A group of more than 300 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professors signed a letter calling on the school to condemn protests “crossing the line between protected speech and unlawful incitement” amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“We were horrified to see pro-Palestinian rallies on campus in which Hamas massacres were celebrated, including explicit calls for violence (including chanting “Intifada” or advertising events depicting images of weapons/violence),” the letter reads.

“Such celebrations create an atmosphere of fear; we cannot imagine that UCLA will allow celebrations of the murder of George Floyd, or celebrations of the Armenian genocide, or celebrations of the 9/11 attacks,” the letter continued. “It is inconceivable that such celebrations are not denounced by UCLA leaders, regardless of their political views.”

The letter comes amid unrest on college campuses across the country over the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Colleges are trying to balance campus safety and free speech as rhetoric around the conflict escalates.

A few weeks ago, pro-Palestinian students at George Washington University (GW) gained national attention and backlash for anti-Israel messages they projected onto one of the university’s libraries. ‘school. The messages, projected by the student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), included “Immediate divestment from the Zionist genocide” and “Liberate Palestine from the river to the sea.”

“These are genocidal messages posted on a building at George Washington University. If the students responsible for these posts are not severely punished by GWU, something is seriously wrong,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Genocide is neither hip nor cute nor in any way acceptable. GWU: Do the right thing NOW! »

Columbia University on Friday suspended two student organizations that led protests calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. A university official cited campus security as the reason behind the school’s suspension of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) until the end of the semester. ‘autumn.

“This decision was made after both groups repeatedly violated university policies related to hosting events on campus, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that took place took place despite warnings and included threatening speeches and intimidation,” said university vice president Gerald Rosberg.

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