Anti-Israel Statements After the Massacre Trigger Free Speech Fights in Higher Education

Universities and colleges across the country have become embroiled in a debate over free speech in the aftermath of the massacre of Israelis by Hamas terrorists this week. Various student groups have expressed support for Hamas or their cause while condemning Israel. Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapters have even shown the image below of one of the terrorists who paraglided into Israel where hundreds of civilians were murdered, including babies. Harvard has been a particular flashpoint over strident statements of condemnation of Israel immediately after the attack. The support has led to at least one firm rescinding an offer to a pro-Palestinian NYU law student as well as calls for universities to cut off support for student groups condemning Israel.

The Black Lives Matter chapter in Chicago posted the image below which was seen as support for the Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens. It was quickly reposted by many on the Internet. Other BLM chapters have also denounced Israel and supported Palestine in the expanding war.

One of the cartoons stressed “This isn’t about Hamas — this is about Palestinians right to resist 75 years of Israeli settlers colonizing their native land.”

BLM Chicago under fire for a pro-Palestine post.

A coalition of 31 Harvard organizations, including Amnesty International, placed the blame on Israel for the attack. The groups issued a letter to the public as a “Joint Statement by Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups on the Situation in Palestine” on Sunday.

The “situation” in Palestine also included the reported beheading of Jewish babies, raping of women, and massacring of people at a concert dedicated to efforts to find peace.

One group described the attack as “a historic win for Palestinian resistance.” The Harvard letter accused Israel of being “entirely responsible” for the attacks:

“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence. . . The apartheid regime is the only one to blame.”

Anger over these views has led to calls for censorship on campus and the firing of students who have publicly stated support for Hamas. Winston & Strawn LLP rescinded an offer to Ryna Workman, president of the NYU Student Bar Association, due to her role in a statement that Israel bore “full responsibility” for the attacks by Hamas.

As a private business, the law firm is not bound under the First Amendment.

However, some have gone further to discuss these views as unprotected free speech and suggested that law students holding such views should be prevented from joining the bar. Clearly, these students are engaging in free speech and, with regard to state action, they would be entitled to the full protection of the First Amendment.

The use of ideological grounds to bar law students from becoming lawyers is a dangerous practice that, in my view, would violate free speech protections. Like most people, I am disgusted by the actions of Hamas and atrocities committed in this attack. However, this country remains committed to many freedoms that Hamas and other terrorist groups have opposed. It is never easy to support core rights for those who support their denial in others, including the very right of existence for others. However, that is precisely the point. We are not them.

In my view, cutting off support for these student groups at state schools would violate the First Amendment. Doing so at private universities would violate core free speech guarantees. In the meantime, many of us will continue to support Israel and the many faculty and students who have lost friends or family. This tragedy has touched many. We have been in touch with family and friends in Israel who are safe. However, some expect to be called into service in the coming days.  I have spoken to many of our students who are facing a nightmare of not knowing whether family members were killed or captured.

The BLM and other statements obviously cause greater trauma for many in our community who are grieving those killed or captured in Israel. However, we should direct our efforts at assisting those who have lost loved ones in Israel rather than censoring others.

219 thoughts on “Anti-Israel Statements After the Massacre Trigger Free Speech Fights in Higher Education”

  1. It pains me greatly to see all of these marches and rallies in support of Hamas on college campuses and around the world. I have been a strong supporter of Israel ever since reading Rise and Fall of the Third Reich many years ago when I was in my twenties. I understand why the Jewish people who survived the Holocaust fervently believe “never again “ and fight fiercely to defend the Jewish state. They are surrounded by hostile neighbors, and we are seeing that, even in the US, college campuses are full of anti semitism, to the point that Jewish students do not feel safe. This is wrong. I don’t know what to do about it, except to speak out against it.

  2. While free-speech has been under complete assault, censorship and silencing of conservatives Republicans Christians, concerned parents, by a far left -wing leaning media, supporting a terrorist group, which incites violence as part of their charter, should not be covered under free-speech. The reason there is such a division in this country right now is because this far left wing leaning progressive colleges and universities are turning out Marxist ideology, indoctrinated kids that go into the workforce and all these corporations, and try to force socialist, Marxist ideology where they work, and it is incompatible with the foundation of Christian principles that this country was founded on equality for all not equity for all. We don’t live by oppressors and oppressed and victimhood in this country but that is what the colleges and universities are turning out in the indoctrinated students. It’s unacceptable.

  3. Harvard Student Leaves Lecture On Microaggressions To Attend ‘Kill The Jews’ Rally
    EDUCATION Oct 11, 2023 ·

    CAMBRIDGE, MA — A Harvard University student later identified as Luke Dillon left a lecture on microaggressions a little early so he could make it to the “Kill the Jews” rally on time.

    The University happily hosted the rally for mass murder and rape after being assured that no one would be misgendered. “Hate speech has no place here at Harvard,” assured President Claudine Gay. “We affirm everyone’s right, regardless of gender, to feel safe to express their deep hatred and longing to kill Jewish people. That’s why Harvard is more than a school – it’s a family.”

    A group effort, the “Kill the Jews” rally was lovingly organized by the Palestine Solidarity Committee with help from the Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund. The rally’s aim is to spread awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people who currently have to live in a world where Jewish people are alive and breathing.

    “We will continue to band together until the Jewish people are rendered extinct and a free Palestine is established from the river to the sea,” said Mr. Dillon. “Jewish breathing is a clear microaggression and if you disagree with killing Jews, that just makes you a Nazi. As we all know, only Nazis support Israel! Boo, Nazi Israel!”

    At publishing time, Harvard had proudly announced that its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department would be hosting a “Yay, Holocaust” night next week.

    1. Doesn’t the right to “free speech” end when it creates violence. Always thought it is not an absolute right.

  4. The REAL Nazis are in full force and are occupying positions of importance in colleges and universities, in corporations, in government, and in the so-called non-profit sector.

    And for the dummies who want to pretend that Hamas’ mass murders was “a political statement” and not acts of terrorism, the following video from many years ago will make that clear by their failure to condemn Hamas.

  5. I was watching some segments on SkyNews.
    This station is so anti-Israel it is horrifying.

    They are pressing on the evacuation of citizens from the north of Gaza. How horrible it is.

    They are downplaying this and saying things that this shouldn’t be Israel’s 9/11.

    Wish they covered the police response to protests in France.

    1. It is horrible. A police response in the streets is not the same. There’s much more than police afterwards, and before.

  6. Perhaps it would be useful to encourage their US Jewish friends to stop their fear driven support of the Democrat Party which takes the Jews for granted. That’s where the Squad lives. The militas and morons of the Right are not Republicans, but the anarchists and Israel haters of the Left are Democrats. The Klan was founded by Democrats.

  7. Douglas Murray articulates what I have been thinking these past few days re: Israel’s “9/11”. We can not let the Left / MSM / DNC define, reframe, “put into context” what happened in Israel. That Murray made these points in a Jewish synagogue in the UK, as a gay man, speaks volumes. Here in Virginia, the quasi-Ivy League university, University of Virginia, has a student group, led by a faculty professor, who is defending Hamas’s actions. Sickening.

    Students for Justice in Palestine at UVA says it “unequivocally supports Palestinian liberation and the right of colonized people everywhere to resist the occupation of their land by whatever means they deem necessary.” – Instagram sjpuva

    Douglas Murray: ‘Treat UK Hamas supporters like Isis supporters’

    Murray, who is associate editor of The Spectator, warned not to let the atrocities of the past weekend go “down the line of [media] stories”, adding: “We always have to be very careful in the weeks and months ahead to remember Saturday and to keep it in mind. The BBC and others can’t even define a terrorist and are already passed this. “The slaughter that is only still now being uncovered is currently somewhere down the line of stories[…] We mustn’t allow it to fall away.”

    1. @Estovir
      This is an excellent speech.

      Just one small nit.
      He gave Biden too much credit.
      Biden has snubbed Israel, just like Obama did along w giving Iran money which was then used to fund their proxy war against Israel.

      Joe Biden stands w Israel because if he didn’t, he would be gone.
      Trump was and still is a greater friend to Israel.
      He and Jared should have won Nobel prizes for the Abraham Accord which is probably one of the reasons why Iran and their proxies are attacking Israel now that Saudi Arabia has started the process to have relations w Israel.


      1. Yes, IMG, Doug Murray gave Biden far too much credit. The three famous truisms about “words” apply here: (1) Words matter; (2) Words are cheap; and (3) Actions speak louder than words.

        The official words issued by Biden were well chosen, and his “words [do] matter,” but his “words [were] cheap.”

        Biden’s “actions speak louder than [his] words.” Biden’s actual actions, direct and indirect, have strengthened America’s and Israel’s enemies. Biden snubbed Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, freed up $6 billion in cash for Iran, granted the PLO tens of millions of dollars to buy arms, and vastly enriched Iran by his global warming (scam) policies that dramatically raised the price of oil, which have weakened America’s energy independence. Biden’s actions have proven his words to be hollow.

    2. “That Murray made these points in a Jewish synagogue in the UK, as a gay man, speaks volumes.”
      Every stupid thing ever said. Throw it all away for a war, go ahead.

  8. Here are the horrors that those “statements” condone and encourage. (Reader discretion advised)

    “We saw boys and girls, bound, shot in the head. Men and women who were burned while still alive, young girls who were raped and slaughtered, soldiers with their heads cut off.

    “In one place, they forced people to enter a place, and put spare tires around them so that there would be fuel, and they burned them alive.” (Netanyahu)

    1. From that article:

      “Other students are hustling to avoid that fate.”

      Imagine their shock: “You mean someone is holding us responsible for our choices?!”

      “Members who defend ‘inconceivably despicable acts’ against civilians should ‘not be able to hide behind a corporate shield,’ Ackman said.”

      Good for Ackman. If more CEOs found their backbone, we would be a far better country.

      1. Hey! That could be a new niche industry: Vetting potential employees for past support of BML, Hamas, DEI, violence in general etc.

          1. Great job guys, more cancel culture.
            No mustering it though for the hundred million plus war monger supporters for decades.
            Only when the jew is hurt.
            Not like every possible anti-semitism wasn’t already banned.

  9. Excerpt:

    “If only someone had just made a few concessions, dismantled a few settlements, offered a little more land. After all, we all want the same thing, right?”

    No, we don’t

    No territorial dispute would cause *you* to butcher babies. No squabble over territory would cause *you* to rape and abduct women. No so-called “occupation” would cause *you* to kidnap entire families or burn them alive in their homes.

    The only type of person who would do something like that is a person who *isn’t* like you. A person who thinks *differently* than you do. A person who does *not* value life or children or decency the same way that you do. A person who might proclaim they love death like you love life.

    1. @JAFO
      And right on time… photos come out of injured babies in Gaza to justify their actions.
      What isn’t being said is that Hamas is using these babies and children as human shields.

      The really sad thing is that the MSM is going along.

      Hanity had an interesting segment on last night… right on this very topic.


        1. 24 to 1 murder death rate for over 2 decades, jews murder 24 of them for every one of theirs.
          That’s as bad or worse than the war atrocities.
          It certainly isn’t less than.

    2. No territorial dispute would cause *you* to butcher babies. No squabble over territory would cause *you* to rape and abduct women. No so-called “occupation” would cause *you* to kidnap entire families or burn them alive in their homes.

      JAFO, these defenders of Hamas in the western world really underscores how far western civilization has collapsed. When the same atrocities happened 80 years ago, the vast majority of the western world supported total war to eradicate that evil from the planet. Had the Axis of Germany, Italy and Japan received the same support as Hamas is receiving today, the course of history would have been a totalitarian nightmare. These terrorist sympathizers are functionally braindead. Bezmenov warned us it will all come home to roost:

      [T]he useful idiots, the leftists who are idealistically believing in the beauty of the Soviet socialist or Communist or whatever system, when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies. That’s why my KGB instructors specifically made the point: never bother with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. […] They serve a purpose only at the stage of destabilization of a nation. For example, your leftists in the United States: all these professors and all these beautiful civil rights defenders. They are instrumental in the process of the subversion only to destabilize a nation. When their job is completed, they are not needed any more. They know too much. Some of them, when they get disillusioned, when they see that Marxist-Leninists come to power—obviously they get offended—they think that they will come to power. That will never happen, of course. They will be lined up against the wall and shot.

      Our southern border is the gateway to our own destruction. I have no doubt terrorist cells are operating inside our border and once they attack, the current regime will not hesitate to declare martial law indefinitely.

      1. “…leftists in the United States: all these professors and all these beautiful civil rights defenders. They are instrumental in the process of the subversion only to destabilize a nation. When their job is completed, they are not needed any more. They know too much. … They will be lined up against the wall and shot.”

        That’s about the size of it, Olly. Question then becomes, should we even try to save the rest from their own disillusion once the first waves have been lined up? Quite the conundrum.

        1. should we even try to save the rest from their own disillusion once the first waves have been lined up? Quite the conundrum.

          Since they support Hamas using innocent civilians has human shields, it would be reasonable to use these Leftists for the same purpose.

      2. @OLLY,
        We were already at War when the atrocities came to light.
        It wasn’t until the end of the war did we know the full extent.

        This is Israel’s 9/11.

        I stand w Israel.

    3. 24 to 1 murder death rate, jews murder 24 gazans for every 1 israeli murdered, that has been the rate for over two decades.

      So let’s see what’s worse. You and your extended family – grandparents greatgrandarents brothers sisters children grandchildren cousins aunts and uncles – that’s the group.
      You have a choice – one of your relatives gets the hamas treatment, or 24 are murdered ….

      Take your pick.

      Now things are in perspective, to a degree.

      LOL – Wow how about that. Who is worse ?

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