Supporting Informed Debate, but Rejecting Hate: Nov. 9, 2022

To the Case Western Reserve University Community:

With great sadness, I write to share that yesterday evening the Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution, authored by Case Western Reserve Students for Justice in Palestine. In this resolution, this student group called for divestment of assets from ‘Israeli apartheid’ and other elements of what they view as industrial evils. 

At least thirteen of the 20 ‘whereas’ clauses are anti-Israel and several of the others are irrelevant. The foundation of this resolution is profoundly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. Passing this resolution last night undermines the safety and comfort on our campus of members of our Jewish community. While the resolution calls for disinvestment in a naïve list of companies that they view as oriented to the military or in support of corporate correction prisons, undoubtedly it promotes anti-Semitism. A vote for this resolution is clearly a vote against Israel and an aggression towards the Jewish members of our community.

Case Western Reserve students are among the brightest, most compassionate, welcoming and dedicated individuals whom I have encountered in my decades in higher education. Last night I was disappointed to see support of this resolution. 

I pledge that Case Western Reserve will continue to be a place welcoming to all. The university also remains committed to educating students on how to discuss diverse opinions and viewpoints and, importantly, how to educate themselves on all sides of an issue. Vigorous political debate is welcome and encouraged, but hate towards any group will be opposed at every step, including categorically rejecting the calls to action outlined in this resolution. 

Eric W. Kaler