A Statement From Jewish Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni Regarding IU’sTreatment of Student Protesters

The following was shared with the Bloomingtonian:

For Immediate Release:
A Statement From Jewish Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni Regarding IU’s
Treatment of Student Protesters

Actions are being taken in our name, without our consent or request. Such actions, especially
those by the administration, often directly contradict the facts we see daily on the ground at
campus. We condemn the actions taken by the administration, ISP, and IUPD against the
students protesting on Dunn Meadow.
Being a Jewish student, staff or faculty at IU today, in the midst of the current turmoil presents a
challenging experience. Prompted by events in Gaza, many American Jews are re-negotiating
our relationship with the state of Israel. Our struggle has many voices. Some are centered on
the Israeli hostages, others focus on the dead of both sides, and still others on the current and
past plights of the people of Gaza and the Palestinians as a whole. For some, the last 200+
days have changed little other than to make them feel more unsafe and guarded, committed
more than ever to longstanding institutions and communities. For others, the 200+ days of
bombing Gaza has shattered us, pitting our religious and ethical values against our cultural and
familial connections.
But these experiences do not take precedence over vital truths and principles.
One vital truth is that IU students, faculty, and staff, of all origins and beliefs, have the right to
protest peacefully on our campus, especially on Dunn Meadow, the historical site of free speech
for alumni going back to the Vietnam War.
Another truth is that the experiences of Jewish students, staff, and faculty in Dunn Meadow do
not in any way conform to the claims made by the ISP and the President of our university.
Without evidence, the administration and the ISP have charged the protesters with violent
intentions and antisemitic motives. Wrongful claims that protesters plan violence and false
assertions that protesters possessed “rocks and mace,” directly contradict the experiences of
Jewish faculty, students, and staff who have been present at Dunn Meadow since this protest
began. (These unsubstantiated claims sound more like the vitriol yelled by harassing
counter-protesters.)
It is unacceptable that such claims of “outside agitators” and “anti-semitic reports,” unsupported
by any corroborating data, have prompted the repeated use of force brought to bear on our
campus by the University and the State Police of Indiana. The ISP’s explanation for its brutal
action is unconvincing and absurd.
Additionally, we can attest to ample Jewish participation in the protest and support of the
protesters.

● Jewish students held a Seder at Dunn Meadow the first day of this protest.
● Jewish faculty are among those who stood with students, were driven to the ground, and
arrested.
● Jews have tried to be heard only to be told their arrests were done to help Jews.
● Jews have stood on Dunn Meadow and watched as Chabad students and their guests
yelled slurs, sexual harassment, and vulgarities at fellow students who were unengaged
with them.
As Jews here on campus, we cannot allow our names to be used as an excuse or moral cover
for those who would do harm, stifle free speech, or damage the institution that we have invested
so much of our time, energy, and hope into. Those who claim to protect us do not speak for us.
ISP, President Whitten, Trustees, Donors, and fellow IU community members. We are here
to be clear:
● Do not create, credit or spread false rumors of antisemitism.
● Do not weaponize claims of antisemitism to stifle free speech and free assembly.
● The blocks on protest must stop.
● As Jews, we implore the administration to stop using the ISP and encouraging its
violence. The students must be left in peace.
● Do not perpetrate violence and suppression in our name or in anyone else’s name.
● Do not falsely invoke concerns about antisemitism to promote your repressive
agenda.
As Jews, we can promote peaceful protest while keeping all of our Jewish students, faculty, and
staff safe. We can avoid tearing our community apart and losing our morals (Jewish and
secular) in the process. Ironically, the repressive actions of the administration and the ISP, not
the student protesters, are the source of violence and lack of safety.

Signed,

Joshua Streiff, IU Alumni & Staff, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
Aviva Orenstein, Professor of Law, Karen Lake Buttrey and Donald W. Buttrey Chair, Maurer
School of Law
Sam Tobin-Hochstadt, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Luddy School of Informatics,
Computing, and Engineering
Hernán Matzkevich, Lecturer, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Benjamin Robinson, Associate Professor, Germanic Studies
Daniel Suslak, Associate Professor, Anthropology
Jason Baird Jackson, Ruth N. Halls Professor of Folklore and Anthropology
Lara Kriegel, Professor of History and English
Dr. Gabriel Piser, IU Staff
Alex Lichtenstein, Professor of History and American Studies
Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Professor of Music (Piano), Jacobs School of Music
Zoe Moscovici, Graduate Student, Department of Gender Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
Tess Given, Graduate Student Worker
Zackary Dunivin
Jeffrey Isaac
Steven Wagschal, Professor of Spanish
Michael Weinman
Jennifer Maher
Micol Seigel
Sean Sidky
Robert Fischman, George P. Smith, II Distinguished Professor of Law.
Ed Lockwood, IU alumnus, Class of 2020. Political Science BA
Bob Eno, East Asian Languages and Cultures, retired
Sara Friedman, Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies
Renae Lesser
Rebekah Sheldon

Susan Gubar
Leah Shopkow
Joshua Malitsky, Associate Professor, Cinema and Media Studies, The Media School
Rob Schneider
Susan Lepselter
Samuel Barbash-Riley
Ivan Kreilkamp, Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English
Larry Moss, IU Professor
Jean Robinson, Professor Emerita Political Science, Member of Borns Jewish Studies Advisory
Board
Oscar Kenshur
Jacob Bielasiak
Clare Griffin
Anne Kavalerchik, Graduate student, Sociology and Informatics.
Ben Kravitz
Ethan Michelson, Professor of Sociology and East Asian Languages and Cultures
Gillian Dauer
Marcia Baron
Steven Feldman, Graduate Student; Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies;
School of Education
Sidney Kochman, PhD Candidate, Department of Classical Studies
Andrew Libby
Diane Henshel

Sydney Spencer
Allison Solomon
Josie Aronoff
Richard Bauman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Sabina Ali, Graduate Student IU Bloomington
Julie Singer
Susan Seizer, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, IUB
Ash O. Kulak, Alum of IU Maurer School of Law (class of 2018)
4/30/2024

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