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The Blaze
The Blaze
18 Nov 2023


NextImg:Chicago university under fire after sociology professors send anti-Israel emails to staff and students | Blaze Media

The interim president at a Chicago college has apparently expressed that the school does not hold any one perspective on the conflict in the Middle East after it was reported that some of the institution's sociology professors had blistered students and staff with anti-Israel emails.

Fox News Digital reported that Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Dr. Katrina Bell-Jordan issued a statement to the entire campus community after a number of anti-Israel emails were sent out to staff and students.

The development comes as many universities across the country have had to address anti-Israel sentiment from both professors and students. Anti-Semitism has cropped up in many of the country's most prestigious educational institutions, which has forced universities to address the issues.

In an email obtained by Fox News Digital, Bell-Jordan addressed the issue, saying, "Northeastern values community and diversity and as an educated institution, we have a responsibility and commitment to allow our community to express their opinions under the First Amendment even when we may not agree with what is being said."

"We must also remember that no single perspective represents the views of the entire University."

She continued: "We ask our community to continue to be mindful that many in our NEIU community may be grieving and otherwise struggling with loss and anxiety related to the violence in Gaza and Israel. No words are adequate under these circumstances, and yet, the anguish of tragedy requires that we come together to support and care for one another."

The university did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment on the development.

Bell-Jordan's email comes after Brooke Johnson, an associate professor and sociology department coordinator, appeared to justify Hamas' attack against Israel on October 7. Johnson reportedly said that the attack happened after "75 years of Israeli White supremacy."

Johnson made the comments in an email obtained by Fox News Digital, which said: "After 75 years of Israeli White supremacy, including displacement, human rights violations, and systemic violence, Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th which resulted in 1400 deaths and 240 hostages."

"Israel is now collectively punishing Palestinians. The Palestinian death toll from Israeli airstrikes exceeds 10,000, and almost half of these are children. This number increases daily as airstrikes continue; water, food and medical aid are cut off; and demands for a humanitarian cease-fire increase."

Johnson reportedly stated in the email that students and staff could get involved with the cease-fire movement by talking to sociology professors about resistance movements, "settler colonialism, antisemitism, racism, genocide, and sociology."

A second sociology professor at the university, Brett Stockdill, sent out at least two emails concerning the conflict in the Middle East, writing: "At a time of such staggering civilian casualties and destruction in Gaza, there is a simultaneous occurrence of unprecedented national and media-driven campaigns aimed at suppressing or stigmatizing voices that advocate for Palestinian human rights."

"In response, we urge our colleagues and administration to derive inspiration from the core values of Northeastern Illinois University."

"We implore them to leverage their influence in supporting the national and international appeals for an immediate cease-fire and end to Israel's siege on Gaza. Furthermore, we encourage them to champion the protection of our students, staff, and faculty, enabling them to express their support for Palestinian human rights freely and without fear of censorship or intimidation."

Stockdill went on: "We reject all claims that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic, and we stand with the many Jewish voices against this ongoing military occupation and killing of civilians."

However, the two individuals who sent out the emails to faculty and staff did not appear to make mention of how anti-Semitism has seen a sharp increase since the conflict in the Middle East broke out. Neither sociology professor condemned anti-Semitism in any form, and they did not appear to condemn Hamas' brutal slaughter of 1,200 Jewish non-combatants.

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