Outrage over israeli policies toward Palestinians has continued to swell the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). In response, critics of BDS are spreading rhetoric that is corroding support for civil liberties, civil rights, and free expression of ideas in the United States.

Controversies over U.S. policies in the Middle East are not new, but the current stance of some institutions claiming to speak for the U.S. Jewish community, combined with biased federal policies targeting anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses, raises the specter of not just blacklists and political witch hunts but de facto government censorship.

During the presidency of George W. Bush, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights created headlines with policies that provide federal civil rights protection against harassment or discrimination targeting Jewish college students. Meanwhile Muslims, Sikhs, and students from...

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