On Tuesday, the Einaudi Center hosted a panel on settler-colonialism in North America and Palestine. As it was also on the Jewish holiday of Purim, the event received resistance from Jewish community members.
This pattern of scheduling during Jewish religious events is at best a troubling oversight and at worst a deliberate attempt to silence dissenting voices. Jewish students should not have to choose between practicing their religion and defending the existence of their historic homeland.
This idea of perpetual discussion being a tool of oppression towards Palestinians was certainly not directed at anything specific. Like all discussions regarding human rights and their violations, the conversation is not localized, but global, affecting all people. The point struck incredibly close to home for me. Earlier in 2021, the Palestinian struggle gained global notoriety due to the eviction of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, leading to a rally of Cornellians sympathetic to the cause, organized by Prof. Eric Cheyfitz and members of Students for Justice in Palestine, at which others and I gave speeches. Cornell’s response to our voices left much to be desired.
ByShneur Gansburg, Irene Partsuf, Danielle Mimeles and Matthew Samilow |
To the Editor:
On September 7, a group of professors, graduate students and staff published an open letter to President Martha E. Pollack and Provost Michael Kotlikoff, listing the measures they deem necessary for an “anti-racist Cornell.” Buried within this set of proposals was the curious request that the University address “Cornell Tech’s involvement in the gentrification of Queens and, through its institutional partnership with Technion Israeli Institute of Technology, the military occupation of Palestine.”
Naturally, the authors fail to elaborate further on the nonexistent connection between the Technion and race-related initiatives at Cornell. Perhaps they are unsure themselves. Nor do they request that the University address any of its other international partnerships. Instead, they choose to single out the world’s only Jewish state for opprobrium. The decision to gratuitously target Israel and simultaneously ignore Cornell’s actually questionable international relationships raises serious doubts about the intentions and motives of the authors.
A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to a series of four MBTI-style questions meant to analyze personality traits and preferences. They ask about our choices regarding the following: Favorite color, favorite animal, favorite body of water and reaction to being placed in a doorless, windowless room. This last one came up in a recent conversation with renewed meaning in this time of Coronavirus. Identical as our circumstances of self-isolation might seem, everybody’s experience has differed vastly – in ways that location, socioeconomic status or other concrete factors don’t seem to fully capture. As an international student studying abroad, there was a point where I felt like I had more doors, windows of opportunities than I knew how to responsibly choose between.
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows little sign of relenting abroad, two speakers — one Jewish and the other Arab — came together to in a bid to show students that in frank conversation and honest debate may lie the way forward.
Student Assembly members voted Thursday to reject Resolution 36, which would “urge” Cornell to divest from companies “profiting from the occupation of Palestine and human rights violations.” The vote included 13 no, 14 yes and one abstention from S.A. members, as well as two votes by the community members that were against the resolution.
In January 2009, a long-range missile from Gaza was fired into Israel. This has been a common occurrence ever since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. As a child, I was taught at school to immediately run to a bomb shelter if sirens go off, so I did that. I was home alone in my room and quickly ran to the shelter we had in our house. It was 9:30 a.m. Normally, I would stay in the shelter and wait for the sirens to stop, as rockets rarely reached my town of Gedera.