We, members of the Jewish Studies faculty at Duke, are writing because we are deeply troubled by news of an upcoming Shabbat event at the Freeman Center that was advertised as "Israel Shabbat:Bedouin Style." Needless to say, this is a very tense time in Israel and Palestine. After the bloody events of the summer, and now the recent political escalation, tensions are particularly high. It is imperative, at this tense moment, that Jews and Muslims on this campus be thoughtful about others. As you may know, there is a long history of Israeli appropriation of Palestinian, Arab, and/or Bedouin culture. These acts, while perhaps seen as "merely cultural," have the power to greatly offend. The event is particularly troubling at the present moment under an Israeli administration that is widely regarded as promoting harsh policies towards the Bedouin population of Israel. As members of the Duke community, we urge you to cancel this event.
Ellen F. Davis
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Rebecca L. Stein
Jewish Studies Faculty
This article was updated Nov. 14 at 8:18 a.m. to reflect the information regarding the Freeman Center response.