PSM conference is anti-Semitic

The Aug. 23 editorial “Allowing PSM will Foster Debate” did not tell the whole story of the PSM, nor did it accurately reflect the group’s views and history. Many students have recently signed or been sent a petition for President Brodhead (available at which provides a deeper look into the movement’s goals and some of the events of past conferences.

Your staff editorial described the PSM as a group that advocates “a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” whereas, in reality, the Solidarity Movement is known to support terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and has repeatedly called for the destruction of the state of Israel “by any means necessary.” The means approved by this Movement include the suicide bombing and murder of civilian targets—described by Palestinian Solidarity Movement leaders as a “noble” form of jihad.

The PSM is not coming to foster debate or “start a dialogue” but rather to recruit American students as human shields to die while working to destroy Israel. A tactic director of the International Solidarity Movement, George Rishmawi, described to the San Francisco Chronicle stating, “If some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”

So why did Rutgers President Richard McCormick kick the conference off his campus last year? Was he trying to stifle debate? Perhaps even trying to impede on “academic and intellectual freedom.” Well, perhaps, but it is more likely that he looked at the PSM’s history of anti-Semitism and hate speech on campus, including events like the 2002 conference at the University of Michigan where delegates repeatedly gathered on campus to chant, “Kill the Jews.” A responsible university president has an obligation to keep the students safe and comfortable while on the campus they call home. Rutgers did the right thing by refusing to affiliate with the PSM; President Brodhead should reexamine his decision as well.

Do not be fooled by the PSM’s rhetoric, they have had a documented history of anti-Semitism since the movement’s very start. I have lost too many friends to Palestinian terrorists, had too many family members shot at, spit on, and assaulted for practicing their beliefs. It is hard enough be a practicing Jew on Duke’s campus. Do not legitimize a group that seeks to destroy my people.


Benjamin Rubinfeld

Trinity ’07


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