UMass pro-Palestinian event goes ahead after judge rejects Jewish students’ objections


(JTA) — A pro-Palestinian event went ahead at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst after a judge denied a request for an injunction by Jewish students claiming the event would incite anti-Semitism.

State Judge Robert Ullmann said May 2 that an injunction sought by three Jewish students would violate the First Amendment, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported

Saturday’s event, “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights,” was organized by the Media Education Foundation, a group based in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionist group. The university was not a sponsor.

Panelists included Linda Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March and a pro-Palestinian activist; Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd rocker who has become a leader in the boycott Israel movement; and Marc Lamont Hill, who CNN fired last year after he used the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which has been associated with groups that seek to eliminate Israel.

The complaint by the three anonymous Jewish students said that as a result of the views of the panelists, “Jewish students at the University will suffer even more hostility and be the subject of more anti-Semitism than they have already suffered.”

Karen Hurvitz, the attorney who represented the Jewish students, said she was disappointed in the verdict, the Gazette reported, adding that Jewish students could file complaints with the state if they heard anti-Semitic remarks at the event.

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