We understand that student groups and Central Student Government are being encouraged to support divestment efforts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As members of the University, we urge you to instead take bold action toward a just and peaceful resolution.
We stand with Israelis, Palestinians and Americans who are calling for a bilateral, negotiated peace that will benefit all parties involved. We stand for an end to violence and an end to incitement. We stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis alike in the struggle to build coexistence. We stand for long-term, sustainable peace.
We reject efforts that aim to assign absolute blame to either Israelis or Palestinians, such as UMDivest and the national Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. They are counterproductive and drive the parties, both in the region and on campus, farther away from one another and from necessary compromise. Rather, we recognize both the Israeli and Palestinian right to self-determination. We therefore support a two-state solution to the conflict: Israel as a Jewish and democratic state alongside an independent Palestinian state, both living in peace and security.
Here in Ann Arbor, we support investing in positive spaces for dialogue to build a campus culture of understanding. We can begin by bringing to campus and learning from positive examples of coexistence among Israelis and Palestinians. We invite CSG and interested students to participate in dialogue opportunities, such as the Hand-In-Hand Center for Jewish and Arab education in Israel. This organization creates integrated bilingual schools for Arab and Jewish students to bring their communities closer together. Focusing on coexistence in Israel will help us foster greater coexistence on our campus.
We respect CSG for listening to all voices in this matter and creating a forum that validates all narratives, including those expressed in this letter and presented by these signatories.
We desire to be part of the solution towards peace, a responsibility that can only be achieved through mutual understanding, constructive dialogue and the recognition of the rights of all people.
In keeping with the Michigan tradition of promoting change through peace efforts, this is our moment to bring positive change to the region and shift our discourse on campus. We invite you to join us in our efforts to bring our campus together in spaces of positive dialogue rather than being divided by polarizing divestment.
Max Ledersnaider is an Engineering junior, Aaron Cahen is an LSA sophomore, Inbar Lev is an LSA junior, and Lizzie Friedman is an LSA senior.
On behalf of Wolverines for Peace: A group of organized students working to promote long-term peace and mutual understanding, in the region and on campus.