Wednesday, June 02, 2021

  • Wednesday, June 02, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Oren Gross is a professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School since 2002. He is an expert on international law and has published extensively.

On Tuesday, he resigned from that university's Center for Jewish Studies over its atmosphere of pervasive anti-Zionism and its indifference to the new wave of antisemitism.

"I see no place for me to remain affiliated with CJS which has turned into an echo chamber of silence and in which those, such as myself, who are unapologetic Zionists feel increasingly isolated," Dr. Gross wrote in his resignation letter.

Gross was unsparing in his critique of his progressive colleagues refusing to support Israel when it was being bombarded by thousands of rockets, or, worse, siding with Hamas. "Most of you stayed silent when Israel was attacked (again!). Some of you thought it opportune to shine your golden entry ticket to progressive circles by actually condemning the Jewish state," he charged.

Worse, he accuses his colleagues at CJS of silence in the face of new attacks against Jews worldwide. "Most of you stayed silent even when anti-Semitism and physical violence against Jews in the United States increased, this time not by individuals wearing red MAGA hats but rather the colors of the Palestinian flag," Gross continued.

Exposing how unwilling the CJS is in allowing any opinions to be stated that reject the prevailing anti-Israel orthodoxy, Gross writes, "If anything, CJS has turned into a space that rejects, institutionally, any principled position-taking in support of Israel. It is 'safe' as long as one shies away from engaging with vicious, hurtful attacks especially from within the University. "

"It is thus, with a heavy heart, that I inform you all of the decision to resign my affiliation with CJS effective immediately."

This is not only a problem at the University of Minnesota. As Professor Andrew Pessin recently wrote here, over 200 Jewish Studies academics signed a letter condemning Israel for defending itself in May.

However, Gross says that he will still be involved in Jewish studies - just not at CJS. "I shall thus seek to establish new and vigorous fora for the pursuit of Jewish and Israel studies at the University of Minnesota as well as outside its academic walls," his letter concludes.

Perhaps he is already working on establishing a inter-university Jewish Studies forum that will allow true freedom of expression, something that is increasingly rare in academia.

(h/t MtTB)


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