Nir Barkat is the mayor of what is perhaps the most important city in the world, Jerusalem, Israel.
As the mayor of the most fought over, controversial city in the most controversial nation, in the most embattled region in the world, Barkat is no doubt used to being disrespected. However, just because he’s “used” to the treatment doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a breaking point and it seems that he’s finally reached his.
Last year the mayor was scheduled to speak at San Fransisco State University but the school’s liberal leaders decided to allow hateful anti-Semitic protesters to disrupt his speech unabated.
They took no action to ensure his right to speak, and they took no steps to protect his supporters from the evil rhetoric being spewed by the liberal students. This year, Barkat again scheduled a speech at the University and once again he was disrespected by the school, who refused to publicize his speech and then forced him to make his appearance a ticketed event.
Barkat decided that the school was no longer worth his time and canceled the event instead.
At San Francisco State last April, dozens of anti-Israel protesters disrupted my public lecture through intimidation and provocation, vulgarities and incitement that bordered on the anti-Semitic.
Following the incident, President Wong invited me back to the University to provide students the opportunity to learn that they were denied last spring. I felt a moral obligation to return to San Francisco State and share Jerusalem’s progress, challenges, and opportunities.
Unfortunately, the University did not offer the lecture that would provide the kind of healing needed after the assault on free speech last year. Instead, the University offered a ticketed, limited event, and no legitimate effort was made on the part of the University to publicize the lecture. I have decided not to participate.
By failing to provide the necessary public forum and properly publicize my lecture, the University has contributed to the continuing marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state. If I were a representative of any other country, no institution of higher learning would have allowed my speech to be drowned out by protesters inciting violence and then bring me back on campus in a limited, secluded way.
Most importantly, the University’s proposed framework is nothing short of a double standard. The University has demonstrated that they will protect the rights of anti-Israel students to down out diverse voices through violent incitement, while they will not protect the rights of the students to engage in open, robust debate.
I have decided to cancel my lecture tomorrow at San Francisco State University. pic.twitter.com/JNlMPFYGpY
— Mayor Nir Barkat (@NirBarkat) April 5, 2017
Barkat is not a particularly popular figure among the American left. In the past he has criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy, called for the USA to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and encouraged every Israeli citizen to carry a gun.
On Trump possibly moving the embassy to Jerusalem:
On Jerusalem’s people carrying guns: