The Ivy Coach Daily

July 17, 2021

Anti-Semitism at Franklin & Marshall

Shame on professors at Franklin & Marshall for not being more circumspect in their writing.

For some Jewish applicants, the strength of a college’s Jewish community is an important factor in their college selection process — and understandably so. If a campus’ Jewish life is important to an applicant, it would behoove them to swing by Hillel on a Friday night to see if lots of students are there celebrating Shabbat. It would behoove them to chat with the rabbi, to engage with students by asking them questions about Jewish life on campus, and maybe even to attend services. Another way to gauge the Jewish student experience on campus is to read the student paper, local papers, and even national headlines as these sources might be rather informative. Case in point? Franklin & Marshall College.

As Dion J. Pierre reports for The Algemeiner in a piece entitled “Franklin and Marshall Alumni Letter Backs Faculty Condemnation of Israel’s ’Jewish Supremacy’,” “A volley of community statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resumed Monday at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), when over 130 alumni endorsed a hotly-debated faculty expression of ’solidarity with Palestine,’ criticizing university administrators’ response to it. The letter was written in support of a June 22 faculty statement that said in part, ’The brutal system that controls Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is ideologically founded upon Jewish supremacy, rules over the lives of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel alike, and is practically committed to territorial theft from Palestinians who continue to resist physical removal and existential erasure.’”

The “brutal system” that controls the Middle East’s only democracy? “Jewish supremacy”? These statements sure do seem anti-Semitic if you ask us. The fact that a June Franklin & Marshall faculty statement used such verbiage speaks volumes about the experience for Jewish students on the F&M campus. As Pierre reports, “’The abhorrent and offensive language adopted by these faculty (many of whom we trusted as advisors, professors, and house deans) undermines our impactful work and flat-out jeopardizes the safety of Jewish students on this campus,’ wrote Hillel’s Religious Chair Sebastian Mayer.” We happen to agree. One can support Palestinians without using phrases such as “Jewish supremacy.” Shame on these professors for not being more circumspect with their language.

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