Mayor of Jerusalem accused SFSU of trying to silence him, cancels speech

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The Mayor of Jerusalem canceled a recent speech at San Francisco State after accusing the University of trying to silence him. (KGO-TV )

The Mayor of Jerusalem canceled a recent speech at San Francisco State after accusing the University of trying to silence him.

The university says it was merely trying to prevent a dangerous situation that broke out last year when pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a public speech that was being given by the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat at San Francisco State.

The university acknowledged the students violated campus policy by disrupting the event. Meanwhile, an independent review found the university did not properly handle the protest.

Still, Barkat said he felt a moral obligation to return to San Francisco State, except that, he claims this time the university offered him a lot less exposure.

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In a statement, the mayor says "The university offered a ticketed, limited event, and no legitimate effort was made on the part of the university to publicize the lecture."

"This is not the way they would invite any mayor from any other country around the word and under those circumstances, since they were continuing to refuse to publicize it, the decision was not to go to the university," said Elizabeth Smith, a spokesperson for San Francisco State.

San Francisco State says there was little time to prepare for this second event. Confirmation was given by the mayor just five working days before his speech.

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"What do we need to do as an institution to make sure that they mayor and our students and our community members are safe and that they are able to have an open dialog and we felt we prioritized that over publicity," said Smith.

Since the 2016 incident, San Francisco State has implemented new policies to manage crowds, in addition to putting more security. Both sides said they are now open to a third possible visit by the mayor.
Related Topics:
newsisraelpalestineprotestSFSUstudentsSan Francisco
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