The Jewish Voice for Peace group has been making news with its protest over the banning of Bishop Desmond Tutu as a speaker at the St Thomas University in Minnesota
From their newletter
Your letters about Tutu are making the news! Read the Jerusalem Post. Listen to a live conversation between JVP's Mitchell Plitnick and Steven Walt about the Israel Lobby this Wednesday, Oct 10, 10-11 am PST on
Also read JVP's Cecilie Surasky's recent op-ed in the Fort Worth Star-Tribune, Dissenting at your own risk.
Chicago, Oct 12: In Defense of Academic Freedom
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago.
What is the nature of the assault on academic freedom by organizations mobilized to suppress criticism of Israel's policies? This one-day symposium features targeted scholars affected by controversy and pressure within academia and the publishing industry. Chair: Tariq Ali (Verso Books). Participants: Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University), Noam Chomsky (MIT, emeritus), Tony Judt (Remarque Institute, NYU), John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago), Neve Gordon (Ben Gurion University), Norman Finkelstein (formerly DePaul University) and Mehrene Larudee (DePaul University).
Co-sponsored by JVP-Chicago, DePaul Academic Freedom Committee, and others. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
It appears from all the reports that the root of the problem in the St Thomas case was "political correctness" on the part of the university authorities -- fear of offending the "religious right". The Jewish religious right put no pressure on the university to cancel Tutu's visit. Rather the president of the university, Fr Dennis Dease, asked members of the religious right if they would be offended, and when they said they would he decided, on his own initiative, to cancel the visit.
As a result of the efforts of Jewish Voice for Peace, however, Fr Dease has received more than 1800 e-mails asking him to change his mind.