PERSPECTIVES: “Protecting the Freedom to Teach and Do Research”

David Moshman, writing in Academe Blog: “Universities should indeed support freedom of speech, but their primary function is to seek and communicate the truth, including the truth about Gaza. Their primary concern should be protecting the freedom to teach and do research about Gaza.”

Moshman cites three recent examples of that not happening in American higher education:

“On May 6, DePaul University adjunct instructor Anne d’Aquino, who was teaching Health 194: Human Pathogens and Defense, sent her students an email referring to current events in Gaza and offered, as an alternative to one of the class assignments, the option of writing about ‘the impact of genocide/ethnic cleansing on the health/biology of the people it impacts.’ On May 8, following complaints about the ‘political’ nature of the assignment, she was fired without due process.

On June 3, the Columbia Law Review published its latest issue online. Within hours, the Review’s board of directors shut down its website to prevent access to the newly released issue because of an article by Rabea Eghbariah arguing that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and genocide. Access to the journal was restored on June 7.

On June 5, Israeli-American historian Raz Segal was offered the director position of the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies after a careful national search following normal procedures. On June 10, he received a letter rescinding the offer after he was denounced as ‘politically extreme’ for describing Israel’s actions in Gaza as a ‘textbook case of genocide.'”

Read the full commentary here.


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