The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday October 23rd

Letter: UNC Hillel opposes Gorka presence

TO THE EDITOR:

We, student leaders of UNC Hillel, strongly oppose the appearance of Sebastian Gorka on our campus on Nov. 13. 

Gorka is slated to talk about US-Israel relations and the state of the Middle East under the Trump administration. 

As Jews, it is our responsibility to formally denounce this speaker for his ties to groups that sympathize with Nazis, his explicit Islamophobia and his lack of qualifications to speak on the aforementioned idea of someone being invited to our campus who has been repeatedly condemned for connections to anti-Semitic groups that allied with Nazis during WWII, especially following last week’s campus visit by Tibor Spitz, a Holocaust survivor. 

As leaders of a pro-Israel campus organization, it is important for us to distinguish between varying pro-Israel stances and acknowledge that being pro-Israel and anti-Semitic are not mutually exclusive. 

Islamophobic sentiments are intolerable, and in this case they diminish the possibility for productive discussion about Israel and the Middle East. 

There are academics and government officials from a variety of political ideologies who can valuably contribute to discussions on Israel and the Middle East. 

Due to his dubious academic credentials and extremist views, Sebastian Gorka is not among those whose perspectives contribute to the intellectual discourse around Israel at UNC. 

Allowing Gorka to add to the discussion on Israel makes the US-Israel relationship a partisan issue, undermines UNC Hillel’s mission and pluralistic values and is dangerous to Israel and the Jewish People. 

Hillel seeks to establish an inclusive space for all students from across the political spectrum. Gorka’s presence on campus discredits the important work that has been done to create productive dialogue and to foster a safe community for everyone at Carolina. 

We stand with all students who may feel unsafe and unwelcome as a result of Gorka’s visit to campus.

Emily Adcock

Katy Smith

Oliver Mitchell-Boyask

Student leaders of UNC Hillel

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