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Reinstein: We should condemn Brown’s invitation to Jonathan Greenblatt

In bringing Jonathan Greenblatt to speak at Brown, the University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity tells “anyone who might be upset” to understand that the OIED is “bringing in a viewpoint and bringing understanding and awareness.”

Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza has killed some 12,000 Palestinian children, in addition to doctors, journalists and academics. Countless human rights organizations have accused Israel of committing war crimes, and South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have identified Israel as an apartheid state. 

Many Brown community members have themselves described facing racist violence from the Israeli state. The Anti-Defamation League, of which Greenblatt is the director, has falsely accused these same students of “materially supporting a foreign terrorist organization.” Greenblatt and the ADL have advocated for investigations into student groups speaking against Israeli apartheid, and publicly celebrated the suspension of Columbia’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. Greenblatt's organization has also attacked Black movements against racist policing and supported police surveillance of Muslim communities.

While Brown’s diversity office urges students to consider Jonathan Greenblatt’s genocidal, racist “viewpoint,” he is silencing students who protest against it. 


Joel Reinstein can be reached at Please send responses to this opinion to and other op-eds to


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