Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shared: letter sent to Harvard Weatherhead Center directors re Martin Kramer's Gaza genocide call

By Ali Abunimah

"Here is a letter I sent to Professors Jeffry Frieden and James Robinson, Acting Directors of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University today:

Dear Profs. Frieden and Robinson,

I understand you are both Acting Directors of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs during this academic year. I am writing to draw your attention to statements made by one of your Fellows, Martin Kramer, earlier this month, calling for specific measures to curb births among Palestinians as a way to reduce extremism. As explained in the article linked below about Mr. Kramer's comments, these statements meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide.

"Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births"

If you doubt the shocking, offensive and outlandish nature of Mr. Kramer's comments ask yourself how you -- and other reasonable listeners -- would react if his comments were directed at Jews, African Americans or virtually any other group that has at one time or another been the target of systematic and widespread demonization and dehumanization in our society and abroad.

While I value academic freedom and freedom of speech as much as anyone else, I believe calls for genocide of a specific group -- made at a conference attended primarily by those who have the power to do it (Israeli military and political elites) -- crosses the line into a form of incitement that we, as members of a decent society should not tolerate, appease or forbear. I believe you should completely dissociate your center from Mr. Kramer and not allow him a platform, or resources with which to disseminate such odious policies.

Yours sincerely,

Ali Abunimah

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