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

April 11, 2003

Palestinian writer's speech draws debate at U. Florida


I have no quarrel with Ramzy Baroud giving a pro-Palestinian speech at the University of Florida, but take a moment and do a search on this guy's writings and you will see he is a leading anti-Israeli writer in the arab media.
(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Before a Palestinian-American journalist could address a crowd of about 90 people, a group of University of Florida students gathered outside the building to protest his speech.
Ramzy Baroud addressed the audience in the New Engineering Building auditorium as part of Divestment Awareness Week, sponsored by Nakba '48.

But protestors stood outside passing out a yellow sheet that included material taken from Baroud's work and a blue sheet with headlines and quoted material from various articles disputing his reports.

"I'm concerned because there's a growing amount of anti-Semitism on our campus -- there's a growing amount of lies and hate speech," UF sophomore Samantha Orshan said. "This speaker has been known in the past to advance that hate. He's an advocate of violence, and we don't need that on our campus."

Orshan was one of about 12 students passing out fliers. Political science sophomore Ariel Stein led the protestors. Stein is president of Gators for Israel, but she was not acting in her official capacity, Orshan said.

"Ramzy Baroud has made open comments in open publications that can be found easily blaming Jews around the world and in Washington for the war in Iraq," Stein said. "He supports the use of violence on Israeli citizens and Jews in Israel. He's probably going to sugarcoat a lot of what he says inside." [more]