We write as scholars and educators in the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts to call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, for the immediate lifting of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, and for the immediate release of all hostages. This war must end now!

As we write, nearly 16,000 people have been killed in Gaza, thousands of whom are children. More than 1.8 million people have been displaced, including to areas in southern Gaza subject to further bombardment. Even purported “safe zones” lack water, food, sanitation, fuel, electricity and basic health care. Disease is already spreading. Schools, cultural sites, and universities have also been destroyed or damaged by Israeli bombardments. Scholars, journalists, teachers, and students have been killed. As university professionals, these attacks are of special concern to us. In the West Bank, settler violence in the form of murder, physical assaults, and property destruction is also escalating. The sheer scale of human suffering necessitates an immediate end to the conflict on all sides and the pursuit of nonmilitary solutions to longstanding conflicts in the region.

We continue to condemn the assault led by Hamas on October 7, 2023. The murder and kidnapping of Israeli civilians and migrant workers, as well as the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a war weapon, are unacceptable. The October 7 massacre has triggered traumatic memories of historical Jewish persecution and legitimate concerns about rising, global antisemitism. 

At the same time, we condemn the ongoing Israeli response in Gaza, which amounts to the collective punishment of Gaza’s population. Its ferocity and scope, targeting of civilian infrastructure, and reckless assault on civilian life vastly exceeds any justifiable claim of “self-defense” or “proportionate response.” Each day of continued fighting adds to the unconscionable toll of human suffering. It also risks a larger conflict, possibly involving Lebanon, Iran, and even the United States.  

As Israel’s longtime patron and ally, the United States bears enormous responsibility for this crisis. The Biden administration’s unconditional support for Israel at the United Nations has made any Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire impossible. Most nations, and peoples of the world, back this demand. U.S. ordnance has already been used by Israel in likely violation of international law. We categorically oppose the transfer of additional weapons or other military aid to Israel. We call on the Biden administration and other U.S. political leaders to engage with the international community and do everything in their power to secure an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the greater provision of humanitarian aid, the release of all hostages, the ability of displaced Gazans to return home, and the meaningful restart of a just and lasting peace process that will provide for Palestinian dignity, self-determination, and coexistence.

We condemn all forms of racial and religious discrimination. We also reject the automatic conflation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism,* as well as the blanket condemnation of those with sympathies for Israel as apologists for the Israeli state’s current conduct. We write in the conviction that the educational institutions of which we are part have a responsibility to preserve conditions for open and informed dialogue and must uphold the rights of all students, faculty and staff to freely assemble and express their views on this conflict — however divergent and contentious they may be. 

The violence did not begin on October 7. A truthful reckoning with the past is a crucial part of the process required to create the conditions for political equality amongst all of the people who live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. We may differ on how that process should proceed. This is precisely why we wish to defend a space for open dialogue. The differences among us do not prevent agreement on the urgent need for a ceasefire and life-saving aid. 

*The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism is  an excellent moral and rational alternative to the IHRA definition of what does, and does not constitute antisemitism in speech about the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  

Signatories

1. Cinzia Arruzza, Philosophy, NSSR and Lang

2. Alice Crary, Philosophy, NSSR and Lang

3. Andreas Kalyvas, Politics, NSSR and Lang

4. Anne McNevin, Politics, NSSR and Lang

5. Julie Beth Napolin, Literature, Lang

6. Miller Oberman, First-Year Writing, Lang

7. Jeremy Varon, History, NSSR and Lang

8. McKenzie Wark, Culture & Media, Lang College

9. Ruthe Foushee, Psychology, NSSR

10. Jack Jin Gary Lee, Sociology, NSSR and Lang

11. Emma Park, History, NSSR and Lang

12. Abou Farman, Anthropology, NSSR

13. Rachel Sherman, Sociology, NSSR and Lang

14. Clara Mattei, Economics, NSSR and Lang

15. Lillian Polanco-Roman, NSSR and Lang

16. Nidhi Srinivas, Management, NSPE

17. Alex Aleinikoff (University Professor)

18. Anna Simone Reumert, Zolberg Institute and NSSR

19. Mike Crane, Lang

20. Peter Hoffman, International Affairs, SPE

21. Antina von Schnitzler, International Affairs, SPE

22. Victoria Hattam, Politics, NSSR and Lang

23. Ben Katchor, Illustration, Parsons

24. Natasha Lennard, CPCJ, NSSR

25. Ben Katchor, Illustration, Parsons

26. JM Bernstein, NSSR and Lang

27. Lawrence Hirschfeld, Anthropology & Psychology, NSSR & Lang

28. Cassius Adair, SPE

29. James Dodd, Philosophy, NSSR and Lang

30. Mark Setterfield, Economics, NSSR and Lang

31. Elzbieta Matynia, Sociology, NSSR and Lang

32. Nikolaos Chatzarakis, Economics, NSSR and Lang

33. David Huyssen, NSSR and Lang

34. Nancy Fraser, NSSR

35. Nadia Williams, Parsons

36. Evan Litwack, First Year Experience, Lang

37. Eli Zaretsky, History, NSSR and Lang

38. Zed Adams, Philosophy, NSSR and Lang

39. Omri Boehm, Philosophy, NSSR/Lang

40. Em Joseph, Parsons

41. Dmitri Nikulin, Philosophy, NSSR

42. Nayaab Khawar, Lang

43. Alexandra Délano Alonso, Lang/SPE

44. Heather Davis, Culture and Media, Lang

45. Ryan Gustafson, NSSR and Lang

46. Che Broadnax, Journalism + Design, Lang

47. Romy Opperman, Philosophy, NSSR

48. Genevieve Yue, Culture and Media, Lang

49. Jurgen von Mahs, Urban Studies, Lang/SPE

50. James W. Fuerst, Writing and Literary Studies, Eugene Lang College

51. Ann Stoler, anthropology and historical studies, NSSR

52. Kate McClellan, NSSR

53. Cresa Pugh, Sociology, Lang/NSSR

54. Hugh Raffles, Anthropology, NSSR and Lang

55. Christen Clifford, Lang

56.  Andrew Arato, NSSR Sociology

57. Bureen Ruffin, Lang

58. Benoit Challand, Sociology, NSSR and Lang

59. Chiara Bottici, Philosophy, NSSR and Lang

60. Gwen Grewal, Philosophy, NSSR

61. Arien Mack NSSR

62. Anne Margaret Daniel, NSSR and Lang

63. Joan Miller, Psychology, NSSR and Lang

64. Columba González-Duarte, Anthropology, NSSR and Lang

65. Willi Semmler, Economics, NSSR

66. Onno de Jong, Parsons

67. Julia Ott, NSSR and Lang

68. Alexandra Chasin, Lang

69. Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social 

70. Daniel R. Rodríguez-Navas, Philosophy, NSSR & Lang

71. Kenia M. Soboleva, Lang

72. Sanjay Reddy, Economics, NSSR and Lang

73. Helen Betya Rubinstein, Lang

74. Eleanor Kagan, Lang

75. Margot Bouman, Visual Studies, Parsons

76. Fields Harrington, Lang

77. James Kienitz Wilkins, Culture & Media (Screen Studies), Lang

78. Miranda Young, Philosophy, NSSR

79. Noah Kupper, New School for Social Research

80. Kevin Cabardo, Philosophy, NSSR

81. Sophia Kanaan, Philosophy, NSSR

82. Chris Beck, Parsons & NSSR

83. Jack Wareham, NSSR Philosophy

84. Panos Tsoukalis, NSSR

85. Clara Lupi, NSSR

86. Bryan Doniger, Philosophy, NSSR

87. Luisa Minopoli, NSSR

88. Bryan Doniger, Philosophy

89. Marcello Kilani, Philosophy, NSSR

90. Jack Condie, Philosophy, NSSR

91. Weiouqing Chen, NSSR

92. Veronica Padilla, Philosophy, NSSR

93. Vidya Ravilochan, Philosophy, NSSR

94. Mithra Lehn, NSSR