Freedom of speech permits every citizen to voice their opinions, and concerns freely. This civil right can contribute to our society for the better as it brings along new conversation. However, can someone freely express what they believe in without it harming their personal life?
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2023
By Farabi Milisha
The privilege of freedom of speech allows us as individuals to express our ideas, opinions, and concerns without the worry of censorship or disapproval. This civil right opens new conservation, knowledge, and varying perspectives which can contribute to our society for the better. However, is freedom of speech always permitted? Can you freely express what you believe without it negatively impacting your personal life?
On the 7th of October 2023, the Palestinian Islamist militant group, Hamas, ordered an attack on Israel. To combat this, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of war with Hamas on October 8th. This is not a new conflict between both countries as it spans for decades before the 21st century. More than 11,000 Palestinians that are located in the region of Gaza have been killed by the Israeli military and according to the United Nations figures 1.6 million have been displaced. Palestinians are now facing violent attacks, injuries, destruction of homes and limitation of food and water. This news coverage has caused many uproars in our society with voices of opinions, sympathy, and concerns.
Many individuals from different backgrounds of lawyers, influencers, doctors, students, etc have faced consequences from making known their support for the Palestinians or expressing their critiques of the Israeli government. For instance, an NYU law student was expelled as the president of the school’s Student Bar Association and lost a job opportunity due to publishing a newsletter voicing support for the Palestinians.
Jackson Frank, an editor in Philadelphia who worked for the Philadelphia 76ers professional basketball team became unemployed due to responding with “Solidarity with Palestine always” to his team’s post regarding their support of Israel’s damage on Palestine.
In addition to this, the editor-in-chief of Artforum magazine, David Velasco, was dismissed after the magazine expressed an open letter in response to the Israeli-Palestine War.
Additionally, backlash has also been prominent with those in the media. Supermodel Bella Hadid recently spoke out regarding the daily death threats she has received due to her public support for Palestine. According to a GQ interview, she has lost several job opportunities advocating for Palestine over the past years.
“Activists and community members have been doxxed, threatened, investigated, censored, questioned, fired, and even assaulted simply because of their views,” said from a Chicago-based Palestine advocacy group who have been receiving a wave of requests over the past weeks for legal support.
It can be expected that only the citizens of the U.S have only responded to the Israeli-Palestine war because of the U.S. government public support of Israel. However, this war has caused widespread recognition over the globe with many people of different backgrounds voicing their remorse and sorrow for the civilians of Palestine. In India, people are facing charges from police authorities for their overwhelming support for Palestine. On October 16, 2023, about 60 students were detained in New Delhi for engaging in a pro-Palestine protest.
With more than 11,000 Palestinians killed due to the reign of the Israel government, it is almost impossible to expect people around the world to not respond to this genocide by showing their concerns and disapproval. This incident has caused many others to be afraid to speak up in fear of damaging their reputation. It is important for us to use our freedom of speech to bring awareness to distressing events that are occurring right now no matter how devastating or tragic it may seem. As a community we must promote a safe environment by encouraging open dialogue, addressing current issues, and being open-minded which can empower people to speak out. The privilege to voice our opinions for good can aid people stay informed about the world, make reasonable decisions, and opinions and stay active in their community. It is not logical to censor or silence people from voicing public concerns because some things need to be brought to awareness in order to bring a nuanced perspective.