The Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC) urges colleges and universities across the United States to safeguard their students’ right to peacefully and safely protest the Israeli war in Gaza. We are alarmed that this largely peaceful exercise of first amendment and internationally protected rights on campuses has been met with intimidation and force by administrators and law enforcement.  

As the brutal war on Gaza enters its seventh month, Israel has killed more than thirty-four thousand people, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza are at “imminent risk” of famine. With 1.9 out of 2.3 million Gazans now forcibly displaced, this is also the largest historical displacement of Palestinians. Witnessing these events, students across the United States have organized to protest the injustice they see and to demand change from their institutions and the U.S. government. 

MEDC advocates for a U.S. foreign policy that supports democracy and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. We defend the Constitutional rights of all Americans to do the same, exercising their fundamental freedoms to call for policy change.  

MEDC values the storied role that students and their political activism have played on college and university campuses, driving grassroots change in support of human rights. MEDC urges administrators to safeguard constitutionally protected rights to free speech and assembly, while responding fairly to all instances of harassment and discrimination, including Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Peaceful protests are not only a cherished and beloved American tradition, but they have inspired generations of democratic movements across the world.


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