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Prof Slams MSU Pres Over Not Addressing Rise in Anti-Semitism

Author: Sergei Kelley

MSU President Samuel Stanley is under fire from a professor for failing to address violence against Jews.

“Over the past year, Stanley has sent emails to the MSU community about the university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” writes law professor Anne Lawton.

“But hate and violence against Jews merits no response. Why not? I suspect that part of the answer lies in the fact that such a statement would alienate certain segments of the MSU community,” continues Lawton.

[RELATED STORY: Posters Critical of Israel, Alleging Genocide and Murder, Placed Across Campus]

The emeritus law professor described Stanley’s reluctance to address anti-Semitism in a July 7 City Pulse opinion piece, “A question for MSU President Stanley: Does violence against Jews count?”

Over the past two years, the MSU President has written multiple emails to the entire student body addressing George Floyd, anti-Asian hate, and even denouncing any harassment against vaccinated people who continue to wear masks.

Lawton describes numerous attempts to contact Stanley and MSU Provost Teresa Woodruff, with no success. Another colleague emailed the president, and included a New York Times op-ed urging university support for Jewish students and community.

“Educators have an obligation to protect academic freedom, but they also have a moral duty to call out hate speech wherever they see it, and to foster healthy, not inflammatory, discourse,” declares the piece.

[RELATED STORY: MSU Provost Announces Elimination of the Terms ‘Foreign’ and ‘Alien’]

Further, Lawton cites the unrest and violence in Israel by Hamas and the rapid increase in online anti-Semitism, has increased Anti-Semitism on MSU’s campus.

Several of Lawton’s colleagues signed The Palestine Solidarity Statement: MSU Faculty United for Palestinian Rights. “The statement roundly condemns Israel while explaining that critiques of Israel do not constitute anti-Semitism. Missing from the statement, of course, is any denunciation of Hamas or the fact that Hamas fired more than 4,300 rockets into Israeli territory,” the professor rebukes.

The statement has grown to over 100 MSU professors and faculty.

In another instance, Students United for Palestinian Rights (SUPR) pressured the MSU student government to trash a resolution supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

“Unfortunately, Stanley missed a teaching opportunity this past spring. He could have reminded members of the MSU community that criticism of Israel is no excuse for anti-Semitism...he sent a powerful message about the University’s stated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion: Jews do not count,” Lawton concludes.

Lawton told The Morning Watch she still has “not heard from President Stanley or anyone else in MSU's administration about the article.”

The Morning Watch has reported multiple campus instances of rhetoric against Israel and other anti-Semistim from campus events to distributed posters.

The Morning Watch was able to find one instance of Stanley addressing anti-Jewsish actions in October 2019 after the MSU Hillel was vandalized.

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