Rotberg, an outspoken defender of the Israeli state, corresponded with the newspaper via email this week. He does not believe that freedom of speech in its absolute form should extend to the university grounds.
“The arguments by Naylor that the university is just permitting freedom of respect and diversity, are, at the least, disingenuous, and at any rate are too shallow and simplistic to be those of a representative of a great university,” he told the newspaper. “The university has no duty to host on its property, for pay or for free, every nonsensical organization on the face of the earth. There are other forums available for groups that do not meet the intellectual standard of the university.”
Rotberg maintains that he does not harbour any ill-will towards the current students of the university. “I hope you are not insulted by my actions; I hope you realize that I am motivated by a wish to preserve our liberal freedoms and to maintain U. of T's standing as a serious and outstanding university that gave so much to me in the 70s.”
The Office of the President was contacted, but did not respond by press time.