Kent State Weighs Removal of ‘Golda’ Display in Wake of Anti-Israel Student Outcry
Kent State University officials are contemplating the removal of a display featuring a photo and quotation by the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, after students complained that the exhibit is a “discriminatory” daily reminder of racism on campus, the independent school website Kent Wired reported.
President Beverly Warren responded to an op-ed written by Yousof Mousa, president of the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter — with the support of the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA), Ohio Student Association and Muslim Students Association (MSA) — with a letter saying that she, the provost and the senior vice president of academic affairs had visited the display and will “decide about the course of action.”
“Thank you for expressing your concerns about the negativity in the national environment and your support for Kent State to continue to be a diverse community that is committed to inclusive excellence,” Warren wrote, according to the report. “I share those sentiments and am dedicated to our campus being one that is welcoming to all while also honoring the rights of free speech and freedom of expression that are central to a democratic society.”
Mousa told Kent Wired that it is not Meir’s quote itself that disturbs him and his fellow students, but rather everything the late prime minister represents.
“It’s from a person connected to the death of many Palestinians. That’s where the problem is,” he said.
Rachel Mason, president of SALSA, said her organization stands in solidarity with SJP and its demands to remove the Meir display, because it supports “the attitude of not being complacent with oppression in any capacity.”
As The Algemeiner previously reported, SJP and its allies want to remove the Meir display on the grounds that the late leader of the state of Israel participated in the “ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
Mousa wrote in an article, published by Kent Wired, that Meir “had policies and statements that were expressly racist against Africans,” which “produced many hurtful stereotypes, and we hear about people of color today in the racism authorized in the Trump campaign.”
“For Palestinians, it is doubly hurtful — Meir once said that we don’t exist as a people,” he added.
Mousa cited the “academic research” of virulently anti-Zionist “Israeli scholars,” such as Ilan Pappe and Tom Segev.
Passing by the photo and quote — which reads, “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement” — makes Palestinian and black students uncomfortable, and “contributes to a climate that makes us feel like we do not belong here,” Mousa claimed.
Meir, who served as Israel’s fourth and only female prime minister between March 1969 and June 1974, is remembered for playing a key role in bolstering Israel’s relations with African nations and for seeking peace with the Jewish state’s Arab neighbors.
“We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us,” she famously said.