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Historians Urge President to Change Policy on Israel-Palestine

We deplore the ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza and in Israel. We also recognize the disproportionate harm that the Israeli military, which the United States has armed and supported for decades, is inflicting on the population of Gaza.” These are the first two lines of a letter that Historians Against the War (HAW) circulated on July 31, 2014, see http://historiansagainstwar.org/gazapetition.html. The letter, which included an initial list of signers (see below) is directed to President Obama and Members of Congress.

In less than twenty-four hours over two hundred U.S.-based historians had signed the letter. Since then hundreds more historians from this country have added their names, as have hundreds of scholars from around the world. The unprecedented response by historians from the United States reflects the outrage that many feel at the wanton death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on the people of Gaza. It is a clear call for an end to the blockade of Gaza and for the suspension of United States military aid to Israel.

If you would like to join with fellow historians and sign the letter, please go to the link listed above.

Historians' Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress

We deplore the ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza and in Israel. We also recognize the disproportionate harm that the Israeli military, which the United States has armed and supported for decades, is inflicting on the population of Gaza.

We are profoundly disturbed that Israeli forces are killing and wounding so many Palestinian children. Desperate conditions in Gaza resulting from Israeli policies have made effective evacuation of war zones virtually impossible. We regard as unacceptable the failure of United States elected officials to hold Israel accountable for such acts.

As we watch the death toll mount and observe the terror of the trapped inhabitants in Gaza, we call upon you to demand a cease-fire, the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, and a permanent end to the blockade so that its people can resume some semblance of normal life. We urge you to suspend US military aid to Israel, until there is assurance that this aid will no longer be used for the commission of war crimes.

As historians, we recognize this as a moment of acute moral crisis in which it is vitally important that United States policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict change direction.

Initial Signers*

Ervand Abrahamian, City University of New York

Bettina Aptheker, University of California, Santa Cruz

Rosalyn Baxandall, SUNY Old Westbury, CUNY Labor School, Emerita

Marc Becker, Truman State University

Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Stanford University

Eileen Boris, University of California Santa Barbara

Paul Buhle, Brown University, retired

Renate Bridenthal, Brooklyn College, Emerita

Frank Brodhead, Independent Scholar

Blanche Cooke, John Jay College, Graduate Center/City University

Sandi Cooper, College of Staten Island/CUNY

Max Dashu, Director, Suppressed Histories Archives, Richmond, CA

Suzanne Desan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, California State University, Emerita

Carolyn Eisenberg, Hofstra University

Sara M. Evans, Regents Professor, University of Minnesota, Emerita

Stuart Ewen, Distinguished Professor, The Graduate Center, CUNY

John Fitzgerald, Longmeadow School Committee, Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Linda Gordon, New York University

Van Gosse, Franklin and Marshall University

Carol S. Gruber, Paterson University of New Jersey, Emerita

Walter Hixson, University of Akron

Joan Hoff, Research Professor of History, Montana State University, Bozeman

Temma Kaplan, Rutgers University

Rebecca E. Karl, New York University

Stephen Leberstein, City College, Emeritus

Zachary Lochman, New York University

Staughton Lynd, Independent Scholar

Elaine Tyler May, Regents Professor, University of Minnesota

Michele Mitchell, New York University

Thomas K. Murphy, University of Maryland/European Division

Mary Nolan, New York University

Jim O’Brien, co-chair, Historians Against the War

Kimberly Phillips-Fein, New York University

Margaret Power, Illinois Institute of Technology

Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University, Emerita

Naoko Shibusawa, Brown University

Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania

Beverly R. Voloshin, San Francisco State University

Barbara Weinstein, Silver Professor of History, New York University

Jon Wiener, University of California, Irvine

Barbara Winslow, Brooklyn College/City University of New York

Larry Wittner, SUNY/ Albany

Marilyn Young, NYU

*Affiliation listed for identification purposes only.

Read entire article at Historians Against the War (HAW)