Statement in response to UC Regents' amended policy on "anti-Zionism"

Palestine Legal Staff Attorney Liz Jackson made the following statement in response to the UC Regents' adoption of an amended policy condemning “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism” in place of defining "anti-Zionism" as a form of discrimination:

“This statement of opinion by the Regents is unenforceable, and the General Counsel acknowledged that it should not be misconstrued to restrict criticism of Israel.

While the Regents rejected a blanket equation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism, Israel advocacy organizations are sure to rely on the Regents’ condemnation of “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism” as another tool in their box to stifle criticism of Israel, along with false accusations, smear campaigns and meritless legal complaints targeting speech on campus.

As Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights have thoroughly documented, the Israel advocacy organizations pushing this Regents statement already have a demonstrated record of demanding that advocacy for Palestinian rights and criticism of Israel on campus be punished.

Though the University explicitly acknowledged that the Regents’ statement is not enforceable, its ambiguity presents serious implications for the First Amendment rights of students and scholars, whose political expression will undoubtedly be further chilled.”