More than 1,400 Yale University alumni, faculty, and parents have united in urging the administration to address a rising tide of antisemitism on campus. A Nov. 20 letter addressed to University President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel calls out Yale for not living up to its proclaimed values of “Lux et Veritas” and for failing to support all students equally.
The letter, signed by both Jewish and non-Jewish community members, highlights the national increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents, particularly following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. It asserts that Yale has fostered an environment hostile to Jewish and pro-Israel individuals.
”The administration’s response to these events is a glaring double standard, hiding behind free speech. A University statement on November 3rd recognized that these words can cause ‘some in our community’ to feel ‘dehumanized’, and called for compassion and humanity in our ‘community of many viewpoints.’ We support the tenet of free speech on campus so long as it does not violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
”Let us be clear: calling for genocide does more than dehumanize your Jewish students. It is a direct threat. It makes them feel unsafe,” it continues. “The burden of response should not be theirs to bear. It should not require an extraordinary act of courage on the part of the University to call out antisemitism. Looking the other way legitimizes hate speech against Jews, and that too is antisemitism.”
”In our country and on our campus, Jewish students are afraid to wear symbols of their identity. They are afraid to wear their stars of David or yarmulke or carry an Israeli flag because of the antisemitic environment in which they live and learn.”
The letter cites specific allegations of hateful rhetoric from faculty, peers, and visiting academics, alongside the exclusion of pro-Israel voices. One example involves tweets American Studies professor Zareena Grewal’s tweets, which promoted Hamas propaganda and appeared to celebrate Hamas’s attacks against Israel, leading to a petition for her removal that garnered over 56,000 signatures.
In response to the letter, Yale President Peter Salovey emphasized the university’s commitment against antisemitism, Islamophobia, and hatred, and outlined ongoing efforts to enhance campus climate for Jewish students, including collaborations with Jewish groups and inclusion training.
However, some community members, including Shira Wolosky, a former Yale associate professor, have criticized the university’s diversity and equity initiatives as insufficient and counterproductive, asserting that they do not adequately protect Jewish students and suppress true diversity.
Yalies4Palestine, in its defense, stated that their activities and slogans are calls for liberation and equality, and not for the expulsion or genocide of Jews. The group also highlighted the unsafe conditions for Palestinian students, pointing to incidents of violence and hate speech against them.
Republished with permission from Campus Reform