Michigan congresswoman’s planned speech at ASU canceled

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A planned speech from recently-censured U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus has been canceled by the school.

An ASU spokesperson told The Center Square Friday morning that Tlaib’s speech would not happen on school grounds, saying the groups organizing the event didn’t follow proper channels. 

“Organizers of events using ASU facilities must be properly registered with ASU and must meet all university requirements for crowd management, parking, security, and insurance,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, the events must be produced in a way which minimizes disruption to academic and other activities on campus. The event featuring Congresswoman Tlaib was planned and produced by groups not affiliated with ASU and was organized outside of ASU policies and procedures.”

The Friday afternoon speech was organized by several groups opposed to Israel’s military actions retaliating against Palestine-based Hamas’ terrorist raid on Oct. 7 that led to the death of an estimated 1,200 Jews and others in the country. 

Republican Reps. Michael Carbone and Alexander Kolodin joined Democrats Alma and Consuelo Hernandez in a statement Thursday saying the planned visit from Tlaib misaligns with the state’s support for its Jewish population.

They warned the university about Tlaib’s anti-Jewish statements that ultimately led to her censure on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“The State of Arizona is a safe place for Jews, both on and off campus, and the antisemitic rants regurgitated by SJP and others are not representative of Arizona values. Students supporting Israel have been verbally and physically assaulted on campus in recent days, requiring police escort during SJP rallies,” the state lawmakers said. “[Tlaib] has a history of espousing such a view both before and following the deadly October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel that were perpetrated by the pro-Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization.”

Arizona State University Students for Justice in Palestine posted a call for action on a social media page Friday morning, indicating the school might cancel the event. 

“Rashida Tlaib must be heard on campus as the only Palestinian member of Congress who plans to speak on an American issue at this event,” the group stated. “ASU cannot claim to hold free speech as a principle while denying Palestinians their voices on campus.”

SJP was involved in a protest earlier this week at a student government meeting on the university’s Tempe campus that ended abruptly after attendees reportedly saw windows getting hit by landscaping rocks. ASU said Wednesday that it was investigating the matter for potential criminal activity. 

Sponsors of the planned Tlaib speech included: Progressive Democrats of America; Arizona Palestine Network; Jewish Voice for Peace – Tucson; Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance; Palestine Community Center of Arizona; Council for American Islamic Relations of Arizona; Arizona Democratic Party Progressive Council; National Lawyers Guild – ASU; Central Arizona National Lawyers Guild Attorney Chapter; Middle Eastern Law Students Association – ASU, Students for Justice in Palestine – ASU; the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) greater Phoenix Branch.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.