Thursday, May 23, 2024

At the University of Pennsylvania, approval to screen a critical documentary about Israel was revoked. Meanwhile at Brandeis University, a pro-Palestinian student group was barred from making statements made by its national chapter. At the University of Vermont, a Palestinian poet was scheduled to talk but the school pulled the meeting space. There are concerns that colleges are starting to restrict pro-Palestinian protests and events on campus due to pressure from donors, alumni, and politicians.

Some schools have canceled events or delayed them. Some have shut down student groups or disciplined students. Some students have ceased participating in protests due to concerns for their safety and the repercussions they face from alumni and outside groups.

The war in the Middle East is putting American universities in a difficult position in terms of navigating free expression. Universities are struggling to balance open expression with complaints from Jewish students about the language of pro-Palestinian protests calling for violence against them. As video of some protests went viral and even led to physical altercations, university officials are under increasing pressure to contain these demonstrations.

The pro-Palestinian campus group, Students for Justice in Palestine, has been suspended from at least four universities, including Columbia, Brandeis, George Washington, and Rutgers. This has led to concerns about the free expression being curbed on campuses. Some universities have stated concerns about violence and have suspended the groups. Arab and Muslim students have reported facing intimidation and harassment.

Scholars studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have faced impacts, with a survey finding that 66 percent of respondents reported self-censoring on the Middle East in general, up from 57 percent in the fall of 2022. A piece by Rabea Eghbariah, a Palestinian scholar and human rights lawyer, was rejected by the Harvard Law Review. The progressive Jewish student group Penn Chavurah had to postpone and eventually cancel a screening of a documentary critical of Israel at the University of Pennsylvania.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles