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Monday, December 06, 2010

Ray Hanania a bit unclear on the concept of "free speech"

From UPI:
Journalist Helen Thomas ripped Wayne State University in Michigan for ending a diversity award in her name, saying the school mocked the First Amendment.

The university ended the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award last week after she made controversial remarks in Dearborn, Mich., about what she saw as Zionist control of American institutions. When announcing the end of the annual award, Wayne State said it pulled the prize and "strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas."

Thomas told the Detroit Free Press in an article published Monday the leaders of Wayne State University "have made a mockery of the First Amendment and disgraced their understanding of its inherent freedom of speech and the press."

Thomas, 90, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, added, "The university also has betrayed academic freedom -- a sad day for its students."

Some Arab-American leaders joined in criticizing Wayne State's decision to pull the award named after Thomas, who grew up in Detroit and graduated from Wayne.
Who are the Arab American leaders who criticized the decision? The only one I can find so far by name is our old pal Ray Hanania, who called this blog an "often racistly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate site" and accused me of hypocrisy.

Let's talk about hypocrisy, Ray.

Hanania wrote the press release for the National Arab American Journalists Association criticizing Wayne State University:
The National Arab American Journalists Association Saturday denounced the decision to Wayne State University to terminate its annual Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award, calling the move a cowardly act surrendering to racist hate.
Wayne State University, which has a large American Arab student population located in the heart of the nation's largest American Arab community, took the action in the face of pressure from Pro-Israel hate organizations angry because Helen Thomas expressed an opinion criticizing the influence of Zionist American organizations on American Foreign Policy.
Thomas, the keynote speaker at a Diversity Conference hosted Dec. 3 by ArabDetroit.com and attended by more than 300 participants, criticized those who attacked her for challenging Israel's actions in Palestine. She repeated her belief that the Zionist political movement in the United States "controls" the White House, the Congress and American foreign policy.

You forgot about Hollywood and Wall Street, Ray! Why would you not mention that part, I wonder? Because it proves that Thomas was undoubtedly using anti-semitic stereotypes! Better to ignore that and pretend, in your lying press release, that she was simply stating anti-Zionist views.


"The topic of Zionism is irrelevant to this debate. The real issue is free speech. Is America a nation of Free Speech or has our free speech been compromised by oftentimes vicious and hateful special interest organizations," said NAAJA coordinator Ray Hanania.
"This is America and America is the nation that is supposed to be the country of Free Speech. Instead of cowering in the face of pressure and special interest lobbying groups, journalists especially and other mainstream organizations should allow an open and full public discussion of the issues, controversial or not."
Let's get this straight. No one stopped Helen Thomas from speaking her mind - in fact, it was refreshing that it confirmed what most of us knew from her summer outburst about her desire for Jews, and only Jews, to "get the hell out" of the Middle East. She is perfectly free to spout her hate, hate that Ray Hanania is defending so vehemently. 

But, according to this self-appointed Arab American leader, Wayne State University does not have the right to pull an award named after her - a diversity award, no less. Their right to distance themselves from an old, unrepentant anti-semite is not a right that Hanania believes that they have. Their right to spend their own money as they see fit, and to choose who they decide is worthy of emulation - indeed, their own right to free speech  is being denied by Ray Hanania!

Hanania knows a thing or two about hypocrisy; he is a living example of it. 

People think of him as the model moderate Arab-American because he is against Hamas, and this points to the fundamental problem - an American of Arab descent who is considered oh-so-moderate is still someone who publicly defends explicit anti-semitism and who nonchalantly throws out libelous claims against others.

Ray is a liar and a hypocrite and I have documented it. Which is more than he has done when he labels other people and organizations to be "haters."

UPDATE: Once I'm calling Ray a liar, here's a doozy on one of his many websites:
 The Palestinians are ready to accept Israel's hold on most of the settlements in exchange for final borders, but Israel's Netanyahu is dragging his feet and demanding more. Netanyahu's version of Give and Take: The Palestinians give everything and Israel takes everything.
OK, Ray, please find a single public statement made by any Palestinian Arab leader saying that they were willing to accept anything of the sort. You won't find it, for reasons you know very well - anyone who says that would be assassinated. Just because you believe it doesn't mean that the PLO, or Hamas, or anyone in a position to matter does.

On the contrary, as I have documented, Mahmoud Abbas has bragged - publicly - that the Palestinian Arab negotiating position has not changed one iota since 1988.

It is a lie, and you are a liar.

Should I waste my time to find more of your lies, Ray? Or have we already established a pattern?