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While thousands of Muslims live in Israel, enjoying the same rights as Jews, no Jew could live in an Arab country without fear.
“And that is a hate act,” he said.
The reason the leftists on campus fear him, Mr. Horowitz said, is because they have no answer for him.
“If you don’t have an answer, it’s best to try to stop the person asking the question,” he said. “But every one of your rights is threatened when a speaker like myself, when an attempt is made to shut me down.”
Students attending Mr. Horowitz’s lecture defended his right to express his views in the proper setting, regardless of people’s feelings about those views.
“Anyone should be allowed to say practically anything,” said junior John Collado. “I’m all about freedom of speech.”
During Mr. Horowitz’s talk, a group that formed in opposition to his visit held their own event, “The Alternative: Empowering our Voices,” on free speech and hate speech, diversity and the campus climate.
The UCSB Respect Coalition, composed of the MSA, American Students for Israel, Queer Student Union, and more than 60 other campus groups, met across the street to discuss diversity and emphasize the need for empathy along with free speech.
Students wore buttons that said, “I Stand Against Hate.”
They filled Embarcadero Hall to capacity, packing more than 250 students in to hear from a panel that included Elizabeth Robinson, the Associated Students’ director for media; Mr. Bazzano, MSA spokesman and doctoral student; Rabbi Evan Goodman, director of Santa Barbara Hillel; George Lipsitz, a professor of black studies at UCSB; and Paul Amar, an associate professor of global and international studies.
Some students told the News-Press they came because they were curious about the opposition to Mr. Horowitz, while others said they came for extra credit. Still others came in solidarity with the coalition’s message of diversity and tolerance.
Ahmed Mostafa, the external vice president for the Associated Students, said he felt the event was “absolutely incredible,” and that the unity between such diverse groups who may otherwise disagree was a testament to what the campus can do.
Max Samarov, secretary of American Students for Israel, agreed, saying the groups supported real dialogue.
“The MSA doesn’t deserve the way it was attacked, at all,” he said.
“The Alternative” was intended to promote dialogue, something speakers claimed was absent from Mr. Horowitz’s talk. It was also intended to teach students how to defend themselves against hate speech.
Matt Borasi, vice president of the College Republicans, said the College Republicans chose Mr. Horowitz precisely because they hoped his talk would provide an opportunity for students’ views to be challenged, as well as for them to challenge the speaker’s views.
“He represents a minority ideology that’s not represented on campus,” he said. “He also sparks controversy that encourages people to talk about those ideas.”
* Frontpage thanks our new cartoonist Amir Avni for the graphic representing this article. Amir graduated from Sheridan College with a Bachelor of Animation Degree in 2010 and was awarded a Certificate of Merit by ASIFA-Hollywood in 2009. He is currently finishing his Master’s Degree.
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