Yesterday morning, Brown/RISD Hillel, famous for #Nakbagate, finally decided to release a statement. This statement, to be printed Friday in the newspaper Jewish Voice Rhode Island, is cleverly worded to dodge blame. They use a strawman argument, claiming it was said they attended the actual screening when it was not. They did not accept blame for helping organize or serve food for the screening, which they were caught red-handed doing, but they didn’t deny it either. Instead, they chose to distract from this omission with a carefully worded strawman.
Brown RISD Hillel is deeply concerned by the activities that occurred in its facility on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
If they were so concerned, why did they spend five months planning the event and then only cancel it when they got caught?
The un-authorized showing of three short films, produced by an organization that does not support a two state solution and therefore the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish, democratic state, should not have occurred.
So unauthorized that they not only served food for it, food that was pictured, that executive director Marshall Einhorn is on tape offering, food that is pictured in the OpenHillel images of the event, but also had extra event staff they had cover it up for them, and a security guard, which they lied about too…
A small group of students led the un-authorized showing in our building. Assertions that Brown RISD Hillel’s Executive Director, Rabbi or staff attended the screening are false.
Such sneaky wording here. They didn’t attend the screening, they stood out in the lobby, outside the screening room, greeting and serving food to guests who came into the building FOR the screening!
Our board is continuing to review the issues that led to this event.
And will continue to “review it” until the public forgets about it.
Although Brown RISD Hillel welcomes dialogue and critical discussion of Israel and its policies, it will not sponsor or host programs that question Israel’s legitimacy or advocate against its right to exist as a secure, democratic, Jewish state.
Correction: they won’t get caught sponsoring such events, like the one they were sponsoring until they got caught, and the event we hosted the very next day where the nakba narrative was given just as much legitimacy as the Zionist one.
We stand firmly by Hillel International’s Guidelines for Campus Israel Activities which will continue to be used as our guiding principles when addressing difficult subjects related to Israel programming.
Interesting how Hillel has specifically told the Open Hillel reps they intend to flout guidelines. On a relevant note, they’ve planned this and other events that flouted the guidelines for years. They only change their tune when they get caught….
Brown RISD Hillel remains deeply committed to its long and honorable tradition of serving all Jewish students on campus and inspiring them to build an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.
We’ll believe it when we see it.