VIDEO: Is Palestine the Exception to Free Speech Rights in the U.S.?

University campuses are the front line of Palestinian human rights advocacy in the U.S., but a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal documents hundreds of cases in which students and scholars have been punished for expressing themselves. Watch the testimony of some of those who have dared to speak out, as they describe the backlash they’ve faced.

truthdig.com  October 3, 2015

Students and scholars discuss the backlash they have experienced for engaging in Palestine advocacy. These and hundreds of other cases are documented in “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the US,” a report released by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal in September 2015. Read the report here: https://ccrjustice.org/the-palestine-… or  http://palestinelegal.org/the-palesti…


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From the report:

In 2014, Palestine Legal—a nonprofit legal and advocacy organization supporting Palestine activism—responded to 152 incidents of censorship, punishment, or other burdening of advocacy for Palestinian rights and received 68 additional requests for legal assistance in anticipation of such actions. In the first six months of 2015 alone, Palestine Legal responded to 140 incidents and 33 requests for assistance in anticipation of potential suppression. These numbers understate the phenomenon, as many advocates who are unaware of their rights or afraid of attracting further scrutiny stay silent and do not report incidents of suppression. The overwhelming majority of these incidents—89 percent in 2014 and 80 percent in the first half of 2015—targeted students and scholars, a reaction to the increasingly central role universities play in the movement for Palestinian rights.

The tactics used to silence advocacy for Palestinian rights frequently follow recognizable patterns. Activists and their protected speech are routinely maligned as uncivil, divisive, antisemitic, or supportive of terrorism. Institutional actors—primarily in response to pressure from Israel advocacy groups—erect bureaucratic barriers that thwart efforts to discuss abuses of Palestinian rights and occasionally even cancel events or programs altogether.

—Posted by Roisin Davis

Center for Constitutional Rights

Published on Sep 30, 2015

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