Dear President Fenves,

We, the undersigned Emory faculty and staff, request you to retract your statement on Wednesday, Oct. 25 that “antisemitic phrases and slogans were repeatedly used by speakers and chanted by the crowd” during the Stop Cop City protest on campus that day.

We refer you to the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, formulated by a coalition of international scholars working in Antisemitism Studies, Jewish, Holocaust and Middle Eastern Studies. There, they clarify the distinction between antisemitism and criticism of Zionism. The definition of antisemitism is discrimination, prejudice or hostility to Jews as Jews (or to Jewish institutions as Jewish). This did not happen at the Emory protest, based on our understanding from speaking with student organizers and from the eye-witness accounts of faculty who were present. It is not antisemitic to support Palestinians’ right to life, self-determination and sustainable livelihood. It is not antisemitic to criticize Israeli military occupation, war crimes or policies. During the Stop Cop City protest, protestors chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free; from the sea to the river, Palestine is free forever.” Based on our understanding from speaking with student organizers and from the eye-witness accounts of faculty who were present, we underscore that the student protesters’ chants were not intended to be antisemitic, but to rather speak in support of Palestinians.

Your statement censures students who speak in support of Palestinian lives and rights. Students pointed out what has been said by UN Secretary General António Guterres (who said that Hamas attacks did not happen in a vacuum), and Human Rights Watch (which referred to Gaza as an “open-air prison”). Your statement distracts from real antisemitism — which we decry — that is increasing in the greater Atlanta region.

Your statement made Emory students who question Israeli policies fear retribution. Your words are particularly detrimental to Palestinian, Arab and Muslim students and we urge you to reassure them — and all students at Emory — that they are valued and protected; your university communications on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and Wednesday, Oct. 25 neither acknowledged these students nor expressed any interest in their safety. We urge you to offer robust defense of Emory students’ right to speak on this issue — regardless of whether their opinions differ from yours, whether their opinions are popular or not — in accord with Emory’s policy of Open Expression.

Please reconsider your criticism of the Stop Cop City protest. Your verbal censure leads only to further threats against and doxing of students who support justice for Palestinians.


Falguni A. Sheth, WGSS, Professor
Scott Kugle, MESAS, Professor
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath, MESAS
Associate Professor Marta Jimenez, Philosophy, Associate Professor
Devin Stewart, MESAS, Professor
Hossein Samei, MESAS, Associate Teaching Professor Kylie Smith, NHWSON, Associate Professor
Hrair Balian, Retired Adjunct Professor, Emory School of Law Emil’ Keme, English Department, Professor
Walter Rucker, African American Studies, Professor
Donna Troka, Director of Diversity and Inclusive Pedagogy, CFDE Kashika Singh, MESAS, Teaching Professor
Sean Meighoo, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Anouar El Younssi, Oxford College, Arabic & MESAS, Assistant Professor
Arun W. Jones, Candler School of Theology, Associate Professor
Vani Kannan, English/Writing, Associate Teaching Professor
Nicholas Fesette, Assistant Professor of Theater, Oxford College
Stu Marvel, WGSS, Assistant Professor
Michael Kramer, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health
Leah Anderson Roesch, ECAS NBB, Associate Teaching Professor
Thomas Simsarian Dolan, MESAS, American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow
Ruth Allen, Ph.D. Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum Megan G. Massa, NBB, Assistant Teaching Professor
Ed Phillips, Candler School of Theology, Associate Professor
Clifton C. Crais, Department of History, Professor
Subha Xavier, Department of French and Italian, Associate Professor
Melissa T. Yang, English (Writing Program), Assistant Teaching Professor
Gautham Reddy, Emory Libraries, Librarian for South Asia and Religion
Mariana Candido, History, Professor
Deanna Ferree Womack, Candler School of Theology, Associate Professor
Karen Garrabrant, Library Specialist Senior
Elizabeth Corrie, Candler School of Theology, Professor
Erin Reardon, Emory Libraries, Public Health Informationist
Dilek Huseyinzadegan, Philosophy, Associate Professor
Bayo Holsey, African American Studies, Associate Professor
Maho A. Ishiguro, Music, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology
Sara Redd, BSHES, Assistant Professor
David Marriott, Philosophy, Professor
Peter Shirts, Emory Libraries, Humanities Librarian
Simona Muratore, French and Italian, Associate Teaching Professor
Stefano Maranzana, French & Italian, Teaching Professor
Lisa M Thompson, School of Nursing, Professor
Deanna Roberts, Candler School of Theology, Librarian
Ginny Hudgins, Oxford College Library, Teaching and Learning Librarian
Cynthia Willett, Philosophy, Professor
Mark Risjord, ILA and Philosophy, Professor
Valerie Babb, African American Studies and English, Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities Maria Carrion, Religion and Comparative Literature, Professor
Saira Raza, Emory Libraries, Associate Librarian
Nargis Ali-Virani, MESAS, Associate Teaching Professor
John Wegner ENVS Assistant Teaching Faculty
Henry Kahn, Family and Preventive Medicine, Emeritus Professor
David Nugent
Catrina Davis
Lynne Huffer, Philosophy, Professor
Dabney P. Evans, Hubert Department of Global Health, Associate Professor
James B. Hoesterey, Religion, Associate Professor
Michelle Armstrong-Partida
Bruce Knauft, Anthropology, Samuel C Dobbs Professor
Lori C. Teague, Theater and Dance, Associate Professor of Dance and Movement Studies David Lynn, Chemistry and Biology
Linette Park, WGSS, Assistant Professor
Jason Francisco, Visual Arts, Associate Professor
Anicka Austin, Emory Libraries, Collections Processing Archivist
Craig Womack, English Department, Retired
Ali John Zarrabi, Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine Kwok Pui Lan, Candler School of Theology, Professor
Jeremy Bell, Department of Philosophy
Aisha Finch, WGSS, Associate Professor
Jose Quiroga, CPLT, Professor
Brinna Michael, Pitts Theology Library, Librarian
Paige Crowl, Emory Libraries, Teaching and Learning Librarian Hazem Ziada, Candler School of Theology, Research Fellow Daniel Reynolds, Film and Media, Associate Professor
Donna McDermott, Writing Program, Assistant Teaching Professor Julian Currents, Writing Program, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow Laura Nenzi, History, Professor
Michael Peletz, Anthropology, S. C. Dobbs Professor
Stephanie Sherman, Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, Professor Emerita Talea Mayo, Mathematics, Assistant Professor
Louise Pratt, Classics, Professor
J. Alex Grizzell, Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology, Assistant Teaching Professor Sameena Mulla, WGSS, Associate Professor
Catherine Nickerson, English, Associate Professor
Ali Madani, Center for Civic and Community Engagement
Devaka Premawardhana, Religion, Associate Professor
Shivani Patel, Hubert Department of Global Health, Assistant Professor
Julio Medina, Dance and Movement Studies Program, Assistant Professor
Abrianna Belvedere C22, Theater Studies, Academic Degree Program Coordinator
Twisha Dimri, Psychology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Alum 23C Rebekah Spera, Writing Program, Postdoctoral Fellow
Jonathan Calvillo, Candler School of Theology, Assistant Professor

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