Despite a rage of controversy, Hanan Ashrawi, who is the founder of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, was allowed to speak at a symposium at Colorado College Thursday, one day after the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America.
“I believe there are global ramifications with a ripple effect that will impact the whole planet,” she said to about 400 people gathered at the symposium. “(Sept. 11) will either result in a pursuit of peace and a genuine address of the causes of conflict and hatred among Palestinians and fundamentalism or it will unleash a new wave of forces of unbridled violence to engulf all of us in a new era of instability.”
She was right, the controversy to allow her speak was evidence of this ripple effect in our own state.
Political leaders such as Gov. Bill Owens stated Ashrawi should not be allowed to speak at the Colorado Springs college so close to Sept. 11, but made no objection to allowing Gideon Doron, president of the Israeli Association of Political Science, to speak today.
Owen’s gripes were rightfully ignored by the Colorado College administration.
It is important to always hear both sides of the story and we applaud Colorado College for sticking to its decision to let Ashrawi talk. It is important that we have fair and responsible discourse in our country, which already looks to have a slant toward Israel in the eyes of the Arab world.
We should understand that the majority of Palestinians don’t advocate suicide bombings or the types of attacks that America faced on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
We don’t see a problem with allowing open conversation and Colorado College did the right thing by not breaking under the political pressure. Now matter what side you are on in the debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and America’s war on terrorism, you should at least have the freedom to decide for yourself what you believe.