I appreciate your including my email in your news paper. I hope you will be gracious enough to print my response to staff writer Max Tessa’s commentary on that email (sic).
The words ’villified’ , ‘alienated’ , ‘undermined’ an ‘affront’ are charged. words, they don’t reflect the ‘grace’ the author talks about. What my email did is critique the decision of a group of pro Israel students.
The validity of another opinion should not be disregarded because one is not a student or doesn’t know every particular.
Critiquing doesn’t mean that we don’t support one another, it means we disagree. No one is tearing down a united front by critiquing a decision made. Criticsms and doubts can be voiced after the fact as well. Lets be honest, before a decision is made we don’t poll all the opinions of the Jewish students on campus. Dialogue, and painstaking self evaluation of our decisions within are a must, and should not be silenced.
My voice was not the only dissenting opinion. I received as many emails from students applauding my email as disagreeing with it. Major pro Israel activists and supporters disagreed with the students’ decision. Noted among them the Milstiens, Kests, Emersons, major donors to pro Israel college programs.
JAM is not a political organization, and in principle doesn’t share this mandate, and we applaud any organization that does. We can however have an opinion and disagree. We never rejected involvement, and would be pleased to be included in the future.
No where do I say that a confrontational approach is always the best option. As Max explained to me there were 30 slots open to opposition to the vote and 30 slots endorsing it. The Jewish opinion was silent save for 4 slots, while the Moslem students spoke during their 30 allotted slots (sic).
I am not suggesting confrontation, but being a mile away having an alternate meeting is the opposite extreme. A silent prayer vigil outside the meeting may be an idea. Standing up at each slot given announcing 30 times we do not recognize this vote as legitimate or correct may be an idea. The point is to be present and voice our opposition.
Canceling Maimonidies was our decision, and we welcome your critique. We decided to let anyone who wanted to miss Maimonidies, which is a stipend program to go to the alternative meeting with no penalty, and many did.
Students’ focus on USAC dealing only with student issues and not this divestment issue misses the point. This was virulent antisemitism using a tool at its disposal to villify Israel. Maintaining positive campus climate is an admirable goal, but there is a more urgent one here, standing against falsehood and a death wish for our brothers in Israel. I maintain the students decision was misguided and missed this focus, and yes it disturbs me deeply
With love to everyone , even if we agree to disagree!
Mrs. Bracha Zaret
Bracha Zaret’s letter contains two factual errors: 1) The article referenced was written by Max Nath. 2) During the USAC divestment hearing, no students spoke against the resolution during public comments. The four students referenced by Zaret spoke against the resolution during the special presentation portion of the meeting in order to share the organized pro-Israel and Jewish community’s perspective.