Israel-Gaza war: Colleges urged to protect free speech

A prominent civil rights group in the United States has urged colleges and universities to respect free speech and resist calls to investigate or disband student organisations rallying on behalf of Palestinian rights, reports Al Jazeera.

In an open letter to academic institutions on Wednesday 1 November, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned against politically motivated efforts to police speech on campus, which could “destroy the foundation on which academic communities are built”.

The letter comes amid heightened tensions in US academia, as the Israel-Hamas war continues. Some campuses are reporting pressure to crack down on critics of Israel’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza, where an estimated 8,796 Palestinians have been killed. Republican politicians have targeted Israel’s critics at universities, going as far as threatening to withhold federal funds if campus administrators do not contain Palestinian rights activism. And the State University System of Florida called for the public institutions under its control to dismantle chapters of the advocacy group Students for Justice in Palestine, citing alleged links to “terrorist groups”.
Full report on the Al Jazeera site