Foreign Policy

published : 2023-10-28

MIT Alumni Call on University to Address Threats Against Jews

Over 600 alumni, faculty, and students voice concern after anti-Israel protest

An image capturing a diverse group of MIT alumni gathering together to express their concern and support for the safety of Jewish and Israeli students. [Photo prompt]

Over 600 alumni, faculty, and students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are pleading with the university’s president to take action against calls for violence against Jews.

The plea comes after an anti-Israel protest where hundreds of students chanted 'one solution, intifada' following a deadly attack on the Jewish community.

A letter signed by 607 individuals associated with the school expressed 'deep concern, fear, and disappointment.'

They called on MIT President Sally Kornbluth to prevent the spread of hateful acts and slogans that threaten the safety of Jewish and Israeli students.

While supporting free speech and peaceful assembly, the letter emphasized the need to prioritize the well-being of the MIT community.

A photo of MIT President Sally Kornbluth addressing the crowd during a campus event, emphasizing the importance of balancing free speech with the prevention of violence and discrimination. [Photo prompt]

The rally in question included derogatory messages targeting Jews and Israelis, and one incident involved a perpetrator attempting to harm a Jewish MIT student.

The alumni highlighted that the word 'intifada' refers to the armed and violent Palestinian insurrection against Israelis, which has caused numerous casualties over the years.

They also emphasized that the slogan 'from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!' has been associated with calls for the destruction of Israel and promoting violence.

Recent events, such as the proposal to criminalize the slogan in the UK, demonstrated its potential harm.

The authors urged the MIT administration to cease operations associated with the individuals and organizations responsible for the statements made on campus.

A powerful image showing students holding placards with slogans promoting peace and unity, symbolizing the collective effort to create a safe and inclusive environment at MIT. [Photo prompt]

They called for the dissolution of the Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA) and disciplinary actions against its leadership.

The alumni also requested clear rules and regulations against incitement to violence on campus, as well as heightened security and oversight at events.

MIT President Sally Kornbluth had previously condemned the Hamas terrorist attacks and expressed support for free speech, but also recognized the unacceptability of individual targeting and calls to violence on campus.

The signatories of the letter hope for a thoughtful and thorough response from MIT leadership.