Jewish Students Ask Judge to Move pro-Palestinian Panel Off UMass Campus

Students claim the panel, where speakers are expected to claim that pro-Israel groups try to silence Palestinian viewpoints, is anti-Semitic

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File photo: UMass at Amherst, picture taken from the W.E.B. Dubois Library.
File photo: UMass at Amherst, picture taken from the W.E.B. Dubois Library.Credit: Lion Hirth/Public domain

 A group of Jewish students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is asking a judge to order a panel discussion about Palestinian human rights off campus because it is anti-Semitic.

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The panel, titled "Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights" is scheduled for Saturday and features Roger Waters, a member of the rock band Pink Floyd. The panelists are expected to argue that pro-Israel groups have tried to silence Palestinian points of view.

A Superior Court judge heard arguments Monday but did not rule.
The panel is sponsored by an organization run by a UMass faculty member, and co-sponsored by two academic departments.

The university said it allowed the event on campus because UMass is "committed to the principles of free speech and academic freedom."