We write this to alert faculty, students, and the administration of the appointment of Ronen Shoval as Research Scholar and Lecturer in Politics, and to invite us to reflect on who we want to appoint to teach our students.
As described by the media, politicians and civil rights groups, and numerous scholars, Shoval is the founder of an ultranationalist Israeli group that has waged campaigns of intimidation and harassment against prominent human rights organizations, academic departments, authors, artists, and scholars across Israel for years. To be clear, the issue here is not about freedom of speech. If someone on campus would like to hear McCarthyites or founders of organizations labeled fascist speak, by all means, invite them to speak. Granting University Lecturer status, however, is a whole other matter.