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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 21, 2002

Harvard shifts stance on speaker

The disinvited Irish poet re-invited as Harvard English Dept argues Free Speech issue. Would make Exra Pound, well -known nut anti-semite poet pleased.
arvard University's English department, in a surprising reversal, has reinvited writer Tom Paulin to give a poetry reading on campus, one week after English professors and Paulin canceled the event because of complaints over Paulin's statements that Brooklyn-born Jewish settlers in Israel were ''Nazis'' who ''should be shot dead.''

After an intense two-hour discussion Tuesday evening that Harvard poet Jorie Graham said was marked by ''profound, acute scrutiny and self-scrutiny,'' English professors voted overwhelmingly to ask Paulin again to deliver Harvard's prestigious Morris Gray Lecture, and thereby defend the department against charges it had damaged free speech at Harvard.

''Free speech was a principle that needed upholding here,'' English professor Peter Sacks said yesterday. ''This was a clear reaffirmation that the department stood strongly by the First Amendment.''
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