An Alumni Response to the “Franklin and Marshall Faculty Statement in Solidarity with Palestine”

By || Undersigned Franklin & Marshall Alumni

This statement represents the views of the undersigned alumni and reflects the views of the undersigned alumni alone, not the Franklin and Marshall alumni as a whole. To view the full and updated list of signatories and a list of resources and links, click here.

We, as alumni of Franklin and Marshall College and members of the Hillel and Chabad communities, are deeply disappointed in the academic and intellectual dishonesty displayed by twenty-four professors for whom we had great admiration.

On June 22nd of this year, two dozen F&M faculty members signed a factually inaccurate and blatantly antisemitic statement which they appear to have taken directly from a statement issued by Princeton University faculty members. We would encourage our fellow community members to read the response published in the Daily Princetonian (linked below). Additionally, please find ours here:

The statement immediately reveals its bias and inaccuracy by condemning Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza. Not only does the statement mischaracterize targeted Israeli airstrikes on Hamas military infrastructure as attempts at terror, it notably fails to condemn the Hamas rocket fire that made the airstrikes necessary, and which were explicitly intended to harm Israeli civilians. Loss of life is tragic. We condemn, and encourage the signatories to condemn, Hamas, whose stated goal is to cause it.

In declaring their refusal to accept the “two side” and “evenhandedness” narrative, the signatories, at best, ignore, and at worst, devalue Israeli death and trauma caused by the excessive rocket fire directed at civilians. They also ignore the reason for the disparity in casualty rates: the parties’ differences in public safety priorities. Namely, while Israel spends much of its military budget investing in its missile defense system and building bomb shelters, Hamas prioritizes the safety of their weapons, hiding them behind their civilians in schools, hospitals, press offices, and apartment buildings.

The statement’s claim that Israel is an apartheid state ignores the fact that Israeli Basic Law and the Israeli Declaration of Independence expressly protect equal rights of all citizens of Israel, regardless of race, religion, or gender. It is easy to find evidence of these laws in action, but perhaps most telling is the fact that the Arab political party (the Joint List) has, in recent elections, been the third largest party in Israel, and the United Arab List is a member of the current unity government coalition.

Perhaps the most concerning assertion in the statement is that the “brutal system” which they call apartheid is founded “upon Jewish supremacy.” It is difficult to believe how one can say this without identifying its roots in antisemitism. It mimics antisemitic tropes that Jews are conniving, manipulative, and power hungry, while simultaneously implying that any attempt of self-determination is an assertion of “supremacy”. We have seen time and time again the results of denying Jews the right to self-determination, and we should be cautious when advocating a return to that era.

While we could continue by clarifying and debunking other claims in the statement, it is beyond the scope of this response to do so. Instead, we provide a comprehensive list of resources below. We encourage fellow community members to read them in earnest.

Finally, we stand in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for liberation from Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, who was notably not mentioned in the statement, and who prioritizes Israeli death over Palestinian life. We likewise join together in rededicating ourselves to working against all forms of antisemitism and injustice at Franklin and Marshall College — in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.
– Concerned and disappointed F&M alumni


Hannah N. Rosenberg ’15 (Co-Author)
Shira M. Gould ’20 (Co-Author)
Elena Robustelli ’21
Sarah Silverman ’20
Bryce Loebel ’15
Anna Taber Bacchieri ’16
Ariel Taichman-Robins ’19
James Overstreet ’21
Laura Epstein ’11
Hannah Berman ’20
Molly Sproul ’21
Ilan Blask ’20
Amy Leis Yagil ’95
Sallie Corrado ’19
Alma Rechnitzer ’18
Bess Landau ’20
Jesse Funk ’03
Connor Protter ’19
Chloe Angel ’19
Julie Sherman ’08
Andrew Kaplan ’21
Ethan Kane ’21
Louis P. Klapper ’09
Alec Cohen ’20
Nate Rosen ’18
Ian Group ’07
Tracey Auster ’07
Jonathan Appel ’06
Yoni Weiss ’20
Cipora Klionsky ’07
Jason Zucker ’19
Elizabeth Reingold ’07
Nathan Rodney ’21
Jacob Mooney ’17
Laura Green ’19
Ryan Fried ’08
Member of the Class of 2020
Brea Lewitas ’19
Lewis Sorokin ’19
Emma Siegal ’19
Jordann Cholst ’11
Member of the Class of 2020
Josh Finkel ’15
Brandon Wind ’93
David Warschawski ’93
Michael Morgenstern ’11
Danielle Edrich ’11
Bruce Reingold ’79
Ilena Ryan ’08
Hilary Chazen Ephraim ’07
Brett Harwood ’71
Sara Bishop ’11
Lee Friedman ’09
Matt Krantz ’11
Haylee (Zirman) Jacobs ’10
Erika Zirman ’19
Samara (Gertner) Landis ’05
Adam Konstas ’10
David Golaner ’00
Nadine Skinner ’98
Jacob Slater ’16
Jeffrey A. Slavin ’07
Todd Jacobs ’07
Josh Zarkin ’10
Alison (Strauss) Berger ’07
Jason Beck ’19
Kimberly Berenbaum ’12
Seth Berger ’07
Ilena Ryan ’08
Dylan Grayson ’19
Zev Seltzer ’21
Rabbi Bruce Seltzer ’93
Jason Bernheimer ’08
Ilena Ryan ’08
Jamie Shanker ’07
Steven Colby ’11
Jake Rauchberg ’20
Rachel Wylie ’19
Jacob Freedman ’18
Yana Chernyak ’11
Vanessa Robustelli ’21
Aileen (Berman) Landau ’93
Alan Glazer ’69
Andrew Group ’11
Linda Yarden ’81
Jess Miller ’18
Wendy Sherman ’19
Daniel Schecter ’16
Heather Greenebaum ’18
Mitchell Kon ’80
Alisa Kaswell ’09
Arielle Walter ’11
Jessica Kroner ’17
Natali Sobel Naveh ’13
Leah Zebovitz ’17
Meg Gerstenblith ’99
Adam Gerstenblith ’03
Gillian Salerno-Rebic ’11

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