President’s speech deviated from published remarks ‘prepared for delivery’
Brown University President Christian Paxson rewrote her speech on the fly to omit pro-Jewish references at a Monday vigil honoring a wounded Palestinian student, following disruptions from pro-Palestinian activists.
Brown junior Hisham Awartani was one of three victims of a shooting in Burlington, Vt., Saturday night to which suspect Jason Eaton pleaded not guilty, The College Fix reported at the time.
Awartani is still recovering in the hospital as of Thursday evening, WHDH TV 7 News reported yesterday.
“We can’t disentangle what happened to Hisham from the broader events in Israel and Palestine that sadly we’ve been dealing with for decades,” Paxson said. “Sadly, we can’t control what happens across the world and country. We are powerless to do everything we’d like to do.”
The next line in the version of the speech Brown published on its website as “remarks as prepared for delivery” for the “vigil of peace and healing” was as follows: “At a faculty meeting last month, I said that ‘Every student, faculty and staff member should be able to proudly wear a Star of David or don a keffiyeh on the Brown campus, or to cover their head with a hijab or yarmulke.'”
However, activists disrupted Paxton just before that point in her actual speech Monday night, shouting “Shame, shame” and calling on the university to divest its endowment from Israel-associated companies, according to video posted to social media Monday evening.
Following the disruption, Paxson went on to say, “every student, faculty and staff member should be able to proudly don a keffiyeh on the Brown campus, or to cover their head with a hijab,” with no mention of a Star of David or yarmulke.
People are fed up. Brown students interrupt school President at a vigil for the Palestinian students who were gunned down. pic.twitter.com/TVm3zyiec5
— Read Let This Radicalize You (@JoshuaPHilll) November 28, 2023
A university spokesman told National Review in response to a request for comment on the omission that “The remarks on the website are those prepared for delivery, as noted on that page.”
“At the point students began to disrupt the remarks, President Paxson began to abbreviate them with the hope of being able to finish,” the spokesman said. “It’s not unusual for there to be some deviation between remarks as prepared and remarks as delivered, and certainly that was the case here given the disruption.”