A Debate: In light of the terrorist attack on Oct. 7th and the ensuing War in Gaza, what are the proper limits of speech on campus?

April 11-11, 2024
Sheraton Commander Hotel, Cambridge, MA
7:00pm EST

How "free" should "free speech" be?

The terrorist attack in Israel on October 7th by Hamas undid an uneasy peace in the Middle East, the fruits of a hard-fought effort to bring stability to a region rife with enmity and violence. Now, Israel and Palestine find themselves at war once again, and this development has caused a global backlash. In America, universities have become hotbeds of political turmoil over the conflict, causing calls for reform to university speech policies.

But what should universities do to prevent harm to Jewish students in light of October 7th? How free should free speech be on a college campus? What is the proper balance between a university’s mission of educating and forming students and the right of free expression?

Join ISI on April 11 at 7pm at the Sheraton Commander Hotel as we explore these important topics and the relationship between free speech and the Israel-Palestine war. Josh Hammer and Arthur Milikh will square off against Shadi Hamid and Randall Kennedy, with Ross Douthat moderating what will be a must-see event! All attendees must register beforehand and spots are limited, so register today!

Email Tom Sarrouf at tsarrouf@isi.org with questions.

Meet Your Debaters

Shadi Hamid

Shadi Hamid is a columnist and member of the Editorial Board at The Washington Post as well as a research professor of Islamic Studies at Fuller Seminary and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Previously, he was a longtime senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Hamid is the author of several books, including most recently The Problem of Democracy. His forthcoming book On Power is due out from Simon & Schuster in 2025. His previous book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World was shortlisted for the 2017 Lionel Gelber Prize for best book on foreign affairs. In 2019, Hamid was named one of the world’s top 50 thinkers by Prospect magazine. He is also the co-founder of Wisdom of Crowds, a podcast, newsletter, and debate platform. Hamid received his B.S. and M.A. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and his Ph.D. in political science from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar.

Randall Kennedy

Randall Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina. For his education he attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law, Mr Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications. His other books are For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law (2013), The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency (2011), Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal (2008), Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption (2003), and Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (2002). A member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, Mr. Kennedy is also a Trustee emeritus of Princeton University.

Josh Hammer

Josh Hammer is senior editor-at-large at Newsweek, a syndicated columnist through Creators and the host of “The Josh Hammer Show,” a Newsweek podcast and syndicated radio show. A frequent pundit and essayist on political, legal and cultural issues, Josh is also a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation, a fellow with the Palm Beach Freedom Institute, and counsel and policy advisor for the Internet Accountability Project. 

Josh has been published by many leading outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, the New York Sun, the Daily Mail, Newsweek,  National Affairs, American Affairs, City Journal, First Things,  Compact Magazine, The American Spectator, The American Conservative, The American Mind, American Greatness, American Compass, Chronicles Magazine, The Daily Wire, The Jerusalem Post, and The Times of Israel, among many other publications. He has had formal legal scholarship published by the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and the University of St. Thomas Law Journal.

Josh is a college campus speaker through ISI and Young America’s Foundation, as well as a law school campus speaker through the Federalist Society. Prior to Newsweek and The Daily Wire, where he was an editor, Josh worked at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and clerked for the Hon. James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Josh has also served as a John Marshall Fellow with the Claremont Institute and a Fellow with the James Wilson Institute.

Josh graduated from Duke University, where he majored in economics, and from the University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Florida, but remains an active member of the State Bar of Texas.

Arthur Milikh

Arthur Milikh is the executive director of The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life. He specializes in American political thought.

Milikh has advised elected political leaders at the highest national and state levels, and has lectures across the country at the nation’s top universities.

Previously, he was the Associate Director of the Center for American Studies and AWC Family Foundation Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Prior to Heritage, he worked at the House Committee on Armed Services and at The Hudson Institute.

Milikh’s writings have appeared in The Claremont Review of Books, National Affairs, City Journal, Real Clear Politics, Law & Liberty, and American Greatness. He is the editor of Up from Conservatism: Revitalizing the Right after a Generation of Decay (Encounter, 2023).

Milikh was educated at Emory University, the University of Chicago, The Catholic University of America.

Ross Douthat (Moderator)

Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an Opinion columnist in April 2009. His column appears every Tuesday and Sunday. He is also a host on the weekly Opinion podcast, “Matter of Opinion.” Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger on its website. He is the author of many books including Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, and The Decadent Society

Register Today!