Princeton Free Speech News & Commentary

The Discourse Is Toxic. Universities Can Help.

October 30, 2023 1 min read

By Amaney Jamal and Keren Yarhi-Milo
New York Times

The conflict in Israel and Palestine has thrown American campuses and society into turmoil.

We are both deans of public policy schools. One of us comes from a Palestinian family displaced by war. The other served in Israeli military intelligence before a long career in academia. Our life stories converged when we were colleagues and friends for 10 years on the faculty of Princeton University. Notwithstanding our different backgrounds, we are both alarmed by the climate on campuses and the polarizing and dehumanizing language visible throughout society.
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Letter to the Editor: I am the man who stood wrapped in an Israeli flag, and this is why

October 27, 2023 1 min read

Ilai Guendelman
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: I am an Israeli postdoc at the University. Yesterday, Oct. 25, my plan was to work from home. At around quarter to noon, I saw the security alert from the University about a threat. After a short search online I saw that a pro-Palestinian walkout was planned. I took my flag and drove to the University to show my presence, as part of my freedom of speech, while respecting and honoring the freedom of speech of others, who I do not agree with and who I think sometimes might not speak the truth.

This is the nature of the freedom of speech — the ability to talk, to protest — even if it is uncomfortable to some people. This is a sacred right, and for this reason it should have limits.
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Keith Whittington talks academic freedom as he decamps to Yale

October 27, 2023 1 min read

Twyla Colburn and Vitus Larrieu
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: After 25 years at Princeton, Keith Whittington, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, announced that he is leaving Princeton to teach at Yale Law School at the end of this academic year.

Whittington describes himself as a “right of center” academic, a core value he upholds as important for bringing diversity to academic spaces. In an interview with The Daily Princetonian, Whittington says that a lack of conservative voices in academic spaces creates “stereotypes of what those views look like” which leads to increased political polarization. His move to Yale Law comes as the school has faced criticism from conservatives for fostering “cancel culture,” prompting Circuit Judges James Ho and Elizabeth Branch to boycott hiring clerks who graduate from Yale Law.
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After sending a truck accusing SPIA Dean of coddling antisemitism, off-campus group issues private apology

October 24, 2023 1 min read

Sandeep Mangat
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: On Oct. 18, a truck with the message “DEAN JAMAL: WHY DO YOU CODDLE ANTISEMITISM” appeared on Nassau Street with photos of the recent terrorist attack in southern Israel. The truck circulated in town for three days during fall break, targeting Amaney Jamal, Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). The group in question has since apologized to Jamal, noting a previous statement she issued condemning Hamas.

The truck was sent by Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), a group which claims to “counter antisemitism and the demonization of Israel on college and university campuses across the nation.”
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Commentary: Liberalism and Liberal Education

October 23, 2023 1 min read

By Khoa Sands ‘26
Princetonians for Free Speech

Excerpt: The rights of free expression enshrined in the First Amendment are often considered the most foundational freedoms in American society. However, while free expression in the public sphere is constitutionally guaranteed, free expression within private universities is not similarly protected. Academic freedom cannot be properly understood as a mere extension of the First Amendment. Rather, academic freedom is justified by the unique mission of the university: the pursuit of truth.
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Commentary: From The Editor’s Desk: To My Fellow Princetonians, Condemn Terrorism

October 23, 2023 1 min read

Alexandra Orbuch
Princeton Tory

Excerpt: Over the past two weeks, I have had a lot of conversations with classmates, friends, and other Princetonians. In a heartwarming show of support, many of my non-Jewish friends reached out to let me know that they have been thinking of and praying for me, my family, and my people. Over 400 people gathered together for an Israel vigil to honor the memory of those who perished at the hands of Hamas and to express support for the State of Israel just last Thursday.

Despite the immense light brought to Princeton and its Jewish community by students like these, there has also been darkness. Some classmates I spoke to refused to condemn Hamas and attempted to persuade me that if I were Palestinian, I would understand that Hamas’ actions could be justified in pursuit of liberation.
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