Anti-Defamation League leader urges all hands on deck to fight …

Posted By on February 26, 2024

Fighting antisemitism is an all-hands-on-deck assignment, Greenblatt said, and everyone has a role to play.

If you're Jewish, don't be afraid, he said. There is no need to tremble. You have the truth on your side. Take stock in that truth. Tell your story. Don't demonize the other side build coalitions of support within this university or outside of it to collectively fight all forms of hate. And when you form those coalitions, remember that when they engage in work on your behalf, you've got to stand with them on their behalf when they need you.

The Brown community knows all too well that anti-Muslim bias can also have terrible consequences, Greenblatt said, citing the shooting of a Palestinian student who was in Vermont for Thanksgiving break.

Let me say clearly and emphatically, Muslim students and Muslims around America deserve dignity and respect, just like their Jewish classmates and fellow Jewish citizens They should live free from fear and harassment again, like everyone else. The ADL has been fighting anti-Muslim hate for years and we will continue to do so, because I believe ultimately we are in this fight together."

Wendy J. Schiller, a professor of political science at Brown who directs the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, moderated a Q&A session with Greenblatt following his remarks. Questions ranged from the role technology platforms can play in combatting harassment and discrimination to whether Israels response to the Oct. 7 attacks has extended beyond the law of proportionality.

I dont know if this was necessarily the best way to solve the problem, he said of Israels military campaign in Gaza. And I would love to see a ceasefire after the hostages come home.

One attendee asked Greenblatt for thoughts on the balance university administrators must achieve between supporting student rights to free expression yet enforcing policy limits for protest and demonstration.

Protest should not be a consequence-free zone, he said. If you are violating norms, if you are breaking rules, if you are transgressing against the law if that happens, there are consequences. And hopefully if you have such committed principles, you're willing to live with them. And if you don't, then you need to think twice about why am I doing this in the first place? It should be principled, not performative.

Another audience question asked about solutions to long-entrenched conflict in the Middle East. Greenblatt noted that hes not a foreign policy scholar, but that he believes deeply in a two-state solution.

I don't think Israel will ever have safety and security until the Palestinian people have some degree of dignity and equality, he said. And I don't think the Palestinian people will ever have safety and security unless Israelis also enjoy dignity and quality.

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