An “Israel Shabbat” that Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life plans to host on April 28 celebrates “an apartheid state” and unfairly alienates “liberal Zionist, non- and anti-Zionist Jewish students.”
That’s according to an April 24 op-ed in the Daily Princetonian penned by a Princeton senior and sophomore with members of the Alliance of Jewish Progressives. The title? “Not in our name, not our Shabbat.”
The authors called the 2019 iteration of the event “highly divisive.” The article details a long list of alleged center offenses—from hosting Israeli army veterans to refusing to give a platform to those who call for boycotting Israel.
“Non-, anti- and post-Zionist Jews on this campus are left wrestling with the fact that we ostensibly have a space for Jewish life, but which is effectively an in-house dispensary of Zionist propaganda,” the authors write.
The Princeton Center for Jewish Life did not respond to a query from JNS.
“God forbid Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life host an Israel Shabbat,” tweeted Isaac de Castro, editor of Jewcy Magazine and assistant audience editor at Tablet Magazine. “Acknowledging half of world Jewry’s existence and their culture is offensive to me, a progressive Jew. The mere presence of hummus on my campus is ‘divisive’ and horrific.”
God forbid Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life host an Israel shabbat. Acknowledging half of world Jewry’s existence and their culture is offensive to me, a progressive Jew. The mere presence of hummus on my campus is “divisive” and horrific.https://t.co/zh3Y30KzLU
— Isaac de Castro (@isaacdecastrog) April 27, 2023
Much of the language in the Daily Princetonian letter, including calling Israel “apartheid,” appears to fall under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. A contemporary example of antisemitism, according to the IHRA, is “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
The United States is one of many countries that have adopted the definition. Princeton’s student body opted not to do so last November.