University of Illinois-Chicago professor announces early retirement – calls 'institutional anti-Semitism' | The Gateway expert

Barbara J. Risman, professor of sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago
Image: http://www.barbararisman.com/bio.html

Barbara J. Risman, professor of sociology in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, planned to continue teaching for the past seventeen years at the school she called her “beloved academic home.”

But the disgusting displays of anti-Semitism from pro-Hamas protesters on college campuses changed everything.

When asked about the tenor of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations and the general climate on campus since October 7 by the times of Israel, Risman shared: “The demonstrations were never intended to be about ending the war, helping Gazans, or rebuilding Gaza; all things I could figure out. Instead, everything is presented as an attack on Jews' right to a homeland. Then I feel personally attacked. Then it becomes anti-Semitic.”

“Jewish students no longer want people to know they are Jewish. Israeli students no longer want to speak in public because their voice will draw attention to them.”

In an op-ed for The Chicago TribuneRisman tells how the anti-Jewish sentiment that infected campuses across the country led her to make the difficult decision to leave her post.

Just days after the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, the faculty of women's and gender studies and black studies began posted a joint statement on their websites to reassure Palestinian and Muslim students that they were valued and that teachers were concerned about their well-being. I strongly share that concern.

Conspicuously absent from the statement was concern for Jewish and Israeli students. The faculty claimed to “mourn the loss of life in southern Israel,” but went on to “denounce the continued escalation of settler colonial violence.” The statement ends in solidarity with those “targeted by colonialism, racism, heteropatriarchy, lust for power and state-sanctioned violence,” without mentioning anti-Semitism, the terrorist killings or the hostages. The Global Program for Asian Studies published a similar statement, but at this point all that remains is a brief statement of concern for the Arab, Palestinian and Muslim communities.

Even worse, several student support centers, including the Disability Resource Center and the Women's Leadership and Resource Center, issue a statement of solidarity with the Palestinians. While caring for students who worry about their loved ones in Palestine is important and necessary, why are Jewish and Israeli students made invisible? Are Jews of no importance to those in the centers designed to support student success?

Even as the United Nations provided evidence of sexual violence in the October 7 attack, the Women's Resource and Leadership Center remained silent on the suffering of Israeli women. During a Zoom meeting with some Jewish students, I learned that some no longer feel free to use the state-sponsored resources available at these centers because the political rhetoric makes them unwelcome. This sense of “otherness,” of not belonging at UIC, goes against our mission of inclusivity.

Risman concluded: “I am retiring before I intended to because UIC is no longer an institution that is comfortable for me, as a Jew who believes that Israel has a right to exist. And to be clear, more than 80% of Jews in America share this belief. When university departments and programs publish statements implying support for the destruction of the state where more than half of all contemporary Jews live, they have crossed the line from simple microaggressions against Jewish students and faculty to outright institutional anti-Semitism.”

Risman told it too the Times of Israel that although she is a lone voice speaking in public, she has received secret thanks.

“I expected that I would receive a lot of personal pushback from my colleagues. Instead, I received a bunch of secret thank yous from all over campus, from students, faculty, staff, and administrators. I know more Jews on campus now than I ever have in the last seventeen years.”

“They all said, 'You're really brave. I would never have done that.' People now contact me when something happens because I'm the only one who has said anything publicly.”

Related Posts

The White House is praising Biden's new immigration policy toward undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens

The White House is praising Biden’s new immigration policy toward undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens, With less than five months to go the general electionsPresident Biden announced sweeping federal action…

Texas doctor charged with obtaining confidential patient information about transgender care

A Texas doctor who calls himself a whistleblower on transgender care for minors is accused of illegally obtaining private information about patients at the nation's largest children's hospital who were…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

One win, one clean sheet, but too many missed opportunities – USMNT needs to be more ruthless

  • June 25, 2024
One win, one clean sheet, but too many missed opportunities – USMNT needs to be more ruthless

Meet Jordan Bardella, the man who could be France's next Prime Minister

  • June 25, 2024
Meet Jordan Bardella, the man who could be France's next Prime Minister

Copa America 2024 schedule, live stream: where Argentina vs. Chile can be seen

  • June 25, 2024
Copa America 2024 schedule, live stream: where Argentina vs.  Chile can be seen

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, pleads guilty to violating the Espionage Act

  • June 25, 2024
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, pleads guilty to violating the Espionage Act

How to customize your TV screensavers

  • June 25, 2024
How to customize your TV screensavers

Angel Reese leads the way in Sky's rivalry victory over Fever's Caitlin Clark

  • June 25, 2024
Angel Reese leads the way in Sky's rivalry victory over Fever's Caitlin Clark

A Maryland couple 'walked for hours' before dying in the heat of the Hajj

  • June 25, 2024
A Maryland couple 'walked for hours' before dying in the heat of the Hajj

A Hidden Treasure in the Milky Way — Astronomers discover ultra-bright X-ray source

  • June 25, 2024
A Hidden Treasure in the Milky Way — Astronomers discover ultra-bright X-ray source

India's Zyod is raising $18 million to expand its tech-enabled fashion manufacturing to more countries

  • June 25, 2024
India's Zyod is raising $18 million to expand its tech-enabled fashion manufacturing to more countries

Elon Musk welcomes third child with Neuralink CEO. Here you can see how many children he has now.

  • June 25, 2024
Elon Musk welcomes third child with Neuralink CEO.  Here you can see how many children he has now.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes plea deal with US: NPR

  • June 25, 2024
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes plea deal with US: NPR