Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the US. Notes.

1 Since World War II, Israel has cumulatively received more US foreign aid than any other country. Although this aid has included significant economic assistance in the past, it now consists almost entirely of military assistance. US military aid, which averages over \$3 billion annually, “has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world” and “has been designed to maintain Israel’s ‘qualitative military edge’ (QME) over neighboring militaries.” US aid includes not just State Department–administered foreign assistance, but also funding from annual defense appropriations bills for rocket and missile-defense programs—a benefit not conferred on any other country. Jeremy M. Sharp, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” Congressional Research Service, June 10, 2015,; Steven Erlanger, “Israel to Get $30 Billion in Military Aid from U.S.,” New York Times, August 17, 2007,
2 The United States has vetoed eighty-three resolutions in the UN Security Council, forty-two of which involved the Israel-Palestine conflict. Since 2000 alone, the U.S. has wielded ten—out of a total of eleven—vetoes to protect Israel (United Nations, “Security Council—Quick Links,” updated July 13, 2015,; Jewish Virtual Library, “U.N. Security Council: U.S. Vetoes of Resolutions Critical to Israel,” updated 2015, In 2011, the Obama administration quashed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements; the United States stood alone among the fifteen members of the Security Council in failing to condemn the expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory (United Nations, Security Council minutes, February 18, 2011,
3 For example, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, recently “appealed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to remove Israel from a draft U.N. rogues list of government forces, rebel movements, and terrorist organizations accused of violating children’s rights in the midst of conflict.” After finding that as many as 500 Palestinian children were killed and more than 3,100 injured or maimed in Israel’s summer 2014 intervention in Gaza, the UN included Israel in its draft “annual report detailing abuses against children caught up in the middle of war” (Colum Lynch, “Israel’s Shield,” Foreign Policy, June 1, 2015, The UN presumably caved to US and Israeli pressure, ultimately leaving Israel out of the annual report (United Nations, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2225 (2015), Adds Parties Abducting Children During Armed Conflict to List Monitoring Grave Human Rights Violators,” June 18, 2015, The United States also adheres to a policy of shielding the Israeli nuclear program, refusing to publicly confirm its existence. The consequence of this policy “has been to help Israel maintain a distinctive military posture in the Middle East while avoiding the scrutiny—and occasional disapprobation—applied to the world’s eight acknowledged nuclear powers” (Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith, “Israel’s Worst-Kept Secret,” Atlantic, September 16, 2014,
4 David Nakamura, Sean Sullivan, and David A. Fahrenthold, “Republicans Invite Netanyahu to Address Congress as Part of Spurning of Obama,” Washington Post, January 21, 2015,–1e4-b1465–77832eafcb4_story.html; Associated Press, “White House: Boehner Invite to Netanyahu Breach of Protocol,” January 21, 2015, New York Times,
5 The US media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has written at length about the media’s construction of a false symmetry of Israeli and Palestinian violence and a false chronology of “start[ing] the clock with Palestinian aggression and Israeli retaliation,” most recently with respect to Israel’s 2014 operation in Gaza (Peter Hart, “Israel, Gaza and False Balance,” FAIR, September 1, 2014, After NBC’s only Arab-American correspondent, Ayman Mohyeldin, witnessed and tweeted about the killing of four Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach in July 2014, NBC pulled Mohyeldin from Gaza. Many criticized what they perceived as the network’s censorship of Mohyeldin, and NBC ultimately reinstated him due to the public backlash (Brian Stelter, “What Really Happened with NBC and Ayman Mohyeldin,” CNN Money, July 20, 2014, An analysis of CNN coverage by PunditFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, found that Israeli officials made four times as many appearances as Palestinian officials on CNN during the first two weeks of the 2014 Gaza operation. Moreover, interviews with former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren—whom CNN hired as a Middle East analyst earlier that year—outnumbered all the interviews with Palestinian officials combined (Linda Qiu and Katie Sanders, “Fact-Checking Rula Jebreal’s Claim that CNN Interviewed 17 Israeli Officials vs. 1 Palestinian,” Politifact, July 24, 2014, A study by Washington State University’s Susan Ross examined the framing of the conflict in thirteen months of New York Times editorials surrounding the 9/11 attacks, finding that the Times editorials of that period “were likely to depersonalize Palestinians and frame them as aggressors rather than victims. Commentary on Israeli acts of violence, in contrast, often favored law and order frames” (Susan Dente Ross, “Framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in Thirteen Months of New York Times Editorials Surrounding the Attack of September 11, 2001,” Conflict & Communication Online 2, 2003: 4). In her 2008 book, Northwestern University’s Marda Dunsky argues that US media consistently omit two key contextual elements of the conflict: the impact of US foreign policy with respect to Israel and international consensus on the critical issues of Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees (Marda Dunsk, Pens and Swords: How the American Mainstream Media Report the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008).
6 John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007); Jonathan Broder, “Obama Girds for Fight with Israel Lobby over Iran Nuclear Deal,” Newsweek, July 18, 2015, Mearsheimer and Walt received significant backlash in advance of the book’s publication, including accusations of antisemitism (Patricia Cohen, “Backlash over Book on Policy for Israel,” New York Times, August 16, 2007,
7 According to a Gallup poll, 62 percent said their sympathies lie with the Israelis and 16 percent said their sympathies lie with the Palestinians—percentages that have remained fairly consistent for decades (Gallup, “Seven in 10 Americans Continue to View Israel Favorably,” February 23, 2015, According to a February 2015 Pew Research Center poll, 48 percent of Americans believe that the level of US support for Israel is about right, 29 percent believe that it is insufficient, and 22 percent believe that it is excessive (Pew Research Center, “More View Netanyahu Favorably Than Unfavorably; Many Unaware of Israeli Leader,” February 27, 2015, According to a 2015 Bloomberg Politics poll, 45 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. should support Israel even when its interests diverge and 47 percent believe that “Israel is an ally but we should pursue America’s interests when we disagree with them” (Seltzer & Company, “Bloomberg Politics Poll,” April 8, 2015,
8 For example, in 2003, John Kerry observed that his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean, was “imploding” over Israel. Dean developed an “Israel problem” after remarking that the United States should be “evenhanded” in its approach to the conflict and that “it’s not our place to take sides” (Michelle Goldberg, “Howard Dean’s Israel Problem,” Salon, September 23, 2003, During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s commitment to Israel was heavily scrutinized following his remark that “no one has suffered more than the Palestinians”—a remark that the candidate’s detractors repeated ad nauseam. Obama quickly moved to crush the controversy, insisting that he meant that “nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region” (Neela Banerjee, “Obama Walks a Difficult Path as He Courts Jewish Voters,” New York Times, March 1, 2008,
9 Former president Jimmy Carter faced vicious attacks and even a lawsuit for speaking out about what he witnessed in Israel/Palestine, calling it apartheid. As longtime Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller said, President Carter “has achieved a sort of radioactive status” on Israel-Palestine since publishing his book (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Carters Return to Capital, Onstage,” New York Times, April 2, 2014, Top Democrats “rush[ed] to repudiate” the book in the weeks leading up to its release. (Jennifer Siegel, “Dems Repudiate Carter Book,” Forward, October 27, 2006, Then President Carter embarked on the “book tour from hell”—he was “called a bigot, an anti-Semite, a liar, a plagiarist and a coward.” Former Air America radio host and now senator Al Franken asked the former president, “Why do you hate the Jews?” (Eleanor Clift, “Carter’s Book Tour from Hell,” Newsweek, October 25, 2007, President Carter even faced a lawsuit as a result of his book: the Israel advocacy organization Shurat HaDin sued him for $5 million in 2011, alleging that the book “contains false information and was intended to deceive the public and promote an anti-Israel agenda” (Jordana Horn, “Jimmy Carter being sued for alleged falsehoods,” March 2, 2011, More recently, the former president famously revealed that President Obama does not reach out to him for advice, explaining, “I think the problem was that . . . the Carter Center has taken a very strong and public position of equal treatment between the Palestinians and the Israelis” (Carrie Dann, “Carter Says Obama Doesn’t Call Him For Advice,” NBC News, March 21, 2014,
10 The Israel advocacy group UN Watch waged a “sustained defamation campaign” against Falk, calling him a racist, antisemite, supporter of terrorism, and 9/11 conspiracy theorist (UN Watch, “Richard Falk Defends Palestinian Resort to Violence, Praises Hamas for Pursuing ‘Peaceful Co-Existence,’ Attacks UN Watch for ‘Defamatory Campaign,’” April 24, 2015, Falk responded, “I have opposed and fought against racism for my entire adult life. It is true I have often opposed the policies pursued by states, including those of the United States and Israel, and I have sided with those who seem to have been denied their fundamental rights, but to conflate such stands with racism . . . is but one element in a wide ranging and frequently repeated denunciation of my views and activities” (Richard Falk, “For What?” Global Justice in the 21st Century, July 20, 2012,
11 As the State Department recounts in its archives, “The United Nations led the call for sanctions against the South African government. Fearful of losing friends in Africa as de-colonization transformed the continent, powerful members of the Security Council, including Great Britain, France, and the United States, succeeded in watering down the proposals. However, by the late 1970s, grassroots movements in Europe and the United States succeeded in pressuring their governments into imposing economic and cultural sanctions on Pretoria” (US State Department, “The End of Apartheid,” n.d.,, emphasis added). “In the end a concerted grassroots nonviolent civil resistance movement in coalition with international support and sanctions forced the white government to negotiate. . . . The decades of struggle saw the ebb and flow of a wide variety of strategic actions within the anti-apartheid movement. American theologian Walter Wink suggests the movement was ‘probably the largest grassroots eruption of diverse nonviolent strategies in a single struggle in human history’” (Lester R. Kurtz, “The Anti-Apartheid Struggle in South Africa,” International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, June 2010,, emphasis added; see also Francis Njubi Nesbitt, “The People’s Sanctions,” Foreign Policy in Focus, December 6, 2013,
12 BBC News, “Tens of Thousands of Protesters March in London for Gaza,” August 9, 2014,; Hody Nemes, “Jews March in New York Rally Against Israel War in Gaza,” Forward, July 24, 2014,; Randy Belisomo, “Thousands March in Downtown Chicago Protesting Attacks in Gaza,”, July 20, 2014,
13 Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” also resulted in more than 2,000 Palestinians killed, more than 10,000 wounded, and massive destruction of Palestinian civilian infrastructure, including nearly 100,000 homes damaged and reduced to rubble. The Israeli army’s targets included UN-run civilian shelters, schools, and even hospitals crowded with the injured (Jeremy Ashkenas, Archie Tse, Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, and Karen Yourish, “Assessing the Damage and Destruction in Gaza,” New York Times, August 15, 2014,; Agence France Presse, “UN Doubles Estimate of Destroyed Homes,” YNet, December 19, 2014,,7340,L-4605408,00.html. Human rights organizations concluded that Israel committed war crimes in its assault. (Jeffrey Heller, “Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of War Crimes in Gaza,” Reuters, September 11, 2014,; Guardian, “Israel accused of war crimes during campaign in Gaza,” November 5, 2014,
14 B’Tselem, “Statistics on Palestinians in the Custody of the Israeli Security Forces,” August 3, 2015,; Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, “Overview/Statistics,” July 2015,
15 Amnesty International, Report 2014/15: The State of the World’s Human Rights, 2015,; B’Tselem: “Israel Holding More Than 470 Palestinians in Administrative Detention—Highest Number in 5 Years,” updated June 23, 2015,; B’Tselem, “Statistics on Palestinian Minors in the Custody of the Israeli Security Forces,” updated July 27, 2015,; Defense for Children International, “Military Detention,” n.d.,; Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Weekly Reports 2009–15,
16 Amnesty International, Report 2014/15; B’Tselem, “Background on the Restriction of Movement,” updated July 15, 2012,; Gisha, “Separating Land, Separating People: Legal Analysis of Access Restrictions between Gaza and the West Bank,” June 2015,
17 Haaretz, “State of Settlements, Not of Law,” editorial, July 23, 2015,; B’Tselem, “Land Expropriation and Settlements,” updated January 23, 2014,; Human Rights Watch, “Dispatches: Israeli Settlements Undermine Security” March 2, 2015,; Edith Garwood, “Let’s Be Clear: Israel’s Long-Running Settlement Policy Constitutes a War Crime,” Amnesty International, August 14, 2013,
18 Amnesty International, Report 2014/15; Amnesty International, “Families Under the Rubble: Israeli Attacks on Inhabited Homes,” November 5, 2014,; B’Tselem, “Settler Violence: Lack of Accountability,” updated June 3, 2012,; B’Tselem, “Beating and Abuse of Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces,” updated September 9, 2012,; B’Tselem, “Background on the Use of Firearms,” January 1, 2011,; B’Tselem, “Background on Demonstrations in the Territories,” updated January 2, 2013,; Breaking the Silence, “This is How We Fought in Gaza: Soldiers’ Testimonies and Photographs from Operation ‘Protective Edge,’” 2014,; Human Rights Watch, “Israel: In-Depth Look at Gaza School Attacks,” September 11, 2014,; Eyal Hareuveni, “Standing Idly By: IDF Soldiers’ Inaction in the Face of Offenses Perpetrated by Israelis Against Palestinians in the West Bank,” May 2015, Yesh Din,; Daniel Byman and Natan Sachs, “The Rise of Settler Terrorism,” Foreign Affairs (September/October 2012),
19 Adalah, “The Discriminatory Laws Database,” May 30, 2015,; Rula Jebreal, “Minority Life in Israel,” New York Times, October 28, 2014,; Association for Civil Rights in Israel, “Arab Minority Rights,” n.d.,; Human Rights Watch, “Israel: Court Permits Discriminatory Evictions,” May 19, 2015,; Human Rights Watch, “Israel: Bedouin Facing Mass Evictions from Their Land,” August 30, 2013,; Human Rights Watch, Second Class: Discrimination Against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel’s Schools, 2001,; Amnesty International, Report 2014/15; Amnesty International, “Israel/Occupied Territories: High Court Decision Institutionalizes Racial Discrimination,” press release, May 16, 2006,
20 Palestinian BDS National Committee, “Introducing the BDS Movement,” n.d.,
21 In June 2014, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest from three companies—Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions—that “supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.” The Presbyterian Church (USA), “one of a handful of historic mainline Protestant denominations and the church of many American presidents,” is the largest church to have divested so far (Laurie Goodstein, Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel,” New York Times, June 20, 2014,; Shelby Lin Erdman and Ben Brumfield, “Presbyterians Dump Companies They Say Are Tied to Palestinian Occupation,” CNN, June 22, 2014, In May 2014, the Gates Foundation sold its entire stake in G4S, a UK-based corporation that signed a contract with the Israel Prison Service “to provide surveillance systems to Israeli prisons” (Haaretz, “Bill Gates Sells Shares in U.K. Firm Linked to Israeli Security Services,” May 31, 2014,; Tom Metcalf, “Gates Foundation Sells Stake in U.K. Prison Operator G4S,” Bloomberg Business, June 6, 2014,
22 Students have passed divestment resolutions at Loyola, Wesleyan, Oberlin, DePaul, Evergreen, University of Toledo, Stanford, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego (Debra Nussbaum Cohen, “Israel Divestment Efforts Increasing on U.S. Campuses,” Haaretz, April 20, 2015, In addition, the Wayne State University student council voted to endorse divestment in April 2003 (WSU Board of Governors, “Resolution on Response to Divestiture Request,” April 30, 2003, Arab American News, “WSU Student Council Votes for Divestiture,” May 2, 2003,; the University of Michigan at Dearborn student government voted to endorse divestment in February 2010 (Anti-Defamation League, “Boycott & Divestment Efforts Proliferate on Campus,” April 8, 2009,; the University of Massachusetts at Boston student government voted unanimously to endorse divestment in April 2012 (UMass Boston Undergraduate Student Government, “A Bill in Support of UMass Divestment from Companies that Profit from or Provide Material Support to War Crimes and/or Human Rights Violations,” April 18, 2012,; the Arizona State University student government voted unanimously to endorse divestment in June 2012 (Students for Justice in Palestine ASU Chapter, “Arizona State University Student Government Votes to Divest from Israel,” June 5, 2012,; Monica Perez, “U. Group Petitions Divestment from Israel,” Brown Daily Herald, November 19, 2012,; the University of California-Santa Cruz student government voted to endorse divestment in May 2014 (Anti-Defamation League, “BDS on American College Campuses, 2013–14 Year in Review,” June 3, 2014,; the Northwestern University student senate voted to endorse divestment in February 2015 (Haaretz, “Northwestern U. Students Pass Israel Divestment Resolution,” February 19, 2015,; the Earlham College student senate voted unanimously to endorse divestment in April 2015 (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Earlham College Student Senate Passes Divestment Resolution,” April 29, 2015,; the Oglethorpe University student government voted to endorse divestment with “near complete unanimity” in May 2015 and the Princeton University graduate student body voted to endorse divestment in May 2015 (AMCHA Initiative, “Antisemitic Divestment from Israel Initiatives – Scorecard on U.S. Campuses 2012-2015,” updated May 29, 2015, Other student governments that have voted to endorse divestment include Concordia University, Marquette University, and Hampshire College (CAMERA on Campus, “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS),” n.d.,
23 When campaigns to boycott the Israeli company SodaStream—which operates in an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank—began gaining traction in early 2014, the company’s stock and revenue dropped. (Jodi Rudoren, “Israeli Firm, Target of Boycott, to Shut West Bank Plant,” New York Times, October 30, 2014,; Duncan Oleinic, “Buyers Seek SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA), But Boycott Fears Hang Around,” Wall Street PR, May 23, 2014, In October of that year, SodaStream announced plans to close its settlement factory by mid-2015 (Mike Esterl, “SodaStream to Close West Bank Factory By Mid-2015,” Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2014, After a global campaign against its projects in illegal settlements, the French corporation Veolia announced in April 2015 that it had closed the sale of nearly all of its activities in Israel. (Veolia, “Veolia closes the sale of its activities in Israel,” press release, April 1, 2015, A Veolia official speaking to a reporter on condition of anonymity acknowledged the financial impact of the BDS campaign, admitting that the campaigns have “lost us important contracts” (Manila Bulletin, “Jerusalem’s Light Rail Finally Ready to Roll,” November 27, 2010, Leading Israeli agricultural exporter Agrexco—which marketed and sold produce from illegal settlements—declared bankruptcy in August 2011 “partially due to the global boycott of its produce” (Giulio Meotti, “Is BDS Campaign Working?” YNet, August 21, 2011,,7340,L-4115718,00.html). The Israeli cosmetics company Ahava, whose manufacturing plant is located on the shores of the Dead Sea in an illegal settlement, was forced to close its flagship store in London in September 2011. According to an Ahava spokesman, “The shop wasn’t profitable. The protests damaged our image and created negative media coverage. We are a commercial company and we must conduct cost-benefit calculations” (Yaniv Halily, “AHAVA Closes London Store over Threats,” YNet, September 22, 2011,,7340,L-4125530,00.html. In April 2013, the British multinational security services company G4S “confirmed it is planning to quit key contracts in Israel amid protests against its involvement in settlements within occupied Palestinian territories.” The company apparently fears the “reputational dangers” of its contracts in Israel (Gill Pillmer, “G4S to Quit Key Contracts in Israel,” Financial Times, April 21, 2013,
24 “Advocates for Palestinians have linked divestment to social justice movements against racism, militarization and globalization that are important to many college students. United Students Against Sweatshops, which focuses on labor rights, endorsed National Students for Justice in Palestine. In 2013, the council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association endorsed a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Campus divestment advocates often come to student government hearings with the backing of student associations for blacks, South Asians, Mexican-Americans, gays and others” (Associated Press, “Anti-Israel Divestment Push Gains Traction at US Colleges,” New York Times, February 28, 2015, “At University of California schools, Muslim and Jewish students are a minority. The divestment resolutions at UC campuses have been approved with a coalition of groups, including Asian Americans, African Americans and Latinos. ‘Everyone sees commonalities to the Palestinian struggle,’ [UC-Davis SJP President Marcelle] Obeid said. ‘A lot of minority groups really sympathized and voted with their morals’” in the January 2015 UC Davis divestment vote (Richard Chang and Darrell Smith, “UC Students’ Israeli Divestment Push Diverges from Elite Schools,” Sacramento Bee, February 12, 2015, Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine, a coalition of nineteen student groups spearheading divestment efforts at Stanford University, includes among its members the Black Student Union, the Stanford NAACP, the American Indian Organization, MEChA de Stanford, the Asian American Students’ Association, First Generation Low Income Partnership, the Student and Labor Alliance, Students for Queer Liberation, and SJP (Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine, “Stanford Re-votes, Divestment Passes in a Landslide Victory,” press release, Mondoweiss, February 18, 2015,
25 During the first SJP national conference at Columbia University in October 2011, attendees participated in weekend protests at the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York City’s financial district. They also addressed the Occupy general assembly, reporting that feedback from protesters was positive and that “people are thinking very intelligently about coalition politics” and linkages between struggles (Palestinian BDS National Committee, “Occupy Wall Street Not Palestine!” October 14, 2011,; Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-Israel Groups Attempt to Co-Opt Occupy Wall Street Message,” November 15, 2011, SJP chapters also teamed up with local Occupy organizers—to create “TIAA-CREF’s Checkpoint Reality Check,” for example (Anna Baltzer, “Member Groups Join the Global BDS Day of Action!” US Campaign to End the Occupation, April 11, 2012, In January 2015, a delegation of Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, and Dream Defenders leaders traveled to Palestine to reestablish and strengthen “the connections between the African American leadership of the movement in the US and those on the ground in Palestine” (Kristian Davis Bailey, “Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter & Ferguson Reps Take Historic Trip to Palestine,” Ebony, January 2015, Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors said upon her return from Palestine, “There was this kindredness that we felt with Palestinians as Black people. The constant battering and terrorizing by military, and for us, by police, is eerily similar” (Laura Flanders, “Black Lives Matter’s Patrisse Cullors on Creating a New Economy of Nonviolence,” Truthout, May 19, 2015, Cullors endorsed Stanford University’s divestment campaign, writing that she and her fellow delegates to Palestine “made a commitment during our trip to support the end to systemic human rights abuses against Palestinians through BDS” (US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, “USACBI Launches New Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiatives,” USACBI Newsletter 1(1), February 2015, SJP and the Dream Defenders—a group of young people who came together after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012 and are now at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement—have attended each other’s conferences and worked together on campuses (Alex Kane, “The growing ties between #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine,” Mondoweiss, January 26, 2015, The Dream Defenders unanimously passed a resolution in support of BDS (Bailey, “Dream Defenders”). SJP chapters have hosted Black Lives Matter leaders at campus events and joined with other student groups to organize Black Lives Matter demonstrations (SJP Loyola University Chicago, “Events,”
26 National Students for Justice in Palestine, “About,” updated 2013,
27 See, e.g., Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley,, Students for Justice in Palestine at San Jose State University,, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine,, City University of New York, College of Staten Island Students for Justice in Palestine,, Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Delaware,, Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of California, San Diego,; Students for Justice in Palestine at San Diego State University,, University of California at Riverside Students for Justice in Palestine,, Boston University Students for Justice in Palestine,, University of New Mexico, Students for Justice in Palestine,
28 Adalah-NY, “Adalah-NY Statement,” n.d.,
29 Adalah-NY’s campaign against construction magnate Lev Leviev has yielded a series of high-profile successes. In January 2008, after receiving a letter from Adalah-NY demanding that it “stop accepting charitable donations from Leviev,” Oxfam International publicly distanced itself from Leviev. The British charity issued a statement saying that Leviev “has not been a donor to Oxfam or any of its affiliates” and that the charity was “checking thoroughly whether any OxFam has had any relationship with Mr. Leviev.” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “British Charity Asked to Shun Leviev,” January 13, 2008,
30 Murtaza Hussain, “A Small Band of Activists Is Humiliating an Israeli Shipping Giant,” Intercept, October 31, 2014,; American Muslims for Palestine, “AMP, Coalition Blocks Israeli Ship in Los Angeles,” n.d.,
31 Center for Constitutional Rights, “Israel’s Attacks on United States Human Rights Defenders since 2003,” n.d.,
32 Greg Myre, “Israeli Army Bulldozer Kills American Protesting in Gaza,” New York Times, March 17, 2003,; Elizabeth Corrie, “Killed in Israel: A Year of Silence since Rachel Corrie Died,” New York Times, March 4, 2004,
33 Robert Booth, Harriet Sherwood, and Justin Vela, “Gaza Flotilla Attack: Autopsies Reveal Intensity of Israeli Military Force,” Guardian, June 4, 2010,; Roger Cohen, “The Forgotten American,” New York Times,” July 26, 2010,
34 Matthew Kalman, “Israeli Inquiry into Rachel Corrie Death Insufficient, US Ambassador Tells Family,” Guardian, August 24, 2012,; Neil MacFarquhar, “UN Leader Criticizes Israeli Plan for Inquiry,” New York Times, June 18, 2010,; Amnesty International UK, “Israeli Inquiry into Gaza Flotilla Deaths No More Than a Whitewash,” press release, January 28, 2011,
35 In March 2003, US Representative Brian Baird introduced a congressional resolution calling on the US government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Rachel Corrie’s death. The House of Representatives failed to act on the resolution (Congressional Resolution 111, 108^th^ Congress, 2003, The US government never investigated the death of Furkan Doğan, instead deferring to the Israeli government to conduct an investigation. Even as Israel consistently refused to inform the United States about the findings of the Israeli inquiry—despite initial promises otherwise—the United States maintained that it would not launch its own investigation into the death of its citizen (Center for Constitutional Rights, “Gaza Flotilla FOIA Production Guide: Furkan Doğan,” February 2013,
36 When an Israeli court ruled in 2012 that Israel bore no responsibility for Rachel Corrie’s death, the US Embassy declined to comment on the verdict. At a news conference following the verdict, Corrie’s mother said, “A lawsuit is not a substitute for a legal investigation, which we never had. The diplomatic process between the United States and Israel failed us.” The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Hanan Ashrawi said in a post-verdict statement that the US government “has been noticeably absent, and its silence is deafening,” calling Washington “complicit in compounding the crime” (Jodi Rudoren and Danielle Ziri, “Court Rules Israel Is Not at Fault in Death of American Activist,” New York Times, August 28, 2012, In September 2010, a UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission submitted its report on the Gaza flotilla raid, concluding that “a series of violations of international law...were committed by the Israeli forces” and that there is “clear evidence to support prosecutions.” The United States said it was “concerned with the tone, content, and conclusions of the report” (Jerusalem Post, “US Concerned UNHRC Flotilla Probe May Stop Peace Talks,” September 28, 2010, The UN Human Rights Council voted to endorse the report; the United States was the only country to vote against endorsement (Colum Lynch, “U.N. Panel Endorses Report Accusing Israel of Executions Aboard Aid Flotilla,” Washington Post, September 30, 2010,
37 Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) describes itself as a “national membership organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people of Israel and Palestine” (Jewish Voice for Peace, n.d., JVP reported experiencing a surge of interest, noting in early August 2014 that “our mailing list grew by 50,000 in 3 weeks and we can’t keep up with the demand for new chapters” (Jewish Voice for Peace, “Growing Movement of American Jews Speaking Out against Assault on Gaza,” press release, August 4, 2014,
38 Jews Say No!, “a group of concerned Jews in and around New York City,” “formed in December 2008/January 2009 at the time of Israel’s invasion of Gaza to express our opposition to the siege of Gaza and to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.” (Jews Say No!, “About Us,” n.d.,
39 The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) identifies as “an international network of Jews who are uncompromisingly committed to struggles for human survival and emancipation, of which the liberation of the Palestinian people and land is an indispensable part.” (IJAN, “Who We Are,” n.d.,
40 Open Hillel, a student campaign, aims to “encourage inclusivity and open discourse” about Israel at campus Hillel groups, which currently “exclude certain groups . . . based on their political views on Israel” (Open Hillel, “About,” n.d.,
41 The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which describes itself as “a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice,” works on issues ranging from drone warfare to immigrants’ rights to prison privatization to economic inequality. AFSC supports “boycott and divestment campaigns targeting companies that support the occupation, settlements, militarism, or any other violations of international humanitarian or human rights law” (American Friends Service Committee, “Economic Activism,” n.d.,
42 American Muslims for Palestine focuses on “educating people about Palestine” and the occupation. (American Muslims for Palestine, “What Is AMP?” n.d.,
43 The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation uses BDS and legislative advocacy campaigns to hold the U.S. government, corporations, and other institutions accountable for their roles in sustaining the occupation. (U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, “FAQ,” n.d.,
44 Muslim Student Associations (MSA), or Muslim Student Unions, which serve Muslim communities on campus and raise awareness about Islam and Muslims, focus primarily on religious, cultural, and political programming, including Islam Awareness Week events, Hijab Day gatherings, and weekly congregational prayers. While some chapters elect to organize events about Palestine, others opt not to, for reasons ranging from limited capacity to divergent member interests. The mission statement of MSA West, a regional organization of MSA chapters on the West Coast, explains: “A Muslim Student Association is an organization built to serve the needs of Muslim college students through the establishment of faith, unity, and activism. The purpose of an MSA is to serve as a platform to encourage the growth of its members spiritually, socially, and academically. This is a goal driven by our purpose—to inspire all members to grow with ethics derived from Islam in order to become model members of society. For decades, MSAs have always had an active voice in education, justice, and advocacy—working to uphold and support the communities around them” (MSA West, n.d.,
45 In the context of a conference intended to improve Israel advocacy groups’ efforts to “discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of [Palestine solidarity groups and individuals]” in social media realms, a Reut Institute official “acknowledge[d] the weakness of Israel’s propaganda ‘in an ecosystem populated with social networks, virtual communities, and extreme diversity’” (Ben White, “Israeli Think Tank Holds Anti-BDS ‘Hackathon,’” Middle East Monitor, January 16, 2015, Others have disparaged the connections that Palestine activists have forged with other social justice causes. The executive director of UCLA’s Hillel, Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, stated, with no sense of the irony of the history of conquest and colonization of the groups he criticizes, that “campus politics have been hijacked by a group of students who are intent to conquer,” adding, “The coalition of Arab, Muslim, Latino, Asian and gay students. They’re all oppressed minorities” (Chang and Smith, “UC Students’ Israeli Divestment Push”).
46 The University of California San Diego student council passed a divestment resolution after debating the resolution for eight hours and hosting a four-hour public input forum that drew over 250 students, faculty, and community members. (Andrew Doolittle, “A.S. Council Passes SJP Divestment Resolution,” UCSD Guardian, March 25, 2015,; The University of California Berkeley student senate passed the divestment resolution after ten hours of intense debate that ended at around 5:30 in the morning. The vote was “dramatic” and “emotional for all sides,” with “[a]t least three senators [breaking] down in tears as they gave their final comments following the vote.” (Jeremy Gordon and Daphne Chen, “ASUC Senate passes Israel Divestment bill SB 160, 11-9,” The Daily Californian, April 18, 2013, The Northwestern University Associated Student Government Senate voted to endorse divestment after more than five hours of debate. (Shane McKeon, “After more than five hours of debate, ASG Senate narrowly passes NUDivest resolution,” The Daily Northwestern, February 19, 2015, The student government of Loyola University Chicago passed a divestment resolution after more than four hours of public comments and senate debate. “The public comments section of the meeting was tense.” (“Student Senate Government says yes to divest,” Loyola Phoenix, March 26, 2015,
47 Students at DePaul University voted in favor of a divestment referendum even after “immense outside interference by pro-Israel lobbyist group StandWithUs, whose paid staff frequently presented themselves as individuals affiliated with DePaul University” while canvassing the student body. The Israeli consulate general in Chicago organized an anti-divestment panel discussion regarding the DePaul referendum and was present on campus during the last full day of voting. (DePaul Divests, “DePaul Divests declares victory in student campaign,” press release, April 28, 2014,; Israel in Chicago, “BDS Referendum Panel Discussion,” Facebook event page, Leaked emails reveal that a number of off-campus Israel advocacy organizations were involved in efforts to defeat the ultimately successful divestment campaign at Northwestern University. These groups included the Jewish United Fund, StandWithUs, the Israel on Campus Coalition, and the Israeli consulate. (Alex Kane, “Leaked e-mails show that Israeli Consulate, StandWithUs, tried to thwart Northwestern divestment,”Mondoweiss, February 19, 2015, Israeli-American real estate magnate Adam Milstein solicited donations from off-campus pro-Israel groups on behalf of two anti-divestment student senate candidates at UCLA, according to leaked emails. In an email to a Milstein Family Foundation employee, the senate candidates wrote, “I cannot stress enough how discrete (sic) this initiative must be. If this letter or any evidence of outside organizations’ involvement in these student government elections were to be found by our opponents it would compromise our campaign, [the] Bruins United [party] and all student government pro-Israel activism across America.” (Amanda Schallart, “Leaked emails reveal hidden sources of Bruins United campaign funds,” Daily Bruin, December 11, 2014, In addition, the UCLA Hillel hired the DC-linked public relations firm 30 Point Strategies to combat the campus divestment campaign. (“Leaked emails reveal partnership between Hillel, PR firm,” Daily Bruin, October 29, 2014, The UCLA senate voted to pass divestment in spite of these costly efforts.
48 See note #22.
49 These campuses are: Oglethorpe University, Princeton University (graduate student government), Earlham College, Loyola University in Chicago, University of Toledo, Northwestern University, Stanford, UC Davis, and UCLA.
50 Campaigns against AHAVA and SodaStream—both of which operate in illegal settlements—have included street-theater actions from California ( to the Netherlands ( SJP chapters at Princeton and DePaul challenged the sale of Sabra hummus on their campuses by sponsoring a university-wide referendum (Alaka Halder, “Students Campaign for Alternative Hummus,” Daily Princetonian, November 19, 2010, and petitioning administrators (Tamar Lewin, “New Subject of Debate on Mideast: Hummus,” New York Times, Devember 3, 2010, Sabra is partly owned by the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provides financial support to the Golani brigade of the Israeli military. The Golani brigade has allegedly committed human rights violations against Palestinians. BDS campaigners staged a street theater action in a Philadelphia grocery store, urging the store to de-shelve Sabra hummus ( US musician Lauryn Hill canceled her May 2015 concert in Israel after activists “urged her to boycott Israel over its occupation of Palestinian land” (Agence France-Presse, “Lauryn Hill Cancels Israel Show after Cultural Boycott Pressure,” Guardian, May 5, 2015, Other artists who have responded to boycott campaigns by canceling shows in Israel include Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, and Gil Scott-Heron (Haaretz, “Elvis Costello Joins Israel Boycott, Canceling June Shows,” May 18, 2010, In 2013, three US academic associations announced that they would boycott Israeli universities and academic institutions—the 5,000-member American Studies Association, the Association for Asian American Studies, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (Maya Shwayder, “US Scholars’ Group Votes in Favor of Academic Boycott of Israel,” Jerusalem Post, December 16, 2013,; Herb Keinon, “Native American Studies Association Joins Academic Boycott of Israel,” Jerusalem Post, December 18, 2013,
51 In August 2014, members of Jewish Voice for Peace interrupted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren at a “Chicago Stands with Israel” event. The protesters shouted, “We are Jews, shame on you, end the occupation now.” (Adam Janofsky, “Protesters disrupt Chicago Pro-Israel Event,” Tablet, August 25, 2014,; video at George Mason University’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid, along with assistant professor of cultural studies Craig Willse, wrote a letter of concern to the George Mason community when the university announced that Shari Arison—owner of the Arison Group—would speak and receive an honorary degree at commencement. The letter cited the Arison Group’s “central role” in facilitating the Israeli occupation (Suzanne Pollak, “Anti-Israel group protests speaker at George Mason,” Washington Jewish Week, December 11, 2013, When a group of students at Florida Atlantic University learned that Israeli colonel Bentzi Gruber—a participant in Israel’s 2008–2009 operation in Gaza—would be speaking on campus, they expressed their concern to university officials but received no response. The students “attended the event and peacefully walked out in protest,” briefly interrupting the speaker with a few facts about the Gaza military operation and then raising a banner that read “War Criminal” as they walked out (Nadine Aly, Noor Fawzy, and Renata Glebocki, “Letter to the Editor: FAU Students for Justice in Palestine Statement,” University Press (Florida Atlantic University), August 11, 2013, The UK group Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign, protested Israeli academic Mordechai Kedar’s December 2014 visit to Sussex at the invitation of Sussex Friends of Israel. In an interview with an Israeli radio station earlier that year, Kedar reportedly said, “The only thing that could deter a suicide bomber is knowing that, if caught, his sister or his mother would be raped” (Gareth Davies, “Protests After Sussex Friends of Israel Welcomes Controversial Speaker,” Argus, December 10, 2014,
52 Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), May 12, 2015, (concern about family members’ travel as a result of false accusations against student); Palestine Legal email interview with student (name withheld), May 27, 2015, (concern about travel as a result of false accusations); Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), May 28, 2015 (concern about job prospects upon graduation and her family having difficulty traveling as a result of false accusations); Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), June 9, 2015, (concern about job prospects as a result of false accusations); Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), August 12, 2015 (concern about job prospects and travel as a result of false accusations).
53 US Commission on Civil Rights, “Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Arab and Muslim American Communities Post-9/11,” September 2014,; Donna Lieberman, “Infringement on Civil Liberties After 9/11,” New York Law School Law Review 56 (2011–12),; CCR, case page for Hassan v. City of New York, updated January 16, 2015,
54 For additional information about some of these organizations, their work to silence Palestine human rights advocacy, and their funding sources, see International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, “The Business of Backlash,” March 2015,
55 Hillel, “Hillel Israel Guidelines: Hillel Guidelines for Campus Israel Activities,” n.d.,
56 Brandeis Center, “Mission and Values,” March 18, 2015,
57 For a summary of AMCHA’s tactics and their effects, see Palestine Legal, “Rights Groups Write to UC & CSU Trustees about AMCHA Tactics to Silence Speech on Palestinian Rights,” February 21, 2014,; Kenneth Monteiro, “Commentary on Free Speech and AMCHA Initiative’s Attacks on Students and Faculty Across California Campuses,” San Francisco State University, 2014,; Ali Abunimah, The Battle for Justice in Palestine (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2014), 169.
58 Stand With Us, “College,”
59 Nathan Guttman, “StandWithUs Draws Line on Israel,” Forward, November 27, 2011,
60 Alex Kane, “Israel Lobby Group Compiles Secret Dossiers on Pro-Palestine Speakers,” Mondoweiss, February 25, 2014,
61 Shurat HaDin–Israel Law Center, “Overview,” n.d., Shurat HaDin has extensive relationships with the Israeli government and security establishment and has reportedly taken direction from the Israeli government as to which cases to file, according to documents revealed by Wikileaks. Shurat HaDin has also targeted BDS efforts in other countries (Tom Griffin and David Miller, “BDS Campaigner Targeted by Law Firm with Links to Israeli Intelligence,” SpinWatch, October 5, 2013,
62 Ibid.
63 In June 2015, Shurat HaDin threatened to sue Coca-Cola if the beverage maker did not break its contract with a Palestinian franchise owner who expressed support for BDS in two op-eds (Marissa Newman, “Israeli Group Threatens to Sue Coca-Cola over Palestinian Partner,” Times of Israel, June 15, 2015,
64 The ADL, for example, criticized the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s placement of San Diego State University on a list of top ten campuses with the worst antisemitic activity (Gary Warth, “Report about Anti-Semitic Activities at SDSU Disputed,” San Diego Union-Tribune, February 24, 2015,
65 For example, when Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israel “risked becoming an apartheid state,” former Illinois representative Bob Dold responded, “We work so hard to combat international attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel, so it is particularly disturbing to hear our very own Secretary of State, who is supposed to be our ambassador to the world and represent our values, embrace the delegitimization rhetoric of those who seek harm to Israel. Secretary Kerry’s remarks about Israel simply should not be tolerated” (Josh Rogin, “Exclusive: Kerry Warns Israel Could Become ‘An Apartheid State,’” Daily Beast, April 27, 2014,; Lynn Sweet, “Dold on Kerry Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comment: Should Not Be Tolerated,” Chicago Sun-Times, May 1, 2014,–402pm.
66 The Reut Institute is an Israel-based think tank that works closely with the Israeli government to “[provide] a variety of decision-support services to Israel’s decisionmakers and government agencies.” See Reut Institute, “Services and Products,” For a summary of the report, see Reut Institute, “The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall,” February 14, 2010,, paper submitted to the Tenth Herzliya Conference, March 2010,
67 Ibid.
68 Ali Abunimah, “Israel’s New Strategy: ‘Sabotage’ and ‘Attack’ the Global Justice Movement,” Electronic Intifada, February 16, 2010, The article includes a photograph of the Reut Institute presentation.
69 Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, “The Launch of the Israel Action Network,” Jewish Central Voice, February 2011,
70 The Jewish Agency has focused on bringing Jews from across the world to Israel since its founding before the establishment of the Israeli state. See Jewish Agency for Israel, “About Us,” November 16, 2013,; Josh Nathan-Kazis, “Jewish Agency Plans \$300M-a-Year Push for Israel,” Haaretz, August 15, 2013,
71 Nathan Guttman, “Secret Sheldon Adelson Summit Raises up to \$50M for Strident Anti-BDS Push,” Forward, June 9, 2015,
72 Herb Keinon, “Netanyahu: Israel Need Not Engage in Self-Flagellation over Delegitimization Efforts,” Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2015,; Itamar Eichner, “Israel to Allocate NIS 100 Million for BDS Battle,” Ynet, June 7, 2015,,7340,L-4665676,00.html.
73 Herb Keinon, “Netanyahu Convenes Strategy Meeting to Fight Boycotts,” Jerusalem Post, February 10, 2014,
74 Ibid.
75 Rahim Kurwa, “Submission: Anti-Divestment Groups Resort to Personal Attacks in Lieu of Logical Argument,” Daily Bruin, February 11, 2015,
76 White, “Israeli Think Tank Holds Anti-BDS ‘Hackathon.’” StandWithUs, J Street, and the Israel Campus Coalition attended the gathering.
77 Reut Institute, “Contending with BDS and the Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy,” June 2015,
78 Canary Mission, “About,” n.d., See also Josh Nathan-Kazis, “Shadowy Web Site Creates Blacklist of Pro-Palestinian Activists,” Forward, May 27, 2015,; Amanda Holpuch, “Website Targets Pro-Palestinian Students in Effort to Harm Job Prospects,” Guardian, May 27, 2015,; Lyanne Melendez, “Website Publicizes Actions of Politically Active Students,” ABC7 News, May 29, 2015,
79 Campus Watch, “About Campus Watch,” 2015,
80 Kane, “Israel Lobby Group.”
81 Palestine Legal interview with (name withheld), April 8, 2015; CCR interview with Shezza Abboushi Dallal, July 31, 2015.
82 Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), January 2014; Palestine Legal interview with student (name withheld), June 2015; Asa Winstanley and Nora Barrows-Friedman, “Documents Reveal Zionist Group Spied on US Student Delegation to Palestine,” Electronic Intifada, January 29, 2014,
83 Kristen Mott, “University of Toledo Students Closer to Divestment Vote,” Cleveland Jewish News, April 8, 2015,–ed0-d7177f272115.html; Lauren Lindstrom, “UT Student Senate Tosses Divestment Proposal,” Toledo Blade, February 18, 2015,; Vanessa McCray, “UT Student Senate Considers Call for Israeli Divestment,” Toledo Blade, February 17, 2015,
84 Anti-Defamation League, “BDS Resolution Defeated at Northeastern University,” March 20, 2015,
85 Tina Matar, “Palestine & Israel: Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid,” course syllabus, on file with Palestine Legal and available at
86 AMCHA Initiative et al., “20 Groups Write to Chancellor Wilcox Regarding Serious Concerns about Political Indoctrination in UCR Course,” April 16, 2015,
87 For example, the student received an email that read, “Since the palestinians weren’t a people, but an islamo-nazi invention for the annihilation of Jews, then anything can be taught in colleges. Like hamas baby shields, college baby brains are a great weapon.” Email from (name withheld) to Tina Matar, April 25, 2015, on file with Palestine Legal. A misogynist blogger who criticized the course posted a picture of a woman in a sexually provocative position, suggesting it was the student instructor, and wrote, “The chick looks like an attention-whore. . . . Sorry about my little ‘micro-agression’ in calling her a whore. Actually, that might not be a micro-aggression at all. That may be a full-on rape. You’d have to clue me in. If it is a rape, does that mean this Muslima is subject to Honor Killing? God, I hope not. She is pretty fuckin’ hot.” User “Pastorius,” “Anti-Semitic Class Taught at UC Riverside Is Not Being Pulled,” Infidel Bloggers Alliance, April 25, 2015,
88 UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom, letter to Professor David Delgado Shorter, July 9, 2012,
89 Larry Gordon, “UCLA Professor Told Not to Link Class Material to Anti-Israel Campaign,” Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2012,; Peter Schmidt, “Movement to Protest Israel’s Policies Triggers Bitter Fights Over US Scholar’s Speech,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2012,; Kaustuv Basu, “A Link Too Far,” Inside Higher Ed, April 16, 2012,; Nora Barrows Friedman, “LA Professor Wakes Up to Hate Mail for Linking to Anti-Zionist Material,” Electronic Intifada, August 1, 2012,
90 Interview with Palestine Legal, October 25, 2013.
91 The definition was formerly known as the European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC)’s working definition of antisemitism. EUMC originally formulated the definition to facilitate data collection efforts (Ken Stern, “The Working Definition: A Reappraisal,” Address at Stephen Roth Institute for Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, Tel Aviv University, “The Working Definition of Anti-Semitism—Six Years After” conference, August 31, 2010, In 2013, the successor European civil rights agency removed the definition from its website “together with other non-official documents,” to the consternation of Israeli officials and US-based Israel advocacy groups, including the AJC and SWC, which called on the agency to restore the working definition to its website. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “EU Drops Its ‘Working Definition’ of Anti-Semitism,” Times of Israel, December 5, 2013,; Simon Wiesenthal Center, “SWC to EU Baroness Ashton: Return Anti-Semitism Definition Document to EU Fundamental Rights Agency Website,” press release, November 6, 2013,
92 US State Department, “Defining Anti-Semitism,” June 8, 2010,; Palestine Legal, “FAQ: What to Know about Efforts to Redefine Anti-Semitism to Silence Criticism of Israel,” n.d., The State Department definition, designed to identify instances of global antisemitism, would violate the First Amendment if applied to restrict speech in the United States and therefore has limited legal effect. The State Department’s use of the definition in its reporting on global antisemitism seems to acknowledge this, noting that “while the report describes many measures that foreign governments have adopted to combat antisemitism, it does not endorse any such measures that prohibit conduct that would be protected under the U.S. Constitution.” See State Department, 2008 Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism Report (Washington, DC: US State Department, 2008), 2,
93 Larry Gordon, “Definition of Anti-Semitism Provokes Campus Debates,” Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2015,
94 Ibid.
95 AMCHA Initiative et al., “26 Groups Write to Stanford President Hennessy Regarding University Response to Swastikas & Ask Stanford to Adopt U.S. State Dep’t Definition of Antisemitism,” April 28, 2015,
97 Brandeis Center et al., “Anti-Semitism at Northeastern University,” April 6, 2015,
98 Nathan Guttman, “Could California Ban Anti-Israel Campus Protests as ‘Anti-Semitic’ Hate?” Forward, June 10, 2015,
99 Jonathan Molina, “After Condemning Anti-Semitism, UCSB Student Senate Rejects BDS Resolution,” Brandeis Center, April 23, 2015,
100 Palestine Legal, “In Rightfully Condemning Anti-Semitism, UCLA Student Council Tacitly Silences Critics of Israel,” March 11, 2015,; Jewish Voice for Peace, “UCLA Resolution on Anti-Semitism Creates Dangerous Precedent,” March 11, 2015,; Roii Ball, “USAC Resolution Fails to Distinguish Anti-Semitism, Criticism of Israel,” Daily Bruin, March 18, 2015,
101 California State Assembly, House Resolution No. 35, adopted August 28, 2012. The bill, available at, purports to provide evidence of antisemitism on campus, but the examples provided were replete with false information, exaggerations, and assumptions that criticism of Israeli policy is antisemitic. The bill’s text evidences the latter by conflating a number of activities: “(2) speakers, films, and exhibits sponsored by student, faculty, and community groups that engage in anti-Semitic discourse or use anti-Semitic imagery and language to falsely describe Israel, Zionists, and Jews, including that Israel is a racist, apartheid, or Nazi state, that Israel is guilty of heinous crimes against humanity such as ethnic cleansing and genocide, that the Jewish state should be destroyed, that violence against Jews is justified, that Jews exaggerate the Holocaust as a tool of Zionist propaganda, and that Jews in America wield excessive power over American foreign policy; (3) swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti in residential halls, public areas on campus, and Hillel houses; (4) student-and faculty-sponsored boycott, divestment, and sanction campaigns against Israel that are a means of demonizing Israel and seek to harm the Jewish state; . . . (6) suppression and disruption of free speech that present Israel’s point of view.” By pairing on a continuum real instances of antisemitism (such as swastika graffiti) with Palestinian rights advocacy, with which there was no documented relationship, the bill irresponsibly implies that critics of Israel were responsible for the bona fide antisemitic acts.
102 Ibid.
103 Ibid.
104 Dexter Van Zile, “JVP an Accessory to the Spread of Anti-Semitism in the US,” Times of Israel, July 16, 2014,; Zach Stern, “‘Open Hillel’ Legitimizes Anti-Semitism,” Zionist Organization of America, October 27, 2014,; Philip Weiss, “Congressman with Ties to Netanyahu Calls J Street ‘Anti-Semitic,’” Mondoweiss, July 13, 2012,
105 Anti-Defamation League, “News: Ranking the Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in 2013,” press release, October 21, 2013,
106 CCR interview with NYU SJP former president Ellis Garey, July 31, 2015.
107 Moses Hetfield, “Abusing the Term ‘Anti-Semitism,” Stanford Daily, April 21, 2015, The editorial responded to a campus controversy in which Israel advocacy organizations accused supporters of divestment from Israel of antisemitic comments.
108 Center for American Progress, Fear Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Effort to Manufacture Hate in America, February 2015,
109 Hamas on Campus, “Home page,” n.d.,
110 Canary Mission, “Muslim Students Association (MSA),” n.d.,
111 Nora Barrows-Friedman, “US University Lecturer’s Shocking Hate Speech Against Arab, Muslim Students Condemned,” Electronic Intifada, February 12, 2013,
112 Jared Sichel, “#JewHaters Posters at UCLA Liken Pro-Palestinian Student Group to Hamas Executioners,” Jewish Journal, February 23, 2015,; David Horowitz Freedom Center, “New Campaign Launched to Combat Jew Hatred on College Campuses,” press release, February 22, 2015,
113 George Blumenthal, and Alison Galloway, “Last Week’s Disruptions,” UC Santa Cruz Newscenter, March 12, 2015,
114 Adam Kredo, “Pro-Palestinian Students Heckle Cal-Davis Opponents with Cries of ‘Allahu Akbar!’” Fox News, February 3, 2015,
115 Adam Kredo, “Hamas on Campus: At U.C. Davis, Students for Justice in Palestine Chant ‘Allahu Akbar,’ Endorse Terrorism,” Free Beacon, February 2, 2015,
116 Screenshots on file with Palestine Legal.
117 Azka Fayyaz, “Letter to the Community from ASUCD Senator Azka Fayyaz,” California Aggie, February 3, 2015,
118 Richard Chang, “UC Davis Tensions on the Rise Following Controversial Vote,” Sacramento Bee, February 5, 2015,
119 Cheryl Armstrong, “Class Claims Rutgers Truckled to ADL,” Courthouse News Service, September 11, 2012,
120 Rabab Abdulhadi, letter to SFSU Academic Senate Executive Committee, May 7, 2015, on file with Palestine Legal.
121 William Jacobson, “List of Universities Rejecting Academic Boycott of Israel (Update—250!),” Legal Insurrection, December 22, 2013,
122 Jeremy Travis, “A Message from President Jeremy Travis,” campuswide email, October 21, 2014,
123 Mark Yudof, “Open Letter to UC Community from President Yudof on Recent Incidents of Intolerance,” March 9, 2012,
124 For an example of these talking points, see Seth Brysk, “Fall Campus Activities,” email communication to Linda P.B. Katehi, September 12, 2014,
125 See, for example, Phyllis Wise, “The Principles on Which We Stand,” Chancellor’s Blog, August 22, 2014, (regarding the firing of Professor Salaita and “civility”); see also UIUC President and Board of Trustees, letter in support of Chancellor Wise’s statement, August 22, 2014,
126 Janet Napolitano, “President Napolitano’s Statement on Civil Discourse at UCLA,” press release, May 16, 2014,
127 Anti-divestment campaigns have for years used “divisiveness” as an argument against divestment. Anti-divestment materials, in fact, identify it as a main talking point to combat the grassroots movement. See, for example, SJP West, “UC Santa Cruz: Anti-Divestment Talking Points,” June 8, 2013,; BDS Cookbook, “’Targeted BDS’ and Why Its a Bad Idea,” 2011,; Adam Horowitz, “Anti-Divestment Talking Points: Avoid Facts and Claim Victimhood,” Mondoweiss, April 15, 2010, As divestment proponents have explained, the divisiveness argument has been used to try to undermine many other social justice movements, from the US civil rights struggle to the South African anti-apartheid movement. See, for example, Bayan Founas, “Michigan in Color: Deconstructing the Term ‘Divisive,’” Michigan Daily, April 13, 2014,; Matt Ross, Maggie Sager, and Nathan Stuckey, “Palestinians Deserve an Open Discussion,” Daily Californian, April 30, 2013,
128 In California, a group of thirty state legislators signed a letter backed by Israel advocacy organizations that called divestment campaigns on UC campuses “divisive” and harmful to the Jewish community and applauded the UC Regents for their stance against divestment (Alex Kane, “State Officials in California Sign Letter Denouncing BDS Movement on College Campuses,” Mondoweiss, June 18, 2013,
129 Ben White, “The Board of Deputies’ Disingenuous Discourse on ‘Divisive’ BDS,” Middle East Monitor, November 8, 2013,
131 President’s Office, “Endorsing a Community of Dialogue: An Open Letter to the Loyola Community,” March 31, 2015,
132 Commentators have noted that pro-Israel organizations instruct advocates to emphasize dialogue to divert attention away from human rights abuses. For example, the Israel Project published a strategy document called the Global Language Dictionary in which it instructs advocates to “show empathy,” “reframe the issue,” and “remind people—again and again—that Israel wants peace” (Israel Project, The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, 2009, This framing recharacterizes the conflict as one between competing narratives or communities instead of institutional discrimination and rights abuses, reorienting the conversation away from Palestinian rights (Deepa Kumar, “‘The More Dead, the Better”: Israel’s Crumbling Media War,” Salon, July 23, 2014,
133 Les Levidow and Diana Neslen, “What Methodist Relations with the Jewish Community?” statement submitted to the UK Methodist Council Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), November 4, 2013,
134 In a letter to UC president Marc Yudof, CCR and other organizations highlighted the chilling effect that official disparagement of pro-Palestinian views and efforts to conflate them with the effect of antisemitic incidents on student speech: Center for Constitutional Rights, letter to Marc Yudof, “Re: The UC’s Responsibility to End the Chilling of Arab and Muslim Student Speech,” December 3, 2012,
135 Palestine Legal telephone interview with (name withheld), April 1, 2014.
136 Ibid.
137 Palestine Legal interview with (name withheld), February 25, 2015; CCR interview with Noran ElZarka, July 31, 2015.
138 Palestine Legal interview with (name withheld), University of Florida, Gainesville, October 6, 2014.
140 This count only measures campus-related incidents.
141 Palestine Legal telephone interview with (name withheld), April 1, 2014.
142 Palestine Legal email interview with (name withheld), July 23, 2015.
143 Palestine Legal interview with Brooklyn College professor Corey Robin, August 20, 2015.
144 CCR interview with Barnard College student Shezza Dallal, July 31, 2015.
145 Email from (name withheld) to Palestine Legal, March 6, 2015; Palestine Legal interview with (name withheld), March 6, 2015; “Thinking about going on Birthright Israel?” flyer, on file with Palestine Legal.
146 Email from (name withheld) to Palestine Legal, March 6, 2015; Palestine Legal interview with (name withheld), March 6, 2015.
147 Palestine Legal email interview with (name withheld), August 4, 2015.
148 Email from (name withheld) to CUNY Staten Island Vice President Brown, October 22, 2014, on file with Palestine Legal.
149 See, for example, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Guide to Due Process and Campus Justice, 2014, “The bad news is that campus hearings often lack the kinds of basic fact-finding mechanisms and procedural safeguards that a decent society should provide.” In the case of public schools, basic due process is required (Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 574, 581 [1975]: “The State is constrained to recognize a student’s legitimate entitlement to a public education as a property interest which is protected by the Due Process Clause and which may not be taken away for misconduct without adherence to the minimum procedures required by that Clause.”) However, the specific requirements differ depending on the state and the circumstances of the case. Both courts and legislatures are reluctant to interfere in the educational domain and have not provided clear standards. Ill-defined standards leave the interpretation of due process requirements at the discretion of universities.
150 Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine, “Suspension Notice & Our Response,” March 7, 2014,
151 See CCR, NLG-South Florida Chapter and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, letter to FAU, August 12, 2013, available at
152 Rania Khalek, “Missouri Museum Censors Ferguson-Mexico Solidarity Event for Including Palestinians,” Electronic Intifada, March 20, 2015,
153 Missouri History Museum, “Statement from Missouri History Museum Regarding Proposed March 19th Event with Washington University Student Group Altavoz,” press release, March 20, 2015,
154 Anna Baltzer and Michael Berg, “The Missouri History Museum’s Palestine Exception: A Case Study on How the St. Louis Jewish Establishment Exercises Power and Privilege,” Mondoweiss, May 19, 2015,
155 Open Hillel, “From Mississippi to Jerusalem: In Conversation with Civil Rights Veterans National Tour February 25—April 19, 2015,”
156 Swarthmore Kehila: Jewish Community, Facebook event page,
157 Tracy Turoff, letter to Lili Rodriguez, Associate Dean and Sharmaine Bradham Lamar, Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Legal Affairs, March 16, 2015, on file with Palestine Legal. Elizabeth Redden, “Not in Our Name,” Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2015,
158 Kathy Boccella, “Swarthmore Group Breaks from Hillel,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 27, 2015,
159 Ali Abunimah, “Evanston Public Library Bans My Book Talk on Palestine,” Electronic Intifada, August 2, 2014,
160 Lisa Black, “Pro-Palestinian Chicago Writer Addresses Peaceful Crowd at Evanston Library,” Chicago Tribune, August 11, 2014,
161 Bob Egelko, “Hastings Board Pulls UC Brand from Rights Meeting,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 2011,
163 Aaron Sankin, “Oakland Museum of Children’s Art Cancels Exhibition of Drawings by Palestinian Children Depicting Gaza War,” Huffington Post, September 12, 2011,
164 Nora Barrows-Friedman, “Gaza Children’s Images of War Censored Under Pressure from US Israel Lobby,” Electronic Intifada, September 13, 2011,
165 Jill Tucker, “Oakland Museum Cancels Palestinian Kids’ War Art,” San Francisco Gate, September 9, 2011,
166 Israeli Apartheid Week in NYC, “LGBT & Palestinian Rights Groups Protest Discrimination at NYC’s Gay Community Center,” press release, March 5, 2011,
167 Adam Horowitz, “NYC LGBT Center Overturns Ban on Palestine-Related Activities Following Uproar over Schulman Event,” Mondoweiss, February 15, 2013,
168 Palestine Legal interview with Sarah Schulman, August 20, 2015.
169 Christine C. Quinn, Deborah Glick, Brad Holyman, and Jimmy Van Bramer, “Joint Statement Re: New LGBT Center Space Use Guidelines,” February 15, 2013,
170 Cecilie Surasky, “Agreement Reached over San Francisco Mural: Changes to Image of Israel’s Wall,” Muzzlewatch, September 20, 2007, An image of the final mural is available at
171 Palestine Legal interview with Nancy Hernandez, former HOMEY artist, June 29, 2015.
172 Michael Futterman and Rabbi Douglas Kahn, “SFSU President Keeping Jews Safe with Mural Censure,”, October 6, 2006,
173 Andrew Cullen, “Edward Said Mural Turns 6 Years Old,” Golden Gate Xpress, November 8, 2012, An image of the final mural is available at The significance of the mural’s imagery is described in detail at Fayeq Oweis and Susan Greene, “Edward Said Mural, SF State University,” Art Forces, November 2, 2007,
174 Complaint at ¶¶ 32, 34, 36, 70, filed January 29, 2015 in Salaita v. Kennedy et al., United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (“Salaita Complaint”), available at
175 Ibid., ¶¶ 32, 36.
176 Ibid., ¶¶ 2, 71.
177 Ibid., ¶ 101.
178 CCR interview with Steven Salaita, August 1, 2015.
179 Wise, “Principles on Which We Stand”; UIUC President and Board of Trustees, letter in support of Chancellor Wise’s statement.
180 Julie Wurth, “Kennedy: We Did the Right Thing,” Illinois News-Gazette, September 19, 2014,
181 Salaita Complaint at ¶¶ 77–80.
182 Hannah Hayes, “Wiesenthal Center Calls UI Professor’s Controversial Twitter Posts Anti-Semitic,” The Jewish Voice, August 6, 2014,
183 ** Ali Abunimah, “Jewish Group that Sent Email Promising Action Denies Role in Steven Salaita Firing,” Electronic Intifada, August 7, 2014,
184 American Association of University Professors, “AAUP Censures Four, Removes Censure from One,” press release, June 13, 2015,
185 Salaita Complaint at ¶ 86.
188 SF State University, “Allegations of improper Faculty Travel Investigated; No Merit Found,” press release, June 24, 2014, available at
189 See Brandeis Center, The Morass of Middle East Studies: Title VI of the Higher Education Act and Federally Funded Area Studies, November 2014,; AMCHA Initiative, “Antisemitic Activity and Anti-Israel Bias at the Center for Near East Studies, University of California at Los Angeles, 2010–2013,” 2013,
190 James Gelvin, Setting the Record Straight: Programming of the G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, 2010–14,
191 Even the editorial board of the New York Times weighed in, stating that “the controversy over Middle East studies at Columbia has been overblown. . . . The professors who were targeted have legitimate complaints themselves. Their classes were infiltrated by hecklers and surreptitious monitors, and they received hate mail and death threats” (New York Times editorial, “Intimidation at Columbia,” April 7, 2005,
192 Douglas Feiden, “Vile Words of Hate that Shame Top University,” New York Daily News, November 21, 2004,; New York Daily News editorial, “Untenable: Bullying Columbia Professor Does Not Deserve Lifetime Employment,” April 12, 2009,; Jacob Gershman, “Bias of Massad Is Being Noted in His Classes,” New York Sun, February 7, 2005,
193 Joseph Massad, “Joseph Massad Responds to the Intimidation of Columbia University,” Electronic Intifada, November 3, 2004,; Javier C. Hernandez, “Columbia Clears Department of Anti-Semitism Charge,” Harvard Crimson, April 5, 2005,
194 Joseph Massad, “Joseph Massad’s response to the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee Report,” Electronic Intifada, April 5, 2005,
195 Nigel Parry, “Campus Watch: Interview with Prof. Joseph Massad,” Electronic Intifada, September 27, 2002,
196 New York Civil Liberties Union, “NYCLU Defends Academic Freedom at Columbia University,” press release, December 20, 2004,
197 Parry, “Campus Watch.”
198 Scott Jaschik, “Barnard Tenures Scholar Opposed by Massive Campaign,” Inside Higher Ed, November 5, 2007,; Richard Silverstein, “Columbia Grants Abu El-Haj Tenure,” Tikun Olam, November 2, 2007,
199 New Yorker, “The Petition,” April 14, 2008,
200 Ibid.
201 Andy Humm, “Academic Freedom, Intimidation, and Mayoral Politics: The Case of Rashid Khalidi,” Gotham Gazette, April 7, 2005,
202 Nora Barrows-Friedman, “Uphill Battle for Academic Freedom in US Universities,” Electronic Intifada, January 11, 2010,
203 Plaintiff-Appellants’ Brief, Ginsburg v. Bd. of Governors of the Univ. of N. Carolina (N. Carolina Ct. of Appeals 2011) (No. COA11506),, 29–30.
204 Nora Barrows-Friedman, “Fight Continues for Academic Freedom in the US,” Electronic Intifada, January 15, 2011,
205 Kourosh Ziabari, “When the U.S. Ridicules the Principles of Free Speech,” Countercurrents, November 6, 2012,
206 Ibid.; Nora Barrows-Friedman, “Legal Battle Ends, ‘Larger Struggle Continues’ for Professor Denied Tenure Because of Her politics,” Electronic Intifada, June 26, 2012,
207 American University in Cairo, “Terri Ginsberg,” n.d.,
208 Peter Kirstein, “The Tenure denial of Norman Finkelstein,” Academe Blog, June 8, 2012,
209 Matthew Abraham, “The Case for Norman Finkelstein,” Guardian, June 14, 2007,
210 Norman Finkelstein and DePaul University, joint statement on their tenure controversy and its resolution, ** September 5, 2007,
211 Palestine Legal email interview with Norman Finkelstein, August 18, 2015.
212 Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “The Robinson Case,” n.d.,
213 Duke Helfand, “Professor’s Comparison of Israelis to Nazis Stirs Furor,” Los Angeles Times, April 30, 2009,
214 Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “Abraham Foxman Pushed UC-Santa Barbara to Investigate Professor,” April 28, 2009,
215 Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “AAUP Urges UCSB Chancellor Yang to Cooperate with an Investigation of the Charges Against Professor Robinson,” July 17, 2009,; Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “UC-Santa Barbara Under FIRE,” June 18, 2009,; Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “Letters of Support,”
216 Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “Breaking News: UCSB Terminates Case Against Professor,” June 24, 2009,
217 Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, “UCSB Investigation a Test Case for Pro-Israel Campaigns,” June 16, 2009,
218 Reut Institute, “Update and Overview: Contending with BDS and the Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy,” June 2015, and Reports from other organizations/20150627-Gidi delegit.pdf; Nathan Guttman, “Secret Sheldon Adelson Summit Raises Up to \$50M for Strident Anti-BDS Push,” Forward, June 9, 2015,
219 American Studies Association, “What Does the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions Mean for the ASA?” n.d.,
220 William A. Jacobson, “Anti-Israel Academic Boycott Group’s Tax-Exempt Status Challenged,” Legal Insurrection, January 6, 2014,
221 Benjamin Weinthal, “Shurat Hadin charges US Presbyterian Church with having ties to Hezbollah,” Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2014,
222 Yifa Yaakov, “Israeli Rights Group May Sue to Battle Academic Boycott,” Times of Israel, January 9, 2014,
223 Palestine Legal, “Letter: CCR, PSLS Respond to Lawsuit Threat Against ASA, Calling it ‘Baseless,’” January 21, 2014,
224 ~~ NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886 (1982). An NAACP boycott of white merchants, organized to pressure elected officials to adopt racial justice measures, “clearly involved constitutionally protected activity” through which the NAACP “sought to bring about political, social, and economic change.”
225 American Studies Association, “ASA Responds to False Allegations of Possible Discrimination at 2014 Conference,” October 21, 2014,
226 Charlotte Silver, “Anti-Gay Christian Group Threatens to Sue Hotel for Hosting Scholars Who Endorse Israel Boycott,” Electronic Intifada, October 20, 2014,; Palestine Legal, “ASA Targeted, Again,” October 20, 2014,
227 “Steve Perry and JOURNEY: Don’t Stop Believin’ Their Lawsuit,” 98.7 KLUV, April 19, 2011,
228 Adalah-NY, “Boycott Israel Group Posts Silent Video After YouTube Removes Original,” press release, April 5, 2011,
230 Center for Constitutional Rights, Davis et al. v. Cox et al.,
231 Complaint, Davis v. Cox (Thurston Cnty. Super. Ct. 2012) (No. 11-2-01925-7),
232 Transcript of Oral Opinion, Davis v. Cox(Thurston Cnty. Super. Ct. 2012),
235 Ali Abunimah, “Uncovered: Israel’s Role in Planned US Lawsuit to Fight BDS,” Electronic Intifada, September 6, 2011,
236 Phan Nguyen, “Who’s Who Behind the Olympia Food Co-op Lawsuit,” Mondoweiss, February 22, 2012,; “An Olympian Struggle,Moment, July–August 2012,; Nathan Guttman, “StandWithUs Draws Sharp Line on Israel,” ** Forward, November 27, 2011,
237 StandWithUs, “Breaking News!! BDS Defeat at Washington Supreme Court,” May 28, 2015,
238 GreenStar Co-Op, “A Message to the Membership of GreenStar Co-op from Its Council, On the Decision to Reject a Referendum on Boycotting Goods from Israel,” May 13, 2015,
239 Shurat HaDin, letter to Park Slope Food Co-Cop, June 1, 2015, In March 2012, over 1,600 members of the Park Slope Food Coop voted on whether to vote to boycott Israeli goods, in a highly-covered campaign (Kirk Semple and Gersh Kuntsman, “Food Co-op Rejects Effort to Boycott Israeli-Made Products,” New York Times, March 27, 2012,; Kiera Feldman, “BDS and the Park Slope Food Coop: Why the Vote Against Was a Win for the Boycott,” Nation, March 29, 2012,
240 Complaint, Bauer v. The Mavi Marmara (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (No. 11-cv-4105),
241 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, filed July 14, 2011, case no. 1:11-cv-04195-RJH, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
242 Complaint, filed July 11, 2011, case no. 1:11-cv-01267-RC, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia; Order dismissing the case sua sponte, entered April 18, 2013, case no. 1:11-cv-01267-RC, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia.
243 Fendel v. Inmarsat PLC, No. 11-19912CA15 (Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., filed June 27, 2011), [](–9912CA15-Fla-11th-Jud-Cir-Filed-6-27-11. Shurat HaDin also threatened maritime insurance companies, claiming that insuring the flotilla boats would make them liable for any future terrorist or rocket attacks perpetrated by Hamas” (Shurat HaDin, “Sinking the Gaza Flotilla,” n.d.,
244 Jordana Horn, “Jimmy Carter Being Sued for Alleged Falsehoods,” Jerusalem Post, February 3, 2011,
245 Richard Silverstein, “Beinin Successfully Defends Libel Charge,” Tikun Olam, June 25, 2011,
246 Richard Silverstein, “Court Dismisses Neuwirth Libel Claim,” Tikun Olam, August 19, 2011,
247 42 U.S.C. §2000d (1964). Although Title VI does not cover religious discrimination, in 2004, when Kenneth Marcus (now head of the Brandeis Center) was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement at DOE’s Office for Civil Rights, he promulgated internal guidance regarding the application of Title VI protections to groups that face discrimination on the basis of shared ethnic characteristics who also share a religion, specifying its application to Jewish students, as well as Muslim or Sikh students (Office for Civil Rights, “Title VI and Title IX Religious Discrimination in Schools and Colleges,” September 13, 2004, After pressure from ZOA and other Israel advocacy groups, the DOE reaffirmed that policy in 2010 (Office for Civil Rights, letter, October 26, 2010,; Morton A. Klein, “ZOA Praises US Education Department for Signaling Breakthrough to Protect Jewish Students under Title VI Law,” Zionist Organization of America, October 5, 2010, Israel advocacy groups that have promoted the policy have used it to stifle criticism of Israel on college campuses by claiming it is antisemitic and therefore in violation of Title VI.
248 Yaman Salahi and Nasrina Bargzie, “Talking Israel and Palestine on Campus: How the U.S. Department of Education Can Uphold the Civil Right Act and the First Amendment,” Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal 12 (2015), 155.
249 Prior to the DOE complaint at Berkeley, an alumnus and a student at UC Berkeley filed a federal lawsuit under Title VI, based on nearly identical facts as the DOE complaint. (See First Amended Complaint at 6, 21, Felber v. Yudof, May 8, 2012, Case No. C 11–1012 RS, Dkt. 15, The federal judge dismissed plaintiffs’ Title VI claim with leave to amend, holding “a very substantial portion of the conduct to which plaintiffs object represents pure political speech and expressive conduct, in a public setting, regarding matters of public concern, which is entitled to special protection under the First Amendment” (Felber v. Yudof, 851 F. Supp. 2d 1182, 1188 (N.D. Cal. 2011)). Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint, and while the university’s motion to dismiss was pending, the parties entered into a settlement in which the university did not admit to wrongdoing but agreed to study its campus speech policies. Within days, the plaintiffs’ lawyers—Neil Sher and Joel Siegel, who are both on the legal advisory board of the Brandeis Center—filed a nearly identical complaint with the DOE.
250 Susan Tuchman, “ZOA Negotiates Important Victory for Jewish Community at Brooklyn College,” press release, March 12, 2014,; Brandeis Center, “Brandeis Center Welcomes Brooklyn College Administration’s Apology for its Handling of 2013 Anti-Israel Event,” press release, March 10, 2014, The settlement reportedly resulted in a public statement by the president of Brooklyn College addressing the controversy involved in the complaint.
251 Tammi Rossman‐Benjamin, letter to San Francisco DOE, “RE: Title VI violations at UC Santa Cruz,” June 25, 2009, on file with Palestine Legal. The allegations against UC Santa Cruz are summarized in the DOE’s Determination (US Department of Education, letter to UC Santa Cruz, August 19, 2013, re: Case No. 09-09-2145, 1,
252 Ibid., 3.
253 The UC Berkeley complainants, attorneys Joel H. Siegal and Neal M. Sher, both serve on the advisory board of the Brandeis Center.
254 Joel H. Siegal and Neal M. Sher, letter to Thomas Perez and Arthur Zeidman, “RE: Title VI Complaint against the University of California, Berkeley,” July 9, 2012,
255 US Department of Education, letter to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau of UC Berkeley, “RE: Case No. 09‐12‐2259,” August 19, 2013, available at ** http://newscenter.berk‐content/uploads/2013/08/DOE.OCR_.pdf.
256 Zionist Organization of America, letter to Northeastern University, July 5, 2013,
257 Kenneth Marcus, “Standing Up for Jewish Students,” Jerusalem Post, September 9, 2013,
258 Amy Sara Clark, “‘Hostile Environment’ For John Jay Jewish Students,” Jewish Week, October 14, 2014,
259 Jeremy Travis, “Important Announcements from President Jeremy Travis,” October 21, 2014, (“These instances on our campus occurred at a time when other parts of our country, and countries in Europe, are witnessing a rise in anti-Semitism. Universities are often a focal point for organizing activities that have fueled these trends”).
260 AMCHA Initiative, “AMCHA Meets with UCLA Chancellor Block & 7 Groups Commend LA City Council Members on Resolution Fighting SJP Antisemitism, Urge Chair for a Swift Vote,” press release, n.d.,
261 Ibid.; AMCHA Initiative, “UCLA and UC Policies and Principles and City, State and Federal Resolutions and Laws Potentially Violated by UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine,” n.d.,
262 HR 4009 in the US Congress; S6432/A8392A in New York; SB 3017 and SR 59 in Illinois; SB 647/HB998/SB 170 in Maryland; H4634 in South Carolina; HR 627 and SR 279 in Pennsylvania; SR 894 in Florida; Res. 14-0002-S67 in Los Angeles, California; and H2647 in Kansas. A single legislative measure includes identical bills passed by different legislative chambers, but not distinct bills passed by upper and lower legislative chambers. As one-house statements, resolutions are each counted as separate measures, though joint resolutions count as a single measure.
263 HR 1314/HR 644, HR 1890/HR 1907 (Formerly HR 825), HR 318, and HR 2645 in the U.S. Congress; SB 1761 in Illinois; SR 75/HR 59 in Indiana; SJR 1070 in Tennessee; HB 1018 and HR 370 in Pennsylvania; A8220 and K705 in New York; H3583 in South Carolina; S3044, SJR 81, and AJR 122 in New Jersey; and SCR 35 in California.
264 Ariel Kaminer, “Assembly Withdraws Bill to Limit Anti-Israel Boycotts,” New York Times, February 4, 2014,
266 Palestine Legal, “How Does the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Law Affect BDS?” July 1, 2015,
267 Ibid.
268 See Philip Weiss, “In Rebuke to Israel, State Dep’t Says It Has No Objection to BDS Aimed at Occupation,” Mondoweiss, July 1, 2015,
269 AIPAC, “House Fast Track Bill Targets Economic Attacks Against Israel,” press release, April 24, 2015, l; Mike Coogan, “AIPAC-Backed Legislation Targeting BDS Movement Advances in Congress,” Mondoweiss, April 25, 2015,
270 Peter Roskam, “House, Senate Panels Adopt Measures to Combat Boycott of Israel,” press release, April 23, 2015,
272 JUF News, “Illinois Passes Historic Anti-BDS Bill,” May 21, 2015,
273 Palestine Legal, “Action Alert: Illinois: Urgent Action—Call Your Representative Now—Don’t Let Illinois Penalize Human Rights Boycotts of Israel,” press release, April 20, 2015,
274 Stoil, “Illinois’s Newest Law.”
275 The text of the bill, S3044, is available here:; the text of the Senate Resolution, SJR 81, is available here:; and the text of the Assembly Resolution, AJR 122, is available here:
278 Toby Tabachnick, “Pennsylvania’s Anti-BDS Resolution Sends Message to Israel: ‘We Support You,’” Jewish Chronicle,
280 Palestine Legal, letter to PA lawmakers regarding anti-BDS bill, June 16, 2015,
281 The text of the bill, H3583, is available here:; For information regarding the intent of the bill, see Alan Clemmons, “South Carolina passes law and calls on other states to forbid anti-Semitic boycotts,” press release, June 4, 2015,; Tower, “South Carolina Governor Signs Anti-Boycott Bill,” June 5, 2015,
282 Michael Wilner, “South Carolina Becomes First US State to Take Action Against Anti-Israel Boycotts,” Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2015,
285 Palestine Legal, et al., Letter to Senator Liu, “Concerns over Senate Concurrent Resolution 35,” April 23, 2015,
286 Suzanne Vega, “AMCHA Initiative Urges UC to Enforce SCR-35, Condemning Anti-Semitism,” JP Updates, June 25, 2015,
287 SJP UCLA, “Student Response to Los Angeles City Council Resolution on Ethics Statement,”
288 Palestine Legal, “PSLS Warns LA Council against Unconstitutional Resolution,” June 23, 2014,
289 SJP UCLA, “Student Response.”
290 Matt Coker, “‘Irvine 11’ Again Go Before the Judge,” OC Weekly, May 16, 2011,
291 Ashley Bates, “The Irvine 11: Free Speech on Trial,” Mother Jones, March 9, 2011,
292 Los Angeles Times, “Judge Orders D.A. to Remove Officials from ‘Irvine 11’ Student Protest Case,” July 1, 2011,
293 Alex Kane, “Documents Expose Boston Police Working with FBI to Track Palestine Solidarity Activists,” Mondoweiss, October 18, 2012,
294 Palestine Legal email interview with Huwaida Arraf, (July 13–14, 2015).
295 Charles Davis, “How the FBI Goes After Activists,” Vice, March 31, 2014,
296 Ibid.
297 Colin Moynihan, F.B.I. Searches Antiwar Activists’ Homes,” New York Times, September 24, 2010, **
298 Davis, “How the FBI Goes After Activists”; Kevin Gosztola, “Undercover FBI Agent Tried to Get Activists to Send Money to PFLP, a US-Designated Terrorist Organization,” Firedoglake, February 28, 2014,
299 Davis, “How the FBI Goes After Activists.”
300 Dahr Jamail, “Tortured and Raped by Israel, Persecuted by the United States,” Truthout, September 2, 2014,
301 Josh Ruebner, “Why Is Obama’s DOJ Prosecuting a Torture Victim?” Hill, June 10, 2014,; People’s Law Office, “Update on Rasmea Odeh Trial,” press release, November 7, 2014,
302 Dima Khalidi, “Odeh’s Guilty Verdict Doesn’t Mean Her Battle for Justice Is Over,” Hill, November 14, 2014,
303 Ali Abunimah, “Rasmea Odeh in Prolonged Solitary Confinement in Michigan Jail,” Electronic Intifada, December 5, 2014,
304 Brief of Defendant-Appellant, United States of America v. Rasmieh Yusef Odeh, Case No. 15-1331, (6th Cir. June 9, 2015),
305 In 1996, President Clinton’s Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act outlawed “knowingly provid[ing] material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.” After 9/11, President Bush’s 2001 Patriot Act broadened the law. Material support includes training, expert advice, and services in almost any form ** (see, for example, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. 1 (2010)). In 2010, the Supreme Court found the material support law constitutional, rejecting CCR’s challenge against the criminalization of nonviolent human rights advocacy.
306 Nawar Shora, The Arab-American Handbook: A Guide to the Arab, Arab-American & Muslim Worlds (Seattle: Cune Press, 2009), 152.
307 CCR, National Lawyers Guild, and ACLU Southern California, “Charges Dropped in 20-Year-Old US Case Against Activists,” press release, October 2007,
308 See United States v. Al-Arian, 514 F.3d 1184, 1187 (11th Cir. 2008); William Fisher, “Never-Ending Prosecution and Vendetta: The Kafkaesque Story of Sami Al-Arian,” Prism, May 29, 2011,
309 William Fisher, “Never-Ending Prosecution.”
310 Tampa Bay Times, “Case Against Sami Al-Arian Dropped, Clearing Way for Deportation,” June 27, 2014,
311 Murtaza Hassan and Glenn Greenwald, “Exclusive interview: Sami Al-Arian, Professor Who Defeated Controversial Terrorism Charges, Is Deported from US,” Intercept, February 5, 2015,
312 Gretel C. Kovach, “Five Convicted in Terrorism Financing Trial,” New York Times, November 24, 2008,
313 Ibid.
314 Ibid.; See also Nora Barrows-Friedman, “‘Justice Has Fled the Country’: US Supreme Court Won’t Hear Holy Land Five Case,” Electronic Intifada, October 29, 2012,
315 US State Department, “Gaza ‘Anniversary’ Flotilla,” press release, June 24, 2011,
317 See, for example, the website, purporting to show “how The SJP was created to be Hamas on Campus” via unsubstantiated and inflammatory claims.
318 James Bamford, “Israel’s NSA Scandal,” New York Times, September 16, 2014,
319 The case against Muhammad Salah for allegedly engaging in a racketeering conspiracy (for taking humanitarian aid to Palestine) and material support (for taking money to Hamas-\ affiliated charity committees before Hamas was designated a terrorist organization by the US), was based in large part on a confession Israel obtained through torture and the testimony of Israeli Shin Bet agents who testified in disguise in a closed US federal court. The hearing on the defense’s motion to suppress evidence supplied by Israel was also closed to the public. See Michael Deutsch and Erica Thompson, “Secrets and Lies: The Persecution of Muhammad Salah (Part I),” Journal of Palestine Studies 37(4) (Summer 2008),
320 Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169; Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819 (1995).
321 Texas v. Johnson, 491 US 397, 402 (1989) (providing constitutional protection for the expressive message conveyed in burning an American flag).
322 NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886, 911 (1982).
323 Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4–5 (1949) (internal citations and quotations removed). New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, (1964) (recognizing that powerful and provocative speech is often necessarily “vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasant.”).
324 Snyder v. Phelps, 131 S.Ct. 1207, 1217 (2011) (protesting at a fallen soldier’s funeral with signs that read “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11” and “God Hates Fags” protected by First Amendment); Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343, 365–66 (2003) (cross burning); Texas v. Johnson, 491 US 397, 414 (1989) (flag desecration protected by First Amendment ); Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15, 24–25 (1971) (“fuck the draft” protected by First Amendment).
325 New York Times, 376 U.S. at 279.
326 Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 145 (1983) (internal quotations and citations removed).
327 Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234, 262 (1957).
328 Keyishian v. Board of Regents of Univ. of N.Y., 385 U.S. 589, 684 (1967).
329 See Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263, 268–69 (1981) (“With respect to persons entitled to be there, our cases leave no doubt that the First Amendment rights of speech and association extend to the campuses of state universities”); Healy, 408 U.S. at 180 (“The precedents of this Court leave no room for the view that, because of the acknowledged need for order, First Amendment protections should apply with less force on college campuses than in the community at large”).
330 See, e.g., Roman Catholic Found., UW-Madison, Inc. v. Regents of Univ. of Wisconsin Sys., 578 F. Supp. 2d 1121 (W.D. Wis. 2008) aff’d sub nom. Badger Catholic, Inc. v. Walsh, 620 F.3d 775 (7th Cir. 2010) (attributing viewpoint discriminatory decisions made by the Student Government to the university); Gay & Lesbian Students Ass’n v. Gohn, 850 F.2d 361 (8th Cir. 1988) (holding that a student government’s decision not to fund a student group was attributable to the state, because such funding decisions could be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Services); Sellman v. Baruch Coll. of City Univ. of New York, 482 F. Supp. 475 (S.D.N.Y. 1979) (finding that the actions of a student government at a public college could be attributed to the state because student government meetings were held on campus during hours set aside by the college for student activities, its branches were advised by faculty members, its constitution was required to be compatible with the Board of Higher Education, the Dean of Students was a final arbiter of election disputes and it received money from mandatory student fees collected by the college).
331 California Education Code § 94367(a) (“No private postsecondary educational institution shall make or enforce any rule subjecting any student to disciplinary sanctions solely on the basis of conduct that is speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside the campus or facility of a private postsecondary institution, is protected from governmental restriction by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 2 of Article 1 of the California Constitution”).
332 Rosenberger, 515 U.S. at 828 (“It is axiomatic that the government may not regulate speech based on its substantive content or the message it conveys”).
333 Ibid.; see also, Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 55 (1983) (“In a public forum . . . all parties have a constitutional right of access and the State must demonstrate compelling reasons for restricting access to a single class of speakers, a single viewpoint, or a single subject”).
334 Healy, 408 U.S. at 169.
335 Rosenberger, 515 U.S. 819 at 835.
336 Salaita v. Kennedy, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102854 at 27-28 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 6, 2015) (pp. 26-27).

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