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The battle for free speech is the front line battle in the defense of the West against the totalitarian jihad being waged by political Islam. This was manifest in the rejection by the ironically named Daily Free Press of a pro-Israel ad from the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The Daily Free Press is the “student” newspaper at Boston University and the rejected ad featured the Freedom Center’s “Palestinian Wall of Lies,” a document that refutes the audacious falsehoods that form the jihadists’ case against the Jewish state.
The “Palestinian Wall of Lies” ad was timed to coincide with Boston University’s Israel Apartheid Week, an event organized by Students for Justice in Palestine which is a front group for the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the planned events are the erection of an “Apartheid Wall” featuring the standard lie that Palestine (there has never been such an entity since Roman times) is “occupied” by the Jewish state. In fact, the Jewish state occupies the ruins of the former Turkish empire (the Turks are neither Arabs nor Palestinians). The Boston University hate week also features a speech by Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization, and an event with Noam Lekach and Elinor Amit from a group called “Anarchists Against the Wall” which regularly holds protests against the border fence in the West Bank of Israel which was erected to keep suicide bombers out. It has reduced Palestinian terrorist attacks against Jews by over 90% which leftists at Boston U and other schools evidently want to see resumed. The group also protests what they term “land theft, violence, separation and occupation” – all favored propaganda terms of the left to support the claims of the genocidal terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas.
The Freedom Center’s ad was designed to counter this outrage – no better than having the Hitler Youth parade on the university quad – by confronting these lies with facts. It was submitted to the Daily Free Press on February 24 and was quickly returned with a terse email stating, “Due to the controversial nature of the ad, the Daily Free Press has decided not to run your ad next week.” When pressed for a specific cause for the rejection, the Daily Free Press advertising editor Kathryn Palkovics claimed that “it is not a specific phrase or word that violated our policy, but that the general content may be offensive to our readers belonging to certain religious or ethnic groups.” When the Freedom Center asked whether this rule applied to material offensive to Jews (and therefore to the hate week organized by the left), Palkovics failed to answer.
We have submitted a letter to the Daily Free Press protesting this censorship of pro-Israel viewpoints in its pages. The text of the letter and the correspondence with the editors are reproduced below:
Open Letter to the Boston University Daily Free Press:
On February 25th, we submitted an ad to your paper based on our “Palestinian Wall of Lies,” a campaign designed to address and refute frequently-told lies about the state of Israel. The same ad has been submitted to and accepted by other campus papers including the UCLA Daily Bruin.
The Daily Free Press rejected our ad on the spurious ground that it offends the religious and ethnic sensibilities of some of its readers. We know it is spurious because the editors refused to specify any particular phrase or claim in our ad which was offensive, even after we offered to modify the ad.
The “lies” addressed in the ad are factual and should be considered offensive to no one. For instance, the lie that “Israel Occupies Arab Palestine” explains, “There never was an Arab country called ‘Palestine’ or inhabited by ‘Palestinians’” and “The land on which Israel was created…was land that had belonged to Turkey for 400 years.”
Advertising editor Kathryn Palkovics stated in an email, “Our board discussed your new ad last night and we cannot accept your ‘Wall of Lies’ ad for print as it still violates our advertising policy.” This policy is astonishingly vague and gives the editors leave to reject ads that in their view (however distorted) “promote discrimination against any gender, ethnicity, nationality, religious group or sexual orientation” or “any content deemed patently offensive to the readership.”
David Horowitz, chairman of the Freedom Center, then wrote to Palkovics stating, “As reported by you, the position of your board appears to be a policy to censor any comment critical of policies and/or positions taken by the terrorist organization Hamas, the government of Gaza, or the Palestinian Authority under a general rule that if you have readers who belong to terrorist organizations that happen to be Muslim or Palestinian your paper will not publish anything objectionable to them. Is this the position of your board?”
Palkovic responded that “The Daily Free Press believes the depiction of a Muslim carrying a gun in the background, as well as the text regarding Arabs as rejecting peace, may be offensive not only to Muslim and Arab students, but to our readership as a whole. Jews and Israelis are not excluded from our policy.”
So apparently the editors of the Free Press object to us stating the fact that the Palestinians have rejected peace—not only once but many, many times. The current position of the Palestinian Authority and the government of Gaza is total rejection of the existence of a Jewish state. How can the Israelis make peace with Palestinians who refuse to recognize their right to exist?
To clarify the issues, we removed the graphic of terrorists holding guns in one hand and Korans in the other in a second version of the ad we submitted, which was also rejected. Despite their claims to the contrary, it is clear that the main impetus behind the editors’ rejection of our ad is that they don’t like our point of view and want to suppress it. Such censorship is in direct conflict with the openness and free discourse which should exist on a university campus and particularly at Boston University, which is located in the city where the American Revolution began. It shows just how aggressively the left is conducting its war against our founding principles in its zeal to support the Islamic jihad.
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Record of correspondence:
On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 1:53 PM, Elizabeth Ruiz wrote:
Here is the PDF. We had to send it as a YouSendIt file because it’s too big to attach.
We can either put it on a American Express Card, a Mastercard or you can send the bill to:
David Horowitz Freedom Center
14148 Magnolia Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Please let me know which one is the most convenient for you.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org On Behalf Of Daily Free Press Adv. Dept.
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 3:06 PM
To: Elizabeth Ruiz
Subject: Re: PDF of ad
Due to the controversial nature of the ad, the Daily Free Press has decided not to run your ad next week. I have attached our media kit, which includes our advertising policy. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions about our decision.
On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM, Elizabeth Ruiz wrote:
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