Friday, March 10, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
As faculty and staff at the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, we protest the revised executive order issued by President Trump denying entry into the United States to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries and halting the acceptance of refugees into the United States.
Those of us who are scholars of Jewish history are well aware of the consequences that the denial of entry into the United States had for Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler, and are outraged that fellow human beings, contemporary refugees who are fleeing war and death, are not being welcomed here. Others, knowledgeable about Middle Eastern societies, know very well the suffering that has led victims of political violence or persecution to seek refuge in the US. We are shocked by proposals of a future de facto religious test for entry into the United States. As scholars we are sensitive to exclusionary practices and laws and find the ban reprehensible.
It is our responsibility to raise our voices in protest against President Trump's discriminatory order directed against Muslim citizens and refugees. We call for an immediate rescission of this order and the continued processing of refugee applications from around the world.
The Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies rejects all forms of racial, religious, and national discrimination. We welcome students of all backgrounds, of all faiths, from all countries to join us in study. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters affected by this executive order.
Shalom Aleichem. Aleikum as-Salaam. Peace be upon you.
Olga Gershenson, Professor and Interim Chair
David Mednicoff, Director, Middle Eastern Studies Program
Robert A. Rothstein, Professor, Director of Program in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies
Walter Denny, Distinguished Professor of the History of Art and Architecture
James E. Young, Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Shmuel Bolozky, Professor Emeritus
Susan Shapiro, Associate Professor, Director of Religious Studies Program
Malissa Taylor, Assistant Professor
Ralph Melnick, Lecturer
Jonathan Skolnik, Associate Professor of German & Scandinavian Studies
Michael Sugerman, Senior Lecturer of Anthropology
Zoe Wingate, Office Manager
Anne Broadbridge, Associate Professor of History
Joanna Caravita, Lecturer