Editor's Note: As of the time of publishing, the Center for Jewish Life has indefinitely postponed this event with Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely until it is vetted through the CJL's Israel Advisory Committee. 

The evening of Nov. 7, the Center for Jewish Life will host Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Hotovely’s visit to Princeton is part of a college tour with Columbia and NYU as well. These visits are timed to coincide with the release of Israeli pamphlets designed to help students defend the Israeli government’s positions. According to a recent article in the Times of Israel, Hotovely “hopes to arm pro-Israel campus activists with ‘official content’ that will help them answer questions they might encounter from the pro-Palestinian camp.” Yet, with statements like “settlements are not an obstacle to peace,” the pamphlets blatantly disregard any Palestinian claim to the land and amount to little more than propaganda. 

Hotovely’s work causes irreparable damage to the prospects of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She has stated her opposition to a Palestinian state and has made it her mission to expand settlement construction in the West Bank. On the topic of settlements, she claimed, “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.” Hotovely’s alarming vision for the future of the region is coupled with a complete rejection of Palestinian history and connection to key sites such as the Haram al-Sharif. In a recent speech in the Israeli Parliament, Hotovely spoke directly to Palestinian Members of Knesset, saying, “You are thieves of history. Your history books are empty, and you are trying to co-opt Jewish history and Islamicize it.”  

By inviting MK Hotovely to speak, the Center for Jewish Life violates its own official policy on Israel-related events, which states that “The CJL will not, however, sponsor groups or speakers that, as a matter of policy or practice, foster an atmosphere of incivility, intend to harm Israel, or promote racism or hatred of any kind.” In clear violation of this policy, Hotovely has repeatedly made racist statements. 

Furthermore, the CJL’s Israel Policy has previously served as a thinly veiled method to exclude left-wing voices. The CJL has refused to co-sponsor or has qualified their sponsorship of events proposed by the Alliance of Jewish Progressives that skewed left-of-center on Israeli politics, with speakers such as feminist activist Penny Rosenwasser and Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan. If the Center for Jewish Life claims to host speakers with diverse voices and opinions, it must subject all political views on Israel to the same standard of scrutiny. The CJL claims to be a home for all Jewish students on campus, and moreover claims to support open-minded dialogue about Israel. We firmly reject the CJL’s choice to host a racist speaker like Hotovely while it continues to quiet progressive voices.  

Finally, the CJL’s decision to sponsor this event implies that the CJL and its affiliated student groups support the decision to host Hotovely. As engaged members of the CJL community, we in no way support Hotovely’s racist statements. We refuse to let Hotovely use us to legitimize her goals. We feel ashamed of the CJL’s misrepresentation of our Jewish community’s politics and values. We will not sit by quietly as the Israeli government continues to entrench its control over Palestinians. We will not be silent as members of our Princeton community further these hateful and racist policies.

Signed,

The Alliance of Jewish Progressives and Allies

Rafi Lehmann

Noreen Andersen

Mikaela Gerwin

Nathaniel Moses

Yitz Landes, Religion, GS2

Reuben Keller

Netta Green

Ben Perelmiter 

Young Democratic Socialists of Princeton

Tess Jacobson

Micah Herskind

Joshua Judd Porter

Jason Wee

Osama Hassan

Maddie Staczek

Princeton Committee on Palestine

Avner Goldstein-Mittag

Jordan Marcus

Katie Reilly

Christian Bischoff 

J Street U Princeton

Aparna Raghu

Chase Hommeyer

Mohamed El-Dirany

Max McGougan

Jean Bellamy

Sidra Ahmad

Pulkit Singh

Colby Chanenchuk

Ayodele Foster-McCray

it4@princeton.edu

Max Grear

Madeleine Le Cesne

Matthew Barrett

Sebastian Holt

Natalie O'Leary

Seth Hatfield 

Nicky Steidel

Rosie Vasen 

Fares Marayati

Beatrice Ferguson

Tabitha Lumour-Mensah

Ines Franch

Talya Nevins

Stephen Bork

Bulut Cakmak

Rachel Marcheskie

Aisha Tahir

Yoni Kirsch

Hannah Vester

Alice Gao

Madeleine Gilson

Mikaela Gerwin

Nourhan Ibrahim

Fida Newaj

Sara Anjum

Diana Dayoub

Alex Jacobson 

Maya von Ziegesar

Rimsha Malik 

Ryan Chavez

Rebecca Sobel

Courtney Tseng

Maryam Bahrani

Joshua Leifer

Abigail Jean-Baptiste

Sharon Xiang

Maya Rosen

Elon Schmidt-Swartz

Justice Dixon

Karthik Ramesh 

Kadence Mitchell

Tigers for Israel, President Emeritus

Tynan Gardner

Gayatri Ramesh

Jackson Forbes

Alec Israeli

Layla Varkey

Alma Huselja

J Kaufmann

Hrishi Somayaji

Isabelle Kuziel

Guillaume Prevot

Karen Gallagher-Teske

Fey Popoola 

Sarah McGuire

Felix Madutsa

Yasmin AlKhowaiter

Ben Edelman

Amarra Daniels

Rebecca Barber

Hamza Hashem

Zach Cohen

Laraib Ilyas

Atarah McCoy

Katie Duggan

Susannah Crowell

Natalia Chen

Rohana Chase, Young Democratic Socialists

Tom Robbins

Francois Laforge, International Socialist Organization

Hilal Ahmad

Avthar Sewrathan

Tea Wimer

Braden Flax

Dan Sturm 

Miranda Bolef

Delaney Kerkhof

Robia Amjad

Joshua Murray

Joshua Calvo

Celia Aranda Reina

Sarah Reeves

Yael Marans

Maya Silverberg

Natasha Thomas

Hannah Srajer

Jagat Sohail

Alice Mar-Abe

Tali Anisfeld

Gavin Hall

Sabiyah Siddiqui

Rod Eric Joseph

Muslim Advocates for Social Justice & Individual Dignity (MASJID)

Yousef Elzalabany

Narek Galstyan

Joseph Wood

Safa Syed

Jianing Zhao

Benjamin Huang

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