This letter was sent to Chancellor Kent Syverud.
The Syracuse University Chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness, denounces, in the strongest possible terms, the scurrilous Instagram smear campaign, now being waged, by a small group of students, against Professor Miriam Elman. Those making such charges are clearly unable to perceive their own extreme bias and irrational hatred, for the State of Israel. While falsely contending that Prof. Elman "makes students feel unsafe and unwelcome", knowing that such bigotry as theirs is swirling around campus, cannot but produce palpable angst in Jewish students and faculty. Already, Prof. Elman has been receiving vicious antisemitic hate mail. It's laughingly untrue that there are "too many Zionist faculty on campus", but those social media vigilantes would probably apply their perceived pejorative to anyone who even concedes that Israel exists. Not surprisingly, those cowards hide behind their internet pseudonyms, especially La Viuda Romana (@intothewaves).
We have long known Prof. Elman to be a more than far minded teacher, always providing her classes with a wide range of opinions on contentious subjects. Malicious accusations of Islamophobia, white supremacy, racism, discriminatory behavior, etc. are undeserving of any response. But what absolutely needs to be addressed is a repressive intellectual climate enveloping American universities, where the least expression of heterodox opinion is met with scorn, cancellation, job and reputation loss, and often, even credible threat of physical violence. This is ripping our colleges, and society as a whole apart, and it cannot be allowed to continue.
The needed response is clear. Syracuse University must make unmistakably clear that such sliming of its professors, by censorious students or others, will no longer be tolerated.