Michael Withey

This report, released by the Center for Constitutional Rights (link) and Palestine Legal (link)  in September 2015, documents for the first time the widespread and growing suppression of Palestinian human rights advocacy in the United States.

Between January 2014 and June 2015, Palestine Legal responded to nearly 300 incidents of suppression; 85% of those incidents targeted students and professors, on a total of more than 65 US college campuses. This trend has significant implications for both the First Amendment and democratic principles like academic freedom, not to mention the mission of higher education to help develop critical thinking.

Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal related a report outlining the widespread and growing suppression of Palestinian human rights advocacy here in the United States. Read the full report.

The report outlines the tactics – including event cancellations, baseless legal complaints, administrative disciplinary actions, firings, and false and inflammatory accusations of terrorism and antisemitism – that Israel advocacy organizations, universities, government actors, and other institutions have used against activists. The report also contains testimony from advocates who have been targeted for their speech or expression, and includes an appendix documenting more than 50 campus-related case studies.

The notion that any advocacy group of whatever political stripe can be targeted for retaliation, false accusations, and repression is a major affront to the free speech of all U.S. citizens. Our freedom of speech is not protected as long as one group’s speech is suppressed. As the International Longshore and Warehousemen’s Union slogan states: “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

A Slippery Slope:

In the 1970s and 1980s the dictatorial Marcos regime suspended free speech not only for Filipinos in the Philippine but abroad as well. Additionally, a repressive spy apparatus that extended its reach into the United States to “monitor and operate against the anti-Marcos movement” in the US was implemented. Similar tactics that are currently being used to suppress pro-Palestinian support in the US was used by the Marcos spys ultimately leading to the murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes on U.S. soil.

Go to: www.michaelwithey.com to learn more about the Domingo and Viernes case.

Read: The secret Defense Intelligence Agency circular outlining U.S. complicity in the illegal operation that resulted in the 1981 murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, as well as former Senator Benigno Aquino in 1983. The circular was released by the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes.

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

This report documents for the first time the widespread and growing suppression of Palestinian human rights advocacy in the United States. Link to the Full Report

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