Over 100 Jewish studies scholars sign petition condemning Trump’s declaration
… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: It is always nice to see the righteous Jews weigh in on major controversies, although their letters like this tend to get modest media exposure due to who is rumored to have major influence in that area.
These are your salt-of-the-earth liberal Jews, as non-Likud as you can get. They could all be good friends with Uri Avnery, but alas he never comes to the US to promote his work and seek support.
The list, see below, is up to 124 now. Look it over. You see they kept it to one person per school, I suspect a “whoever jumps first” incentive for getting the slot. They also wanted to show as many institution locations as possible to display that this is not a fringe group.
These are people who know what they are doing. Keep an eye out for the huge number of non-Jewish professional orgs that could put out a letter like this, but don’t. If you see any they will mostly be coming out in support of Trump’s move.
The public has been polled as being against the move, but they tend to lose these big issue PR battles as their institutions are AWOL in fights like this. The win-lose dynamics are never going to change until the underlying causes are dealt with.
The number one issue I would put on the table is how many organization have national security, as one of their top issues? And I don’t mean the salute and say “yes sir”, but the two faced kind, who will quickly admit that corruption in government is a systemic problem but they never do anything about it really.
So Trump has himself a “two-fer” for his first year. He has isolated the US on his threat to renege on the JCPOA, with even staunch, always with the US right or wrong countries like Britain and Australia.
And pretty much the same coalition is holding tight on this stupid move to think that, with the US moving the embassy to Jerusalem, somehow the situation changes for everybody else, that he has “Trumped” the Palestinians somehow.
The Saudis are being shown up as being toothless tigers, that the Zionists certainly had no problem playing.
The Jerusalem move is being viewed for what it is – a reckless theatrical event – and what appears to be something cooked up by Bibi, Jared Kushner and Trump to roll out at a time of their choosing. The silver lining in all this is that Trump’s first year is revealing him for who and what he is.
He will be driving potential US adversaries, who could be otherwise, into defensive coalitions to protect themselves. The uni-polar world is already in the wastebasket, thrown in there by the foolish acts of “The Man who would be King”, an actor who got in over his head, and gave us a reality TV show instead… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … December 08, 2017 –
More than 100 Jewish studies scholars have condemned President Donald Trump’s announcement of the US recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
In a petition released on Thursday, at least 110 signatories from universities and colleges across the United States called on Trump to cancel the controversial decision.
“We write as Jewish Studies scholars to express our dismay at the Trump administration’s decision to reverse decades of bipartisan US policy by declaring Jerusalem [al-Quds] the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv,” the petition read.
“A declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem [al-Quds] adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence,” it added.
The petition said the Israeli regime is perpetrating “systematic inequalities” against the Palestinian people.
“Palestinian residents of Jerusalem [al-Quds] endure systematic inequalities, including an inequitable distribution of the city’s budget and municipal services, routine denial of building permits that are granted to Jewish residents, home demolitions, and legal confiscation of property for Jewish settlement,” the petition argued.
“In addition, Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem [al-Quds]’s holy sites,” it continued.
In a speech at the White House on Wednesday, Trump officially declared Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital, saying his administration would also begin a process of moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, which is expected to take years.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The US leader also said that Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East in the coming days “to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism.”
The announcement was a major shift by Washington that overturns decades of US foreign policy. Trump’s decision was mostly aimed at pleasing his main supporters – Republican conservatives and evangelical Christian Zionists who comprise an important share of his voter base.
Jewish Studies Statement on Jerusalem Declaration
We write as Jewish Studies scholars to express our dismay at the Trump administration’s decision to reverse decades of bipartisan U.S. policy by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation and ensures respect for the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is of immense religious and thus emotional significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. It is the focus of national aspirations for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope one day to see a world in which all inhabitants of the land enjoy equal access to the city’s cultural and material resources. Today, unfortunately, that is not the case.
As the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem* has documented, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem endure systematic inequalities, including an inequitable distribution of the city’s budget and municipal services, routine denial of building permits that are granted to Jewish residents, home demolitions, and legal confiscation of property for Jewish settlement. In addition, Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem’s holy sites.
In this context, a declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence. We therefore call on the U.S. government to take immediate steps to deescalate the tensions resulting from the President’s declaration and to clarify Palestinians’ legitimate stake in the future of Jerusalem.
1. Beverly Bailis, Brooklyn College
2. Mark Baker, Monash University
3. Elissa Bemporad, Queens College and The CUNY Graduate Center
4. Mara Benjamin, Mount Holyoke College
5. Matthew Berkman, University of Pennsylvania
6. Joel Berkowitz, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
7. Lila Berman, Temple University
8. David Biale, University of California, Davis
9. Jeffrey Blutinger, California State University, Long Beach
10. Ra’anan Boustan, Princeton University
11. Zachary Braiterman, Syracuse University
12. Francesca Bregoli, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
13. Emma Brodeur, Syracuse University
14. Samuel Brody, University of Kansas
15. Debra Caplan, Baruch College, CUNY
16. Jessica Carr, Lafayette College
17. Flora Cassen, UNC Chapel Hill
18. Geoffrey Claussen, Elon University
19. Aryeh Cohen, American Jewish University
20. Rebecca Davis, University of Delaware
21. Laura Duhan-Kaplan, Vancouver School of Theology
22. Barat Ellman, Fordham University
23. Barbara Epstein, University of California, Santa Cruz
24. Robert Erlewine, Illinois Wesleyan University
25. Sara Feldman, University of Illinois
26. Sandy Fox, New York University
27. Ben Freeman, Harvard Divinity School
28. Joshua Friedman, Duke University
29. Olga Gershenson, University of Massachusetts
30. Shai Ginsburg, Duke University
31. Evan Goldstein, Yale University
32. Andrew Gordon, University of Florida
33. Erin Graff Zivin, University of Southern California
34. Ronnie Grinberg, University of Oklahoma
35. Chaya Halberstam, Western University
36. Rachel Havrelock, University of Illinois Chicago
37. Elizabeth Heineman, University of Iowa
38. Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
39. Jonathan Hess, UNC Chapel Hill
40. Curtis Hutt, University of Nebraska at Omaha
41. Claire Katz, Texas A&M
42. Gwynn Kessler, Swarthmore College
43. Rebekah Klein-Pejsova, Purdue University
44. Michal Kofman, University of Louisville
45. Rachel Kranson, University of Pittsburgh
46. Chana Kronfeld, University of California, Berkeley
47. Jacob Labendz, Youngstown State University
48. Yitz Landes, Princeton University
49. Timothy Langille, Arizona State University
50. Nitzan Lebovic, Lehigh University
51. Daniil Leiderman, Texas A&M
52. Brian Leonard, Boston College High School
53. Maggie Levantovskaya, Santa Clara University
54. Daniel Levine, University of Alabama
55. Laura Levitt, Temple University
56. Lital Levy, Princeton University
57. Andrea Lieber, Dickinson College
58. Ari Linden, University of Kansas
59. Joe Lockard, Arizona State University
60. Ian Lustick, University of Pennsylvania
61. Lindsay Macumber, Saint Mary’s University
62. Shaul Magid, Indiana University
63. Charles Manekin, University of Maryland
64. Barbara Mann, Jewish Theological Seminary
65. Ibrahim Miari, University of Pennsylvania
66. Michael Miller, Liverpool Hope university
67. Sarah Anne Minkin, UC Berkeley
68. Leslie Morris, University of Minnesota
69. Eva Mroczek, UC Davis
70. Rachel Neis, University of Michigan
71. Judith Newman, University of Toronto
72. Anita Norich, University of Michigan
73. Jess Olson, Yeshiva University
74. Ranen Omer-Sherman, University of Louisville
75. Riv-Ellen Prell, University of Minnesota
76. Vadim Putzu, Missouri State University
77. Shari Rabin, College of Charleston
78. Randi Rashkover, George Mason University
79. Elliot Ratzman, Lawrence University
80. Emily Rogal, Harvard Divinity School
81. Na’ama Rokem, University of Chicago
82. Kate Rosenblatt, Emory University
83. Jordan Rosenblum, University of Wisconsin-Madison
84. Bruce Rosenstock, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
85. Michael Rothberg, UCLA
86. Adam Rovner, University of Denver
87. Nora Rubel, University of Rochester
88. Elias Sacks, University of Colorado Boulder
89. Alison Schofield, University of Denver
90. Benjamin Schreier, Penn State University
91. Joshua Schwartz, New York University
92. Naomi Seidman, Graduate Theological Union
93. Sasha Senderovich, University of Washington, Seattle
94. Joshua Shanes, College of Charleston
95. Nathaniel Shils, University of Pennsylvania
96. Anne Shlay, Georgia State University
97. David Shneer, University of Colorado Boulder
98. Maeera Shreiber, University of Utah
99. Larry Silver, University of Pennsylvania
100. Shana Sippy, Centre College
101. Andrew Sloin, Baruch College, CUNY
102. Rachel Smith, UCLA
103. Scott Spector, University of Michigan
104. Loren Spielman, Portland State University
105. Gregory Spinner, Skidmore College
106. Neta Stahl, Johns Hopkins University
107. Deborah Starr, Cornell University
108. Richard Steigmann-Gall, Kent State University
109. Mira Sucharov, Carleton University
110. David Teutsch, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
111. Irene Tucker, University of California, Irvine
112. Alana Vincent, University of Chester, UK
113. Burton Visotzky, Jewish Theological Seminary
114. Anika Walke, Washington University in St. Louis
115. Kerry Wallach, Gettysburg College
116. Mira Wasserman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
117. Dov Waxman, Northeastern University
118. Liliane Weissberg, University of Pennsylvania
119. Beth Wenger, University of Pennsylvania
120. Barry Wimpfheimer, Northwestern University
121. James Young, University of Massachusetts Amherst
122. Michael Zank, Boston University
123. Saul Zaritt, Harvard University
124. Sarah Zarrow, Western Washington University
If you wish to add your signature to this statement, fill out the form below. If your name appears on this statement in error, please write to [email protected] from your institutional email address.