Thursday, March 10, 2016
Should political lies be prosecuted as libel?
The Israeli writer below is unthinking. He says "Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech". But it is. If we allow that hate speech can be banned, anything you disagree with can be banned. It is the ultimate slippery slope.
A more sophisticated writer might have argued that political lies should be prosecuted, as Donald Trump argues. Lies are are an essential feature of libel and libel has never been protected speech. And the words deplored below are clearly libel. The Israeli government could well launch a lawsuit claiming that Israel has been libelled by the lies concerned.
Israeli lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner already does some of that in a private capacity.
It is not hate speech that should be prosecuted. It is lies
University professors enjoy the benefits of academic freedom and free speech. These cherished concepts are essential ingredients in the unhindered exchange and flow of ideas.
Joy Karega, a non-tenured assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College, a liberal arts institution in the state of Ohio, made an utter mockery of these hallowed principles by spewing out a toxic torrent of antisemitic screeds on her Facebook page.
Let’s be absolutely clear.
These rants could have been written by a neo-Nazi foaming at the mouth. They certainly have no place in civilized discourse. That they were posted by a woman of color is surprising and disappointing. African Americans, having been the victims of prejudice and violence, should be aware that racism is a malignancy that undermines and demeans society at large.
Has Karega fallen under the baneful influence of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan?
With her eyes wide open, she crossed a dangerous line and entered the realm of antisemitic incitement. Not for a second can she claim that her vile and ignorant comments are protected by the sanctity of the First Amendment.
She should be severely reprimanded, if not punished.
In a series of posts in the past few years, which she has since taken down, Karega issued a litany of baseless and absurd accusations.
She claimed that Israel was behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States and the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris in 2015. These are the kind of accusations that come from the filthy mouths of antisemites and Islamic radicals, who have a lot in common.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).