas so essential for any university.”
The letter was organized by the NGO Media Education Foundation and its executive director, Sut Jhally, who teaches at the university.