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A video of an intense altercation between a liberal arts professor at UT-Austin and pro-Palestinian student protestors is going viral this week, after the protestors released it online.
According to the description, 12 members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee disrupted a public event hosted by UT’s Institute for Israeli Studies, titled “The Origin of a Species: The Birth of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Military Culture.” Their disruption was met with physical intimidation from one UT professor who will probably face disciplinary action for his intimidation tactics.
The University’s College of Liberal Arts responded with this statement, via KHOU:
The University of Texas at Austin strives to be a campus where people with different viewpoints can debate issues —including the Israeli – Palestinian conflict — openly and respectfully.
Our Institute for Israel Studies has always strived to do that and, on Friday, invited an esteemed scholar to deliver remarks and engage in critical debate.
The university has existing protocols for protesters to voice their points of view and be heard effectively. We are trying to determine if they were followed in this case.
Responding to a call from the event, University Police spoke with all the parties involved on Friday. My office will do the same. We are gathering more information and looking for ways to improve the constructive dialogue on campus.
If you’re asking me, I would say every party is in the wrong here. There was no need to interrupt this event in an attempt to rile up people who obviously disagree with you. And if you’re the professor, you have to be smart enough to not give in to the protesters by getting all heated and confrontational — something these protesters absolutely wanted to see so they could release this video and have it garner national attention.
I think we, as good citizens and stewards of different universities across this great nation, should raise money for a tab where everyone is invited to drink beer and talk about their political issues in the comfort of a nice bar. No need for hostility. Just grab a few drinks and discuss the pros and cons of whatever issue is concerning them the most at this moment. To be honest, I think this solution would work universally with most issues across college campuses — but that is just one man’s opinion.
We will update this story if UT-Austin takes any further action..
Image via YouTube