An open letter that calls upon members of the Rutgers University community “to stand against the murderous regime of Hamas and to recognize the right of both the Palestinian people and the Israeli people to live in safety within secure borders” has been signed by hundreds of faculty members and staffers at Rutgers.
The letter, which had been signed by nearly 200 people as of Monday morning, also asks that the university administration “create a comprehensive plan to address antisemitism specifically, and we ask our colleagues to commit to fostering open, honest inquiry, free of hate and demonization, on the Israeli-Hamas conflict and all other related issues at our university.”
Here’s a look at the statement:
“We, the undersigned faculty and staff members at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, strongly condemn the many recent expressions of antisemitism on our campuses and call on the entire community to reject antisemitism in all its forms.
“Following the horrific Oct. 7, 2023, massacre of over 1,200 people in Israel by Hamas, an acknowledged terrorist organization that calls for the violent destruction of the Jewish state and the deaths of Jews worldwide, there has been an alarming rise in antisemitic hate in America and around the globe. On college campuses and online Jews are being attacked, harassed, intimidated and vilified. At Rutgers, an undergraduate has been arrested and charged after making a death threat against Israeli students at the AEPi (predominantly Jewish) fraternity. Student groups at Rutgers have called Hamas’s massacre of Jews in Israel ‘justified’ and have organized events expressing support for its heinous actions. Posters calling attention to the roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza are being torn down. Many Jews and Israelis on our campuses feel betrayed and alienated by colleagues and peers, who, consciously or not, repeat age-old antisemitic tropes, such as the notions that Jews are overly powerful, bloodthirsty or vengeful.
“Muslim and Arab students have also reported being intimidated and harassed on campus. We condemn any expressions of anti-Arab or anti-Muslim sentiment, just as we condemn antisemitism, and affirm the rights of all members of the Rutgers community to walk their campuses without fear.
“We affirm our commitment to free and open exchange. In that spirit, we refuse to yield the public discourse at our university to those who promote dishonest narratives, engage in vilification and slander in lieu of reasoned debate, or support, excuse or remain silent about terror or antisemitism. At its core, the mission of the university is to increase knowledge and understanding and to seek truth in all its complexity. Faculty and students must be able to talk to one another honestly and civilly about deeply challenging issues.
“We call upon members of the Rutgers community to stand against the murderous regime of Hamas and to recognize the right of both the Palestinian people and the Israeli people to live in safety within secure borders. We ask the university administration to create a comprehensive plan to address antisemitism specifically, and we ask our colleagues to commit to fostering open, honest inquiry, free of hate and demonization, on the Israeli-Hamas conflict and all other related issues at our university.”