PJP Fellow Justin Martin says: an attempt to stop “anti-Israeli” speech on campus is an affront to the 1st Amendment

In an article in the Christian Science Monitor this month, PJP Fellow Justin Martin, who now teaches at the University of Maine, tells of an Israeli legal group’s letter to American college and university presidents asking them to be sensitive to expressions of anti-Semitism on American campuses. Martin suggests that the real target was speech that condemned Israeli governmental policy is protected by the First Amendment. He quotes from the letter, authored by the Israel Law Center which says, in part, “[A]lthough academic and political freedom in the United States is a cherished right, there are limits to these rights that students and campus officials must be made aware, especially with regard to anti-Israel activities..” Martin feels that this gets dangerously close to First Amendment protections. He references a story from this summer when British fashion designer John Galliano was overheard making anti-Semitic remarks while at a Parisian bar. Galliano was convicted in a French court this month and fined $8,000 for his remarks, an unthinkable punishment here in America.