Anti-Semitism Follows UNC’s Sponsorship of Israel-Bashing Conference

The UNC and Duke Departments of Middle East and Islamic Studies cosponsored an Israel-bashing conference, camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24, 2019. Read all about this Israel-hate conference here

Following the conference, anti-Semitic posters have appeared on UNC’s campus which is being investigated by the police. 

Now a video has been published documenting blatant anti-Semitism at this conference. The audience is shown cheering as a musical act sings his self declared “anti-Semitic song.”

Watch the important video and read Voice4Israel board member Marcia Harris’ excellent letter below to UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. Also check out this ABC news report Video shows rapper’s performance of anti-Semitic song at UNC event.

Chancellor Guskiewicz:

I am writing to you as a long time employee of UNC (now retired) and a parent of an alumnus. I am Jewish.

I am deeply concerned about the recent antisemitic acts at UNC. But I am not surprised. UNC’s tolerance – and even sponsorship – of speakers and conferences on campus that are blatantly anti-Israel and in some cases, openly antisemitic have fostered an atmosphere that promotes this type of activity. (If you have not seen the video of the concert on the first evening of the Gaza Conference, I urge you to take just a few minutes to view it.

It is disgraceful that UNC would allow, and actually sponsor, programs that would not be tolerated against any other minority group.

Many Jewish community members wrote letters to you and to the Board of Governors prior to Linda Sarsour’s talk at the School of Public Health and to the Gaza Conference pleading that these activities be cancelled or at least balanced by a pro-Israel speaker, but these were totally ignored. Unfortunately much damage has now been done.

Students who attended the UNC Conflict Over Gaza Conference did not hear  academic debate and scholarly inquiry, but were exposed to days of academic activism  and indoctrination against Israel. Whatever happened to balance and unbiased education?

I implore  you to work with UNC’s administrators to develop policies that prevent the continued biased,  unbalanced, academic attack on Israel and the Jewish people.

Sincerely,

Marcia Harris

Interview with Leader of Israeli Mission to the Moon

Today Israel plans to become the fourth country to land on the moon.

In honor of this tremendous achievement, Voice4Israel brings you this interview with Yonatan Weintraub who is one of the leaders of the Israeli mission to the moon.

Here is how to watch the Israeli moon landing live. 

Yonatan Weintraub is an Electrical Engineering master student and graduate of space studies of the International Space University held at NASA. He gained hands-on experience in space technologies by working as a satellite system engineer for the Israeli Aerospace Industries. Yonatan believes that it is important to nurture the next generation of space researchers and therefore taught high-school students space engineering.

Interview with Yonatan Weintraub.

What were the biggest challenges while designing and operating the historic mission.

I think the biggest challenge was to convince the people around us that this is possible to do. In the beginning there were many skeptics and many people that thought that it wouldn’t happen. A lot of those people where right. It was our job to do the homework, come up with a better design, get the export on board and try again and again until eventually we had the best team including Israeli Aerospace Industries who know how to build satellites, we had an engineering team in SpaceIL, volunteers, donors like Morris Kahn and others.

We call this mission from beer to the moon! Could you kindly elaborate.

We started 3 engineers at the bar in Holon, and decided to go for the moon. We registered for a competition organized by Google Lunar X-Prize to send the first private robotic mission to the moon, and the program has been running ever since

Could you say something about the mood in the Halon bar the night the mission was born.

Well I had a few beers, we had the feeling that we might be able to pull it off. I didn’t know back than if we will make it, but it seems like a good idea to try.

Was the initial sketch of Beresheet done on a paper napkin.

Yes. Its actually online somewhere.

We call this mission a path breaking new era in world space history. Can you please comment.

This is the first private interplanetary mission, if we succeed than we show that you can build a mission to the moon at 10% of the cost. We also use the mission as a tool for inspiring kids to have careers in sciences, SpaceIL volunteers have reached over 1M kids, and I hope some of them will choose science as careers.

Do you collaborate with NASA or any other agency?

Yes, we collaborate with NASA about scientific experiment as well as ground stations.

What is the most amazing thing you have experienced during this process?

Working with kids is rewarding, helps you keep on moving even on hard days. Like any startup has.

How do you build a spaceship? Was it all done in Israel? And what is the hardest part of building it?

All of it was done in Israeli Aerospace Industries

Your spaceship is now part of an educational book for children. Do you think that will inspire a new generation of scientists?

I hope so..

Do you think that Israel will have it’s own launch pads at some point?

It already has one in Palmachim. 

What is your most memorable moment from this journey?

The launch. The sky lit up as we saw our dream go to space.

Conflict Over Gaza

The UNC and Duke Departments of Middle East and Islamic Studies cosponsored an Israel-bashing conference, camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24, 2019. The majority of this conference was held on Shabbat, thus preventing observant members of the Jewish community from attending.

Photographs glorifying terrorism against Israel and Jews were prominently displayed such as a man yielding a fire kite to burn and kill Israelis. One speaker even refused to speak with a Jewish student. UNC and Duke did not include or invite a single mainstream pro-Israel group or speaker.

Read all about this hateful conference here and read Barry Strock’s review below. 

Conflict Over Gaza

by Barry Srock

On March 22 to 24, 2019, about 100 people attended a 3-day pro-Gaza program called “Conflict Over Gaza”at UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies that was well planned and managed including biased and distorted claims against Israel. Friday night began a reception and a musical hip-hop concert. The entire program was supported by 18 UNC departments, Duke University and a half dozen Rotary Clubs. Saturday morning started with a well-organized registration process with continental breakfast. This was followed by a daylong series of panel discussions. The attendees enjoyed wonderfully prepared Gazan recipes from Lalla El Haddad’s Gaza Kitchen Cookbook.

On Saturday, except for one panel discussion, the other four panel discussions were a well focused, singled sided, propaganda selling of the general theme that Palestinians are an indigenous tribe with unlimited and irrevocable rights without any responsibility, obligations of accountability for any consequences due to their actions. The speakers’ messages indicated that Israel is to blame for all the Palestinian hardships.  The speakers claimed that Gazans and Palestinians should be held harmless to their hardships.

There was no mention about the Gazans’ and Palestinians’ aggression against Israel in the form of tunnels, missiles or rockets or that the Palestinians initiated four wars.  There was an inference that Allah, Israel, or the international community is obligated to rescue, defend and support the Palestinians through the continued billions of dollars from the international communities. Unfortunately, not much of this money has been used for humanitarian aid and badly needed infrastructure.

One of the NGO presenters refused to correct her statement about a Gazan young boy with genetic defects whose life was saved by Israel accepting him for seven years into their health care system.  In the seventh year, the mother was refused a Palestinian permit to go across the boarder.  The speaker blamed Israel when it was not. The problem came from the Gazan side because of the Palestinian laws and bureaucracies.  Israel took care of the child and his grandfather for seven years straight. Israel made it possible for the grandfather to get work to help support his family.

One speaker was dismissive towards Israel’s ability to create the Iron Dome system alleging that America gave it to them.  America did help financially but it was Israeli ingenuity that made it happen.

The only professional and academically independent and objective panel was with Dr. Nathan Brown, Georgetown and Dr. Nathan Stock. Middle East Institute.  These panelists intelligently discussed the tension between Hamas and Fatah. It was pointed out that Hamas is Arabic for “Islamic Resistance”, which is akin to the Moslem-Brotherhood. Hamas and Fatah cannot even talk to each other negates any regional peace process.  

On a positive note, there were not any overtly anti-Semitic references, only overt anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli comments.

The second day consisted of movies. One of the movies showed an elementary school classroom teaching the children “resistance”  NOT “resourcefulness”and using brainwashing songs to angrily resist what they call Israeli aggression. In the six movies presented it was difficult to see how slanted information can show the hate, anger and resentment born into these people instead of showing grounding for hard work, sacrifice, and prosperity. Health conditions are horrible. It is hard to image their pain, suffering and degradation.

I went to the conference to explore possibilities for the Palestinians and Israeli’s. The conference was telling and distressing. The conference organizers were disillusioned and were trying to sell Gaza as comparable to a successful European or American city. It is a financial, political, economical disaster zone. Supporters of Palestine have aspirations to evolve Gaza into a sovereign nation-state. It is a terrorist haven that is a fumbling failure. The conference sponsors started with hip-hop anti Israel rapper concert at the beginning and experimental cinamagraphic homage to the Gaza Strip to paint an illusionary image for aspiring Palestinian students that Gaza is on the cusp of “arriving”, yet in fact it is on the threshold of demise. The thought of a Gaza nation is a very false impression for the over zealous optimists and progressives who would not survive a minute in the homophobic, misogynistic, chauvinistic, terror managed police state of the Gaza Strip.

According to literature passed out at the conference from gisha.org, in 2018 there was 52% unemployment and 69% unemployment among young people. This high unemployment rate is a time bomb waiting to implode into anarchy within the Gaza Strip. Seventy percent of the population is under 30. Gaza needs an objective “reality check” to realize that it is a “wanna-be” success that is not happening like Syria and Somalia.  

Unless the world of Gaza does not marketability change, it will be exactly as it is today or worse. In order to become a successful state, there must be change or they will continue to languish. It is necessary for them to become energy independent by using solar energy. They can become food self sufficient by using many of the Israeli agriculture techniques. They can start small and with hard work and encouragement they can turn their lives around. Their government needs to innovate and bring in more humanitarian help and sophisticated services and reduce corruption instead of using the funds given them for tunnels and bombs against Israel.  Certainly, Israelis would like to encourage their neighbors to be healthy rather than neighbors who preach hate against them.

Make Your Voice Heard. Tell UNC and Duke to Stop Glorifying Terrorism!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price 919-684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu

Local Rabbis Urge Orange County to Choose Speakers Who Unite

Linda Sarsour will be the keynote speaker on March 31 in Hillsborough, NC at an event sponsored by Orange County’s Department of Human Rights & Relations and The Orange County Human Relations Commission (HRC) of NC “in honor of women’s history month.” 

Many community members have voiced concerns including Orange County Commissioner Earl McKee who said, “She [Sarsour] will be paid $5000 plus expenses. I only know that I had no part of any of this and am sure that many other well-qualified women could have been asked to speak…This type of conduct will continue until folks rise up and put a stop to it, either through public pressure or at the polls.”

Four prominent local rabbis wrote the public letter below.

Dear Members of the Orange County Human Relations Commission,

We appreciate the mission of the Orange County Human Relations Commission “to promote the equal treatment of all individuals; to protect residents’ lawful interests and their personal dignity; and to prevent public and domestic strife, crime, and unrest within Orange County,” and all the work the Commission has done in the past in service to the community.

We are concerned, however, about the upcoming Women’s History Month “Courageous Conversations” event featuring keynote speaker Linda Sarsour. The Commission has announced that this is an event “… about community unity and bringing people together…” Yet by inviting Ms. Sarsour, whose statements on Zionism and Israel alienate many in the Jewish community, the Human Relations Council is dividing rather than uniting us.

In the wake of the Christchurch and Pittsburgh attacks, and rising Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, it is essential for us to stand united in opposition to all forms of hatred and bigotry. We fully support the Commission’s desire to address women’s history, Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims; we urge that speakers be chosen who bring all of us together to strengthen our community.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Jen Feldman, Kehillah Synagogue

Rabbi Daniel Greyber, Beth El Synagogue

Rabbi John Franken, Judea Reform Congregation

Rabbi Zalman Bluming, Chabad of Durham-Chapel Hill

UNC and Duke: This is Not Free Speech, It is Propaganda

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have planned an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel conference camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24. Several scheduled speakers have compared Israel to Nazis and many others promote boycotting Israel. One of the opening speakers refers to Israel as a “terrorist state.”

The letter below was written by Judith and Lewis Siegel. 

Other letters are archived at Israeli Under Attack at UNC and Duke.

Dear President Price,

We always thought that Duke was a great university. But a great university should not be trafficking in lies and then cry “free speech.” Nor should a great university pile up on a threatened nation and people so as to permit its enemies to falsely propagandize the public. That is what will be happening this week-end. That alone would be bad enough. But to not even provide a balance – that is beyond the pale!

We can’t provide a complete historical background, but just to show a few common lies: The claim is made that Israel occupies Gaza. ISRAEL UNILATERALLY WITHDREW FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. It left behind all its agricultural infrastructure worth tens of millions of dollars, hoping it would enable Gaza to flourish. Gazans destroyed it all. Hate is apparently more important. Gaza is potentially a rich seaport and could have a flourishing tourist industry. But Hamas’s message of hate, its use of Gaza resources to fund its tunnels and rockets, its endless attacks on Israelis and its murder of any Gazans who dare to oppose it has kept it poor and desperate.

We are disappointed in Duke beyond words. We have a deep connection. Our son (A.B. Duke scholar, summa com laude) graduated from Duke. Lewis was a Duke faculty member for 42 years. He was Chairman of the Academic Council, and Vice-Provost and Dean of the Graduate School for 15 years. Judith trained Duke Law interns at the North Central Legal Assistance Program.

Please don’t bother to send a form reply about freedom of speech. Judith, an attorney, is well-versed in the First Amendment and our son is one of the leading First Amendment attorneys in the country. THIS IS NOT FREE SPEECH. IT IS PROPAGANDA.

The only way we see that Duke can redeem itself is to have a seminar that will expose what is really happening in Gaza, why Israel must defend itself against an organization like Hamas that endangers Israel’s very existence, so as to present the balance that the current seminar lacks.

Judith and Lewis Siegel

Be like Judith and Lewis Siegel and Make Your Voice Heard!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price (919) 684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu

Disgusted by UNC and Duke Anti-Israel Conference

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have planned an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel conference camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24. Several scheduled speakers have compared Israel to Nazis and many others promote boycotting Israel. One of the opening speakers refers to Israel as a “terrorist state.”

The letter below was written by Gabriel Szulik and Orit Ramler Szulik.

Other letters are archived at Israeli Under Attack at UNC and Duke.

To all Duke University and UNC leaders,

My wife Orit and I are writing to BEG you to reconsider sponsoring this event titled “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities” which is scheduled for March 22-24. The conference is sponsored by UNC’s Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies. Co-sponsors include many departments and organizations, including the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Our family has lived in the Durham-Chapel Hill area for 21 years now, I attended Duke’s Fuqua Business School in 1998-2000, and my wife currently works as a Coach at the Delta Leadership program at Duke. She also sits on the Board of Advisors of the Nursing School at Duke.

We are simply disgusted and very disappointed by the agenda and attendees of this conference, all showing an anti-Israel and pro-BDS bias, which is unacceptable and speaks of the poor judgement by Duke and UNC in hosting this event. The conference doesn’t have a single speaker/presenter who will present the other side of the Gaza story, which includes the terrorizing of thousands of Israelis who constantly live under rocket attacks and terrorist threats; the fact that Gaza is governed by a designated terrorist organization, and the fact that Israel withdrew from Gaza almost 15 years ago and yet it continues to be blamed for the economic and social debacle in Gaza caused by Hamas.

Please reconsider this decision and cancel your sponsorship of this event, so you can preserve a moral standing and show that this kind of biased, anti-Israel propaganda is not tolerated at your prestigious academic institutions.

Regards,

Gabriel Szulik
Orit Ramler Szulik

Be like Orit and Gabe and Make Your Voice Heard!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price (919) 684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu

Beth El Synagogue: UNC and Duke Plan Unbalanced Conference on Gaza

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have planned an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel conference camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24. Several scheduled speakers have compared Israel to Nazis and many others promote boycotting Israel. One of the opening speakers refers to Israel as a “terrorist state.”

The letter below was sent by Rabbi Daniel Greyber and President Debbi Goldstein of Beth El Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Durham-Chapel Hill. 

Other letters are archived at Israeli Under Attack at UNC and Duke.

March 20, 2019

Dear Leadership of Duke and UNC,

Beth El Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Durham-Chapel Hill with over 400 member families including many students, faculty and staff at both Duke and UNC. We are writing to express concern about the upcoming Gaza Symposium March 22nd through March 24th. Beth El members have been troubled by the recent uptick in antisemitic acts which have occurred at Duke, UNC, and around the Durham-Chapel Hill area. In addition to this, while criticism of Israel is, of course, legitimate and important in a democratic society, portraying Israel only as an oppressor and Palestinians only as victims functions to demonize Israel, and neither leads to constructive dialogue nor advances rigorous academic thought.

Based upon the current composition of invited speakers, the conference program fails to meet Duke and UNC’s high academic standards because it lacks both presenters to articulate a mainstream Israeli perspective and anyone who can suggest actions that might improve relations between the two from an Israeli perspective. The program imbalance, recent antisemitic events in the Triangle, including on Duke’s campus, and the scheduling of the conference on the Jewish Sabbath (which precludes participation by observant Jews) are fueling concern in the Jewish community that the conference will contribute to an atmosphere in which an exchange of perspectives is unwelcome and where Israel will be demonized.

We are concerned about the deleterious effect the conference will have on our local communities on and off campus. We urge Duke and UNC to create forums and opportunities that meet your own highest educational ideals, to take stronger steps to encourage dialogue and relationship building, to reject antisemitism and Islamophobia, and to avoid contributing to further division in our community.

Sincerely,

Daniel Greyber, Rabbi, Beth El Synagogue

Debbie Goldstein, President, Beth El Synagogue

Be like Beth El Synagogue and Make Your Voice Heard!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price (919) 684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu

Purim Treats: Moroccan Boyozas and Hamantaschen with the Legendary Faye Rapp

The legendary baker Faye Davis-Rapp shares her Moroccan Boyozas and Hamantaschen recipes with Voice4Israel just in time for Purim.

Fanny (Faye), née Migueres, Davis-Rapp was born to a Sephardic family in Fez, Morocco. Davis-Rapp moved to England and then Seattle WA, where she lived for 43 years, before moving to Chapel Hill, NC.

Boyozas and Hamantaschen

by Faye Davis-Rapp

Boyozas

The tradition passed on to me by my parents was that when a woman marries she adopts her husband’s customs. So although I kept making traditional Sephardic foods, I also learned to make traditional Ashkenazic foods.

For Purim, I’m sharing two recipes: Boyozas and Hamantaschen.

Some people think that Sephardic Boyozas represent Haman’s eyes, but my mom called them “jailed Haman.” 

Boyozas are small round loaves of bread with a whole raw egg latticed with dough strips on top, one egg for children or 2 eggs for parents. Some people call this loaf “Challah” and throw away the egg reflecting the sacrifice of the Beit Ha Mikdash. Others, as in my tradition, will throw the lattice but eat the eggs, sandwiched in the bread.

My mother would combine the following ingredients in a large mouthed clay pot called a Sf’na.

 1 1/2 cup warm water

1 heaping tablespoon sugar

1 generous tablespoon dry yeast

1/3 cup oil

5 cups flour (can be 3 c. White and 2 c. Whole wheat)

2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon Fennel, anise seed, or rosemary to taste. (I knead whole fennel in the dough)

She would then place the Sf’na on the floor and, on hands and knees, knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes yielding a soft and pliable dough, which she would then let rise for 30-40 minutes. (I put the ingredients in my mixer with a dough hook, mix  for 7-10 minutes then knead the dough on a flat surface for another 10 minutes.)

My mother would briefly knead the dough after the first rise and then split it into 4 portions (3 smaller and 1 larger as we were a family of 5). She would then flatten each piece to make a circle about 1/4 inch thick. With scissors she would cut inwards about 1 1/2 inches all around the circle, then pinch the ends of the cut pieces. A washed and dried egg was then placed in a dip in the center of the circle (I pierce my eggs with an egg piercer or a pin to avoid the egg bursting in the oven) carefully so as not to break the dough underneath the egg. She would then drape the eggs with two thin strips of dough to form a cross on the egg, fusing the ends of the strips with the dough of the main circle with moistened fingers.

Following the second rise my mother would send baking trays full of Boyozas to the communal oven which was located down the road. (Not unlike a red brick old fashion pizza oven)

This oven, adjacent to to the synagogue, was also used to bake challah bread for Shabbat. And once the challah were removed, the Shabbat Cholent was placed in the oven to cook slowly until lunch the following day. Moroccan cholent is known as “Shkheena”, from the Arabic word “hot,” or with a French twist, “Dafina” or “La Daf.” The shkheena was delivered to homes following Shabbat services a hot meal.

My grandfather, Haim Cohen, would kosher the oven before Pesach so that matzah could be baked for the  neighborhood, under his strict supervision. In 1998, I visited my old neighborhood, and saw that the synagogue was being renovated and is now a UNESCO protected site.

In the absence of a community oven, I preheat my oven to 350 degrees and bake the Boyozas for 20-25 minutes.

Hamantaschen

With its origins in Germany, I had never heard of hamantaschen in Morocco. Once I learned about them I put my baking skills to use to come up with my own recipe. 

 4 cups all purpose flour 

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ cups Crisco shortening

¼ cups margarine or butter

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 Tbs. finely grated orange peel

½ C fresh orange juice

Mix flour, baking powder & salt and set aside

In an electric mixer, beat the butter/margarine, Crisco, and sugar.

Add eggs and mix well, then add orange zest and juice until incorporated.

Pour in flour mixture, keep stirring until soft dough in formed.  

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate up to 24 hrs.

Roll to ¼ in. thickness, about 3.25” diameter.

Place one teaspoon of the filling of choice in the middle of the round shape and fold the sites to form a triangle.

Fillings include any fruit preserves, to which chocolate chips or nuts or both can be added. Dried fruit (including figs, prunes, cranberries, dates, raisins), mixed with orange juice and peel, can be puréed in a food processor. Lemon juice, chopped nuts, and/or cinnamon can be  added to taste. Poppy seeds, a traditional filling, can be used from a can or freshly cooked in water and sugar, with orange/lemon peel.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Duke Supporter: University Should Not Co-Sponsor Anti-Israel Conference

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have planned an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel conference camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24. Several scheduled speakers have compared Israel to Nazis and many others promote boycotting Israel. One of the opening speakers refers to Israel as a “terrorist state.”

Stefanie Kahn, a parent of three Duke students and well known Duke supporter, wrote this heartfelt letter to the university. 

Other letters are archived at Israeli Under Attack at UNC and Duke.

Dear Vince, Jack and Sally,

I am writing as a parent of 3 Duke students (2 alumni, one of whom is back at Fuqua, and a current junior) as well as a a Nasher [Museum of Art at Duke] Board member and employee, a Braxton Craven Fellow, an Iron Dukes member and a very dedicated Duke supporter. I am also a Jewish resident of Raleigh.

I am very concerned about the fact that Duke University is Co-Sponsoring the Conflict Over Gaza Conference. I fully believe in the right to free speech and support any Duke faculty member who wants to organize and support this conference, but I am dismayed that the University is a co-sponsor. Why?

The University has had an impressive track record of speaking out against anti-semitism, racism, bigotry and other discriminatory social and religious issues. I have applauded your stand in acknowledging the African American architect of the University, removing the racist statue at the Chapel, re-naming certain buildings, standing with the LBGTQ community, etc. so it upsets me that you aren’t taking a grander stand on this issue.

I urge you to please re-consider your actions and pull your support for this conference. It is organized by known anti-semites and is very one-sided. At the very minimum, please insist that other voices have an opportunity to speak and debate the current line up of speakers and panelists.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Stefanie Kahn

Be like Stephanie Kahn and Make Your Voice Heard!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price (919) 684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu

UNC and Duke to Host Biased Conference Against the Only Jewish State

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have planned an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel conference camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24. Several scheduled speakers have compared Israel to Nazis and many others promote boycotting Israel. One of the opening speakers refers to Israel as a “terrorist state.”

UNC alumna  Elizabeth J. Kardon wrote UNC and Duke officials. 

To all parties concerned,

I write to you as a UNC-CH alumna, the daughter and sister of Duke alumni, and most importantly, a Jewish woman and mother, native to and living in the Triangle.

I’m extremely disappointed in your decision to host the upcoming Conference on Gaza. This event, thinly and inadequately veiled as a scholarly dialogue, is in fact a one-sided campaign to continue to malign the only Jewish state in the world, and the only Democracy in the Middle East.

Several of your speakers have actively and publicly promoted terrorism against my people. You’ve included no speakers to educate on the reality of Gaza, no one to speak of the terror experienced by those Israelis living on the border. I agree wholeheartedly that Gaza must be freed. It’s people must be freed from Hamas, the terrorist ruling body in Gaza, which forces citizens at gun point to join violent protests at the border, which educates preschool children to kill Jews, which assassinates any Muslim suspected of selling property to a Jew, which throws homosexuals off of rooftops to their death.

You’ve effectively contributed to a hostile environment for Jewish students, and you will be held accountable. As you may be aware, there are several lawsuits filed against the City of Durham and it’s Mayor and Council members along similar lines. What you’re doing falls squarely under religious and ethnic discrimination, and you will be made to answer for it.

I’m beyond disappointed, frankly disgusted, by your decision. I would hope you re-evaluate your stance.

Regards,

Elizabeth J. Kardon
UNC-CH Class of 1991

Be like Liz Kardon and Make Your Voice Heard!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price (919) 684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu