53 Distinguished Stanford Faculty State Publicly, “Israel is Not An Apartheid State!”

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In pursuing peace, security and prosperity for Palestinians and Israelis we must focus on initiatives that bring the sides closer together. We are saddened and concerned by the malicious propaganda campaign being waged on various campuses, including Stanford, against Israel. In falsely seeking to smear Israel with the stain of apartheid, this campaign is sowing divisiveness, bigotry, and discord. Demonizing Israel is contrary to our values of mutual respect and academic integrity. It contributes to the perpetuation of the conflict, not its resolution.

Apartheid was the vicious policy of the old South Africa that kept races separate and caused untold suffering to the Black majority and other people of color. The anti-Israel movement is cynically exploiting the memory of African suffering in order to score points in the fraught field of Middle East politics. To describe Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, as apartheid, trivializes the South African past while doing a grave injustice to the most pluralistic and open society in the Middle East today.

Under Apartheid, people were legally classified into racial groups and forcibly separated from each other. Apartheid South Africa was ruled by a White-only government. A wide range of laws ensured racially based discrimination, including the prohibition of Blacks from voting, using Whites-only schools and hospitals, and even mixing with Whites in public places.

The State of Israel has nothing in common with apartheid. Israeli society, as many others, is not free of racial and religious discrimination. Yet, in Israel, all minorities – including the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Arab Christians and Muslims – have equal civil, political, economic and personal rights. Israeli Arabs form political parties, compete in free and fair elections, and are represented in all levels of the legislature, executive and judiciary. Arabs are members of, for example, the Israeli Parliament, cabinet, and High Court. Israelis of all religions and ethnicities can legally live in any public residential community, attend the same universities and use the same hospitals. Arabic is an official language, an Israeli Arab is the Minister of Culture, and Arab Israelis richly contribute to Israel’s science, culture and sports.

To equate Israel with apartheid displays a profound ignorance of the horror that was South Africa as well as contempt for democracy in Israel. The difficult path to peace in the Middle East can do without this sort of empty vilification. Rather, we need to work together toward the vital quest for true co-existence, peace and justice for all in the Middle East – Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Signed by the Following Stanford’s Professors and Senior Fellows:

Kenneth Arrow, Department of Economics

David Brady, W., Political Science Department

Jonathan Bendor, Graduate School of Business

Karol Berger, Department of Music

Elliot Bloom, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Philippe Buc, Department of History

Grumet Carl, F. Pathology Department

Paul David, A. Department of Economics

Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute

Liran Einav, Department Economics

Amir Eshel, Department of German Studies & Comparative Literature

John Felstiner, English Department

Steve Foung, Pathology Department

Maurice Fox, School of Medicine

Judith Frydman, Department of Biological Sciences.

Victor Fuchs, Department of Economics

Susan Galel, Stanford Blood Center

Eran Geller MS, School of Medicine

Lawrence Goulder, Department of Economics

Avner Greif, Department of Economics and Freeman Spogli Institute

Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht, Departments of French and Italian & Comparative Literature

Josef Joffe, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Amalia Kessler, D., Stanford Law School

Michael Klausner, Stanford Law School

Daphne Koller, Department of Computer Science

Jeffrey Koseff, R. School of Engineering

Stephen Krasner, D., Political Science Department and Freeman Spogli Institute

Ilan Kremer, Graduate School of Business

Mordecai Kurz, Department of Economics

Ronald Levy, School of Medicine

Amichai Magen, Stanford Law School

Lawrence Marshall, C. Stanford Law School

Paul Milgrom, Department of Economics

Ian Morris, History Department

Bryan Myers, School of Medicine

Amos Nur, Department of Geophysics – Geophysics

Daniel Palanker, Ophthalmology Department

Marjorie Perloff, English Department

Mark Perlroth, School of Medicine

Ralph Rabkin, MD. School of Medicine

Arnold Rampersad, English Department

Nathan Rosenberg, Department of Economics

Janice Ross, Drama Department

Berman Russell, German and Comparative Literature Departments

Gabriella Safran, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Ilya Segal, Department of Economics

Yoav Shoham, Computer Science Department

Abraham Sofaer, The Hoover Institution

Jeffrey Ullman, Stanford School of Engineering

Irene Wapnir, School of Medicine

Sam Wineburg, School of Education

Herman Winick, Applied Physics Department.

Jeffrey Zwiebel, Graduate School of Business

This statement was organized by the Stanford Chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (http://spme.stanford.edu/ ) Individuals listed are not necessarily affiliated with SPME.

The mission of SMPE at Stanford is to promote scholarly discussion and interactions among faculty and students to contribute to peace in the Middle East. We welcome scholars from all disciplines, faith groups and nationalities who share our desire for peace and our commitment to academic integrity and honest debate. We believe there is room for negotiation and need to counterbalance the well‑documented and increasing anti‑Israel and anti‑Semitic forces that have made their way to the college campuses today.

To join SPME, see https://spme.org/join.html. To get on our mailing list, send an e-mail with your name and Stanford’s affiliation to [email protected]

For Further information about about SPME, contact Dr. Edward Beck, President, SPME at or 717.576.5038 or for Stanford Chapter, SPME, Prof. Amichai Magen, School of Law, [email protected]

53 Distinguished Stanford Faculty State Publicly, “Israel is Not An Apartheid State!”

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