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RMS Cancels Lectures In Israel

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the tunes-called-by-piper-payers dept.

GNU is Not Unix 609

Eesh writes "Globes and Haaretz report that Stallman cancelled his plans for lecturing in Israeli universities as part of a visit to the Palestinian Authority, due to threats by the Palestinian organizers that they won't be paying for his trip if he does so. Globes write: 'Stallman was scheduled to visit Israel in July and to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College. The Palestinians initiated the visit, but when they understood that Stallman would also be speaking at Israeli universities they told him they would no longer fund the trip. In response, Stallman announced that he would cancel the speaking engagements in Israel, and would be satisfied with visiting the Palestinian Authority regions only.'" Here's the email from RMS and response from the Israeli organizer. Hopefully RMS will brush off being named "Linux founder" by Haaretz. Update: 05/29 19:39 GMT by T : Oops! As user Windrip points out below, it's Globes, not Haaretz, which attributed Linux to RMS.

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makes sense (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279820)

Maybe if universities in Israel want to have him speak there, they should invite him at a different time and by him some other tickets?

Re:makes sense (4, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279842)

Exactly. Is it a dick move by the Palestinians? Absolutely. But it really is their right, after all, they are paying for his trip and they can put whatever conditions on it they'd like.

Now, whether or not he should have, at that point, decided not to go at all, because he's being used as a political pawn, I suppose we can argue about that. But at the end of the day, he agreed to the trip as the Palestinians wanted, then decided he'd also do some other things on their dime, they said no way, so he decided to stick to the original agreement. I can't really fault him for that.

If Israeli universities want to pay for him to come in a week later, then they are free to do that.

Re:makes sense (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279888)

Palestineans paying? Not really. They are funded by the EU.

Re:makes sense (4, Insightful)

GCsoftware (68281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279906)

Unlike the Israelis who don't get any foreign funding whatsoever, especially not for weapons. Nope, perish the thought.

Re:makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279912)

Israeli ? Not really. Their land was stolen.

Re:makes sense (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279944)

Israeli ? Not really. Their land was stolen.

All land was stolen, ultimately.

Re:makes sense (1, Informative)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280234)

Unlike Israel that is funded by USA.

Re:makes sense (-1, Troll)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279930)

Exactly. Is it a dick move by the Palestinians? Absolutely.

I guess hateful anti-Semitism is "a dick move."

Re:makes sense (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279972)

Don't bring religion into this. It's entirely possible to criticize or disagree with a country's politics without taking into account the majority religion of the population.

Re:makes sense (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279984)

yeah. After all, Palestinians are not Semites!

Re:makes sense (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280250)

In fact, Palestinians are semits. You guy need to read some history first, and then comment.

Re:makes sense (5, Informative)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279998)

Not this bullshit again. Being against Israel is not the same as being antisemitic, there are plenty of reasons to be anti-Israel considering all the lousy crap they've done and continue to do in that region. And accusing Palestinians of "antisemitism" is especially dumb, as Palestinians are just as Semitic as the Israelis are.

Re:makes sense (2, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280256)

Trying to pick a bad guy in the region is pretty easy. It's pretty much all bad. I've seen no one that doesn't have blood on their hands.

Re:makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280148)

I get what you're saying but keep in mind that Semitic [wikipedia.org] peoples include a large number of groups, not only the jewish people.

Re:makes sense (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279964)

Nice way to put a quick end to any so called controversy over this, but read all the bullshit politics in the subsequent posts for a good laugh anyway. After all, the submission is trolling just for that. It will now drag out to 200+ comments from a bunch of rabid idiots..

Re:makes sense (0)

udippel (562132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280062)

welcome to the club!

Re:makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279994)


But it really is their right, after all, they are paying for his trip and they can put whatever conditions on it they'd like.

Uh, I guess. That's kind of a weak argument. "I have the right to be a total dickweed" isn't saying a hell of a lot. It's also not exactly a "right", it's just power.

so he decided to stick to the original agreement. I can't really fault him for that.

I can. For a guy that's fought for freedom, he's got a funny way of showing it. He's essentially giving power to Palestine by letting them control his movements.

Re:makes sense (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280278)

But i just wonder, when your boss pays you to go in California for some work trip, do you by some strange accident also go in Colombia???? i know i know, your boss is the same dick and is against the freedom.

Re:makes sense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280056)

"A dick move?"

Are you joking? Israel is responsible for massive past and present genocide against Palestinians who are currently peacefully waging a campaign of pressure against the Israeli state's apartheid by Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions [bdsmovement.net] .

I'm shocked that RMS would even consider speaking in Israeli institutions.

Re:makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280084)

Can someone please mod this one up under "Funny"?

Re:makes sense (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280154)

Stop firing missiles into Israel, and maybe the world takes you more serious.

Also, sick of moslim taqqiya. Fuck off, the lot of you.

Re:makes sense (0)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280280)

Peacefully waging? I'm shocked that RMS would even consider speaking in palestinian institutions. Calling the palestinians peaceful is like calling Genghis Khan a peacemaker.

Re:makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280004)

More like he should tell the palestinians to go take a hike instead

Re:makes sense (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280254)

Maybe one day these two countries will outgrow this kind of petty disputes and see such things as opportunities rather than occasions to fight. Let's hope...

So cheap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279826)

Can't he buy himself plane tickets?

Re:So cheap (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279830)

What are you talking about, it's RMS, I am even surprised he takes a plane at all unless it's Free (and also free).

Re:So cheap (3, Funny)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279836)

Something about transportation wants to be free.

Re:So cheap (2)

ArAgost (853804) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279840)

Why should he? It's not like he's going there on vacation.

Ahh .. the elephant in the room of free speech (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279838)

Someone has to pay for the beer.

I'll give props to RMS in this case.

RMS Titanic (-1, Troll)

WarpedCore (1255156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279846)

Is it so hard to put the hippie's entire name in the title of the article instead of abbreviating it?

Re:RMS Titanic (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279940)

"Richard Stallman" is his birth name, but "rms" (all lower-case) is his chosen identity. Kinda like "Norma Jeane Baker" versus "Marilyn Monroe", or "Robert Zimmerman" versus "Bob Dylan".

Re:RMS Titanic (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280052)

yeah, RMS, like various ships, or the root mean square, or risk management solutions, or roosevelt middle school, or so many others.
Only an idiot or an egotistical jerk that's also an idiot would refer to themselves by a tla (that's three letter acronym).

No, I've never met the guy, but if he really refers to himself as rms, the previous comments stand. If it's just the media doing this, then those 'reporters' are the ones the comments refer to.

Re:RMS Titanic (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280150)

From his website:

"Richard Stallman" is just my mundane name; you can call me "rms".

He usually uses "Richard Stallman" or "Richard M. Stallman" for formal correspondence.

However in informal contexts like email signatures he is very likely to just use "rms".
This is not unlike a "Robert" being known informally as "Bob", except that this is a
nickname for the full name, not just the the first name.

What a mess. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279848)

I think in that situation, I'd be inclined to say "a plague on both your houses", and go to Brazil.

-jcr

Re:What a mess. (2, Funny)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279866)

His neckbeard feels more at home in the middle east

He should not get shat on for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279854)

Simply put, he can be invited at a different time by the Israelis. I will say that I wish he had not made this choice, as the CLEAR implications by those who made the movement (and subsequently the noise) is to get him to go along with their plan. Literally ANY smear on the Israelis is considered a victory to these sorts of people (likewise, the Israelis playing this same bullshit will draw the opposite conclusion, even though neither is accurate).

Anyway, way to maneuver Stallman for your own political horseshit guys.

Rest assured all those who comment against this or for this will be hurting free software in exchange for beating drums that have been, quite frankly, been beaten to death.

Re:He should not get shat on for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279890)

Stallman has done more damage to the free software movement than Microsoft has or could.

I should have the freedom to choose any software license I want. I've had enough of his my-way-or-the-highway thinking.

It's Ironic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279870)

Stallman expects the rest of us to live some live of software purity, never compromising on closed software, despite the fact that we often do so for pragmatic reasons like getting paid, getting the job done etc. Yet here is he, quite prepared to give into bullying terms when it suits him.

Re:It's Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279914)

What else do you expect from someone who takes a 'principled' stand on software of all things?

Re:It's Ironic (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279954)

Stallman expects the rest of us to live some live of software purity

I am not so sure about that one:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#ProprietarySoftware [gnu.org]

in particular,

We don't insist that users of GNU, or contributors to GNU, have to live by this rule. It is a rule we made for ourselves. But we hope you will follow it too, for your freedom's sake.

Yes, he hopes that other people will follow in his organization's footsteps, but it is not something he insists on. Elsewhere on the GNU and FSF websites, I have seen remarks that indicate an understanding that some people may not have a choice in using proprietary software. Yes, RMS campaigns for a further expansion of free software use, and tries to make people aware of what they are forfeiting when they agree to proprietary software licenses, but that does not mean that he insists that everyone agree with him or that he has no concept that people may be forced to use proprietary software.

Re:It's Ironic (5, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280162)

RMS is not all of GNU, so here is his personal thoughts on the matter [kerneltrap.org]

Richard Stallman: What about them? The programmers writing non-free software? They are doing something antisocial. They should get some other job.

Any more questions?

Re:It's Ironic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280282)

That's a politician's statement. Designed for least controversy. Senators do that all the time. What really matters is RMS's consistent behavior, not some sanitized webpage written by him. And IMO his actions show a very different opinion.

Re:It's Ironic (3, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279992)

despite the fact that we often do so for pragmatic reasons like getting paid

+1

How does Stallman pay his bills, anyway? AFAIK, MIT doesn't pay him. Is it all from paid speaking gigs? BTW, Speeches Want To Be Free.

Re:It's Ironic (1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280064)

He saves a lot of money by not buying soap, shampoo, or shaving supplies.

Re:It's Ironic (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280076)

The first question you need to ask is, "What are Stallman's bills?" The man does not have a permanent residence, as far as I know, and his travel expenses are paid for by the people who invite him to come speak. For the most part, it appears that the only things he would have to pay for in life are food and clothing, and even then it is likely that other people cover that for him. Essentially, he appears to be living the same lifestyle as Socrates.

RMS's bills and bio (4, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280090)

> How does Stallman pay his bills, anyway?

(For a detailed answer, you could read a biography about him: http://static.fsf.org/nosvn/faif-2.0.pdf [fsf.org] )

Some organisations pay him for the talks he gives. He also won some awards in the 90s which came with chunky cash prizes which he said he would invest.

His bills probably aren't too big anyway. He asks his hosts to pay his travel and accommodation (usually staying with someone in their house rather than in a hotel). He has no kids, which saves him a lot of money.

FSF doesn't pay him any salary.

Re:RMS's bills and bio (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280232)

And he saves on shaving cream.

nothing ironic about it (5, Insightful)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279996)

Stallman expects the rest of us to live some live of software purity, never compromising on closed software,

Free software is about receiving source code along with software and being able to modify and redistribute the software. There is nothing inconsistent about Stallman's behavior: you can get paid for software, you can create proprietary software, etc. if you like. Some of your business models may not work with free software, but that's not Stallman's intent, that's just a consequence.

Yet here is he, quite prepared to give into bullying terms when it suits him.

The Palestinians are paying for the trip and they get to set the conditions they pay for; that's the way all invited talks work. "No side trips" is a common condition for invited talks.

What's actually going on is that Israel is forcing foreign scientists wanting to visit the Palestinian territories to travel through Israel, and then saying "oh, we made you come here, why don't you also give some lectures for free". Imagine the US used military force to keep international planes from landing in Canada and then asked foreign scientists diverted through the US to also give free talks in the US; it would be quite outrageous.

The situation is made even worse because the Palestinians are so poor compared to Israel. For Israeli universities to piggy-back on a trip paid for by the Palestinians ought to be a huge embarrassment for Israel.

The obvious thing would be for Israel to pay for the entire trip, including the trip to the Palestinian territories. That would be the obvious, right and peaceful thing to do. Apparently, Israel isn't interested in that.

I hope Israel will turn around and do the right thing.

Re:nothing ironic about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280082)

Yes! Thank you!

I wish I had mod points to give you.

Re:nothing ironic about it (3, Insightful)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280144)

The Palestinians are paying for the trip and they get to set the conditions they pay for; that's the way all invited talks work. "No side trips" is a common condition for invited talks.

Nonsense. Are they requiring him to get on a plane and land in US? I don't know what kind of deal RMS got for himself but I am pretty sure it is quite uncommon that organizers require you to go back to country of origin after the engagement is over. He should have negotiated fee for giving talks like 1k/hour and pay for his trip himself and not be restricted in his movements.

Re:nothing ironic about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280208)

Palestinian behavior shows they are not really interested in freedom in general or of information in particular. RMS should refuse to lecture there on principle. He might find funders for an Israeli trip just to make a point to rude Palestinian behavior.
In any case, there are many more Linux/GNU users, supporters and contributers in Israel, as well as future potential users/contributers/converts.

Re:nothing ironic about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280174)

That's very cheap of them.

Re:It's Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280068)

Didn't you read the e-mail? He could either not go, and not deliver the Israeli university lectures, or go, and not deliver the Israeli university lectures. The choice is plainly a pragmatic one.

He didn't create the problem, it was thrown at him (5, Insightful)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280190)

There's nothing in the free *software* philosophy about what conditions can be put on plane tickets. There's a hint in the name - it's about software, not planes.

His lousy options were to cancel the Israel gigs, or cancel the Israel and the Palestinian gigs. He went for the former, and apologised.

This isn't news at all. This part of his work must be pretty frustrating for him.

This should be a non-story (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280198)

Yet here is he, quite prepared to give into bullying terms when it suits him.

I'm sorry, but: what?

I think a group that is in a heavily-embargoed, poverty-ridden country has every right to be furious at their scraped-together funds being used for speaking engagements in the highly-privileged nation that is doing the embargoing.

The fact that RMS went and booked the other speaking engagements shows that he truly has no political sensitivities, and has been the wrong person to represent the FSF for quite some time.

Re:It's Ironic (0)

rhizome (115711) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280264)

Ah yes, an Anonymous Coward shitting in the pool by misrepresenting the topic. What a surprise.

As usual (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279886)

Those that worship the desert god must use threats to get what they want.

Key lesson (-1, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279900)

Arabs are spiteful wankers.

Any questions?

Re:Key lesson (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280048)

ha (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279902)

Eddie says "However, personally I start to doubt your truthfulness about freedom." .

He should have said, "I understand, and we want you to come talk at our universities. Lets discuss making travel arrangements for another date."

I believe, and this article highlights, the palestinians value freedom enough to pay for it, while Israel expects it to be handed to them, and protected for them by and with other peoples money.

Re:ha (4, Interesting)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280096)

Eddie pointed out the hypocrisy pretty accurately IMHO. RMS is willing to accept conditions on his travel and speaking plans that he would find completely unacceptable in software.

http://www.bestfashionsstyle.com/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279918)

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http://www.bestfashionsstyle.com/

Real reason (5, Funny)

Jethro (14165) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279924)

They refuse to call it "GNU/Israel".

Bad call IMO... (2)

nweaver (113078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279938)

This now sets a precedent that RMS will respond to fiscal pressure, as he's established that the head of FSF will change who he says it to based on who's paying.

Far better for RMS to have refused the trip entirely. Yes, it would have canceled the Israeli university talks anyway, but it would have at least said that he's unwilling to be bullied or change who he talks to.

And for those who say "He could go on a separate time on Israeli money": There is a huge logistical cost in his time and effort involved in traveling halfway across the globe. A trip like this takes two days near dead for travel time & jetlag alone.

This is a cost which RMS, not the Palestinians, is presumably paying. It makes sense, if this cost is incurred, to also give talks at Israeli universities, as this cost is something the Palestinians presumably aren't paying for, he is.

If, instead, the Palestinians are paying for his travel time as well as his ticket, this makes the precedent even worse.

Re:Bad call IMO... (4, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280026)

You're drawing a pretty broad conclusion from this one specific event. Had he agreed to *never* have any dealings with Israel then I'd agree there's a problem. All he did was to cancel lectures on this specific trip that is being paid for people kind of entitled to make such a demand - regardless of how petty it may be. I don't see how this is a civil liberties or freedom thing when he's voluntarily traveling on their ticket.

And the Palestinian women (2, Interesting)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279958)

Will they be there, listening to Stallman, or will they be carefully segregated from their sexual superiors?

Re:And the Palestinian women (1)

rawler (1005089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280130)

Are you sure they would want to? [earthweb.com]

And yes, I happen to think that the whole RMS Sexism debacle was blown a little out of proportion, but it damaged his reputation as a speaker wherever gender-neutrality is desired.

Stupid move, rms (3, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279968)

In his place, if someone tried to manipulate me like that, I'd do the opposite -- give them a big fat "fuck you" and go meet the other side instead, even if I had to pay for the trip.

Re:Stupid move, rms (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280134)

Yes, but then again, you are a nobody and people do not show up to hear you speak, do they?

FTA (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279970)

"The funds for my travel to Israel are coming from Palestinians who invited me to give talks for them."

Only RMS would jump right into the middle of such a hot mess. Perhaps he can ask the Syrian government for a free bus trip to the Israeli border like the "Nabka Day" protesters.

Four killed on Israel's border with Syria [youtube.com]
Israeli-Palestinian violence marks "Nabka" day [youtube.com]

Um yeah....isn't there some free software you could like...video stream the lectures to everyone? [videolan.org]

RMS Cancels Lectures In Israel... (0)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279976)

...and nobody gives a shit

The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (0, Flamebait)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279982)

Say it isn't so!!!

Seriously though. It's the Palestinian's money, they should have some say in it. Call it a "dick move" if you like, but at the moment, Israel is a highly aggressive and deadly enemy of the Palestinians. If the US was paying someone to visit and they decided to swing by the old USSR, you can bet some people in the US would have been pretty upset about that.

This isn't "politics." It can't be called "politics" when Palestinians throw rocks and Israel throws giant weapons of mass destruction back. To even think of using words as petty as politics when describing what is going on between Israel and Palestine shows absolute ignorance of what tragedies and atrocities have occurred there. And yes, even US protesters have been slaughtered by Israelis. They don't care who they kill.

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (0)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280046)

Nice thread title. Racist much?

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280058)

The Jews aren't a race. They're a religion.

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280074)

sure, wmds on the palaestinians? considering the size of the gaza strip and the west bank, one wmd is enough to destroy most of the population there... in short, you're shoveling bullshit. I'm also really curious as to which US protesters you are talking about...

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280094)

Refrain from talking about things you have no idea about. Rocks, weapons of mass destruction!

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280098)

Rockets =/= rocks. The Palestinians toss plenty of those. You should also check the definition of a WMD before spouting more worthless bullshit.

That said, I don't favor either side. They are equally culpable. Just because one has more powerful toys does not make them the worse of the two. If you support either side, you're a sucker.

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280158)

"They don't care who they kill."

What, and the US does? I suppose if it's in our economic interest not to.

Re:The Jews trying to get RMS at bargain prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280180)

It doesn't matter if the response is asymmetric. At least Israel is defending its borders and sending a message unlike some countries that are almost letting them sneak in.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/03/illegal-immigrants-disguised-as-us-marines-fail-to-get-through-border-checkpoint.html [latimes.com]

No matter what your principles are or the ideals you stand for, it is never a good idea to piss off the guys holding the guns when you are not carrying one.

You just chose the wrong side, asshole. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279988)

Anyway, GNU is going to die soon. BSD is overtaking Linux, and LLVM is about to make GCC a footnote in history. GPLv3 signed the FSF's death warrant, and this is just amother nail in the coffin. RMS is a shrill irrelevancy, like Chomsky. This is just hastening his slide into well-deserved obscurity.

This ain't an on/off switch (1)

zaanan (1617787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280014)

Ever taken a side trip on a biz trip? Mightn't he have done that? Could have been the plan, articles don't say. Love how ev1's siding w/ pals by default.

Re:This ain't an on/off switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280164)

This isn't fucking Twitter.

business
everyone
Palestinian.

One more reason I hate free software (0)

BudAaron (1231468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280020)

Oops! It's NOT free after all. My answer to the Palestinians - as someone else suggested - go fuck yourselves. One more reason I love Windows.

Re:One more reason I hate free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280088)

Please take your head out of your ass you troll

Re:One more reason I hate free software (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280216)

Sounds like the only other thing you hated this vehemently was your own foreskin.

Palestine has universities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280028)

What do they teach, Intro to terrorism-301, Bomb making 101?

Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280030)

To be fair - it is Palestine's dime and they have a right to put conditions on it. No doubt they feel that they don't owe Israel anything, given the state of things over there. Still, I would hope that institutions of education would be able to reach across divides and cooperate with each other rather than participating in this pettiness.

RMS is of Hebrew extraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280054)

A big non-story, RMS is of Hebrew extraction and therefore can't be anti-Semetic .. :)

How about a fair compromise instead? (4, Insightful)

rawler (1005089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280070)

Easy solution;

Both parties want him to Speak, let both parties pay half each. If both parties refuse, stay home, if only one accepts, then go there.

I fully understand why the Palestinians do not wish to pay the "Israeli" share, and the other way around. However, splitting the costs is fair, and all parties win.

Sure, I realize it might be impolite if the Palestinians had already been promised a visit, but I think at least the option of splitting costs should be proposed.

Re:How about a fair compromise instead? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280140)

what you propose would be reasonable. Unfortunately we are dealing with Palestinians and Israeli's here. The word "reasonable" has been long gone from their vocabularies.

I love Stallman & hate the rest (1)

chanio (321367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280124)

I love Stallman (Jesus) and hate the rest (hypocrite warlords) !
Same old (very old) story...

Politics aside ... (4, Insightful)

Meneguzzi (935620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280136)

Well, opinions about the right or wrongness of Israel aside, it is a well known fact that Israeli universities are pretty well funded and staffed (especially if compared to Palestinian ones).
They already have top class academics working for them and plenty of funding to bring other academics to visit them pretty regularly. I have had the privilege to meet many famous Israeli academics, but I am yet to meet a Palestinian one.
If we just ignore the politics for a little while, I can see why an underfunded Palestinian university might feel cheated if they are paying for a guy to come from across the world to give a lecture, and the guys across the border who have lots more funding and better staff than they have tried to amortize Israeli costs of bringing a foreign academic by using Palestinian money. After all, they could have offered to split the bill or something.
On top of that, I'm not sure about the situation right now, but until very recently, Israel (which controls Palestinian borders and tax collection) was withholding tax money from the Palestinian Authority because they were in reconciliation talks with Hamas. Again, ignoring politics, but looking at a very real cashflow issue that their universities might be having, I can see why they might resent this move.

stupid... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280182)

I'd have told the palestinians to grow up and get a life... it would be my travel arrangements or tough sh1t no visit at all...

Not Ha'aretz (1, Informative)

Windrip (303053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280184)

More pig-ignorant editorializing from /. editors.

One of the posts in the linked thread goes to some Israeli biz-pub.

The Ha'aretz article [haaretz.com] about RMS' decision doesn't mis-attribute "Linux Founder" to RMS.

The error is in another publication [globes.co.il]

When drawn into a boycott... (4, Interesting)

sciencewatcher (1699186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280200)

Since RMS consequently rejects any piece of software that restricts his rights or movements, the only right thing to do would be to reject the Arab invitation to visit the former British mandate of Palestine. Of course the Israeli invitees then should pick up the tab to pay for his travel expenses to Israel. The Israelis did not restrict RMS's whereabouts and should be lauded for their policy of sticking to freedom for all, including the Arabs.

Sounds to me like... (3, Insightful)

deblau (68023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280204)

The Palestinians don't believe in freedom of speech. RMS should cancel his entire trip; his talk would be wasted on them anyway.

Good decision I think. (3, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280210)

However, even a turkey could see that would cause problems given the plans the "New World Order" has for the region.

I would have not accept funds in the first place from any political organization over there for transportation.

I would have a independent source of funds for travel expenses. I would then ask for donations from both sides when I got there to pay for the trip.

Richard runs the risk of looking like he is choosing sides by doing this, even though he might not feel that way about the politics of the region.

I say that because his mission is somewhat political due to the economics he will be discussing and social systems that make open source software very profitable as well as technically superior than close source commercial software.

-Hack.

Why is he choosing sides on this at all? (1)

McGruff (37593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280218)

I have no idea why RMS is choosing to pick sides in this at all. That has nothing to do with the Free Software movement and a little bit to do with censorship. If someone doesn't want to pay for the trip now, that's their business but RMS is allowing himself to be held hostage. Cancel both trips or find alternative funding.

      It's free as in FREEDOM, not free as in do as (the metaphorical I) say. Allowing the Free Software movement to be a pawn in any of this is not in the interests of the movement.

      There really seems to be something in the water in that region that makes people crazy. It might not be a bad thing to not send Stallman, regardless. He might play his recorder at them and start an incident.

Standard behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280222)

If you're on a personal trip through the Middle East and your passport has an Israel stamp on it (from any trip in the past), you may be hassled on entry to an Arab state.

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