Response to Schlissel
“The image that offended a number of our students was on a single slide among nearly 200 other slides that were presented over the course of an hour. It juxtaposed photos of Israel’s prime minister and Hitler. Israel was not singled out here, as imagery critical of many other political leaders was also a part of the talk. This was the point of the talk itself — that imagery can be a powerful component of movements aimed at social justice.”
My response to President Schlissel and Provost Philbert:
The juxtaposition of Hitler and Netanyahu was not simply one of many images seen in the same vein, nor merely coincidental in the Stamps presentation. The image depicted Hitler and an angry Netanyahu, arm raised in similar fashion to Hitler (rather than in a more peaceful pose), suggesting the two are more alike instead of diametrically opposed figures. The stereotypical image of Israel (Jews) as the aggressor (as is seen in imagery disseminated by both Hamas and proponents of the BDS movement), is undeniable.
President Schlissel, do not sugarcoat the intention of this talk by claiming that this presentation gave equal footing to the other imagery included in this program. Once again, Israel, and all Jews, are being portrayed in the same ugly and malicious way that is as old as time. Your attempt at diplomacy in this matter doesn’t fly and you need to do better; you need to be better than those who continue their quest to perpetuate their vitriolic, racist stereotypes.
Permit me to suggest a few edits to Mr. Bloom’s Oct 11 “Celebrity Jews” column (page 50):
“… Rashida Jones … the daughter of actress Peggy Lipton, 72, and legendary African American music producer Quincy Jones, 85.”
“Musician Ezra Koenig … went to Columbia University, where he and three other students (one a woman) formed in 2005 the literate band Vampire Weekend.”
With regard to Koenig’s band, the only fact that would have deemed a parenthetical qualifier necessary would have been if one of the students was, in fact, a vampire.