Just 2% of U.S. voters think colleges should officially support Palestine

(The Center Square) – The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks what it considers antisemitism incidents in the U.S., says more than 100 U.S. college campuses held pro-Palestine rallies that included a chant some say calls for the end of the state of Israel.

“Many walkout participants expressed support for the end of the state of Israel,” the ADL posted on its website. “Chants such as ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ and similar language was common. Such rhetoric effectively calls for the state of Israel to cease to exist.”

Voters, however, overwhelmingly reject such calls. The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll of 2,573 likely voters found very few Americans support pro-Palestian protesters asking for the destruction of Israel.

Just 2% of those polled say public universities should officially support Palestine and encourage students to oppose Israel. Seventeen percent said students should not face formal discipline for advocating for the genocide of Jews but universities should make public statements denouncing these views.

There were 32% who said that students advocating for genocide on taxpayer’s dime should be held accountable for their words and actions by administrators, while 28% said nothing should be done to the students because they have a right to free speech. There were 17% that had no opinion and 3% fell into the “other” category.

The poll was conducted Jan 2-4 in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights.

The exact poll question was: “Some students at state colleges – which are funded by taxpayers – have called for Israel to be destroyed and for the land to be given to Palestine. Which statement comes closest to your view of the situation?”

Republicans had the highest support for holding students accountable for calling for Israel to be destroyed at 41%. Just 22% of Democrats felt students should be held accountable.

Thirty-three percent of Democrats felt that nothing should be done to students calling for the destruction of Israel because it was a free-speech issue.

The presidents at the University of Penn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard were criticized after giving testimony before a U.S. House Committee in December on antisemitism on college campuses. CNN reported, “None of the school leaders explicitly said that calling for the genocide of Jews would necessarily violate their code of conduct. Instead, they explained it would depend on the circumstances and conduct.”

University of Penn President Liz Magill resigned after her testimony.

In Florida, the National Students for Justice In Palestine held a national “Day of Resistance” five days after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel.

State University System of Florida Chancellor Ray Rodrigues stated Nov. 9 that the student group promoted discriminatory and violent behavior towards Israelis and Jews and materials released by the student group promoted supporting a terrorist organization.

Rodrigues said that he directed the presidents at two Florida universities to deactivate Students for Justice in Palestine on their campuses. Rodrigues said the actions taken by the Students for Justice in Palestine violated the state’s anti-terrorism laws. Rodrigues comments were transcribed by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

The ACLU opposed what is described as an “unconstitutional crackdown on pro-Palestinian student groups” and filed a lawsuit in November to protect the “free speech” on the Florida campuses.

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