Monday, January 17, 2011

ENS Cancels Hessel Lecture

Stéphane Hessel, a venerable résistant, drafter of the postwar UN declaration of the human rights, and the author of the bestselling pamphlet Indignez-vous! (more than 500,000 copies sold), has been banned from speaking at the École Normale Supérieure of Paris in support of a movement to boycott Israeli products and divest investments in Israeli firms. Éric Fassin defends Hessel's right to speak without taking a position on the movement to boycott and divest.

The "boycott, divest, and sanction" movement against Israel has aroused fierce opposition in the US. This seems now to be spreading to France. Hessel's involvement gives the movement a particularly high profile there.

7 comments:

Cincinna said...

The movement for the De-legitimization of the State of Israel has fierce
opposition in the US because Americans,
except tthose on the far Left, overwhelmingly support the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state
That this anti-democratic
anti- semitic movement is being opposed in France, is greatly encouraging.
I am not a supporter of banning speech. In the free open marketplace of ideas, the truth will out.
That being said, the news that French students & academics are beginnin to reject the movemnt, the boycots, & the divestments is encouraging for all who support freedom & democracy.

brent said...

While it is seldom easy to parse out the logic of the far right, Cincinna seems to be praising the suppression of free speech at ENS (though she herself supports free speech) because such suppression encourages "all who support freedom and democracy." What's clear in her comment is that it's a tortuous, Orwellian business to advocate for the current government of Israel.

Cincinna said...

Your comment is just an insult laden rant. I support Free Speech @ ENS & everywhere else. Supression of speech invites further supression. I am not part of the "far right". I am just an American common
sense Constitutional conservative who strongly supports the 1st Amendment..
What I am applauding is the courage of some French students & academics who courageously speak out against this movement of de- ligitimization of the State of Israel & its right to exist at all. The far Left has joined with the Islamists against their common enemies, America, Israel 8 the Jewish peope, western values & free market capitalism.
It is an unholy alliance whose opinions Art has spoken about recently at length; JM le Pen & Marine le Pen.

pierre said...

Cincinna, read your posts back to yourself and pay careful attention to the tone. The only rants are yours, not Brent's

FRANCIS said...

Drafter of the postwar UN declaration of the human rights he was not, according to Hessel's own clarification : "j'assistais aux séances et j'écoutais ce qu'on disait mais je n'ai pas rédigé la déclaration" : http://www.un.org/apps/newsFr/printnewsAr.asp?nid=17952
A pity that nearly all the media just repeat this rumour (but who launched it ? Maybe Hessel himself ?)

Cincinna said...

It isn't a rant to respond to the subject of the issues at hand. It is a rant to respond to someone with whom you disagree with personal attacks & condescention.
Where is the civility? Haven't you gotten the latest talking points.
My points about The le Pen duo are valid. If you saw Marine's shameful performance with David Pujadas & her defiant repetition of her father's anti-Semitic "jesting" you understand the implications. They both support the movement for the de-legitimization of the State of Israel, which may have traction in the Arab world, and with many in France, but has very little traction amongst Americans,except a small group on the far Left.
BTW, Are you aware that there are 51 member Naions of the UN that refuse to recognize the member State of Israel?

Cincinna said...

Art, Im sorry if I wasn't absolutely clear , or my post was completely misread. Knee jerk reaction perhaps.

Again, my commitment to 1st Amendment Constitutionally protected
Free Speech is almost absolute , except for the well known Constitutional precedent banning
"crying fire in a crowded theater" exception, in which the danger must be direct & imminent.
I believe that Hessell & anyone else has the right to speak, no matter how odious I might
find his speech. I believe that government' and Academic
institutions have no legal right to regulate or ban such speech. The Founders intended 1st Amendment to protect precisely that kind of speech ... political speech.



institutions have no legal right to regulate or ban speech.