News Release

The “Palestine Exception to Free Speech” and its Predecessors

[On Friday at 9 a.m. ET, the International Court of Justice is scheduled to deliver its Order for provisional measures submitted by South Africa in its Genocide Convention case against Israel. Haaretz reports: “Israeli Officials Fear ICJ Will Rule to Halt Gaza Fighting, Brace for Sanctions.” See latest IPA news release on the case.]

Reclaim The Net reports: “New X Policy Forces Earners To Verify Their Government ID With Israeli Verification Company.”

CHIP GIBBONS,, @ChipGibbons89
Gibbons is policy director at Defending Rights & Dissent, national civil liberties organization dedicated to protecting the right of political expression.

He is just back from London, where he was covering the trial of Julian Assange, see his recent interview on “Democracy Now”: “British High Court Grants WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange the Right to Appeal U.S. Extradition.”

The Guardian just published his piece “U.S. surveillance of pro-Palestinian speech has a direct line to McCarthyism,” which states: “On Monday, 13 May, the Israeli historian and professor Ilan Pappé landed in Detroit, Michigan. Upon his arrival, agents from the US Department of Homeland Security detained and interrogated him for two hours. According to Pappé, DHS asked him whether he was a Hamas supporter, whether he believed Israel was committing genocide and what his ‘solution’ to the Middle East conflict was. Agents also reportedly asked him to identify ‘his Arab and Muslim friends in America.’

“During his interrogation, DHS agents held a long phone conversation, which Pappé speculated may have been with Israeli officials. Pappé was eventually admitted to the U.S., but only after DHS copied the entire contents of his cellphone. …

“Pappé is a respected academic known for his scholarship arguing that the expulsion of Palestinians during the Nakba was a deliberate act of ethnic cleansing central to Israel’s creation. …

“During the first half of the 20th century, a political policing apparatus crystalized in the U.S. Local police developed anti-communist ‘red squads,’ the FBI developed a sprawling domestic intelligence program targeting ‘subversives’ and congressional committees investigated ‘un-American activities’ and threats to ‘internal security.’ …

“To this day, the U.S. has continued to surveil speech in defense of Palestine using counter-terrorism as a pretext. While there has long been a ‘Palestine exception to free speech,’ since the launch of Israel’s latest war in Gaza the situation has escalated dramatically.”

See related prior IPA news release.