David Horowitz to Return to Emory on Feb. 18 · 11 February 2009

By Molly Davis - Emory Wheel

 

Conservative commentator David Horowitz will return to Emory on Feb. 18 to speak about academic freedom and the various clashes that have stemmed from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His return follows a visit in October 2007 that was halted by protestors.

A Jan. 29 press release from the College Republicans, who are hosting the event, said Horowitz will address the Gaza conflict and incidents on campus related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The College Council approved funding for the event on Jan. 28.

Horowitz said he plans to focus his talk on former President Jimmy Carter and the Islamic jihad. He said he thinks Carter is a “disgrace to this country” and that the former president funds The Carter Center with money from Islamic jihadists.

Horowitz had planned on speaking about Islamo-Fascism during his October 2007 visit, but outside protestors who heckled and held up protest signs disrupted him, and he was forced to stop his speech about 20 minutes in.

College Republicans Chairman Scott McAfee said the group is bringing Horowitz back because they believe in the freedom of ideas.

“We wanted to bring him back not necessarily because we believe in everything he says, but because we believe he has a right to say it,” McAfee said.

Because the protesters at Horowitz’s 2007 speech were not linked to the University, stricter regulations will be instated to monitor those who attend the event, McAfee said.

Students and faculty members will be required to show their Emory identification cards in order to listen to Horowitz speak, he said, and those not affiliated with the University must be placed on a guest list to be admitted.

Horowitz said he does not blame Emory students for the heckling that occurred during his first visit but wishes the audience had been able to hear his speech.

“I have actually had a good experience at Emory, except for that time,” said Horowitz, who also came to Emory in 2004 to deliver a speech. “It was unfortunate that Emory got embarrassed nationally by this.”

He said he believes that some left-wing administrators would like to get him banned from campus.

“Unfortunately, some Emory administrators don’t have an appropriate attitude for educators,” Horowitz said. “It is an unfortunate condition of our time that the left behaves like fascists. The worst thing would be to surrender to that.”
The Emory Police Department will also attend Horowitz’s speech to ensure that the event is not disrupted.

“We don’t necessarily want it to go calmly,” McAfee said. “We want a passionate flow of ideas, but we don’t want someone to be denied the right to express his ideas.”

McAfee said University President James W. Wagner was very supportive of the College Republicans’ decision to invite Horowitz to speak at Emory again.

According to the press release, Wagner offered to help fund the event and wrote in an e-mail that “if the College Republicans wish also to extend an invitation to [Horowitz], I would certainly support their right and intent to do so.”

McAfee said he anticipates opposition from the Muslim Student Alliance but welcomes the group’s attendance at the event.

“There hasn’t been entrenched opposition yet,” McAfee said.

McAfee said he hopes that students and faculty members will be respectful and will be able to participate in an open dialogue with Horowitz rather than in a “shouting match.”

“I want to show that we at Emory can sit and hear out someone we may not agree with,” McAfee said.

Horowitz said he hopes that the audience will allow him to present his views.

“A university should be a place where people are curious to hear all points of view,” Horowitz said.

Horowitz’s speech will take place at 8:30 p.m. in White Hall room 208. He will speak for about 45 minutes before giving the audience 20 to 30 minutes for a question-and-answer session.