A Resolution Concerning the Safety and Rights of Jews at UVa

Jefferson Council President Tom Neale yesterday delivered the following resolution of the Council to University of Virginia president Jim Ryan and the Board of Visitors. — JAB

The Jefferson Council, by unanimous agreement of the Officers, Committee Chairs and Board of Advisors, hereby issues the following RESOLUTION supporting the rights of the Jewish students, faculty and staff at the University of Virginia to study, teach and work in safety and in an environment conducive to the free and civil exchange of ideas.

WHEREAS, the Jefferson Council was founded to promote an academic environment based on open dialogue throughout the University;

WHEREAS, on October 7, 2023, military units of Hamas, the de facto governing body of Gaza, invaded the sovereign state of Israel and intentionally targeted, murdered, tortured and/or captured approximately 1400 innocent civilians including but not limited to women, children and the elderly, all in violation of international law and the moral norms of every civilized country in the world;

WHEREAS, the Hamas Covenant of 1988 calls for the destruction of the State of Israel by force (jihad) in violation of international law;

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory)”
     — Hamas Covenant

WHEREAS, the Hamas Covenant of 1988 calls for the killing/genocide of the Jewish people in violation of both international law and the recognized moral norms of all civilized people;

“The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
     — Hamas Covenant, Art. 7

WHEREAS, the Hamas Covenant of 1988 claims to the land of Israel are based on Islamic supremacy, not justice for the Palestinian people;

Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its          constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.
     — Hamas Covenant, Art. 8

WHEREAS, Hamas committed genocide and crimes against humanity on a scale not seen since the Holocaust, all intentional and pursuant to their governing policy;

WHEREAS, Hamas is a designated terrorist organization;

WHEREAS, on October 8, 2023, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UVA issued a written statement proclaiming their unequivocal support for “Palestinian liberation and the right of colonized people everywhere to resist the occupation of their land by whatever means they deem necessary;”

WHEREAS, the SJP statement of October 8, 2023 also said, “The events that took place yesterday are a step towards a free Palestine;”

WHEREAS, on October 11, 2023, Jewish students at UVA wrote from the heart to their fellow students and others in the community:

“We, as Jewish students at the University, are profoundly disappointed, disturbed and scared.

“We ask that, for a moment, you take a step back to recognize the profound inhumanity that has taken place — that for a moment, instead of prioritizing ideology or politics, you consider the lives that have been taken and will continue to be taken.”

“We only hope that you do not know what you are condoning. We are disheartened thinking that perhaps you do not care.”

“We do not ask for agreement — we ask for dignity. We desperately seek peace and humanity.”

WHEREAS, on October 12, 2023, SJP ignored the pleas from their fellow Jewish students and conducted a rally in support of the Hamas invasion wearing masks to conceal their identities in violation of Virginia law, refusing to talk to the media but shouting and holding signs that read, inter alia, “From the river to the sea” and “No dialogue with white supremacy;”

WHEREAS, when SJP members chant slogans such as “From the River to the sea, Palestine will be free,” they know exactly what they are condoning and, under the euphemistic banner of justice, have explicitly endorsed the Hamas charter calling for the eradication of Israel and the murder of her Jewish citizens;

WHEREAS, genocide, pogroms and violence against entire Jewish communities are anti-Semitic in nature and represent perhaps the oldest hate-crimes in the history of mankind;

WHEREAS, SJP glorifies violence against Jews and others, praises war crimes and crimes against humanity, demonizes Jews and calls for further violence against Jews and others, celebrates the rape of women, incites genocide and violates every norm and code of conduct at every university we know of;

WHEREAS, the positions staked out by members of SJP are wrong on the historical facts and wrong as a matter of law, morality and fundamental human decency;

WHEREAS, SJP members have clearly rejected open dialogue and civil discourse to debate the political or historic claims to the land of Israel in contravention of the purpose of the University; namely, to seek the truth through the use of reason;

WHEREAS, University officials are well aware of the inherent power of social media to fan the flames of anti-Semitism and escalate the clear and present danger of violence to the Jewish members of our community;

WHEREAS, two statements issued by President Ryan to date have lacked the strength of conviction and moral clarity called for by institutional leaders at this time in our history;

WHEREAS, the University of Virginia has not joined the broad coalition of more than 100 Universities United Against Terrorism (https://universitiesunitedagainstterrorism.org/);

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED that the Jefferson Council calls upon the Board of Visitors and President Ryan to:

  1. Issue a statement unambiguously condemning Hamas for committing genocide, crimes against humanity and waging aggressive war in violation of international law and the moral norms of all civilized people;
  2. Issue a statement unambiguously supporting the rights of the Jewish students, faculty and staff at the University of Virginia to study, teach and work in safety and in an environment conducive to the free and civil exchange of ideas.
  3. Issue a statement calling for the peaceful resolution of competing political, historical and legal claims between Israel and the Palestinian people (not Hamas);
  4. Sponsor one or more open and ongoing debates between reputable historians and international lawyers to promote a broader understanding throughout the University of the competing claims between the people of Israel and Palestine;
  5. Call out the legal, factual and moral errors perpetrated by the Students for Justice in Palestine and insist that the organization come forth to defend, on the merits, their calls for the destruction of Israel by force and the genocide of the Jews;
  6. Conduct a thorough study of the uses and misuses of social media which either promote or detract from the legitimate educational mission of the University;
  7. Join the coalition of Universities United Against Terrorism and specifically endorse the statement entitled “We Stand Together with Israel Against Hamas” which reads as follows:

We are horrified and sickened by the brutality and inhumanity of Hamas. Murdering innocent civilians including babies and children, raping women and taking the elderly as hostages are not the actions of political disagreement but the actions of hate and terrorism. The basis of all universities is a pursuit of truth, and it is times like these that require moral clarity. Like the fight against ISIS, the fight against Hamas is a fight against evil. We, the presidents and chancellors of universities, colleges and higher education associations across the United States of America and the world, stand with Israel, with the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’ cruel rule in Gaza and with all people of moral conscience.