NORTH JERSEY — This week, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) wrote to Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway to bring to his attention a recent statement signed by members of the Executive Board of the Part-Time Lecturer Chapter of Rutgers AAUP-AFT (Local 6324), which declared that “as teachers and union members, we can no longer allow ourselves to be complicit in the illegal acts of the Israeli government,” and accused Israel of “military actions that have targeted, killed and maimed civilian populations” and of upholding “a regime of legalized racial discrimination perpetrated against the Palestinian people.”
Gottheimer asked the University President to speak out against the misinformation.
The U.S. has witnessed a sharp rise in hate, including a series of antisemitic incidents across the country in recent weeks. Gottheimer cited concern for the well-being of Rutgers students who identify as Jewish or pro-Israel and who worry that they might face a hostile environment in the classroom or on campus in such a climate.
“To be sure, Rutgers’ part-time lecturers are entitled to hold their own opinions, even those which may be disagreeable. However, it is important to recognize that invective which singles out, disparages, delegitimizes, or demonizes Israel can and in many cases does fall outside of bounds,” Gottheimer wrote in the letter. “Considering recent events, it is important to send a clear message that all Rutgers students and community members, including those who identify as being Jewish or pro-Israel, will not be singled out, penalized, or made to feel unwelcome at our state’s flagship university. I would ask you to please speak out clearly and quickly against this hate-filled misinformation campaign and rhetoric.”