Protect Free Speech in Montgomery County

Speech criticizing the Israeli government, or any government, is political speech protected under the First Amendment, and cannot be suppressed.

The American Civil Liberties Union

Our Campaign

Montgomery County Council is considering a resolution that will adopt a re-definition of antisemitism. The IHRA definition threatens free speech and civil liberties by wrongfully and harmfully conflating criticism of Israel as being anti-Semitic.

Adoption of the “IHRA definition” is divisive and built upon a growing right-wing effort to censor Palestinians and human rights activists. Controversial definitions do more to divide us than bring us together. The Trump Administration launched this campaign through a 2019 Executive Order to enable the Department of Education to use the IHRA definition to censor free speech about Palestine on college campuses. There was intense criticism by several prominent national human rights and civil liberties groups.

Whether it is Florida’s “Don’t say Gay,” Montgomery, Alabama’s resolution against Critical Race Theory or Montgomery County efforts to silence criticism of Israel’s human rights abuses, people of conscience need to take a stand against government efforts to silence dissent or political beliefs that they may disagree with. The target of the IHRA definition is the truth.

This campaign is powered by Peace Action Montgomery and MD2Palestine.


Read the letter from Defending Rights and Dissent and the National Coalition Against Censorship expressing Civil LIberties Concerns

Read this article about our campaign

Click here to see who are involved in our growing coalition.

More details about this campaign can be found here.

What Organizations Say about the IHRA Redefinition

If criticism of Israeli policies is reflexively conflated with anti-Semitism, then robust debate and academic freedom will suffer.

Harsh criticism of Israel — even if it involves questioning the existence of a Jewish state — is speech protected by the 1st Amendment. Students have a right to be protected from harassment and discrimination, but they don’t need to be shielded from opinions they find objectionable or offensive.

Harsh criticism of Israel — even if it involves questioning the existence of a Jewish state — is speech protected by the 1st Amendment. Students have a right to be protected from harassment and discrimination, but they don’t need to be shielded from opinions they find objectionable or offensive.

Proponents of overly broad definitions of antisemitism and proponents of eliminating teaching about the history of racial and other violence [critical race theory] share a desire to mobilize the government to enforce particular, emaciated accounts of history, harm, and injury.

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