Is saying ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ protected speech under the First Amendment?

December 19, 2023 1 min read

Jordan Howell
Foundation for Individual Rights in Expression

Excerpt: Since the October 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel and the subsequent invasion of Gaza, college campuses across the United States have experienced almost daily protests and demonstrations by students and faculty of all political stripes. Some are raising their voices in support of Israelis; others, in support of Palestinians.

That being said, FIRE has been troubled to see some college leaders react to protected speech and peaceful protests with calls to prohibit speech they view as inflammatory or even to ban student groups because of their viewpoints. The use of one phrase in particular — “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — is so hotly contested that some have called for banning its utterance entirely.

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