Clamping down on speech [Letter]

I applaud Melanie McAlister for her reasoned commentary on the Israel academic boycott movement ("Maryland bills would stifle academic freedom," Feb. 12).

As Ms. McAlister notes, "in considering the ASA boycott decision, it's important to recognize that whether or not one thinks it was a good idea, it does not violate the academic freedom of Israeli or American scholars."

What would violate this freedom is a bill under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly that seeks to criminalize free speech concerning this matter.

Doris Rausch, Columbia

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