Our right to advocate for Palestinian human rights are under attack. Kenneth Marcus, President Trump's head of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, has adopted an egregious definition of anti-Semitism to include student criticism of Israeli policies. These efforts aim to silence and punish advocates of Palestinian human rights on university campuses and beyond. Please sign this petition in defense of our academic freedoms for Palestine!
As people of faith, we decry anti-Semitism, racism, and prejudice in all its forms. In light of the recent murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we must continue the struggle against anti-Semitism and recognize it as inextricably linked to the growing violence based on white supremacy and hate.
However, Marcus’ redefinition of anti-Semitism adds no new protections for Jewish students. His efforts are an attempt to penalize any debate or advocacy regarding Palestinian human rights, robbing our students the opportunity to think critically and act ethically. Rather than upholding civil rights for us all, Marcus is taking our freedoms away.
Your voice as a leader of faith is critical in this moment of larger repression of Palestinian rights activism. Please sign this letter in solidarity with students and their freedoms of inquiry and protest by November 12. To strengthen our collective voice, we ask that you share this petition with other clergy members, campus ministers, and seminary members.
Diane Dulin, Allison Tanner, and Muriel Schmid
FOSNA Clergy and Seminary Action Council Co-Conveners
P.S. We invite you to consider joining the FOSNA Clergy and Seminary Action Council. We need you to strengthen our moral voice on this and other issues in these challenging times.