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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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I was happy to see that in last week’s edition of The Jewish Link (“Rutgers President Cites ‘Academic Freedom’ in Defense of Anti-Semitic Remarks,” December 7, 2017) you started to address the outrageous situation at Rutgers, and that you will be doing further reporting on it. As you probably know president Barchi released a statement (co-signed with Chancellor Dutta) saying that Prof. Chikindas has been disciplined, although not fired, for his vicious anti-Semitic statements. This was one victory due to a concerted effort by a lot of people.

However, while it’s encouraging to see some movement, it only addresses 25 percent of the problem. There still are the other two anti-Semitic professors, Puar and Adi, to contend with, and also Barchi himself, who has staunchly defended all their activities under the mantle of “free speech.” It is the university that has conducted the investigation, as is proper, while Barchi himself has been bringing up the rear, instead of leading the charge with the moral leadership he should have been showing all along. Barchi is part of the problem, not the solution. There is still a lot more that has to be done to really clean house, and we have seen that pressure does work. We have to make sure we don’t let up on our efforts.

With this in mind, I hope you not only continue to report on the situation at Rutgers, but also comment on it in op-ed columns and editorials. The Jewish Link with it’s large, involved and influential readership is an excellent vehicle to highlight campus anti-Semitism, not only at Rutgers but also at other universities in New Jersey, like Princeton. And to solicit reader involvement in exerting the pressure needed to counteract it.

Max Wisotsky

Highland Park