New Reports: Pro-Palestine Groups At U.S. Colleges Face Intimidation, False Charges

A UC Berkley student protesting Israeli apartheid, Berkley, California. Sept, 2014.

A UC Berkley student protesting Israeli apartheid, Berkley, California. Sept, 2014.

Two new reports were released today documenting a widespread campaign on college campuses across the U-S to stifle free speech on the issue of Israel and Palestine.

The first report, co-authored by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the group Palestine Legal, examined nearly 300 incidents of attempted suppression of pro-Palestine activism and rhetoric in the past 18 months.

The group Jewish Voice for Peace also released a report entitled ‘Stifling Dissent: How Israel’s Defenders Use False Charges of Anti-Semitism to Limit the Debate over Israel on Campus’.

The report documents efforts by Israel advocacy organizations to intervene in the debate over Israeli policies on college campuses.

Drawing on case studies over the last several years, the report documents how Israel advocacy organizations bully and intimidate Jewish students who speak dissenting views and refuse to unconditionally support Israel.

The report found that the Zionist organizations employ the following tactics to stifle dissent about Israel:

-Codifying criticism of the state of Israel as anti-Semitism,
-Intimidating faculty and students through blacklists, letters to administrators, and legal threats,
-Censoring political debate both inside and outside Jewish campus spaces

-Intervening in campus politics by directing external funds to pro-Israel student government candidates

The report recommends that campus administrators strive to create an open campus climate that is inclusive of all student perspectives by avoiding policies that conflate the state of Israel with Judaism or the Jewish people.

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