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May 19, 2021 5:52 pm

Dozens of Princeton Faculty Sign Letter on Mideast Conflict That Condemns Israel’s ‘Jewish Supremacy,’ Does Not Mention Hamas


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Princeton University in New Jersey. Photo: Flickr.

At least fifty Princeton University faculty and staff signed a statement condemning “the ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli armed forces,” in an open letter that decried Israel as a system based on Jewish supremacy, and made no mention of the Hamas militant group’s attacks on civilians.

“We condemn the displacement of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem — part of a decades long campaign of warfare, expulsion, unequal residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies that advances the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem,” said the Tuesday letter. “The brutal system that controls Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is ideologically founded on Jewish supremacy.”

Also signed by several hundred Princeton students and alumni, the letter continued, “We mourn all loss of life. We also refuse the ‘two-sides’ and ‘evenhandedness’ narrative that ignores and conceals the meaningful differences between Israel — one of the most heavily militarized states in the world that receives $3.8 billion in military aid annually from the United States — and a Palestinian population resisting occupation and oppression.”

Princeton faculty signatories included the sociologist Ruha Benjamin, the philosopher Daniel Garber, former Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian, the historian Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, the classicist Dan-El Padilla Peralta, and former US poet laureate Tracy K. Smith.

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“We salute the bravery and will-to-survival of Palestinians — in the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and within Israel — as they resist the violence of the Israeli military, settler militias, and lynch mobs,” the letter said. It included no mention of Hamas, or the 4,000-plus rockets that the group has so far fired at Israeli territory.

Appearing in The Daily Princetonian, the letter also endorsed the so-called “Palestine and Praxis” open letter, a document signed by faculty from a range of universities urging their institutions to end partnerships with military, legal and academic entities “involved in entrenching Israel’s policies.”

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