Petition To Conference Of Presidents

Petition to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

(I’ve set up a new petition site at
because the first one was overwhelmed with trolls.) The troll attack will have confused a lot of potential signers. Please circulate the URL of this posting, i.e.
to academic friends and urge them to sign. I can throw off the fake names easily at the new site, and no one can be signed up fraudently because they get an email to the address entered. One troll technique is to invent plausible-sounding false entries that are actually e.g. porn authors. I think I have caught all these but would appreciate some readers vetting the signing list via google for authenticity in case I miss something.

I must require some kind of academic affiliation to leave your name up, even if it is a past or informal one (please state that). Let us redouble our efforts; obviously someone is very afraid that we will demonstrate that most American professors stand against these tactics. I have preserved as many names as possible from the first petition below, and they are already an important witness. If you are listed here, no need to re-sign.

I’m glad to do press interviews about the petition. Note that it has already garnered hundreds of academic supporters from across the US, and I think it is the first time the academic world has petitioned the Conference of PMAJO on such an issue.

I’m starting a petition drive for college and university teachers to defend John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt from baseless charges of anti-Semitism. I apologize for limiting the petition base this way, but others are welcome to create other petitions that anyone can sign. I feel it is time for teachers in higher education to stand up and be counted on this issue of the chilling of academic inquiry through character assassination. At a time when the use of congressional funding to universities to limit and shape curricula and research is openly advocated, all of us academics are on the line. And if scholars so eminent as Mearsheimer and Walt can be cavalierly smeared, then what would happen to others?

To: Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

We note with dismay that when eminent political scientists John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard published their “The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy” in the London Review of Books, they were subjected to a barrage of ad hominem attacks. In particular, they were smeared as “anti-Semites”. This epithet was hurled at them by the Anti-Defamation League, Eliot A. Cohen, Alan Dershowitz, Representative Eliot Engel, Richard L. Cravatts, and many others.

Merriam-Webster gives the following definition of anti-Semitism:

Function: noun
: hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group

We protest the character assassination of eminent American academics, firm supporters of civil rights for all, as racist bigots for their academic analysis of the domestic dimension of US foreign policy. No paper about other ethnic lobbies’ impact on foreign policy (e.g. Cuban-Americans, Irish-Americans or Armenian-Americans) would have elicited such over-heated and patently unfair charges of racism.

We fear that the real motive in the brandishing of the serious charge of “anti-Semitism” so readily at any discussion of the US relationship with Israel is an attempt to chill public debate and to discourage the critical evaluation of American Middle East policy and of Israeli policy in the region. Such a misuse of the word “anti-Semitic” is profoundly anti-democratic. Democracy requires free public debate of all issues affecting the public weal.

We deeply fear that this practice is becoming a form of “crying wolf,” and that the force of the term “anti-Semite” is being rapidly eroded as a matter of moral sensibility. True anti-Semitism does exist and is an evil. Let us vigilantly combat it rather than mischaracterizing academic papers.

We also fear that an impression is being created that elements in the American Jewish community are hostile to academic freedom of speech and inquiry, and are hostile even to the first amendment of the US constitution. As admirers of the historic role the American Jewish community has played in furthering civil liberties in the United States, we are concerned and saddened at this development.

We call upon the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations forthrightly to condemn the smearing of Professors Mearsheimer and Walt, and of other academics who subject Middle East policy issues to critical inquiry, as “anti-Semites.”


The Undersigned

Name Affiliation (for Identification Purposes Only) Comments

Andrew J. Zweifler, Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
Robert D. Acland, Professor, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Andrew Arato, New School University
273Philip E. Converse, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, Director Emeritus, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford,

Thomas Richardson, Dept. of Mathematics, Western Michigan Univ., 1992-1999
Robert Asher University of Connecticut, Professor of History Emeritus
Barry Wilson University of Northern Iowa
Francis Mlynarczyk Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York University, 1969-1970; Instructor, Purdue Univesity, 1965-1968
John George ERAU,retired.
Richard Needleman Wayne State University School of Medicine
Scott Erb Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Maine Farmington
Andrew Slade Philosophy, University of Dayton
Shelley Baranowski University of Akron
Alex Stein
Joanne Aboud McGahagan Instructor, Humanities Division, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Carmen Brissette Grayson retired prof. of history, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia
Thorne Anderson Former Adjunct Professor, American University in Bulgaria
laura camille agoston dept of art and art history trinity university
Daniel Tompkins Temple University
Robert Daniels Professor of Accounting San Francisco State University
Michael Munk retired-last taught at Rutgers
brant hinrichs Drury University
Steven M. Zielke Oregon State University
James Bratt Dept of History Calvin College
Jason Hodin Stanford University
To quote Mearsheimer and Walt: “Silencing sceptics by organising blacklists and boycotts – or by suggesting that critics are anti-semites – violates the principle of open debate on which democracy depends.” Here in the USA we saw a parallel situation in that any criticism of Bush’s belligerence in the wake of 9/11 was labeled “unpatriotic.” We will be dealing with the consequences of such undemocratic responses for years to come. In the meantime, countless innocents suffer.

Michael Byron San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, CA
250Ann El Khoury Macquarie Uiversity
Sean Lee l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
frank Belcastro Frank P. Belcastro, retired, University of Dubuque. Reckless charges tend to chill academic inquiry which retards the acquisition of knowledge.
Sandy Polishuk formerly Portland State University
Dominic Holland UCSD Neuroscience
Joshua Cole Department of History, University of Michigan
Dino Feldman engineer
Michael Martini Franklin Pierce College
Faheem Khan Graduate Student. Civil Engineering Wayne State University.MI
L. G. Moses Department of History Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK
David Shibley – Santa Monica College, CA
Felipe Gómez G., Post-Doctoral Fellow, Spanish Department, The University of Michigan
Chuck Van Wey former instructor New Mexico State University
Edwin Duncan, Towson University
Chuck Blackledge, Department of Physics, Oklahoma State University
Alan Balboni, Ph.D., Professor , Community College of Southern Nevada.
Gregory B. Stone, Louisiana State University
Mark D. Higbee, History, Eastern Michigan University
Geoffrey Wong ICP
Shawn Oakley Columbia Law School
David Jonah Mathematics Department, Wayne State University
James Goldfarb Devine Loyola Marymount University
Josh Buermann Chicago, IL
Jeffrey Rudolph Marianopolis College The issue isn’t whether the authors are right or wrong, pro- or anti-Israel, etc. The issue is their freedom to express an opinion; especially an unpopular opinion. Perhaps there is a clash of civilizations between those who support liberal freedoms and those who don’t.

Moses Seenarine Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Hunter College, CUNY
Stacy Haldi US Naval War College, CDE
Stephen Philion St. Cloud State University, Sociology
Kenneth Miller Columbia University
Dr. Sam Noumoff McGill Universiy
Rudi H. & Laureen Nussbaum Portland State University
J B Meilands Prof Emeritus Biochem UCB
Peter Meyer Filardo Tamiment Library, NYU
Merrill Ring California State University, Fullerton
Carolyn Eisenberg Hofstra University
Gary Murrell Grays Harbor College
Douglas Sloan Teachers College, Columbia University
Michael McIntyre DePaul University
Richard C Thomson retired
Brice Harris Occidental College
Joanna Picciotto UC Berkeley English
Martin Love Durham Academy, Durham, NC
Victor Wallis Berklee College of Music
Stephen Fox Emeritus Professor of History, Humboldt State University
Mary C Wilson University of Massachusetts Amherst
Claude Garrod Emeritus Professor of Physics, UC, Davis It’s a very dangerous although tempting tactic to recklessly use charges of anti-semitism

Matthew Kester Brigham Young University Hawaii
Sally Guttmacher New York University
Christopher Turner University of Iowa Its about time that the American People realize who is asking for your children and money to fight in the Middle East to protect Israel!

William T Burke Professor Law Emeritus
200 Beth Cleary Macalester College, Theater Department
Douglas Anderson Southwest Minnesota State University
Mark Crispin Miller New York University
Bertell Ollman Dept of Politics, NYU
Peter Z McKay University of Florida
Wendy Kaufmyn City College of San Francisco
Noor V Gillani University of Alabama in Huntsville
Brian Palenik UCSD
Dr Andrew Strycharski University of Miami
Wythe Holt University of Alabama (emeritus)
John F Ronan Valdosta State University
Michael Nash New York University
Adele Kubein Oregon State University
Olaf Berwald University of Tennessee
Roger Beck University of Toronto
Albert Krauss Dartmouth College, BA; San Francisco State College Language Arts postgraduate studies This preposterous, opportunistic and politicized bugbear is being evoked shamelessly Please help to expose its baselessness

John Melby Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jack Draper University of Missouri, Columbia Mearsheimer and Walt’s excellent article in the LRB was written precisely to expose this kind of attempt to stifle open debate about Israel’s place in US Middle East policy Let’s rely upon the power of open debate and the exchange of new ideas to reduce violence in that region , rather than the power of fear of being unjustly labeled a bigot to stifle debate and maintain the status quo

F Gregory Gause, III University of Vermont
William W Hansen Professor of International and Comparative Politics, ABTI American University of Nigeria, Yola, Nigeria
Frank Connolly Professor of Mathematics, University of Notre Dame
Peter Rachleff History Department, Macalester College I am an American Jew and these organizations do not speak for me on this issue

Ceasar Albert Retired
Protecting against anti-semitism is of the utmost importance, but it should not result in the suppression of academic investigation.

Hardy Bryan Catholic University, MA student in World Politics I never thought I would defend Stephen Walt or John Mearsheimer. The need for this petition is outrageous.

Christopher A. Fox Newman University, Wichita, KS As an academic and an American who is proud of his Jewish roots, I believe that those who seek the truth must be allowed to do so, wherever it leads and whoever it affronts.

Ben Piggot University of Washington
Deborah A. Gordon Women’s Studies, Wichita State University
Yoram Gelman Lehman College, City University of New York
Richard A Shook FCCOL
Herman DE LEY Ghent University (Belgium)
Matthew Abraham University of Tennessee at Knoxville In the Name of Academic Freedom

Nabil Al-Tikriti University of Mary Washington
Benjamin Mini History instructor, Waynflete School, Portland, Maine
Cynthia L Meredith University of Texas at San Antonio
Stephen Day independent researcher
Dr Sadu Nanjundiah Central Connecticut State University It is time to challenge the McCarthyite type tactics of the Israeli lobby which tries to smear every critic of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people with the taint of “anti-Semitism”, thereby squelching discussion on the appalling treatment of Palestinians by Israel and denying them their just aspirations to freedom with justice

Kristin Kopp University of Missouri, Columbia
Victor L Tomseth Retired foreign service officer and former ambassadorIn -plus years working on US national security and foreign policy I saw at close range the power of the Lobby to stifle honest debate of the relationship of Israel to US policy interests A public discussion of the this important issue is long overdue

Andrew McLennan University of Sydney Economics
John S Williams Professor Emeritus, U of the Pacific
Rosemary Sayigh (dr) visiting professor, Birzeit University
Lynne Knight Contra Costa College
Grace Said Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace
Richard DiMatteo Retired-Phi Beta Alpha The very need for this petition speaks volumes about the validity of the issue
Jane H Hill University of Arizona Department of Anthropology
Terry Walz Council for the National Interest Foundation
Steve Cormier PhD Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute
Helmy Y Mostafa Boston University
Karol M Morphew Arapahoe Community College (Ret)
William T Lynch Wayne State University
150George Bisharat Hastings College of the Law
Richard Mulliken, PhD Fordham University (ret)
John Mineka Lehman College, CUNY
Denis A White University of Toledo
Kevin Fulton University of Texas at Austin Go back home!
Irene Padavic Florida State University
Stewart Grant University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska The local jewish community was especially vicious in shutting down a performance of a local author’s play about Corrie Rachel

Naseer Aruri Professor Emeritus, Unversity of Massachusetts Dartmouth Terri Ney Reading Area Community College
Stephan Cohen Assistant Professor, Lesley University I support an open dialogue and I state this as an American Jew

Vicente Sanchez East Los Angeles College
Kathryn Vestal retired attorney Public discussion of Israel’s influence on American foreign policy, for good or ill, is *not* anti-semitism

Scott Erb University of Maine at Farmington
Brian Ulrich Beloit College, University of Wisconsin
Robert Olson University of Kentucky
Helen Fox University of Michigan
Gary Mort Lane Community College
Dr Charles S Young Southern Arkansas University More open debate occurs in Israel than the US It is irresponsible and dishonest to stigmatize these academics

Arnold J Oliver Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Heidelberg College
John E Adkins University of Charleston
Seth Wigderson Professor of History University of Maine at Augusta
Ena Lorant ADAIPP Freedom of speech is a right which we cherish and must work to protect

Noel Maurer Harvard Business School
Claudio Gallo Journalist
Nathan Leon Pace, MD, MStat University of Utah
Erhard Kock ACLU
Friderike Heuer Lewis&Clark College
John J Geyer Rutgers University (retired)
L Michael Lewis Professor Emeritus, History, Eastern Kentucky University
Robert Emmett Curran Georgetown University
Charles Postel california state university, sacramento
jack schaller & Joan de la Cova Retired
Steven R Heidemann Michigan State University Having read the article, I found nothing anti-semitic about it Rather, it was a plausible discussion of the issue

Lance Segars, PhD San Diego State University
Donald M Reid Georgia State University (Emeritus)
Joseph Martinelli Retired
Arthur S Keene University of Massachusetts
Dr Terri Ginsberg formerly Dartmouth College, Jewish Studies
john w livingston assoc prof middle east hist and Islamic civilization
Frank Thompson University of Michigan
John Bass University of British Columbia
James Bieri University of Texas at Austin, retired
Phyllis Mansfield Penn State University
Julia Stein Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA
Stephen Twing Frostburg State University
Bill Bush UNLV
Herbert P Bix Binghamton University
Ranjit Singh University of Mary Washington
Jerise Fogel Marshall University
Richard Shekelle University of Texas School of Public Health (retired)
Natraj Sitaram MD Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine
100. David Kolb Charles A Dana Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Bates College
Eliana Moya-Raggio University of Michigan, Lecturer Emerita
Elaine C Hagopian Prof Emerita of Sociology, Simmons College, Boston Thanks to Juan Cole for confronting this wretched smear campaign of respected academics
Eliana Moya-Raggio University of Michigan, Lecturer Emerita
Alan Macdonald Luther College
Richard B Barnett University of Virginia
leo stolbach, MD Reformed Jewish I certainly have concerns about AIPAC’S actions At some point we have to recognize that what is good for the Palestinians is not necessarily bad for Israel The only hope for Israel as a Jewish state is to have a state solution that is fair and equitable for both peoples

John Exdell Kansas State University, Department of Philosophy
Susan Crowell University of Michigan
Yakov M Rabkin University of Montreal
90. Aram Harrow Univ of Bristol
David Ray, PhD University of Oklahoma Associate Professor of Political Science
Gerhart Maas Webster University
Henry Farrell Dept of Political Science, the George Washington University
Peter Morris Penn State Emeritus
Jennifer Wicke Professor of English, University of Virginia
Robert Carlsen University of Colorado at Denver
Henry Greenspan University of Michigan There is no shortage of antisemitism in the world Although hedgy in places–the words don’t entirely match the music–I do not believe the article in question is one of its expressions

Thomas E Weisskopf University of Michigan
David Ede Western Michigan University
80. Anne Mac Gregor Retired
Robert S Knapp Reed College
Thorne Anderson former Adjunct Professor, American University in Bulgaria Stephen Broadbridge University of Sheffield
Philip Leitner Saint Mary’s College of California
Leonard Koscianski Anne Arundel Community College
Lelon Oliver University of Alabama Huntsville
Donnelly, Denis Siena College
David Waldner Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Max Heirich University of Michigan Professor and Research Scientist Emeritus
Debra Hill University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
70. Mike Tharp Part-time instructor, California State University Fullerton
Kerby Miller University of Missouri
John F Robertson Central Michigan University
Ira Glunts Half Moon Books
David Mazel Associate Professor of English, Adams State College
Brian Johnston Carnegie Mellon University
Rao Nagisetty University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
eleanor roffman Lesley university
Regan Boychuk University of Calgary
M Shahid Alam Northeastern University
60. G Sam Sloss Indiana University Southeast
George Grantham McGill University
Erik Lichtenberg University of Maryland
David R Applebaum Rowan University
John Spritzler Harvard School of Public Health
Evan Haefeli Columbia University
Richard W Todd Adj Professor, West Texas A&M University
J David Velleman New York University My comments are at http://leftrighttypepadcom/main///the_a_wordhtml

Darrell K Fennell attorney
Barry Wilson University of Northern Iowa Academic freedom is at stake here as well as providing an atmosphere for reasoned debate rather than the polarized polemics that seem to characterize too much of what is printed today

50. Gregory Nagy Harvard University
Elizabeth Seymour Penn State Altoona
David Galezo Tompkins Cortland Community College
Paul Lyons Stockton College
will rickenbach retiered
Bill Matthews Bates College
Alan Singer University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Peter Pape Retired chemist
Mary Ellen Lundsten retired, Augsburg College
40. Harry Ungar Cabrillo College Good work, Juan
Jonathan House MD Columbia University Ctr for Psychoanalytic Training and Research
Lydia Howell Independent journalist,host of “Catalyst” on KFAI Radio
Alan Marwine Green Mountain College
William Burns Howard University
Mark Weinstein None
Robert Davis Laboratory Manager Univ of Missouri
Costa Sakellariou Binghamton University study history!
Thomas Dickson Cabrillo College Instructor of Chemistry emeritus
Willard Hardman Adjunct, Catholic University of America also US Army, Retired
30. Olga Davidson Wellesley College
Jan Meier American citizen/voter Suppression of the truth must stop
Jefferson Gray The University of Chicago
Joanne Aboud McGahagan University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Alastair Northedge Université de Paris I
Mark D Higbee Eastern Michigan University
William Van der Kloot SUNY @ Stony Brook
Richard A Rand University of Alabama
John W Farley UNLV
Michael Martini Franklin Pierce College
20. Bruce Tyberg Independent
Steven Pierce History, University of Manchester
Campbell Craig University of Southampton
FM Ratliff, II Researcher
Da’ud X Mohammed Oregon Coast News Signal
Roger V Stevenson Southern Oregon University
daniel cassidy New College of California Irish Studies Program Beannacht, a chara
Harold Johnson University of Virginia
John Hartman Western International University
Dr Anthony Crow Yakima Public Schools
10. Dave McLane
Joel Andreas Johns Hopkins University
John K Fabiani
Roger Whitney San Diego State University
Calvin Schrotenboer Foothill College
Kevin Monahan Hokuriku University, Kanazawa, Japan
Karin Jaeger CECE / Euromed-Marseille
Stephen Roddy University of San Francisco
Hugh J Lester None
Juan Cole University of Michigan

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