The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Tate Lecture ends early after argument erupts over Israel-Hamas conflict

Veteran journalist Lisa Ling spoke at SMU Tuesday, but her lecture was cut short.
Saki Teng
The Tate Lecture ends early after audience members began shouting about the conflicts in Gaza.

The Tate Lecture ended abruptly Tuesday evening after an argument broke out in the crowd over the Israel-Hamas conflict.

During the lecture, veteran journalist Lisa Ling discussed the concept of revenge in wartime after moderator Charlotte Huffman asked a question about a possible path toward peace.

It is unclear whether retribution has made anyone safer, Ling said.

“Hamas is a terrorist organization that is intent on abolishing the state of Israel, and what happened on Saturday was an absolutely heinous act of terrorism,” she said. “On the other hand, when you shut off water, when you shut off power, when you prevent people from leaving and there’s no way to escape and you are indiscriminately bombing civilian populations–that is genocide.”

During a Q&A segment toward the end of the lecture, a member of the audience asked, “you alluded to Palestinians wanting to exact a just revenge. In your opinion, are Israelis entitled to seek the same just revenge you alluded to for the thousands of lives lost and hundreds captured?”

Ling reiterated that she was not sure that exacting revenge was a solution for peace. But she emphasized that the human cost of the conflict in terms of lives lost in Gaza is “too much to behold.”

An audience member rose from his seat in response to her answer and began shouting expletives toward Ling, and he said people were hiding in hospitals.

“You should know this!” the audience member yelled. “You are the media!”

Another audience member began shouting. Because of the outbursts, guests started filing out of the auditorium.

Brad E. Cheves, Vice President of Development and External Affairs, intervened over the loudspeakers and announced that the lecture was over. The curtains closed and remaining audience members reacted with shock and confusion.

Gregory Weinrich was in the crowd when he saw the argument break out.

“To claim that a journalist of Ling’s caliber is unaware of Hamas’s tactics and that she knows less about what’s happening in Palestine than an average American, despite having first-hand experience, is simply naive,” Weinrich said.

Ling clarified that she was not in support of Hamas’ acts of revenge but can understand the circumstances that lead to such actions, Weinrich said.

“Whether one agrees with a speaker’s views or not, such outbursts inhibit civil discussion,” he said. “I felt that the crowd was unprofessional, especially because the crowd’s complaints were off- topic from Lisa’s point in speaking about journalism.”

Huffman, like Weinrich, had opinions about the episode.

The series is designed to create an engaging and intellectual conversation between listeners, Huffman said.

“Whether you agree or disagree with her opinions, last night’s lecture will likely encourage further intellectual debate on some of the most controversial issues facing our world today,” she said.

The outburst came as violence continues between Israel and Hamas.

President Turner condemned the violence in a statement to the university on Oct. 10.

Various student groups have been outspoken about the conflict, sharing their thoughts on social media and hosting tabling events outside of Hughes-Trigg.

Nathan Pupko Ginsberg, president of SMU Hillel and co-founder of Mustangs for Israel, responded to Turner’s statement via Instagram.

“Your only response has been delayed three days and has once again failed to individually condemn these acts against Jewish people,” Pupko Ginsberg said.

Turner did not condemn Hamas in his statement.

SMU’s Palestine Solidarity Committee said the university needs to do more to educate students about what is happening in Gaza, they said on Instagram.



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About the Contributors
Ellis Rold, Editor-in-Chief
As the DC's editor-in-chief, Rold primarily focuses on investigative reporting. She covers SMU Greek life, administration, Student Senate and more. Contact her at [email protected].
Amara Asrawi, Arts & Life Editor
As our second arts & life editor, Amara shared the duties with Ellen Rogers, covered cultural events on campus, plus every Tate Lecture guest at SMU. She helps recruit and train new contributors to the newsroom as well as coordinate coverage for campus news and events. She was recently selected for the Dallas Morning News fellowship in spring 2024.  You can reach her at [email protected].
Saki Teng, Photo & Video Editor
As video and photo editor, Saki works with the social media editor to develop video content for The Daily Campus. She works with the newsroom to develop a "Question of the Week," relevant to SMU students, which helps us get to know our community a lot better. Saki was previously a co-EIC of The Daily Campus in fall 2022, and she also covers campus events and news. You can reach her at [email protected].