Judge rules against bid to stop Roger Waters’ pro-Palestinian panel at UMass

Judge rules against bid to stop Roger Waters’ pro-Palestinian panel at UMass

Jewish students had argued discussion featuring BDS-supporting musician and others would be anti-Semitic and should be moved off campus

The University of Massachusetts Amherst. (CC BY-SA Tomwsulcer, Wikipedia)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst. (CC BY-SA Tomwsulcer, Wikipedia)

BOSTON — A panel discussion about Palestinian rights at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will be allowed to move ahead following a challenge by a group of Jewish students at the school.

A Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled against the students who argued the forum was anti-Semitic and should be forced off campus.

The panel, titled “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights,” is scheduled for Saturday and features Roger Waters, a member of the band Pink Floyd.

Waters is a staunch supporter of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement that targets Israel and which some have described as anti-Semitic.

Musician Roger Waters performs during his ‘Us + Them’ tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, on June 20, 2017. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP)

The panelists are expected to argue pro-Israel groups have tried to silence Palestinian points of view.

Judge Robert Ullmann said he couldn’t take action against the forum just because someone may say something “that fits someone’s definition of anti-Semitism.”

University officials say UMass is “committed to the principles of free speech and academic freedom.”


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