Letter to the editor: In response to Hannah Pomerantz’s letter

Dear Ms. Pomerantz,

I was very interested in your open letter to President Barbara R. Snyder in response to the Case Western Reserve University  Radical Student Union’s screening of “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States” on Sept. 21. I want to start off by saying that I myself am a pro-Israel member of the Jewish community. With that said, I still fully support the Radical Student Association’s decision to screen this film, and to continue their work.

The RSU’s page on OrgSync claims that it’s “a group of radical students who seek to discuss, organize and communicate with other students in order to help build a more democratic and just society.” While I have not seen “The Occupation of the American Mind,” it is well within the RSU’s rights as a campus organization to present their perspective on the discourse regarding Israel and Palestine in the United States, just as it is within your rights as a member of Israel’s CWRU to disagree.

I believe that the purpose of going to a university like CWRU is to expose yourself to new ideas, perspectives and opinions. An open and inclusive dialogue has to include all views to be successful. While President Barbara R. Snyder and Provost William A. Baeslack III wrote to everyone in 2013 saying that they personally opposed the American Studies Association’s boycott, they also explicitly wrote that “In keeping with the principle of academic freedom, individual scholars at Case Western Reserve may well choose to embrace the boycott, condemn our opposition to it, or speak in favor of other solutions.” While presenting their own opinions, I don’t think that one could call their email a strict University policy.

I’ve been fortunate enough in my education here to have been presented with a number of different opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From the outside (though I can’t speak for the RSU), it seems as though the purpose of this screening was to bring another perspective to campus thatlet’s face itwe usually don’t hear. Their goal was to help create students “who are educated in a well-rounded way, especially on topics of diversity and inclusion.” While I proudly stand with Israel and against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as an individual, it is not my place, or the place of anyone else on this campus, to make that decision for everyone.



Daliah Greenwald

4th Year, MA Candidate in History