Posted: 2/16/2010 2:29:00 PM
Author: SPME Board of Directors
Source: This statement appeared on the SPME Faculty Forum on Feb.. 16, 2010.
SCHOLARS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST STATEMENT OF CONCERN FOR INSTITUTIONAL CIVILITY AND THE PRESERVATION OF FREE SPEECH ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES
by SPME Board of Directors, Approved February 11, 2010
There has been a recent upsurge of public attacks upon, and disruptions of, Israeli diplomats and scholars, as they seek to present their views in the “marketplace of ideas” and at institutions traditionally committed to the preservation of free speech. Recent events at the University of California-Irvine, Oxford University, York University, and Cambridge University have targeted these speakers in the most racist and hostile terms, and have seriously damaged these universities’ right to call themselves “institutions of higher learning”.
We believe that the failure to prevent such disruptions and the feeble response to them after the fact is cause for deep concern. Speaking for academics worldwide, the Board of Directors of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (representing nearly 30,000 faculty worldwide) strongly condemns these calculated and venomous acts.
The SPME Board also urges the presidents and leadership of these universities (and all others) to strongly condemn these actions and to prosecute offenders to the full extent that their institutional policies and community legal standards will allow for. The SPME Board believes that such incitement deserves indictment.
We also urge university officials worldwide to adopt the principles outlined in The Civility Project (http://www.civilityproject.org/ ), and to make the “Civility Pledge” a requirement for all their faculty and students:
I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.
I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them.
I will stand against incivility when I see it.
Approved, SPME Board of Directors, 2.11.10