Ben Gurion University in the Negev has called off a planned lecture by Lehava director Bentzi Gopshtain – apparently as a result of "intense pressure" from students and faculty.
While the university claims the cancellation was the result of scheduling constraints, correspondence between the parties obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth reveals a different picture altogether.
Gopshtain was invited by the coordinator of the school's student leadership program who noted her desire to "give (you) a platform to break some of the stereotypes held by our students."
However, on Tuesday – five days before the scheduled lecture – the coordinator wrote Gopshtain to inform him she was forced to cancel.
"I have to ask your forgiveness," she wrote. "In light of the harsh reactions we are forced to cancel the lecture; it's not in my hands. I'm afraid it is coming from levels higher-up than me."
The right-wing activist blasted the move, saying it was "very sad that those who always speak out in support of freedom of speech have given a platform to terrorists and the enemies of Israel, who are afraid to hear Jews speak out for Israel and the IDF."
"Apparently, they do not trust the judgment of students and are afraid they will be exposed to truth," he added.
Ben Gurion University commented: The lecture was planned as part of the public activities program. The meeting scheduled for next week has been canceled due to a variety of considerations including scheduling as well as the content of the lecture."