Protecting First Amendment Rights of Pro-Palestinian Activists on College Campuses

Washington, D.C. | October 31, 2023 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) stands firmly in our commitment to supporting students and safeguarding their rights to express their views without fear of retribution. Every student deserves the freedom to champion the causes they believe in, and we are here to ensure that right is upheld. Students may contact ADC or the following organizations if they seek legal assistance: 

Palestine Legal 

Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Center for Constitutional Rights

We note with dismay the collaboration between the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Brandeis Center in calling for investigations into Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters on campuses. The public must recognize the underlying motive behind these actions: a renewed effort to suppress college activism in support of Palestinians. These attempts are not only an infringement on the First Amendment rights of all Americans but also disproportionately affect Arab American students.

Both the ADL and the Brandeis Center have consistently conflated legitimate criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism. Instead of encouraging open discourse, these organizations appear to be leveraging political power to curtail student voices. At the heart of their opposition lies an apparent resistance to any condemnation of the Israeli occupation. 

“Our First Amendment rights are under threat when pro-Palestinian student activists face suppression on their own campuses. At the ADC, we’re deeply alarmed by these attempts to silence their voices, especially when they are backed by organizations conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Every student deserves the freedom to champion causes they believe in without fear of retribution.” – Abed Ayoub, ADC National Executive Director. 

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