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Campus Antisemitic Speech and the First Amendment

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that institutions of higher education can punish persons using university property to spread intimidating and defamatory antisemitism. Jewish students at several U.S. universities have recently been the targets of a growing number of antisemitic incidents. Antisemitic slurs are based on historic stereotypes that are derisive to Jews. Virulent antisemitism also aims to create a hostile environment for Jewish students and anyone, irrespective of religion, who is associated with Jewish causes, like Zionism. All public universities must abide by the First Amendment standards established by Supreme Court decisions on intimidating speech. Not all expressions of hatred and intolerance are advocacy; therefore, some expressions of apathy, disdain, or outright malevolence toward Jews do not fit the paradigm of administratively punishable hate speech. Antisemitic intimidation can have a direct and negative impact on Jewish students' academic performance. Maintaining a safe environment is essential to educational and extracurricular success.

Keywords: antisemitism; campus antisemitic speech; first amendment; Jewish students; Supreme Court; Zionism



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