And thousands gathered Saturday for “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights,” a pro-Palestine event at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The event was allowed to proceed despite three anonymous UMass students filing a lawsuit to stop the panel. Speakers included Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, who has faced death threats for her outspokenness, Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who was recently fired from CNN for speaking up for Palestinian rights, and Roger Waters, co-founder of the group Pink Floyd. This is Dave Zirin, sports editor for the Nation, speaking at Saturday’s event.
Dave Zirin: “There is nothing anti-Semitic about criticizing the actions of the Israeli state, and it is absurd that I even have to say that. Two, there is nothing anti-Semitic about this panel or the people on this panel, and it is damn slander to say otherwise. And, in fact, the people up here have been on the front lines of fighting anti-Semitism, especially the most dire threat to me and my fellow Jews: the resurgent white nationalism of the Trump era.”