http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article989.shtml The Electronic Intifada, 18 December 2002 800 American professors sign document warning of coming Israeli ethnic cleansing Nigel Parry Earlier this year, 187 Israeli professors signed an "Urgent Warning" letter titled "The Israeli government may be contemplating crimes against humanity." As of today, 800 American professors have signed a similar document, warning of coming Israeli ethnic cleansing. Released on 29 September 2002, the original Israeli letter began by stating, "We, members and friends of Israeli academe, are horrified by US buildup of aggression towards Iraq and by the Israeli political leadership's enthusiastic support for it. We are deeply worried by indications that the 'fog of war' could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing." The letter continued on to note that the coalition ruling Israel included parties that promote ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population as a "solution" to the conflict, the letter cited several examples of senior Israeli government and military officials using the language of ethnic cleansing, and called on the international community to "pay close attention to events that unfold within Israel and in the Occupied Territories." The American letter, released on 18 December 2002, opens with expressions of full support for the Israeli letter. Signed by 800 professors and intellectuals to date, the U.S. letter concludes: We join with our Israeli colleagues in calling for vigilance as events unfold in Israel and the Occupied Territories. With an average of more than $10 million dollars per day of American tax dollars going to Israel, we believe Americans cannot remain silent while crimes as abhorrent as ethnic cleansing are being openly advocated. We urge our government to communicate clearly to the government of Israel that the expulsion of people according to race, religion or nationality would constitute crimes against humanity and will not be tolerated. More information about the U.S. letter, including instructions on how to sign it, can be found at www.professorsofconscience.org. This initiative by American academics represents a highly significant mainstream articulation of Palestinian concerns about where the international community's tacit acceptance of Israel's now regular excessive use of force will ultimately lead. The letter is expected to draw much criticism and praise in the hotly-contested arena of Middle East education. Earlier this year, a few days before the Israeli academics' letter was released, EI reported on the launch of the Campus Watch website, an initiative by Daniel Pipes to encourage McCarthyite monitoring of faculty opinion and lesson plans in U.S. higher education institutions. Such initiatives would seem to have failed. It appears from today's letter and several other recent moves to encourage universities to remove Israeli stocks from their investment portfolios, that U.S. faculty are increasingly feeling the need to express an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and their message is not one that Mr. Pipes or his ilk wish to hear. Nigel Parry Nigel Parry is one of the founders of the Electronic Intifada. Full text of the U.S. letter and initial signatories LETTER AGAINST EXPULSION OF THE PALESTINIANS 18 DECEMBER 2002 AMERICAN ACADEMICS JOIN ISRAELI COLLEAGUES IN WARNING AGAINST ETHNIC CLEANSING We, American academics and intellectuals, applaud our courageous Israeli colleagues for their recent letter warning of the possibility of ethnic cleansing in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The 187 Israeli signatories express concern that the "fog of war" [against Iraq] "could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full- fledged ethnic cleansing." The Israeli professors point out that: "The Israeli ruling coalition includes parties that promote 'transfer' of the Palestinian population as a solution to what they call 'the demographic problem'. Politicians are regularly quoted in the media as suggesting forcible expulsion, most recently MKs [members of the Israeli parliament] Michael Kleiner and Benny Elon, as reported on Yediot Ahronot website on September 19, 2002. In a recent interview in Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon described the Palestinians as a 'cancerous manifestation' and equated the military actions in the Occupied Territories with 'chemotherapy', suggesting that more radical 'treatment' may be necessary. Prime Minister Sharon has backed this 'assessment of reality'. Escalating racist demagoguery concerning the Palestinian citizens of Israel may indicate the scope of the crimes that are possibly being contemplated." Benjamin Netanyahu, the newly appointed Israeli foreign minister, previously advocated expelling Palestinians while the world was distracted with events at Tiananmen Square. We join with our Israeli colleagues in calling for vigilance as events unfold in Israel and the Occupied Territories. With an average of more than $10 million dollars per day of American tax dollars going to Israel, we believe Americans cannot remain silent while crimes as abhorrent as ethnic cleansing are being openly advocated. We urge our government to communicate clearly to the government of Israel that the expulsion of people according to race, religion or nationality would constitute crimes against humanity and will not be tolerated. Professor Joel Beinin, Stanford Professor George Bisharat, UC Hastings Professor Beshara Doumani, UC Berkeley Professor James G. Ferguson, University of California, Irvine Professor James Fujii, University of California, Irvine Professor Zachary Lockman, New York University Professor Liisa Malkki, University of California, Irvine Professor Timothy Mitchell, New York University Professor Glenn Morris, University of Colorado Professor Gabi Piterberg, UC Los Angeles Professor James Pope, Rutgers University, School of Law Professor Glenn E. Robinson, Naval Postgraduate School Professor Ted Swedenburg, University of Arkansas Professor Anthony Thompson, New York University Professor Judith Tucker, Georgetown University A full list of the 800 current signatories can be found at www.professorsofconscience.org.