Academic Institutions Must Defend Free Speech

Image: “HateSpeech” by Carlos Latuff.  To see the full  image, click here.

from The International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity for the People

We, the undersigned, oppose the coordinated campaign to deny academics their free speech rights due to their defense of Palestinian rights and criticism of the policies and practices of the state of Israel. Temple University in Philadelphia, USA and the University of Sydney, Australia have been under great pressure to fire, respectively, Marc Lamont Hill and Tim Anderson, both senior academics at their institutions, for these reasons. Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein have already had their careers destroyed by such attacks. Hatem Bazian, Ahlam Muhtaseb, William Robinson, Rabab Abdulhadi and others have also been threatened.

The ostensible justification for such action is commonly known as the “Palestinian exception” to the principle of free speech. One may freely criticize and disrespect governments – including one’s own – religions, political beliefs, personal appearance and nearly everything else except the actions and policies of the state of Israel. Those who dare to do so will become the focus of well-financed and professionally run campaigns to silence and/or destroy them and their careers.

We recognize that much of the free speech that occurs in academic and other environments will offend some individuals and groups. However, as has been said many times before, the answer to free speech that some may find objectionable is more free speech, not less. We therefore call upon all academic institutions, their faculty and students, as well as the public at large, to resist such bullying tactics and defend the free speech principles upon which they and all free societies and their institutions are founded.


  1. Abbas Ali, chair, Inminds Human Rights Group
  2. Abbas Hamideh, Co-Founder, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  3. Abby Martin, journalist, former host, “The Empire Files”
  4. Abe Hayeem, Architect, peace activist and founder member of Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine
  5. Adam Kossoff, University of Wolverhampton
  6. Adrian Grima, poet, professor of Maltese literature
  7. Ahlam Muhtaseb, Professor, University of California San Bernardino; co-director, “1948: Creation and Catastrophe”
  8. Ajamu Baraka, Human rights defender, former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate
  9. Alice Walker, author, novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner
  10. Alicia Jrapko, US National Coordinator, International Committee for Peace
  11. Alison Weir, founder, If Americans Knew; author, “Against Our Better Judgment”
  12. Amal Wahdan, Political and human rights activist
  13. Amani Barakat, National Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  14. Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University
  15. Andrea Balduzzi, Researcher, Università di Genova, Italy (retired)
  16. Anthony Gonzales, American Indian Movement – West
  17. Anthony Hall, Editor-in-Chief, American Herald Tribune
  18. Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford
  19. Barbara Erickson, journalist and author
  20. Ben Norton, journalist
  21. Bernard Regan, St Mary’s University
  22. Blake Alcott, ecological economist; director of One Democratic State in Palestine (England) Limited
  23. Brian Winston, University of Lincoln
  24. Dr. Burhan Ghanayem, Retired, National Institutes of Health
  25. Carlos Latuff, cartoonist
  26. Carlos Prieto Del Campo, Editor, New Left Review (Spanish), Madrid
  27. Charlotte Kates, International Coordinator, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  28. Cynthia McKinney, Former Member of US House of Representatives
  29. Dan Kovalik, Labor and human rights attorney
  30. Prof. Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley
  31. David Heap, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  32. David Klein, California State University, Northridge; Organizing Collective, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
  33. Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director, Women Make Movies
  34. Derek Summerfield, Hon Sen Clin Lect, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience King’s College London
  35. Diana Carminati, former associate professor in University of Turin, Italy
  36. Diana Johnstone, Writer and commentator
  37. Dina Matar, SOAS, UK
  38. Dorothy Reik, President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
  39. Estee Chandler, Board Member, JVP
  40. Eva Bartlett, journalist
  41. Ewa Jasiewicz, activist
  42. Francesco Orilia, UNIMC, Italy
  43. Franco Camandona, MD, gynecologist, Italy
  44. Gayle McLaughlin, former Mayor of Richmond, CA, USA
  45. George Bisharat, Professor of law, UC Hastings College of the Law
  46. George Galloway, Broadcaster, writer, former Member of Parliament
  47. George Paizis, University College London, Honorary Research Fellow
  48. Gerry Condon, President, Veterans for Peace
  49. Ghada Karmi, Palestinian doctor, activist, academic and writer; London
  50. Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report
  51. Graham Dawson, University of Brighton, UK
  52. Greg Dropkin, Liverpool Friends of Palestine
  53. Hagit Borer, Queen Mary University of London
  54. Hagop Kevorkian, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University New York
  55. Haim Bresheeth, Professorial Research Associate, Faculty of Arts and Humanities School of Oriental and African Studies, UK
  56. Hala Allabadi, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
  57. Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University New York
  58. Hassan Fouda, Board director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) – USA
  59. Hatem Bazian, Co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College; National Chair, American Muslims for Palestine
  60. Herman De Ley, Emeritus Professor, University of Ghent (Belgium)
  61. Hisham Ahmed, St. Mary’s College of California
  62. Iain Atack, University of Dublin
  63. Iain Chalmers, Coordinator; James Lind Initiative
  64. Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter
  65. Jackelyn Mariano, Co-chair, National Lawyers Guild International Committee
  66. James Abourezk, Former U.S. Senator, founder, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  67. James Bowen, UCC – National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland
  68. James Early, Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution
  69. Jeff Halper, ICAHD founder, Member of the One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC) Coordinating Committee
  70. Jenny Tonge, Baroness Tonge, Member of the House of Lords
  71. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President, 2016
  72. Joe Catron, U.S. Coordinator, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network; New York City Democratic Socialists of America Anti-War Working Group
  73. Joe Lauria, Editor in Chief, Consortiumnews
  74. Joe Lombardo, Founding member of United National Antiwar Coalition,
  75. Joe Meadors, US military veteran, USS Liberty
  76. John Adams, Prof. Emeritus, Film & Screen Media Practice, Bristol University, UK
  77. John Erickson, former Executive Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
  78. Jonathan Cook, Journalist and author
  79. Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, London School of Economics
  80. Judith Bello, Member United National Antiwar Coalition Administrative Committee, Administrator UNAC Blog
  81. Judit Druks, University College of London
  82. Jules Townshend, Manchester Metropolitan University
  83. Katie Miranda, Jewelry designer and artist, Katie Miranda Studios
  84. Khalil Barhoum, Senior Lecturer. African and Middle Eastern Languages, Stanford University
  85. Lamis Deek, human rights attorney, Global Justice Human Rights Law
  86. Lara Kiswani, Executive Director, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
  87. Laura U. Marks, Visiting professor, Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University
  88. Liana M. Allabadi, Arab American University of Palestine
  89. Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz
  90. Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
  91. Marilyn Levin, co-founder, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
  92. Marina Carter, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  93. Marina Rui, University of Genova
  94. Marjorie Cohn , Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law., former president National Lawyers Guild
  95. Mark Braverman, Executive Director, Kairos USA, Research Fellow in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Stellenbosch University
  96. Martin Kemp, Psychoanalyst, UK
  97. Max Blumenthal, journalist and author
  98. Medea Benjamin, Co-founder of CodePink and author
  99. Meron Rapoport, Israeli journalist
  100. Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton, London
  101. Michael Edwards, Bartlett School, UCL, London, England
  102. Michel Chossudovsky, President and director, Centre for Research on Globalization
  103. Miriam Levin, UK government official
  104. Miriam Margolyes, Actress and voice artist
  105. Mnar Muhawesh, Publisher, Mint Press News
  106. Mohammed Alatar, Film writer and director, “The Iron Wall” and more.
  107. Mona Baker, Professor Emerita of Translation Studies , University of Manchester
  108. Moshé Machover, King’s College London and University of London (retired)
  109. Nadje Al-Ali, Chair, Centre for Gender Studies , University of London, UK
  110. Naomi Foyle, Novelist and poet
  111. Nathalie Grima, Author
  112. Netfa Freeman, Analyst and Events Coordinator for the Institute for Policy Studies
  113. Nira Yuval-Davis-Davis, Prof. Emeritus & Honorary Director, Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London UK
  114. Noam Chomsky, Emeritus professor of linguistics, MIT
  115. Norman Solomon , Executive Director, Institute for Public Accuracy
  116. Ofra Lythe, Israeli writer and activist; Author, “Politically Incorrect: Why a Jewish State is a Bad Idea”
  117. Oren Cohen, Israeli journalist
  118. Paul Larudee, Former Fulbright Lecturer and govt advisor
  119. Paola Manduca, University of Genoa, Italy
  120. Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria and Bahrain
  121. Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University; former director, Project Censored
  122. Philip Giraldi, Executive Director, Council for the National Interest
  123. Philip Weiss, Publisher, Mondoweiss
  124. Rachel Giora, Tel Aviv University
  125. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University
  126. Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University
  127. Richard Hudson, FBA at UCL, London
  128. Richard Silverstein, Tikkun Olam
  129. Rick Sterling, investigative journalist
  130. Robert Trivers, President, Biosocial Research Foundation
  131. Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin
  132. Rumy Hasan, Senior Lecturer, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK.
  133. Sabah Al-Mukhtar, President, Arab Lawyers Association (UK)
  134. Sai Englert, SOAS, University of London
  135. Sam Husseini Independent journalist, senior analyst at Institute for Public Accuracy
  136. Sami Awad, Executive Director, Holy Land Trust
  137. Sami Ramadani, Academic
  138. Sharmine Narwani, Analyst and commentator
  139. Shir Hever, independent economic researcher and journalist
  140. Shohini Chaudhuri, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, UK
  141. Snehal Shingavi, Associate Professor, English, University of Texas at Austin
  142. Stefania Fortuna, UNIVPM, Italy
  143. Stephen Deutsch, Professor of Post-Production, Faculty of Media and Communication, Bournemouth University, UK
  144. Swee Ang, MD; co-founder, Medical Aid for Palestinians
  145. Tariq Ali, Writer and public intellectual
  146. Ted Honderich , Grote Professor Emeritus Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London
  147. Terri Ginsberg, The American University at Cairo
  148. Thomas Gumbleton, Retired Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
  149. Tim Anderson, University of Sydney
  150. Tom Hickey, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy and Critical Theory, University of Brighton, UK
  151. Valerio Gennaro, UO Clinical Epidemiology IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy
  152. William “Jimbo” Simmons, American Indian Movement – West
  153. William I. Robinson, Univ of California, Santa Barbara
  154. Zahra Billoo, Co-founder, CAIR
  155. Zuhair Sabbagh, Palestinian academic and researcher

Note: Affiliations listed for identification purposes only

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