We hope that the drama surrounding the recent hate-filled commencement speech at CUNY Law School will spur serious discussions about how anti-Jewish diatribes have become mainstream on college campuses – and what can be done about it. We also hope that America’s long and noble love affair with free speech doesn’t get in the way.

It is important that we get back to basics. The right to free speech doesn’t exist in a vacuum; rather, it presupposes a marketplace of ideas in which the public ear can be reached by all viewpoints. If competing speakers are intimidated or if speech or debate is otherwise suppressed, all bets should be off.


Freedom of speech also presupposes that participants will not be singled out as individuals or as members of a group. All in the hall have the same right to be there as the presenter does.

These and other similar objective principles can and should be enforced on campuses. If they are not, school administrators should be taken to task accordingly.

In our view, there is no ambiguity as to the hate-speech nature of the CUNY Law School commencement calumnies. They have no place in any institution of higher learning, and certainly not in a publicly-funded one. We should make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again, and we have the tools to see to it.


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