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NYCLU on House Committee Investigation of Columbia University

NEW YORK, NY – In response to today’s House Committee hearing on antisemitism and the questioning of Columbia University President Nemat Shafik, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Donna Lieberman:  

“Combatting antisemitism is critical, but the House Committee is weaponizing that cause for a McCarthyite political agenda. Committee leaders are using their powers to chill pro-Palestine advocacy and views they don’t like by conflating them with hate and intimidation.

“Our leaders should stand on the side of free speech and, consistent with our founding principles and this country’s best traditions, encourage the public exchange of ideas on the important debates of the day. Yet for the House Committee, the political pressure these investigations place on institutions is the point. We have already seen Columbia and other universities bow to political pressure by canceling pro-Palestine speakers and clamping down on protest. Columbia’s shuttering of two pro-Palestine student organizations without due process and its disparate treatment of student speech is the subject of an ongoing NYCLU lawsuit.

“As defenders of New Yorkers’ right to speak out, the NYCLU will be monitoring these McCarthyite house hearings as well as how Columbia and other institutions protect the speech rights of students and faculty.”

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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Civil Liberties Union