Jewish Voice for Peace Condemns CA Assembly Vote to Support Limiting Free Speech on UC Campuses
Applauds few legislators who refused to vote for deceptive resolution meant to limit criticism of Israeli policies
[OAKLAND—August 29, 2012] Jewish Voice for Peace is appalled that the CA State Assembly passed a resolution yesterday which was presented as a broad condemnation of anti-Semitism on UC campuses but which goes far beyond that in supporting putting limits on the free speech of students, faculty and community-members who criticize Israeli policies. ( See “Anti-Semitism resolution hits anti-Israel protestors”, AP)
Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace Deputy Director: “This resolution wants the University of California system to treat Israel differently from virtually every other country in the world, including the United States, by claiming much criticism of Israeli policies is hate speech. If any legislator tried to introduced a similar resolution claiming criticism of Iran was anti-Muslim, or attacks on Utah were somehow anti-Mormon, they’d be laughed out of office. And rightly so.
That’s one reason the Jewish community is completely divided on this issue —when the UC campus climate report on Jewish life referenced in the resolution made similar far-reaching recommendations to limit speech critical of Israel, the biggest pushback came from Jewish UC students, faculty and alum. The implications of limiting academic inquiry and free speech, even speech that makes some people uncomfortable, are deeply troubling. Just as alarming, this resolution cheapens the very serious charge of anti-Semitism.“
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