Clarifying the “Franklin & Marshall Faculty Statement in Solidarity with Palestine”

This statement and the original statement released represents the views of the original undersigned faculty and reflects the views of the undersigned faculty alone, not the Franklin and Marshall Faculty as a whole.

Additional comments in response to some reaction we have received to our original letter:
The F&M faculty who signed this letter would like to clarify several points that have been criticized by some readers. First, some have expressed confusion about the fact that our letter is nearly identical in language to letters published by faculty at other institutions. It is common practice in circulating statements of this kind to show unity by using the same language others have used. In this spirit, our language was based largely on that of colleagues at Princeton, with a few modifications of our own. Effectively, we are co-signing and cross-posting a letter written by many scholars across the academy with the expectation that this shared language increases the power and solidarity of the message.


Some have expressed concern about the phrase in our statement “Jewish supremacy” to characterize Israel’s founding and governance. The phrase is taken from an Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem, run by Israelis. See http://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid


If one wonders about the meaning of this claim, Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, has published detailed substantiation via a database “comprising a list of over 65 Israeli laws that discriminate directly or indirectly against Palestinian citizens in Israel and/or Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) on the basis of their national belonging. The discrimination in these laws is either explicit – ‘discrimination on its face’ – or, more often, the laws are worded in a seemingly neutral manner, but have or will likely have a disparate impact on Palestinians in their implementation.” See https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7771


We are aware that anti-Semitic views have sometimes used the expression “Jewish supremacy.” We explicitly and vehemently deny any connection with or support for these dangerous views. The mention of “Jewish supremacy” in our letter in no way is intended to endorse or invoke traditional tropes of anti-Semitism.
However, we also reject the claim that any criticism of Israeli government policy automatically equates with anti-Semitism.


Finally, some readers of our letter explicitly reject any statements or actions of Hamas “who call to exterminate Israel and the Jewish people.” We join these readers in condemning such statements and actions on the part of Hamas. Some students have apparently expressed concern about an unwelcoming atmosphere in class with professors who have signed. As professionals, we would like to state clearly that our students should not fear any animosity or anti-Jewish sentiments from the letter signers, all of whom remain absolutely committed to the free flow of ideas and opinions at the College and who have always enacted their commitment in and out of the classroom.

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2 comments to “Clarifying the “Franklin & Marshall Faculty Statement in Solidarity with Palestine””
  1. Pingback: Strangely Nazi-like talk at a Pennsylvania college By Civis Americanus | RUTHFULLY YOURS

  2. You should read the history of F and M when in fact no Jewish administrator nor professor was on staff until the late 70s and Jewish students were unwelcome. The faculty’s weak statement that they are signing what has already been said at other institutions does not make it fact. It is say to what Trump used to say ‘“ well I head some people say “ to elevate a known un-truth. Shame on the college and shame on administration for not more strongly condemning this one sided an inaccurate statement by 24 faculty members. Despite the faculty ‘s statement I do not agree that a Jewish student t would be welcomed in their classes. Substitute Muslim or Black for Jew and would they dare publish a similar statement ? Of course not. The college should arrange for these so called open minded scholars to spend a semester visiting Israel before making such an anti Israeli and antisemitic statement. There is NO distinction between the two.

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