It’s the Israel bashers who quash free speech
In response to “Pro-Palestinians accuse Israel advocates of muzzling dissent on U.S. campuses,” September 30.
The reports that anti-Israel groups have issued, claiming that the ZOA’s legal advocacy suppresses free speech, are ludicrous. Ironically, it is the Israel bashers on campus who muzzle and suppress Jewish and pro-Israel students’ freedom of speech.
In fact, all the ZOA does is fight to ensure that Jewish students can obtain their education in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe, where they can express their Jewishness and support for Israel without fear of harassment or intimidation.
What is happening on college campuses is beyond what any reasonable person would call legitimate criticism of Israel. It is not legitimate criticism to physically threaten or assault Jewish and pro-Israel students, to vandalize Jewish property, to call Jews and Israelis “Nazis” and “baby killers,” or to intimidate students who oppose anti-Israel BDS initiatives with threats and slurs like “kike” and “dirty Jew.”
If African Americans, women, gays or Muslims were being harassed or intimidated in this way, none of us would stand for it.
We have helped Jewish students on campuses across the country, including at UC Irvine, Brooklyn College and Northeastern University, to name a few. The ZOA will continue to stand up for the legal right of Jewish students to feel safe on campus, to speak up in support of Israel, and to criticize those who lie about the human-rights-loving Jewish state.
Morton A. Klein, National President
Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., Director of the Center for Law and Justice
Zionist Organization of America
This letter was published by Haaretz and may be found here.