Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Back to Opinion

Free Speech Movement Hits Back

A group of California free speech advocates is urging University of California President Mark Yudof to reject a proposal to ban hate speech at UC campuses, saying that it runs counter to the spirit of the free speech movement, which started at Berkeley in the 1960s.

“We hereby remind the university of its stand affirming the Academic Senate’s December 8 Resolutions of 1964. That historic document established — as a formal matter of UC policy — that the content of speech or advocacy is not to be restricted at the University,” the board of the Free Speech Movement Archives wrote in a letter to Yudof and UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau.

The proposed ban on hate speech is one of several recommendations put forth in a report on Jews and the Israel debate at UC schools. The report was released in July by a working group of Yudof’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion.

The report states that Jews are widely accepted at UC schools, but that “pro-Zionist” Jewish students face hostility during campus protests that criticize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. As a remedy, the report recommends that UC “seek opportunities to prohibit hate speech on campus”; it is unclear what such a prohibition would entail.

Yudof, himself a free speech advocate, will make the final call on the recommendations, likely sometime in the next few months.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.