Stephen Zunes : Civil Liberties


Trump’s Dangerous Appointment to Key Civil Rights Position: Kenneth Marcus
3 November 2017

President Donald Trump’s recent nomination of Kenneth Marcus to the important post of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education constitutes a direct threat to academic freedom and freedom of association on college and university campuses.


Banning Palestinian Speaker at Friends Central School
1 November 2017

Sa’ed Atshan is generally considered one of the most highly-respected young Quaker scholars in the United States. A graduate of Ramallah Friends School and Swarthmore College with a doctoral degree from Harvard, he is currently an assistant professor in Swarthmore’s Peace and Conflict Studies program. A committed pacifist, he serves on the board of Pendle […]


Liberal UCSC alumni may pay price for donations
30 September 2017

Alumni of the UC Santa Cruz who have been active politically in support of liberal causes should be cautious about making in-kind donations to their alma mater. It seems that UCSC now reserves the right to bring in ultra-conservative speakers as a condition of accepting such gifts from those with left-of-center views.


Resistance Builds to Proposed Israeli Boycott Bill
1 August 2017

A disturbing number of Congressional Democrats have joined their Republican counterparts in co-sponsoring a bill (S. 720/H.R. 1697) effectively criminalizing support for boycotts against Israel or companies doing business in the country or its occupied territories.


Fordham ban of Palestine group contradicts free speech, Jesuit values
9 February 2017

Perhaps it is a sign that we are indeed in the age of Trump when a Jesuit university bans a student organization with “justice” in its name. Although Students for Justice in Palestine went through all the required procedures and obtained approval from the student government, Fordham University in New York has prohibited the group’s […]


Stephen Zunes: Opposition to Israeli occupation consistent with other human rights struggles
6 February 2015


How the state Assembly tries to limit what I can teach
25 January 2014

In preparing my syllabus for my introductory course on the Middle East this semester, it gives me pause that the California Assembly is still on record declaring that discussing certain well-documented historic incidents in modern Middle Eastern history should “not be tolerated in the classroom.” This unprecedented attack on academic freedom came in the form of a resolution (HR 35), co-sponsored by 66 of the 88 Assembly members, which passed by a voice vote in 2012.


Attacks against anti-occupation activism increase
22 July 2013

A growing movement has emerged on college campus calling for divestment from companies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories that is part of broader international campaign initiated by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its occupation of territories seized in the 1967 war.


Banned in Phoenix: How the Arizona State Bar Association Considers Analysis of International Law in the Middle East Too Controversial
25 June 2013

This past week, the Arizona State Bar Association (SBA) held its annual convention. It appears that the ban on my participation is still in effect.
It was exactly ten years ago that the session in which an academic paper I was scheduled to present on the application of international law in conflicts in the greater Middle East was abruptly cancelled just two weeks before its scheduled presentation at the 2003 convention. No one in the organization?s leadership could explain anything objectionable in the paper, which they acknowledged they had not actually read, but were apparently convinced by a right-wing campaign that I was ?anti-Israel? and ?anti-American.?


California State Assembly Seeks to Stifle Debate on Israel
30 August 2012

The California State Assembly has just passed a bipartisan resolution (HR 35) by voice vote which constitutes a serious attack on academic freedom and the rights of students and faculty to raise awareness about human rights abuses by U.S.-backed governments. While purporting to put the legislature on record in opposition of anti-Semitism on state university campuses, it defines anti-Semitism so widely as to include legitimate political activities in opposition to Israeli government policies.



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