In the wake of her bipartisan censure by the U.S. House of Representatives for saying that the Biden administration 'supports genocide' in Gaza, a planned speech by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was canceled by Arizona State University (ASU).
The censure, introduced by Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA), accused Tlaib of promoting false narratives about Hamas' attacks on Israel and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel. Notably, 22 Democrats joined the majority of Republicans, while four Republicans voted against it on free speech grounds.
While ASU didn't point to the censure, the timing couldn't be more obvious. Instead, the university on Friday told The Center Square (via Just the News) that her speech wouldn't happen on school grounds because the group organizing the event failed to adhere to proper protocols.
"Organizers of events using ASU facilities must be properly registered with ASU and must meet all university requirements for crowd management, parking, security, and insurance," said a spokesperson. "In addition, the events must be produced in a way which minimizes disruption to academic and other activities on campus. The event featuring Congresswoman Tlaib was planned and produced by groups not affiliated with ASU and was organized outside of ASU policies and procedures."
Tlaib, the first Palestinian American woman in Congress, has been a vocal critic of the Israeli government. The clip which got her in hot water shows pro-Palestine protesters chanting "from the river to the sea" - a refrain which Tlaib described as "an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate."
Tlaib defended her position on the House floor, stating that her criticism was solely directed at the Israeli government and arguing that labeling such criticism as antisemitic sets a dangerous precedent.
I am the only Palestinian American serving in Congress, and my perspective is needed here now more than ever. I will not be silenced and I will not let anyone distort my words.— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) November 7, 2023
I’m from Detroit, where I learned to speak truth to power, even if my voice shakes. pic.twitter.com/bXhGPCcKat
The canceled ASU event was planned by groups opposing Israel's military actions against Hamas and was expected to address issues pertinent to the Palestinian perspective.
In response to the university's decision, Students for Justice in Palestine at ASU, one of the event's sponsors, criticized the university for stifling free speech and Palestinian voices on campus. The cancellation and the surrounding events highlight the ongoing and complex debate surrounding free speech, academic freedom, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States.
"Rashida Tlaib must be heard on campus as the only Palestinian member of Congress who plans to speak on an American issue at this event," the group stated. "ASU cannot claim to hold free speech as a principle while denying Palestinians their voices on campus."
Amazing how quickly the left starts eating its own when one of them attempts free speech contradicting establishment orthodoxy, eh?