A Texas college has banned a Jewish group from campus after the group posted fliers tying a pro-Palestinian student group to terrorism.
One flier hung by the Horowitz Center demonstrated the ties between Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the terrorist group Hamas. SJP is funded by American Muslims for Palestine, which was founded by individuals who, as part of yet another group, donated $12.4 million to Hamas, according to The Stanford Review. Another flier displayed quotes from SJP activists, such as “how many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough” from Nancy Salem, a former University of Texas, Arlington student.
“The David Horowitz Freedom Center is now officially instructed to cease and desist any illegal or unauthorized activities on the UTSA campuses,” UTSA interim chief legal officer John Danner informed the group in an early April letter, claiming that the Center violated the school’s handbook of operating procedures. “You are barred and forbidden from entering or remaining on any UTSA properties. If any member of your organization returns, they are subject to arrest.”
UTSA’s chief communications officer, Joe Izbrand, elaborated on the decision while speaking with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“University policy (UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures, Sections 9.09 and 9.37) prohibits groups and individuals unaffiliated with the university from engaging in expressive activities at UTSA, including the placement of flyers on campus, regardless of their political association or point of view,” Izbrand explained to TheDCNF. “The action taken in this matter was in response to a posting policy violation.”
Nearly a week earlier, the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Students Association issued a joint condemnation of the Horowitz Center’s fliers.
“The flyers posted are blatantly racist and Islamophobic,” insisted the groups. “The desire to spread this kind of slander and hate against SJP is not rooted in a genuine interest to protect Jewish people. Instead, Palestine activists are labeled ‘anti-Semites’ for legitimate criticisms against the human rights violations and injustices committed by the state of Israel.”
The free speech nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) assigns UTSA a yellow-light rating, which it gives to educational institutions with at least one nebulous policy that can be abused by administrators.
“Some federal courts have drawn a distinction between students and non-students in determining the extent of a public university’s ability to regulate campus speech, allowing greater restrictions upon non-student speech,” FIRE’s senior vice president of legal and public advocacy Will Creeley told TheDCNF. “That said, speakers must not be banned from public institutions because of their viewpoint, and students and faculty must have the freedom to peacefully engage, protest, or ignore them. Restrictions on non-student speech should be limited and must be enforced equally, without regard to the viewpoint expressed.”
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