We are disturbed to see our distinguished colleague, Professor Ruben Gur, use inflammatory language comparing those he disagrees with to Nazis and anti-Semites. As teachers, our role is to model respectful and rigorous intellectual exchange, especially on highly politicized issues that evoke such impassioned responses. Calling a BDS conference “genocidal” and comparing its Jewish participants to “Kapos” in the extermination camps sadly trivializes the real history of the Holocaust. It also distorts the complex issues involved in the political debates about the region today. As scholars, we demonstrate how to carefully assess historical analogies rather than deploy them for rhetorical advantage.
English professors Amy Kaplan and Ania Loomba wrote this letter with Associate English professor Heather Love.