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Boycott bills would chill free speech on Israel [Letter]

Melani McAlister's column on the academic boycott of Israel echoed my own sentiments ("Maryland bills would stifle academic freedom," Feb. 12).

The proposed bills in Maryland would ban use of public college and university funds to support scholarly involvement in academic organizations that have voted to boycott Israel.

I am a college professor who is not a member of the American Studies Association, since I teach in a science department. But the Maryland bills are a naked attempt to create a chilling effect on free academic discussion of the Israel-Palestine situation. Neither should be passed.

James Strick, Silver Spring

The writer teaches in the Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin and Marshall College.

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