To the Editor:
The recent weeks have been alarming for Carolina’s Jewish students. I have been an active Jewish leader for four years and have never before felt unsafe or uncertain about UNC. The Conflict over Gaza conference, which should have educated students about the very real humanitarian crisis in Gaza, instead featured numerous presenters who staked out political positions, routinely demonizing and delegitimizing Israel – the one Jewish state. The conference also featured a rapper who encouraged attendees to join him in mocking anti-Semitism and joking about being “in love with a Jew.” Unfortunately, anti-Semitic flyers were then found in Davis Library, threatening the safety of Jewish students. While there are a range of reasonable opinions about Israeli politics, do we question the right of any other nation to exist? Certainly not our own.
The article, “What the Chancellor's Advisory Committee said about the Conflict over Gaza conference” published on April 17, provides little comfort that our campus community supports us. I am outraged by your choice to imply that professor Ariana Vigil, who denied that the conference was anti-Semitic in any way, represents UNC’s Jewish community. Vigil is obviously free to identify herself as Jewish, but your decision to include hers as the sole Jewish voice suggested that her fringe perspective is normative for American Jews. She proudly supports the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement and opposes Zionism. While she is entitled to those opinions, she does not represent the majority of UNC’s Jewish community. Where is our representation?
Class of 2019