(Yet another attempt to debate and consider this this resolution to take place this evening 6:00 PM)
By , SDNN
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Dear Members of the University of California San Diego Student Senate:
We, the undersigned Nobel Laureates, urge the members of the UC San Diego student senate not to adopt an immoral resolution singling out the state of Israel, a liberal and democratic state seeking peace with the Palestinian people and neighboring Arab states, for condemnation and divestment.
We commend your idealism and desire to provide leadership to the university; but true moral leadership requires taking responsibility, accessing knowledge and making correct, not ideological and radicalized, choices. The resolution before you is wrong in many points of fact and it is unjust by intention: Israel is an imperfect democracy defending itself in a threat environment by Western standards of warfare and checking itself constantly by way of a fiercely independent judiciary committed to international standards of human rights.
A decision by the UCSD Student Senate to single out Israel for condemnation, rather than any of the myriad real human rights offenders in the world – including the majority of contentious states surrounding Israel such as Iran, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon is frankly a decision of the highest moral obtuseness, which we trust you will not pursue.
It is our hope that the UC San Diego Student Senate who represent future leadership in the world will find a more constructive and effective way – but primarily a moral and just way – to address the difficult and complex issues of Middle East peace rather than siding against one side in the conflict. In no way can your resolution advance peace, as it is an expression of the very radicalism and historical blindness that drives the conflict and blocks reconciliation.
We have faith in your ability to rise to the occasion and shed light instead of hatred on this most difficult issue. Please defeat this wrong resolution.
Dr. Roald Hoffmann
Nobel Prize-Chemistry, 1981
Dr. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
Nobel Prize-Physics, 1997
College de France Paris
Dr. Dudley Herschbach
Nobel Prize-Chemistry, 1986
Dr. Andrew V. Schally
Nobel Prize in Medicine 1977
Dr. Steven Weinberg
University of Texas
Nobel Prize-Physics, 1979
Dear Members of the University of California-San Diego Student Senate:
May I respectfully urge that you not adopt the one-sided and unjust resolution which condemns the state of Israel and urges divestment. The resolution ignores that Israel is a democratic state, respecting the political and civil rights of its Arab minority. Above all, it exists in an environment in which its very existence has been threatened ever since its inception. Proposals and negotiations which would have led to Palestinian independence have always been rejected by the Palestinians from the 1968 “three nos of Khartoum” to Yasser Arafat’s refusal to accept President Clinton’s very favorable proposals, a refusal followed by a campaign of pure terrorism, directed against vulnerable civilians, called, “the second intifada.” A withdrawal of Jewish settlers from Gaza, enforced by the authority of the state of Israel, was followed, not by renewed efforts at negotiation or even by quiescence, but by a steady barrage of rockets against unquestionably Israeli towns.
The world is full of states with abominable records on human rights, including most of Israel’s neighbors. A failure to mention Saudi Arabia, for example, must be regarded as approval for discriminatory treatment of women (they cannot even drive!) and, of course, of homosexuals. Hamas, in Gaza, has not only consistently inflicted whatever harm it can against Israel but has bloodily suppressed Arab political opposition within its boundaries. Israel’s independent judiciary has no counterpart in the area.
I trust you will vote against divestiture.
Thank you for your attention.
Kenneth J. Arrow
Nobel Laureate in Economic Science, 1972 <!–
For UCSD faculty letter click HERE