As Israel intensifies tactics to suppress dissent, censorship in U.S. increases
Read the full 2017 report online here and as a PDF here.
Hurricane victims in Dickinson, Texas were required to pledge not to boycott Israel as a condition of receiving relief aid. A New York City bookstore hid a children’s book, P is for Palestine, behind the cash register after widespread demands for censorship. A Palestinian-American professor at San Francisco State University was sued for researching and teaching about Palestine. A black student leader at the University of Wisconsin was condemned for speaking out against the connections between white supremacy and Zionism by Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
As the movement for Palestinian rights continues to grow, the Israeli state and its proxy organizations in the U.S. are investing heavily in punitive measures to intimidate and chill the free speech of those who wish to express criticism of Israeli policies.
Palestine Legal responded to 308 incidents of suppression of U.S.-based Palestine advocacy in 2017, a 19% increase from 2016. Over four years, from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2017, Palestine Legal has responded to a total of 958 incidents of suppression targeting speech supportive of Palestinian rights.
Separately, elected officials introduced at least 102 measures since 2014 targeting Palestine advocacy, particularly support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns. BDS seeks to hold Israel and corporate actors accountable under international law for violations of Palestinian rights. To date, 24 states have enacted anti-boycott measures.
The first such law to be challenged was blocked by a federal judge in Kansas on January 30, 2018 because "the First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law."
The full report illustrates the most notable trends in suppression of Palestine advocacy in 2017.