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letters | students’ free speech at issue

Northeastern has right to ensure free flow of ideas

In invoking the rights of free speech of students at Northeastern University to criticize Israel (“Stifling campus voices,” Metro, June 13), Yvonne Abraham seems to misapprehend or overlook what university officials are seeking to achieve: preserving those rights, while protecting the rights of speakers who support Israel to express that point of view on campus and the rights of students to hear that point of view.

Campus anti-Israel groups have resorted to bullying, intimidation, and physical disruption in order to prevent those who are supportive of Israel’s efforts to achieve peace from explaining why that is. Surely, neither Northeastern nor any other academic institution that cares about the civil exchange of opinions is obliged to sit idly by while pro-Israel speakers are blocked from freely expressing their views and those who would like to hear those views are prevented from doing so.

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Peaceable protest remains a cherished right in this country. So does the right of speakers to express their views and audiences to hear them. Northeastern, like every other academic institution, has the right to take steps to ensure that the free flow of information is a two-way street.

Robert O. Trestan

New England

regional director

Jeffrey Robbins

Board chairman

New England region

Anti-Defamation League

Boston

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