(Guy Davidi is the Co-director of “5 Broken Cameras”. He shared this letter of support with the Palestine Chronicle.)
Dear Professor Iymen Chehade,
I would like extend my support to you following the cancellation of your class after screening “Five Broken Cameras.” I was surprised and disappointed to hear the wrongful decision to cancel the class – and on the bases of an ignorant argument demanding balance or claiming bias.
I expected more open discourse from a respected academic institute like Columbia College. There is no such thing as “balance” in a political debate – only different points of view. It is surprising how many times this basic idea needs to be repeated again and again to the people who insist of holding the illusion of an objective truth.
In Israel, “5 broken cameras” was recently officially accepted to the cultural program of the Ministry of Education. It has been screened in dozens of Israeli schools, despite the waves of objections. I am stunned that an American institution takes a more radical approach in silencing different perspectives related to the Israeli-Palestinian context than the Israeli Ministry of Education.
I hope more brave professors and teachers, like you, continue to bring challenging stories that give students an opportunity to think critically and confront the bias in their own world views. I hope that institutions choose to support such teachers – whether they are addressing the Israeli occupation or any other challenging issue.
I hope that the American educational system can hold itself to a higher standard and set an example in its ability to face challenging ideas, whether or not they are in accordance with the mainstream.
Guy Davidi – Co-director of “5 Broken Cameras”
– For more information read: AAUP Backs Iymen Chehade, Supports Academic Freedom at Columbia College Chicago.