Repudiating Frank Stahl’s anti-Semitic Letter to the R-G

On March 10, 2017 the Register-Guard published a letter by former faculty member Franklin W. Stahl wherein he stated that Israel was the “obvious” suspect in the recent wave of attacks on “Jewish institutions” in the United States. He went on to describe the rising “anti-Semitic threats” as a “false-flag Zionist” operation.

These assertions were presented without evidence. This is one way anti-Semitism works: depicting Jews as conspirators so devious that they leave no tracks and assigning to them blame for all of society’s ills, including those perpetrated against Jews themselves.

While it might be tempting to dismiss Stahl’s statements, the Executive Council of United Academics believes that we all have a responsibility to vociferously oppose anti-Semitism. The recent wave of anti-Semitic activity in the United States has been most visible in the destruction of gravestones in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia, but has been pervasive across the United States, including incidents in Eugene and Portland.

Sadly, our local community has long been home to outspoken anti-Semites. For years UO hosted the Pacifica Forum, which regularly promoted Holocaust deniers. More recently, vandals painted swastikas on telephone poles and businesses in Eugene and “White Pride” fliers have been posted on many bulletin boards around campus. Meanwhile, the Register-Guard publishes anti-Semitic letters and leaves anti-Semitic “civil comments” to its news stories unmoderated.

United Academics stands with our Jewish colleagues and their families, just as we have stood with all members of our communities in defiance of hatred and aggression. We will resist the rising tide of white nationalism in the United States and in our community. We have always stood for excellence in research and education, and we cannot be an excellent university community if we work and study in fear.

We call on the university leadership to ensure that everyone on campus knows that anti-Semitism is not welcome at UO and will be repudiated when it resurfaces.