Princeton University has cancelled a speaking event by three former Middle East terrorists because it says that the use of the word "terrorist" in the promotion for the event is "too inflammatory."
Two of the three self-described former terrorists were members of the PLO. Each of them apparently converted to Christianity. Here is the must-read story of one of the group, Walid Shoebat, who is now an ardent Zionist.
Meanwhile, another former PLO member is likely to be named a full professor:
As detailed in Campus Watch Rashid Khalidi is trying to weasel out of having worked for the PLO:
Mr. Khalidi dismisses the allegation that he served as a PLO spokesman, saying, "I often spoke to journalists in Beirut, who usually cited me without attribution as a well-informed Palestinian source. If some misidentified me at the time, I am not aware of it."
Here is another corroborating quote about being a PLO employee from the New York Times (February 19, 1978) that is not widely known because of an alternate spelling of the last name:
If the Israelis had any brains they could neutralize Palestinian irredentism just by giving back the West Bank," asserted Rashid Khalidy, an American-educated Palestinian who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut and also works for the P.L.O. "It would split us."
Khalidi and Khalidy are clearly the same person. According to the Columbia Spectator, he was a professor at the American University in Beirut before his first stint at Columbia:
Khalidi came to Columbia in 1985 after teaching at Lebanese University and American University in Beirut. He has taught in political science and history departments.
According to the New York Times, the Columbia Khalidi seems to have known Arafat from that time period:
Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American professor at the University of Chicago who has known Mr. Arafat since the 1970's, said he visited Mr. Arafat recently and found him battered not only by the Israeli siege that confined him to his headquarters here but also by the recent calls for reform.
Khalidi should come clean about his terrorist connections. Here is what Khalidi's employer did a few weeks after his Times interview:
On March 11, 1978 eleven terrorists, again coming from Lebanon with Zoadic rubber commando dinghies, landed at the beach of Kibbutz Ma?agan Michael. They killed an American photographer and a taxi driver and hijacked a bus, whose passengers, including many children, were on a day-trip to the north. The hijackers forced the driver to return to Tel Aviv. Driving on the coastal highway, the terrorists fired on passing cars from the bus.
When the bus approached a blockade set up by the police at an entrance to Tel Aviv, a shootout took place. The terrorists left the bus and fired missiles. The bus burst into flames and most of the passengers were either burned alive or killed by terrorist gunfire.
The massacre left 35 innocent people dead and 100 injured. The terrorists were identified as belonging to Fatah; nine were killed and two captured.
I have not been so embarrassed by my alma mater since Princeton hired Peter Singer, a proponent of the legalization of infanticide and bestiality, as a professor of bioethics in a decision unanimously endorsed by the Trustees.
(Big hat tip: Michael S.)
Update: The Daily Princetonian claims the event was not cancelled, only postponed, and that a serious argument occured between the head of the student group hosting the event and Walid Shoebat's representative. Unfortunately for the Mr. Shoebat, the head of the student group also happens to be a news editor of the school newspaper. The newspaper's account of the incident paints Shoebat's organization in an extremely negative light, contrary to what I know about him. (Hat tip: Patrick D. O'Brien)
Update 2: I just spoke to Keith Davies, Walid Shoebat's representative, for his side of the story. According to him, the lecture was approved three weeks ago by the Dean and the Head of Public Safety and that he received official notification from the school that the event was approved. Shoebat has spoken on college campuses before and Davies warned the student organizations that a pattern had emerged where left-leaning administrations have tried to quash his speeches by pressuring the students.
According to Davies, that is exactly what has happened in this case. Princeton's Communication Director led the effort to censor the event, and the students capitulated.
Davies denies the claim by the Princetonian story that the event was only postponed and not cancelled. According to Davies he was told this directly by the Dean who said that without a contract, there would be no event.
I should note that I witnessed the pattern of Jewish student leadership capiltulation a number of times first-hand when I was at Princeton. The Jewish student organizations were generally allergic to controversy. For example, Rabbi Meir Kahane (who was later assassinated in what many regard as the first American strike of the Global Jihad) delivered a heavily attended pro-Israel and pro-Judaism speech without the endorsement of any Jewish organization. Another large pro-Israel and pro-Judaism speech by a popular Princeton student (Yoram Hazony) had to be hosted by a non-Jewish group in the end because of its potential controversy. Yoram is now a best-selling author and founder of Israel's leading think tank, the Shalem Center. At the time, Yoram and I were co-authors of a one-page bulletin containing pro-Jewish and pro-Israel quotes by the likes of Mark Twain and Herman Wouk, as well as general and campus news clippings (similar to this blog) that we started mailing monthly to Jewish students. It had to be shut down after the first few editions because of attacks by much of the Jewish student leadership because of the potential offense that students might take over the unwelcome Jewish intrusion into their lives and the potential that some non-Jewish student might inadvertently receive a mailing.
Also, a reliable, but anonymous reader noted that the pattern of timidity among the Princeton Jewish student groups was also true at Harvard.
Update 4: A student representative contacted IRIS to emphasize that their objection is to the behavior of Shoebat's assistant, not to Shoebat himself, and that their side of the story has been written in a press release found in "many places" on the Web. Neither I nor my correspondents can seem to locate it.
Update 6: I can now reveal that the lecture will be going ahead as scheduled, but off-campus instead. It will be held at the Princeton Radisson Hotel this Thursday at 7:30 pm.
Update 7: The student group (PIPAC) appears to be telling two falsehoods about the reasons for cancellation. This is particularly serious given the personal nature of the attacks against Walid Shoebat's representatives, and the conflict of interest in that the head of PIPAC had her side of the argument appear in the newspaper in which she is a news editor. This connection was not even mentioned in the print version of the newspaper.
Here are excerpts from the student group's public statement, along with contradictions from an e-mail IRIS obtained which were sent by Keith Davies, head of the Walid Shoebat Foundation, to a PIPAC representative on Oct. 20 regarding his intentions for the event.
I, of course, am submitting this to PIPAC representatives for their response. I am requesting a copy of all e-mails so that the context can be fully preserved.
PIPAC: "The goal of PIPAC for this event was to bring a pro-Israel voice to Princeton?s campus and further the campus discussion of current issues in the Middle East. The Foundation did not communicate their intention to hold an event much larger in scale."
Foundation: "you will need...to get a venue provisionally allocated that holds at least 1000 people...There also must be permission for non students to attend freely. We also need to permission to bring full camera crew to film the event, this will include 6 people."
PIPAC: "The Foundation intentionally misled PIPAC concerning their plan to generate national media attention."
Foundation: "Our approach is to BE CONTROVERSIAL ! so the media will focus on our message....You should also arrange the week before to have a temporary press office on campus as well as Press releases which need to be made to the local, national and international press in the days running up to the event. I hope to have the budget to employ a PR firm just for the event who can help create the huge buzz we want to create."
This appears to lend support to the Foundation's story that the University pressured PIPAC to stop the event and PIPAC made up a pretext for the cancellation to save face. Of course, appearances can be deceiving, emails can be taken out of context and misunderstandings can occur, so be sure to check back here, because this entry will be frequently updated.
Update 8: Here is coverage of Thursday's speech from the Star Tribune (not much new here).
Update 10: A press conference has just been announced for 6 pm today, Dec. 8, at the Radisson Hotel in Princeton (4355 Route 1 at Ridge Road) for the 3 Ex-Terrorists. The lecture will follow at the hotel at 7:30 pm. An IRIS representative will be at the hotel if anyone is interested in meeting there.
Update 11: The students' organization (PIPAC) has not responded to my e-mail or phone offers to rebut my evidence of yesterday that they were spreading untruths. At this point one can draw only one conclusion.
Update 12: A senior member of PIPAC has finally replied, essentially admitting the substance of the censorship charge on the part of the University. I am sympathetic to the uncomfortable position the students are in primarily due to positive intentions, but I cannot refrain from reporting the truth given that apparently unfair personal charges have been made against Davies.
The student admitted a high level of anger and upset over the cancellation and fought hard against the University against it, but eventually was convinced that the administration's motives were logistical and not ideological. I agree with Davies on this point that this is probably youthful naivete, particularly given that Davies credibly claims he was told explicitly that it was cancelled for being "too inflammatory."
The student additionally confirmed PIPAC's statement that the e-mail that I quoted earlier was not taken seriously because it sounded too grandiose. This is not fair, however. The statement specifically states that "The Foundation intentionally misled PIPAC concerning their plan to generate national media attention" It does not say "they told us they planned to generate national media attention but we didn't take them seriously so we were unpleasantly surprised when it happened."
Additionally, I have investigated and find their charge of anti-Semitism on the part of the Foundation and specifically Keith Davies, to be likely false. My conclusions are that Davies and the Shoebat Foundation are the polar opposite of anti-Semitic. They are literally risking their lives for the sake of repairing their earlier genocidal hatred of Jews and non-Muslims.
The Princeton students are likely infected with the prevailing zeitgeist of racial hypersensivity on college campuses. They probably reacted to some negative generalizations about Jews that the Jewish Davies has said. Davies admitted reacting with anger after the students reneged, citing what he claims was administration pressure. While it is undiplomatic, it is wildly unfair to term this "anti-Semitic."
Earlier I had written about the school newspaper's account of an argument to which an editor was a party. My student contact stated that the editor took precautions to prevent bias, which I believe.
Update 13: I have just shaken the hand of someone who has killed 223 men. My live report from the event is here.
Welcome new readers. Here are some of my best previous entries:
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IRIS blog has much more on Princeton's cancellation of Walid Shoebat and friends, as well as commentary of their potential recruiting of Columbia's Rashid Khalidi. (via Roger L. Simon): Princeton Censors Ex-PLO Speakers; Likely to Hire PLO Professor...
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At <strike>rutgers</strike> princeton
It's too controversial to have ex-terrorists speak. But not to hire a professor of terror. UPDATE: Whoops I botched the title. Thanks for the comments. Technorati Tags: terror, PLO. Crossposted on Israpundit and Soccer Dad....
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Ex-terrorists have no free speech
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Reporting Live from the Princeton Ex-Terrorist Event
The full context of this story is here: Princeton Censors Ex-PLO Speakers; Likely to Hire PLO Professor
I am currently at the Princeton Radisson press conference with the three ex-terrorists (Walid Shoebat, Zak Anani and Ibrahim Abadallah).
It is c
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Yale: Taliban Accepted, ROTC Rejected
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The Princeton student group originally responsible for bringing Mr. Shoebat to campus has released a statement explaining our side of the events; find it elsewhere if you can, it is widely available. I'd like to emphasize that all our complaints are directed at Mr. Davies, an extremely difficult man to work with to say the least, and not Mr. Shoebat.
Princeton student group officer
From my own friends (in that circle) I have heard that Mr. Davies is in fact rather difficult to deal with and quite often turns off many people to him.
That doesn't mean the student account in the newspaper is in part or total accurate or that they did not capitulate to the school's impulse to deny these speakers their free right to speak, but this commenter's opinion is not surprising nonetheless.
Supposedly Mr. Davies controls Mr. Shoebat's affairs from top to bottom as well.
Apparently the Shoebat lecture has been rescheduled to take place at the Radisson on Rte 1. Since the hotel couldn't confirm, I'm trying to find out.
Princeton Student Group Officer, if you could link to your site, it'd be very helpful since it is not apparent where one can find it, even after a google. All I could find was this http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2005/12/06/news/14034.shtml