Students at Fordham University in New York are once again being forced to petition a court so that they can establish a club focused on Palestinian rights.
The ruling forced Fordham to recognize SJP as an official club and allow students to organize for Palestinian rights on campus for the first time.
It was “the first lawsuit in the country challenging institutional censorship of students advocating for justice in Palestine,” stated the civil rights group Palestine Legal, and a major victory for advocates of free speech on Palestinian rights.
But the college appealed the decision in January 2020.
And in December, a court sided with Fordham, reversing the 2019 ruling.The Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal called the December ruling “a hasty decision short on analysis” and admonished the court for giving Fordham “cover to censor students who are calling for Palestinian rights.”
“Fordham says it wants to protect the rights and dignity of all students, but this decision [to appeal the 2019 ruling] makes it clear to the Palestinian students on campus that their voices don’t deserve to be heard,” Shetty said.Radhika Sainath of Palestine Legal said that at a time when students “across the US and across New York are protesting for human rights and racial justice, it’s appalling that Fordham is continuing to spend all this money to stop a student human rights club.”
“I hope the court of appeals will do the right thing,” she told The Electronic Intifada, “and that they carefully do their jobs and look at all of the facts.”