The University of Massachusetts-Amherst Resistance Studies Initiative is making headlines for a planned November 12 event titled “Criminalizing Dissent: The Attack on BDS and Pro-Palestinian Speech.” In addition to endorsing the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel movement, the speakers who will be presenting include anti-Semites and even a man who openly sympathizes terrorists.
The founder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, will be Skyped into the event in order to speak with the attendees. Barghouti was barred from entering the U.S. by the Trump administration for defending the killing of innocent Jews. At a 2015 speech in Chicago, Barghouti noted that he was “not ashamed of armed resistance” towards Israel. Barghouti also wrote a book that defended the Second Intifada, a terrorist movement that killed innocent Israeli citizens through 120 suicide bombings.
Furthermore, Barghouti has promoted conspiracy theories in which he stated that the United States and Israel had created the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS in order to justify military intervention in the Middle East, and oppress Muslims.
Barghouti isn’t the only radical speaker that the “Resistance Studies Initiative” wants to host. The most notable speaker on the list is Linda Sarsour, who first gained national attention when she helped organize the leftist Women’s March in 2017. While many on the Left believes that Sarsour is a social and racial justice advocate, she is in fact an anti-Semite. At a speech in 2018, Sarsour criticized anyone who would “humanize” the Israelis. Furthermore, Sarsour believes that Israel has no right to exist and thus there should be a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Chancellor of UMass-Amherst expressed concern about hosting this blatantly anti-Semitic and one-sided event. “The University remains firmly opposed to BDS and to academic boycotts of any kind,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswam said.
However, 120 faculty members wrote an open letter to the Chancellor expressing their unhappiness with the Chancellor’s statement.
The Left will scream and cry that Ben Shapiro and Michael Knowles are too dangerous and should be silenced or banned from speaking on campuses, but if terrorist sympathizers want to come and speak, they see no problem. This is the classic hypocritical double standard of the Left, and emphasizes the importance of conservatives fighting back against the leftist agenda of higher education.