To the Editors and Yale Community,
In the article on the SOM panel on Middle East Peace Dialogue, which included Arab and Israeli representatives, you report that the Yale for Palestine Coalition protested the absence of Palestinians, insisting that the lack of a specifically Palestinian voice on the panel was “reprehensible and dishonest.” Yet, on Nov. 6 when they hosted a panel, “Gaza Under Siege,” no effort was made to include a Jewish or Israeli voice. If the Yale for Palestine coalition believes it is illegitimate and dishonest to ignore and exclude stakeholders, why did they do precisely that for their own panel? Why did none of the academic programs and student group sponsors ask for a Jewish voice to be included? Indeed, when I wrote to the Yale Ethnography Hub, the lead organizer, to ask why that panel had not included a Jewish voice, given that the current war, the horrific deaths and the urgent need for political resolution involve both peoples, I received no answer from Yale Ethnography Hub. I further asked why the Jewish Studies Program had not been consulted. I received an answer from one participant that the person was unaware there even is a Jewish Studies Program. Hence, I think it’s time to put aside the disingenuousness and blinders all around and start having far more constructive conversations that include real history and genuine cross-perspective interaction. Thus far, it seems to me that what has been thoroughly marginalized in campus public discussions are Jewish voices, Jewish history, and Jewish perspective — as if Jewish voices are illegitimate. That is not a tradition Yale wants to revive.
Professor Jennifer Klein
Bradford Durfee Professor of History
JENNIFER KLEIN is a Bradford Durfee Professor of History at Yale College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.