Washington, D.C. | October 27, 2023 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) condemns Senate Resolution S. RES. 418 for its blatant attempt to silence, demonize, and criminalize legitimate criticism and dissent surrounding Israel’s occupation and war on Gaza. By conflating criticism of Israel with support for Hamas and antisemitism, this resolution threatens the very fabric of freedom of speech in American institutions of higher learning.
This resolution is not only misleading but eerily reminiscent of the McCarthy-era and post-9/11 tactics designed to suppress differing opinions and stifle discourse. When students express solidarity with the Palestinian cause, they are not endorsing or justifying acts of violence or terrorism. They are advocating for justice, human rights, and an end to the long-standing and brutal occupation. Painting all students, including Jewish students, with a broad brush of “antisemitism” for expressing their views is not only inaccurate but deeply harmful.
While the Senate seems overly preoccupied with what students are saying, they’re deafeningly silent about genocidal statements from those in positions of power: Israel’s defense minister’s dehumanizing reference to Palestinians as “human animals”, the threats from an Israeli major general of total destruction, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s callous statement that Israel should “level the place,” and Rep. Max Miller’s outrageous demand for Gaza to be transformed into a parking lot with its inhabitants displaced.
Rather than scrutinizing students for expressing their opinions, the Senate should hold those in power accountable for their dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric. Moreover, this sets a dangerous precedent for student groups throughout the US advocating for peace and justice.
ADC remains steadfast in its commitment to the freedom of speech and believes in the importance of open dialogue on college campuses. We also reiterate our opposition to sending further military arms to Israel, which have been used in the tragic events unfolding in Gaza, and resulting in the devastation of a besieged territory and the loss of countless innocent lives.
The real issue at hand is not what students are saying on campuses, but the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza where 2.3 million people, half of them children, are trapped in an open-air prison and subjected to merciless bombing with U.S.-provided arms. If the Senate truly cares about human lives, it should focus its energies on advocating for a ceasefire and an end to this devastating violence.