Response to “U should listen to divestment calls”

We live in a world turned upside down. This paper betrays the Jewish students, faculty, staff and alumni of the University of Minnesota by recklessly endorsing the hateful divestment initiative championed by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
 
 
Outrageously, the Daily claimed this divisive initiative is a “straightforward” and “low-risk” way for the University to “show it is responsive to student concerns.”
 
 
There is, however, nothing “straightforward” or “low-risk” about siding with activists who meet the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism by “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist” when they shout down invited guests, such as Dr. Moshe Halbertal with the genocidal chant of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
 
 
We are committed to a better way forward by investing in the people of Israel and Palestine and through the creation of two states for two peoples.
 
 
By contrast, divestment from Israel is predicated on the zealous and ahistorical belief that Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, is a racist nation. The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which SJP is a leader in, is committed either explicitly or implicitly to the elimination of Israel and its replacement with a single, Palestinian Arab state.
 
 
Therefore, when SJP and other backers of the BDS movement speak of justice and peace, we know they are not striving toward a peaceful solution to the conflict. Rather, they are agitating for the end to Israel. There is no peace or justice in that solution.
 
 
It is an absurdity for the Daily to suggest that appeasing BDS activists is a means for the University to take positive action on campus diversity issues. Such claims are only true if the University is intent on endorsing bigotry and abetting the ongoing intimidation of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus.
 
 
Over the past year, the Daily’s silence in the face of ongoing anti-Israel hostility and anti-Semitism on campus has been deafening. In the wake of this latest and most egregious assault on the Jewish and pro-Israel community, it is well past time that the Daily affirm that all members of the University community matter.
 
 
Sami Rahamim
President, Students Supporting Israel
 
 
Bennie Kaplan
Executive Director of Minnesota Hillel
 
 
Steve Hunegs
Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas