Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

An open letter in support of Israel, from Jewish students and alumni at Brown University

Editors鈥 Note: This letter was circulated among Jewish students and alumni over the past few days.

(This message was signed on to by over 600 Jewish students and alumni as of publication on Wednesday evening. We, the authors of this op-ed, now invite both Jewish and non-Jewish students and alumni to add their names to the list of signatories using the link at the bottom of the letter.)

We, Jewish students and alumni at Brown University, stand with Israel. Just over one month ago, slaughtered, mutilated, and over 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, and over 240 additional people. The victims included babies, women, men, children and the elderly 鈥 even . Yet, on college across the world, displays of compassion were quickly overshadowed by an eruption of , vilification of Israel, to Jewish students and, in some cases, .听

On Nov. 8, 20 of our Jewish peers joined the conversation on Brown鈥檚 campus. Members of a new student group called BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now were arrested for trespassing during a sit-in at University Hall to demand an immediate ceasefire and that the University divest its endowment from Israel-affiliated companies and weapons manufacturers. Since then, their actions have been lauded and reposted on social media by hundreds of students. They do not represent us.


We want to acknowledge that many Jews and Israelis 鈥 including many of us 鈥 , nor some of his administration鈥檚 . We recognize the heartbreaking that has occurred in this war, and we understand how difficult it is for the Palestinian community to lose innocent civilians. We feel for our Palestinian friends who are deeply affected and worried for their loved ones.听

The signatories of this letter may hold very different opinions about Israeli politics and policies, but we are united in our belief in a secure, safe and democratic Israel. Jewish anti-Zionists do not speak for us. And they do not speak for the vast of the Jewish .

We now ask you to listen to us:聽

1. Many Jews on campus are scared.

In the past month, Jewish and Israeli communities on campus have been confronted with blatant antisemitism. At Brown, we have seen dozens of half-torn posters of kidnapped Jewish children as we walk to class. We have heard our classmates declare 鈥済lory to our martyrs,鈥 鈥渇rom the river to the sea, Palestine will be free鈥 and 鈥渢he resistance lives!鈥 At other schools, students have chanted that 鈥溾 and called to 鈥.鈥 During the first and second , or Palestinian uprisings, hundreds of Israeli civilians in . And on campus chat platforms, we have seen calls for Israeli Jews to 鈥済o back to Europe鈥 and claims that 鈥渢here is no such thing as an innocent Israeli.鈥澛

This rhetoric scares us. How can we feel welcome on campus when we see our people so despised, with the Brown community championing only a minority of the larger Jewish Diaspora as the acceptable face of Judaism? A Jewish professor at Columbia has his children against attending his university. Our Jewish friends at Cornell have death threats. We feel scared, alone and abandoned by our community. We are immensely saddened by the lack of compassion for our Jewish peers. Where are the cries for the 240 people held hostage in Gaza to be released? Where are the protests for the freedom of , who has now spent 10% of his life in a Hamas tunnel? Where are the calls for Hamas to surrender? The silence on our campus is telling.听

2. The State of Israel is fundamental to the survival of the Jewish people.

This is the essence of Zionism: the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in our . Many Jews living in Western democracies have the privilege to feel that they do not need Zionism, but most throughout history have not been so lucky.听

Between 1948 and 2022, over 1.3 million Jewish people fleeing Eastern Europe in Israel. In 1948, bombs were in Cairo鈥檚 Jewish quarter and a capital crime. Almost all of the 900,000 Jews living in Arab countries across the Middle East were from their homes, and 650,000 of these Jews to Israel because 鈥渋t was the only country that would admit them,鈥 as academic Avi Beker writes. More recently, since the 1970s, over Ethiopian Jewish refugees have made Israel their home, violence and persecution.

Today, the story is similar: Despite comprising of the American population, Jews were the victims of of religiously motivated hate crimes in 2022. As antisemitism globally and Jews across the world face and , Israel鈥檚 existence remains fundamental to the preservation of the Jewish people. Zionism saved the lives of our ancestors and continues to protect our lives today.听


3. Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself against Hamas.

Hamas is a whose founding calls for the genocide of the Jewish people. In early November, senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad Hamas鈥 intent to repeat the Oct. 7 attacks 鈥渁 second, a third, a fourth time.鈥 We refuse to silently accept the murder of our people. Israel has an existential duty to eradicate Hamas. The war has tragically killed . We grieve for the victims and their families, and we offer Brown鈥檚 Palestinian community our love and sympathy.听

It鈥檚 important to note that many of these deaths are attributable to Hamas鈥檚 approach of using Palestinian civilians as human shields, a tactic that to civilian deaths. Hamas鈥檚 headquarters is under the Al Shifa Hospital Complex 鈥 the largest medical facility in Gaza 鈥 according to independent . Historically, Hamas has also missiles from civilian areas 鈥斅燼nd rockets fired from Gaza sometimes . When this happens, they turn to the tried-and-true of blaming the Jewish state.听

Israel鈥檚 war against Hamas is . Israel regularly that airstrikes are coming via millions of leaflets and automated messages. Hamas, by contrast, has reportedly civilians from fleeing to safety. Just recently, Israeli soldiers 300 liters of fuel to Shifa Hospital in Gaza 鈥 the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry rejected the shipment.听 Throughout history, Israel has also genuine attempts to coexist with the Palestinian people, and multiple Israeli administrations have sought to further a two-state solution. Hamas鈥檚 founding charter, by contrast, explicitly called to indiscriminately kill all Jews and eliminate the State of Israel 鈥斅燼 view by contemporary Hamas leaders.

Get The Herald delivered to your inbox daily.

We, like many on campus, hope for the cessation of hostilities in Israel and in Gaza. But there was a . Another ceasefire would only an 鈥渙pportunity to reload,鈥 as stated by the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. As such, these calls for a ceasefire miss two critical requirements for lasting peace: the safe return of all American, Israeli and foreign hostages in Gaza and the unconditional surrender of Hamas.听

4. Israel is not an ethnostate.

Despite some claiming that Zionism is white supremacy, many Jewish Israelis are . The Jewish population of Israel of Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, Ethiopian Jews and more. And nearly 鈥 18% 鈥 of Israel鈥檚 citizens are Muslim Arabs who enjoy . Arab Israeli citizens are also (Israel鈥檚 parliament) and on the .听

Israel is by far the in the Middle East, and actually ranks higher than the U.S. does on the Economist 2022 Intelligence鈥檚 Democracy Index. Israel is also the that provides explicit legal protections for its LGBTQ+ community. Of course, tensions still exist between different demographic groups in Israel, but this applies to every democratic society. We ask BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now to stop promoting disinformation regarding the nature of the Israeli state and the Jewish populace by calling it a 鈥Jewish ethnostate.鈥

5. 鈥淔rom the river to the sea, Palestine will be free鈥 explicitly calls for the elimination of the State of Israel.

鈥淔rom the river to the sea鈥 is an for the end of the Jewish state. The it as a 鈥渃atch-all phrase symbolizing Palestinian control over the entire territory of Israel鈥檚 borders, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.鈥 This message has deep historical context. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews were regularly in the British Mandate of Palestine. Jews were also from the vast majority of Middle Eastern countries throughout the 20th century. Antisemitism runs rampant among members of Hamas, as well as the current . There is no historical basis to believe that a Palestinian government exercising authority 鈥渇rom the river to the sea鈥 would not seek to expel or eliminate Jews. This slogan does not call for a two-state solution, nor does it call for coexistence. It calls for the destruction of the world鈥檚 only Jewish state, an outcome tantamount to the ethnic cleansing of its Jewish inhabitants.听

In conclusion: We will not be silenced. We are devastated by the horrific loss of life in Israel and Gaza, but lasting peace is impossible as long as Hamas remains in power in Gaza. We stand with the State of Israel and its right to self-defense. And we urge Brown University to actively combat the recent unprecedented rise of antisemitism we have seen on campus.听

To see a full list of signatories, click . The writers of this op-ed invite Jewish and non-Jewish students and alumni to add their name using this .

Rachel Blumenstein 鈥24, Theodore Horowitz 鈥24,听Jillian Lederman 鈥24 补苍诲听Ben Piekarz 鈥24聽can be reached at rachel_blumenstein@brown.edu, theodore_horowitz@brown.edu,听jillian_lederman@brown.edu 补苍诲听ben_piekarz@brown.edu. Please send responses to this opinion to聽letters@browndailyherald.com聽and other op-eds to聽opinions@browndailyherald.com.

Correction: Due to a change during the editing process, a previous version of this op-ed mischaracterized the nature of LGBTQ+ protections in Israel as 鈥渃onstitutional.鈥 In fact, protections are 鈥渓egal,鈥 as Israel does not have a formal constitution. The Herald regrets the error.

Powered by Solutions by The State 国产偷拍
All Content © 2023 国产偷拍, Inc.