Chronicle poll results: Student demonstrations in support of Hamas
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Chronicle poll results: Student demonstrations in support of Hamas

We asked our readers if universities should ban student demonstrations in support of Hamas. Here's what they said.

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Should universities prohibit student demonstrations supporting Hamas?” Of the 329 people who responded, 69% said yes; 24% said no; and 7% said they didn’t know. Comments were submitted by 152 people. A few follow.

Supporting terrorists of any kind has no business on a college campus.

Free speech. Everyone is capable of saying something that offends others. Should Kahanists be banned as well? The price you pay for living in a democracy is this: Everyone gets to say what they think. No matter how stupid or offensive it may be. If what is being said offends you, move on.

Other hate speech is prohibited. Why are the rules always different for Jews?

Students should have the freedom of speech to demonstrate for their beliefs. However, universities must act to stop the intense rise in antisemitism on college campuses. Sharing one’s thoughts is not the same as threatening the life of another person. Never again should such blatant antisemitism be permitted to taint our society.

Universities should educate their students in the true history of Israel. If they knew the truth, they would demonstrate in favor of Israel.

It is a given that we all support the First Amendment. But even that sacrosanct law has its limitations. Yelling “fire” in a theater pales in comparison to the antagonistic shouting, homicidal threats and intimidating protests that Students for Justice in Palestine, Hamas fans and other Iranian proxies are doing to scare young Jews on campuses everywhere. Antisemitic terrorism in the guise of freedom of speech student demonstrations should undeniably be prohibited!

If a university would ban the Klan, ISIS, Westboro Baptist (anti-LGBTQ), pro-Putin groups, etc., then it must also ban Hamas. If a university permits all free speech regardless of content, it shouldn’t single out Hamas for special treatment.

It is important to prohibit Hamas demonstrations as it is a terrorist organization and it has been so classified by the U.S. Be careful about limiting freedom of speech to other, peaceful, organizations, which have the right to protest.

Although I do generally support a person’s right to free speech, Hamas is a terrorist organization that is committed to ridding the land entirely of Jews. That’s called genocide. When a group identifies itself as such, they lose the right to spread their filth and lies.

There are ways to support the Palestinian people that don’t involve eradication of the only Jewish state in the world.

This barbarian violence has opened the floodgates for all latent antisemites to openly relieve their hitherto suppressed hatred covered until now with a veneer of “civility.” Hamas is a designated terrorist organization. Federal law has interpreted marketing and advocacy for terrorist organizations as “material assistance,” and the Patriot Act clearly outlaws material assistance in furtherance of terrorism. Hamas should in no way whatsoever enjoy First Amendment protection because support for it is support for incitement to genocide. PJC

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