Hundreds of Princeton Faculty, Students Sign Letter Opposing Israel's 'Jewish Supremacy'

Hundreds of faculty members and students from Princeton University signed an open letter condemning the continued attacks by Israeli armed forces against Palestinian people in Gaza and expressed opposition to "Jewish supremacy."

The letter, which appeared in the independent student newspaper, the Daily Princetonian, was titled "Princeton University community statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people."

As of Thursday, the letter had received signatures from over 60 staff and faculty members, as well as hundreds from Princeton alumni, undergraduate and graduate students.

The letter began by saying, "We, members of the Princeton University community, condemn the ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli armed forces...We condemn the displacement of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem."

As the letter continued, the writers, who are only identified in the Daily Princetonian as "guest contributors," said that they "stand by" assessments from Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, which both referred to the situation in Israel as an "apartheid."

"The brutal system that controls Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is ideologically founded upon Jewish supremacy, rules over the lives of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel alike, and is practically committed to territorial theft from Palestinians who continue to resist physical removal and existential erasure," the letter said.

The authors of the letter also expressed support for a "Palestine and Praxis" open letter that was signed by hundreds of scholars from universities across the globe, calling on academic institutions to "respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by instating measures that remove complicity and partnership with military, academic, and legal institutions involved in entrenching Israel's policies."

The publication of the letter in the Daily Princetonian comes amid escalated violence between Israeli military forces and the Gaza-based Palestinian group known as Hamas.

As the letter mentioned, the violence stemmed from the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, but tensions have escalated with both sides continuing to attack each other.

According to Al Jazeera, over the past 11 days, there have been at least 230 reported Palestinian fatalities, including 65 children. Israel has reported 12 fatalities from Hamas attacks.

President Joe Biden recently spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and according to a readout of their call released by the White House, the two leaders discussed "Israel's progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States."

Palestinians inspect a house hit during an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 20, 2021. - Israel and the Palestinians are mired in their worst conflict in years as Israel pounds the Gaza Strip with air strikes and artillery, while Hamas militants fire rockets into the Jewish state. Said Khatib/Getty

"The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire," the White House said in the readout of the call.

Despite Biden's calls for a de-escalation of violence, many progressive Democrats in the U.S. have made comments similar to the Daily Princetonian letter, condemning the attacks against Palestinians in Gaza and calling the situation an "apartheid."

Newsweek reached out to Princeton University for further comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.