LTTE: An open letter from CWRU Law Students for Justice in Palestine

Professor Adham Hassouna of Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. Professor Jihad Al-Masri of Al-Quds Open University in Gaza. Dean Ibrahim Alastal of the Islamic University in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes murdered these university professors and administrators and wiped their respective universities from Gaza’s lands. After anonymous individuals dared to compel the Case Western Reserve University community to remember their names by pasting them on campus buildings, CWRU imposed an interim suspension upon the undergraduate Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

The university’s reasoning, “to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the university community” and “to ensure the preservation of University property,” only chills the growing support for Palestine by members of the university and extinguishes demands for the university to acknowledge its economic complicity in the genocide of Gaza.

As future lawyers, we will begin our law careers with a commitment to uphold a creed according to the Supreme Court of Ohio, vowing “to promote equality of all persons.” Our legal education encourages the consideration of every argument within a matter to combat biases limiting our perspectives. As future attorneys, it is our professional responsibility to advise against acting for an improper purpose, such as making frivolous claims that disregard the merits of one’s own arguments or engaging in conduct with the intention to chill future protected activity. Unfortunately, CWRU has engaged in this egregious conduct. If it can mistreat any student undeterred, none of us are safe.

University administrations have rarely pushed the advancement of civil liberties and academic freedom nor steered the moral crises of the present moment. When threatened, universities have prioritized donor interests over dissenting, outspoken students like clockwork. From the vilification of New York University law student Ryna Workman, to the suspension of Columbia University’s chapters for Jewish Voice for Peace and SJP, universities have branded themselves as inclusive while simultaneously ignoring demands to make the systemic changes necessary to accommodate a diverse student body. The role of the university is to promote learning across political differences and to protect the right to protest and dissent without fear of repression. Instead, CWRU has sided against Palestinian students and their allies in favor of backing the powerful donors who support the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Palestine is the litmus test that CWRU administration and faculty can no longer ignore. The university community must prioritize student well-being and academic freedom and demand its reinstatement.


Law Students for Justice in Palestine (LSJP)

Refugee Outreach Collective (ROC)

National Lawyers’ Guild (NLG)

Law and Political Economy Society (LPES)

Labor and Employment Law Society (LELS)

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