December 11, 2013
Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D.
Dean, George Washington University
School of Medicine & Health Sciences
2300 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Dear Dr. Akman:
We understand that the School of Medicine and Health Sciences is evaluating whether the student exchanges it offers with Al-Quds University is being evaluated, in light of recent, deeply troubling events on that campus. Al-Quds is a place that not only tolerates, but also glorifies and encourages violence against Jews and Israel. We urge you to cut all ties with that university.
As you likely know, there was a November 5th demonstration on the Al-Quds campus, where demonstrators wore military garb, carried authentic-looking weapons, and used the traditional Nazi salute, surrounded by banners with images of “martyred” suicide bombers. Students also portrayed dead Israeli soldiers.
After news broke about this demonstration, Brandeis University – which had a partnership with Al-Quds – called for Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh to unequivocally condemn the demonstration, both in Arabic and English. Instead of doing so, Sari Nusseibeh posted a statement blaming “Jewish extremists” for “vilification campaigns against Al-Quds.” And he offensively and outrageously blamed what he characterized as “the enduring Palestinian catastrophe” on the Holocaust against the Jewish people.
Rightly so, Brandeis University called Nusseibeh’s statement “unacceptable and inflammatory” and immediately suspended its partnership with Al-Quds. Syracuse University also cut its ties with Al-Quds, stating that Syracuse “does not condone hatred or intolerance in any way.” York University in Toronto is also “investigating” the matter, according to a news report.
The November 5th demonstration at Al-Quds, and its president’s appalling response to it, are bad enough, but unfortunately there are other horrifying examples of how Al-Quds promotes hatred of and violence against Jews and Israel. Nusseibeh – who is often falsely and absurdly painted as a “moderate” – actually stated in an interview on Al-Jazeera TV that “no Jew in the world, now or in the future,” will ever be permitted to live in a Palestinian state. He has also praised the mothers of suicide bombers.
Palestinian Media Watch (www.palwatch.org) reported that in a recent Palestinian football tournament at Al-Quds University, the participating football teams were named after Jew-killing Arab terrorists – Yahya Ayyash, Dalai Mughrabi, and Ghassan Kanafani. (See http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=10101.)
Yahya Ayyash, known as “the Engineer,” bears the distinction of introducing suicide bombing to the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict. He became a chief bomb-maker for Hamas and was behind terrorist attacks killing dozens of Israelis and injuring hundreds. He is responsible for the 1995 murder of Brandeis University student Alisa Flatow. Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terrorist attack in Israel’s history. In 1978, she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians, including 12 children. When Mughrabi and her accomplices landed on the beach in rubber rafts before overtaking the bus, they came upon Gail Rubin, an American photographer taking pictures of birds on the beach, and shot her dead. Ghassan Kanfani was a writer and a leader of the terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Since its founding in 1967, the PFLP carried out numerous terror attacks, including against American sites, and murdered innocent Israelis and Americans.
There is little doubt that if the Ku Klux Klan or other hate group were holding a demonstration at a school affiliated with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and calling for violence against African Americans, Hispanics or gays, the George Washington University would immediately disassociate itself from that school – and rightly so. A school that promotes and tolerates anti-Semitism, and calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel should be treated no differently. Such a school does not deserve any association with any university, let alone one of the stature of the George Washington University and its School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Please do the right thing and ensure that the School of Medicine and Health Sciences cuts all ties with Al-Quds University. We look forward to your response.
Very truly yours,
Morton A. Klein
Susan B. Tuchman, Esq.
Director, Center for Law and Justice
cc: Dr. Steven Knapp, President, The George Washington University (via e-mail)