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Leftwing Fascism in Santa Cruz

Leftist Campus Fascists strike again

UCSC Backs Islamists, Not Israel

By Leila Beckwith
Santa Cruz Sentinel | March 10, 2004

On Feb. 19, more than 400 people — faculty, students and members of the community from as far north as Berkeley and as far south as Monterey — attended a current-events lecture on the UC Santa Cruz campus given by Dennis Prager, a national columnist and radio talk-show host. The lecture was organized by a collaborative effort from a group of UCSC faculty, students and community members in order to address the imbalance of ideas presented on the UCSC campus over many years.

Prager spoke of the distortion of reality about Israel and the Middle East that is presented on college campuses. Many faculty of American universities, including UCSC, are leftist politically, which leads them to be anti-Israel. Prager’s message was that leftist faculty on university campuses purport to believe in diversity, freedom of religion, gay rights, women’s rights, environmental protections and non-violence. But they defy their own beliefs in their support of the Palestinian Authority, which is a violent, terrorist political entity with no respect for civil rights. As Prager stated, the Palestinians are immersed in a culture of death in which their goal is the destruction of Israel. Destruction or survival of Israel is the central issue of the conflict, not borders or territory or statehood.

For many years, there has been a steady stream of anti-Israel speakers on the UCSC campus, with many of the speakers funded by the university out of your tax money. Ten university departments, colleges and research groups previously have sponsored anti-Israel speakers and events. When given an opportunity to redress their bias by co-sponsoring the Dennis Prager lecture, all but one refused. Some simply ignored the request; others refused on the grounds that it would "not advance dialogue," as if presenting only one side advances dialogue. It is very telling that two of the colleges that refused to co-sponsor the Prager talk agreed to sponsor a virulently anti-Israel event, organized by the Muslim Student Association, to occur at the same time as the Prager lecture.

You may disagree with Prager, but that is exactly the point. The very essence of a university is the pursuit of truth, fostered by a free marketplace of ideas. As stated in the Principles on Academic Freedom published by the American Association of University Professors, "Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition."

The higher goal of an educational enterprise is that faculty and students examine a diversity of facts and opinion in order to reach the truth.

Unfortunately, the mission of a great institution, such as the University of California, has been hijacked at UCSC by stifling an open, thorough inquiry of a diversity of ideas. As citizens of the state of California, do you want the university to use your money to promulgate a narrow, partisan view and to indoctrinate your children? I do not.

Leila Beckwith, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus at UCLA.

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