Friday, September 12, 2008

Free Speech in Berkeley--Except for Zionists

Berkeley California is where the "Free Speech Movement" originated in the 1960's. Unfortunately, it appears that such ideals are no longer applicable when it comes to pro-Israel speech. The latest evidence for that statement is the defacing of a poster from BlueStar PR in a bus shelter. BlueStarPR, for those who missed our previous post about them, is an innovative firm located in San Francisco that creates novel pro-Israel advertisements--some are political, some are cultural, some are environmental.

In the world of "political correctness", however, pro-Israel sentiments are apparently not acceptable so one of the posters was vandalized by someone with an obvious political agenda. Interestingly, the poster in question showed an Israeli Arab soccer player and discussed coexistence between Jews and Arabs. It wasn't anti-Arab, or defending the occupation of the West Bank, or really in any way political-- except that it supported Israel's existence.

So, as BlueStar points out on its site, "Israel haters apparently think that defacing a poster featuring an Arab athlete advocating coexistence earns them points among liberal college students." Now, there is a possibility that the same people who perpetrated this vandalism would also support the Jewish state if only it would withdraw from the West Bank, right? Then they would have no problem with Israel, right? (Sure, and the sun might rise in the west tomorrow, too).

Natan Sharansky has suggested the town square test for a free society: "If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a "fear society" has finally won their freedom. " But isn't it also true if a peaceful idea cannot be posted without defacement?


  1. New reports of vandalism from Berkeley- the poster was recently defaced with graffiti that clearly crossed the line into anti-Semitism.
    One of the leaders of Students for Just Us in Palestine has a photo of the vandalism on his blog.
    Just in the right place at the right time to document it before it got cleaned up, I guess.
    Forgive me if I don't link to it.

  2. actually the photo appeared first on Tikvah's blog.